French Grammar For Dummies
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In French, the imperative mood expresses an order, request, or directive and is created with regular verbs by using the verb directly and eliminating the subject pronoun. The imperative uses the present tense of most verbs and the conjugations of three subject pronouns: tu (when speaking to someone familiar), vous (when speaking to someone unfamiliar, older, a group, or a superior), and nous (when including yourself in the group). Regular -er, -ir, and -re verbs follow the same pattern in commands as shown in the following example, along with an example of a command using a pronominal verb and pronoun.

Parler (to speak) Finir (to finish) Vendre (to sell) Se laver (to wash)
Parle! Finis! Vends! Lave-toi!
Parlons! Finissons! Vendons! Lavons-nous!
Parlez! Finissez! Vendez! Lavez-vous!

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Véronique Mazet has taught French at the high school and college level since 1986. Mazet is currently professor of French at Austin Community College. She has written several instructional French books, and works as a private and corporate French tutor and translator.

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