- In the conversation Lea says, “Don’t let it bother you”. This is an imperative. Imperatives are used to give direct orders or commands, to give instructions, to make invitations, on signs and notices, and to give friendly informal advice.
- “Stop talking now!” is an example of a direct order. “Take the left turning” is an example of giving instructions. “Come in and sit down” is an example of making an invitation. “Do not walk on the grass” is an example of a sign or notice. “Don’t let it bother you” is used to give friendly informal advice.
- Imperatives are very easy. You just use the base of the verb with no subject.
- To form the negative, put “do not” or “don’t” in front of the verb.
- Imperatives can often be made more polite by adding “do”, for example, “Do sit down”.
Modals: have to + verb/don’t have to + verb
- In the conversation Ben says, “You don’t have to do the cooking”. “Don’t have to” is a modal phrase used to express when someone has a choice about doing something or not doing something. For example, “I don’t have to go to work on Saturday”, “You don’t have to use a pen to do your homework with a pen; you can use a pencil if you want.”
- We use “have to” before a verb if there is no choice. For example, “You have to eat if you want to live”, “You have to pay for the things you buy in the shops” and “You have to do what the teacher says”.
Think of three imperatives for each function:
- Giving an order/command
- Giving an instruction
- Offering an invitation
Complete these sentences:
- The cooking isn’t important. You __ to do it.
- Your school lessons will help you get into college. You __ to go to them.
- I have enough food for everyone. You __ to go to the market.
After this, discuss your answers with a friend. You can also practise using new vocabulary and grammar when you are speaking English at school or elsewhere.