Forming the imperative for usted/ustedes/nosotros/nosotras (affirmative and negative commands)

In Spanish, the nosotros/nosotras/usted/ustedes forms of the imperative, both in affirmative and negative commands take same form as El Presente de Subjuntivo. Let's look at nosotros/nosotras first, then usted/ustedes.

Nosotros/Nosotras (we)

To say Let's [do something] or Let's not [do something]  in Spanish as a form of command to ourselves we use the verb in the present subjunctive form for nosotros/nosotras (first person plural). 

Have a look at these examples:

Ella no quiere que nosotros comamos tan rápido. (present subjunctive)
She doesn't want us to eat so fast.

¡Comamos más rápido!
Let's eat faster!

(affirmative command)

¡No comamos tan rápido!
Let's not eat so fast!

(negative command)

Notice how they all coincide in their form. 

Alternative structures not using the imperative

Bear in mind though, that in a more colloquial way, we would probably use an interrogative sentence introduced by "¿Por qué no...?" followed by El Presente with the same purpose, an affirmative command to "ourselves". For example:

¿Por qué no vamos a la playa?
Why don't we go to the beach?/Let's go to the beach!

And in the negative cases, we would probably prefer to use a different sentence structure introduced by "Mejor no..." followed by El Presente. For example:

Mejor no vamos a la playa. 
Let's not go to the beach!

Both "¿Por qué no...?" and "Mejor no..." followed by El Presente are more frequently used in speech than their equivalent forms using the imperative:

Vayamos a la playa.
Let's go to the beach! (affirmative command)

No vayamos a la playa.
Let's not go to the beach! (negative command)

Here are other examples using the imperative:

¡Hagamos una fiesta!
Let's organise a party!

¡Limpiemos el coche!
Let's clean the car!

¡Tengamos paciencia!
Let's be patient!

¡No seamos egoístas!
Let's not be selfish!

Usted (you formal singular) and Ustedes (you formal plural)

To express an affirmative or negative command directed to "you" (formal) we also use the usted/ustedes form (3rd person singular/plural) in El Presente de Subjuntivo. A typical situation is in a formal conversation or transaction, for example in a bank.

Here are some examples:

Necesito que firme aquí, Señor. (present subjunctive)
I need you to sign here, Sir.

Señor, firme aquí, por favor.
Sir, sign here, please.

(affirmative command)

Señor, no firme aquí.
Sir, do not sign here.

(negative command)

Señoritas, no es bueno que beban mucho champán. (present subjunctive)
Ladies, it is not good to drink lots of champagne.

Señoritas, beban un poco de champán.
Ladies, drink a little champagne.

(affirmative command)

Señoritas, ¡no beban tanto champán!
Ladies, don't drink so much champaigne!

(negative command)

Notice how they all coincide in their form. 

Another typical context for this is road signs:

Conduzca despacio.
Drive slowly.

(affirmative command, usted form)

Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.

(affirmative command, usted form)

No tiren papeles al suelo.
Don't throw papers on the floor.

(negative command, ustedes form)

Here are more examples (usted):

¡Tenga el cambio!
Here's your change! 

Señor, ¡no corra!
Sir, don't run

¡Diga la verdad!
Tell the truth! 

Here are more examples (ustedes):

¡Salgan a tiempo!
Leave on time!

Señor y Señora Valls, ¡compren una nueva lavadora!
Mr. and Mrs. Valls, buy a new washing machine!

¡No digan mentiras!
Don't tell lies! 

No hablen tan rápido, por favor.
Don't speak so fast, please.

 

Remember that many verbs undergo stem changes and consonant changes when they are conjugated in  El Presente de Subjuntivo and these need to be kept when making a command.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¡Vayan juntos a la fiesta!
Go together to the party! (You formal plural.)


¡Vaya a la escuela! (Usted.)
Go to school! (You sing. formal.)


¡No comamos tan rápido!
Let's not eat so fast!


¡Haga la compra! 
Do the shopping! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡Tenga el cambio!
Here's your change! 


No hablen tan rápido, por favor.
Don't speak so fast, please.


Señoritas, beban un poco de champán.
Ladies, drink a little champagne.


Señora Matos, ¡compre lo que hay en la lista!
Mrs Matos, buy what's on the list!


¡No seamos egoístas!
Let's not be selfish!


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


¡Seamos inteligentes!
Let's be intelligent!


¡Juguemos al ajedrez!
Let's play chess!


Señor y Señora Valls, ¡compren una nueva lavadora!
Mr. and Mrs. Valls, buy a new washing machine!


¡Comamos más rápido!
Let's eat faster!


¡Hagan el trabajo!
Do the job! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


Señor, ¡no corra!
Sir, don't run


¡No digan mentiras!
Don't tell lies! 


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


¡Conduzcamos con cuidado!
Let's drive carefully!


¡Sean simpáticos!
Be nice! ("you" plural formal)


Conduzca despacio.
Drive slowly.


¡Venga a la fiesta!
Come to the party! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡No tuerzan a la derecha!
Don't turn right! ("you" plural formal)


Señor Perez, ¡compre un ordenador cuanto antes!
Mr. Perez, buy a computer as soon as possible!


¡Pongan la radio! 
Put the radio on! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


¡Tengamos paciencia!
Let's be patient!


¡Salgan a tiempo!
Leave on time!


Señoritas, ¡no beban tanto champán!
Ladies, don't drink so much champaigne!


¡Hablemos con tranquilidad!
Let's talk with calm!


¡Hagamos la cena! 
Let's make dinner! 


Señor, no firme aquí.
Sir, do not sign here.


¡Pidamos otra ronda!
Let's order another round!


¡Vengan a la escuela!
Come to school! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


¡Tengan más cuidado!
Be more careful! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


¡Limpiemos el coche!
Let's clean the car!


¡Chicos, corramos la maratón!
Guys, let's run the marathon!


¡Pongamos música!
Let's turn the music on!


¡Ponga atención!
Pay attention! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


¡Diga la verdad!
Tell the truth! 


¡Salga a la calle!
Go out on the street! ("you" singular formal = "usted")


Señorita, ¡cante esa linda canción!
Miss, sing that lovely song!


Señor, firme aquí, por favor.
Sir, sign here, please.


¡Hagamos una fiesta!
Let's organise a party!


¡Salgamos esta noche!
Let's go out tonight!


¡No corran por allí!
Don't run over there! ("you" plural formal = "ustedes")


¡Vayamos al pueblo! (Nosotros/nosotras.)
Let's go to the village!


¡Amigos, bebamos hasta el amanecer!
Friends, let's drink until dawn!


No tiren papeles al suelo.
Don't throw papers on the floor.


¡Tengamos una buena fiesta!
Let's have a great party!


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