The Imperative in French: L’impératif

The imperative tense in French, also known as l'impératif, is the tense used when commanding orders or when expressing wishes. Get ready to learn all about the imperative tense and practice what you've learned with our free grammar worksheets!
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What is l'impératif? The imperative tense in French:

L’impératif is the tense used in French when giving orders, advice, instructions, or expressing wishes. 

The imperative tense (a.k.a l’impératif) is quite simple to use since you can only conjugate it at the 2nd person singular (tu), 1st  person plural (nous) and the 2nd person plural (vous).

L'impératif Examples

2nd  person singular (tu)

Mange tes légumes.

Eat your vegetables.

1st person plural (nous)

Courons dans notre jardin.

Run in our garden.

2nd person plural (vous)

Finissez vos devoirs.

Finish your homework.

veggies cartoon
garden cartoon
class cartoon

Using the Imperative:

As explained above, the present tense of the imperative is only conjugated in 3 persons: the second person singular, the first person plural, and the second person plural. 

When using the imperative remember that: pronouns are left out and the verb is never preceded by a subject.

Conjugating the Imperative:

 

1st group

Aimer

2nd group

Finir

3rd group

(radical + ____)

2nd  person

singular

aime

finis

  -s 

courir= cour+s

1st person plural

aimons

finissons

-ons

courir= cour+ons

2nd person plural

aimez

finissez

-ez

courir= cour+ez

Important tip:

Most of the verbs ending in -er, will follow the verb AIMER. Many verbs ending in -ir, will follow the verb FINIR. The other verbs are in the 3rd group.

Irregular Verb Conjugation of the Imperative

Some verbs are irregular because their radical changes. Here are 4 of these verbs.

Irregular verbs

Avoir

(to have)

Être 

(to be)

Savoir 

(to know)

Vouloir

(to want)

2nd p. s. 

 -aie

1st p. pl. 

-ayons

2nd  p.  pl.

-ayez

2nd  p. s.  

-sois

1st p. pl.

soyons

2nd  p.  pl.

-soyez

2nd  p. s. 

-sache

1st p. pl.

-sachons

2nd  p.  pl.

-sachez

2nd  p. s. 

-veuille (polite)/ veux

1st p. pl.

-voulons

2nd p.  pl.

-veuillez (polite)/voulez

The Imperative: Free Practice Worksheets

Now that you’ve learned how to use the imperative, here are some free printable worksheets to practice:

Worksheet 1

Worksheet 2

Worksheet 3

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