Imperative Game 1
The three characters are at a clinic, but the healthcare provider does not know Spanish, so he or she engages an interpreter. For every sentence the doctor tells the patient, the interpreter interprets. The patient only responds when he or she hears the Spanish translation. The dialogue is as follows:
Doctor: Open your mouth.
Interpreter: Abra la boca.
Doctor: Close your mouth.
Interpreter: Cierre la boca.
Doctor: Breathe deeply.
Interpreter: Respire profundamente.
Doctor: Hold it.
Doctor: Open your eyes.
Interpreter: Abran los ojos.
Doctor: Do not open your eyes.
*Interpreter: No abran los ojos.
Doctor: Close your eyes.
Interpreter: Cierran los ojos.
While the instructions that precede this sentence are simply straightforward with the verb in first position followed by the object, deténgalo follows the rule where unstressed pronouns follow the verb and are written as part of it. The accent is placed on the second “e" to maintain the stress in the right place. In the negative, the pronouns come before the verb and are separate words. Here there is no accent mark on the word “detenga." For example:
Do not hold it – No lo detenga.
*No abran los ojos.
To make the sentence negative, simply place the word “no" before the verb.
The verb “permitir"
Sentence structure using the verb “permitir" takes on a different form. The affirmative sentence still begins with the verb in the imperative form, but this verb is followed by a second verb in the infinitive, followed by the object. Observe this rule as students continue to play the role of doctor, interpreter and patient.
Doctor: Allow me to take your pulse.
Interpreter: Permitame tomarle el pulso.
Doctor: Allow me to take your blood pressure.
Interpreter: Permitame tomarle la presión snguínea.
The indirect object “le" referring to “your" is attached to the infinitive.