Los mandatos formales e informales

En esta sección vamos a repasar los mandatos formales e informales. ¡Empecemos con las formas!

Formas

Los mandatos formales

Se usa la 3ª persona (singular y plural) del presente del subjuntivo para formar los mandatos formales.

  Afirmativo Negativo
Singular (usted) ¡Hable!
¡Coma!
¡Venga! (venir)
¡No hable!
¡No coma!
¡No venga! (venir)
Plural (ustedes) ¡Hablen!
¡Coman!
¡Vengan!
¡No hablen!
¡No coman!
¡No vengan!

Todos los verbos que son irregulares en el presente del subjuntivo mantienen las mismas irregularidades como mandatos. Haz clic aquí para repasar estas formas.

Los mandatos informales

Se usa la 3ª persona singular del presente indicativo para formar los mandatos afirmativos y la 2ª persona (tú) del presente del subjuntivo para formar los mandatos negativos.

  Afirmativo Negativo
Singular (tú) ¡Habla!
¡Come!
¡Ven! (venir)
¡No hables!
¡No comas!
¡No vengas! (venir)

As you can see with “venir”, there are common irregular informal affirmative commands. Here is a list to remind you of them. Note that the negative commands are not irregular—they follow the rule of using the “tú” form of the present subjunctive.

  Afirmativo Negativo
Decir di no digas
Hacer haz no hagas
Ir ve no vayas
Poner pon no pongas
Salir sal no salgas
Ser no seas
Tener ten no tengas
Venir ven no vengas

Note: There are informal plural commands, or “vosotros” commands, but we will not be learning these. In every corner of the Spanish-speaking world apart from Spain, the command forms that correspond with “ustedes” (3rd person plural formal command above) are used in formal and informal contexts when you are addressing more than one person.

Remember that referring to commands as “negative” and “affirmative” has nothing to do with their meaning. When we refer to negative commands, we do not mean commands that are in some way insulting or discouraging (“Shut up!” or “Go away!” for example), but rather commands that are grammatically negative because they begin with the word “no” in Spanish (“don’t” in English).

Funciones

These structures function much like you would expect—you should use informal commands with those individuals who you call “tú” (people you know well, people your own age or younger, etc.) and formal commands with people who you would call “usted” (people who you do not know well and are not your same age or younger, people who are known but are much older, in formal contexts like a place of business or court, people to whom you would like to show special respect—a cop, maybe). It is very important to point out that commands (both formal and informal) are used much more frequently in Spanish than in English. For the English speaker, this can sound too direct (or even rude), but that is because Spanish and English have different ways of expressing meaning. English speakers need to use their “Spanish ears” when hearing commands and remember that commands don’t have the same force in Spanish that they do in English.

En MySpanishLab hay actividades de input para que comprendas cómo funcionan estas estructuras en contexto. Luego hay actividades de output para practicar usando estas estructuras en contexto. ¡Si tienes cualquier problema, consulta a tu instructor/a!

verb ending
This is why it is so important to build from the 3rd person plural of the preterit!
Sudamérica I