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On Imperatives - Descriptive Grammar


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Imperative sentences usually take form of directives, which differs from a declarative sentence in that:

i) it generally has no subject  and  ii) it generally has verb in the base form.

Otherwise, the clause patterns of imperatives show the same range and ordering of elements as declaratives:

(S) V :      Jump.

(S) VC:    Be reasonable.

(S) VOC:  Consider yourself lucky.

Although they rarely have subject, it can happen:

i) You be quiet. / You mind your own business.

ii) Somebody open this door. / Nobody move.

It can also be introduced with let:

i) Let us work hard. / Let me see.

ii) Let no one think that a teacher’s life is easy. / Let her do it.

This usually shows speaker's frustration or a negative tone:

You fix it! (if you're so smart)

You be quiet! (you're so loud, I can barely stand listening to you)

You mind your own business!

A positive imperative can be made more persuasive or insistent (especially in BrE) by adding do before the verb:

Do have some more tea.

Do sit down.

Do come along.

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