Object Pronouns and the Imperative
The imperative form of the verb can also be used with object pronouns. When there is only one, it is straightforward; you will have to pay closer attention when more than one is used, however. The pronouns follow a specific order, and each is tacked on to the end of the verb with a hyphen. The pronouns are added in the following order.
Direct object: When the imperative form is used with a direct object, the pronoun is placed after the verb and separated with a hyphen. This happens often with reflexive verbs, because the verb requires an object pronoun to complete its meaning. If the pronoun is
te, the pronoun toiis used instead after the verb: Dépêchez-vous!or Dépêche-toi!Hurry up!
Indirect object: When the imperative form is used with an indirect object pronoun, the pronoun is placed after the direct object but still joined to the verb phrase with a hyphen. If the indirect object pronoun is
me, the pronoun moiis used: Donne-moi le cahier.
Give the notebook to me.
Give it to me.
y: When the pronoun yis used, it is placed after any direct or indirect object pronouns. Note that liaisonis required when the verb preceding yends with a vowel sound: Vas-y.
en: When the pronoun enis used in the imperative construction, it appears last but is still joined to the other words with a hyphen: Donne-lui-en.
Give some to him.
If the imperative verb is being used with an object pronoun that begins with a vowel, the “s” is kept at the end of the
A “t” is sometimes inserted in between an inverted verb and subject; that rule, however, applies only to inverted questions. When the imperative form appears with a pronoun, it will always be an object pronoun, so the rules for inverted questions do not apply.
When the imperative is used with negative expressions, it follows the normal negative construction, despite the absence of a subject pronoun. The
Do not call after midnight.
Pronouncing Object Pronouns
In these sections, you learned about object pronouns. Listen to the CD for the pronunciation of some of the expressions you learned.