Languages › English as a Second Language Forming the Imperative Share Flipboard Email Print Thomas Barwick/Stone/Getty Images English as a Second Language Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Business English Resources for Teachers By Michael San Filippo Italian Expert M.A., Italian Studies, Middlebury College B.A., Biology, Northeastern University Michael San Filippo co-wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. He is a tutor of Italian language and culture. our editorial process Michael San Filippo Updated November 04, 2019 The imperative (l'imperativo) is used to give orders, advice, and exhortation: be good, stay home, let's go. The formation of the imperative in Italian follows a sort of "back-to-front" rule for the tu and Lei forms. In other words, parlaregenerates (tu) parla and (Lei) parli - as if the indicative forms had swapped places - while -ere and -ire verbs behave in exactly the opposite way: (tu) prendi, (Lei) prenda. Creating the Imperative in Italian To create perfect, oven-fresh imperatives, stick to the following rules: the tu and voi forms are identical to their corresponding present indicative forms, except for the tu form of -are verbs, which add -a to the root: domandare > domandathe formal Lei and Loro forms (though the second is hardly every used) take the corresponding forms of the present subjunctive (see table below)the noi form (translated by "let's..." in English) also mimics the present subjunctive form - but this is identical to the common or garden-variety present indicative (andiamo, vediamo, etc.) Regular verbs therefore have the following imperative forms: cantare vendere aprire finire (tu) canta vendi apri finisci (Lei) canti venda apra finisca (noi) cantiamo vendiamo apriamo finiamo (voi) cantate vendete aprite finite (Loro) cantino vendano aprano finiscano Irregular verbs follow the same pattern, except for essere and avere, which have rule-bending tu and voi forms: essere avere (tu) sii abbi (Lei) sia abbia (noi) siamo abbiamo (voi) siate abbiate (Loro) siano abbiano Note too that dire has an irregular, truncated tu form: di'. The same goes for andare, dare, fare, and stare, but with these four, a regular tu form is also possible: va'/vai, da'/dai, fa'/fai, sta'/stai. Do You How to Conjugate the Italian Verb 'Preferire?' How to Conjugate the Italian Verb "Amare" Italian Verb Conjugations: Suonare Italian Verb Conjugations: 'Rispondere' How to Conjugate the Verb 'Salire' Conjugating the Italian Verb 'Pensare' Italian Verb Conjugations: 'Spedire' Conjugating the Italian Verb 'Morire' How to Conjugate the Italian Verb Farsi Italian Verb Conjugations: 'Svegliarsi' What are the Conjugations for the Italian Verb Iniziare? What are Some Verb Conjugations for the Italian Verb Servire? What Are Some Different Conjugations for the Italian Verb Piangere Italian Verb Conjugations: "Vestirsi" (To Wear or Get Dressed) What are Some Conjugations for the Italian Verb Restare? What are Some Conjugations for the Italian Verb Ritornare?