Negative imperative in Spanish
Spanish has two ways of expressing orders. The affirmative and the negative form of the imperative. Here is the negative form:
Forming the imperative: Instructions not to do something (imperativo negativo)
The formation of the negative form of the imperative in Spanish is easier than the affirmative. The endings are very similar to the present tense but with a little vowel change.
- The -ar verbs have the same endings as the -er verbs in the Present.
- The -er and -ir verbs have the same endings as the -ar verbs in the Present.
|Personal pronouns||Imperative (hablar)||Imperative (comer)||Imperative (escribir)|
|tú||no hables||no comas||no escribas|
|usted||no hable||no coma||no escriba|
|nosotros/-as||no hablemos||no comamos||no escribamos|
|vosotros/-as||no habléis||no comáis||no escribáis|
|ustedes||no hablen||no coman||no escriban|
Irregular verbs in imperativo negativo
In sentences that tell you not to do something and have "no" in front of them, the imperative forms are all taken from the present subjunctive. It's easy to remember because the endings for -ar and -er verbs are the opposite of what they are in the present tense.
Highly irregular verbs
|Personal pronouns||Imperative (ser)||Imperative (estar)||Imperative (ir)||Imperative (saber)|
|tú||no seas||no estés||no vayas||no sepas|
|usted||no sea||no esté||no vaya||no sepa|
|nosotros/-as||no seamos||no estemos||no vayamos||no sepamos|
|vosotros/-as||no seáis||no estéis||no vayáis||no sepáis|
|ustedes||no sean||no estén||no vayan||no sepan|
|Personal pronouns||Imperative (dar)||Imperative (haber)|
|tú||no des||no hayas|
|usted||no dé||no haya|
|nosotros/-as||no demos||no hayamos|
|vosotros/-as||no deis||no hayáis|
|ustedes||no den||no hayan|
Irregular verbs in Present (Indicative)
If the verb is irregular in the first person-singular of the present tense, all the forms in the negative imperative will have the same irregularity,
- ¡No tengas!
- ¡No tenga!
- ¡No tengamos!
- ¡No tengáis!
- ¡No tengan!
Here you have some examples of common irregular verbs:
|Personal pronouns||Imperative tener||Imperative decir||Imperative poner||Imperative hacer|
|tú||no tengas||no digas||no pongas||no hagas|
|usted||no tenga||no diga||no ponga||no haga|
|nosotros/-as||no tengamos||no digamos||no pongamos||no hagamos|
|vosotros/-as||no tengáis||no digáis||no pongáis||no hagáis|
|ustedes||no tengan||no digan||no pongan||no hagan|
|Personal pronouns||Imperative salir||Imperative traer||Imperative ver||Imperative venir|
|tú||no salgas||no triagas||no veas||no vengas|
|usted||no salga||no traiga||no vea||no venga|
|nosotros/-as||no salgamos||no traigamos||no veamos||no vengamos|
|vosotros/-as||no salgáis||no traigáis||no veáis||no vengáis|
|ustedes||no salgan||no traigan||no vean||no vengan|
Position of object pronouns
Object pronouns are words like me (meaning me or to me), la (meaning her/it) or les (meaning to them/to you) that is used instead of a noun as the object of a sentence. In sentences and instructions, the position of these object pronouns changes depending on whether you are telling someone TO DO something (Imperativo afirmativo) or NOT TO DO something (Imperativo negativo)
- ¡No os preocupéis! (Don't worry!)
- ¡No lo abras! (Do not open it!)
- ¡No se lo digas! (Don't tell her!)
If you are telling someone NOT TO DO something, the object pronouns go BEFORE the verb.
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