6.7 Imperative Construction

Imperative Construction Video

Instructor Video: Imperative Construction

Imperative sentences are sentences that express request, commands, order, instruction, etc. Like in English, Subject “You” is dropped. However, unlike English, Hindi has three different forms of the pronoun ‘You,’ which are used in three different sociocultural contexts, as explained below.

English Hindi Uses 
You तू तू is used for someone who is younger in age, lower socio-economic class. It is also used with someone who is very intimate to the speaker such as friend, mother, and God.
You तुम तुम is used for someone who is of the same age group, and same socio-economic class.
You आप आप is used for someone who is older in age, and higher socio-economic class. It is used for anyone who one wants to show respect.

Forms of Imperative Construction Based on Three Different Forms of “You

The forms for “तू” and “तुम” are used for instruction, and command. Whereas, the form for “आप” is used for request.

Verbs “तू “

Drop the -ना part of the verb

“तुम”

Drop the -ना part and add “ओ” 

“आप”

Drop the -ना part and add “इये” 

खाना “To eat” खा खाओ खाइये
जाना “To go” जा जाओ जाइये
आना “To come” आओ आइये
पढ़ना “To read/study” पढ़ पढ़ो पढ़िये
लिखना “To write” लिख लिखो लिखिए
सोना “To sleep” सो सोओ सोइये
बोलना “To speak” बोल बोलो बोलिये
सुनना “To listen” सुन सुनो सुनिये
बैठना “To sit” बैठ बैठो बैठिये
बनाना “To make” बना बनाओ बनाइये

Some Irregular Imperative Forms

Verbs “तू “ “तुम” “आप”
करना “To do” कर करो कीजिये
लेना “To take” ले लो लीजिये
देना “To give” दे दो दीजिये
पीना पी पियो पीजिये

Giving Instruction and Command

To give instruction and command, in Hindi, “तू” and “तुम” forms of the verb are used.

For example:

  • यहाँ आ/आओ “Come here.”
  • घर जा/जाओ “Go home.”
  • मेरी किताब ला/लाओ “Bring my book.”
  • मुझ से बात कर/करो “Talk to me.”
  • जॉन को अपनी कार बेच/बेचो “Sell your car to John.”

Making Requests

To make request, in Hindi, “आप” form of the verb is used.

For example:

  • यहाँ आइये “Please come here.”
  • घर जाइये “Please go home.”
  • मेरी किताब लाइये “Please bring my book.”
  • मुझ से बात कीजिये “Please talk to me.”
  • जॉन को अपनी कार बेचिये “Please sell your car to John.”

Use of ज़रा/कृपया

In Hindi, formal imperatives do not necessarily imply “please.” Just as in any language, the tone of voice, context, and personal relationships affect politeness.

The adverb कृपया (please), ज़रा (just, a little) is used to make a command milder/extra polite.

For example:

  • कृपया/ज़रा यहाँ आइये “Please come here.”
  • कृपया/ज़रा घर जाइये “Please go home.”
  • कृपया/ज़रा मेरी किताब लाइये “Please bring my book.”
  • कृपया/ज़रा मुझ से बात कीजिये “Please talk to me.”
  • कृपया/ज़रा जॉन को अपनी कार बेचिये “Please sell your car to John.”

Negation of Imperative Construction

In order to make negative imperative, command, and making negative request, in Hindi, words like “न” and “मत” can be used.

For example

  • यहाँ न/मत आ/आओ “Do not come here.”
  • घर न/मत जा/जाओ “Do not go home.”
  • मेरी किताब न/मत लाइये “Please do not bring my book.”
  • मुझ से बात न/मत कीजिये “Please do not talk to me.”
  • कृपया/ज़रा जॉन को अपनी कार न/मत बेचिये “Please do not sell your car to John.

Note: Use of “न” post verb place in an imperative construction will make it request, and not a negative sentence.

For example:

“न” before verb for negation “न” before verb for request
यहाँ न आइये “Please do not come here.” यहाँ आइये न  “Please come here.”
मुझ से बात न कीजिये  “Please do not talk to me.” मुझ से बात कीजिये न “Please talk to me.”
मेरी बात न सुनिये “Please do not listen to me.” मेरी बात सुनिये न “Please listen to me”

Activities

a) Please write ten sentences of instructions and ask your friend to enact them, and vice-versa.

b) Make a list of ten things that you want your parents to do for you. Please use “आप” form of the imperative construction.

c) Please choose the correct form of the pronoun “You.”

धन्यवाद !

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Basic Hindi I by Rajiv Ranjan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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