The imperative present in French

French lesson 9 of conjugation: the imperative present in French

Imperative present in French

Knowing the imperative present in French is very important. The imperative will allow you to give:


- instructions,
- advices,
- directives.

The imperative can only be used with only three personal subject pronouns: tu (singular you), nous (we) and vous (plural you or polite singular you). The video below will teach you how to use the imperative present in French:

The imperative present in French for the verbs of the first group

Example with the French verb “manger” (to eat) of the first group:

Present tense
Imperative present
Tu mangesMange !
Nous mangeonsMangeons !
Vous mangezMangez !
So, in relation to the present indicative, to the present imperative, there are no personal subject pronouns. In the present imperative column, we see that there is no "tu", "nous" or "vous".

Note: for the second person singular (with the subject personal pronoun “tu”), the ending in the present imperative changes compared to the ending in the present indicative. Indeed, here, we do not put “s”: “Tu manges” becomes “Mange !” without the "s" and therefore, we do not write "Manges !" with the "s”.

Examples:
Present tense
Imperative present
Tu manges tes légumes.Mange tes légumes !
Nous allons au cinéma.Allons au cinéma !
Vous tournez à gauche.Tournez à gauche !

The imperative present in French for the verbs of the second and third groups

For verbs of the second and third groups, there is no change of ending between the present indicative and the present imperative. Thus, with the personal subject pronoun “tu” (2nd person singular), we keep the “s” in the present imperative.


Example with the French verb “finir” of the second group:

Present tense
Imperative present
Tu finisFinis !
Nous finissonsFinissons !
Vous finissezFinissez !
Example with the French verb “prendre” of the third group:
Present tense
Imperative present
Tu prendsPrends !
Nous prenonsPrenons !
Vous prenezPrenez !
Examples :
Present tense
Imperative present
Tu finis tes devoirs.Finis tes devoirs !
Nous prenons le bus.Prenons le bus !
Vous choisissez le dessert.Choisissez le dessert !

Imperative punctuation in French: the exclamation point

At the imperative, an exclamation point (!) is very often used in French, but it is not mandatory. In French, ending a sentence in the imperative with a period (.) is also correct. Usually, to give an order, we use the exclamation point: “Finis tes devoirs ! = Finish your homework!”. Usually, to indicate a direction, we use the period: “Prenez la première rue à droite. = Take the first street on the right.”

To learn how to use the present imperative in French in context and learn to make simple sentences with the present imperative, you can study the French course: learn how to indicate and understand an itinerary, a route.

Once you have correctly mastered this conjugation lesson on the present imperative in French, you can move on to the next French conjugation lesson:


You can find other French conjugation lessons by clicking here. You can also perfect your learning of the French language thanks to our:






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