French Imperative Mood

Imperative in French

DEFINITION:

With this mood you express an intention to influence the behaviour of someone else:

  1. Order: Go, go to your bed: Order
  2. Invitation: Let’s go to the park: Invitation
  3. Request: Give me your pen: Request

Here is the video: Click

HOW TO GET IT: French Imperative Conjugation

1.Verbs ending with -er:

From the present tense of the indicative mood you take these 3 forms: Verb to eat (manger). Pay attention, the letter S disappears for the first form in this category of verbs.

Présent IndicativeImperative Mood
Tu mangesMange
Nous mangeonsMangeons
Vous mangezMangez

Mange: Eat
Mangeons: Let’s eat
Mangez: Eat (formal, plural)

There is an exception for the final “s”: With the words y and en we need an S at the end of the verb to make the liaison.

Manges-en
Vas-y

Sometimes it is a T:

va-t-en.

2.Verbs ending with -ir and -re:

Finir: to finish, to end

Imperative
Finis
Finissons
Finissez

Faire: to do, to make

Imperative
Fais
Faisons
Faites

3.Irregular Verbs:

Être: to be
Sois, soyons, soyez

Avoir: to have
Aie, ayons, ayez

Vouloir: to want
Veuille, veuillons, veuillez
Veuillez is useful for polite expressions like:
Veuillez entrer (please, come in)
Veuillez ne pas faire de bruit (please, dont be noisy)

Savoir: to know
Sache, sachons, sachez

4.Reflexive Verbs:

Some verbs are reflexive in French but not in English

To wake up: se réveiller (to wake oneself)

Wake up! Réveille-toi ! Réveillez-vous !
Let’s wake up! Réveillons-nous !

To get up: se lever

Get up! Lève-toi ! Levez-vous !
Let’s get up! Levons-nous !

Make your apologies: Excuse-toi à ton frère!

IDIOMS

We never say “va”  alone we say:

Vas-y: Go!
Allons-y let’s go!
Allez-y: Go!

You may here Allez alone in a soccer stadium to encourage a team.

so, remember that, vas-y or allez-y are the correct translation for Go!

Voyons voir: let’s see!

Voyons voir ce qu’il fait! let’s see what he is doing!
Voyons voir si c’est utile: let’s see if it is useful!

Imperative with pronouns

Don’t talk to them: Ne leur parlez pas
Don’t look to her (him): Ne la (le) regarde pas
Give it to him: Donne-le-lui !

C’est fini!

Next Lesson: French Negative Imperative

French Imperative Image

french imperative mood

French Imperative Quiz:

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6 thoughts on “French Imperative Mood”

  1. Pascal,
    Thank you again!   We weren’t taught to use the Imperative form of “vouloir” for “please”.  And I never understood why the online translator gave me “Veuillez ” with certain sentences.
    I’m only at 3:40 on this video.   I’m hoping to eventually see “Puisse, Puisses, Puissez” (not sure about my spellings here).    I vaguely remember going over it in school, but we didn’t spend a lot of time on it, and I really don’t know how/when to use it.
     
    By the way;  I haven’t been on the internet in the past couple of days due to our cable connection.  It’s working a little better today.   I hope the problem is finally resolved.
     
    Thanks again for this video.  Much appreciated!  🙂
    Denise
     

  2. Thank you so much.can you please  explain the negative imperative and give more examples on the reflexive verbs in this negative Mood, Thank you in advance.
    best regards,
    carol
     

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