Imperative SentencesAn imperative sentence gives a direct command. It can end in a full stop or an exclamation mark, depending on the forcefulness of the command.
Easy Examples of Imperative Sentences
- Tidy your room!
- Please tidy your room.
- Shut up!
- Please keep the noise down.
- Consider the lily.
Real-Life Examples of Imperative SentencesForceful commands end with an exclamation mark.
- Get out!
- Watch your mouth, young man!
- Pass the pepper.
- Don't forget to feed the pony.
- Don't count the days. Make the days count. (Boxer Muhammad Ali)
- Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. (Philosopher Dandemis)
- I came first, Lee! (This is an exclamatory sentence conveying the emotions of joy and surprise.)
- Shut up! (Of course, this could be an imperative sentence, but this expression is also used to mean "no way!", in which case it's an exclamatory sentence expressing surprise. You'll know from context, not the exclamation mark, whether the person is being hostile or astonished.)
Why Should I Care about Imperative Sentences?When writing an imperative sentence, be mindful of how much force an exclamation mark adds.
- Be there at seven.
- Be there at seven!
Also of note, the subject of an imperative sentence is an implied "you" (either singular or plural). This means you can pair your verb with yourself or yourselves, if necessary.
- Please help yourself, mate. [correct] (Here, the implied you is singular. Please (you) help yourself.)
- Ladies and gentlemen, please chat among yourselves. [correct] (Here, the implied you is plural. Please (you) chat among yourselves.)
- Please contact your manager or myself with any suggestions. [wrong] (It should be me not myself.)
- Allow myself to introduce…myself. [wrong] (This is from "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery". Only the first myself is wrong. It should be me not myself.)
- You can only pair your imperative verb with yourself or yourselves.
- Knock yourself out. [correct]
- Do it yourself. [correct]
- Please email Irene or myself. [wrong] (Should be me.)
- Never use more than exclamation mark.