Imperative sentences express encouragement to action or prohibition of action. These sentences are formed using the infinitive without the particle to:
- Go to the blackboard!
- Retell the text!
- Be quiet and hear what I tell you
- Please put the papers on the table by the bed
The negative form is formed using the negative form of don’t and the indefinite form of the main verb without the particle to.In forming the negative the auxiliary verb to do is always used, even with the verb to be.
- Don’t go there!
- Hush! Don’t make a noise!
- Don’t be angry…
The auxiliary verb to do may also be used in affirmative sentences to make the request more emphatic.
- But now, do sing again to us.
To make a request or an order more emphatic the subject expressed by the pronoun you is sometimes used. It is characteristic of colloquia1 speech.
- I’ll drive and you sleep awhile.
It should be remembered that in the English the use of persuasive sentences is not always advisable, since it is equivalent to an order:
The form starting with the words Will/Would you…, Can / Could you… will be polite and appropriate.
Incitement to action is also expressed using the verb let. Sentences with it are formed according to the following scheme:
- Let + me/us/him/her/it/then or noun + verb without the particle to
- Let them go there
- Let Ann sing a song
- Let’s (Let + us = Let’s) go to the cinema
With the first person plural the verb to let is used to express an exhortation to a joint action.
- Let’s go and have some fresh coffee
- Let the child go home at once
- Let the children go home at once
Imperative sentences are used in issuing orders or directives:
- Leave your coat in the hall
- Give me your phone number
- Don’t shut the door
Tag questions are sometimes added to the end of imperatives:
- Leave your coat in the hall, will you?
- Write soon, won’t you?
In an imperative sentence, the main verb is in the base form. This is an exception to the general rule that matrix clauses are always finite.