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“Hurry up!”, “Be confident!”… This trick for using the imperative correctly


With or without "s"? Hesitations related to the conjugation of a verb in the imperative are frequent. How to avoid the pitfalls posed by this verbal mode?

“Look surprised!”, “hurry up!”, “surprise(s) us!”... If there is a tone on which the pen is hesitant, the imperative rises to the top of the rankings.

As underlined by the sages of the French Academy, the term “imperative”, derived from the late Latin “imperativus” (“who was ordained”), expresses or translates an order, a requirement.

One would say of a father summoning his child to behave properly, that he takes on an imperative air.

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To express the command, the defense, the exhortation, the invitation, but also the encouragement, it is on the verbal mode of the same name that it is necessary to build its statement.

In grammar, just as in the exclamation "Allez!", the verbs of the sentences "Let's get out quickly!"

or "trust me!"

are thus conjugated in the imperative.

No "s" with the "e"

Despite our annoying tendency to forget it, the rule is simple.

The imperative (which has two forms, the present and the past) is only conjugated in the second person singular and the first two people plural.

Also, when we address ourselves, to encourage ourselves for example, we can only say “you”.


But it's when it's time to grab the pen that everything gets complicated.

To read also “Being in the grip” or “being in the grip”: do not make the mistake anymore!

Indeed, contrary to what we have correctly recorded in the case of the present indicative, the ending of a verb of the first group, conjugated in the second person singular of the imperative, never takes “s” .

We don't say, "Hurry up!"

But: “Hurry up!”

Likewise, one declares: “Know that I am waiting for you!”

And not: “Know that I am waiting for you!”

A mnemonic device to avoid making the mistake is to remember that when there is an “e”, there is no “s” (“put your things away!”).

And that, conversely, when there is an “s”, there is no “e” (“be polite!”).

Note that with “go”, in particular, we will ignore this trick by saying: “Go!”

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-03

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