Conjugate être, avoir, savoir in L'Impératif (imperative)

The verbs 'être', 'avoir' and 'savoir' are irregular in L'Impératif:

  être avoir savoir
tu sois aie sache
nous soyons ayons sachons
vous soyez ayez sachez

 

On their own, they're not terribly useful, but they are essential to express some commands.

Ne sois pas méchant!
Don't be mean!

Soyez gentilles! 
Be good!

N'aie pas peur! 
Don't be afraid!

Sache que je pense toujours à toi.
Know that I'm still thinking of you

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


N'aie pas peur! 
Don't be afraid!


Soyez gentilles! 
Be good!


Ne sois pas méchant!
Don't be mean!



Sache que je pense toujours à toi.
Know that I'm still thinking of you


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 21 answers

RobC1Kwiziq community member

Negative command

Why is it "N'ayons" yet "ne sois pas" - i.e. one has the "pas" but the other doesn't?

Asked 2 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Rob,

Having looked at the lesson I cannot see the case you are refering to.

Just to confirm : Normally, ALL negative commands enclose the positive command form with "ne...pas"

e.g. "N'ayons pas peur de mourir"  - "Let's  not be afraid to die"

There are exceptions in some proverbes and fixed expressions, usually hangovers from medieval French where 'ne' was frequently used on its own.

e.g." N'ayez crainte!" - "Never fear!"

but normal speech requires the "ne...pas" construction.

Hope this helps.

Tom

Negative command

Why is it "N'ayons" yet "ne sois pas" - i.e. one has the "pas" but the other doesn't?

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AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Dictionary examples using "en" for people

Could a native speaker weigh in on the following dictionary examples that use "en" for people?

- https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/en

>> Combien d’élèves y a-t-il dans ta classe ? – Il y en a trente. — How many pupils are there in your class? – There are 30.

- https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/en/28919

>> Tous les invités ne sont pas arrivés, il en manque deux. — All the guests haven't arrived yet, two are missing.

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Aaron,

Both sentences are correct -

The first 'en' replaces élèves in -

il y en a trente

You could add, of them to the translation but it is often superfluous in English.

Int the second example 'en' replaces 'invités'.

In the translation of -

Il en manque deux 

You could say

two of them are missing

but again superfluous in English.

Necessary in French I am afraid...

 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Possibly you are thinking of lessons like this one:

En can replace de + phrase (adverbial pronoun)

The lesson says to use en for things, but stress pronouns for people. However that doesn't apply when en is used for quantities. You can't say "il y a trente d'eux."

AaronC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Thanks Alan. That's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking about, and why I asked the question.

Dictionary examples using "en" for people

Could a native speaker weigh in on the following dictionary examples that use "en" for people?

- https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/en

>> Combien d’élèves y a-t-il dans ta classe ? – Il y en a trente. — How many pupils are there in your class? – There are 30.

- https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/en/28919

>> Tous les invités ne sont pas arrivés, il en manque deux. — All the guests haven't arrived yet, two are missing.

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Robin C1Kwiziq community member

Does this mean that these commands always use the subjunctive cSe

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Robin,

Not sure if it is useful to learn the imperative of these verbs by comparing them with their subjunctive forms as Jim rightly says they convey totally different things.

 

 

JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

It doesn't follow the pattern in the case of savoir (See nous).

The imperative mood is used to give instruction or command or orders.

The subjunctive mood is used to indicate uncertainty / doubt / emotion / desire.

So given that it does not follow at least in the case of savoir (nous) then I would say that it does not mean that "these commands always use use the subjunctive" 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, nous sachons is the exception of the exception. Go figure! :)

Does this mean that these commands always use the subjunctive cSe

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JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

How come?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi John.

There are two expressions, 'avoir du courage'  (to have courage ) or 'être courageux' (to be brave/courageous) .

So it will depend which you choose to use :

"Ayons du courage! " or

"Soyons courageux! "

 

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
No idea. What was your question?
JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Sorry Chris, I've lost this now but as I remember it the answer to 'Let's be courageous' is given as 'Soyons courageux'. My Collins-Robert dictionary gives 'Avoir du courage' as 'to have courage'. As with 'raison' and 'peur' shouldn't courage take avoir?

Regards

John

JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Cécille

It's clear now, thank you.

John

How come?

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DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Faire confiance

The quiz asked: How would you tell your friends to have faith? "____ confiance, mes amis!" Have faith, my friends.

I answered "Faites" but it wanted "Ayez". Nearly all lessons here that refer to "confiance" associate it with "faire" - not "avoir". There does not seem to be one specifically on "Have faith". What is the grammar rule here?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi all,

In my opinion, both expressions can be used to indicate the idea of trust .

Avoir confiance en = to have faith/trust/confidence in something or someone

Faire confiance à quelque chose/quelqu'un = to trust something or someone

e.g. 

J'ai confiance en toiJe te fais confiance

Tu ne me fais pas confiance = Tu n'as pas confiance en moi.

This particular quiz was asking you to use 'avoir confiance', the interesting element being the imperative of avoir which is 'Ayez'..

Hope this helps!

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi David,

Recommended reading with respect to your question:
http://parler-francais.eklablog.com/avoir-confiance-en-dans-a4936709

-- Chris.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Also I have to point out:

HINT: Use ''avoir'' in l'Impératif

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Sorry - actually it was a different question that had that hint - maybe it should also have been given for the question you mentioned.
DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
The recommended reading reference only discusses "avoir confiance" when followed by "en" or "dans". It is not clear that it can be used alone. Or that it can relate to "faith" rather that "trust" or "confidence". An explanation from the Kwiziq team would be helpful. On the face of it it seems that a new construct has been introduced for which no lesson has prepared us.
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I think it's sort of introduced via the quizzes - the first time you encounter it there's an explicit hint to use avoir to mean "have faith". Then I suppose you're expected to remember it for subsequent questions. 
DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Cécile.

Your answer help me in understanding the usage.

The issue this illustrates with Kwiziq is that often the quizzes are encountered a long way from the lessons and the only standard one can apply, in attempting to answer them correctly first time, is what is correct French usage - not what has appeared in some Kwiziq lesson.

After getting them "wrong" one can attempt to memorize what the acceptable answer is so that one will not be penalized in future, which is essential if, like me, you are attempting to get 100% in each level. (Currently I am at 100% on levels A0,A1,A2,B1 and at 99+% on level B2). Of course a bigger problem, for me, is my own stupid mistakes.

Faire confiance

The quiz asked: How would you tell your friends to have faith? "____ confiance, mes amis!" Have faith, my friends.

I answered "Faites" but it wanted "Ayez". Nearly all lessons here that refer to "confiance" associate it with "faire" - not "avoir". There does not seem to be one specifically on "Have faith". What is the grammar rule here?

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DavC1Kwiziq community member

the quiz gave the answer to "let's not be scared any more as "n'ayons" - why is it not "ne soyons"?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
To be scared is in French literally "to have fear" and consequently translated as "avoir peur". Therefore the imperative is formed using the imperative of avoir and not être. Hence: "N'ayons pas peur" -- "Let's not have fear!"

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

the quiz gave the answer to "let's not be scared any more as "n'ayons" - why is it not "ne soyons"?

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AndrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When to use the imperative vs subjunctive

Hi, why do you use the subjunctive to say "Have faith my friends" instead of the imperative? (ie AYEZ confiance, mes amis instead of AVEZ confiance, mes amis).
Asked 2 years ago
AndrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
P.S. I read your notes at https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/my-languages/french/glossary/51 and I still dont quite understand. what would "avez confiance mes amis" mean? Surely the imperative is used to express commands as well?
AndrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi... I've been round the houses on the internet reading all sorts of notes and came back here and realise these notes told be what I needed to know all along... ooops sorry.... avoir and etre use an irregular form of the imperative which just happens to be the same as the subjunctive...LOL... I should have had more faith in your notes in the first place :)

When to use the imperative vs subjunctive

Hi, why do you use the subjunctive to say "Have faith my friends" instead of the imperative? (ie AYEZ confiance, mes amis instead of AVEZ confiance, mes amis).

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