The imperative – Der Imperativ

What is the imperative?

We use imperative to express a request, an instruction or a command in direct speech (when you talk to somebody directly).


Lesen Sie die Sätze! (Read the sentences!)

Öffne die Tür! (Open the door!)

How to form the imperative?

The verb comes in first position as in English. There are 3 different forms of imperative depending on whether it is Singular or Plural. Imperative is used when you speak directly to someone, so we use the second person.

  • ‘’du ’’ (2. Person Singular)
  • “ihr” (2. Person plural)
  • “Sie” Höflichkeitsform (Singular und Plural)

  • Use “du” form for singular as the verb conjugated in present, then drop “du” and the ‘-st’ ending.

Beispiel (example):

du machst Mach!

Mach die Hausaufgabe! (Make the homework!)

du kommst Komm!

Komm hier ! (Come here!)

  • Use “ihr” form for plural as the verb conjugated in present, then remove only the word “ihr” and keep the ‘-t’ ending.

Beispiel (example):

Ihr macht Macht!

Macht die Hausaufgabe! (Make the homework!)

Ihr kommt Kommt!

Kommt hier! (Come here!)

  • Use ‘Sie’ form (for both singular or plural formal) as the verb conjugated in present. Swap the positions only

Beisbiel (example):

Sie machen Machen Sie!

Machen Sie die Hausaufgabe! (make the homework!)

Sie Kommen Kommen Sie!

Kommen Sie hier! (Come here!)

Übung (exercise): Bilde den Imperativ! (form the imperative!)