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Spanish Commands - Spanish Imperative Lesson Plans

Learning commands in Spanish is a multi-step process. Commands in Spanish use the imperative form. Because there are 4 forms of “you” in Spanish, there are at least that many command patterns. Additionally, there are some irregular forms, and the negative commands for in Spanish follow a different pattern. For Spanish 1 students, teachers often start by teaching the regular and affirmative command form, as well as teaching the overall concept of when to use the imperative.

Students quickly grasp the imperative concept once asked to picture their parent or guardian ordering them around: “Study.” “Eat your vegetables.” “Take out the trash.” From there, the teacher can explain the difference between an affirmative, “Take out the trash”, and a negative command, “Don’t take out the trash.” In the following storyboard series, students will only employ affirmative commands to conjugate Spanish verbs. Thus, the following cannot be used for Ud. or Uds. or vosotros. Neither can they be used in order to say “Don’t…”.

Student Activities for Spanish Commands

Essential Information

Affirmative commands are fairly straightforward. There are a handful of irregulars that need to be memorized, but otherwise, the imperative form is identical to the 3rd person, singular of present tense. The following chart clearly demonstrates the formation of regular, affirmative commands.

Regular Commands

Infinitive Ud./Él/Ella Affirmative tú commands
hablar habla habla
leer lee lee
escribir escribe escribe
jugar (boot verb) juega juega

Here is what needs to be memorized because they are irregular command forms.

Irregular Commands

Infinitive Command
poner pon
tener ten
venir ven
salir sal
decir di
ir ve
hacer haz

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