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Imperatives Posted by on Sep 11, 2007 in Grammar

The imperative form in Portuguese is pretty easy to use. To command action, as the form is most commonly used to do, you can simply use the Você or Vocês form of the (regular) verb. the reason for this is that it is common to use the Tu form of the subjunctive, which for regular verbs looks the same as the indicative tense Você form. So to say “Speak! it is appropriate to say “Fala!”

It’s a bit trickier to for the negative imperative, as it requires the Você/Vocês form of the imperative, which is related to, but not exactly like the subjunctive. To form this, one takes the Eu form of the verb, take off the ending (-o), and add the subjunctive ending for the third person, which would be ‘a/amos/am’ for -er and -ir verbs, and ‘e/emos/em’ for -ar verbs. Sound hard? It’s not really…


Examples:

Não fale! Don’t speak!

Não escreva! Don’t write

Not all verbs are created equal regular, and there are many common irregular imperative forms. Here are some of the most common: fazer, haver, saber, ir, ter, vir, ver, ser, and estar. Very common verbs indeed! The third-person singular imperative for those verbs is (respectively, of course): faça, haja, saiba, vá, tenha, veja, seja, and esteja Knowing these will almost completely get you out of the woods, but here’s another good resource if you wish to brush up further on these and other irregular forms.

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Comments:

  1. Michael Laudahn:

    Once more:

    ‘fazer, haver, saber, ir, ter, vir, ver, ser, and estar’

    ‘faça, haja, saiba, vá, tenha, veja, seja, and esteja’

    Do you see that you have 9 verbs in the 1st line, but 8 only in the 2nd?

    You have forgotten vir, which becomes *venha*. So that’s then between tenha and veja.

    Was I clear enough this time, you twits?

  2. David Weatherall:

    I’m far from fluent but I’m pretty sure the sentence below is nonsense:

    “…. the reason for this is that it is common to use the Tu form of the subjunctive, which for regular verbs looks the same as the indicative tense Você form. So to say “Speak! it is appropriate to say “Fala!”……”

    The regular Tu form of the (present) subjunctive is “fales” “comas” “partas” This is not the same at all as the indicative tense Voce form (fala, come, parte).