An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises

The Imperative - telling people what to do!

It's easy! Use the base form of the verb.
e.g. Listen! Or
Listen to the news. It's terrible!

The rule: the more abrupt you are the more likely it is that you will sound rude.
Say 'please'!
More words usually means more polite!
Also the intonation is important - don't bark like a dog!

Practice Exercise: Choose which is right:
1. person to a dog: (i) 'Sit'  (ii) 'Please sit down'.
2. adult to a child: (i) 'Come and sit down'  (ii) 'Sit!'
3. Receptionist to a patient: (i) 'Please sit down'  (ii) 'Sit down'.
4. Bank Manager to a customer: (i) 'Would you like to sit down?' or (ii) 'Don't bother to sit down'.
5. Nurse to a doctor. (i) 'Why don't you sit down. You look tired'. (ii) 'Hurry up and sit down'.
6. Friend to a friend: (i) 'Sit down' (ii) 'Come and sit down'.

Answers: 1.i  2.i  3.i  4.i.  5.i.  6.ii

see The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage for the rules.

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