French Grammar Explained /

The imperative (tu, vous)

When was the last time that somebody asked you for directions?
Mmmmh... it was sometime last week. A young woman asked about a cozy café with wifi.
Can you remember what you said?
I said something like: Go straight. Then turn right and you'll see the "Books and Flowers Café" on your right.
Tell me, isn't the pronoun you in your sentence missing? You go straight. You turn right?
Uh... no! I'm not suppose to use a pronoun when telling people what to do!
Excellent! Whenever you use this kind of verb form, you are giving instructions that are called imperative forms. Imperative is derived from the latin word imperare, which means to order somebody to do something.
Interesting! But wait... Aren't we learning French? I already know English.
True. And you'll be glad to know we do the same in French as in English:
Allez tout droit.
Go straight.
Tournez à droite.
Turn right.
As you know, French makes a difference between the singular and plural you. Now that we know how to form the formal and/or plural you (vous), I'll tell you how to form the singular you (tu):
For the -er verbs like parler, habiter, tourner... and aller, you remove the pronoun tu and the final -s:
Tu tournes. → Tourne !
For all other verbs you just remove the pronoun tu.
Tu viens. → Viens !
And what a surprise! Again, être requires a special treatment:
Tu es.
Sois !
Vous êtes.
Soyez !
Okay. If I understand correctly, only the -er verbs drop the final -s.
Parfait ! And now, allons pratiquer !