Reading time: 3 minutes Difficulty: Beginner
Imagine a world where there are no commands or orders being issued. Well yeah, that’s right, you can’t. Whether you’re the one giving the orders or being given the orders, these things are all inexplicably intertwined with human nature and everyday living.
To issue commands or give instructions, we use the imperative form of the verb. We use the imperative day in and day out, and these words are quite often inescapable – from the moment you wake up until the day ends.
“go to work!”
“shut the door!”
“work on this project”
“meet me at 8”
“turn off the lights”
“go to bed now”
… and so many things in between.
Other uses of the imperative are:
Example for -er verbs: donner
tu —–> donne
nous —–> donnons
vous —–> donnez
Donne-moi ça! (Give me that!)
Note: In the tu form of -er verbs, the last -s is dropped (i.e. donne instead of donnes). But when tu is followed by en or y, the -s remains to make it easier to pronounce. (example: Vas-y! Which means “Go on!” or Donnes-en à ton frère which means “Give some to your brother.”)
Example for -ir verbs: finir
tu —–> finis
Finissez vos devoirs. (Finish your homework.)
Example for -re verbs: attendre
Attendons le bus. (Let’s wait for the bus.)
Quick tip: object pronouns are words such as la (her/it), me or moi (me), and leur (them). These often appear in the object part of the sentence, but in the case of the imperative, these are the pronouns being used.
The verb and the pronoun are then linked together with a hyphen.
Excusez-moi. (Excuse me.)
Aide-nous. (Help us.)
Ne… pas is used in this case.
Ne leur parlons pas. (Don’t speak to them.)
Ne le regardez pas. (Don’t look at him/it.)
Direct object pronouns are: le, la, les
Indirect object pronouns are: moi, toi, lui, nous, vous, leur.
Donnez-la-nous! (Give it to us!)
Prête-les-moi! (Lend them to me!)
|Avoir (to have)||aie||ayons||ayez|
|Être (to be)||sois||soyons||soyez|
|Savoir (to know)||sache||sachons||sachez|
|Vouloir (to want)||veuille||veuillons||veuillez|
A QUICK WRAP UP OF THE TOPIC
Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +