Imperative sentences give instructions, orders, and warnings.
The basic grammatical rule for sentences is that they contain a subject and a verb. But imperative sentences are the exception to that rule because the subject (the person “doing” the verb) is the person receiving the instruction.
A regular sentence might be:
You should bring your notebook to class.
The imperative version of the same sentence is:
Bring your notebook to class.
The imperative is one of the grammatical moods. The term “mood” here has nothing to do with state of mind or emotion. A grammatical mood just tells us what type of verb or structure we’re using in our sentence.
You can find out more about grammatical moods (imperative is only one type of mood) in our blog.
Examples of Positive Imperative Sentences
Pick your toys up off the floor.
Log off the system before you leave the office.
Be kind to your brother and sister.
Water your plants twice a week.
Mix the butter and sugar until soft.
Examples of Negative Imperative Sentences
To write a negative imperative, we just add “do not,” “don’t,” or “never.” Our instructions and orders can then sometimes become warnings or prohibitions.
Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table.
Do not touch the electrical wiring – danger of death!
Don’t make so much noise.
Never borrow your brother’s car without asking.
Don’t walk on the wet floor.
Being Polite With Imperative Sentences
Sometimes, we want to give an instruction, but we don’t want it to sound like an order. We can make it more polite and give it a softer tone by adding “please.”
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