Imperative Sentence

Imperative Sentence - Definition/Explanation with Examples

Imperative sentences are the sentences we use in our daily life to make request, make a wish, express a desire or give a command or even a warning. Almost every day we come across imperative sentences in our conversations; whether we notice or not. Also, the road sign that instruct us to drive carefully or keep left; is an imperative.

Often the subject of an imperative sentence is- (you); but, it is not mentioned. Before moving on further, we will go through a few examples of Imperative Sentences that we come across in our day to day life.

1) Stop the bus. (Command)

2) Leave the class. (Command)

3) Please open the door. (Request)

4) No right turn. (Traffic sign/Warning)

5) Don’t try to cross the line. (Warning)

6) Always remember the person who has been nice to you. (suggestion)

7) Wash your hands before eating. (Command)

8) Switch off the lights. (Command)

9) Please grill the sandwich. (Request)

Imperative sentences usually end with a period (.); though sometimes they may end with an exclamation mark (!).  Usually imperative sentences used for delivering a forcible warning or command or even request, may end with an exclamation mark, as shown below.

  • Please leave the door open!
  • Watch your step!
  • Wash your hands!
  • Steep turn, go slow!
  • Maintain silence!

Imperative Verbs/Bossy Verbs

Any Imperative Sentence contains an Imperative Verb, which serves the purpose of giving command, or order; leaving no room for a discussion. Imperative verbs are quite different from the indicative verbs which show the things that happened.

Please go through the below sentences-

  • Please close the door. (Imperative Verb- Close)
  • Don’t switch it off. (Imperative Verb- switch )
  • She didn’t complete the work. (Imperative Verb- complete)
  • Let the dog out. (Imperative Verb- Let)
  • Move aside! (Imperative Verb- Move)
  • Stay ahead! (Imperative Verb- Stay)
  • Don’t let the lights on. (Imperative verb- let)

 

In some of the above examples the Imperative Verb is paired with- Please, don’t, didn’t to convey the command or message.

It is clear that the above sentences deliver a command or an order, leaving no room for a discussion or debate.

Below is a list of some commonly used Imperative Verbs/Bossy Verbs to help you understand the concept and also frame new Imperative Sentences on your own.

Imperative Verbs/Bossy Verbs List

The easiest way to identify an imperative verb is to imagine giving commands to an imaginary person; commands like- do the dishes, clean the floor, wash the utensils etc. ‘do’, ‘clean’ and ‘wash’ all are imperative verbs. Below given are few more examples of Imperative/Bossy Verbs; which can be used to give command-

Close, walk, listen, eat, clean, talk, bring, bake, hold, set, improve, behave, fetch, buy, explain, drink, do, clear, throw, jump, stand, drive, study, fill, pour, add, remove, chop, slice, fold, open, draw, bring, shout, whisper, beg, heat, stick, cook, order, cancel, write, read, watch etc.

There can be innumerable Imperative Verbs which can be used to deliver a command or order. Think about some more Bossy Verbs and go through a few Imperative Sentences given below; which have been derived from the above Imperative/Bossy Verbs examples-

  • Close the door, please!
  • Eat the lunch full.
  • Clean the desk.
  • Slice the apple.
  • Throw the ball.
  • Heat the oven.
  • Cancel the order.
  • Drive carefully!
  • Stand in a line.
  • Write a letter to warden.

Try forming more Imperative Sentences on your own with the help of Imperative/Bossy Verbs examples given above.

Types of Imperative Sentences

Imperative Sentences can be classified into the types, based on the purpose they serve; they instruct, give command, make requests, demands, share invitations and make wishes.

Below we will go through these types of Imperative Sentences with suitable examples-

 

1) Instructive Imperative Sentences

Such types of Imperative sentences relay instructions and are commonly used in our daily life.

For Example-

  • Heat the oven.
  • Fold the blanket.
  • Let the water boil for fifteen minutes.
  • Steep turn ahead, drive slow!
  • Drink it cool with honey.

Form more imperative sentences on your own which deliver instructions.

2) Imperative Sentences Making a Request or a Wish

Below given are few examples of Imperative Sentences making a wish or a request-

  • Have fun at the party!
  • Drink lots of water.
  • May God bless you!
  • Have a safe journey.
  • Pass the book, please!

3) Imperative Sentences Sharing an Invitation

Imperative Sentences can also be used to share an invitation as shown below-

  • Come for the party tonight.
  • Please join us for dinner today.
  • Let’s go to the movie.
  • Let us go to the college together.
  • Come to my house tonight.

4) Imperative Sentences Giving a Command/Request

Following are the examples of Imperative Sentences giving a command-

  • Switch off the lights.
  • Don’t trouble the children.
  • Go get him.
  • Please don’t tease the dog.
  • Stop making noise!

5) Direct – Indirect Imperative Sentences

An Imperative Sentence doesn’t have a subject. The subject (you) is hidden and is only understood. To change imperative sentences into indirect imperative sentences we use specific verbs like- requested, advised, suggested, ordered, instructed, allowed, forbade, warned, asked, etc.

We will understand the conversion of Direct Imperatives to Indirect Imperatives as shown in the examples below-

    Direct: The old lady said, “Please help me”.

Indirect: The old lady requested me to help her.

    Direct: The teacher told the kids, “Open your books”.

Indirect: The teacher instructed the kids to open their books.

    Direct: The policeman yelled to him, “Stop your car”!

Indirect: The policeman ordered him to stop his car.

    Direct: She said to him “close the door immediately”.

Indirect: She ordered him to close the door immediately.

    Direct: The driver said to the occupants,” Do not shout”.

 Indirect: The driver forbade the occupants to shout.

    Direct: The teacher told him, “Do not roam unnecessarily”.

 Indirect: The teacher warned him to not to roam unnecessarily.

The above Direct Imperative Sentences have been converted into Indirect sentences by using verbs – requested, instructed, ordered, forbade and warned. Try forming new Direct Sentences and converting them into Indirect Sentences with use of suitable verbs.

Rules for Forming Imperative Sentences

The following basic rules will help you to understand the concept of Imperative Sentences in a better way-

Rule 1- No Subject

Imperative Sentences don’t have a proper subject and begin with an Imperative Verb. The subject (you) is only understood and not mentioned.

Go through the below proper sentences with subjects-

  • Ronny, take care of the dogs.
  • Gita, do your homework.
  • Children, walk carefully.
  • Teachers, teach well.
  • Students, follow the rules.

All the above sentences have proper subjects- Ronny, Gita, Children, Teachers and Students.

Now try removing the subjects from the sentences; as given below-

  • Take care of the dogs.
  • Do your homework.
  • Walk carefully.
  • Teach well.
  • Follow the rules.

It is interesting to note that the above sentences still make sense, even after removing the subjects; because, the Imperative Verbs or Bossy Verbs- take, do, walk, teach, follow- still let the sentences be perceived as commands.

Rule 2 – Decide the Tone

Whether an Imperative Sentence is a request or a command may depend on the tone of voice.

For Example-

  • Neutral tone
  • Fairly neutral tone
  • Tone Expressing strong emotions

An imperative sentence with a neutral tone of voice represents a mild request and it definitely represents a request when delivered in a fairly neutral tone; and a command when delivered in a strong voice.

Go through the below sentence-

  • Pass the salt. (It is a mild request in a neutral tone)
  • Pass the salt. (Is a strong request in a fairly neutral tone)
  • Pass the salt! (A command when expressed in a raised voice)

Rule 3- Choose the Punctuations Wisely

Imperative sentences making a suggestion or request usually end with a period (.), while those making a strong emotional request or command may be terminated with an exclamation mark (!).

  • Close the door.
  • Switch off the lights.
  • Eat your food.

The above sentences end with a period when said in a mild tone, but when made with a louder voice they represent strong commands ending with exclamation-

  • Close the door!
  • Switch off the lights!
  • Eat you food!

Rule 4- Imperative Sentences are Not Exclamatory Sentences

Even if the Imperative Sentences end with an exclamation mark (!), they are not exclamatory sentences; as the exclamatory sentences cannot give commands.

Rule 5- Imperative Sentences are Not Declarative Sentences

Even they end with a period (.); Imperative Sentences are not Declarative because the declarative sentences cannot express wishes or commands.

Some More Examples/List of Every Day Used Imperative Sentences

Thirty (30) Day to Day/Every Day Imperative Sentences Examples/List:

  • Walk with me.
  • Talk to him.
  • Don’t leave the kids alone.
  • Water the plants regularly.
  • Wash the utensils neatly.
  • Take the left turn.
  • Stop talking!
  • Part your ways with her.
  • Please don’t heat it!
  • Put that neatly on the table.
  • Cut the cake into two.
  • Give the children a good treat.
  • Get up and get ready.
  • Don’t get late for the school.
  • Please don’t trouble your mother.
  • Start doing the homework.
  • Switch off the lights before you leave.
  • Maintain pin drop silence!
  • Never give up on your dreams.
  • Talk to me tomorrow.
  • Please join us for the party tonight.
  • Please feel comfortable to ask anything.
  • Never lose your faith in yourself.
  • Don’t make noise!
  • Leave the kid alone!
  • Don’t step over my fence.
  • Go to the grocery store!
  • Please be on time for the meeting.
  • Shut down the laptop.
  • Keep the air conditioner switched on.

Try forming more Imperative Sentences on your own and practice them identifying the purpose they serve i.e. command or request and also deciding whether they should end with a period (.) or an exclamation (!)

Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Imperative Sentences with Answers

True or False/MCQs Exercise/Worksheets/Activities on Imperative Sentences with Answers:

Read the following statements about Imperative Sentences and state whether they are a) True or b) False from the choices given; also refer to the answers at the end of the exercise -

1) An Imperative Sentence always has a ‘Subject’.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

2) An imperative sentence can’t be used to make a command.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

3) An imperative sentence can also end with an exclamation mark (!).

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

4) Imperative sentences usually end with a period (.).

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

5) Imperative sentences don’t have verbs.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

6) The verbs in imperative sentences are also known as ‘Bossy Verbs’.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

7) Imperative Sentences giving a command must always end with an exclamation (!).

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

8) Imperative Sentences making request must have ‘please’.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

9) The officer yelled to them,” Form a straight line”.

The officer ordered them to form a straight line.

The second statement is the correct indirect version of the first.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

10) Imperative Sentences ending with exclamation (!) cannot be Exclamatory sentences; because, Exclamatory Sentences don’t issue commands.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

11) Imperative Sentences ending with a period cannot be Declarative Sentences; because, the Declarative Sentences don’t issue command or make wishes.

  1. a) True
  2. b) False

Answer- 1)b, 2)b, 3)a, 4)a, 5)b, 6)a, 7)b, 8)b, 9)a, 10)a, 11)a

True or False Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Imperative Sentences with Answers

State whether the following statements are Imperative or not-

1) Ronny close the door.

2) Listen carefully.

3) You switch off the lights.

4) Don’t feed the dog.

5) Please be nice to the guests!

6) Sally took my book home.

7) Teacher listens attentively to students.

8) Drivers should drive carefully.

9) Drive carefully and safely.

10) Drink all your milk.

11) Stop the car!

12) Officer, stop the car please.

13) Get out of my way!

14) Close the door securely!

15) Don’t spoil the mood.

16) Ronny, please don’t call me during late hours.

17) Put down the pen.

18) Complete the work fast.

19) Don’t go too fast.

20) Please join us for the party tonight!

Answers- 1) Not Imperative as the subject ‘Ronny’ is present.

2) Imperative

3) Not imperative; subject- ‘You’

4) Imperative

5) Imperative

6) Not Imperative; Subject- ‘Sally’

7) Not Imperative; Subject- ‘Teacher’

8) Not Imperative; subject-‘Drivers’

9) Imperative

10) Imperative

11) Imperative

12) Not Imperative; subject- ‘officer’

13) Imperative

14) Imperative

15) Imperative

16) Not Imperative; subject-‘Ronny’

17) Imperative

18) Imperative

19) Imperative

20) Imperative

Fill in the Blanks/MCQ Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on Imperative Sentences with Answers

Complete the given imperative sentences by filling in with appropriate words from the choices provided. Check your answer with those provided at the end of the exercise-

1) ___________ the kids play.

  1. a) Please
  2. b) Let
  3. c) Ronny please let

2) _______ your work.

  1. a) Do
  2. b) Does
  3. c) Doing

3) __________ off the lights.

  1. a) Switches
  2. b) Switched
  3. c) Switch

4) _________ well for the exams.

  1. a) Study
  2. b) Studies
  3. c) Studied

5) _________ the jar full.

  1. a) Fills
  2. b) Filled
  3. c) Fill

6) _________ the oven before you bake.

  1. a) Preheats
  2. b) Preheat
  3. c) Preheated

7) _________ more sugar to the coffee.

  1. a) Add
  2. b) Adds
  3. c) Added

8) _________ him the ball.

  1. a) Threw
  2. b) Throws
  3. c) Throw

9) _________ the salt please!

  1. a) Pass
  2. b) Passed
  3. c) Passes

10) __________ the phone.

  1. a) Pick up
  2. b) Picked up
  3. c) Picks up

11) __________ you room!

  1. a) Cleans
  2. b) Clean
  3. c) Cleaned

12) ___________ your elders always.

  1. a) Respect
  2. b) Respects
  3. c) Respected

13) __________ leave the room untidy.

  1. a) Don’t
  2. b) Please
  3. c) Ronny

14) _________ attentively in class.

  1. a) Listened
  2. b) Listens
  3. c) Listen

15) Please __________ call him after office hours.

  1. a) can’t
  2. b) don’t
  3. c) ever

16) _________ get the children from school.

  1. a) Go
  2. b) Went
  3. c) Going to

17) __________ to the rules.

  1. a) Follow
  2. b) Flout
  3. c) Stick

18) _________ the shoes outside.

  1. a) Removed
  2. b) Remove
  3. c) Removes

19) __________ strict discipline in student’s life.

  1. a) Maintain
  2. b) Maintains
  3. c) Maintained

20) Please __________ the bag for me!

  1. a) held
  2. b) holding
  3. c) hold

Answers- 1)b, 2)a, 3)c, 4)a, 5)c, 6)b, 7)a, 8)c, 9)a, 10)a, 11)b, 12)a, 13)a, 14)c, 15)b, 16)a, 17)c, 18)b, 19)a, 20)c

Direct – Indirect Imperative Sentences Exercises/Worksheet/Activities with Examples:

Convert the following Direct Imperative Sentences into Indirect Imperative Sentences by using proper verb; and check your progress with the answers provided at the end of the exercise-

1) The teacher shouted to them,” Keep quiet”!

2) The shopkeeper said to him, “Don’t lose your bag”.

3) My father said to me, “Open the door”.

4) The boy asked me, “Please give me some food”.

5) He said to me, “Never lose sight of your son”.

6) The principal said to him, “Behave Properly”.

7) The doctor told him,” Start physiotherapy immediately”.

8) They said to me, “Clean up your desk”.

9) The teacher told the children “Do not talk”.

10) The old man said to them, “Please help me”.

11) The shopkeeper said to him, “Please buy from my shop”.

12) The captain said to them, “Rev up the engine”.

13) The officer said to everyone, “Please stay calm”.

14) The driver said to me, “Please close the window”.

15) The teacher told the students, “Start studying for the examinations”.

16) My mother told me, “Give your best in the exams”.

17) The watchman said to the tourists,” Be careful during late hours”.

18) The child was shouting,” Open the door”.

19) I told to him, “Please switch on the fan”.

20) The house owner said to him, “Pay your dues on time”.

Answer-

1) The teacher instructed them to keep quiet. (Verb-instructed)

2) The shopkeeper advised him to not lose his bag. (Verb-advised)

3) My father instructed me to open the door. (Verb-instructed)

4) The boy requested me to give him some food. (Verb-requested)

5) He suggested me to never lose sight of my son. (Verb-suggested)

6) The principal ordered them to behave properly. (Verb-ordered)

7) The doctor advised him to start physiotherapy immediately. (Verb-advised)

8) They ordered me to clean up my desk. (Verb-ordered)

9) The teacher forbade the children to talk. (Verb-forbade)

10) The old man requested them to help him. (Verb-requested)

11) The shopkeeper requested him to buy from his shop. (Verb-requested)

12) The captain ordered them to rev up the engine. (Verb-ordered)

13) The officer requested everyone to stay calm. (Verb-requested)

14) The driver requested me to close the window. (verb-requested)

15) The teacher advised the students to start studying for the examinations. (Verb-advised)

16) My mother advised me to give my best in the exams. (Verb-advised)

17) The watchman advised the tourists to be careful during late hours. (Verb-advised)

18) The child asked to open the door. (Verb-asked)

19) I requested him to switch on the fan. (Verb-requested)

20) The house owner instructed him to pay the dues on time. (Verb-instructed)