Why do we use imperatives

Imperative - German request, form of command

What is imperative?

The imperative is the request or command form. We address one or more people personally, so we can use the imperative for the forms you, you we and the politeness you use. In contrast to many other languages, the imperative is used very often in German.

Learn how the imperative is formed and used in German and write your own imperative sentences in the exercises.

example

When do you use imperative in German?

With the imperative we ask someone to do something.

Example:
Hold up!
Get on!
Drive me to the train station!

Occasionally we include ourselves in the prompt and use the imperative for the 1st person plural (we).

Example:
Let's go!

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The imperative is very common in German because here we can say in just a few words what the other person should do. For non-native speakers, this form sometimes sounds a bit impolite, but it is usually not meant that way. Of course, it always depends on the tone. To sound more polite, we can use the little word You're welcome use.

Example:
Drive me You're welcome to the train station!
Buckle up You're welcome at!

How do you form the imperative for you / she / we / her?

1st / 3rd Person plural (we / you)

The imperative for They we we form with that Verb in the infinitive + you / we. At the verb be we also add an e.

Example:
Go! / Be honest!
Let's go! / Let's be honest!

2nd person plural (her)

The imperative for you is the finite verb form of the 2nd person plural, but without the pronoun.

Example:
Go! / Be honest!

2nd person singular (you)

The imperative for you we usually form by adding the ending en remove. In the advanced language we often add an e to many verbs, in the colloquial language we usually leave it out.

Example:
Go! / Be honest!

Special features of the imperative for 2nd person singular:

  • The stem vowel change from e zu i / ie also applies to the imperative; in this case we never use the imperativee.
    Example:
    Read (read - I read, you read) (not:)
  • The stem vowel change from a to Ä does not apply to the imperative.
    Example:
    Go! (but: I drive you drive)
  • The present stem ends on d / t, we always add e.
    Example:
    Wait! (Not: )
  • The present stem ends on Consonant + m / n, we always add e. But this does not apply if this consonant is a m, n, l, r or H (but not ch) is.
    Example:
    Breathe! / Draw!
    but: Swim! / Learn!
  • The verb ends in eln / ern, we usually append e. In everyday language, however, it is often left out. That too e of eln / ern can be omitted.
    Example:
    Celebrate! / Celebrate! / Celebrate!
    Angele! / Angle! / Angel!

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In the case of separable verbs, the particle is at the end of the sentence (see: separable verbs).

Example:
Buckle up → Buckle up.