Spanish Informal Negative Commands


Negative informal commands, also called negative  commands, are used to tell a friend, family member the same age as you or younger, classmate, child, or pet not to do something.

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Negative informal commands are used to tell people what not to do. Usually this is implied and during regular conversations, we do not tell people: “I am going to use a negative command now;” we simply tell people what not to do by adding a “No” before the verb.

However, if you are asked to use a negative informal command during a test, you will know that if use the “tu,” form and it is used when speaking to someone of your same age, a child, or a student.

These commands are used with verbs ending in ar; er-ir and irregular verbs. When using regular verbs ending in “ar,” for example, the word hablar (to speak) you have to remember to conjugate the verb in first person:

“Yo hablo.” Look at the word “hablo” and replace the final “o” with “es,” and you have “hables.” To complete your negative informal command, you add a “No.” No hables. This implies you are directing this command to someone using “tu” as it is implied in the sentence: “No hables (tu), however, remember that we do not use the “tu” word.

For verbs ending in “er – ir” you will remember the form of the verb conjugated in first person. For these verbs, you add “as,” at the end of the verb.

The word “comer,” “to eat,” if you conjugate it in the first person, you have: “yo como.” You simply take the “o” out of the verb and add “as” to the end of the verb.

No comas! – Do not eat!

For verbs ending in “ir,” you will follow the same procedure: Salir – To go out.

Yo salgo – Taking the “o” out and adding “as” to the end of the word, we have:

“No salgas!” Do not go out!

Dormir – Yo duermo   – No duermas!

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.