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RECENT PAST

So far you have seen present tense (stuff you are doing now), and close future (stuff you are going to do in a minute). You nearly missed the recent past; stuff you just did. RECENT PAST is used with a present tense (like the close future) and a verb, VENIR.

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ESSENTIAL IRREGULAR VERB…
Présent de l'indicatif
I comeje viens
you cometu viens
he comesil vient
we comenous venons
you come (formal)vous venez
they comeils viennent
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MY PROGRESS
MYLEARNING!

Remember that at the end of this level (Lesson 20) you will be able to introduce yourself and others. See all the other skills you will have acquired here.

Did you know you've already covered how to...

TOP TIP…

Now imagine you want your pet monkey / spider / crocodile to remember a trick… but it can't really do it. You will talk to it calmly and say: “I've just told you to sit!” In English, as you can see, you have to use a past tense (I have told you), but in French, you will have to use a present tense and VENIR.

See
in the following examples how easy is going to be:

EXAMPLE…
Je viens de dire que...
I've just told you to...
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RECENT PAST…

It's easy! For the recent past, you need VENIR DE + another verb. Don't forget the DE after VENIR. It's very important!

Let's
see more examples:

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EXAMPLES OF RECENT PAST…
Je viens de manger un sandwich
I've just eaten a sandwich
Tu viens de prendre un second whisky!
You've just had a second whisky!
Nous venons d'arriver
We've just arrived
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THE IMPERATIVE TENSE

We all know how difficult is to train a monkey. In order to succeed, you need to be able to command correctly. This is what we are going to see right now! Imperatives in French are used as much as they are in English to give orders, express encouragement, and give advice.

The
command tense in French – and in English- is called: imperative. It's a very easy tense because it's based on the present tense you've been learning since lesson 1.

But
remember that in French you have several groups for verbs; the 1st group -ER, regular.

The
second group -IR, regular and the third group (the rest of the verbs) irregular.

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MY ACHIEVEMENTS
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...You are now able to speak in past, about things you just did. It's so important!...

MY ACHIEVEMENTS
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...You are now able to understand and use the recent past. Impressive!...

IMPERATIVE TENSE - For 1st Group verbs

Which command will you use in order to train your pet monkey from the first moment? We thought the best verb would be: TO SPEAK. Like: “Speak!”

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PARLER IS A REGULAR VERB
Présent de l'indicatif
I speakje parle
you speaktu parles
he speaksil parle
we speaknous parlons
you speak (formal)vous parlez
they speakils parlent
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TIP…

The Imperative in French (and English) doesn't use the person pronoun (I, you, he, she, etc.). It is simply a command, like: “Speak!”. You will not say: “You speak!” to your pet monkey; it will be so wrong! You'll say also: “GO” not “YOU GO” or “HE GO”; you simply point and shout.

Now
, how to create the imperative tense for the 1st group verbs? You must first take the present tense of the verb. (See above). Second step, you have to drop all the pronouns person (I, you, he, she, etc):

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REALLY EASY TO REMEMBER…
Imperative, second step
without JEparle
without TUparles
without ILparle
without NOUSparlons
without VOUSparlez
without ILSparlent
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THIRD STEP…

Third step, you have to drop some letters and words. Imperatives are formed from second person, singular and plural (tu and vous) and the first person of the plural. You also delete the –S of the second person singular.

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LISTEN AND REPEAT...
Imperative, third step
--
without the -sparle
--
let's watchparlons
watchparlez
--
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ESSENTIAL VERB!
Présent de l'indicatif
I watchje regarde
you watchtu regardes
he watchesil regarde
we watchnous regardons
you watchvous regardez
they watchils regardent
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AGAIN…
Imperative
--
watch / lookregarde
--
let's watch / lookregardons
watch / lookregardez
--
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THREE WAYS...

In English you would simply say “Watch!” or “Look!” In French you have 3 ways to say it because you are supposed to say different things for different people.

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...You are now able to command people to do things...

FORMAL AND INFORMAL…

If you are familiar with someone and he or she is perhaps your friend, then you would use the friendly “REGARDE” form (Originally “TU” form).

If you were
not familiar with this person or someone senior to you in hierarchy (your boss for example!) you would use the formal “REGARDEZ” (Originally from the “Vous” form).

If you were
referring yourself AND a group of people then you would use the other (Nous) version “REGARDONS”. This is common to saying “LETS” + Something in English. For example:

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SEE SOME EXAMPLES…
Regardons la télé!
Let's watch TV!
Regardez la télé!
Watch Tv (To your boss or a group of people)!
Regarde la télé!
Watch TV! (To your mum)
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SAME PATTERN…
Imperative, second step
without JEprépare
without TUprépares
without ILprépare
without NOUSpréparons
without VOUSpréparez
without ILSpréparent
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LAST STEP…
Imperative
--
prepareprépare
--
let's preparepréparons
preparepréparez
--
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IMPERATIVE TENSE - For 2nd Group verbs

Now you know how to command anyone, but in order to do it correctly you need to do it as well with Second Group verbs, like: FINIR. This time the technique is the same. You keep step one, two and three.

There is
only one difference. You keep the singular tu.

Let's
have a look:

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EASY REGULAR VERB FROM THE 2ND GROUP…
Présent de l'indicatif
I finishje finis
you finishtu finis
he finishesil finit
we finishnous finissons
you finish (formal)vous finissez
they finishils finissent
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NO SURPRISE…
Imperative
--
finishfinis
--
let's finishfinissons
finishfinissez
--
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IMPERATIVE TENSE - For 3rd Group verbs

As usual, the 3rd group is a headache. There are four verbs with irregular imperative forms. You simply have to learn them. Those verbs are: ÊTRE (to be), AVOIR (to have), SAVOIR (to know) and VOULOIR (want).

See
following examples:

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A CLASSIC ONE…
Imperative
--
besois
--
let's besoyons
besoyez
--
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HANG ON A MINUTE ! They are totally different !

Yes. I told you. They are irregular. Do you want a laugh? Have a look at AVOIR (to have):

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ESSENTIAL…
Imperative
--
haveaies
--
let's haveayons
haveayez
--
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TIPS!
MYLEARNING!

Regarding your writing skills: at the end of this level (Lesson 20), you’ll be able to write a short, simple postcard, for example, sending holiday greetings.

In the previous lessons you have covered how to...

AGAIN ! THE SAME !

Yes. Very irregular. Do you want another laugh?

Let's
see SAVOIR (to know):

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ESSENTIAL…
Imperative
--
knowsache
--
let's knowsachons
knowsachez
--
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AN EASY ONE…

Let's see VOULOIR (want). Used almost exclusively to mean “please”. The order can be toned down by the use of “veuillez”, which is an equivalent of “s'il vous plaît

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NO MORE THAN ONE…
Imperative
--
--
--
--
wantveuillez
--
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SOME GOOD NEWS...

Regarding the rest of third group verbs, It's essentially the same shape as the first and second group. Some of the irregular verbs are not so difficult.

For
example: ALLER / VENIR / FAIRE / DIRE / VOIR / CONNAÎTRE / BOIRE / DEVOIR / ÉCRIRE / LIRE / METTRE / PARTIR / PRENDRE, follow the regular verb models. And the sweetest thing for the end: POUVOIR (can or to be able to), doesn't have any imperative.

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piano
un piano
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...You are now able to understand and use the command tense: the imperative...

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