Imperative Mood Conjugations

Conjugaisons de l’impératif

French imperative conjugations
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French imperative conjugations are relatively easy, as for most verbs they’re identical to their present tense conjugations – without the subject pronoun. The imperative is the only personal verb form that does not require a subject; the verb conjugation alone tells you who is being ordered to do or not to do something.

In addition, the imperative exists only for three grammatical persons instead of the normal six.*

Imperative of -er verbs

All -er verbs – regular, stem-changing, and irregular – follow this pattern:

  • tu: present tense conjugation minus final s
  • nous: present tense conjugation
  • vous: present tense conjugation

Par exemple…

    donner   appeler   aller
(tu)   donne   appelle   va
(nous)   donnons   appelons   allons
(vous)   donnez   appelez   allez

 When a tu imperative is followed by an adverbial pronoun (en or y), the final s is maintained (learn more).

Imperative of -ir and -re verbs

1) Verbs that end in –frir and –vrir, which are conjugated like -er verbs in the present tense, follow the -er pattern in the imperative as well:

Par exemple…

    offrir   couvrir
(tu)   offre   couvre
(nous)   offrons   couvrons
(vous)   offrez   couvrez

2) With the exception of the above plus four irregular verbs, all other -ir and -re verbs – regular and irregular – use their present tense conjugations for the imperative.

Par exemple…

    choisir   partir   vendre   boire
(tu)   choisis   pars   vends   bois
(nous)   choisissons   partons   vendons   buvons
(vous)   choisissez   partez   vendez   buvez

 Note that the tu form of these verbs keeps the "s" at the end (learn more).

Irregular imperatives

Of course, there are always some irregular verbs to keep you on your toes. The imperative has four:

    avoir   être   savoir   vouloir
(tu)   aie   sois   sache   veuille
(nous)   ayons   soyons   sachons   n/a
(vous)   ayez   soyez   sachez   veuillez

* But take a look at Third person imperatives.

 Imperative Quizzes

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French imperative with these fill-in-the-blanks exercises:

Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take these tests. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free!

 Related lessons

French lesson plans French lesson plans

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French imperative

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