Glossary: command


A label for the main use (or discourse function) of an imperative clause. For example, Close the door! is an imperative clause which would typically be used to instruct the hearer to do (or not do) something.

Clause types and discourse functions

In this activity we will look at text examples drawn from our corpus and think about the clause types used within the extracts (for example, declarative, imperative, interrogative or exclamative clauses).

Click on the interactive whiteboard icon (top right) and work through the following slides with students. Read each extract and analyse it by answering the accompanying questions. After each extract, there are some suggestions and pointers.

Politeness and directness

This task is about using verbs and modal verbs in different ways. We all know that people can be direct or indirect in the ways they phrase things. We often use imperative forms to give instructions, but sometimes these might be seen as too direct and blunt. We sometimes soften them with modal verbs, among other tools.

Politeness and directness: Activity

Try to make the following expressions less direct. Compose alternative sentences for each one.

  1. Shut the window.
  2. Tell me your name.
  3. Stop talking.

What changes did you make to render the expressions less direct? 

Now, make the following expressions more direct. Compose an alternative sentence for each example.

Word salads (primary)

In this lesson, students arrange words on the smart board in order to create acceptable sentences.


  • Use implicit grammatical knowledge to arrange word tiles on a smart board into sentences.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will arrange words to make sentences. All of the example sentences here have been drawn from our corpus.

Word salads (primary): Commands activity



Y2 GPaS Test: Question, command, statement or exclamation

Indicate whether each sentence is a question, command, exclamation or statement (punctuation has deliberately been left out):


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