A verb is a “doing word,” meaning it denotes an action (e.g., walk, go, hold, cook). The word imperative can refer to “giving an authoritative command.” So, imperative verbs tell someone to do something.
To use an imperative verb, you take the base form of a verb to convey instructions, place an order, make a request, or forbid something. The sentences they’re used in are snappy and meant to be acted upon immediately. Their tone is almost always bossy (even if the meaning is polite), so they are sometimes called “bossy verbs” or “command verbs.” Read on for some examples (see what we did there?).
Examples of Imperative Verbs
Imperative verbs are used in the second person, which means the author isn’t referring to themselves or someone else; they’re referring to you, the reader. Below, we’ve listed some examples of sentences using imperative verbs. Notice the verb (in bold) is in its most simple, root form. It stands alone in a phrase without a subject, noun, or pronoun.
Give me the phone!
Do your homework, please.
Come back to see us soon.
Place the pizza order before it gets too late.
Drive through downtown.
Start the timer now.
Never say that again.
Make me one too!
Avoid that room at all costs.
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Take me to my favorite restaurant.
Bring the right shoes next time.
Don’t worry about it.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Try the tea.
Say thank you.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Why Are Imperative Verbs Useful?
These types of verbs allow you to request something in the most simple, direct way. By allowing the verb to stand on its own, you can convey complex information concisely and clearly. Since imperative verbs are usually placed at the beginning of the sentence, they get straight to the point, leaving no room for questions or discussion.
Proofreading and Editing
English has many quirks, and verbs can be tricky. For example, in addition to imperative verbs, there are auxiliary verbs, irregular verbs, infinitives, and more. Fortunately, our expert editors are here to help. We have a team of professionals who know the English language left, right, sideways, and backward.
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