Medical Spanish formal Commands - how to give orders in Spanish

Usted and Medical Spanish Formal Commands

Usted formal Medical Spanish Commands

Healthcare workers learning Spanish need to get comfortable with Spanish formal commands.

Whether you’re giving hand washing instructions, talking about how to take medications, or simply directing someone to follow you, you’re going to use Spanish formal commands.

Usted is the subject that you use day in and day out with your adult patients. So, usted is the verb form you always want to use with formal Spanish commands as well.

Often times, my students ask me if using commands in Spanish is rude (and they don’t want to sound bossy); but it’s really no different sounding than in English. If you say: “wash your hands for at least 30 seconds”, you’re using a command in English. Unless you have super aggressive tone, no one will interpret that as bossy. This is the same with Spanish. You can use usted commands confidently and not be concerned about offending others. If you feel the need, you can of course always add a “por favor” in there.

Here is our Video Viernes lesson on Spanish formal commands:

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see all of our lessons and get the latest videos right away!

Now let’s get back to hand washing. You can use the verb “lavar las manos” or “lavarse las manos”. Technically, the reflexive form isn’t required, but in practice it’s super common. So how will you use the formal command in Spanish?

  • lavar las manos antes de comer (lave las manos antes de comer)
  • lavarse las manos después de tocar carne cruda. (Lávese las manos después de tocar carne cruda)
  • no lavarse las manos… (No se lave las manos…) REMEMBER: the reflexive pronoun goes before the verb in the negative.

Irregular Spanish formal commands:

Of course there has to be a handful of irregular verbs for every tense. We have a few of the usual suspects with this tense, but honestly there are very few irregulars, most are just based off the yo form of the present tense. Here are a few common irregulars:

  • Haber (a form of to be that is usually “there is”) > Haya, no haya
  • Ir (to go) > Vaya, no vaya
  • Saber (to know) > Sepa, no sepa
  • Ser (to be) > Sea, no sea
  • Dar (to give) > Dé, no dé
  • Estar (to be) > Esté, no esté

Here is a little song we recorded onto Youtube a few years ago for the irregular Spanish formal commands. Some people like it, others think it’s scary :).

Here is a list of verbs that the family medicine residency identified during their conversational practice time:

  • Agarrar – grab
  • Apretar – squeeze
  • Dejar de (verb) – stop (bad habit)
  • Doblar – bend
  • Empujar – push
  • Enseñar / Mostrar – show
  • Extender – extend
  • Girar – turn
  • Hacer gárgaras – gargle
  • Jalar – pull
  • Mantener el aire – hold your breath
  • Moverse – scoot
  • Oprimir – press
  • Parar de (verb) – stop (action)
  • Poner – put
  • Provocar – trigger, provoke, cause
  • Pujar – bear down
  • Respirar profundo – breathe deeply
  • Sentarse – sit down/up
  • Virarse – roll over

Use this quizlet vocabulary below to learn common Usted Medical Spanish Commands!

Other Posts in this Medical Spanish Verb Tenses Series

That’s it for this post. If you’re working on learning medical Spanish, we’ve got the tools for you!

1 thought on “Usted and Medical Spanish Formal Commands”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Browse Store
Learning Medical Spanish Facebook Group

Most Fridays Rory publishes a free medical Spanish video lesson to help you speak better Spanish. Would you like us to notify you?

Message and data rates may apply. We’ll keep message frequency to a minimum. Reply HELP for help. Reply STOP to unsubscribe from SMS messages. View Terms and Privacy Policy


Keep an eye out for weekly messages from Rory Foster [email protected] with your free weekly lessons! Ps. We don't share your email with anyone.

Make sure you're on the Crash Course list for updates!

We're happy to keep you posted!

Message and data rates may apply. We’ll keep message frequency to a minimum. Reply HELP for help. Reply STOP to unsubscribe from SMS messages. View Terms and Privacy Policy

Usted Commands for Medical Spanish Lesson Download...

Scroll to Top