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VERBS ARE ACTION WORDS. THEY TELL YOU WHAT IS GOING ON.
FOR EXAMPLE…
JOHN PLAYS FOOTBALL EVERY SUNDAY
SARAH LIKES THE CINEMA
THESE ARE VERBS
YOU HAVE DIFFERENT WORDS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE OR THINGS.
YOU SAY “HE PLAYS” BUT YOU DON’T SAY “I PLAYS”.
YOU CHANGE THE VERB TO FIT THE PERSON OR THING.
ME DOING IT
YOU DOING IT
I EAT APPLES
YOU EAT APPLES
I AM EATING APPLES
YOU ARE EATING APPLES
HIM DOING IT
US DOING IT
HE EATS APPLES
WE EAT APPLES
HE IS EATING APPLES
WE ARE EATING APPLES
IN FRENCH, AS IN ENGLISH, VERBS HAVE TO CHANGE SO IT IS
RIGHT FOR THE PERSON OR THING YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU WANT TO SAY “I PLAY” IN FRENCH, YOU START
BY LOOKING UP “PLAY” IN THE DICTIONARY. BUT YOU CAN’T JUST USE
THE FIRST WORD YOU FIND – THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN THAT…
WHEN YOU LOOK UP A VERB IN THE DICTIONARY, YOU WILL
GET SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
THIS IS CALLED AN INFINITIVE
AN INFINITIVE IN ENGLISH HAS THE WORD “TO” WITH IT.
MOST OF THE TIME YOU WON’T WANT TO USE THE VERB IN
THE INFINITIVE.
YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE IT SO IT IS RIGHT FOR THE
PERSON OR THING YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT
LETS LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE EXAMPLE SENTENCES WE SAW EARLIER
JOHN PLAYS FOOTBALL EVERY SUNDAY
SARAH LIKES THE CINEMA
I AM EATING APPLES
WE ARE EATING APPLES
THESE SENTENCES DESCRIBE WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW. ANOTHER
WAY TO DESCRIBE THINGS HAPPENING NOW, IS TO SAY THEY ARE
HAPPENING IN THE PRESENT.
WHEN WE USE VERBS TO DESCRIBE THINGS THAT ARE
HAPPENING NOW, OR SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS
REPEATEDLY, WE SAY THAT WE ARE USING…
THE PRESENT TENSE
WE HAVE TO CHANGE AN INFINITIVE TO FORM THE PRESENT TENSE AND
MAKE IT RIGHT FOR THE PERSON OR THING WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.
WE CAN FIND THE INFINITIVE OF A VERB IN THE DICTIONARY.
IN FRENCH, THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF INFINITIVE
INFINITIVES THAT END IN…
-ER
-IR
-RE
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF EACH TYPE OF INFINITIVE IN FRENCH
AND ITS MEANING IN ENGLISH.
JOUER – TO PLAY
FINIR – TO FINISH
VENDRE – TO SELL
TO FORM THE PRESENT TENSE, WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE
INFINITIVE. HERE IS WHAT WE DO…
REMOVE THE LAST TWO LETTERS FROM THE INFINITIVE
JOUER
FINIR
VEND RE
WE ARE NOW LEFT WITH THE STEM.
JOUFINVENDADD THE NEW ENDING TO THE STEM. THE
ENDING WILL BE DIFFERENT DEPENDING
ON THE PERSON OR THING.
THE ENDINGS WILL ALSO BE DIFFERENT,
DEPENDING ON WHETHER THE INFINITIVE ENDED IN
–ER, -IR OR –RE.
THESE ARE THE ENDINGS FOR –ER VERBS…
JE JOUE = I PLAY / I AM PLAYING
TU JOUES = YOU PLAY / YOU ARE PLAYING
IL JOUE = HE / IT PLAYS // HE / IT IS PLAYING
ELLE JOUE = SHE / IT PLAYS // SHE / IT IS PLAYING
ON JOUE = ONE PLAYS / ONE IS PLAYING
NOUS JOUONS = WE PLAY / WE ARE PLAYING
VOUS JOUEZ = YOU PLAY / YOU ARE PLAYING
ILS JOUENT = THEY PLAY / THEY ARE PLAYING
ELLES JOUENT = THEY PLAY / THEY ARE PLAYING
THERE ARE 2 DIFFERENT SETS OF ENDINGS FOR –IR VERBS
THESE ARE THE ENDINGS FOR –IR VERBS
SUCH AS “FINIR”, “CHOISIR”…
JE FINIS = I FINISH / I AM FINISHING
TU FINIS = YOU FINISH / YOU ARE FINISHING
IL FINIT = HE / IT FINISHES // HE / IT IS FINISHING
ELLE FINIT = SHE / IT FINISHES // SHE / IT IS FINISHING
ON FINIT = ONE FINISHES / ONE IS FINISHING
NOUS FINISSONS = WE FINISH / WE ARE FINISHING
VOUS FINISSEZ = YOU FINISH / YOU ARE FINISHING
ILS FINISSENT = THEY FINISH / THEY ARE FINISHING
ELLES FINISSENT = THEY FINISH / THEY ARE FINISHING
THESE ARE THE ENDINGS FOR –IR VERBS
SUCH AS “DORMIR”, “SORTIR”…
JE DORS = I SLEEP / I AM SLEEPING
TU DORS = YOU SLEEP / YOU ARE SLEEPING
IL DORT = HE / IT SLEEPS // HE / IT IS SLEEPING
ELLE DORT = SHE / IT SLEEPS // SHE / IT IS SLEEPING
ON DORT = ONE SLEEPS / ONE IS SLEEPING
NOUS DORMONS = WE SLEEP / WE ARE SLEEPING
VOUS DORMEZ = YOU SLEEP / YOU ARE SLEEPING
ILS DORMENT = THEY SLEEP / THEY ARE SLEEPING
ELLES DORMENT = THEY SLEEP / THEY ARE SLEEPING
THESE ARE THE ENDINGS FOR –RE VERBS
JE VENDS = I SELL / I AM SELLING
TU VENDS = YOU SELL / YOU ARE SELLING
IL VEND = HE / IT SELLS // HE / IT IS SELLING
ELLE VEND = SHE / IT SELLS // SHE / IT IS SELLING
ON VEND = ONE SELLS / ONE IS SELLING
NOUS VENDONS = WE SELL / WE ARE SELLING
VOUS VENDEZ = YOU SELL / YOU ARE SELLING
ILS VENDENT = THEY SELL / THEY ARE SELLING
ELLES VENDENT = THEY SELL / THEY ARE SELLING
NOTE THAT FOR “IL”, “ELLE” AND “ON”, THERE IS NO ENDING ADDED,
JUST THE STEM REMAINS.
VERBS ARE SET OUT THIS WAY FOR A REASON. IT IS BECAUSE
THE DIFFERENT “PERSONS” ARE GIVEN SPECIAL NAMES…
1ST PERSON
2ND PERSON
3rd PERSON
1ST PERSON
2ND PERSON
3rd PERSON
JE JOUE = I PLAY
TU JOUES = YOU PLAY
IL JOUE = HE / IT PLAYS
ELLE JOUE = SHE / IT PLAYS
ON JOUE = ONE PLAYS
SINGULAR
NOUS JOUONS = WE PLAY
VOUS JOUEZ = YOU PLAY
ILS JOUENT = THEY PLAY
ELLES JOUENT = THEY PLAY
PLURAL
SO THE WORD “JE” IS KNOWN AS “FIRST PERSON SINGULAR”,
“TU” IS SECOND PERSON SINGULAR, “ILS” IS THIRD PERSON PLURAL, ETC.
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT THERE ARE 2
WORDS FOR “YOU” IN FRENCH. “TU” AND “VOUS”.
THE WORD “TU” IS USED IF YOU ARE TALKING TO
ONE PERSON YOU KNOW, SUCH AS FRIENDS AND
FAMILY. THIS IS KNOWN AS “FAMILIAR”.
“VOUS” IS USED IN 2 WAYS. ONE WAY IS WHEN
YOU SPEAK TO SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW SO
WELL OR A PERSON IN AUTHORITY. THIS IS
KNOWN AS “FORMAL”.
IT IS ALSO USED WHEN YOU ARE SPEAKING TO
MORE THAN ONE PERSON, KNOWN AS “PLURAL”.
IT IS NOT JUST THE WORDS “I”, “YOU”, “HE” ETC THAT ARE USED
WITH VERBS.
OBJECTS, PEOPLE AND THINGS CAN ALL USE VERBS. FOR EXAMPLE…
THE DOG IS PLAYING
MY PARENTS ARE SELLING
WHEN YOU NEED TO PUT THESE WORDS WITH A VERB IN FRENCH,
WHICH ENDING DO YOU USE?
THINK WHICH WORD THE OBJECT OR THING CAN REPLACE. IS “THE DOG”
“I”? NO. IS IT “YOU”? NO. IS IT “HE”? YES. SO USE THE ENDING FOR “IL”
THE DOG IS PLAYING = LE CHIEN JOUE
“MY PARENTS” = “I”, “YOU”, “HE”, “SHE”, “IT”, “ONE”, “WE”, “YOU” OR “THEY”?
MY PARENTS CAN REPLACE THE WORD “THEY”, SO…
MY PARENTS ARE SELLING = MES PARENTS VENDENT
THIS TABLE IS A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO ALL THE
DIFFERENT ENDINGS FOR VERBS IN THE PRESENT TENSE.
-ER
-IR
-IR
-RE
I
JE
E
IS
S
S
YOU
TU
ES
IS
S
S
HE/IT
IL
E
IT
T
SHE/IT
ELLE
E
IT
T
ONE
ON
E
IT
T
WE
NOUS
ONS
ISSONS
ONS
ONS
YOU
VOUS
EZ
ISSEZ
EZ
EZ
THEY
ILS
ENT
ISSENT
ENT
ENT
THEY
ELLES
ENT
ISSENT
ENT
ENT
LETS HAVE A LOOK AT THESE STEPS IN ACTION…
WE WILL USE THE INFINITIVE “JOUER” – TO PLAY
SO WE WILL USE THE –ER VERB ENDINGS
-ER
IL JOUENT
JE
E
ER
ILS
I
JE
E
YOU
TU
ES
HE/IT
IL
E
SHE/IT
ELLE
E
ONE
ON
E
WE
NOUS
ONS
YOU
VOUS
EZ
THEY
ILS
ENT
THEY
ELLES
ENT
= =THEY
=HE
I PLAY
PLAYS
PLAY
/ I AM
/ THEY
HE
PLAYING
IS ARE
PLAYING
PLAYING
REMOVE THE LAST 2 LETTERS FROM
THE INFINITIVE.
ADD THE RIGHT ENDING FOR THE
PERSON OR THING.
NEXT WE WILL SEE HOW THIS WORKS WITH “-IR” VERBS
WE WILL USE THE INFINITIVE “FINIR” – TO FINISH
SO WE WILL USE THE –IR VERB ENDINGS
-IR
VOUS
ELLE
TU FINIR
IS
IT
ISSEZ
= YOUFINISH
YOU
SHE FINISHES
FINISH//YOU
YOU
/ SHE
ARE
ARE
ISFINISHING
FINISHING
REMOVE THE LAST 2 LETTERS FROM
THE INFINITIVE.
ADD THE RIGHT ENDING FOR THE
PERSON OR THING.
I
JE
IS
YOU
TU
IS
HE/IT
IL
IT
SHE/IT
ELLE
IT
ONE
ON
IT
WE
NOUS
ISSONS
YOU
VOUS
ISSEZ
THEY
ILS
ISSENT
THEY
ELLES
ISSENT
LASTLY, WE WILL LOOK AT HOW THIS WORKS WITH “-RE” VERBS
WE WILL USE THE INFINITIVE “VENDRE” – TO SELL
SO WE WILL USE THE “-RE” ENDINGS
-RE
ILS
JE
IL VENDRE
S
ENT
I SELL
/ /I AM
SELLING
= THEY
= HE
SELL
SELLS
THEY
/ HE
ARE
IS SELLING
SELLING
REMOVE THE LAST 2 LETTERS FROM
THE INFINITIVE.
ADD THE RIGHT ENDING FOR THE
PERSON OR THING.
I
JE
S
YOU
TU
S
HE/IT
IL
SHE/IT
ELLE
ONE
ON
WE
NOUS
ONS
YOU
VOUS
EZ
THEY
ILS
ENT
THEY
ELLES
ENT
THAT IS HOW TO FORM THE PRESENT TENSE.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT
THINK THAT THE PRESENT TENSE IS EASY.
ALWAYS THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT WHAT
ENDINGS BELONG WHERE, LEARN THE
ENDINGS SO THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO
ALWAYS LOOK AT THE TABLE.
VERBS THAT FOLLOW THESE RULES
ARE KNOWN AS REGULAR VERBS.
HOWEVER, THERE ARE SOME VERBS THAT
DO NOT FOLLOW THESE RULES. THEY ARE
KNOWN AS IRREGULAR VERBS.
SOME OF THE MOST COMMON AND USEFUL VERBS
ARE IRREGULAR. THEY NEED TO BE LEARNT
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A VERB IS REGULAR OR IRREGULAR?
A DICTIONARY IS THE BEST THING TO USE…
THIS IS A SECTION FROM A PAGE IN A DICTIONARY…
THIS TELLS US THE VERB
IS IRREGULAR
THIS TELLS US THE VERB
IS REGULAR
HOWEVER, NOT ALL DICTIONARIES GIVE THE INFORMATION IN THIS
WAY, BUT THEY WILL ALL HAVE SOMETHING CALLED A VERB TABLE.
THEY LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
THIS IS JUST A SECTION OF A VERB TABLE, BUT IT SHOWS US
THE INFINITIVE, THE PRESENT TENSE AND OTHER TENSES.
A VERB TABLE WILL ALSO SHOW AN EXAMPLE OF THE REGULAR
VERBS. VERY HELPFUL IF YOU FORGET AN ENDING!
SO IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK A VERB
TABLE EVERY TIME YOU USE A VERB
FOR THE FIRST TIME. IF IT IS NOT IN THE
VERB TABLE, THEN IT WILL FOLLOW THE
RULES OF REGULAR VERBS. YOU WILL
SOON BEGIN TO REMEMBER WHICH
VERBS ARE REGULAR, AND WHICH
ONES ARE IRREGULAR.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT AND USEFUL IRREGULAR VERBS…
ÊTRE – TO BE
AVOIR – TO HAVE
I AM = JE SUIS
YOU ARE = TU ES
HE IS = IL EST
SHE IS = ELLE EST
ONE IS = ON EST
I HAVE = J’AI
YOU HAVE = TU AS
HE HAS = IL A
SHE HAS = ELLE A
ONE HAS = ON A
WE ARE = NOUS SOMMES
YOU ARE = VOUS ÊTES
THEY ARE = ILS SONT
THEY ARE = ELLES SONT
WE HAVE = NOUS AVONS
YOU HAVE = VOUS AVEZ
THEY HAVE = ILS ONT
THEY HAVE = ELLES ONT
FAIRE– TO DO / TO MAKE
ALLER– TO GO
I DO / MAKE = JE FAIS
YOU DO / MAKE = TU FAIS
HE DOES / MAKES = IL FAIT
SHE DOES / MAKES = ELLE FAIT
ONE DOES / MAKES = ON FAIT
I GO = JE VAIS
YOU GO = TU VAS
HE GOES = IL VA
SHE GOES = ELLE VA
ONE GOES = ON VA
WE DO / MAKE = NOUS FAISONS
YOU DO / MAKE = VOUS FAITES
THEY DO / MAKE = ILS FONT
THEY DO / MAKE = ELLES FONT
WE GO = NOUS ALLONS
YOU GO = VOUS ALLEZ
THEY GO = ILS VONT
THEY GO = ELLES VONT
POUVOIR–
TO BE ABLE TO / CAN
VOULOIR– TO WANT
I CAN = JE PEUX
YOU CAN = TU PEUX
HE CAN = IL PEUT
SHE CAN = ELLE PEUT
ONE CAN = ON PEUT
I WANT = JE VEUX
YOU WANT = TU VEUX
HE WANTS = IL VEUT
SHE WANTS = ELLE VEUT
ONE WANTS = ON VEUT
WE CAN = NOUS POUVONS
YOU CAN = VOUS POUVEZ
THEY CAN = ILS PEUVENT
THEY CAN = ELLES PEUVENT
WE WANT = NOUS VOULONS
YOU WANT= VOUS VOUVEZ
THEY WANT = ILS VEULENT
THEY WANT = ELLES VEULENT
DEVOIR– TO HAVE TO / MUST
SAVOIR– TO KNOW
I HAVE TO / MUST = JE DOIS
YOU HAVE TO / MUST= TU DOIS
HE HAS TO / MUST = IL DOIT
SHE HAS TO / MUST = ELLE DOIT
ONE HAS TO / MUST = ON DOIT
I KNOW = JE SAIS
YOU KNOW = TU SAIS
HE KNOWS = IL SAIT
SHE KNOWS = ELLE SAIT
ONE KNOWS = ON SAIT
WE HAVE TO / MUST = NOUS DEVONS
YOU HAVE TO / MUST = VOUS DEVEZ
THEY HAVE TO / MUST = ILS DOIVENT
THEY HAVE TO / MUST = ELLES DOIVENT
WE KNOW = NOUS SAVONS
YOU KNOW = VOUS SAVEZ
THEY KNOW = ILS SAVENT
THEY KNOW = ELLES SAVENT
AS WELL AS REGULAR AND IRREGULAR VERBS, THERE IS ONE
MORE GROUP OF VERBS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT…
THEY ARE CALLED REFLEXIVE VERBS.
REFLEXIVE VERBS ARE ACTIONS THAT ARE DONE TO YOURSELF.
FOR EXAMPLE, “I WASH MYSELF” , “I GET MYSELF UP”
THE WORD “MYSELF” IS CALLED A REFLEXIVE PRONOUN.
IN ENGLISH, WE DON’T ALWAYS NEED TO INCLUDE THE
REFLEXIVE PRONOUN SUCH AS THE WORD“MYSELF” FOR THE
VERB TO MAKE SENSE.
IN FRENCH, IF A VERB IS A REFLEXIVE VERB, IT MUST INCLUDE A
REFLEXIVE PRONOUN. HERE IS HOW THIS WORKS…
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A REFLEXIVE VERB…
SE LAVER = TO WASH (ONESELF)
THE INFINITIVE WHEN FOUND IN THE DICTIONARY WILL HAVE THE
REFLEXIVE PRONOUN “SE” OR “S’” IN FRONT OF IT. THIS EXAMPLE IS
ALSO A REGULAR VERB WHICH ENDS IN “-ER”. IT WILL ALSO FOLLOW
THE RULES FOR REGULAR “-ER” VERB ENDINGS.
JE ME LAVE – I WASH (MYSELF)
TU TE LAVES – YOU WASH (YOURSELF)
IL SE LAVE – HE WASHES (HIMSELF)
ELLE SE LAVE – SHE WASHES (HERSELF)
ON SE LAVE – ONE WASHES (ONESELF)
NOUS NOUS LAVONS – WE WASH (OURSELVES)
VOUS VOUS LAVEZ – YOU WASH (YOURSELVES)
ILS SE LAVENT – THEY WASH (THEMSELVES)
ELLES SE LAVENT – THEY WASH (THEMSELVES)
YOU MUST USE THE CORRECT REFLEXIVE PRONOUN WITH THE RIGHT PERSON
CHECK IF THE VERB IS REGULAR OR IRREGULAR, THEN FOLLOW THE
SAME RULES AS BEFORE.
THERE ARE LOTS OF REFLEXIVE VERBS, HERE ARE 6 USEFUL ONES
TO KNOW…
S’AMUSER – TO ENJOY ONESELF
EG IL S’AMUSE = HE ENJOYS HIMSELF
SE COUCHER – TO GO TO BED
EG JE ME COUCHE À DIX HEURES = I GO TO BED AT 10 O’CLOCK
SE LEVER – TO GET UP
EG JE ME LÈVE À SEPT HEURES = I GET UP AT 7 O’CLOCK
SE SENTIR – TO FEEL
EG NOUS NOUS SENTONS MAL = WE ARE FEELING ILL
S’APPELER – TO BE CALLED (LITERALLY “TO CALL ONESELF”)
EG JE M’APPELLE JOHN = I AM CALLED JOHN (LITERALLY “I CALL MYSELF JOHN”)
S’INTÉRESSER À – TO BE INTERESTED IN
EG ELLE S’INTÉRESSE AU TENNIS = SHE IS INTERESTED IN TENNIS
THERE IS A LOT OF INFORMATION AND RULES TO TAKE IN AND
LEARN IN ORDER TO USE THE PRESENT TENSE ACCURATELY.
IT IS THEREFORE A GOOD IDEA TO ALWAYS GO BACK OVER THE
INFORMATION TO CHECK EVERY TIME TO BEGIN WITH. WITH PRACTICE
YOU WILL NEED TO CHECK BACK LESS OFTEN AS YOU LEARN.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO GO THROUGH THESE STEPS…
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
FIND THE INFINITIVE IN A DICTIONARY
CHECK THE VERB TABLE, IS IT A REGULAR OR IRREGULAR VERB?
IF IT IS REGULAR, REMOVE THE –ER, -IR OR –RE.
ADD THE CORRECT ENDING FOR THE CORRECT PERSON.
IF THE VERB IS REFLEXIVE, USE THE CORRECT REFLEXIVE PRONOUN

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