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 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”:
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.