Italian Imperatives

Imperative – form of the verb used to give orders and instructions

How to conjugate the imperative:

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There are a number of -ire verbs which do not add -isc to the stem. These are partire, dormire, aprire, sentire. The endings for these verbs are: -i, -a, -iamo, -ite, -ano.

It is worth noting that the tu and lei endings for -are verbs appear to be the reverse of the pattern seen in -ere and -ire verbs. This could lead to confusion – be careful!

Irregular imperatives

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tu / voi imperatives

The pronouns come AFTER and join onto the imperative.

Guardami, mamma!

If the imperative is only 1 syllable, such as di’ (tu form of DIRE), then the consonant of the pronoun is doubled before being added to the imperative.

    mi    –>    -mmi

ti     –>     -tti

  lo     –>     -llo


When followed by another pronoun:

mi    –>    me-

ti     –>     te-

  ci     –>     ce-

vi    –>    ve-

gli     –>   glie-

  le     –>     glie-


NB: remember that in Italian the indirect object pronoun comes first.


noi imperatives

The pronouns come AFTER and join onto the imperative.



lei / polite plural imperatives

The pronouns come BEFORE the imperative.

La prenda, signore.

Si accomodi!


How to tell someone NOT to do something

tu imperatives

Use non with the infinitive.

Non dire bugie!

If there is also a pronoun, drop the –e from the end of the infinitive and attach the pronoun.

Non toccarlo!

All other cases (not tu)

  • use non with the imperative
  • pronouns AFTER voi and noi
  • pronouns BEFORE lei and polite plural



I hope this has been helpful!






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