Past Imperative

French past imperative
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Impératif passé

To give an order for something to be done before something else or by a certain time, you can use the French past imperative.

Par exemple…

Aie fini le travail quand j’arrive.   Have the work finished when I arrive.
Soyons rentrés avant minuit.   Let’s be back home by midnight.

 The past imperative is very rare – you can generally use the regular imperative for a very similar meaning. Nonetheless, you should be able to recognize the conjugations.

Past imperative conjugations

The past imperative is a compound verb form, which means its conjugation has two components:

  verb conjugation
1. auxiliary (avoir or être) imperative
2. main verb past participle

Like the imperative, the past imperative has conjugations for only three grammatical persons:

Par exemple…

    avoir verb   être verb   pronominal verb
    donner (to give)   sortir (to go out)   s’habiller (to get dressed)
(tu)   aie donné   sois sorti(e)   te sois habillé(e)
(nous)   ayons donné   soyons sorti(e)s   nous soyons habillé(e)s
(vous)   ayez donné   soyez sorti(e)(s)   vous soyez habillé(e)(s)

  Past participle agreement

As in all compound conjugations, the past participle in the past imperative may need to agree in gender and number with the word it modifies – learn more.

 Related lessons

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2 Responses

  1. JC 27 December 2016 / 14:12


    Aie fini quand j’arrive


    quand j’arriverai

    Quand j’arrive le matin au boulot, il est toujours en train de bosser.

    C’est l’indicatif car ça montre une habitude.

    Cependant, je crois que l’on utilise le futur pour la première phrase puisque vous parlez du moment où vous arriverez.

    Peut-être bien que je me goure… je sais pas…

    • lkl 28 December 2016 / 7:01

      Aie fini quand j’arrive. It’s a matter of concordance des temps – you can’t use a past tense and a future tense in joined clauses.