The imperative (not to be confused with the infinitive) is the form of the verb used to give commands or make strong requests. English has imperatives too. Compare:
You are nice. (present indicative)
Be nice. (imperative)
So basically you take the same verbs we’ve been working with all along and change their form slightly to indicate that the action in question is one you’re commanding someone to do, not one someone is actually performing.
Here is the formation in Italian:
Notice the noi and voi command forms are identical to the regular present tense ones you’ve learned already. So are the tu forms for all but the –are verbs.
There are no io, lui/lei or loro forms, since you can’t command yourself or people you are referring to rather than directly addressing.
Notice that for the –are verbs, the tu and Lei forms are the reverse of their regular present tense equivalents.
The noi form imperative of any verb is also the equivalent of the English “Let’s” + verb.
To make a negative command (don’t do something), simply put non before the imperative. Tu is the exception. Here use non + infinitive.
You don’t normally use subject pronouns with the imperative.
Paolino, parla piu’ lentamente!
Signora, parli piu’ lentamente per favore.
Ragazzi, non mangiate troppo.
Domenico, non mangiare troppo..