1. the story Paco el chato.

A la salida me esperas en la puerta.

To me it seems as if Paco's grandmother is commanding him to wait on her. Yet, the common form "espérame" wasn't used.

This reminds me of the way we use the future tense to give commands in english.

  1. While speaking to a language exchange partner I asked about the feminine form of the word "ratonzote" and she responded:

... podría ser Ratonzota, pero no confundir con Ratota.

Here she used the command used for the general public instead of the tú command " no confundas"

These uses seem strange to me an I can´t make sense of it.

  • You could think of it as being like the English not to be confused with Ratota as opposed to do not confuse with Ratota
    – mdewey
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 13:40
  • 1
    esperame and me esperas are equivalent.
    – DGaleano
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, the present indicative is often used to give orders in informal settings.

You can also use the future indicative. Just like in English:

A la salida me esperarás en la puerta.

This is much more formal. In fact, it sounds harsher than the imperative would.

The infinitive can also be used to express impersonal rules, especially in signs or labels (e.g. "no fumar", "conservar en lugar fresco y seco"). Apart from signs, it can also be used to give orders to multiple people in informal settings ("chicos, no pegarse"), although this usage is discouraged. However, I'd say "no confundir con" is a set phrase, similar to "not to be confused with" in English.

a + infinitive is another informal way to give orders: "A callar".

  • Am I wrong to assume that some of these infinitives are used as abbreviations, especially on signs where space is limited, for phrases like "(favor de) no fumar", or "(tenga la bondad de) no fumar"?
    – cuevero
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 16:22

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