prepare your team

fortifier

Senior Member
Persian
I already know that Prepare your team is an imperative sentence whose original version is something like (You must) prepare your team.
But my question is, I guess, mainly related to the cultural matters and first-hand practical knowledge of language that the native speakers have.
If you see notes like "prepare your team" or "prepare how you work together" jotted down in a notebook or to-do list or as a title of a chapter in a book, could you consider them as shorthand versions of infinite noun phrases such as: (to) prepare your team/ (to) prepare how you work? Is there any chance somebody wrote them in this way just to save time instead of writing, for example, "preparing your team" or that they could be read like a newspaper headline three children killed in horrible car accident?
If you were to write some quick note in a to-do list to meet somebody tomorrow, would you write see Nathan but actually interpreting it as seeing/ to see Nathan?
I hope my question is clear.

Thanks a lot
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Prepare your team" is, as you say, an imperative, and we presumably would interpret it that way in a to-do list or a title.
     

    anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I suppose a "to-do list" sort of implies something like, "I need to..." before the entries. These are typically jotted down as plain infinitives.

    TO DO (I need to...):
    - Prepare the team
    - Meet with Nathan
    - Review contracts
    - Schedule a ride to the airport
    Etc.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you were to write some quick note in a to-do list to meet somebody tomorrow, would you write see Nathan but actually interpreting it as seeing/ to see Nathan?
    You could interpret it as an imperative, i.e, as your notebook (or your past self) giving you an order.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I really don't see how "Prepare your team" could be interpreted in any other way than as an imperative. It is not as if "prepare" exists as a noun, not like something like "Work tomorrow", which could be either an imperative or a noun phrase.

    However, it is so easy to remedy that I cannot imagine anyone not doing it, if an imperative was not meant. There are two obvious options:
    Use a gerund: Preparing your team​
    Use a noun: Preparation of your team​
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think that, like anthox, I'd see the elements in a to-do list as bare infinitives.

    In the end, it doesn't mattter: the imperative and the bare infinitive have the same form.
     
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