Commands in Portuguese

Commands in Portuguese

The imperative is the way to give commands, be it positive or negative commands. Something to note — commands are given only to “você” (you), “vocês (you all) and nós (we). We do not give commands to I, she or he. For example, the phrase “clean your room!” and “open the door!” are commands, telling someone in the second-person singular or plural to do something.

Forming commands in Brazilian Portuguese is very simple. You only have to change the verb stem according to its ending, -ar, -er, and -ir. Study the table below:

Person Amar(to love) Comer(to eat) Abrir(to open)
Singular Eu  (none) (none) (none)
Você  ame coma abra
Plural Nós amemos comamos abramos
Vocês amem comam abram

Examples

  • Lave sua roupa! (Wash your clothes!)
  • Coma toda a comida!(Eat all of the food!)
  • Comamos comida italiana hoje à noite! (Let’s eat Italian food tonight!)
  • Abra a porta! (Open the door!)
  • Dividamos a conta! (Let’s split the bill!)

As you can see from the examples above, commands in the nós form translates as “let’s.”

Negative Commands

To give a negative command in Portuguese, all you do is add não in front of the conjugated verb in the imperative form.  For example, ligue para ele (call him) becomes não ligue para ele (don’t call him). As you can see, by adding não to a command, you are saying “don’t” or to not do something.

To tell someone to never do something, instead of adding não in front of the conjugated verb, add nunca, which means never. For example, nunca fale com essa menina (never talk to that girl).

Examples

  • Nunca lave sua roupa! (Never wash your clothes!)
  • Não coma toda a comida!(Don’t eat all of the food!)
  • Não comamos comida italiana hoje à noite! (Let’s not eat Italian food tonight!)
  • Não abra a porta! (Don’t open the door!)
  • Nunca dividamos a conta! (Let’s never split the bill!)