The Imperative tense in the Portuguese language is quite complex. The good news is that, generally, we don’t use the imperative tense very often in our daily lives. It is an important tense for teachers, coaches, and parents, in other words, all the people who need to give orders and instructions regularly.
There are many rules that we need to apply to use the imperative tense correctly. In fact, there are so many rules that we have chosen to explain just one here, the most important one of all, the one that all Portuguese language learners must know!
In Portuguese, when giving orders or instructions to ONE PERSON ONLY, you can do it in a formal or informal way. For example, in English, we say “EAT” to our son, which is a clear instruction for him to eat. However, in Portuguese, the equivalent of “EAT” is “COME” (informal imperative) or “COMA” (formal imperative).
HOW TO KNOW WHICH OF THESE OPTIONS (“COME” or “COMA”) IS FORMAL OR INFORMAL?
PRO TIP: The conjugation of the informal singular imperative is always the same as the conjugation of all verbs in the 3rd person singular in the present tense. For example, with the verb “COMER” (to eat) – “eu como” (I eat), “tu comes” (you eat), “ELE COME” (HE EATS). For instance: “Ele COME bananas todos os dias” – present tense. IMPERATIVE: “COME AS BANANAS” – COMMAND!
To listen to the AUDIO in Portuguese, go to OPTIONS and switch the AUDIO to ON. To turn on the AUDIO, go to FLASHCARDS and click on the COG WHEEL (top right).
To learn and consolidate this list, you should follow the following STUDY METHOD: