The Imperative Sentence
Learn About It!

An imperative sentence gives a command. It usually end with a period, but it may also end with an exclamation point (!).

Commands ask or tell people to do something.

Please pass the salt.

Get out of my way!

Both of those sentences are commands.

The first one doesn't sound as commanding as the second one, but both of them are commands because they both ask or tell someone to do something.


Finding the Subject

Subjects are nouns or pronouns that tell us whom or what a sentences is about.

Here are some example sentences for you to check out. I've underlined the subjects for you.

The dog ran around the block.

Jimmy happily skipped to school.

Dog and Jimmy are the subjects of those sentences. They tell us whom or what the sentences are about.

Now, take a look at some imperative sentences.

Pass the salt.

Shut the door.

Smile.

What is the subject of those sentences? Hmm... that's tricky!

This may sound strange, but every single command has the same subject! Yikes! How is that even possible?

Well, since commands are always speaking to someone or something (you've got to address them if you're going to ask them to do something), the subject is always the word you.

You may have noticed that the word "you" is not even in a command. Because of this, the subject is actually called you understood, and it is written like this: (you)

This means that the subject is the word you, but since you is not written or spoken in the sentence, it is simply understood and is written in parentheses.

Imperative Subject
Please find my yellow leotard.(you)
Shut the door!(you)
Be there at 5:00.(you)

When a command begins with a noun of direct address, you might get tricked into thinking that it is a declarative sentence

Bob, shut the door!

Grandma, be there at 5:00

But, don't get tricked! These sentences are still commands and their subjects are still (you). Learn more about nouns of direct address beginning imperative sentences here


Diagramming Commands

You'll notice that every command has the same subject, (you).

Diagram (you) in the place where the subject goes. Check out these examples!

imperative sentence



imperative sentence

Shut the door!


imperative sentence

Be there at 5:00.

If you want to teach or learn grammar the easy way, then follow a step-by-step program that clearly lays everything out for you and allows you to move at your own pace. The Get Smart program is presented in a logical sequence, so it's not an overwhelming mishmash of information. Before you know it, you'll be a grammar and sentence diagramming pro!

The whole program is online, so you have instant access to these lessons and videos. It's easy and fun. You can get it at www.English-Grammar-Revolution.com/daily-diagrams.html
Keep learning and have fun!

Elizabeth O'Brien is the creator of the Grammar Revolution step-by-step grammar and sentence diagramming programs. Her programs are guaranteed not only to teach you grammar, but also to give you more confidence in your communication skills.

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