Archive | February 2016

Lesson 17 – The Conditional Tense

Leçon 17 – The Conditional Tense – Le Conditionnel

The conditional expresses what might happen or what would happen if certain conditions existed. It is formed by adding the endings of the imperfect tense to the infinitive.

Parler

  • je parlerais
  • tu parlerais
  • il/elle/on parlerait
  • nous parlerions
  • vous parleriez
  • ils/elles parleraient

Finir

  • je finirais
  • tu finirais
  • il/elle/on finnirait
  • nous parlerions
  • vous finiriez
  • ils/elles finiraient

Rendre

  • je rendrais
  • tu rendrais
  • il/elle/on rendrait
  • nous rendrions
  • vous rendriez
  • ils/elles rendraient

Être

  • je serais
  • tu serais
  • il/elle/on serait
  • nous serions
  • vous seriez
  • ils/elles seraient

 

The same spelling changes that appear in the future tense appear in the conditional.

  • acheter – j’achèterais
  • appeler – j’appellerais
  • préférer – je préférerais

 

The conditional of il faut is il faudrait. The conditional of il y a is il y aurait.

The conditional tense is the equivalent of English would + verb. It must not be confused with the use of would to describe a repeated action in the past, which is the imperfect (l’imparfait).

  • On allait à la plage tous les jours quand on était petits.
  • We would go to the beach everyday when we were kids.

 

That is all for this week. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see here. I do take requests!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Lesson 16 – The Future Tense

Leçon 16 – The Future Tense – Le Futur

The future tense in French expresses an action that will take place in the future. For example: I will sing, he will eat.

Future tense of a regular verb is formed by adding the following endings to the infinitive:

-ai, -as, -a, -ons, -ez, -ont

Example:

Parler

  • je parlerai
  • tu parleras
  • il/elle/on parlera
  • nous parlerons
  • vous parlerez
  • ils/elles parleront

Finir

  • je finirai
  • tu finiras
  • il/elle/on finira
  • nous finirons
  • vous finirez
  • ils/elles finiront

Note: Verbs whose infinitive ends in -re drop the final e before the future tense ending.

Rendre

  • je rendrai
  • tu rendras
  • il/elle/on rendra
  • nous rendrons
  • vous rendrez
  • ils/elles rendront

 

Some verbs have an irregular stem in the future tense. The endings are regular in every case.

  • être – je serai
  • faire – je ferai
  • aller – j’irai
  • avoir – j’aurai
  • savoir – je saurai
  • tenir – je tiendrai
  • venir – je viendrai
  • vouloir – je voudrai
  • acquérir – j’acquérrai
  • courir – je courrai
  • envoyer – j’enverrai
  • mourir – je mourrai
  • pouvoir – je pourrai
  • voir – je verrai
  • devoir – je devrai
  • recevoir – je recevrai
  • décevoir – je décevrai
  • pleuvoir – il pleuvra

 

Here are some related verbs that have the same irregularities in their stems:

  • devenir – je deviendrai
  • revenir – je reviendrai

 

The future of il faut is il faudra. The future of il y a is il y aura.

 

Verbs that change a mute e in the present tense (ex: acheter) also change the e to è in all forms of the future tense.

  • acheter – j’achèterai
  • amener – j’amènerai

 

Verbs that double their final consonant before a mute e in the present tense (ex: appeler) will still also have a double consonant in the future tense.

  • appeler – j’appellerai
  • jeter – je jetterai

 

Verbs such as espérer and préférer keep the é in the future tense.

  • espérer – j’espérerai
  • préférer – je préféreai

 

Merci à vous !

Courtney

History of the French Language

Hello readers!

I came across this dissertation about the history of the French language. It’s a bit long, but it’s a good read if you’re into history.

Did you know that when the Gauls began writing their Gaulish language that they used the Greek alphabet? And that Old French was phonetic?

 

 

Enjoy, and I will see you next week!

Courtney

Grammar – Possessive Adjective

Grammar – Possessive Adjectives

The best way to describe possessive adjectives is to give English equivalents:

My book, your car, his/her cat, our house, your exams, their parents.

 

A possessive adjective stands before a noun, in place of an article. The possessive adjective always agrees in number and gender with the noun, not with the person possessing the object.

Masculine Singular

mon, ton, son, notre, votre, leur

Feminine Singular

ma, ta, sa, notre, votre, leur

Plural

mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs

 

For a feminine singular noun beginning with a vowel or a muted H, the masculine singular form (mon, ton, son) are used in place of ma, ta, sa.

  • Mon amie Charlotte est petite. – My friend Charlotte is short.
  • Ton idée n’est pas mauvaise. – Your idea isn’t bad.

 

The possessive adjective is usually repeated before each qualified noun.

  • Mon frère, mon cousin, et mes soeurs vont venir. – My brother, (my) cousin, and (my) sisters are coming.

 

French uses the possessive adjective before some forms of address, whereas English does not.

  • Vous avez faim, mes enfants? – Are you hungry, children?

 

Where English uses the possessive adjective before parts of the body, French is more likely to use the definite article before the part of the body, together with a reflexive verb, or a construction with an indirect object pronoun:

  • Je dois me laver les cheveux. – I must wash my hair.
  • Il s’est cassé la jambe. – He broke his leg.

 

Where English uses the possessive adjective “its” or “their” referring to objects, in formal French may prefer the pronoun en rather than the possessive adjective son/sa/ses or leur/leurs.

  • Mon collègue connaît le dossier. Il en a mesuré l’importance. – My colleague knows the file. He is aware of its importance.

Changes in French Spelling

The Académie Française announced today that starting in September, the spelling of over two thousand words is going to change. This change is supposedly to help make it easier to simplify words. I don’t know about you all, but I don’t like this. French is not my first language, it isn’t even my second language, and just like many of you I learned French in school and out of textbooks. I learned the various ways accented letters are pronounced. The Académie Française is doing away with the circumflex accent (^) and hyphens in some words.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this will help or hinder?

Sources: this page and CNN

You can read all the funny and serious tweets on the #ReformeOrthographe hashtag on Twitter.

 

Courtney

Lesson 15 – Reflexive Verbs

Leçon 15 – Reflexive Verbs

In French, reflexive verbs, or pronominal verbs (verbes pronominaux), always appear with the pronoun that refers to the person or thing as the subject. It’s not the same as in English, where these types of verbs usually imply that the subject is doing something to him/herself. (Example: I dress myself. The little boy hurt himself.)

Reflexive verbs are always listed in the infinitive with se or s’ in front of the infinitive:

  • se reveiller – to wake up
  • s’amuser – to have fun/a good time
  • se détendre – to relax
  • s’endormir – to fall asleep

 

Formation of Reflexive Verbs

se reveiller

je me réveille

tu te réveilles

il/elle/on se réveille

nous nous réveillons

vous vous réveillent

 

Reflexive and Non Reflexive Verb Pairs

French verbs are either transitive or intransitive. French transitive verbs must appear with a direct object, while French intransitive verbs cannot appear with a direct object. Most pronominal verbs have a transitive counterpart – a non reflexive verb that must have a direct object.

Examples of transitive verbs:

  • s’amuser quelqu’un – to amuse someone
  • approcher la chaise – to move the chair closer
  • ennuyer les enfants – to bore the children
  • habiller le bébé – to dress the baby
  • laver le parquet – to wash the floor
  • offenser quelqu’un – to offend someone
  • promener le chien – to walk the dog
  • réveiller les enfants – to wake up the children

 

Now here are examples of those same verbs but as reflexive verbs:

  • s’amuser – to have a good time
  • s’approcher – to approach/move closer
  • s’ennuyer – to get bored
  • s’habiller – to get dressedd
  • se laver – to wash up
  • s’offenser – to get insulted
  • se promener – to take a walk
  • se réveiller – to wake up

 

The best way to understand French reflexive verbs is to think of the reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, nous, vous, se) as taking place of the required direct object (je, tu, il/elle/on, nous, vous, ils/elles) with the transitive verbs when there is no direct object present.

Reflexive verbs are common in expressing of one’s daily routine:

  • se coucher – to go to bed
  • se débarbouiller – to wash one’s face
  • se déshabiller – to get undressed
  • se détendre – to relax
  • s’endormir – to fall asleep
  • se fatiguer – to get tired
  • s’habiller – to get dressed
  • se laver – to wash up
  • se lever – to get up
  • se maquiller – to put on makeup
  • se peigner – to comb one’s hair
  • se raser – to shave
  • se reposer – to rest
  • se réveiller – to wake up
  • se soigner – to take care of oneself

 

Other expressions related to our daily routine use the reflexive verb followed by a direct object. In these expressions, the reflexive pronouns are indirect objects. This is most common with parts of the body:

  • se brosser les cheveux – to brush one’s hair
  • se brosser les dent – to brush one’s teeth
  • se casser le bras – to break one’s arm
  • se couper le doigt – to cut one’s finger
  • se couper les cheveux – to cut one’s hair
  • se couper/limer les ongles – to cut/file one’s nails
  • se laver les mains – to wash one’s hands
  • se laver la tête – to wash one’s hair
  • se sécher les cheveux – to dry one’s hair

 

Many verbs of motion follow the same pattern.

  • s’allonger – to stretch out, to lie down
  • s’approcher de – to approach, move closer
  • s’arrêter – to stop
  • s’asseoir – to sit down
  • se dépêcher – to hurry up
  • se déplacer – to move, move about, travel
  • se diriger ver – to head toward
  • s’éloigner de – to move away from
  • s’installer – to move in, settle in
  • se mettre debout – to stand up
  • se mettre en route – to set out
  • se promener – to take a walk
  • se réunir – to get together
  • se trouver – to be located

 

Passé Composé of Reflexive Verbs

All reflexive verbs are conjugated with être in the passé composé. In the passé composé of a reflexive verb, the past participle agrees with the reflexive pronoun, not the subject, if that pronoun is a direct object.

s’amuser

je me suis amusé(e)

tu t’es amusé(e)

il s’est amusé

elle s’est amusée

on s’est amusé/amusés/amusées

nous nous sommes amusé(e)s

vous vous êtes amusé(e)(s)

ils se sont amusés

elles se sont amusées

 

Please leave any comments you may have, I love hearing from you! Do you have any fun learning tools for these subjects? Like music, or poems, or videos? Please share if you do!

 

Merci à vous !

Courtney