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The Imperative Mood (Imperativ)


I. Theory

Like in English, the imperative mood is used to make commands or suggestions. Commands can be either softened or stressed with the use of accompanying words like bitte- which is placed either before the command phrase or directly after the pronoun (when applicable).

Nehmen Sie bitte Platz.
Please take your seats.

Pass auf!
Pay attention!

Fangen wir an!
Let us begin.

II. Imperative Formation

A. Du

When addressing someone in the second person informal, the imperative is formed with the verb stem, without the -st du ending. For most verbs, it is optional to add an -e as well. However, for verbs that require an -e when conjugating them with du (arbeiten-arbeitest, antworten-antwortest), the -e is mandatory.

Sei still!
Be quiet!

Tue* das nicht!
Don’t do that!
*here, the -e is optional.

Beantworte* die Frage!
Answer the question!
*here, the -e is required.

With the exception of e-ie and e-i stem-changing verbs (sehen, helfen, etc.), the vowel change is not present in the imperative form:

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