French Imperative (L’impératif) Conjugations With Examples

l’imperatif

French imperativeThe imperative is used for making commands or suggestions. It’s formed with the present tense of the tu, nous and vous form of each verb with the subject pronoun getting omitted. For regular ER verbs, IR verbs that are conjugated like ER verbs (ouvrir, couvrir etc) as well as the verb aller the -s is omitted in the tu form. For negation wrap ne pas around the verb.

regular verbs + aller

PARLER TO SPEAK
parle!
parlons!
parlez!
speak!
let's speak!
speak!
ne parle pas!
ne parlons pas!
ne parlez pas!
don't speak!
let's not speak!
don't speak!
FINIR TO FINISH
finis!
finissons!
finissez!
finish!
let's finish!
finish!
ne finis pas!
ne finissons pas!
ne finissez pas!
don't finish!
let's not finish!
don't finish!
VENDRE TO SELL
vends!
vendons!
vendez!
sell!
let's sell!
sell!
ne vends pas!
ne vendons pas!
ne vendez pas!
don't sell!
let's not sell!
don't sell!
OUVRIR TO OPEN
ouvre!
ouvrons!
ouvrez!
open!
let's open!
open!
n'ouvre pas!
n'ouvrons pas!
n'ourez pas!
don't open!
let's not open!
don't open!
ALLER TO GO
va!
allons!
allez!
go!
let's go!
go!
ne va pas!
n'allons pas!
n'allez pas!
don't go!
let's not go!
don't go!

Examples

  • Prends un taxi! Take a taxi.
  • Partez avant midi! Leave before noon!
  • Faites quelque chose! Do something!
  • Allons en France! Let’s go to France!
  • Sortons ce soir! Let’ go out tonight.

être, avoir and savoir

The imperative forms or être (to be), avoir (to have) and savoir (to know) are irregular. Note these forms are actually the same as their respect subjunctive conjugations.

ÊTRE TO BE
sois!
soyons!
soyez!
be!
let's be!
be!
AVOIR TO HAVE
aie!
ayons!
ayez!
have!
let's have!
have!
SAVOIR
sache!
sachons!
sachez!
know!
let's know!
know!

negation

In affirmative commands an object pronoun follows the imperative with a hyphen and the stressed pronouns moi, toi and nous are used. In negative commands me, te and nous precede the verb.

attends-moi! wait for me! ne m'attends pas!don't wait for me!
donne-moigive me!ne me donne pas!don't give me!
aidons-noushelp us! ne nous aidons pas!don't help us!
prêtez-moi!lend me!ne me prêtez pas!don't let me!

reflexive verbs

For reflexive verbs the same system is used. Stressed pronouns follow the verbs with a hyphen in affirmative commands and me, te and nous precede the verbs in negative commands.

SE LEVER TO GET UP
lève-toi!
levons-nous!
levez-vous!
get up!
let's get up!
get up!
ne te lève pas!
ne nous levons pas!
ne vous levez pas!
don't get up!
let's not get up!
don't get up!
SE COUCHER TO TO BED
couche-toi!
couchons-nous!
couchez-vous!
go to bed!
let's go to bed!
go to bed!
ne te couche pas!
ne nous couchons pas!
ne vous couchez pas!
don't go to bed!
let's not go to bed!
go to bed!
SE MARIER TO GET MARRIED
marie-toi!
marions-nous!
mariez-vous!
get maried!
let's get maried!
get maried!
ne te marie pas!
ne nous marions pas!
ne vous mariez pas!
don't get maried!
let's not get maried!
get maried!

Situations were the -s is maintained in the -tu- form

For commands followed by y and en keep the -s in the tu form for regular ER verbs, IR verbs conjugated like ER verbs and aller.

  • Vas-y! go!
  • Manges-en! eat some!
  • Penses-y! think about it!
  • Profites-en! have a good time!
  • Ouvres-en! Open some!
  • Achètes-en! Buy some!
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