In class, we are told that the imperative is impolite, that we should use the conditional when petitioning someone to do something unless we are the boss or the parent or are reciting a recipe.

However, as people are welcoming me into their shops they will often us the command form to say, “Come in.”

I was standing outside the ex-convent watching couples in a dance class. The intensity in trying to learn to move together was captivating. My recollection of dance classes is neither as beautiful nor as tranquil. And so I stood staring while the man at the door urged me to come in. I was tempted, wondering about the music, the words of the instructor, the exchange between the lovers as they learn to be together.

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