From the moment you start comprehending language, the first few things you start understanding are commands. These instructions are said in what is known as the imperative verb or the ‘imperatif’ as known in French.
It could range from giving advice on picking an outfit to making a polite request for keeping quiet to expressing a desire about an ambition and maybe recommending a film. Our world is indeed surrounded by imperatives. Let’s indulge a bit further.
Rules of Imperative Verb
1.The subject pronouns – Je (I), Tu (You), Il/Elle/On (He/She/One), Nous (We), Vous (You: Formal/Plural), Ils/Elles (They), are eliminated from the sentence and only object pronouns are employed instead – me/moi (me), la (her/it) and leur (them).
2.The forms that are commonly used are Tu, Vous and at a lower frequency rate Nous. However, only their indicative forms are mentioned and not them.
|Verbs Ending in -er|
|Verbs Ending in -ir|
|Verbs Ending in -re|
Prenons un taxi! (Let’s take the taxi)
Parle moi! (Talk to me)
* By now you must be well versed with conjugation and so aware of the fact that Tu has infinitive ending with -s. However, in imperative that rule isn’t followed as can be observed with ‘aime’ or ‘parle’. The -s only makes entry in imperative when the verb is followed by ‘y’ or ‘en’.
Some Bonus Information
Irregular verbs as usual have their own forms. Let’s look at one below:
|Imperative Form of Savoir|
* Without the presence of ‘en’ or ‘y’, Tu has the ending -s.
A useful trick to remember is think ‘affir’ as after, since they sound similar and remember that object pronouns come after the verb. And the negative will be opposite.
There are chances when both direct – le, la, les and indirect – moi, toi, nous, vous, lui, leur are there. Here, the direct object pronoun will come first.
Laissez-les m’atteindre! (Let them get to me!)
Affirmative Imperative Commands
Under this concept, the direct object pronouns follow the verb instead of being before it (as it usually is). There is a ‘hyphen’ that separates the two as well.
Regarde-le (chat) (Look at it)
* In this example the object pronoun is le which substitutes for the object of the sentence –le chat.
Negative Imperative Commands
This is the reverse of affirmative where the object pronouns are placed before the verb. The usual structure of ‘ne…pas’ is also used.
S’il-te-plaît, ne me quitte pas! (Please, don’t leave me!)
*In here, me is the object pronoun which comes before the verb infinitive –quitte.
Keep practicing on French Imperative and be confident like a Native French Speaker. You may get connected to our French tutors for reference and guidance.