Lesson 4

It’s conjugating time! 


To effectively communicate, every sentence should include a verb. And of course, there are many exceptions to this rule, however, this is the case for most sentences in all the languages I know—only 3.

The first verbs I want to introduce you to are the auxiliary verbs: être and avoir. By knowing them and their conjugations, you will be able to confidently formulate full basic sentences in the language. Like language educator Alexa says “Without these two verbs … you will forever be limited to what you say in French.”

But I haven’t even told you what être and avoir mean. So let’s jump right in!


Être

Infinitive

être

to be

singular

Je suis

Tu es

Il/Elle est

I am

You are

He/She is

Je suis une femme. / I am a woman.

Tu es drôle. / You are funny.

Il n’est pas à la maison. / He is not home.

plural

Nous sommes

Vous êtes

Ils/Elles sont

We are

You are

They are

Nous sommes fatigués. / We are tired.

Vous n’êtes pas bien. / You are not well.

Elles sont intelligentes. / They (f.) are intelligent.


Avoir

Infinitive avoir To have
singular J’ai

Tu as

Il/Elle a

I have

You have

He/She has

J’ai un rhume. / I have a cold.

Tu as un beau sourire. / You have a nice (pretty) smile.

Elle a beaucoup d’amis. / She has many friends.

plural

Nous avons

Vous avez

Ils/Elles ont

We have

You have

They have

Nous avons dix jours de vacances. / We have ten days of vacations.

Vous n’avez pas mangé. / You have not eaten.

Ils n’ont pas de voiture. / They don’t have a car.

You probably noticed that I introduced the adverbes négatifs, or negative adverbs. They are used to convert an affirmative statement into a negative one with having ne/n’ precede the verb and pas following it. 

Another thing you should notice is that some words are used in a feminine form or a masculine form. For example intelligentes in the last sentence is the féminin (feminine) of the masculine version of intelligent. We will go more in-depth on this topic on a future lesson.

Watch this video from  language educator Alexa that will further your understanding of these verb conjugations and their pronunciations. 

 

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