French Imperative with Pronouns

Scroll down for my video lesson on the French imperative with pronouns

L’impératif – Imperative Mood

The imperative mood is used when giving commands, orders, or expressing wishes.  The imperative is a very direct way to give an order. Giving orders can be softened with more polite alternatives like the conditional (Je voudrais, J’aimerais…)

Formation of the imperative

There are only three forms of the imperative: TU, NOUS, VOUS. 

The imperative is formed by taking the forms of the present tense.


present tenseimperativetranslation
Tu choisisChoisisChoose
Vous choisissezChoisissezChoose
Nous choisissonsChoisissonsLet’s choose


present tenseimperativetranslation
Tu prendsPrendsTake
Vous prenezPrenezTake
Nous prenonsPrenonsLet’s take

Drop the S in the TU form 

All verbs ending in ER , the verb ALLER , and verbs like OUVRIR drop the S in the TU form.

present tenseimperativetranslation
Tu parlesParleSpeak
Tu vasVaGo
Tu ouvresOuvreOpen

Irregular verbs in the imperative

Être, avoir, savoir, and vouloir are the only verbs that are irregular in the imperative.

Remember:  You can only use verbs in the tu, vous, and nous forms since the imperative suggests a command or request.









French Imperative with Pronouns

Do you want to make an affirmative or a negative command?  This will affect the order in which the object pronouns placement.  

When making affirmative commands, attach pronouns directly to the end of the verb and  connect them with a hyphen. The pronouns ME and TE  become MOI and TOI, except before EN and Y.

Translate the following using the French imperative with pronouns:

Write to her! (écrire – VOUS form)


Hurry up! (se dépêcher – TU form)


Here is the letter.  Read it, please. (lire – VOUS form)

Voici la lettre.  Lisez-la, s’il vous plaît. 

What beautiful shoes!  Let’s buy them! (acheter – NOUS form)

Quelles belles chaussures!  Achetons-les!

Let’s give the money to them. (donner – NOUS form)

Donnons-leur l’argent.

The book?  Put it on my desk, please. (mettre – VOUS form)

Le livre?  Mettez-le sur mon bureau, s’il vous plaît. 

Listen to me! (écouter – TU form)


Exception:  Dropping the S in the TU form with pronouns 

All verbs ending in ER , the verb ALLER , and verbs like OUVRIR drop the final S in the TU form except before the pronouns Y  and EN.  

Write the following translations using pronouns:

Buy it! (acheter)


Buy some! (acheter)


Look at him! (regarder)


Look in there! (regarder)


Negative Commands

When making negative commands, put the pronoun right before the verb.  This is what you’re used to doing with pronouns even when you’re not using the imperative. 

Translate the following using pronouns:

Don’t do it, please. (faire – VOUS form)

Ne le faites pas, s’il vous plaît. 

Don’t eat any of it, please. (manger – TU form)

N’en mange pas, s’il te plaît.

Let’s not tell him. (dire – NOUS form)

Ne lui disons pas.

Your clothes!  Don’t leave them in the bathroom! (laisser – VOUS form)

Vos vêtements!  Ne les laissez pas dans la salle de bains. 

Commands with Double Object Pronouns

Commands can include up to two object pronouns.  Notice in the following chart how the order of pronouns changes from the regular order.  Pronouns are always attached by hyphens to the end of the verb. ME becomes MOI and TE becomes TOI.  However, when ME  and TE are followed by EN, they become M’ and T’.

Affirmative Commands Pronoun Order:


Pass it to me! (passer – TU form)


Go away! (aller – TU form)


Let’s give it to them! (donner – NOUS form)


Tell it to her! (dire – VOUS form)


Put them there! (mettre – TU form)


Negative commands

In negative commands with double object pronouns, put the pronouns before the verb and follow the normal order as you see in the chart below.

Normal Pronoun Order


Translate the following using pronouns:

Don’t take it from me! (prendre – TU form)

Ne me le prends pas!

Let’s not give it to them! (donner – NOUS form)

Ne le leur donnons pas!

Don’t bring it to me! (apporter – VOUS form)

Ne me l’apportez pas!

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