Tú Commands in Spanish for Healthcare and Clinical Interactions with Young Patients
Medical Spanish Tú commands are a little bit tricky. When you work with kids in the clinical setting, you use commands all the time. Simple things like: “open your mouth”, “say ah”, “follow my finger”, etc are all commands.
The tricky part of Tú commands in Spanish is that the affirmative (+) command is formed differently than the (-) command. In this lesson, you will learn how to use (+) and (-) Tú commands in Spanish. Enjoy!
In this free Medical Spanish lesson you will learn:
- Affirmative and Negative Tú command tense endings for -AR, -ER & -IR verbs
- Reflexive verbs in the imperative
- Irregular Tú commands
Here is the Tú Commands for Medical Spanish lesson that I taught on YouTube and to our Facebook group:
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Mandatos Tú – Tú Commands
In our last lesson, we talked about commands in Spanish also, but using the “Usted” command form. Today, we are going to talk about the commands with “Tú” and when to use it with your Spanish-speaking patients.
To be honest, using the imperative with the “tú” form is a little bit more complicated that the “usted” form, and this is because the affirmative and the negative forms and totally different.
Ejemplos del Imperativo (informal) – Examples of the Imperative (informal)
|Toma asiento por favor||Take a seat, please|
|Espera aquí y te llamamos pronto||Wait here, we’ll call you soon|
|No comas por 12 horas antes de la cirugía||Don’t eat for 12 hours before the surgery|
|Bebe mucha agua con este medicamento||Drink a lot of water with this medication|
|Sube las escaleras con la pierna buena primero||Go upstairs with the good leg first|
|No resistas la presión que aplico||Don’t resist the pressure that I’m applying|
|Acuéstate boca arriba por favor||Lie down on your back, please|
|Lávate las manos varias veces por día||Wash your hands several times a day|
|Quítate los zapatos y la chaqueta pero no te quites los pantalones|
ni la camisa por favor
|Take off your shoes and jacket, but please keep your pants and shirt on|
As you can see, in the “tú” form, the verbs don’t follow an obvious normal conjugation rule. So let’s find out how you can use them in EL IMPERATIVO.
Tú Command Tense Endings
The affirmative “tú” command is pretty easy to form. You just need to conjugate the verb in the third person of the singular and use it as a command
(+) Tú command = 3a persona singular (forma “Él, Ella, Usted”). ex. “habla” , “respira”, “come”, etc.
However, the negative command is more complicated to create. You need to use the usted commands plus and “s”.
For the Usted Command, remember you need to follow 3 simple rules:
- Go to the “yo” form of the present tense.
- Drop the “o”
- Add the opposite ending
- -AR > e
- -ER & -IR > a
(-)Tú command = Usted Command + “s”.
Let’s apply the Tú affirmative command rule to the verb RESPIRAR (to breathe)
- Respirar (To breathe): Él, Ella, Usted: Respira
- Tú command: Respira, por favor (breathe, please).
And now let’s take a look at the negative command:
- (-)Tú command = Usted Command + “s”.
- Usted command: No respire
- Tú command: No respires
As we did in our past lesson, we are going to use the verbs COMER (to eat) and RESISTIR (to resist) as examples.
1. Affirmative Tú Command
- Comer (To eat): Él, Ella, Usted: Come
- Tú command: Come, por favor (Eat, please).
- Resistir (To resist): Él, Ella, Usted: Resiste
- Tú command: Resiste, por favor (Resist, please).
2. Negative Tú Command
- Usted command: No coma / resista
- Tú command: No comas / resistas
Verbos reflexivos en el imperativo – Reflexive Verbs in the Command Form
In the affirmative form, the reflexive “te” is going to get attached at the end.
Afirmativo > “te” al final
But in the negative form, the “te” is added before the verb.
Negativo > “te” antes
Tú…No te sientes
As you may see, getting the negative commands require more steps to follow 🙂
Verbos -car, -gar, -zar en el imperativo
-car, -gar, -zar Verbs change depending on if we are using or not the Usted command.
Let’s see how it works:
- Buscar (to look for) car > que
- (+) Tú: busca
- (-) Tú: no busques (it is related to the usted command)
- Pagar (to pay): gar > gue
- (+) Tú: paga
- (-) Tú: no pagues
- Empezar: -zar > -ce
- (+) Tú: empieza
- (-) Tú: no empieces
Verbos irregulares en el imperativo – Irregular Verbs in the Command Form
Here we are going to try something different. Do you know Vin Diesel? Yes, him! No, no! I’m not crazy, I promise 😉
Now, imagine a German talking about how many guns Vin Diesel has…
Ven – Di – Sal – Haz – Ten – Ve – Pon
|To come||Venir||Ven||No vengas|
|To say / tell||Decir||Di||No digas|
|To go out||Salir||Sal||No salgas|
|To do / make||Hacer||Haz||No hagas|
|To have||Tener||Ten||No tengas|
|To go||Ir||Ve||No vayas|
|To put||Poner||Pon||No pongas|
Su tarea – Your Homework
- Review the notes & vocabulary
- Identify additional points and topics to discuss with patients
- Let me know if you need help 🙂
- Remember to keep it simple if you need to
- Ask for help in the comments below
- Give it a try with your patients!
Now it’s your turn! I packaged all of this vocabulary in Spanish into some flashcards for you to study.
I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes–Get your copy for free today!
Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!
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