The Imperative

To give instructions and orders, you need to use a form of the verb known as the imperative.

If you are addressing a person with tu, use the tu form of the present tense of the verb, but

without tu. With –er verbs you must also take off the –s. For example:


• Prends la première à droite.

Take the first on the right.


• Continue tout droit.

Go straight on.


If you are addressing a person / people with vous, use the vous form of the present tense, but without the vous. For example:

• Mangez bien!

Eat well!


• Continuez à travailler.

Carry on working.


The nous form of the present tense without the nous means ‘let’s’ do something. For example:

• Jouons au tennis.

Let’s play tennis.


If you want to tell someone not to do something, put ne…pas around the verb.

For example:

• Ne parle pas.

Don’t talk.


• Ne parlez pas la bouche pleine.

Don’t talk with your mouth full.

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