Verbs être (to be), avoir (to have) and subject pronoun in French

The verb in French is the most important element of a statement or question, since it conveys so much information: the person, the action or state, and the time of the action.
An infinitive is the unconjugated form of the verb. For example, to be is an English infi nitive. French infi nitives are single words; they do not contain the element to.

Conjugations are the verb forms that belong to particular subjects. I am and he is are conjugations of the English infi nitive to be.

The Verbs être (to be) and avoir (to have)
être (to be) and avoir (to have) are the most common French verbs. It makes sense to learn them fi rst. You will fi nd être and avoir everywhere: in descriptions, in idiomatic expressions, as linking verbs, and as helping (auxiliary)
verbs in compound tenses.
Like many common French verbs, être and avoir are irregularwith special conjugation patterns. You will begin to learn regular verbs in ,next post

Je suis américain.                 I am American.
Nous avons deux enfants.    We have two children

Etre and Subject Pronouns

All verb conjugations in French have six persons. Three are singular,corresponding
to: I, you (familiar), and he/she/it/one. Three are plural, corresponding to: we, you (pol. singular, and fam. or pol. plural), and they. The verb être has six different conjugated forms:

Present Tense of être (to be)

1st Person                               je suis                                    I am
2nd Person                              tu es                                      you are (fam.)
3rd Person                               il est                                      he /it is
elle est                                              she/it is
on est                                                                one is, we/they are

1st Person                                         nous sommes                              we are
2nd Person                                        vous êtes                                         you are (pol.s.;fam./pol. pl.)
3rd Person                                         ils sont                                             they (m. pl.) are
elles sont                                         they (f. pl.) are

Subject Pronouns
As in English, conjugated forms of French verbs are preceded by one of the following:

A common noun (a person, animal, place, thing, or idea)
A proper noun (a name)
Or a subject pronoun (a word used in place of a noun)

Subject Pronouns

PERSON                                                   SINGULAR                                                                      PLURAL
1st                                                                je/j        I                                            nous we
2nd                                                             tu           you (fam.)                        vous you (pol. s.; fam./pol. pl.)
3rd                                                                il            he/it (m.)                           ils they (m. pl. or mixed)
elle        she/it (f.)                            elles they (f. pl.)
on          one/we/they

Gender and Number
Remember that all French nouns have gender and number: Every noun is either masculine or feminine (le livre, la table), and either singular or plural (lhôtel [m.], les hôtels).

The subject pronoun of a conjugated verb corresponds to the gender and number of the noun (a person or thing) that it replaces.

La table est dans le salon.                                    The table is in the living room.
Elle (La table) est dans le salon                          . It is in the living room.

Context will help you determine the person or object the subject pronoun
refers to.

Uses of Subject Pronouns
Conjugated verb forms in French are always preceded by a noun or a subject

Verb Forms Without Subjects
Verb infi nitives, commands and present participles  do not include a noun subject or a subject

To avoid repetition, the subject pronoun often replaces a noun.

Richard est en ville.                                  Richard is downtown.
Il est au cinéma.                                          He is at the movies.
Mes soeurs sont en voyage.             sisters are on a trip.
Elles sont à Lille.                                        Theyre in Lille.

Je (I). In French, je is capitalized only when it begins a sentence. Like the defi nite articles le and la, je drops (elides) the letter -e before a vowel sound. It is replaced by an apostrophe and closed up to the conjugated verb.

Je suis content; jai un                             am happy; I have a new job.
  nouveau travail.

Tu and vous (you). Tu (with its verb form) is always singular. It is used to speak to one person who is a friend or relative, to a child, or to a pet. Vous is used to speak to someone you dont know well or to anyone with whom you have a relationship of respect, for example, strangers, new acquaintances, salespeople, or professionals. The plural of both tu and vous is vous (with its conjugated verb form).

Sylvie, tu es étudiante?                                           Sylvie, are you a student?
Pardon, Madame, vous êtes                               Excuse me, Maam, are you
la mère de Sylvie?                                                     Sylvies mother?
Attention les enfants! Vous                                   Children! Are you ready?
êtes prêts?

Do as the Natives Do
As you get to know a native speaker of French, a good rule of thumb for the nonnative is to wait until your new friend addresses you with tu, before starting to use tu with him or her.

Il and ils; elle and elles. The English subject pronouns he, she, it (singular), and they (plural) are expressed by il or ils (for masculine nouns) and elle or elles (for feminine nouns).

Elles sont formidables!                                           They (fem. persons or things) are fantastic!
Il est drôle.                                                                     He/It (The puppy[?]) is funny.

The plural ils (they, m. pl.) refers to any group that includes at least one masculine noun.

Voilà Marie, Anne et Patrick.                                                Theres Marie, Anne, and Patrick.
Ils sont en retard!                                                  Theyre late!

On. The subject pronoun on (third-person singular) is used in French to convey the English indefi nite subjects one, we, people, and they.

Alors, on est daccord?                                         O.K., so we agree?
Le matin, on est en bonne                                   In the morning, they (we, people)
forme.                                                                               feel good.

Modern speech often replaces nous (we) by on. The adjective can be spelled in the singular or the plural.

Vous êtes fatigués?                                                  Youre tired?
Oui, on est très fatigué(s)!                                     Yes, were all (everybodys)
(Oui, nous sommes très             very tired!

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