French For Beginners
par Olivier Malet


Chapter Eleven

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28


In the commands you have learned, you obtained the familiar command by dropping the final vowel sound. We’ll call the verbs following this pattern TYPE I VERBS.

TYPE I : VERBS with special spelling for the inclusive form:

For these two verbs the inclusive form has a special spelling due to the nature of the consonant ‘g’ :

Swim! > Nagez! / Let’s swim! > Nageons!

Eat! > Mangez! / Let’s eat > Mangeons!

To keep the soft ‘g’ sound (a sound you get in English in the word ‘vision’) we have to add an ‘e’ before the vowel ‘o’ otherwise we would get the ‘hard’ sound ‘g’ (a sound you can find in English in the word ‘go’)

A similar problem occurs with the verb below, but this time we have to add a cedilla under the letter ‘c’ to keep the sound ‘s’

Move forward! > Avancez! > Let’s move forward! > Avançons!

All the verbs ending in … GEZ or … CEZ for the Polite Form will follow the same pattern.


So far, we have used only affirmative commands. Our next step is to learn how to express these commands in the negative. In English, the negative is formed as follows:

Sing! > Don't sing!

Let's sing! > Let’s not sing!

In French, the negative is formed by adding ne before the command and pas after it.

Chantez! > Ne chantez pas! Don’t sing!

Chante! > Ne chante pas!

Chantons! > Ne chantons pas! Let’s not sing!

The letter ‘e’ of ne is replaced with an apostrophe when the verb begins with a vowel sound.

Écoutez! > N’ écoutez pas! Don’t listen!

Écoute! > N’écoute pas!

Écoutons! > N’écoutons pas! Let’s not listen!

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