Imperative grammar structure

Imperative Grammar Structure (with example sentences)

We use the base infinitive to form an imperative sentence(be, do, make, have). The subject “you” is implied. We use the imperative tense in English when we want to command someone to do something.

Here are some example sentences:

Come here and look at this!

Go away! I am tired.

Please wait for me. I will be a bit late.

Please be quiet. I’m working.

We also use this form when we are commanding people in a polite form(Wish, Would like).

How to form the imperative

To form the imperative, you need to use the base infinitive form. You do not need the subject in the sentence because it is implied that the subject is you.

The verb is usually at the beginning of the sentence if it is a command.

Bring those clothes upstairs.

Take the dog for a walk. 

Do your homework.

What is the function of an imperative sentence?

We use an imperative sentence in the following ways:

  • Commands
  • Requests 
  • Warnings
  • Suggestions
  • Instructions

Let’s look at some example sentences:


Sit down.

Brush the floor.


Do your homework please.

Take this to your father. 


Watch out for the car!

Don’t touch that!


Have a beer.

Take a coat with you.


Place the cup on the table.

Turn on the button.

Our tone of voice can show the different types of imperative sentence.

Commands(Stern, confident tone)

Requests(question tone)

Warnings (Fast, shouting tone)



Watch the video below to listen to the different tones(at the end).

How do you change a sentence into imperative?

To change a sentence into an imperative sentence you just need to remove the subject and use the bare infinitive.

John takes his dinner upstairs.

Take your dinner upstairs. 

Sarah drinks milk.

Drink milk.

What are the 4 types of sentences?

There are 4 types of sentence in English

  • Declarative
  • Interrogative 
  • Imperative
  • Exclamative

A declarative sentence is a statement.

An interrogative sentence asks a question.

An imperative sentence is a command.

An exclamative sentence shows surprise.

Negative and Question Imperatives

To make a negative imperative sentence, we need to use Don’t 

Don’t jump on that table.

Don’t sit down.

Don’t buy a car.

Questions(Interrogative) are a different type of sentence in English so we don’t use questions with imperatives. Imperatives are usually commands but if you want to use an imperative as a request then you need to use rising intonation. 

You can also use Question Tags if you don’t want the command to be so strong,

Don’t tell her, will you?

Don’t let me down, will you?

Learn more about Wh Questions here