Italian Imperative Mode
Modo Imperativo | (Imperative Mode)
The imperative mode only has one tense and is formed by replacing the ending of the infinitive with the endings of the imperative.
- Guarda! – (Look!)
- Leggete qua! – (Read here [you all]!)
In Italian, verbs can be divided into three categories based on the ending of the infinitive present: -are, -ere, -ire.
- Verbs ending with –are – (mangiare -> to eat)
- Verbs ending with –ere – (leggere – to read)
- Verbs ending with -ire – (partire -> to sleep)
Since there are different categories of Italian verbs (-are, -ere, and -ire), the imperative form must use the corresponding ending based on which category the verb belongs to.
Imperative – Ascoltare, Leggere, Sentire
|Pronoun||Ascolt-are (to listen)||Legg-ere (to read)||Sent-ire (to hear)|
(you – singular)
non ascoltare! (don’t listen!)
non leggere! (don’t read!)
non sentire! (don’t hear!)
(You – formal)
(you – plural)
Other things to keep in mind:
- When using the negative form, the second singular person uses non + infinitive
- When using the first and second persons, the pronouns can be attached to at the end of the verb:
- Portami [porta a me] il quaderno – (Bring me the notebook)
- Leggimelo [leggi + a me + quello] – (Read it to me)
- When using with Lei or Loro in a formal sentence, the pronoun always stays in front of the verb:
- Scusi, mi perdoni!
Irregular VerbsVerbs that are irregular in a tense might not be irregular in other tenses and viceversa. To aid you in your learning we have listed some of the main irregular verbs in the imperative mode. Some verbs are irregular as they completely change the stem, have contractions or both:
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