17.2.1 Irregular forms of the imperative

The following verbs have irregular forms of the imperative.

Irregular verbs
  avoir = to have être = to be savoir = to know vouloir = to want *
tu / you aie (Have!) sois (Be!) sache (Know!) veuille (May you xxx!!)
nous / we ayons (Let's have!) soyons (Let's be!) sachons (Let's know!) veuillons (Let's ...)
vous / you ayez (Have!) soyez (Be!) sachez (Know!) veuillez (May you xxx!)

These verbs form the imperative with the subjonctif. In other Roman languages like Spanish and Italian this is actually the standard form of the (negative) imperative. This is logical, as the the subjonctif does express a kind of demand. However, grammar is not always logical and therefore, in French we only have the exceptional case of the subjonctif for imperative.

* The verb vouloir is a special case, which we will discuss more in detail in the following page.

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