This page contains IF commands for various contexts, intended as a checklist for game authors. Note that not every command is appropriate for every game; the fact that something is implemented can actually function as a red herring if it is not relevant to the rest of the game.
Some other types of command not listed on this page to be aware of are:
- Noun specific commands, such as "ring bell" or "vacuum floor". If there is a common use for an object, there is often a specialised verb for that action.
- Commands suggested by the text. If the game says "Oh no! You had better erase this record" the the player might reasonably type "erase record".
- References to unnamed objects. "You feel something crawling across your hand" might provoke a command like "x it/thing/something/crawling", "x thing crawling across hand" or "x thing on hand".
- 1 Animals
- 2 Attachment
- 3 Bathrooms
- 4 Body Actions
- 5 Clothing
- 6 Damage
- 7 Digging
- 8 Doors
- 9 Electronics
- 10 Fire
- 11 Food, Drink and Liquids
- 12 Furniture
- 13 Indoors and Outdoors
- 14 Meta Commands
- 15 Movement
- 16 Non Verbal Communication
- 17 Object Manipulation
- 18 Plants
- 19 Rope
- 20 Time and Waiting
- 21 Water and Swimming
- pat/pet/scratch animal
- play with animal, tickle animal, hug animal
- feed animal, give/show food to animal
- hit/kick animal
- catch/capture/chase animal
- throw ball/stick [for animal]
- pick up animal
- throw animal at/over/onto something, throw animal direction
- get on/off animal, ride/mount animal, dismount [from] animal
- talk to animal, calm animal
- animal, stay/heel/fetch
- animal, stop/woah; animal, go / giddy up
Related objects: body parts (ears, mane, tail, paws ...), leash/chain/collar, saddle/blanket, horse shoes.
- tie/attach/connect something to something
- untie/detach/disconnect something [from something]
- glue/stick/fix/affix something to something [with glue]
- press something on/against something (if one of the objects has glue on it or is sticky)
- pin/staple/clip something to something
- pull/tear/rip out/off something [from/out of something], remove something [from something]
TO DO ... plenty of suggestions in this thread.
See also 'Non Verbal Communication.
- dance [on something], dance [[over] to/toward[s] something], dance type-of-dance (waltz, etc.)
- jump/leap [on/onto/in/into/through/over/across/down something]
- jump/leap in the air, jump up and down
- stamp foot, stamp/stomp/step/tread on/stand on something, squash/squish something
- [go to] sleep, [have a] sleep/nap, fall asleep, sleep on something
- wake up, awaken/rouse/wake [up] someone
- breathe [in/out], hold breath
- duck [down], dodge [something]
- fall over/down/off [[on/onto] something], drop to ground/floor
Specific body parts rarely need to be referred to in IF, but "hand[s]" is sometimes a reasonable answer to a disambiguation question (eg. "What do you want to hit him with?").
Possible adjectives are "my" and "<person>'s", or less commonly "left" or "right". It is usually possible to tell from the context whether the player is referring to someone else's body parts or his own (so disambiguation questions about whose body part it is should not normally be required).
Most body parts can be singular or plural.
- hand, fist, finger, fingernail, thumb, pinkie, forefinger
- arm, wrist, elbow, shoulder
- leg, foot, heel, ankle, shin, knee, thigh, toe, big/little toe, toenail
- head, forehead, chin, cheek, face, hair, beard, moustache, scalp
- eye, eyebrow, eyelid, eyelash
- mouth, [upper/lower] lip, tongue, teeth
- nose, nostril
- neck, throat
- chest, torso, stomach, belly, hip
- bottom, bum, rear, behind
- groin etc.
- body, skin
- bones, skull, spine, ribs, rib cage
- dress/undress, get dressed/undressed, strip, disrobe
- wear/don/put on something
- remove/doff/shed/disrobe/take off something
- attack/fight [against]/defeat something [with something]
- kill/murder/exterminate/slaughter/smite/slay something
- strangle/throttle/choke/suffocate something [with something]
- torture something
- hit/thump/punch/pound/pummel/clobber/sock/bash/beat/strike something [with something]
- hit/etc. something against something
- poke/prod something [with something], touch something with something
- bang/hammer [on] something [with something]
- break/smash/shatter/crack/split/bust something [open] [with something]
- break/snap something [with something]
- break something up/apart/off
- break down/through something [with something], knock down something [with something]
- break into/out of something [with something]
- destroy/demolish/damage/wreck something [with something], tear something down
- tear/rip [up/apart] something, tear/remove something from/out of something
- screw up/crumple something
- stamp/stomp/step/jump on/tread on/stand on something [with something] (eg. with foot)
- crush/squash/squish something [with something]
- shoot/fire at something [with something], shoot/fire something at something
- shoot/fire [something] in/into/up/down something (eg. shoot in air, shoot down hole)
- point/aim something at something
- cut/chop/saw [up/down] something [with something]
- slice/slash [at] something [with something]
- cut/slice/chop through something [with something], cut/slice something open
- prune/snip/trim/sever/cut off something [with something]
- pierce/prick/puncture/stab [at] something [with something]
- knock down/over something [with something]
- tackle/wrestle/grapple [with] someone
- ram/headbut something, crash through something
- kick [at] something [with something] (eg. kick door with foot/boot)
- kick down/in something [with something]
- bite/nip/chew/gnaw/nibble [on/at] something
- slap/spank/smack something [in/on something] [with something]
- pinch something
- scratch/scrape something [with something]
- bend/unbend/straighten something
- fix/repair/mend something [with something]
All of the following can include a digging instrument as well: "with shovel/hands".
It is easiest to disallow more than one hole in the same location.
See also the Digging IFWiki page.
- dig [hole] [in something]
- dig under something (if something could be buried under it)
- dig through something (eg. clay wall)
- fill [in] hole
- bury something [in hole], put something in hole
- dig up something
Related objects: hole, [pile of] dirt.
A door might be lockable/unlockable without a key, or only from one side.
See also the Doors, locked IFWiki page.
- enter door, go in/through door
- open/lock/unlock door [with key]
- close/shut/slam door
- pick lock with something
- bolt/bar door
- knock/bang/hammer/pound on door [with something], tap/rap on door [with something]
- break down/through door, knock down door, hit/thump/bash door
- pry/prise/prize door [open] with something
- listen to/at door, put ear on/against door
- ring/push/press doorbell
- pull/turn handle
- push/pull door
- look in/through keyhole
- put/poke something in/into/through keyhole
- look/feel under door
- put/slide something under door (eg. key)
- look through door
- use/try door/handle
Related objects: keyhole (key hole), lock, [door] handle, doorbell (door bell, bell, button), knocker, hinges.
- push/press button
- swipe card [through slot], put card in/into slot
- put/hold card near sensor, hold up card
- open/unlock door with card
- type/enter password/"text"
- touch pad, put hand/thumb on pad
- put something in front of/over camera, block camera [with something]
- select/choose something
- flip switch
- switch/turn something on/off
- activate/deactivate something
- attach/connect something to something
- plug in something
- put/plug/insert something in/into socket
- detach/disconnect/unplug something [from socket]
- pull something from | out of/from socket
- turn/change/set something to something (eg. set dial/radio to 101.7)
Related objects: (components, eg. screen (readable), keyboard, controls, plug, cords, wiring).
Recording and Playback
- play tape, press/push play/record/pause/rewind/fast forward [button]
- rewind/fast forward tape
- put/insert tape in/into player, take/remove tape from/out of player
- take photo of something
- point camera at something
Players might use the name of the burning object or just the word "fire", eg. "put out curtain"; "put out fire".
See also the Fire IFWiki page.
- light something [with something]
- burn something, set fire to something
- extinguish/douse something, put/blow something out
- stamp on something, put blanket on/over something, cover something with blanket (to put it out)
- put something in/into fire, pour/empty/throw something on/onto/into/in/over fire
- cook something [on/in/over/with fire]
- hold something over/near fire
- blow on / fan fire/flames [with something]
Related objects: fire/flame[s], smoke, ash, coals, embers, [burning] stick/log.
Food, Drink and Liquids
Players might refer to a container or its contents, eg. "pour bucket" or "pour water".
An implicit "take" action is not always appropriate before eating or drinking something (eg. drinking from a fountain).
Some substances such as sand behave like liquids.
See also the Liquid IFWiki page.
- eat/swallow/taste/bite/lick/suck food
- drink/swallow/taste/sip liquid, drink from something
- take something (eg. pill, medicine)
- put something in/into liquid
- mix something into/with something, add something to something
- stir liquid
- pour/empty [out] liquid [in/into/on/onto/over something]
- spill something on something (rare)
- fill [up] something with liquid, fill [up] something from something (eg. from fountain)
- put container in/under something (eg. waterfall)
- put liquid in something
- transfer liquid to something
Related objects: food (as a collective noun).
Some furniture has an obvious use, eg. "sleep" could perform an implicit "lie on bed" if a bed is present.
- sit/stand/lie [down] on something
- open/close something [door] (eg. cupboard door)
- open/close [top/bottom/first/second/third] drawer
- lock/unlock something [with key], pick lock [with something]
- look in/on/under/behind desk, search desk
- feel under desk, feel/reach behind drawer (may not be a fair puzzle)
- take/remove/pull out drawer
- push/pull/move something [direction]
- push/pull/move something near/next to/under/over [to] something
- break/destroy something
- look in mirror, examine reflection
Indoors and Outdoors
In some systems, "<direction> wall" objects automatically exist in every location, which causes problems outdoors (and has a side effect of all indoor rooms being octagonal -- there is a "northwest wall", etc.). There is a similar issue with the roof/ceiling.
Some locations (such as outer space) may not require a floor/ground, either.
Related objects: sky, sun/moon, clouds, sunset, walls (as a collective object).
Some games treat "look", "examine" and/or "inventory" as free commands (ie. taking no game time to perform).
See the Meta-command IFWiki page for a list of standard meta commands.
- about, info, credits
- help, hint[s]
- what/who/where is ...
- winnable (check if the game is currently finishable)
- review ("free look" for something already examined)
- note[s] (in-game notepad)
- record/replay (traditionally debug only commands, but may be useful for players as well)
If a "go to" command is introduced, it could either teleport the PC directly to the destination, or move one step towards the destination each turn (requiring another command like "continue" or another "go to" to move one step closer). PC knowledge (of the geography) and locked doors (which were not locked when the PC last passed through them) can make "go to" commands more complicated.
- [go/walk/run/head] direction (eight compass directions + in/out/up/down)
- exit/leave [location], go in/into/out of location, go/walk/run away [from something]
- enter [location] (name of an adjacent room)
- go [back] to location, [go] back (to previous location)
- continue (if "go to" moves one step at a time towards the destination)
- follow/chase/catch/capture someone, go/run after someone, go with someone
- approach something, go/head/move toward[s]/near [to] something, go/move near [to] something
- go/head/move/back away [from something]
- cross [over] something
- climb/scale [up/down] something, climb over something (eg. a wall)
- climb [up/down/over] to something (eg. a ledge)
- climb on/onto something
Non Verbal Communication
- cry/weep/wail/bawl/sob, shed tear
- laugh/giggle/snigger/snicker/cackle [at something]
- nod [head], shake head
- smile/grin/grimace/frown [at someone]
- wink [at someone], blink
- raise eyebrow[s]
- bow/curtsy [to someone]
- salute [someone]
- beckon/summon someone, call to someone, call someone over, get someone's attention
- wave at/to someone
- wave something [around / in the air]
- point at/to/toward[s] something
- point something at/toward[s] something, point at something with something
- point [something] direction
Remember to think about what happens if the player uses "all", eg. "take all". Also decide whether to allow propositional phrases for object locations, eg. "take all from under couch"; "take ball on table". TADS 3 handles some of this automatically, but Inform does not.
Pushing, Pulling and Turning
- move/push/pull/shove/drag/shift something [direction]
- move/etc. something onto/on top of/over/under/below/beneath/through something
- move/etc. something to/over to/up to/close to/next to/toward[s] something
- turn/rotate/twist/unscrew something [clockwise/anticlockwise/counterclockwise]
- turn/rotate something toward[s]/to face something
- pivot/swivel something
- push/pull on something, push down on something
- push/tip something over, overbalance/unbalance/topple something
- pull something out/up (eg. pull out tooth, pull up weed)
- roll something direction, roll something away
- turn something over/around/upside down, flip something [over]
- overturn/capsize something
Few games require these kinds of actions.
- put/bring/hold something near/against/next to/close to something
- put/hold something in/under something, put/hold something underwater
- hold/raise/lift something up/in the air, lower something
- take out/draw something (eg. draw sword)
- put away/sheathe something
Taking, Dropping and Throwing
- take/get/pick up something [from something] [with something] (eg. get coal from fire with tongs)
- (rarer synonyms for "take": purloin/pilfer/swipe/steal/nick/retrieve/acquire/grab/seize/snatch)
- take something back, take something away from someone (rare)
- take something down [from somewhere] (eg. take book down from shelf)
- remove something [from [inside] something] [with something]
- hold/grip/grab [onto / on to] something, hang/cling onto/on to something
- release / let go of something
- drop/put/put down/place/discard/dump/dispose of something [in/into/down/on/onto/on top of something]
- put/hide something in/inside/under/behind something
- hang something on something (eg. hang coat on hook)
- throw/toss/chuck something [out/away]
- throw something at/in/into/down/against/on/onto/over something
- throw something to someone, throw someone something
- throw something direction
- transfer something to/onto/into something
- insert something in/into/inside something
- swap/switch/exchange something and/with/for something (rare)
- replace something with something, put something back (rare)
- bring/carry/take something over/across/in/inside/into/out of something (rare)
- plant something (eg. plant seed), dig something up
- water something
- climb something
- pick/pluck something
- prune/trim something, break off something
- cut/chop/saw [off/down] something
- throw something at/over something (throw stone at fruit; throw rope over branch)
Related objects: branches/sticks, bark, roots, leaves, trunk/stem, fruit, flowers, seeds, nuts.
Rope is a potentially tricky object to implement; for example, different sections could be in different rooms. See this thread for some other issues in implementing a rope.
Rope-like objects include string, chains and vines.
See also the Rope IFWiki page.
- tie rope to something, tie rope around waist/me
- untie rope [from something]
- climb rope
- lasso something with rope
- hit/whip something with rope
- cut rope with something
- pull on rope, pull rope [up], pull up something (thing tied to rope, eg. pull up basket)
- lower rope
- pull something direction (after a rope is tied to it)
- tie/untie knot [in rope]
- tie someone up, tie/bind someone's hands/legs [together], tie someone to something
- swing on rope, swing across/over [to] [something], swing through something
- swing/throw rope to someone (while it is still tied to something)
Time and Waiting
- wait, z, rest, do nothing
- wait for/until something (morning, night/evening, noon/midday, 9:00)
- wait # hour[s]/minute[s]
- wait for person
- time (check the current time)
Water and Swimming
See also Food, Drink and Liquids.
- swim in/across/under/around something, swim direction, swim to/toward[s]/away from something
- swim up/down something (eg. river)
- swim underwater, swim/dive to bottom, hold breath
- dive in/into something
- splash [someone] [with something]
- bathe [in something], wash [something] [in/with something]