What are the rules for using the imperative in French?
Hello, my name is Alejandra and the question I'll be answering now is: What are the rules for using the imperative in French?
As we know, the imperative form is used to tell people to do something; maybe we’re giving advice, suggestions, making requests, commands, giving orders or instructions. We use it with TU and VOUS. The imperative form can also be used with NOUS, and it would be the English equivalent to LET’S.
For regular verbs, we’re going to use the same conjugation as in the present tense of the pronouns TU, VOUS and NOUS, except that we’re going to omit the pronouns.
Prends le stylo!
Ne parle pas!
Chantez plus fort!
Lisez le texte.
Ne courez pas!
Faisons nos devoirs.
Ne mangeons pas ici.
With regular verbs ending in -ER, for example DONNER, we will drop the final -S for the pronoun TU.
Tu me donnes le cahier = Donne-moi le cahier.
The verbs ÊTRE and AVOIR have a special conjugation for the imperative form.
Sois à l’heure!
Ne soyez pas en retard!
N’aie pas peur!
N’ayez pas peur!
N’ayons pas peur!
And for pronominal verbs, here are a few examples. The first sentence is in the present tense, and the following two are in the imperative form.
Tu t’assieds = Assieds-toi / Ne t’assieds pas
Vous vous levez à 7 heures = Levez-vous à 7 heures / Ne vous levez pas tard.
Nous nous couchons tard = Couchons-nous tard / Ne nous couchons pas tard.
I hope this helped to clear your doubts. Remember private sessions are also available if you would like one on one learning. Feel free to message me to schedule a session. See you around and have a nice day!