Third Person Imperative

Impératif à la troisième personne

French subjunctive
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Most orders are given with the imperative in the second person (you) or first person plural (we). But it is possible to give orders in the third person, by using a special subjunctive construction.

Que + subjunctive, with no preceding main clause, is used for giving orders in the third person: indirect commands, wishes, concessions, suppositions, and exclamations. These are generally equivalent to "let" or "may" in English.

Par exemple…

Que Dieu vous bénisse.   (May) God bless you.
Que la Force soit avec toi !   May the Force be with you!
Que la lumière soit.   Let there be light.
Qu’il repose en paix.   May he rest in peace.
Qu’il y réussisse cette fois !   Let him succeed this time!
I hope he succeeds this time!
Qu’ils mangent de la brioche !   Let them eat brioche!

 Note: It may help to think about a main clause expressing a command, desire, or wish that you could add to get the meaning across.

(On veut) Que Dieu vous bénisse.

(Nous souhaitons) Qu’il reponse en paix.

(J’ordonne) Qu’ils mangent de la brioche !

 In a few fixed phrases, it’s possible to give indirect commands without que – see Special uses of the subjunctive.

 More French subjunctive

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French subjunctive

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