FR: impératif / infinitif - pour des instructions, notamment dans une liste

mingze13

Senior Member
US/English
Bonjour a tous:

Je dois choisir la forme des verbes pour notre progiciel, sur les boutons.
Imperatif? Infinitif? Je n'ai pas acces aux progiciels francais.

Quelques web sites emploient l'imperatif, mais les autres emploient l'infinitif.
Et j'ai vue aussi les sites qui emploient tous les deux.

Est-ce qu'il y a une regle?

Merci,
Anne

Note des modérateurs : Plusieurs fils ont été fusionnés pour créer celui-ci.
 
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  • Jean-Jacques

    Member
    French, France
    Bonsoir Anne,
    A ma connaissance, il n'existe pas de règle au sens propre, mais l'infinitif est préférable (Quitter, Annuler...).
    L'impératif peut être utilisé dans certains cas, par exemple en cas de choix ou de consigne impérative(Choisissez dans la liste suivante, Lisez les conditions contractuelles). Mais en général, il s'agit de menus, de boîtes de dialogue, mais pas de boutons.
    Enfin, les boutons peuvent contenir des noms plutôt que des verbes (e.g Recherche de mises à jour plutôt que Rechercher des mises à jour).
    Bien sûr, les questions sont formulées à le deuxième personne de l'indicatif pluriel (Voulez-vous fermer la fenêtre? Etes-vous certain de vouloir quitter l'application? Etc...)
    Hope this helps.
    J-J
     

    England

    Member
    China
    Premièrement, je suis désolé que le titre est mal. Mais, je ne peux pas penser d'un autre titre pour cette question. Merci en avance aux animateurs pour changer le titre.

    Ma question est au sujet d'un poème de Prévert - Pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau. Le contexte est:

    "Peindre d'abord une cage"
    "Attrendre s'il le faut pendant des années"
    "Observer le plus profond silence"

    Beaucoup de verbes sont utilisé qui inclu "peindre, attendre, observer." J'ai reconnu que ces verbes sont en forme d'infinitive. Mais quand j'analyse et traduis le poème (à anglais), je continue de penser que ces verbes deviennent en forme d'impératif car le propre traduction (selon moi) c'est "first, paint a cage" et "wait if it is necessary..." et "observe the most profound silence." Que pensez-vous?

    Merci beaucoup en avance (et corrigez mes erreurs s'il le faut, s'il vous plaît!)
     
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    candypole

    Senior Member
    australia english
    I'm not sure about this. Prévert could just as easily have used the imperative in French, but he used the infinitive. I think the infinitive could also work in English - it's more detached than the imperative, and that is the effect Prévert is trying to obtain I think.
     

    candypole

    Senior Member
    australia english
    I take the point about the infinitive used for commands - I just don't think that's the case for this poem - I think you need the infinitive in English in the same way you do for: To Kill a Mockingbird - not Kill a Mockingbird.
     

    cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Or is that just because it's taken from the phrase "...it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"? :D:p

    More seriously, do you mean that the English translation would read:

    To first of all paint a cage.
    To wait if necessary for several years.
    To observe the deepest silence.


    I find it hard to grasp, I must admit...
     

    candypole

    Senior Member
    australia english
    The second line would always be difficult to translate but you're probably right:

    To first paint a cage
    To wait many years
    To observe the deepest silence.

    No - I think you're right, better without the 'to'
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    In French the infinitive is often used in user guides. It is not really a command but rather a mere description of what needs to be done… But I think that doesn't work in English and I would choose the imperative:

    First paint a cage
    Wait for years if needed
    Observe the deepest silence

     

    bloomiegirl

    Senior Member
    US English
    My ISP took a dive last night so I couldn't reply. In the interim, a consensus seems to have developed for using the imperative in the English.

    And yet a final thought: The title is "Pour faire le portrait d'un oiseau" – clearly in the infinitve (still not to be confused Harper Lee's title, which has no bearing here). But Prévert didn't use the same construction in the body of the poem. Instead, I think the poem is meant to read like a recipedo this, then do that, and here’s what results.

    It's a lovely poem, here's a link to the entire text.
     

    Quencher21

    New Member
    Cananda, English
    Hello Everyone,

    I am a bit confused on the following :

    When giving a command in French...how does the verb end???

    Which of these is correct???

    Évacuez immédiatement l'édifice?

    OR

    Évacuer immédiatement l'édifice?

    I really do not understand what the difference is. Please Help.

    Thank you.
     
    "Évacuez immédiatement l'édifice?" is correct (Impératif tense) but it takes a "!" at the end of the sentence... "Evacuer" would be used with "in case of" : "En cas d'incendie, évacuer l'édifice."

    Hope it helps...
     

    Quencher21

    New Member
    Cananda, English
    Thank you Austin Pal.

    So if I understand correctly...whenever a sentence starts with a verb it should be ''impératif'' because it is giving an order, therefore the verb should always end in EZ.

    Thanks again.
     
    Well, not really, since you may find that kind of sentence : "Evacuer l'édifice est la meilleure chose à faire." But if it does give an order, the "imperatif" tense will take 3 forms, depending on who's talking :

    Evacue !
    Evacuez !
    Evacuons !
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The normal way to give a command in French is with the imperative mood. Thus:

    Évacuez immédiatement l'édifice.:tick: (--> vous)
    Évacue immédiatement l'édifice.:tick: (--> tu)
    However, as in other languages, the infinitive can also be used to give some impersonal commands:

    Évacuer immédiatement l'édifice.:tick:
    Ne pas fumer.:tick: (No smoking.)​
     

    ramaud

    Member
    France and French
    I agree with outsider!!
    when you use the infinitive form, it's more like a list of things you say but not directly adderssed to someone as an order, for exemple in a receipee
    "prendre 4 oeufs, mélanger le sucre et ...." (c'est comme une procédure à suivre et non un ordre que l'on éxécute réellement!)

    when you want to give an order to someone, use the imperative.

    :)
     
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    ray_chill_91

    New Member
    New Zealand - English
    Help!!
    I'm writing a speech about how to save the planet and Im having trouble with these imperative or infinitive commands. I've read all the information above but am still confused!
    'Here are some simple and easy ways which can help reduce harmful gas emissions.
    - Reduce, reuse and recycle! ...
    - Use public transport! ....
    - Save electricity! ...


    Voici quelques façons simples et faciles qui peuvent aider à réduire les émissions des gaz nuisibles :
    - Réduire, Réutiliser et Recycler .....
    - Prendre le transport en commun ....
    - Conserver l’électricité ....

    Or should it be 'conservez' ? I am so confused!

    Merci en avance :D
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Since these are not commands but rather a kind of user manual, you should definitely use the infinitive:

    Voici quelques moyens simples qui peuvent aider à réduire les émissions de gaz nuisibles :
    - réduire, réutiliser et recycler ;
    - prendre le
    s transports en commun/les transports publics ;
    -
    économiser l’électricité.

     

    Little Star

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Hi there,

    I'd be grateful if anyone can tell me the difference between these as imperative. I am afraid I dont have any clear context but I usually read in giving directions for example or in recipes that it is used in infinitive. Why isnt it used as Prenez? I dont know the reason.

    Many thanks
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi,
    I think I have found a new way of explaining the difference :

    If the person you are addressing is a "tu", you will use the 2nd person imperative :
    "S'il pleut, prends ton parapluie".
    If the person you are addressing is a "vous", you will use the "ez" imperative :
    "S'il pleut, prenez votre parapluie".
    If the person you are addressing is a "nous", you will use the "ons" imperative :
    "S'il pleut, prenons notre parapluie".
    Lastly, if the person you are addressing is a generic "on", you will use the infinitive :
    "S'il pleut, prendre son parapluie".
    (And the possessive adjective must be "son", because it is the possessive whose possessor is "on").
    It is impossible to build an imperative in English with "one" as a subject, but you can give an idea of the meaning saying :
    "If it is raining, one must take one's umbrella".
     

    Montaigne

    Senior Member
    French, France
    bloomiegirl is right, Prévert had chosen the style of a recipe which, in french, uses the infinitive most of the time.
    The translation should be on that basis.
     

    maricalama

    New Member
    Can I use the infinitive instead of the imperative when giving directions or writing a recipe in French? I'm a bit confused. Can anybody explane the difference if there is any. Which is correct?
    Travercer rue X ou traversez rue X
    Mijoter a feu doux ou mijotez a feu doux.
    merci d'avance:)
     

    baker589

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think for directions use the imperative. I have seen the infinitive used in a recipe, but more often than not, it is in the imperative as well.

    This is a recipe in a fairly typical style.
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Hi, for impersonal instructions, the use of the infinitive is better.
    The difference is that the imperative is a command to the "vous" or the "tu" forms, and the infinitive is a command to the "on" form. (Therefore, the infinitive is more impersonal)

    In many cases, the choice between the two is up to you, but once you have chosen, you cannot change in the middle of your instructions list, because it would be very awkward.
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Yes,
    If you try to summarise the way that you can give commands in french, with the example of the verb "manger".
    You cannot really give a command to the first person "je" form (a command to yourself), but you can give a command to the first person plural "nous" form : "mangeons".
    You can give a command to the "tu" form, using the imperative : "Mange".
    You can give a command to the "vous" form, using another form of the imperative : "Mangez".
    You cannot give a command to the "il" or "elle" form, and you have to cheat using the subjunctive, but there is a way to give a command to the "on" form, using the infinitive : "Manger".

    To make it clearer : "Mangez" is a synonym of "je veux que vous mangiez" (vous form) and "manger" is a synonym of "je veux qu'on mange" ("on" form).

    (note : this "on" is never the "on" that casually means "nous". You must use "mangeons" for this case.)
     

    café olé

    Senior Member
    Basque et Espagnol
    Mais... c'est plutôt la forme "il faut" qui est cachée sous l'impératif, non?

    (Il faut) traverser le pont, (il faut) tourner à gauche....
    (Il faut) mijoter à feu doux, (il faut) ajouter de la farine...
    :)
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    c'est plutôt la forme "il faut" qui est cachée sous l'impératif l'infinitif
    Vous pouvez l'expliquer comme vous voulez, bien sûr.
    Du point de vue théorique, votre explication est peut-être meilleure
    Mais je crois que l'explication avec "on" est plus efficace d'un point de vue purement pédagogique. (pour bien faire comprendre la différence à un anglophone, puis qu'en anglais, les formes impératives et infinitives sont identiques, et a fortiori à un hellénophone, puisqu'en grec, l'infinitif n'existe pas.)
     
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    janpol

    Senior Member
    France - français
    les deux modes sont possibles, il faut seulement veiller à choisir la bonne consruction : faites-les cuire, les faire cuire
     

    laura003

    Senior Member
    English
    When giving instruction, for example, in a manuel, would you say for example:

    Recopie les phrases en masculin

    OR

    Recopiez les phrases en masculin

    Thanks so much!
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Actually, instructions for school exercises in a French textbook* are often given using the infinitive:

    Recopier les phrases...

    (the same is true for recipe instructons : battre les blancs d'oeufs en neige, mettre le plat au four, etc.)

    * FR manuel = EN textbook
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Recopiez is fine. Either form is commonly used, at least in English textbooks on French. But I would say au masculin or à la forme masculine.
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Recopiez is fine. Either form is commonly used, at least in English textbooks on French. But I would say au masculin or à la forme masculine.
    I agree.

    Recopie, Trouve la solution, Colorie, etc. (familar imperative forms) might be seen in a young child's textbook or exercise book, but for an older student or adult audience, the more formal recopiez would be used if the infinitive recopier were not.
     

    Zuccherro

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Hello

    Im translating maths problems into french
    but I'm not sure how should the questions be like
    Do we use infinitive verbs or do we use the verb conjugated ( tu or vous?)
    for example:

    Simplifier/z l'expresson suivantes
    Ajouter/z les exposants de x
    Multiplier/z les nombres

    J'utilise quelle forme exactement?
     
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    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    You can use both in French, but (although they sound the same) I think it would be more correct to use infinitive verbs in school exercices.
     

    JeanDeSponde

    Senior Member
    France, Français
    The infinitive form is more neutral indeed, and is the most common.
    Now the simplifiez... is rather common as well, and you may also find simplifie ("tutoiement") in books for young pupils.
    The same can be found in recipes: prenez /prendre 1kg de pommes de terre...
    There is no such thing as "correct" or "incorrect" here I think; the main point is what SwissPete said:
    ... but the main thing is to be consistent.
     

    iosonolobo

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Tout en considérant la façon de traduire l'interface utilisateur d'un logiciel, je suis tombé sur un choix entre l'utilisation de l'infinitif ou l'impératif. J'ai vu des exemples des deux choix, comme les suivants:

    Avec l'infinitif
    "Share" = "Partager", "Continue" = "Continuer", "Close" = "Fermer", "Open in Safari" = "Ouvrir sous Safari", "Cancel" = "Annuler"

    Avec l'imperatif
    "Share" = "Partage" (dans le même logiciel ! ), "Search" = "Recherche", "Enter your message:" = "Tapez votre message:"

    Pour les actions (comme cliquer sur un bouton) et les choix de l'utilisateur, j'ai vu de la plupart l'utilisation de l'infinitif. Mais, évidemment ce n'est pas l'habitude de tout le monde.

    En tout cas, je suis un peu confus au sujet des pratiques de traduction de ces types de termes. Quelqu'un peut me donner leurs conseils sur la façon dont cela est géré en France ?
     

    Danidan45

    Member
    français
    Bonjour,

    En informatique, dans les menus on trouve le plus souvent l'infinitif, car ce sont des instructions simples et courtes. "enregistrer" "supprimer"
    c'est une forme neutre et impersonnelle qui peut s'adresser à tous les lecteurs. Pour des conseils plus longs comme dans les notices explicatives on retrouve souvent
    l'impératif à la 2éme personne du pluriel " N'oubliez pas de débrancher l'appareil avant le démontage ... forme plus personnelle que: Debrancher avant de démonter.
     

    Ashmada

    Senior Member
    French - Belgium
    What Danidan45 said is correct, I just wanted to add that, in your examples, the second "share/partage" and "search/recherche" are nouns, not verbs in the imperative.
     

    timboleicester

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I have all of the verbs used in my instruction manual changed to the "ez" form of the verb when giving instructions. There are literally 100s of them. My version of using the infinitive eg. ajouter les..... has been marked as wrong and now the employers, who don't speak French at all, think I have done it wrong. I need back up.

    veillez à ce que...... from veiller à ce que... and so on.

    Please any help welcomed.
     

    Donaldos

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Who marked it wrong ?

    It's just a matter of personal preference . Both the infinitive and the imperative are acceptable.
     

    timboleicester

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Evidently they sent away a test peice and it came back with all the infinitives changed to imperatives in big red print making it look terribly amateurish. Now i have to justify it to the poeple giving me the work and it now looks very defensive.

    Thanks you saved my sanity...
     

    rossng

    New Member
    English - UK
    J'essaie d'écrire des fragments de code en français mais je ne sais pas comment nommer les fonctions/méthodes.

    Voici quelques possibilités:
    [CODE]int invoque (char arg) {
    ...
    }[/CODE]
    [CODE]int invoquez (char arg) {
    ...
    }[/CODE]
    [CODE]int invoquer (char arg) {
    ...
    }[/CODE]
     

    silverthreads

    New Member
    English - Australia
    In an article that lists a number of ways to improve oneself, I'm translating a series of headings, each followed by an explanatory paragraph. The heading is an imperative, followed by a gerund in the explanatory paragraph. For example:

    1. Swim every day

    Swimming is good for you blah blah blah.


    Would the headings in French also be imperatives? (Eg: Baignez-vous chaque jour) or would they be more appropriate presented as infinitives? (Se baigner chaque jour). I’m assuming that the appropriate translation for the gerund in the paragraph following is an infinitive (Se baigner est bonne pour la santé) but my reservation is that the repetition of the infinitive would make an article like this a little boring, so am hoping that the imperative is OK.

    Is there a routine format for something like this?
     

    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    Il s'agit apparemment d'un liste de moyens pour améliorer sa santé ou son bien-être. L'impératif semble discutable, à plus forte raison pour nager tous les jours, qui exige des conditions particulières : il faut avoir une piscine accessible toute l'année, ou habiter à proximité d'un bassin de natation, ou près d'une mer ou d'un plan d'eau dans une région où il ne fait jamais très froid. De plus, savoir nager n'est pas comme savoir se brosser les dents. ;)

    Une recommandation à l'infinitif me semble plus adaptée qu'un ordre impératif (vous devez..., il faut que vous...).

    Qu'est-ce qui précède la liste de verbes à l'impératif ? "If possible..." ?

    Note : infinitif est bon (neutre, donc masculin) pour la santé
     
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