mercredi 17 décembre 2014

Top Tips Grammar: The imperative and ‘let’

Main points

+The imperative is the same as the base form of a verb.
+You form a negative imperative with ‘do not’, ‘don’t, or ‘never’.
+You use the imperative to ask or tell someone to do something, or to give advice, warnings, or instructions on how to do something.
+You use ‘let’ when you are offering to do something, making suggestion, or telling someone to do something.

 

a) The imperative is the same as the base form of a verb. You do not use a pronoun in front of it.

- Come to my place.
- Start when you hear the bell.

 

b) You form a negative imperative by putting ‘do not’, ‘don’t, or ‘never’ in front of the verb.

- Do not write in this book.
- Don’t go so fast.
- Never open the front door to strangers.

 

c) You use the imperative when you are:

*asking or telling someone to do something.

- Pass the salt.
- Hurry up!

*giving someone advice or a warning.

- Mind your head.
- Take care!

*giving someone instructions on how to do something.

- Put this bit over here, so it fits into that hole.
- Turn right off Broadway into Caxton Street.

 

d) When you want to make an imperative more polite or more emphatic, you can put ‘do’ in front of it.

- Do have a chocolate biscuit.
- Do stop crying.
- Do be careful.

 

e) The imperative is also used in written instructions on how to do something, for example on notices and packets of food, and in books.

- To report faults, dial 6667.
- Store in a dry place.
- Fry the chopped onion and pepper in the oil.

Note that written instructions usually have to be short. This means that words such as ‘the’ are often omitted.

- Wear rubber gloves.
- Turn off switch.
- Wipe bulb.

Written imperatives are also used to give warnings.

- Reduce speed now.

 

f) You use ‘let me’ followed by the base form of a verb when you are offering to do something for someone.

- Let me take your coat.
- Let me give you a few details.

 

g) You use ‘let’s’ followed by the base form of a verb when you are suggesting what you and someone else should do.

- Let’s go outside.
- Let’s look at our map.

Note that the form ‘let us’ is only used in formal or written English.

- Let us consider a very simple example.

You put ‘do’ before ‘let’s’ when you are very keen to do something.

- Do let’s get a taxi.

The negative of ‘let’s’ is ‘let’s not’ or ‘don’t let’s’.

- Let’s not talk about that.
- Don’t let’s actually write it in the book.

 

h) You use ‘let’ followed by a noun group and the base form of a verb when you are telling someone to do something or to allow someone else to do it.

- Let me see it.
- Let Phillip have a look at it.

 

 

 

 

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Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B
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See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions

 

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