The world is a strange and scary place right now.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s life has changed. Businesses and schools are closing, many people aren’t working, and we’re all trying to stay healthy.
Every day, we hear instructions to help keep us safe. Let’s look at some of the information experts have given us.
Wash your hands
Every time you come home, wash your hands for 20 seconds. If you don’t know how long 20 seconds is, sing a song to help you remember.
Cover your mouth
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth! But be careful—don’t use your hands. If you do, you’ll spread your germs. Instead, cough or sneeze into your arm (the inside of your elbow).
Practice social distancing
To stop the spread of COVID-19, practice social distancing. This means that you should always be about 6 feet (1.8 metres) away from other people.
Self-isolate after traveling
If you’ve traveled anywhere recently, self-isolate for 14 days. Basically, you need to stay home, away from other people, just to make sure you’re not sick. If you don’t have any symptoms after 14 days, you’re probably okay.
Do not touch other people
It can be hard to know when someone has COVID-19; sometimes, they might not have any symptoms. So, while we are in the middle of this crisis, do not touch other people! When you avoid touching, you help protect yourself and others.
Never gather in large groups
This one is about social distancing: Never gather in large groups. Large groups of people make it easy for the virus to move from one person to another.
Don’t buy more than you need
Everyone wants to be prepared. But don’t buy more supplies than you need! If you buy too many cleaning supplies or medications, for example, there might not be enough for other people. Let’s make sure everyone gets what they need so we’re all protected.
What did you notice about the instructions above?
They’re in the imperative form.
This form is commonly used for instructions or orders.
So, how do you use it? Well, it’s actually pretty simple.
How to use the imperative
For affirmative instructions, just begin with a base verb. You don’t need a subject.
- Stay home.
- Sing a song.
- Cover your mouth.
- Practice social distancing.
- Self-isolate after travelling.
Negative instructions need to begin with “do not,” or “don’t,” or even “never.” The rest is the same.
- Do not touch other people.
- Never gather in large groups.
- Don’t buy more supplies than you need.
In both positive and negative instructions, you can add “please” to the beginning or end. This will make your instructions more polite. However, if your instructions are really serious or important, using “please” might not be needed.
Listen to the Experts
In times like these, it’s important to stay calm and think clearly. Listen to the experts’ instructions to protect yourself and others!