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

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

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!

Usted (you formal singular) and Ustedes (you formal 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.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Señorita, ¡cante esa linda canción!
Miss, sing that lovely song!


No tiren papeles al suelo.
Don't throw papers on the floor.


¡Vengan a la escuela!
Come to school! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


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


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


¡Amigos, bebamos hasta el amanecer!
Friends, let's drink until dawn!


¡No comamos tan rápido!
Let's not eat so fast!


¡Tengamos una buena fiesta!
Let's have a great party!


¡Tenga el cambio!
Here's your change! 


¡Diga la verdad!
Tell the truth! 


¡Salga a la calle!
Go out on the street! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


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


¡Vaya a la escuela! (Usted.)
Go to school! (You sing. formal.)


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


¡Salgamos esta noche!
Let's go out tonight!


¡Haga la compra! 
Do the shopping! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡Vayamos al pueblo! (Nosotros/nosotras.)
Let's go to the village!


¡Comamos más rápido!
Let's eat faster!


Señora Matos, ¡compre lo que hay en la lista!
Mrs Matos, buy what's on the list!


¡Seamos inteligentes!
Let's be intelligent!


Señor, ¡no corra!
Sir, don't run


¡Vayan juntos a la fiesta!
Go together to the party! (You formal plural.)


¡Conduzcamos con cuidado!
Let's drive carefully!


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


Conduzca despacio.
Drive slowly.


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


¡Hagan el trabajo!
Do the job! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


Señoritas, beban un poco de champán.
Ladies, drink a little champagne.


¡No tuerzan a la derecha!
Don't turn right! ("you" plural formal)


¡Tengamos paciencia!
Let's be patient!


¡Sean simpáticos!
Be nice! ("you" plural formal)


¡Juguemos al ajedrez!
Let's play chess!


¡Hablemos con tranquilidad!
Let's talk with calm!


Señor Perez, ¡compre un ordenador cuanto antes!
Mr. Perez, buy a computer as soon as possible!


Señor, no firme aquí.
Sir, do not sign here.


¡No digan mentiras!
Don't tell lies! 


¡Pongan la radio! 
Put the radio on! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


¡Tengan más cuidado!
Be more careful! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


¡Pongamos música!
Let's turn the music on!


¡Hagamos la cena! 
Let's make dinner! 


¡Venga a la fiesta!
Come to the party! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡Pidamos otra ronda!
Let's order another round!


¡Chicos, corramos la maratón!
Guys, let's run the marathon!


Señor, firme aquí, por favor.
Sir, sign here, please.


¡Ponga atención!
Pay attention! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡Salgan a tiempo!
Leave on time!


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


¡No corran por allí!
Don't run over there! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


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