Don’t feel like this guy!
The imperative in German is used when issuing a command to someone or more than one person. In English we use the you understood rule; Go home! or Shut the door! or Shut up! (I don’t have you in those phrases but you know I’m talking to YOU) This works the same way for the most part in German. At the bottom of this post there are links to online practice, videos and websites with more explanation!
Check out this awesomely made video by some German students!
First the verb is always in the first position of the sentence!
Second are you talking to one person or more than one person or do you need to be formal?
Next the “formula” for creating a command is in the following table under which pronoun you are using.
Things to remember:
- Make sure you are aware if the verb is a stem changing verb, ex geben – du gibst or lesen – du liest, if so you need to change it! Stem changing verbs only change when you are using du, er, sie or es FYI 🙂
- Remember “-e” is added to the verb stem in present tense after “-t” “-d” ex: arbeiten, kosten, baden
- a–>ä stem-changes do not carry over into the imperative – Example: fahren, to drive, du fährst; the a changes to ä -> but the command to say Drive! is just Fahr
|Imperative = Present tense du-form without the -st ending, and without”du”||Imperative = Present tense ihr-form, and without “ihr”||Imperative =
Infinitive + Sie [separable prefix]
|lachen – to laugh==> Present tense = du lachst==> Lach!||lachen – to laugh==> Present tense = ihr lacht==> Lacht!||lachen – to laugh==> Lachen Sie!|
|geben ==> Present tense = du gibst==> Gib mir das Buch!
[Remember “geben” is a stem-changing verb]
|geben ==> Present tense = ihr gebt==> Gebt mir das Buch![Remember stem-changes only happen in the 2nd and 3rd person singular]||geben ==> Geben Sie mir das Buch!|
|arbeiten==> Present tense = du arbeitest==> Arbeite!
||arbeiten==> Present tense = ihr arbeitet==> Arbeitet!||arbeiten==> Arbeiten Sie!|
==> Present tense = du Räumst auf==> Räum auf!
==> Present tense = ihr Räumt auf==> Räumt auf!
|aufräumen ==> Räumen Sie auf!|
Now here are some website with explanations:
Here is some online practice!
- Quia game: who wants to be a millionaire
- Quia game: who wants to be a millionaire #2
- Build the imperative forms of these verbs
- Change these phrases into commands
Here are some videos:
Examples in comics!!