The present imperative or présent de l'impératif
in french, is a simple tense
. This tense is not formed with an auxiliary.
Recall two unusual features of the imperative: it exists only in three persons (second singular, first plural and second plural) and its subject pronoun is always omitted.
Most often, the present imperative is copied from the indicative present (this is always true for verbs from the first two groups). Thus when the present indicative has two alternate forms, so does the present imperative:
- Asseoir: assieds (assois), asseyons (assoyons), asseyez (assoyez)
- Payer: paie (paye), payons, payez
The imperatives of avoir
are based on the present subjunctive, and those of savoir
- Aie, ayons, ayez
- Sois, soyons, soyez
- Sache, sachons, sachez
- Veuille, veuillons, veuillez
Note that the singular of verbs ending in -e
or in -a
in the imperative has no final -s
. This applies to all verbs from the first group and to some from the third (assaillir, couvrir, cueillir, défaillir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir, tressaillir
and verbs derived from them, as well as the verbs aller, avoir, savoir, vouloir
): Parle, cueille, va, aie, sache, veuille, finis, sors
Present imperative endings
Most often the present imperative endings correspond to the present indicative endings.
Here are the complete endings in simple future indicative for the three groups :