This thesis is situated in the field of contrastive pragmatics and compares the syntactic realizations of equivalent directive speech acts in English and German. The term directive speech act is being used in a more narrow sense than intended by Searle (1975).Dramatic plays are used as data source for the original language and the translation into the other language. The four texts are Brechts “Mutter Courage und Ihre Kinder“, Dürrenmatts „Die Physiker“, Osbornes „Look Back in Anger“, and Leighs „Abigail‘s Party“.The central questions of this study are: Which forms are available in each language? Which specific function does a form fulfill in the system of each language? How do forms correspond across languages?In general, realizations as regular sentences, irregular sentences and non-sentences are possible. In the case of regular sentences, the subcategories imperative, declarative, yes-no interrogative, and wh-interrogative are possible in both languages. German also offers the adhortative and the infinitive. There are remarkable differences in terms of frequencies for these types.In general, German and English behave rather similar in their use of the clause types. The detailed qualitative description of specific examples constitutes the main part of the analysis and answers the following questions: which forms occur as equivalences? Under which conditions can declaratives and interrogatives be used directively?Non-sentences also play an important role. Formal categories, however, are not helpful; hence the utterances were grouped according to functional aspects. These are: propositional content, relationship between speaker and hearer, and illocutionary force.