An explanation of
Formal Commands in Spanish
Commands in English…
… are pretty easy. You just
use a base verb form
(without a subject, since
it’s always “you”) to tell
people what they should
do:
–
–
–
–
–
Stand up!
Sit down!
Do your homework!
Take out the garbage!
Be quiet!
Commands in Spanish…
… are little more complicated
because we have so many
ways of saying “you”:
–
–
–
–
Tú: informal, singular
Vosotros: informal, plural
Ud.: formal, singular
Uds.: formal, plural
• However, we will
concentrate on the formal
commands only.
-AR verbs
Hable despacio, por favor.
• The speaker is talking to one person.
• Can you figure out how we got the
form “hable”?
• Take the “yo” form of the present:
HABLO
• Drop the –o: HABL• “Hablar” is an –AR verb, so add –E to
form the command: HABLE
-ER/-IR Verbs
Repita, por favor.
• The speaker is talking to one
person.
• Can you figure out how we got the
form “repita”?
• Take the “yo” form of the present:
REPITO
• Drop the –o: REPIT• “Repetir” is an –IR verb, so add –A
to form the command: REPITA
Opposite vowels
• Think of the verb
adding the
“opposite vowel”
• AR verbs add an –E.
• ER & IR verbs add
an –A.
Let’s try a couple!
•
•
•
•
Comer: ¡______ Ud.!
Escribir: ¡_____ Ud.!
Tomar: ¡_____ Ud.!
Beber: ¡______ Ud.!
More than one person?
Uds…
• Coman Uds. la paella.
Right!
Just add an –N to the
command form when you
are talking to more than one
person.
Let’s try a few more!
• Comer: ¡______ Uds.!
• Escribir: ¡_____ Uds.!
• Tomar: ¡_____ Uds.!
Some irregulars…¿Qué pasa?
Haga la tarea. ~hacer=to do

Hacer > yo hago > -o + -a
Tenga paciencia. ~tener=to have

Tener > yo tengo > -o + -a
Salga ahora.~ salir=to leave

Salir > yo salgo > - o + -a
Vuelva a casa.~volver=to return

Volver > yo vuelvo > -o + -a
Piense bien.~pensar=to think

Pensar > yo pienso > -o + -e
These verbs follow the same formula: start with the
yo form, drop the –o, and add the opposite vowel.
En la cocina, use the FORMAL SINGULAR
COMMAND FORMS  Usted
Cocinar- to cook, Cocine
Medir-to measure, Mida
Agregar-to add, Agregue
Freír-to fry, Fría
Hervir-to boil, Hierva
Romper-to break, Rompa
Hornear-to bake, Hornee
Batir- to beat, Bata
Combinar-to combine/to blend, Combine
Mezclar-to mix, Mezcle
Picar-to chop, Pique
Cortar-to cut, Corte
Cubrir-to cover, Cubra
Ahora, traduzcan usando los mandatos formales….
1.Blend a cup of milk! = __________________________
2. Beat two eggs! = __________________________
3. Boil three cups of water! = __________________________
4. Cut the chicken! = __________________________
5. Bake the cake! = __________________________
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An explanation of Formal Commands in Spanish - MmePAEZ