Imperativo.. What does this word mean exactly in Italian? 

It means imperative, mandatory, so guess what is the purpose of this mood? Yes, it is to express an order, command, prohibition, and even suggestion, invitation and prayer. Like in the following sentences: 

- Vieni subito qui! (Come here now!) 

- Rifai il letto, per favore! (Make the bed, please!) 

- Non correre! (Do not run!) 

- Abbiate pazienza! (Be patient!) 

- Lasciami in pace! (Leave me alone!) 

From the examples above you might have noticed that we use this mood only with tu (you) and voi (you, plural), because we usually address our request to our interlocutor. 

Let’s see a brief example of how the conjugation works for each of the 3 conjugations you can find in Italian, namely verbs ending in –are, -ere and –ire in their infinitive forms: 

These is the affirmative form.

But what about the negative, instead? 

Let's see how to form it: 

What can you notice? 

When we refer to tu in the negative form, we totally change the verb composition. 

We indeed, put non (which we always use in Italian to negate something) + the infinitive form of the verb! 

Easy peasy, right? 

Does this also apply to voi

It doesn’t! Exactly! 

When we refer to voi, we just add non at the beginning of the affirmative form! Let me now give you 3 verbs. 




How do you form the affirmative and negative form for both tu and voi

Let me know in the comment section! 

So far, we have seen that the Italian imperativo can only be used to address tu and voi

But you must know that you can also use this mood with other pronouns, like io, lui/lei(both formally and informally) and loro... but in an exhortative way! 

Does this change the meaning of our command or request? 


Indeed, with these pronouns, imperativo acquires a different meaning and we use it to exhort someone to do something, rather than giving them an order or command. 

For this purpose, you will need to use what is called congiuntivo esortativo, which you can also find preceded by CHE. 


- with io - Che qualcuno mi aiuti! (Somebody help me!) 

- with Lei formale - Prego, si sieda pure! (Please, take a seat!) 

- with noi - Balliamo! (Let’s dance!) 

- with loro – Che chiamino pure, non risponderò! (Let them call, I will not answer!) 

And now, it is time to practice together with some practical examples! 

How would you fill in each sentence with the right form of imperativo

1. Sergio, ____ (chiudere, tu) la finestra, fa freddo! 

2. Bambini, ____ (ricordare, voi) di fare i compiti per domani! 

3. Non ____ (tagliare, tu) le patate a fettine sottili! 

4. Prego, ____ (fare, Lei – formal) pure come se stesse a casa sua. 

5. Non ____ (seguire, voi) le indicazioni di Pietro, sono sbagliate! 

So, good! That is all for today! 

This is all I wanted to tell you about the Italian imperativo

I hope this article was helpful for you to clarify some of your doubts and questions about the topic. Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section down below! Thank you for reading this article. 

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