Free Language Lessons
There are three different types of French verbs: the -er, ir- and -re. The imperative mood is used for forming commands. When writing commands, an exclamation point is typically used at the end of the sentence. The imperative form of the French verb is based on the present-tense conjugation of the verb. Knowing how to conjugate French verbs in the imperative will help to improve your writing, speaking, and knowledge of verb forms.
Know the subject pronouns. Subject pronouns are important for forming sentences with the present tense. "Je" is "I," "tu" is the informal "you," "il," is "he" or "it," "elle" is "she" or "it," "on" is "one," "nous" is "we," "vous" is "you" formal, "ils" is "they" masculine or masculine and feminine" and "elles" is "they" feminine.
Know the basic present-tense conjugation for -er verbs. For -er verbs, you drop the -er and add the proper endings. The ending for the -er present tense verbs are -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez and -ent. For example, the verb diviser, to divide, is conjugated je divise, tu divises, il/elle/on divise, nous divisons, vous divisez and ils/elles divisent.
Know the basic present-tense conjugation for the -ir verbs. For the -ir verbs, you drop the -ir, and add the proper endings. The endings for the -ir verbs are -is, -is, -it, -issons, -issez and
-issent. For example, the verb finir, to finish, is conjugated je finis, tu finis, il/elle/on finit, nous finissons, vous finissez and ils/elles finissent.
Know the basic present-tense conjugation for the -re verbs. For the -re verbs, you drop the
-re and add -s, nothing for ils/elles/on, -ons, -ez, -ent. For example, the verb vendre, to sell, is conjugated je vends, tu vends, il/elle/on vend, nous vendons, vous vendez and ils/elles vendent.
Understand how the present-tense conjugations relate to the imperative form. The imperative form of the verb is the same as the present tense for the nous and vous forms. For the tu form, remove the s from the ending if the verb is an -er verb and does not proceed the pronouns "y" or "en." For example, parler is an -er verb. The imperative is "Parle!" However, if you want to say "speak about it," you write "Parles-en!" You put the "s" at the end of the verb because it comes before the pronoun "en."
Understand how to form the negative version of the French imperatives. The negative forms have "ne" before the verb and "pas" after the verb. For example, the command for "Don't speak!" is "Ne parle pas!"