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Spanish Lesson Twenty-Two: Formal and Informal Commands

Updated on November 4, 2012

¡Bienvenido! Welcome! I hope you're here to learn! If you're coming in for the first time, start from the beginning with Lesson One. If you've been be following this whole time, I hope you're excited for this week's lesson. :). I hope everyone has enjoyed their week and that it was awesome. The weekend is here and now it's time to rest and get recharged for next week. Last week our Spanish knowledge grew even further by discussing Travel.

Remember, these lessons are designed for you to be able to go at your own pace and learn Spanish "A Little At A Time". I recommend that everyone go back to previous lessons and review them occasionally to help the information penetrate successfully. The link to those lessons is provided below, after the explanation of this week's lesson.

Last week we discussed Travel. If you'd like to review that lesson before going on click--->here. In today's lesson we will be discussing Formal and Informal Commands.This is also known as the Imperative.

Previous Lessons

Today's Vocabulary

Today's vocabulary will consist of a hodgepodge of words that may or not be useful to you in this lesson. Today's lesson will focus on Formal and Informal Commands. Take a look at today's vocabulary and partake in the warm up!

After today's vocabulary list and the warm-up, take a glance at the chart below. It will be your new set of conjugation notes. Those will specifically show how to conjugate for use of the Imperative, using formal and informal commands.


To Seize/To Grasp: Asir

To Attend/To Assist: Asistir

To Attack: Atacar

To Attract/To Allure: Atraer

To Cross/To Go or Run Through: Atravesar

To Advance: Avanzar

To Find Out/To Investigate: Averiguar

To Help/To Aid: Ayudar

To Dance: Bailar

To Lower/To Come or Let Down: Bajar

To Stammer (in speech): Balbucear

To Sweep/To Whisk: Barrer

To Be Enough or Sufficient: Bastar

To Baptize: Bautizar


Pen: La Pluma

Pencil: El Lápiz

Notebook: El Cuaderno

Bookbag: La Mochila

Chalkboard: La Pizarra

Classroom: La Sala De La clasé

Teacher: La Profresora/ El Profesor


Hard: Duro(a)

Soft: Suave


Shallow: Lleno(a)

Empty: Vacio(a)


Today's Warm-Up is important. Take a look at the chart below. With it, you will be able to learn new conjugations for the Imperative. It's really easy to read and will make even more sense once we get into the lesson.

Also consider other ways to incorporate Spanish into your daily lives. Take a moment to review some previous lessons or read up on some articles. The Spanish language is a living language, so it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If you need any help, shoot me an email. I'll be happy to help you.

Formal Commands

-Ar Verb Ending
-Er/Ir Verbs Ending

Affirmative Informal Commands

-Ar Ending
-Er/Ir Ending

Negative Informal Commands

-Ar Verb Ending
-Er/Ir Verb Ending

Formal Commands and Informal Commands

Alright, so if you'll look at the two charts above, you'll notice that the verbs change depending upon the use of the command. Formal Commands are meant to be Polite and to be respectful, thus the reason why the two subjects are Usted and Ustedes. The changing of the verbs in the formal is pretty easy really. All you have to do is take the "Yo" form of the verb you're using (use the present indicative) and add the endings. For -Ar Verbs, use -e for Usted and -en for Ustedes. For Er/Ir Verbs, use the opposites -a for Usted and -an for Ustedes. Here, look at this example.

Coma la comida. (You-Formal) Eat the food. I used the verb "comer" and conjugated it with the new endings for the imperative. Just like English, the "you" is understood. You can also use this new way of speaking in the negative. Simply add "no" prior to the verb,

No coma la comida. (You-Formal) Don't eat the food. Simple right? Now, you can change the subject to Ustedes by adding an n to the new verb form. Now, let's move on to Informal Commands.

Also Note: Adding the Pronound Ud. (Usted) or Uds. (Ustedes) can add more respect to your command. Add it when you want to be even more formal or respectful.

Informal Commands are meant to be used when speaking to friends, coworkers, and addressing children. This way of speaking is also called Familiar. Take note that there is one subject when using Informal Commands and that is "Tú". Using this form is Identical to the Ud. form the -Ar and -Er/Ir Verb. Here, look at these examples:

Come la comida. (You-Informal) Eat the food. Note the fact that Tú is the subject, but the Tú form of that verb is not being use. It is identical to the Ud. form of the verb. You can also make it negative by adding "no" to the beginning of the sentence. However, take on the new endings from the chart above.

No comas la comida. (You-Informal) Don't eat the food. Note that things change in the negative here. Take on the new endings from the chart above.

Other Notes

As with most new ways to contort a verb, there are exclusions and exceptions to the rule. Here is a detailed list of some rules that must be taken into account when used the Imperative.

  • If the verb in question is irregular in the Present Indicative, this includes verbs like Traer, Hacer, and Salir, keep that same form before adding the new ending for use of the Imperative. Look at this example.

Traiga los libros. Bring the books. Traer changes in the Yo form in the Present Indicative. Any other verbs that take on a change, follow it before adding on the new ending.

  • Stem-Changing or Boot Verbs that change in the Yo form also keep their changes as well before receiving their new ending for use of the Imperative. Think of verbs like Jugar (U-->UE), Encontrar {O-->UE (to find/to encounter)}, or Volver {O-->UE (To return)}.

Juege con Leo. Play with Leo.

  • Note Irregulars that are to be used when using Formal Commands.

Dar-->Dé Ud.-->Den Uds.

Estar--> Esté Ud.-->Estén Uds.

Ir-->Vaya Ud.-->Vayan Uds.

Ser--> Sea Uds.-->Sean Uds.

Saber--> Sepa Uds.-->Sepan Uds.

  • Note Irregulars that are used when using Affirmative Informal Commands.











Your homework for today is to view two a videos based off of Lesson Twenty. Take a look at it! Senorbelles is my favorite Spanish teacher online and he has a great deal of clarity when discussing a certain topic. Listen closely to his tips.

Also in the coming lessons we'll be discussing a great deal more about grammar and visiting other themed topics in Spanish. Stick around for that. :) Here are some lessons that will be coming soon:

  • Family and Relationships
  • What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
  • Here, There, and Everywhere
  • What Kind of Person Are You?

Next week we will discuss Saying What You Like and Dislike You Gotta Check it out!


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      Lonitra 3 years ago

      Four score and seven minutes ago, I read a sweet arcielt. Lol thanks