Although command forms have two tenses in French – present and past – there is no need to worry too much about the past, as it is almost never used. We’ll focus here on the present tense of command forms.
- 1. first principle: there are only three forms in the French command form:
- familiar – 2nd person singular
- inclusive – 1st person plural
- formal – 2nd person plural
- 2. second principle: there are no personal pronouns in the French command form:
- Sois sympa ! (Be nice) not tu sois sympa !
- Vendons ! (Let’s sell) not nous vendons !
- Levez-vous ! (Get up) not vous levez-vous !
- Very often, French commands come with an exclamation point.
- Some verbs do not have a command form: pouvoir (to be able to, can), pleuvoir (to rain), falloir (to have to, must), faillir[verbe] (to almost [verb] something),
Translate these twenty sentences into French, using a command form.
- Take a pen.
- Let’s get out of the room.
- Close the door.
- Have patience.
- Let’s be nice.
- Know your lesson by tomorrow.
- Please sign here.
- Don’t eat too much cake.
- Stop there.
- Let’s not pick any.
- Sit down.
- Let’s not rush.
- Have fun.
- Go away.
- Let’s not sleep here.
- Don’t be so angry.
- Don’t run.
- Please don’t speak so fast.
- Don’t listen to what she says.
- Don’t take a stroll in this park.