Commands- telling people what to do – are very useful things for language learners – both because in most languages they are often simple and short and therefore relatively easy to learn, and also because using a command can get things done!
To give a command to an individual person, put -p at the end of the
verb, if it is preceded by a vowel.
But if there is a consonant before it, the p disappears. (Of course, you may already have noticed that a command does not end with the verb-final -in.)
After a vowel:
After a consonant there is no p
To give a command to two or more people, use -wa, which loses the w and becomes -a after a consonant.
The suffixes you just learned, -p and -wa / -a, are used if you are telling someone to do something right now.
But if you are telling someone to do something at some later time, there are different suffixes that you put in before -p or -wa / -a. -sy and -kuton (either one can be used without changing the basic meaning) are used before the imperative if you want someone to do something at some future time.
Drink! Command to one person to do an action now
Come eat! Command to one person to do an action now
Command to more than one person to do an action later
Get out! Command to more than one person to do an action later
Eat! (e.g. when you get there)
Listen! (e.g. when you go to class) Command for one person to do an action later
(e.g. when I do it) Command for more than one person to an action later
(-p does not show up because of rule 2) màhwó:k’úton!
Clap your hands!
(e.g. after he sings) Command for more than one person to an action later
(following rule 4 for -wa) ʔỳhjo’e:k’utonnà!
Be careful! (plural ie: when you get there) Command for more than more than one person do to an action later