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 rentrĂ©s 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 ĂȘtre) imperative
2. main verb past participle

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

Par exemple…

Avoir verb: donner (to give)

(tu)   aie donnĂ©
(nous)   ayons donnĂ©
(vous)   ayez donnĂ©

Être verb: sortir (to go out)

(tu)   sois sorti(e)
(nous)   soyons sorti(e)s
(vous)   soyez sorti(e)(s)

Pronominal verb: s’habiller (to get dressed)

(tu)   te sois habillĂ©(e)
(nous)   nous soyons habillĂ©(e)s
(vous)   vous soyez habillĂ©(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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French past imperative

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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 premiĂšre phrase puisque vous parlez du moment oĂč vous arriverez.

    Peut-ĂȘtre 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.

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