Asked in
Grammaire Francaise

How do you form the imperative for French verbs?


User Avatar
Wiki User
June 23, 2012 3:43PM

The imperative is formed by taking the form of the present of the indicative, and removing the pronoun "tu", "vous" or "nous" ("you" singular, "you" plural or "we")


Tu viens - Vous venez - Nous venons ---> Viens ! Venez ! Venons !

Tu donnes - Vous donnez - Nous donnons ---> Donne ! Donnez ! Donnons !

Tu prends - Vous prenez - Nous prenons ---> Prends ! Prenez ! Prenons !

Difficulty: for first group verbs (the 'er' verbs), take out the final 's' of the 'tu' form.

I.e.: present 'Tu aimes' > imperative 'Aime !'

Same rule for the following verbs : ouvrir, offrir, souffrir, cueillir, aller et savoir.

Except if it is followed by the pronoun or adverb 'en' or 'y', for spelling reasons, you add the "s" for the "tu" form.

Example :

Va te coucher ! (Go to bed!) but Vas-y ! (Go!)

Cueille des fleurs ! (Pick some flowers!) but Cueilles-en ! (Pick some!)

Precision: Some verbs have specific forms for the imperative, such as:

Assoir - Tu t'assoies ---> Assieds-toi !

Both forms exist for the present but the usage is to use the "Tu t'assoies" form for the present and "Assieds-toi" for the imperative.

Tu t'assieds is used when the order is implied (a kind of informal imperative) : Tu t'assieds et tu te tais ! (You sit down and you shut up!).

When in doubt, search online for "conjugaison du verbe " + [verb]. See link.