Affirmative Tú Commands

The subjunctive mood is used to express the affirmative and negative commands of the Ud., Uds., and nosotros forms, and only the negative commands of the and vosotros forms. The affirmative commands are not based on the subjunctive. There is however, a list of verbs that are irregular in the affirmative command form that you must learn.

Regular verbs

The most unusual type of command is the form used when you wish to give an affirmative command to someone you would address as . Oddly enough, the form of the verb used for an affirmative command looks exactly like the present tense él form of the verb: not the present subjunctive but rather the present indicative, and not the form but the él form. For this reason, it is common to use the pronoun after the command so you can tell the difference between “he does something,” and “you, do something.” For example:

  • Llama cada día.
  • He calls every day.
  • Llama tú cada día.
  • (You) Call every day.

If you remember how to create the present tense él form of the verb in the indicative mood, you can create the affirmative command form. If a verb undergoes a stem change in the present tense, the command form will undergo the same stem change. Notice that the subject pronoun may or may not follow a command form.

  • Produce más comida ahora.
  • Produce more food now.
  • Cuenta tú el dinero antes de salir.
  • Count the money before leaving.
  • Almuerza durante el descanso.
  • Eat lunch during the break.

Irregular affirmative  commands

There are a few affirmative commands that are not like the present tense él form of the verb; these are considered irregular. Learn the irregular affirmative commands for the seven basic verbs in Table .

Because the command for ser is the same as the present tense yo form of the verb saber, you must consider the context of the sentence in order to determine which of the two is intended. In the following examples, notice how using a subject pronoun clarifies these identical forms with completely different meanings.

  • Sé tú médico porque así ganarás mucho dinero.
  • Be a doctor because you will earn a lot of money. (affirmative command, ser)
  • Yo sé que los médicos ganan mucho.
  • I know that doctors earn a lot. (present tense yo form, saber)

If you tell someone whom you address as not to do something, it is a negative command and, thus, you must use a different form. Only the and the vosotros commands have different forms for the negative and the affirmative. For Ud. and Uds. commands, the same form is used for negative and affirmative commands.