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Telling someone not to do something is called, logically enough, a negative command.
|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.|
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.
|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.
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French imperative with these fill-in-the-blanks exercises:
Conseils de prévention contre le coronavirus Recette de gel hydro-alcoolique Le règlement de la piscine
- Affirmative imperative
- Imperative conjugations
- Imperative lessons – PwLF super list
- Giving orders
- Negative adverbs
- Object pronouns
- Verb mood
- Simon dit ! (Simon says!) (Lesson, 5th-8th grade)
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