Nosotros (“Let's”) Commands

The present tense subjunctive nosotros/nosotras form is used to give a command addressed to a group that includes the speaker. To create an affirmative command such as this in English, you place “let's” in front of the verb:

  • Let's dance the tango.
  • Let's attend the concert this Saturday.

To make a negative command of this type in English, you use “let's not”:

  • Let's not forget to buy the tickets this time.
  • Let's not put them on the credit card.

Spanish speakers simply use the “we” form of the subjunctive to indicate “let's”:

  • Bailemos el tango.
  • Asistamos al concierto este sábado.

The negative command is formed in the same way, but with a no or other negative word placed in front.

  • No olvidemos comprar las entradas esta vez.
  • No las pongamos en la tarjeta de crédito.

One exception to the above rule is the verb ir, whose subjunctive form is used only for the negative nosotros/nosotras command. The affirmative nosotros/nosotras command is the indicative form: vamos.

  • Vamos a la fiesta esta noche.
  • Let's go to the party tonight.
  • Tengo prisa. No vayamos al centro comercial primero.
  • I'm in a hurry. Let's not go to the mall first.

The affirmative nosotros/nosotras command form of a reflexive verb attaches the reflexive pronoun nos to the end of the subjunctive nosotros/nosotras form of the verb. This creates a tongue twister, so Spanish speakers drop the s that would have preceded the nos.

  • Sentémonos en la primera fila.
  • Let's sit in the first row.
  • Vistámonos como piratas este año.
  • Let's dress as pirates this year.
  • Casémonos en Jamaica en la playa.
  • Let's get married in Jamaica on the beach.

Even though the affirmative nosotros/nosotras command form of ir is irregular, it is still necessary to drop the s in front of the pronoun nos.

  • Vámonos para el aeropuerto.
  • Let's leave for the airport.

However, because the negative command requires the pronoun to precede the subjunctive nosotros/nosotras form, there is no need to drop any letters in this case.

  • No nos olvidemos del horno cuando salgamos.
  • Let's not forget about the oven when we leave.
  • No nos durmamos durante su presentación.
  • Let's not fall asleep during his presentation.