Forming simple negative commands (L'Impératif)

You've already seen how to make affirmative commands using L'Impératif in French (See Conjugate regular verbs in L'Impératif (imperative))

Now look at these negative commands:

Ne mange pas ça!
Don't eat that!

N'écoutez pas
Don't listen!

Ne faisons pas ça!
Let's not do that!

To make a command negative, put ne or n' before the verb in Impératif and pas after it.

 
See also:
Conjugate reflexive verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)
Conjugate être, avoir, savoir in L'Impératif (imperative)
Me becomes moi in affirmative commands (L'Impératif)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ne mange pas ça!
Don't eat that!


N'arrive pas en retard au rendez-vous!
Don't be late to the rendez-vous!


N'oublie pas la Saint-Valentin!
Don't forget Valentine's Day!


Ne faisons pas ça!
Let's not do that!


N'écoutez pas
Don't listen!


Ne romps pas !
Don't break up!


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 9 answers

Help

I am confused in this lesson.We are given the following guideline..."Note that to make a command negative, put ne or n' before the verb in L'Impératif and pas after it."I am confused because I do not see verbs in the examples that are conjugated in L'Impérfait.To me, the examples seem to show verbs conjugated in Le Présent.

Please clear this up for me.Merci.

Asked 8 months ago
TomC1

Hi Michael,

I think you may be confusing l'imparfait which is a (past) tense of a verbe and l'impératif which is a mood (or mode) of a verb indicating an order or interdiction. The other moods are l'infinitif, le subjonctif and le conditionnel.

L'impératif is only conjugated in three persons:

2nd person singular, 1st person plural, 2nd person plural. eg for chanter - to sing:

chante - sing (tu form minus terminal s), chantons - let us sing (nous form), chantez -(vous form)

The other verb group act similarly except that tu form remains unalterd.

Hope this helps

Tom

Thank you Tom.

With your help...It's so obvious this morning!

Help

I am confused in this lesson.We are given the following guideline..."Note that to make a command negative, put ne or n' before the verb in L'Impératif and pas after it."I am confused because I do not see verbs in the examples that are conjugated in L'Impérfait.To me, the examples seem to show verbs conjugated in Le Présent.

Please clear this up for me.Merci.

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TomC1

Toucher (à)

The quiz gives the answer : Ne touche pas le serpent!

I would be inclined to say : Ne touche pas au serpent!

Is this wrong?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Tom,

You can say both...

TomC1

Hi Cécile,

Thanks for the clarification

Tom

Toucher (à)

The quiz gives the answer : Ne touche pas le serpent!

I would be inclined to say : Ne touche pas au serpent!

Is this wrong?

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Being the tu form of the imperative for manger ?

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Pauline,

The 'tu' form of manger in the imperative is :

Mange!

or

Ne mange pas!  in the negative.

Hope this answers your question...

Being the tu form of the imperative for manger ?

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Shouldn't it be "Ne manges pas ça!"

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Pauline, 

No 's' to mange as you drop it to make the 'tu' form of all verbs ending in ER in the imperative .

Take a look at the following lesson which will remind you...

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-regular-verbs-in-l-imperatif-imperative

 

Ne mange pas ça!  is correct.

Shouldn't it be "Ne manges pas ça!"

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plural you ?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super star
Already answered...

plural you ?

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Why is Ne mange pas first person singular and N'écoutez pas

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi John,

There are only three forms to the Imperative Mood.

It depends who you are adressing your command to :

If it is someone you say 'tu' to , it will be the singular.

e.g. N'écoute pas , Ne cours pas, Ne répond pas ...

If it is someone you say 'vous' to, or several people, it will be vous form.

e.g. N'écoutez pas!, Ne courez pas! Ne répondez pas! ...

( Don't listen, Don't run! Don't answer!)

The final form is the 'nous' if you are yourself included in the command,  as in 'allons-y! '(Let's go!)

e.g. Ne courons pas! (Let's not run!) etc..

Hope this answers your question...

Why is Ne mange pas first person singular and N'écoutez pas

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i don't get the affirmative imperative

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Sukanya ! Thanks for letting us know, I've now added links to related lessons to this lesson. Here is the link to affirmative commands: Conjugate regular verbs in L'Impératif (imperative) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

i don't get the affirmative imperative

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