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How to use “commander” (to order) in French

How to use “commander” (to order) in French

In today’s lesson, we’ll have a look at the verb commander, which means “to order” as in the context of ordering food at a restaurant or ordering an item online. Students often confuse this verb with ordonner, which the French use in the context of giving orders (e.g., do this, do that!). The example sentences will make everything very clear!


to order

Commander = to order in French

Commander – to order

Word origin

According to, the modern French verb commander (to order) comes from commendo in Latin, meaning to entrust and to commit.

Example sentences

The most common usage of commander in French is “to order” as in to order food or a meal. You cannot use the verb ordonner in this context. We’ll cover that verb below.

Êtes-vous prêts à commander ? – Oui, je prends une crème brûlée, s’il vous plaît.

Are you ready to order? – Yes, I’ll have a crème brûlée, please.

Use commander for ordering or buying things online. This is example sentence is a little plug for my posts covering best French books for learning French and best French grammar books, which you can commander en ligne (order online)!

Je commande les livres pour apprendre le français en ligne.

I order the books for learning French online.

This example sentence uses the grammatical construciton commander à quelqu’un de faire quelque chose (to order somebody to do something).

Le professeur commande à l’enfant de lire la phrase.

The teacher orders the child to read the sentence.

Finally, the French use the verb ordonner in the context of giving orders. The grammatical construction is: ordonner a quelqu’un de faire quelque chose (to order somebody to do something).

Le commandant d’escadron ordonne au soldat de faire son lit.

The squadron leader orders the soldier to make his bed.


Et voilà ! You now have a much better understanding of how to use commander (to order) in French. Now check our another lesson which covers the confusing verb déménager (to move, to move out).

Je commande la pizza. I’m ordering the pizza.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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