Introduction to Tenses: Imperative Sentence

Imperative sentence expresses a command, demand, request, direction or instruction. We can think of other functions, however, they all fall into one of those I listed above. For example, advice or invitation. It is also known as a jussive or a directive.

Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all. (invitation)

Check out the best post-holiday sales before you shop. (advice)

In addition, to summarize all the functions into one – it tells people what to do.

An imperative sentence ends with a period “.” or an exclamation point “!”

Come here! (command)

Play with me! (demand, command)

We can use the negative form with “don’t” or “do not”

Don’t make all the promises that everyone up here makes. (request, advice, instruction, demand – depending on the context)

Imperative Sentence with always, never, ever

Always, never, ever, these words, for the most part are used to make an imperative sentence more emphatic. This is a little tricky topic as it includes a couple of more topics, such as, double negatives and emphatic sentences.

We can use “never” instead of “don’t.” “Never” makes the sentence just more emphatic.

Don’t make all the promises that everyone up here makes.

Never make all the promises that everyone up here makes.

To make it even more emphatic, we can add “ever” at the end of the sentence.

Never make all the promises that everyone up here makes, ever(!).

Never open your door to a stranger, ever.

Or before the verb in the negative sentence:

Don’t ever open your door to a stranger.

Don’t you ever open your door to a stranger.

We can use “always” for positive sentences to make them more emphatic or to extend the period of time for which we want to apply our command, request etc.

Always open your door to a stranger.

There is another way to emphasize an imperative sentence in the positive form. We can add “do” before the verb.

Imperative Sentence: Passive imperatives

Passive imperatives are those that tell people what has to be done. Compare to active imperatives, as I mentioned in the beginning of the lesson, they tell people what to do.

Always open your door to a stranger.

Passive imperative:

Get the doors opened to our friends.

Active imperative:

Open the doors to our friends.

Complex imperative sentences

Complex imperative sentences consists of more than one verb. The verbs connect with commas or conjunctions.

Come and open the doors to our friends.

Think, analyze, memorize.

Imperative sentence is associated with imperative mood in English.

All the above examples use the second person imperatives.

Pending: Imperatives for the other persons. Imperatives as opposed to indicatives.

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