Forming the imperative for usted/ustedes/nosotros/nosotras (affirmative and negative commands)

In Spanish, the nosotros/nosotras/usted/ustedes forms of El Imperativo, both in affirmative and negative commands take same form as El Presente de Subjuntivo. Let's look at nosotros/nosotras first, then usted/ustedes.

Spanish imperative of Nosotros/Nosotras (we)

To say Let's [do something] or Let's not [do something]  in Spanish as a form of command to ourselves we use the verb in the present subjunctive form for nosotros/nosotras (first person plural). 

Have a look at these examples:

Ella no quiere que nosotros comamos tan rápido. (present subjunctive)
She doesn't want us to eat so fast.

¡Comamos más rápido!Let's eat faster!
(affirmative command)

¡No comamos tan rápido!Let's not eat so fast!
(negative command)

Notice how they all coincide in their form. 

Alternative structures not using the imperative

Bear in mind though, that in a more colloquial way, we would probably use an interrogative sentence introduced by "¿Por qué no...?" followed by El Presente with the same purpose, an affirmative command to "ourselves". For example:

¿Por qué no vamos a la playa?
Why don't we go to the beach?/Let's go to the beach!

And in the negative cases, we would probably prefer to use a different sentence structure introduced by "Mejor no..." followed by El Presente. For example:

Mejor no vamos a la playa. 
Let's not go to the beach!

Both "¿Por qué no...?" and "Mejor no..." followed by El Presente are more frequently used in speech than their equivalent forms using the imperative:

Vayamos a la playa.
Let's go to the beach! (affirmative command)

No vayamos a la playa.
Let's not go to the beach! (negative command)

Here are other examples using the imperative:

¡Hagamos una fiesta!Let's organise a party!

¡Limpiemos el coche!Let's clean the car!

¡Tengamos paciencia!Let's be patient!

¡No seamos egoístas!Let's not be selfish!

Spanish imperative of Usted and Ustedes (you formal singular and plural)

To express an affirmative or negative command directed to "you" (formal) we also use the usted/ustedes form (3rd person singular/plural) in El Presente de Subjuntivo. A typical situation is in a formal conversation or transaction, for example in a bank.

Here are some examples:

Necesito que firme aquí, Señor. (present subjunctive)
I need you to sign here, Sir.

Señor, firme aquí, por favor.Sir, sign here, please.
(affirmative command)

Señor, no firme aquí.Sir, do not sign here.
(negative command)

Señoritas, no es bueno que beban mucho champán. (present subjunctive)
Ladies, it is not good to drink lots of champagne.

Señoritas, beban un poco de champán.Ladies, drink a little champagne.
(affirmative command)

Señoritas, ¡no beban tanto champán!Ladies, don't drink so much champaigne!
(negative command)

Notice how they all coincide in their form. 

Another typical context for this is road signs:

Conduzca despacio.Drive slowly.
(affirmative command, usted form)

Disminuya la velocidad.Reduce speed.
(affirmative command, usted form)

No tiren papeles al suelo.Don't throw papers on the floor.
(negative command, ustedes form)

Here are more examples (usted):

¡Tenga el cambio!Here's your change! 

Señor, ¡no corra!Sir, don't run

¡Diga la verdad!Tell the truth! 

Here are more examples (ustedes):

¡Salgan a tiempo!Leave on time!

Señor y Señora Valls, ¡compren una nueva lavadora!Mr. and Mrs. Valls, buy a new washing machine!

¡No digan mentiras!Don't tell lies! 

No hablen tan rápido, por favor.Don't speak so fast, please.

 

Remember that many verbs undergo stem changes and consonant changes when they are conjugated in  El Presente de Subjuntivo and these need to be kept when making a command.

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¡Tengamos una buena fiesta!Let's have a great party!
¡Juguemos al ajedrez!Let's play chess!
Señor, firme aquí, por favor.Sir, sign here, please.
¡Vaya a la escuela! (Usted.)Go to school! (You sing. formal.)
¡Haga la compra! Do the shopping! ("you" singular formal = "usted")
¡No digan mentiras!Don't tell lies! 
¡No corran por allí!Don't run over there! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")
Disminuya la velocidad.Reduce speed.
Señora Matos, ¡compre lo que hay en la lista!Mrs Matos, buy what's on the list!
No tiren papeles al suelo.Don't throw papers on the floor.
¡Seamos inteligentes!Let's be intelligent!
¡Venga a la fiesta!Come to the party! ("you" singular formal = "usted")
¡No comamos tan rápido!Let's not eat so fast!
Señor y Señora Valls, ¡compren una nueva lavadora!Mr. and Mrs. Valls, buy a new washing machine!
¡Tenga el cambio!Here's your change! 
¡Hagan el trabajo! Do the job! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")
¡Salgan a tiempo!Leave on time!
¡No seamos egoístas!Let's not be selfish!
Señoritas, ¡no beban tanto champán!Ladies, don't drink so much champaigne!
Disminuya la velocidad.Reduce speed.
¡Sean simpáticos!Be nice! ("you" plural formal)
¡Vengan a la escuela!Come to school! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")
¡Comamos más rápido!Let's eat faster!
¡Limpiemos el coche!Let's clean the car!
Señor Perez, ¡compre un ordenador cuanto antes!Mr. Perez, buy a computer as soon as possible!
Señor, ¡no corra!Sir, don't run
¡Pongan la radio! Put the radio on! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")
¡Diga la verdad!Tell the truth! 
¡Conduzcamos con cuidado!Let's drive carefully!
¡Salga a la calle!Go out on the street! ("you" singular formal = "usted")
Conduzca despacio.Drive slowly.
¡Hagamos la cena! Let's make dinner! 
¡Salgamos esta noche!Let's go out tonight!
¡Pidamos otra ronda!Let's order another round!
¡No tuerzan a la derecha!Don't turn right! ("you" plural formal)
¡Vayamos al pueblo! (Nosotros/nosotras.)Let's go to the village!
¡Chicos, corramos la maratón!Guys, let's run the marathon!
¡Tengamos paciencia!Let's be patient!
¡Ponga atención!Pay attention! ("you" singular formal = "usted")
¡Hablemos con tranquilidad!Let's talk with calm!
¡Vayan juntos a la fiesta!Go together to the party! (You formal plural.)
Señor, no firme aquí.Sir, do not sign here.
Señorita, ¡cante esa linda canción!Miss, sing that lovely song!
¡Hagamos una fiesta!Let's organise a party!
No hablen tan rápido, por favor.Don't speak so fast, please.
Señoritas, beban un poco de champán.Ladies, drink a little champagne.
¡Tengan más cuidado!Be more careful! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")
¡Amigos, bebamos hasta el amanecer!Friends, let's drink until dawn!
¡Pongamos música!Let's turn the music on!
Let me take a look at that...