Verbs – Etre

Verbs – Etre

A long time ago, my first French professor told my class that the most important verb to know in French is être, which means to be. If you don’t know how to conjugate être, you’ll have a difficult time learning how to speak simple sentences in French.

Je (I) suis (am)    [pronunciation – zhuh swee]

Tu (you, singular) es (are)    [pronunciation – to eh]

Il/Elle/On (he/she/one) est (is)    [pronunciation – eel/el/ohn eh]

Nous (we) sommes (are)    [pronunciation – noo sum]

Vous (you, plural; you, formal) êtes (are)    [pronunciation – vooz ett]

Ils/Elles (they, masculine & feminine plural) sont (are)    [pronunciation – eelz/ellez sohn]

The different uses of être

Some of these may be a bit advanced, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed reading them, but just read them over and get a feel for this verb.

être à quelque chose    to be at/into something

  • Etienne n’est pas là; il est au travail.  –  Etienne is not here; he is at work.
  • La maison est à dix kilomètres de Bordeaux.  –  The house is ten kilometers from Bordeaux.
  • Ce livre est à moi.  –  This book belongs to me.
  • Je suis à vous dans un instant!  –  I’ll be right with you!

être à + infinitif    to be to + infinitive

  • C’est une région à voir.  –  It is an area that is worth seeing.
  • Ton costume est à nettoyer.  –  Your suit needs to be cleaned.

être à quelqu’un de + infinif    to be up to somebody to + infinitive

  • C’était à elle de donner son avis.  –  It was up to her to give her opinion.
  • C’est à toi de jouer.  –  It is your turn to play.

être contre/pour quelque chose/quelqu’un    to be against/for something/somebody

  • Etes-vous contre la nouvelle loi?  –  Are you against the new law?

2 thoughts on “Verbs – Etre

  1. Pingback: Verbs – Irregular Verbs | Learn French Avec Moi

  2. Pingback: Idiomatic Verbs – Etre | Learn French Avec Moi

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