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Lesson Transcript

Beatriz: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com.
Beatriz: Buenos días, me llamo Beatriz.
Joseph: What’s up? I’m Joseph. Verb Conjugation Series, Lesson 8 – “Present Command”.
Beatriz: Bienvenidos todo el mundo.
Joseph: Hola Beatriz, ¿qué hay de nuevo?
Beatriz: Nada pues. Con ganas de comenzar otra lección en SpanishPod101.com
Joseph: Welcome, everyone, to another edition of the Verb Conjugation Series.
Beatriz: Today, we have lesson 8.

Lesson focus

Joseph: That’s right. Today we’re going to continue with our study of the Present Tense, this time focusing on how it can be used to express commands.
Beatriz: Mandatos.
Joseph: Mandatos, así es. In this lesson, we’ll also look at the formation of the verbs “dar” – “to give”, “ver” – “to see” and “oír” – “to hear”, giving you the low down at how to remember their forms.
Beatriz: And providing you with examples that makes this verbs easy to understand.
Joseph: So, one of the things that’s interesting about the usage that we’re looking at today is that it can replace “el Modo Imperativo” – “the Imperative Mood”.
Beatriz: Claro, y en muchos casos resulta más cortés usar el modo presente del modo indicativo en vez del modo imperativo.
Joseph: That’s just where I’m getting at. As we’ll see in today’s lesson, in many cases, it’s more polite to use the present command in place of the Imperative Mood. It kind of softens the command a little bit.
Beatriz: ¡Qué bueno que podamos estudiar cada uso del tiempo presente!
Joseph: De acuerdo. Studying each usage of the Present Tense is extremely useful. Even for all of you more advanced students. I mean, even though you may know how to conjugate the verbs we’re looking at, you might be surprised to learn about the usages that we’re covering here.
Beatriz: Bueno, ¿empezamos ya?
Joseph: Pull on your hats and join us for another lesson of Spanishpod101.
Beatriz: Entonces, ¿cómo es que el tiempo presente puede expresar un mandato?
Joseph: How can the Present Tense express a command?
Beatriz: Yes.
Joseph: Digamos que estás en un café. Let’s say you’re in a café.
Beatriz: Okay.
Joseph: And you want to order “un café cortado”, this is kind of like a mini cappuccino.
Beatriz: Okay, all right.
Joseph: And, it’s kind of a nice place, so you’re inclining to speak to the waiter formally, address the commands “usted”, how about you order it?
Beatriz: Bueno, podría decir “deme un café cortado, por favor”.
Joseph: Right. “Deme un café cortado”. Now, what’s the verb here?
Beatriz: It’s “deme”.
Joseph: “Deme”. And literally this means “give me”, right?
Beatriz: Yup.
Joseph: And, what’s the mood of this?
Beatriz: Es el imperativo.
Joseph: Exactly. It’s the Imperative Mood, “deme”. And if this café were a place where there’re more younger people and the overall feel of it is more informal, how would you order your “café cortado” addressing the waiter informally?
Beatriz: Okay. That would be “dame un café cortado, por favor”.
Joseph: Right, “dame un café cortado, por favor”. So here we see the informal command “dame” instead of the formal one “deme”. And in both cases we’re using the verb “dar” – “to give”, aren’t we?
Beatriz: We are.
Joseph: Okay. Now, how do you say “you give me” in the formal sense?
Beatriz: Sería “usted me da” o simplemente “me da”.
Joseph: Right. It would be either “usted me da” with the personal pronoun “usted” or without it, just “me da” – “you give me”. And informally?
Beatriz: “Me das”.
Joseph: Right. So, here we’re looking at the second person singular, the informal “you”, “tú me das” – “you give me”.
Beatriz: Right.
Joseph: Now, let’s suppose that you want to order this café cortado and you still want to do it formally, but this time you want to soften your command a bit. I mean, you want to tell him what to give you, but you don’t want your order to sound so bossy.
Beatriz: En este caso podría decir “¿me da un café cortado, por favor?”
Joseph: Nice. “¿Me da un café cortado, por favor?”. And here the verb “da” is in what mood?
Beatriz: Now, it’s in Indicative Mood.
Joseph: And what tense?
Beatriz: The Present Tense.
Joseph: And it’s still a command, right?
Beatriz: It is.
Joseph: And if you want to give the same kind of order, softening it a bit, but this time even a little more informally. What might you say?
Beatriz: “¿Me das un café cortado, por favor?”.
Joseph: “¿Me das un café cortado, por favor?”. And again, we see that the verb “das” is now in the second person singular, the two form, that informal “you” and it’s in the Present Tense of the Indicative Mood, right?
Beatriz: Right.
Joseph: And we’re still expressing a command even though we’re not using the Imperative Mood?
Beatriz: Así es.
Joseph: So, in light of this we can say that the Present Tense of the Indicative Mood can be used with an Imperative value.
Beatriz: ¡Claro! Con el presente como mandato describimos una acción que alguien tiene que realizar según nuestro pedido.
Joseph: Bien dicho. When we use the Present as a command, we describe an action that someone else must carry out on account of our order.
Beatriz: Ahora a las formaciones.
Joseph: Me parece muy bien. Let’s take a look at how the verbs “dar”, “ver” and “oír” are formed in the Present Tense of the Indicative Mood.
Beatriz: ¿Y dónde empezamos?
Joseph: Let’s begin with the irregular first conjugation verb “dar” – “to give”. Now, the interesting thing about this verb is that its stem is simply the letter “d” and that in the first person singular it has that “oy” ending which we also saw with “estar”, “estoy” and “ser”, “soy”, and also with “ir”, “voy”. You should also know that there’re no accent on the verb “dar” in this tense and mood. Okay, Beatriz. Shall we run through the conjugation?
Beatriz: Yes.
Joseph: Okay.
Beatriz: Let’s go. “Dar”.
Joseph: “To give.”
Beatriz: “Yo doy”.
Joseph: “I give.”
Beatriz: “Tú das”.
Joseph: “You give.”
Beatriz: “Él da”.
Joseph: “He gives.”
Beatriz: “Nosotros damos”.
Joseph: “We give.”
Beatriz: “Vosotros dais”.
Joseph: “You all give.”
Beatriz: “Ellos dan”.
Joseph: “They give.” All right, great. And now, if we could come up with a couple of examples to make this easier to remember?
Beatriz: “Él me da la mano”.
Joseph: Okay, “He gives me his hand.”
Beatriz: “Yo le doy mi apoyo”.
Joseph: “I give him my support” or “I give her my support.”
Beatriz: “Él da mucha energía”.
Joseph: In this case, we would say “He gives off a lot of energy.” Well, that’s really great, Bea. That makes it easier to remember. And now, with the irregular second conjugation verb “ver” we see something similar to what we saw with “dar”. With “ver”, the stem is simply the letter “v” and the first person singular has a very interesting form.
Beatriz: ¡Claro!
Joseph: Here we’ll see the ending “eo”, “veo”, and with the verb “ver” in this tense and mood, there are no accents on any of the forms. All right, Bea. Shall we begin?
Beatriz: Okay. “Ver”.
Joseph: “To see.”
Beatriz: “Yo veo”.
Joseph: “I see.”
Beatriz: “Tú ves”.
Joseph: “You see.”
Beatriz: “Él ve”.
Joseph: “He sees.”
Beatriz: “Nosotros vemos”.
Joseph: “We see.”
Beatriz: “Vosotros veis”.
Joseph: “You all see.”
Beatriz: “Ellos ven”.
Joseph: “They see.” Okay. And now, a few examples to really get this to stick. I can say “Veo por donde vas” – “I see where you’re going.”
Beatriz: Yes. And another one, maybe like very figurative “Yo veo el horizonte”.
Joseph: “I see the horizon.” Okay, that’s a good one. So, with ver you have that sense of perception. You can also say “Ya veo”. And that means “I see” or “I understand”, right?
Beatriz: Right.
Joseph: Okay. And now, moving on to the verb “oír”. This one is pretty irregular. In the Infinitive we see that the “i” has an accent, “oír”, and in the first person singular we have a really interesting form “o-i-g-o”. It’s pretty irregular. It doesn’t really follow too many patterns. And there’s an interesting thing that happens with this verb “oír”. The “i” sometimes switches to “oi” and that happens in the second person singular, the third person singular and then again in the third person plural. And in all of the other cases, except for the first person singular, the “i” is accented. Okay. Beatriz, can we run through this conjugation?
Beatriz: Of course. “Oír”.
Joseph: “To hear.”
Beatriz: “Yo oigo”.
Joseph: “I hear.”
Beatriz: “Tú oyes”.
Joseph: “You hear.”
Beatriz: “Él oye”.
Joseph: “He hears.”
Beatriz: “Nosotros oímos”.
Joseph: “We hear.”
Beatriz: “Vosotros oís”.
Joseph: “You all hear.”
Beatriz: “Ellos oyen”.
Joseph: “They hear.” Okay. And Beatriz, if you would be so kind and give us a couple of examples with the verb “oír”.
Beatriz: “Yo oigo un ruido”.
Joseph: Okay. “I hear a noise.” That’s a good one. We could also say “¿Me oyes?”.
Beatriz: That’s right.
Joseph: Right. “Do you hear me?”
Beatriz: Yes. “Tú oyes la música”.
Joseph: Okay, “You hear the music.” And we can also mention as we’re explaining this that “oír” and “escuchar” have similar meanings. “Escuchar” means “to listen”, while “oír” means “to hear”.
Beatriz: Yes, “to hear”. And this comfortable word “oído”. “El oído” is “the ear”.
Joseph: That’s right, “oído” is “ear.” And another really useful word to learn as long a we’re looking at the verb “oír” is “oye” and we don’t translate that as “Hear”, but as “Hey.” And “oye” is the informal command and the formal command is “oiga”. And, again, it means “Hey.”.
Beatriz: Yes. It’s pretty interesting, right?
Joseph: It is. Bea, yet again, this has been another great lesson.
Beatriz: Sí, ya hemos estudiado varios usos en el tiempo presente.
Joseph: Yes, and by studying all of these different usages, we’re starting to get a bigger picture of the possibilities of this tense.
Beatriz: Claro. Sure.


Joseph: All right. Now, be sure to check out the regional series, where you get lessons coming from Madrid, Spain, with David and Megan, and from San José, Costa Rica, with Natalia and Carlos.
Beatriz: Gracias por acompañarnos y ya nos estamos enviando. And don’t forget to leave us a post.
Joseph: Show us some love in the forum. See you soon!
Beatriz: See you soon!
Joseph: ¡Hasta luego!
Beatriz: Bye bye!




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Saturday at 6:30 pm
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Thanks to Kevin MacLeod for the music used in today's lesson. So, in today's lesson, we cover the verbs "dar", "ver" and "oír". Now, who can translate the following sentences? 1) Give me a coffee. (using the Present Indicative as a command*) 2) I see you. 3) You hear me, but you don't listen to me. ¡Suerte!

Wednesday at 11:44 am
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Hola Mike,

You can use both to loan and borrow.

Sigue practicando,


Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 6:27 am
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Would not pedir prestado be a better phrase to mean, to borrow, rather than using prestar for both to loan and borrow?

JP Villanueva
Thursday at 11:52 pm
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"La camisa" is feminine singular, so the pronoun you want is "la."

Llévala. (Wear it.)

"el cuarto" is masculine singular, so the pronoun you're looking for is "lo."

Límpialo. (Clean it.)

JP Villanueva
Thursday at 11:44 pm
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Sorry for the confusion. That accent over the /a/ in "dame" above is incorrect; it shouldn't be there. Good catch!

Thursday at 10:58 pm
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:lol: HOW DO YOU SAY (LLEVAR ) LA CAMISA? Would it be llevalo?


(Limpiar) el cuarto would that be Limpilos? or something like that?


Monday at 1:45 am
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why do you place an accent above 'a' in 'dáme'? mandatory or a way of emphasizing


Monday at 1:24 am
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I'm not completely sure if we can make a clear-cut distinction between Iberian and Latin American Spanish here, with regards to the placement of the pronoun, which we can also call the decision to use or not use "proclitics" (pronoun before the verb) or "enclitics" pronoun attached to the end of the verb.

From my experience in Latin America the proclitic pronoun is very common: "ella me llamó" (she called me), "me da" (give me...indicative mood with the value of a command)...instead of the imperative "dáme". The thing is, when we don't just express an action with one verb, but with a number of verbs (in a periphrastic construction like "I'm going to go to bed) the pronoun can sometimes participate in the action of more than one verb.

For example, "me voy a acostar" is what I'd say to a family member when I'm actually about to go to bed, but I would say "voy a acostarme" as a way of excusing myself from a situation; maybe in English something like "I need to go bed". But the placement of the pronoun before the first verb of the perisphrastic construction can also participate in the action of the verb "voy", "me voy" (I'm out of here".

What we were trying to get at in this lesson was that this preference of proclisis over enclisis is so strong that you can even see it commands, where we often say "me da" instead of "dáme". Imagine you're making plans with a friend and you want her to call you so that you can pick her up, you could say "me das una timbrada y te recojo" (give me a ring and I'll pick you up).

Maybe Megan knows if this happens in Spain?

Sunday at 5:25 pm
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Thank you for your explanation.

Of course the Portuguese. I think that will occur sometimes.

pero: I mixed it up not only with the Portuguese "mas" but also with "más", which means "more" in Spanish ("mais" in Portuguese).

Concerning the placement of the pronouns, there are in some cases two alternatives, if I understand you right. You can put it or before or after the verb. (your examples 2 and 3).

Is there any difference in the usage between Iberian and Latin American Spanish?

Sunday at 5:15 am
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Good job, Mariposa. Let me point out a couple of things. First, your translations are almost flawless. In Spanish, the word “mas” is very, very formal, if not altogether antiquated. In order to say “but”, we tend to say “pero”. Sounds like a little Portuguese leaking through. :wink:

As for the placement of pronouns, we can think about them this way: They are must always placed before the verb, except when they are added to 1) a verb in the infinitive, 2) a gerund or 3) a verb in the imperative.

For example:

Susana me dió su número de teléfono. (Susana gave me her phone number)

Susana, dáme tu número de teléfono. (Susana, give me your phone number.)

Susana va a darme su número de teléfono. (Susana is going to give me her phone number.)


Susana me va a dar su número de teléfono. (Susana is going to give me her phone number.)

Susana está dándome su número de teléfono. (Susana is giving me her phone number.)

Susana me está dando su número de teléfono. (Susana is giving me her phone number.)

Whenever a pronoun is fused to a gerund, there is always a graphic accent.

Does this help? Can anyone think of more examples following these rules?

Saturday at 11:12 pm
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Voy a tentar

1. Me da un café, por pavor.

2. Yo te veo.

3. Tú me oyes, mas no me escuchas.

I would like to know a little bit more about the position of the pronouns, "me", "te" etc. Are there any rules when you put them before and when after the verb?