Is it possible to use the structure of a question but to make commands?

Like these ones.

Don't you talk back to me young Landy.

Oh, Don't you worry. I'll be fine.

I have another question.

Can simple present and present continuous also be used as imperative?

You sit right there.

Think about a situation where someone is about to leave but you don't want them to. So you tell them: You sit right there.

Obviously you're not stating a fact that that person is sitting there but you're giving them command.

I have seen this kind of sentences in movies and series a lot(and I mean a lot ).

Am I right about them? If they are not imperative, what are they?

1 Answer 1


Your first two examples don't have the structure of questions. They are imperative. If you are asking whether the meanings can be cast as questions, I can't imagine it.

"You sit right there." is definitely imperative. It's not a continuous form.

You might say "You are sitting right there". That would be continuous, and not imperative. It's not a likely thing to say.

  • 1
    Imperative: "And where will we sit? Let's see … You, Sally! You are sitting right there! Apr 28, 2020 at 0:36
  • Well, with the exclamation point! Still, I'd say that's declarative, with imperative force. Apr 28, 2020 at 1:05
  • I don't know. I'm inclined to say it follows intent more: "Say, Sally … " [gestures with his gun] "I really think you should sit over there …" In both cases, whether accompanied by an exclamation or a subtle implication, a command is being given that's exhorting action. I don't think you can have imperative force (although you can have declarative force). The main thing is if it's a command or not. Apr 28, 2020 at 1:14
  • Agreed, you'd better do it. But maybe that's not grammatically an imperative. Apr 28, 2020 at 1:17
  • According to Practical Grammar, by Maxine Ruviinsky, the imperative mood is "to give a command or request … Note that the subject of the imperative is you, often implied rather than stated." The classic examples are just how it's commonly phrased. But the two variations I gave are still examples of a command or request. Apr 28, 2020 at 1:22

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