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What are imperatives?

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It’s vacation time so you plan to visit your friend in New Jersey. You arrive at the airport and look for a cab to reach your destination. Unfortunately, before you get a cab, your bag gets stolen away.  You have got your passport, money, debit card and every important document in that bag. Now, you don’t know what to do as you are new to the country. You ask a stranger passing by to help you. You ask him politely, “Could you please help me find a police station, as I have lost my bag”? The stranger might help considering your tone. However, if you had asked him "Hey, help me"! Probably he wouldn’t wait to hear you out.

uses

The tone and way you talk, matters. At first, you made a request and the other one sounds more like an order rather than a request. The request/ command used is called  an imperative.

Imperative verbs are verbs which create a commanding sentence, i.e. a sentence that gives an order. These verbs are used to give orders, commands, warning or instructions and request (when you add “please”). It will feel like the speaker is bossing someone around.

Examples:

- Clear the room right now!

- Stand up straight.
- Come here.

- Turn left.

Find out how these imperatives are used in different situations:


1. Requests

While making a request you can use the imperative, by using a polite word before the verb:

Example:

· Please be quiet.
· Please wait here.
· Please don't smoke here.

2. Warnings

When you use the imperative to warn someone, the tone of the last word is higher than the first word. All the words get stressed but only the last word’s tone is higher.

Example:

· Look out!
· Don't cross!
· Don't panic!
· Watch out!

3. Advice

The words are normally stressed when you give an advice using imperative.

Example:

· Always listen to your parents!
· Never speak to strangers!
· Don’t drink alcohol!

4. Orders

When you are in higher authoritative position, you give order. For that matter, you can give orders to children and animals.

Example:

· Stand up straight.
· Give me your mobile.

5. Invitation

When you use an imperative to give an invitation, you make a sentence that supports the first sentence.

Example:

- Come in and sit down. Be comfortable.
- Have a piece of this cake. It's delicious.
- Come and have breakfast with us. It’s your favorite dish.

However, we also use a negative imperative by adding "do not" or "don't" before the verb:

For example:

· Don't go!
· Do not walk on the ground it’s dirty.

Imperatives are very useful as in our day-to-day situation we use many imperatives. Using them properly improves your communication skills. A spoken English will help you develop your English speaking skills.

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-By Shailja Varma

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