How To Give Commands in the Spanish Language Using Vos

How To Give Commands in the Spanish Language Using Vos

Let’s continue talking about how to give commands using “vos” in the Spanish language. In a past lesson, I showed you how to use the command form or imperative form of “vos.” I also mentioned that after hours and hours of research I did not find a single web site that gave the rules and exceptions of how to give commands in Spanish using “vos.”

And I also mentioned that the rules that I am sharing with you are from what I have learned from personal experience. And that after asking several college educated friends in Medellín, who have studied several foreign languages, not one was able to articulate the grammatical rules of giving commands with “vos” because “vos” is not taught in schools any more than how-to-speak-slang is taught in school.

It is something you just happen to learn how to use properly from the time you are child just from being born in a country or vicinity where “vos” is used.

So the only way I could clarify the grammatical rules (and exceptions to the rules) to giving commands with “vos” was by spending months and months in Medellín, Colombia, and always being prepared with a “lapicero y libreta en mi bolsillo,” (pen and pad in my pocket) and listening to Paisas (the ‘gente’ or people of Medellín), and asking them countless questions
such as:

How do you give commands with the verbs “competir,” “hervir,” “gemir,” “preferir,” “morir,” “sugerir,” and other stem changing “ir” verbs until I identified a pattern. And that “pattern” is what I call the grammatical rules, and exceptions to the rules, of giving commands with “vos.”

But before I give you some examples of how to give commands with vos using stem changing “ir” verbsand “irregular” verbs, I want to remind you of the two rules that I gave in my last email about using “vos” with commands:

Regla Número Uno: El imperativo de vos nunca tiene cambios en las raíces de los verbos a menos que sean verbos con raíces cambiadas y “ir” en negativo. That is, the imperative of “vos” never has changes in the stem of a verb unless the verb is a stem changing “ir” verb AND you are using it in the negative.

Regla Número Dos. El negativo es igual que el negativo de tú pero con accento en la última síliba. That is, the the negative is the same as the negative of “tú” but with an accent on the last syllable. But don’t forget the exception to this “regla” or rule that I listed under “Regla Número Uno” that pertains to negative commandsusing stem changing “ir” verbs.

So now let me show you how to use “vos” with stem changing “ir” verbs. If you got yourself a copy of the Verbarrator software, then you already know that in the present tense, stem-changing verbs ending in “ir” are grouped in one of three patterns based on the change in the stem vowel:

e to ie
o to ue
e to i

But that’s NOT the same change that takes place with stem changing “ir” verbs when giving commands with “vos” — in the negative.

When giving negative commands with “vos,” stem changing “ir” verbs make these changes:

o to u
e to i

Let me give you some examples of commands with “vos” using stem-changing “ir” verbs:

competir – competí (compete) – no compitás (don’t compete)
hervir – herví (boil) – no hirvás (don’t boil)
gemir – gemí (moan) – no gimás (don’t moan)
preferir – preferí (prerfer) – no prefirás (don’t prerfer)
morir – morí (die) – no murás (don’t die)
sugerir – sugerí (suggest) – no sugirás (don’t suggest)

Now let me give you some examples of commands with “vos” using irregular verbs:

ser – sé (be) – seás (don’t be)
decir – decí (say) – no digás (don’t say)
tener – tené (have) – no tengás (don’t have)

So that’s what I have discovered about giving commands with “vos” with stem-changing “ir” verbs and irregular verbs. Like I said, you won’t find this in a Spanish grammar book on any web site. It is what I have discovered from months and months of examination and deduction, taking lots of notes, and asking lots of questions.

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