Imperative clauses



Imperative clauses express an order, a command. They range from a strict order to a polite request.


Komm bitte schnell zurück!
Seid bereit!
Vergessen Sie bitte die Regeln nicht!



The imperative clauses have the following features:


position of the verb first
mood imperative
intonation descending
punctuation mark exclamation mark




The imperative is used only to directly address one or more people. That is why imperative types are only formed in the second person singular and plural.


Furthermore, there is a distinction between the familiar/informal type and the polite/formal type. In the latter, the pronoun Sie is always the subject; in the familiar/informal type the subject can be omitted, unless it must be discerned from a larger number of people (Example: Komm du sofort her!).


when addressing   Example
a person familiar/informal type Komm!
  polite/formal type Kommen Sie!


when addressing   Example
more than one person familiar/informal type Kommt!
  polite/formal type Kommen Sie!




When someone addresses an order to a group of people in which he/she is included, the following structures are used.


form Examples
first person plural present indicative +wir Fahren wir los!
lasst uns + present infinitive Lasst uns losfahren!




Alternative structures of interrogative clauses



There are alternative ways to express an order, a command etc.


alternative structures Examples
interrogative clause Kannst du mir helfen?
modal verbs müssen / sollen Du sollst einkaufen gehen!
declarative clause Du machst sofort deine Hausaufgaben!
infinitive without zu Aufstehen!
noun, adjective, particle Ruhe! Schnell! Los!
impersonal passive Es wird jetzt geschlafen!
past participle (Partizip II) Aufgepasst!