Aprende como usar “Imperatives” en inglés aquí:

The imperative form is also called command form, and is primarily used to tell people what to do, either as a command, a suggestion, or as directions.

Affirmative imperatives have the same form as the infinitive (without to)

  • Come here.
  • Be quiet.

Negative imperatives are constructed with do not/don’t

  • Don’t worry about it.
  • Don’t eat that!

Imperatives are used to:

  • Tell people to do things: Change the laundry.
  • Ask people to do things: Hold this for me, please.
  • Make suggestions: You should cut your hair.
  • Give advice: Run in the morning to help you sleep better at night.
  • Provide instructions: Turn left at the corner of Wilshire and Hollywood.
  • Offer/Encourage: Have some more wine. Take a seat.
  • Express wishes: Have a great birthday! Enjoy your weekend.

The imperative does not usually have a subject, but nouns and pronouns can be added for clarification.

  • Mary, help me with this.
  • Somebody answer the phone.
  • You don’t have to worry about this.

Question tags: We also use common question tags to create more polite requests, or more emphatic commands.

  • Give me a hand, will you?
  • Wait for a minute, would you?

NOTE: always and never come before imperatives:

  • Always remember who you are.
  • Never speak to me like that again.

Common terms and phrases for giving directions:

  • Turn right at the corner.
  • Make a left at the end of the block.
  • Continue until you see the McDonald’s on the right.
  • Stay straight at the fork.

Lecciones de inglés con “Imperatives”

Practica como usar “imperatives” en estas lecciones seleccionadas de nuestro curso EnglishNow aquí:

The Culture of Giving Directions

You might believe some cultures give terrible directions, but maybe you’re just bad at receiving them.

 Topics: Culture International Skill Point: Imperatives

When travelers and businesspeople set out for trips abroad, they sometimes forget that carrying a map is just as important as knowing your hotel name! When you’re lost in a foreign land, even if you do have a map, the first thing many people do is ask the safest-looking person on the street, be it a street vendor or a mother with kids for directions. Often, one simple question will lead to a slew of locals offering different advice, routes, arguments in another language, or even a ride on someone’s motorbike.

When you’ve done enough traveling, you realize that a country’s culture has a massive impact on the way they offer directions, and whether or not they give you the right directions to your destination. Let’s take a look at why.

Your Hometown’s Layout

Believe it or not, a lot of how we give and understand directions has to do with our hometown’s layout. If you are from a major metropolis with a grid system, you’re more likely to give cardinal directions with street names and map-like phrases in mind.

“Head west on 8th street and turn right on Park.”

This seems pretty straightforward to many of us, but what about those of us who grew up in rural areas with just a couple of main roads? The cardinal directions might be confusing to someone who’s never had to consult a map or street sign. These individuals tend to favor landmarks (commonly referred to as a “referencia” in Spanish).

“Drive until you see the McDonald’s on the left and turn right at the stop light.”

Now think even further to areas of the world without any street signs whatsoever, and landmarks in the form of hole-in-the-wall eateries and unnamed convenience stores. Direction in these countries are even more confusing, and tourists often feel they’ve been led astray when trying to navigate the alleys and dirt roads.

You might hear, “Take this road straight for, say, 10 minutes, and then you will see a road on the right, keep walking for 2 more minutes and you will see an alley on the left. Turn at the alley and you will get there in a few more minutes.”

If you’re from a developed country, the third example won’t be nearly as easy to follow as the first two. In short, one of the reasons we give directions the way we do is based on how we see our surroundings, which is often based on where we grew up.

High-Context vs. Low-Context Culture

Another huge factor in the way we give directions is based on cultural context. High-context cultures use fewer words, and more nonverbal clues, and are less likely to give direct or blunt instructions (They’re also less likely to say they don’t know where something is!). High-context cultures include those in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Greece, Southeast Asia, among others. You might have to judge the confidence of the speaker’s directions based on his or her body language, since many things are left unsaid in a high-context culture, letting the culture fill in the blanks.

Low-context cultures are much more direct, and rely on accurate words to describe a situation. Eye contact and body language are much less important, because they are more likely to say directly whether they do or do not know where something is. Directions will be much more direct, and are likely to use more specific instructions, like street names, rather than guesstimates of time and distance.

If you learn a little bit about the culture before you arrive, you’ll have a much easier time navigating directions given by a local.

Reading Comprehension



INTERMEDIATE: Look at this map, and write directions from the following places, using proper grammar. 1) The Airport to the Belleview Hotel 2) The Pet Shop to the Zoo. 3) The Laundromat to the Fire Station to the Department Store.

ADVANCED: Write a 100-word dialogue in which multiple people from different countries offer directions.