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Modified Infinitive Forms in the Future Tense

Several verbs have modified infinitive forms in the future tense. These verbs have the same endings as the verbs shown in this post. The je form is given as a model for the entire conjugation except in the case of pleuvoir, which is used only in third-person form.

Verbs ending in -oir lose the oi in the future tense.

  • recevoir – je recevrai
  • décevoir – je décevrai
  • devoir – je devrai
  • pleuvoir – il pleuvra

Howeverprévoir (to foresee) and pourvoir (to supply) have the future forms je prévoirai and je pourvoirai. the future of s’asseoir is je m’assiérai.


Avoir and savoir lose the oi of the infinitive, and the final v of their stems changes to u.

  • avoir – j’aurai
  • savoir – je saurai

The future of il y a is il y aura (there will be).


Vouloir loses the oi of the infinitive, and the final l of the stem changes to d.

  • vouloir – je voudrai

Valoir (to be worth) and falloir (must) also lose the oi of the infinitive and modify the stem.

  • valoir – je vaudrai
  • falloir – il faudra

Tenir and venir change their stem vowels to ie, and the i of the infinitive changes to d.

  • tenir – je tiendrai
  • venir – je viendrai

Several verbs have rr in the future tense, sometimes with a modified stem.

  • acquérir – j’acquérrai
  • courir – je courrai
  • envoyer – j’enverrai
  • mourir – je mourrai
  • pouvoir – je pourrai
  • voir – je verrai

Three verbs have irregular stems in the future.

  • aller – j’irai
  • être – je serai
  • faire – je ferai

Most compounds of verbs that are irregular in the future show the same irregularities.

  • défaire (to undo) – je déferai
  • devenir (to become) – je deviendrai
  • revenir (to come back) – je reviendrai
  • soutenir (to support) – je soutiendrai

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

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Imperfect – Continuing Past Action

French uses the imperfect tense to refer to past actions that are seen as continuing at another point of time in the past. English uses a had been doing something construction for this function. The French construction consists of the following elements:

  • depuis quand + imperfect [OR]
  • depuis combien de temps + imperfect [OR]
  • ça faisait combien de temps que + imperfect (colloquial) [OR]
  • il y avait combien de temps que + imperfect (colloquial)

These patterns are used to ask a question about how long something had been going on.

  • Depuis quand est-ce que tu travaillais à Québec ? | How long had you been working in Quebec?
  • Depuis combien de temps est-ce que vous étiez à la bibliothèque quand vous avez vu votre professeur ? | How long had you been at the library when you saw your professor?
  • Ça faisait combien de temps qu’ils cherchaient un logement quand on leur a offert cet appartement ? | How long had they been looking for a place to live when they were offered that apartment?
  • Il y avait combien de temps qu’elle travaillait dans cette entreprise quand ils lui ont donné une augmentation ? | How long had she been working at that company when they gave her a raise?

  • imperfect + depuis + time expression [OR]
  • ça faisait + time expression + que + imperfect (colloquial) [OR]
  • il y avait + time expression + que + imperfect (colloquial) [OR]
  • imperfect + depuis + starting point of action

These patterns are used to tell how long something had been going on.

  • J’habitais ce quartier depuis un an. | I’d been living in that neighbourhood for a year.
  • Ça faisait un an qu’ils sortaient ensemble quand ils se sont fiancés. | They had been going out for a year when they got engaged.
  • Il y avait une heure que nous attendions l’autobus quand vous nous avez aperçus. | We had been waiting for the bus for an hour when you spotted us.
  • Je travaillais à Québec depuis septembre quand j’ai dû rentrer en Belgique. | I had been working in Quebec since September when I had to go back to Belgium.

End Point Specified for Past Action

Although the imperfect is usually used to express repeated actions in the past, when the end point of those actions is specified, the verb is in the passé composé because the speaker’s focus shifts to the completion of the actions. In the following example, no end point is specified:

  • Quand j’étais petit, j’allais au bord de la mer tous les étés. | When I was a child, I went to the seashore every summer.

Notice the change in tense when an endpoint is specifically mentioned:

  • Jusqu’à l’âge de douze ans, je suis allé au bord de la mer tous les étés. | Until the age of twelve, I went to the seashore every summer.

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Double Object Pronouns with Reflexive Verbs

When a reflexive pronoun is an indirect object and the verb also has a direct object, that direct object can be replaced by the corresponding direct object pronoun. The reflexive pronoun always comes first.

  • Je me brosse les dents. | I brush my teeth.
  • Je me les brosse. | I brush them.

  • Il se lave la tête. | He washes his hair.

  • Il se la lave. | He washes it.

  • Elle se lime les ongles. | She files her nails.

  • Elle se les lime. | She files them.

The pronouns and en also appear with reflexive pronouns.

  • Je me suis mêlé à la conversation. | I joined in the conversation.
  • Je m’y suis  mêlé. | I joined in.

  • Ils se sont repentis de leurs actes. | They regretted their actions.

  • Ils s’en sont repentis. | They regretted them.

  • Nous nous sommes habitués à cet appartement. | We got used to that apartment.

  • Nous nous y sommes habitués. | We got used to it.

  • Vous vous doutiez de son incompétence. | You suspected his incompetence.

  • Vous vous en doutiez. | You suspected it.

  • Je me suis fait mal au bras. | I hurt my arm.

  • Je m’y suis fait mal. | I hurt it.

Commands are formed with and en as follows:

  • Arrête-toi au feu rouge. | Stop at the red light.
  • Arrête-t’y. | Stop there.

The direct object pronouns cause agreement of the past participle because they precede the verb.

  • Ils s’est acheté cette voiture. | He bought himself that car.
  • Il se l‘est achetée. | He bought it for himself.

  • Elle s’est cassé la jambe. | She broke her leg.

  • Elle se l‘est cassée. | She broke it.

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

The Subjunctive in Relative Clauses

The subjunctive is used in a relative clause if the antecedent in the main clause does not exist, is sought but not yet found, or is indefinite.

  • Il n’y a personne qui me comprenne. | There is no one who understands me.
  • Je ne vois pas d’endroit où nous puissions nous asseoir. | I don’t see any place where we can sit down.
  • L’entreprise a besoin de secrétaires qui sachent trois langues. | The firm needs secretaries who know three languages.
  • Je cherche une voiture qui fasse du 100 à l’heure. | I’m looking for a car that does 100mph.
  • Connaissez-vous quelqu’un qui puisse nous aider ? | Do you know someone who can help us?

If the antecedent in the main clause actually exists, the indicative is used in the relative clause.

  • J’ai besoin des secrétaires qui savent trois langues. | I need the secretaries who know three language.
  • J’ai acheté la voiture qui fait du 100 à l’heure. | I bought the car that does 100mph.
  • Voilà quelqu’un qui peut nous aider. | There’s someone who can help us.

Happy learning, and I’ll see you again next Thursday!

A la prochaine…

Courtney

Plurals of Nouns

Regular Noun Plurals

Most French nouns form their plural by adding -s to the singular form. Note that the -s is not pronounced.

Singular Plural
la capitale (the capital) les capitales (the capitals)
le mot (the word) les mots (the words)
l’arbre (the tree) les arbres (the trees)

Exceptions

  • Nouns whose singular ends in -s-x, or -z remain unchanged in the plural.
Singular Plural
le bras (the arm) les bras (the arms)
la voix (the voice) les voix (the voices)
le nez (the nose) les nez (the noses)
  • Nouns ending in -au or -eu in the singular form their plural by adding -x.
Singular Plural
le bureau (the office) les bureaux (the offices)
le jeu (the game) les jeux (the games)
  • Nouns whose singular ends in -al or -ail usually drop that ending and add instead -aux to form the plural.
Singular Plural
le cheval (the horse) les chevaux (the horses)
le travail (the work) les travaux (the works)
  • Note the following irregular cases:
Singular Plural
l’œil (the eye) les yeux
monsieur (sir, gentleman, Mr.) messieurs (sirs, gentlemen)
madame (lady, madam, Mrs.) mesdames (ladies, madams)
mademoiselle (young lady, Miss) mesdemoiselles (young ladies, misses)

Enjoy your week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Preposition : Sans

The preposition sans is the equivalent of the English word “without”.

  • Notre équipe a dû jouer sans notre meilleur joueur. | Our team had to play without our best player.
  • Sans argent on ne peut rien faire. | Without money you can’t do anything.
  • Je me suis couché sans avoir fini mon travail. | I went to bed without having finished my work.

Sans can mean if it weren’t for… or but for…

  • Sans ce plan, on se serait perdus. | If it weren’t for this street map, we would have gotten lost.

The preposition sans + noun is often the equivalent of an English adjective ending in -less or an adjective with a negative prefix such as un- or in-.

  • sans abrisans domicile fixehomeless
  • une situation sans remède – a hopeless person
  • un film sans intérêt – an uninteresting film
  • une femme sans préjugés – an unprejudiced/unbiased woman
  • sans doute – doubtless
  • sans effort – effortless

The use of sans with negative words eliminates the need for ne. The partitive article often becomes de after sans because of the implied negative meaning of the preposition.

  • sans parler à personne – without speaking to anyone
  • sans rien faire – without doing anything
  • sans jamais l’avoir vu – without ever having seen him
  • sortir sans faire de bruit – to go out without making any noise

Hello, followers! I will be posting my first practice set this week. I just don’t know what day would be best – I’m thinking either Friday or Saturday. What would you all prefer? This first set will cover this lesson and last weeks lesson.

A bientôt !

Courtney

Prepositions : Avec

The preposition avec expresses accompaniment, much like the English word “with”.

  • Attends, j’irais avec toi. | Wait, I’ll go with you.
  • Je suis d’accord avec vous. | I agree with you.

Avec labels the clause.

  • Avec l’inflation, tout le monde parle des prix. | With inflation, everyone is talking about prices.
  • J’ai peur de conduire avec toute cette neige. | I’m afraid to drive with all this snow.

Avec expresses in addition to.

  • Et avec cela (ça), madame ? | Anything else, ma’am? (In a store.)
  • Il n’a pas étudié et avec ça il a séché le cours. | He didn’t study, and on top of that he cut class.

Avec + noun is often the equivalent of an English adverb.

  • avec joie | joyfully
  • avec colère | angrily

I’m thinking of adding, in addition to these posts, having a practice set, or homework, with an answer key posted on another day. What do you guys think?

ALSO, my blog turned 5 years old last Thursday! I can’t believe I forgot to mention it!

Have a great week, everyone!

A bientôt !

Courtney