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Learn Spanish: Formal Commands

Learn Spanish Grammar

Spanish Pronunciation
Spanish Gender and Articles
Spanish Subject Pronouns
Spanish Verb Ser
Spanish Plural Nouns and Adjectives
Calendar in Spanish
Spanish Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers
Spanish Prepositions
Telling Time in Spanish
Spanish Verb Hay
Spanish Verbs Present Tense

Spanish Verb Ir
Spanish Verb Tener

Spanish Verb Estar
Ser
vs. Estar

Spanish Possessive Adjectives
Spanish Possessive Pronouns
Spanish Stem-Changing Verbs
Spanish Prepositions Por vs. Para
Spanish Demonstratives
Spanish Direct Object Pronouns
Spanish Indirect Object Pronoun
Direct + Indirect Object Pronouns
Spanish Verb Gustar
Weather in Spanish
Spanish Reflexive Verbs (coming soon)
Spanish Verb Acabar
Spanish Verb Volver
Spanish Past Tense - Pretérito
Spanish Informal Commands
Spanish Plural Familiar Commands
Spanish Nosotros Commands (coming soon)

Spanish Past Tense - Imperfecto
Preterit vs. Imperfect
Spanish Past Participles
Spanish Present Perfect Tense
Spanish Past Perfect Tense
Spanish Formal Commands
Spanish Subjunctive Mood
Spanish Future Tense
Spanish Conditional Tense

 

 

Formal Commands: Usted and Ustedes

 

Learn Spanish: Formal Commands in Spanish

This learn Spanish grammar lesson is on making formal commands in Spanish. You previously learned informal commands in Spanish. The formal commands are reserved for commands you make to someone or a group of people that you'd refer to using the Spanish subject pronouns usted or ustedes.

The command forms for Ud. and Uds. are formed by dropping the o from the first person singular verb in the present indicative and adding e or en, respectively, for ar verbs and a or an, respectively, for er and ir verbs.

ar verbs e, en
er/ir verbs a, an

 

Infinitive

1st person singular -- Present indicative

Ud. commands

Uds. commands

comprar

compr-o

compr-e

compr-en

querer

quier-o

quier- a

quier- an

escribir

escrib-o

escrib -a

escrib-an

tener*

teng-o

teng-a

teng-an

volver*

vuelv-o

vuelv-a

vuel-an

Note that any present tense form that has a change in the first person will keep this change for the affirmative or negative Ud. and Uds. formal commands:

Por favor, tenga paciencia con su hijo. Please be patient with your son.
No vuelva tarde. Don't return late.

Irregular Formal Command Forms

dar

estar

ser

ir

saber

Ud .

esté

sea

vaya

sepa

Uds

den

estén

sean

vayan

sepan


Sea responsable y vaya a la clase todos los días! Be responsible and go to class every day .
Por favor, sepa que no tengo mucho tiempo. Please know that I don’t have much time

Position of pronouns for Affirmative and Negative Formal Commands

When the command is affirmative -- direct, indirect or reflexive pronouns are attached to the end of the command form.

Notice that they have a written accent on the syllable of the command form that is stressed.

Lléveme al aeropuerto, por favor. Take me to the airport, please.
Tráigales una ensalada a ellos, por favor / ***Tráigasela, por favor. Bring them a salad, please
Por favor, lávese las manos. Please wash your hands.

When the command is negative -- the direct, indirect or reflexive pronoun is placed before the command and after the word "no."

No le de las radiografías al paciente. / ***No se las de. Don’t give the x-rays to the patiente
No se levante tan temprano. Don’t get up so early.

*** Note the order: IOP + DOP for affirmative or negative command.