Photo Credit: Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photos

Diamo un’occhiata all Imperativo!

Let’s look at the Imperative Mood!

Vieni con me! Come with me!

Non arrenderti! Don’t give up!

Studia! Study!

Stammi bene! Be well!

Abbi pazienza! Be patient!

Photo Credit: Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photos

When you give a command or a direct order in Italian you are using the IMPERATIVO. You use the imperative when you tell someone TO DO or NOT TO DO something.

Note: You only use the Imperative in the PRESENT TENSE. You can use this mood tense when you are happy, angry serious, or sarcastic. The imperative is used with the TU, NOI, and VOI form but not the IO form… (because you don’t boss yourself around… that is unless you have a personality disorder LOL).

Let’s look at how to form a negative command in Italian.

Photo Credit: Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photos

If you are addressing one person you refer to them in the TU form and simply put NON in front of the verb in its infinitive form. (The infinitive form of a verb refers to one that still has its -ARE, -ERE, or -IRE ending on it, and it hasn’t been conjugated.)

Non mangiare! (“are” verb – tu)

Non dormire! (“ire” verb – tu)

Non scrivere! (“ere” verb – tu)

To make a negative command using the NOI form you put NON in front of the noi conjugation in the present tense.

Non mangiamo! (“are” verb – noi)

Non dormiamo! (“ire” verb – noi)

Non scriviamo! (“ere” verb – noi)

To make a negative command when referring to a group of people using the VOI form you put NON in front of the VOI conjugation in the present tense.

Non mangiate! (“are” verb – voi)

Non dormite! (“ire” verb – voi)

Non scrivete! (“ere” verb – voi)

Attenzione! Creating Positive Commands

To create a positive command, that is when you tell someone to do something, the verb changes in a slightly irregular way. For instance:

For all regular -ARE verbs, the verb ending will be A.

Mangiare = Mangia! (tu)

Parlare = Parla! (tu)

Studiare = studia! (tu)

For all regular -IRE verbs the verb ending will be the same as they always are in the present tense.

Dormire = Dormi! (tu)

Partire = Parti! (tu)

For all regular -ERE verbs the verb ending will be the same as they always are in the present tense.

Scrivere = Scrivi! (tu)

Leggere = Leggi! (tu)

Some verbs have an irregular imperative form. The most frequent ones are listed here:

fare – fa’ (tu)
andare – va’ (tu)
dire – di’ (tu)
dare- da’ (tu)
stare – sta’ (tu)
essere – sii (tu)
avere – abbi (tu)
sapere – sappi (tu)

To make a positive command with NOI and VOI all you do is conjugate any verb in either the NOI or VOI forms

Mangiamo!  / Mangiate!

Dormiamo!  / Dormite!

Scriviamo!  / Scrivete!

Now, Let’s make things even more interesting by throwing in some direct and indirect pronouns!

FYI: You will need to have a good grasp of Direct, Indirect and Double Object pronouns.

Photo Credit: Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photos
DIMMELO per favore!

Let’s consider the words FARE, DARE, and DIRE

If someone asks you to do something, give you something or tell you something – you can use a shorthand version.

For example:

FAMMELO vedere!– Show it to me!

DAMMELO adesso! – Give it to me!

DIMMELO per favore! – Tell me it please!

First let’s examine these phrases looking at “Fammelo vedere”.

You can say it the long way the first time: “Mi fai vedere il libro?” Will you show me the book?

Let’s say the person didn’t hear you, so you ask again, but this time you shorten the phrase to this: “Me lo fai vedere?” Can you show it to me. Instead of repeating the word “LIBRO” we shorten the phrase by inserting the direct pronoun “LO” which refers to “il libro”.

The person still doesn’t respond and you are starting to get annoyed… so you now say in an exasperated tone: “Fammelo vedere!” “Show it to me!”As you can see in the last example, the command is more assertive. Remember when you combine double object pronouns Mi and LO you repeat the “m” for emphasis and Mi changes to ME.

Now consider the other phrases using
Dare and Dire:

Dammelo adesso! – Give it to me now! 

1) Mi dai il pane per favore? – Can you give me the bread please?

2) Me lo dai? – Can you give it to me?

3) Dammelo! – Give it to me!

Dimmelo per favore! – Tell me it now please!

1) Mi dici il segreto per favore? – Can you tell me the secret please?

2) Me lo dici? – Can you tell me (it)?

3) Dimmelo! – Tell me!

Esercitzi! Exercises! Now it’s your turn to get a little bossy! See if you can supply the correct answer!

Contact for the answers

1. _______ (Andare, tu) a casa.

2. _______ (Dare, noi) da mangiare al cane.

3. _______ (Fare, voi) quest’esercizio.

4. _______ (Dire, voi) come dobbiamo cuocere questo piatto.

6. _______ (Partire, voi) subito!

7. _______ (Bere, tu) un bicchiere d’acqua.

8. _______ (Entrare, voi), sono da solo.

9. _______ (Uscire, voi) da questa porta.

10. _______ (Venire, tu) con noi stasera.

1. Pietro, non  _______ (dire) bugie a tua madre.

2. _______ (scendere) subito, devo parlarti.

3. _______ (ascoltare) vostro padre, o guai alla sua ira.

4. _______ (voi venire) nel mio ufficio immediatamente.

5. _______on (prestare) il tuo libro a questo ragazzo.

6. _______ (noi prendere) questa via, è più diretta.

7. _______ (rispettare) la norma, se vogliamo riuscire.

8. Non mangiare velocemente, _______  (masticare)!

9.  _______ (bere) la vostra medicina, se volete curarvi!

10. Facciamo i nostri compiti e _______ (meritarsi) il riposo!

Buoni studi!!!!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment

  1. It seems to me that being “bossy” in italian is even more powerful!
    I don’t know if others will share my opinion but in my opinion the italian language is already so strong.
    Using the imperative is like putting boxing gloves 😉

    Thanks for your article Melissa