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Spanish Imperative: Forming Nosotros Commands of Spanish Verbs

The imperative mood is a verb conjugation in the Spanish language that refers to verbs in the present tense, simple aspect, imperative mood, and active voice. The Spanish imperative allows speakers to make direct commands, express requests, and grant or deny permission. In addition to the second person singular and plural familiar and informal imperatives, the Spanish language also uses a fifth imperative form: first person plural nosostros “we.” The nosotros imperative roughly translates to let’s in English. The following sections explain the formation of the nosotros command of Spanish verbs that Spanish language learners must understand and master.

Nosotros Commands of -ar Spanish Verbs

Like other conjugations of the imperative in the Spanish language, the imperative mood is formed through the process of inflection. Inflection is defined as the modification of the form of a word through affixation. Verbs in the nosotros imperative in Spanish are formed by affixing third person plural imperative suffixes to the end of the stem of the simple present form of the verb. The conjugation for the nosotros command of -ar Spanish verbs is as follows:

  • nosotros affirmative – simple present stem + emos – bailemos
  • nosotros negative – simple present stem + emos – no bailemos

For example:

  • Hablemos más lentamente. “Let’s speak more slowly.”
  • Caminemos. “Let’s walk.”
  • No fumemos. “Let’s not smoke.”
  • Almorzemos. “Let’s eat breakfast.”
  • No estudiemos. “Let’s not study.”
  • Lavemos los platos. “Let’s wash the dishes.”

Note that the endings for nosotros commands are identical to the endings for the Spanish present subjunctive.

Nosotros Commands of -er Spanish Verbs

As with many other conjugations, the nosotros command of -er Spanish verbs take different suffixes from -ar Spanish verbs. The conjugation for the nosotros command of -er Spanish verbs is as follows:

  • nosotros affirmative – simple present stem + amos – bebamos
  • nosotros negative – simple present stem + amos – no bebamos

For example:

  • Comamos. “Let’s eat.”
  • No corramos. “Let’s not run.”
  • Aprendamos el vocabulario. “Let’s learn the vocabulary.”
  • Escondamos. “Let’s hide.”
  • Hagamos la cama. “Let’s make the bed.”
  • No vendamos la casa. “Let’s not sell the house.”

Note that, if a verb is irregular in the simple present, then the stem for the nosotros command is also irregular.

Nosotros Commands of -ir Spanish Verbs

Like many other conjugations, the nosotros command of -ir Spanish verbs take identical suffixes to -er Spanish verbs. The conjugation for the nosotros command of -er Spanish verbs is as follows:

  • nosotros affirmative – simple present stem + amos – abramos
  • nosotros negative – simple present stem + amos – no abramos

The only irregular verb in the nosotros command is ir “to go,” which uses the simple present for the affirmative nosotros command and the present subjunctive for the negative nosotros command. The conjugation for the nosotros command of ir is as follows:

  • nosotros affirmative – vamos
  • nosotros negative – no vayamos

For example:

  • Aplaudamos. “Let’s applaud.”
  • No dormamos. “Let’s not sleep.”
  • Vamos a México. “Let’s go to Mexico.”
  • Digamos. “Let’s tell.”
  • No lo discutamos. “Let’s not discuss it.”
  • Decidamos. “Let’s decide.

The imperative mood allows speakers of Spanish to make direct commands, to express requests, and to grant or deny permission. Spanish language students must learn to form the nosotros command of Spanish verbs in order to fully use and understand verbs the Spanish language.

For the conjugation patterns of the informal or familiar Spanish imperative, please read Spanish Imperative: Forming Informal Commands of Spanish Verbs. For the conjugation patterns of the formal or Spanish imperative, please read Spanish Imperative: Forming Formal Commands of Spanish Verbs.

Note: I have studied Spanish as a foreign language. Please feel free to correct any mistakes that I have made in my Spanish.

References

Ramboz, Ina. 2008. Spanish verbs & essentials of grammar (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series), 2nd edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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