What is an imperative sentence?

by Arushi Gupta
what is an imperative sentence

If you’re the kind of person who loves bossing others around, then you’re in the right place! Just kidding, we know that as researchers, you’re only interested in getting your ideas across clearly and efficiently. And that’s where imperative sentences come in. In this blog, we’ll explore what is an imperative sentence, what are the types of imperative sentences and how they can help you to communicate your instructions effectively and avoid any misunderstandings.

Definition of imperative sentences

Imperative sentences are sentences that issue a command, make a request, or give instructions. They are used to communicate an action that needs to be taken. Imperative sentences can be affirmative or negative and may be used to convey a sense of urgency or importance.

Types of imperative sentences

Imperative sentences can be broken down into 3 categories:

Conditional imperative sentences

Conditional imperative sentences are used to communicate commands or requests that are dependent on a specific condition being met. These conditions may be based on the context of the situation or the preferences of the listener. For example,

“If the results are positive, please email me immediately.”

  • “If the participant requests to withdraw from the study, provide them with the necessary information.”
  • “If the temperature rises above a certain level, shut down the equipment.”
Common writing errors in academic writing

Affirmative imperative sentences

Affirmative imperative sentences are used to give direct commands or instructions, such as,

  • “Complete the experiment by Friday.”
  • Measure the pH level of the solution using a pH meter.”
  • “Calculate the average of the data points for each trial.”

Negative imperative sentences

Negative imperative sentences, are used to give commands or instructions by negating an action, such as,

  • “Do not add more than the recommended amount of reagent.”
  • “Don’t forget to wear the appropriate protective gear when working with hazardous materials.”
  • “Do not leave the equipment unattended during the experiment.”

Structure of imperative sentences

The structure of an imperative sentence is relatively straightforward. It typically consists of a subject, which is implied, and a verb in the base form (also known as the “bare infinitive”). In many cases, the subject is omitted altogether, leaving only the verb, and the subject is supposed to be understood.

For example:

  • “Read the instructions carefully.” (subject implied)
  • “Read carefully.” (subject ‘instructions’ omitted)
  • “Take note of the results.” (subject implied)
  • “Take note.” (subject ‘results’ omitted)
  • “Label the samples with the appropriate identifiers.” (subject implied)
  • “Label with the appropriate identifiers.” (subject ‘samples‘omitted)

In some cases, an imperative sentence may also include an adverb or adverbial phrase, which modifies the verb. For example:

  • “Carefully weigh the samples.”
  • “Quickly transfer the solution to the flask.”
  • “Thoroughly mix the reagents.”
  • “Gently shake the test tube.”

Examples of imperative sentences

Here are some examples of imperative sentences:

  • “Use caution when handling the hazardous material.”
  • “Please submit your research proposal by the deadline.”
  • “Follow the established protocols for data analysis.”
  • “Ensure that the control group receives the placebo medication.”

In conclusion, imperative sentences are an important tool for clear and effective communication in research. They have the power to convey instructions, commands, or requests with efficiency, and must be used properly in spoken or written text.

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