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

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


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


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


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


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


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


¡Diga la verdad!
Tell the truth! 


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


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


¡Hagamos la cena! 
Let's make dinner! 


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


¡Tenga el cambio!
Here's your change! 


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


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


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


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


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


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


¡Comamos más rápido!
Let's eat faster!


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


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


Señor, ¡no corra!
Sir, don't run


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


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


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


¡Conduzcamos con cuidado!
Let's drive carefully!


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


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


Conduzca despacio.
Drive slowly.


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


¡Juguemos al ajedrez!
Let's play chess!


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


¡Tengamos paciencia!
Let's be patient!


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


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


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


¡No digan mentiras!
Don't tell lies! 


Disminuya la velocidad.
Reduce speed.


¡Seamos inteligentes!
Let's be intelligent!


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


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


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


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


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


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


¡Salgan a tiempo!
Leave on time!


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


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


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


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