Comer in the Negative Imperative Mood / Tense

Name In Spanish: Imperativo (negación)

The negative imperative mood, as the name suggests, deals with giving commands and orders in the negative form, e.g., Don't eat that mushroom; it's poisonous! (¡No comas esa seta, es venenosa!). Note that the negative imperative deals with very direct commands, most often using only one word plus the negative form (!No Comas!). Unlike the imperative in the affirmative, the negative imperative must be formed using the present subjunctive.

When to use this tense with comer

Direct orders or commands:

No comas con las manos, usa los cubiertos.

Prohibitions or restrictions:

No comas dulces antes de cenar.

No comas en la habitación.

Warnings about undesired behavior:

No comas con la boca abierta.

No comas tan rápido.

Negative tips:

No comas demasiado antes de ir a dormir.

No comas alimentos muy grasos.

Abstention suggestions:

No comas productos lácteos si eres intolerante a la lactosa.

No comas carne si eres vegetariano.

Read a dialog with comer in the Negative Imperative Tense

As ever with this website, the focus is on practice rather than trying to get your head around the grammar. Below is a little dialog that uses the negative imperative in the context of an everyday situation that you may be involved in. For more practice and reading, you can visit the Negative Imperative Practice Page to see more examples of using comer in the negative imperative.

Mini Dialog for the Tense

Sentados a la mesa, comenzando a comer.

Sitting at the table, starting to eat.

Juan:   ¡No comáis! ¡Está ardiendo!

Don't eat! It's burning!

Jorge:   No comas tú Juan, para mí la sopa está bien de temperatura.

Don't eat Juan, for me the soup is at the right temperature.

Juan:   Pues yo me he abrasado la lengua.

Well, I've burnt my tongue.

Jorge:   Tu eres muy sensible, a nosotros nos gusta que la sopa esté bien caliente.

You are very sensitive, we like our soup to be very hot.

Conjugation chart for comer in the Negative Imperative tense

Below are all the conjugations for the negative imperative mood. Notice how they use the present subjunctive to form the conjugation?! Visit tables and charts page to see all the tenses and moods in table form. You might notice that there are no conjugations for the pronouns 'yo', 'el/ella', 'ellos / ellas', as the recipient of a command is always understood as 'you', even when self-talking to yourself to do something, where the tú form is used. The only exception here is giving 'we' commands, e.g. Let's not eat! (¡No comamos!)

¡No comas!(you) Don't eat!
¡No comas!(voseo) Don't eat!
¡No coma!(formal - you) Don't eat!
¡No comamos!Let's not eat!
¡No comáis!(you all) Don't eat!
¡No coman!(formal - you all) Don't eat!

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