Negative Imperative

French imperative
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Impératif négatif

Telling someone not to do something is called, logically enough, a negative command.

Par exemple…

N’avancez pas !   Do not advance!
Ne parle pas si fort.   Don’t speak so loudly.
Ne soyons pas en retard.   Let’s not be late.

Imperative conjugations

Word order

Word order with negative commands follows the same rules as virtually* all other verb tenses and moods:

  • Ne precedes the verb and pas or another negative adverb follows it.
  • Any object, reflexive, and adverbial pronouns go between ne and the verb.

Par exemple…

Ne le regarde pas.   Don’t look at him.
Ne nous en parlez jamais.   Don’t ever talk to us about that.

What about when there are two pronouns, as in the second example? See Double pronoun order

  * Affirmative commands are the only French verb form that requires a different word order.

 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 negative imperative

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