“We” Commands in French

Students should learn how to make verbal commands early on in their language learning careers. There are endings to memorize, rules about placement of object pronouns, and even different forms for familiar commands, depending if they are affirmative or negative. It can be a lot to keep straight! Commands are most often directed at another person: telling him or her either to do something or not to do something.

There is one exception. The “we” commands suggest that not only do you do something, but I do it as well! It seems much more friendly to me (I’ve got to be willing to do what I’m suggesting, too). Let’s take a look.

 

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Mangeons! Let’s eat!

The nous imperative (command form) uses the same conjugation as the present tense except that there is no subject pronoun used, just as in English.

Examples:

Allons dîner! 

Let’s go have dinner!

Écoutons ce CD!

Let’s listen to this CD!

Finissons les devoirs!

Let’s finish the homework!

 

There are only three verbs that are irregular in the nous imperative form:

Avoir  = Ayons

Ayons un plan!

Let’s have a plan!

Être = Soyons

Soyons tranquilles!

Let’s be calm!

Savoir = Sachons

Sachons la direction!

 

Ready to practice?