Spanish Imperative Commands
How to be Polite in Spanish
In my opinion, all students should learn Spanish polite commands, even though politeness isn’t our thing in Argentina. I am not saying people aren’t polite in Argentina, because we are in our own special way, but we just don’t sound polite. For example, Argentinians wouldn’t say “por favor, toma asiento” (please, take a seat), instead we’d say “sentate” (sit down).
Does this mean Argentinians are rude? Spanish Commands Rules
Maybe it sounds rude, but this is politeness to us. We give commands like “sentate”, “vení, pasá”, and “ponete cómodo”. Therefore, to understand a native and sound more like one it is important to learn how to give commands in Spanish using the imperative mode. See some examples below.
- Vení, pasá. Sentate. (Come here, come in. Sit down).
- Ponete cómodo. ¡Estás en tu casa! (Make yourself at home!).
- Disculpame, ¿me decís la hora? (Excuse me, can you tell me the time?).
- ¡Uy! Perdoná, no te vi. (Forgive me, I didn’t see you).
- Decime, ¿en qué te puedo ayudar? (Tell me, what can I help you with?).
The verbs vení, pasá, sentate, ponete, disculpame, perdoná and decime are all conjugated in the present imperative. These are commands, but we use them to be polite as well. To be polite doesn’t necessarily mean to be “formal” in Spanish. As you can see, we are conjugating the verbs for the pronoun “vos”: (Vos) Vení, pasá. Sentate.
Spanish Polite Commands
Here are some Spanish informal commands Argentinians use to invite someone in and make them feel “home”:
- Vení. (Come here).
- Pasá. (Come in).
- Sentate. (Sit down).
- Ponete cómodo. (Get comfortable).
- Sentite como en tu casa. (Make yourself at home).
These are the two most popular ways of apologizing, saying “excuse me” and “forgive me” in Spanish:
- Perdoname. (Forgive me).
- Disculpame. (Excuse me).
We also use commands to tell somebody not to worry about something. In this case we use the commands in negative form, which consists of “no” and a verb in subjunctive. All of the following are translations of don’t worry and don’t bother in Spanish:
- No te preocupes.
- No te hagas problema.
- No te hagas drama.
Lastly, when we want someone to get back to us, we give the following commands:
- Escribime. (Write to me).
- Hablame. (Talk to me).
- Decime. (Tell me).
- Mandame un mensajito. (Text me).
- Llamame. (Call me).
To sum up, Argentinians tend to be polite in our own particular way. Politeness for us entails a series of commands in the imperative mode. We don’t use the form “usted” very much and we use the form “vos” instead. Curious fact: referring to someone as “usted” could potentially offend or insult that person because in Argentina “usted” is used to talk to older people. For example, my mother refers to her mother-in-law as “usted” because she’s much older than her.
Did you learn anything from this article? Leave a comment below. It helps me reach more students like you!