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For the phrase « ne t'inquiète(s) pas », more precisely for the verb « s'inquiéter », do you conjugate the verb as « t'inquiètes » or « t'inquiète » for « tu » ?

The reason I ask this, is because I seem to be finding some inconsistency as to which is used on the web. Reverso says for "Don't worry":

Reverso

Where I'm seeing it conjugated correctly for « vous » but « tu » is looking more like that of « je ».

This conjugation site on the other hand is saying « tu ne t'inquiètes pas » which follows more as I would of thought:

Other site

So my question is, what is the correct way of conjugating « s'inquiéter » for the phrase « ne t'inquiète(s) pas » ?

EDIT: I just realised too, how come the accent on the e changes for everything but « nous » and
« vous » to accent grave instead of accent aigu ?

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The imperative form is "ne t'inquiète pas", no "s" needed, that would be an error. I think you are confusing the imperative and indicative moods, which in French follow different conjugation rules.

Present imperative - 2nd person singular: no "s" with regular verbs ending with "-er"

Ne t'inquiète pas

Present indicative - 2nd person singular: "s" with regular verbs ending with "-er"

Tu ne t'inquiètes pas

  • Oh gosh Greg that actually makes a lot of sense! Merci beaucoup pour la reponse rapide ! – Finn Rayment Jan 17 '18 at 10:53
  • Mais est-ce que tu sais pourquoi l'accent sur le 'e' est different ? – Finn Rayment Jan 17 '18 at 10:54
  • Mmmh... là, c'est plus compliqué... je pense que cela est du au fait que la syllabe suivante a un "e" muet ou pas... Je ne suis pas sûr de la règle qui décrit cela. Comme "native speaker", je fais naturellement la différence parce que cela s'entend oralement. Pour le "s" final à l'impératif, c'est par contre une faute assez courante même dans les écrits de "native speakers". – Greg Jan 17 '18 at 10:58
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    Note that sometimes even if it's "impératif", you'll have to put an "s", for phonetics reasons: « Discutes-en avec Paul ». Yes, French is full of exceptions. See there: francaisfacile.com/exercices/exercice-francais-2/… – Larme Jan 17 '18 at 17:43
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    @Lambie: "t'inquiète" as a shortened form for "ne t'inquiète pas" is very common , esp. among teenagers. The form has been documented on wiktionary: fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/t%E2%80%99inqui%C3%A8te – Greg Jan 18 '18 at 8:47
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Good answers already concerning the mood, which was imperative and not indicative. No need to expand for too long, the S is dropped from the second singular person final for the verbs in -ER in this mood.


I’ll concentrate on your question about the accents varying for every person but nous and vous in the indicative present. It has to do with the pronunciation. When the T-sound is the last one in a conjugation of this verb (we except the E caduc), the É-sound1 preceeding it turns into an È-sound2, and the accent is changed accordingly. French in general doesn’t have very many cases (if any) of words ending with the É-sound + a consonnant3.

  • Inquiéter is pronounced [ɛ̃.kje.te], and the T-sound doesn’t complete the enunciation of the word.

  • Je m’inquiète is pronounced [ʒə.mɛ̃.kjɛt] (also [ʒə.mɛ̃.kjɛtə] in some areas or circumstances), and the last sound of the word is a T (or a caduc E).

Though there are variations in the way É and È are pronounced, this verb follows the general trend.

A few of the other verbs behaving the same way, with various consonants following the É: abréger (soft G), céder, légiférer, léguer (hard G).


1 [e] in the international phonetic alphabet.

2 [ɛ] in the international phonetic alphabet.

3 Possible exceptions:

  • Words borrowed from English: email [iːmel] (the neologism courriel is however consistently gaining popularity), freight and brace are commonly borrowed as is in Quebec, but I don’t think they are common in France.

  • Some words pronounced in a very familiar tone in some areas of Quebec, perhaps also elsewhere: père, mère, frère, bière can become [peʁ], [meʁ], [fʁeʁ], [bjeʁ] when spoken out loud.

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When you use the expression (ne) t'inquiète (pas) (no 's' here), the used mood is called impératif in French :

  • inquiète-toi
  • inquiétons-nous
  • inquiétez-vous

In this case, we don't use the mood indicatif (as you said):

  • je m'inquiète
  • tu t'inquiètes
  • il s'inquiète
  • nous nous inquiétons
  • vous vous inquiétez
  • ils s'inquiètent

So here we use the negation of inquiète-toi which is ne t'inquiète pas and became t'inquiète.

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