How to Use Imperative Verbs

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Verbs -- the words that indicate action or a state of being in a sentence -- fall into one of three moods: indicative, subjunctive and imperative. A sentence with an imperative verb conveys a command, often using an understood "you" as the subject. Imperative verbs are present tense words such as "stop" and "think."

Imperative Mood Examples

  • The word "imperative" means "command" or "necessary." Therefore, imperative verbs tell the reader or listener to do something. "You go home" uses imperative mood, commanding the listener or reader -- you -- to do something -- go. Such structures may leave out the subject, and will instead use the understood "you," as in the sentence, "Go home." Adding a word to make a command more polite, such as the word "please," does not change the imperative verb. Imperative verbs should be present tense, meaning they convey an action the listener should perform at the time, such as in the sentence, "Pick up the pencil."

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