|French For Beginners
par Olivier Malet
Now you need to know how to understand and form sentences containing a subject, a verb and a modifier (adverb) as in the English sentence: He works well.
We have 3 oral forms (Familiar, Polite & Inclusive) These 3 oral forms will be used for the present tense indicative of the verbs we’ve seen.
For these 4 personal pronoun the familiar oral form of the verb is used (In other words the verb always sounds the same, the endings –e, -es, ent are silent)
French has two equivalents for the English pronoun you. As already learned before, the familiar form is used when speaking to a person you are very close to (a parent, a relative, a friend of long standing) and when speaking to a small child. It cannot be used if you are speaking to more than one person.
In English, the pronoun they can refer to:
(1) several men (2) several women (3) a group of men and women
In French, a distinction is made.
(1) They eat (men alone or men and women mixed) : Ils mangent
(2) They eat (women alone) : Elles mangent
In the translation exercises, we will use they when referring to men alone or men and women mixed; we will use they (f) when referring to women alone.
Note : French uses the same form for he eats and he is eating, we eat and we are eating, you eat and you are eating, etc…
Note also that there is no oral distinction between:
Il travaille | Ils travaillent
Elle travaille | Elles travaillent
They sound the same. This is characteristic of TYPE I VERBS.
copyright 2006-Olivier Malet - All rights reserved
The University of Hong Kong