French Study Card 

Intermediate – Advanced

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In this section, you will find easy to understand explanations to help you get the most out of your French Study Card. It goes through the layout and charts and it gives you a brief explanation of each topic with examples.

If you come across an English grammar word you are not familiar with, such as pronoun, verb tense, etc., feel free to check the Glossary section on the website.

The French Study Card – Intermediate to advanced, displays 30 independent tables.

 

If you have used the basic to intermediate card, you may already be familiar with the colour-coded system, if that’s the case, you can skip this explanation if you want to.

COLOUR-CODED EXPLANATION

There are three main colours used in the grammar charts, yellow, purple and green. The persons, the PRONOMS SUJET, determine the use of such colours throughout the card:

 

french pro

As you can see, the table has the three colours with two shades, light and dark. The light column shows you the persons in singular and the dark column shows you the persons in the plural form.

 

WHAT ARE THE PERSONAL PRONOUNS?

Always think of the subject personal pronouns as the persons or things that do the action. In English they are the words I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they.

They are divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons, in singular and plural.

SINGULAR PERSONS

  • 1st person: Ije
  • 2nd person: you – tu
  • 3rd persons: he, she and itil, elle, on

PLURAL PRONOUNS

  • 1st person: we nous
  • 2nd person: you – vous
  • 3rd person: they – ils, elles

Note that French has masculine and feminine pronouns. In English, you use the word they, whether it’s a group of men or a group of women. In French, you need to use the specific word according to the gender, ils or elles.

Get familiar with the colour pattern so you can easily find the word or ending you need.

With your card in hand, go through this section to find the chart’s explanations.

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The section below is intended to be a general explanation of grammar created for you to understand the layout of your card in order to take full advantage of it. By no means should this section be considered a course on its own.


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L'IMPÉRATIF

 

L’impératif is a mood that you use to give an order or suggestion to one or more people.

For example:

Donne-moi ça!“.

Arrêtez!”.

The imperative exists in the second person singular and plural (tu, vous).

Sometimes we include ourselves in the command (nous).

For example:

Allons!“.

On your card, the first top table starting from the left, shows you the endings needed for tu, nous and vous with -ER, -IR and -RE verbs. 

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To form the imperative, you need the same endings as the present tense for tu, vous and nous but without the pronouns, except with the ending for tu:

tu manges drops the -s:

mange.

 

Example:

Manger – Mange! Mangons! Mangez!

Finir – Finis! Finissons! Finissez!

Attendre – Attends!  Attendons! Attendez!

When the pronouns en and y are used with the imperative in affirmative in the tu form with -ER verbs, the –s is recovered for pronunciation reasons. You also need to put a hyphen () between the verb and the pronoun.

Example:

Manges-en

               Manges-y

Your card also displays a table with the irregular verbs conjugated in imperative. avoir, être, faire, savoir and vouloir

 

PRONOMS ET IMPÉRATIF / ORDRE DES PRONOMS

This table shows the structure of the imperative with pronouns.

  • When the order is in affirmative, the pronoun goes after the verb and it has a hyphen (-).

Example:

Donne-moi.

  • When the order is in negative, the pronoun goes before the verb.
  • Moi toi become me, te.

Example:

Ne me donne pas.

This is the structure for the negative imperative:

ne + pronoun + verbe + pas

 

  • When the direct pronouns (le, la, les) and indirect pronouns (moi, toi, lui, nous, etc.) are together, the direct pronoun goes before the indirect pronoun. Remember that the verb and the pronoun are joined by a hyphen () .

Example:

Donne-le moi. 

  • In the negative form, the pronouns go before the verb:

Example:

Ne me le donne pas.

There are two tables beside it. They show you the order the pronouns follow with the infinitive in affirmative and in negative. These tables are handy to have as a reference when you are not sure about the position of the pronouns.

 

LES PRONOMS

This table shows you what the different pronouns can substitute, for example, le, la and les substitute someone or something.

Example:

Je vois un circle noir. – Je le vois.

Remember that the pronoun you use needs to agree with gender and number, le for masculine, la for feminine and les for plural.

  • If the person you substitute has the preposition à, then you need to use lui or leur.

 

Example:

Je parle à Louise. – Je lui parle.

  • If the part you are going to substitute is not a person but a thing (a phone), an abstract notion (health), or a place (Paris), and it has the preposition à, then you need to use y.

Example:

Je pense à la mer. – J’y pense.

  • You also use y if the part you are going to substitute has a proposition of place like, en, dans, sure, etc.

Example:

Elle est dans la gare – Elle y est.

  • If the part you are going to substitute is a thing (a phone), a place (Paris), or there is a quantity and it has the preposition de, then you need to use en.

Example:

Je veux du cafe. – J’en veux.

  • When the quantity you are going to substitute is preceded by un, une, du, de, de la, des, de l’, d‘, or des, you need to use en.

    Example:

    J’ai deux frères. – J’en ai deux.

This table shows you a summary of these explanations with examples of when you need to use le, la, les, lui, leur, y and en so you can use the pronouns correctly when you substitute information.

VERBES + À ET VERBES + DE

In English certain verbs and expressions need a specific preposition like:

I’m interested in…, I think about…, I believe in…, I’m sure about

In French, the prepositions may not be the same as in English. Some verbs in English may not even need a preposition, but they do in French, so these types of verbs need to be memorised.

On your card, these couple of tables give you a list of 10 common verbs that need the preposition à or de.

Example:

penser à

 Je pense à la mer.

jouer de

 Je joue de la guitare.

When you want to substitute whatever comes after à or de, you need the prepositions y and en respectively.

Example:

penser à

Je pense à la mer.

Jy pense.

jouer de

Je joue de la guitare

J’en joue.

Look at the case of jouer, for example. In French, there is jouer à (to play a sport), and jouer de (to play an instrument).

If you use substitution, this is the way they will be:

J’en joue.

J’y joue.

Both sentences say, I play it, but you can imply the meaning of what it is played, an instrument or a game, by knowing that:

en substitutes de,

and y substitutes à.

PRONOMS RELATIFS

In English, the relative pronouns are who, which, of which, that, whom, where.

  • They give you more information about the person, thing or idea that is referred to.

    Example:

    Her dad, who is a doctor, told us that the symptoms were normal.

Her dad told us that the symptoms were normal. Who is a doctor, is extra information about her dad.

  • The relative pronouns identify the person or thing being talked about.

    Example:

    The phone that I bought has the same functions as the old one.

Which phone is the one that has the same functions as the old one? Not yours, not the one my dad gave me, the one that I bought.

  • In English, in some sentences, the relative pronouns can be optional. For example, instead of saying: the phone that I bought has the same functions as the old one, we can say: the phone I bought has the same functions as the old one.

 

  • These are the relative pronouns in French: qui, que, qu’, lequel, auquel, duquel, de quoi, à quoi, dont, où. 

 

Qui (who, which or what). It gives you more information about the subjetc.

Example:

 La femme qui parle est ma mère.

Que (who, whom, which or what). It gives you more information about the object.

Example:

Les livres qu’elle écrit sont bons.

    Le film que j’ai vu est merveilleux.

Lequel (which) is used after a preposition and it refers to things or persons. It has to agree with them in gender and number.

Example:

     La maison dans laquelle j’habite est très spacieuse. 

Les gens parmi lesquels il vit sont gentils.

  • When the preposition à is before lequel, it becomes auquel

Example:

     La reunion à laquelle je participe est animée. 

 

  • When the preposition de is before lequel, it becomes duquel

Example:

     La pont prés à duquel nous mangeons est joli.  

 

Dont (whose, of whom, of which) can be used to refer to persons or things. This pronoun is used when the original expressions contain de.

Example:

Je cherche la maison dont la porte est jaune. (La porte de la maison es jaune)

    Où (where, when, which or that) is used for places and time.

Example:

La ville je suis né.

Le jour je suis parti.

    Á qui, de qui, avec qui (to whom, with whom) is used for people.

Example:

La fille à qui vous parlez est belle.

    Á quoi, de quoi (about what, on what) is used for ideas or abstract concepts.

Example:

Je sais de quoi il s’agit.

PASSÉ SIMPLE
  • The passé simple is used in literary contexts such as novels, biographies and articles. It is too formal to use in conversation and informal writing. The passé composé is widely used instead, however, you need to know how to identify it to understand texts even if you won’t use it much orally.

 

  • The passé simple is used when an action happened in the past with no relation to the present tense.

Example:

“Nous allâmes à Paris”.

      “J’envoyai le télégramme”.

The conjugation is not as regular as with other tenses. This table on your card, shows you the endings that you need to add to verbs that end in –ER, -IR, -OIR and –OIRE.

You are also given a table with 5 irregular verbs conjugated in passé simple, avoir, être, faire, tenir and venir..

The table on the top right gives you a few examples of verbs with irregular roots. The verb shows you the root and you can follow the conjugation given on the main table.

Example:

écrirej’écrivis, tu j’écrivis, il j’écrivit, nous j’écrivîmes, vous j’écrivîtes, elles j’écrivirent 

     Example:

J’écrivis, il y a, quelques jours, à l’Abbé, ce que je penfois fur la…”

LES TEMPS COMPOSÉS

LES TEMPS COMPOSÉS are formed by two parts, the helping verb, avoir or être, + the past participle of the main verb.

Example:

Je vends – temp simple

               J’ai vendu – temp composé

    J’aurai vendu – temp composé

    Ils sont partis – temp composé

The table on your card shows you four common tenses, passé composé, plus-que-parfait, futur antérieur and conditionnel passé. The helping verb avoir and être are conjugated accordingly.

Here is an example of the table with the first two persons, je and tu.

 

Your basic to intermediate French card has a table with 24 of the most used irregular participles.

LE PASSÉ COMPOSÉ

It is used to express that an action was completed in the past. It uses expressions such as hier, la semaine dernière, la nuit dernière, etc.

The helping verbs avoir and être, are conjugated in the present tense.

Example:

Hier, je ne suis pas allé à l’école.

     J’ai eu faim.

LE PLUS-QUE-PARAFIT

  • This tense refers to an action that took place before another action in the past.
  • It is normally used when telling stories or anecdotes, to give more background information. That’s why this tense is normally used with another tense such as the imparfait, the passé composé or the passé simple.
  • The action shown in the plus-que-parfait, happened before the action in the other past tenses.

To form the conjugation, you need the auxiliary verbs être or avoir conjugated in the imparfait, and the participle of the verb.

Example:

J’étais partie en vacances – Note the agreement of the verb and the subject (elle) partie.

    Il n’avait pas mangé avant de faire ses devoirs.

FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR

This tense is used to say that something that will have happened in the future. For example, Robbie will have arrived this time tomorrow. 

It’s also used to express predictions or suppositions about what might have happened in the past. Example: He must have missed the train, that’s why he’s late.

To form the conjugation, you need the auxiliary verbs être or avoir conjugated in the futur, and the past participle of the verb.

Example:

Il aura oublié notre rendez-vous.

     Vous serez sortie de la session.

LE CONDITIONNEL PASSÉ

This tense is used to express what someone would have done. For example, I would have returned the money.

It is also used to express hypothetical situations in the past. 

To form the conjugation, you need the auxiliary verbs être or avoir conjugated in the conditionnel, and the past participle of the main verb.

Example:

Je t’aurais trouvé à l’aéroport 

    Elle ne serait pas arrivée si tôt.

SI DE CONDITION

This table displays the three types of conditional.It displays the formulas to follow and an example as a reference that you can model. 

  • Conditional tenses are used to express what happens under certain circumstances.
  • Conditionals have an if clause and a main clause.

 

Hypothèse éventuelle.

  • This type of conditional is used to express possible condition and result based on real conditions in the present.
  • The si clause is in présent and the main clause can be in présent, futur or impératif.

Example:

Si tu as le temps, tu étudies.

Si tu as le temps, tu étudieras..

Si tu as le temps, étudie.

Hypothèse irréele au présent.

  • This Conditional is used to refer to a hypothetical situation and its possible result. Something that isn’t real in the present but expressing how it would be if it was. 
  • The si clause is in imparfait and the main clause is in the  conditionnel.

Example:

Si tu avais le temps, tu étudierais.

Hypothèse irréele au passé.

  • This Conditional is used to refer to an unreal past condition and its possible result. 
  • The si clause is in plus-que-parfait and the main clause is in the  conditionnel passé.

Example:

Si tu avais eu le temps, tu aurais étudié.

LA PLACE DES PRONOMS

In French it is very important to know where the pronouns go in the sentence. Especially when there is more than one pronoun. 

This table gives you a guide of the pronoun placement in a sentence.  

 

 

LE SUBJONCTIF PRÉSENT ET PASSÉ

The third page on your card has 8 tables related to the subjonctif.

The first table at the top shows you how to form the subjonctif in present.

You already know the conjugation of the present for nous with verbs that end with -ER, -IR and -RE.

Parler – nous parlons

Finir – nous finissons

Vendre – nous vendons

Take the root from that conjugation and add the ending shown on the table.

Parler – je parle, tu parles, il parle, nous parlions, vous parliez, ils parlent.

Finir – je finisse, tu finisses, il finisse, nous finissions, vous finissiez, ils finissent

Vendre – je vende, tu vendes, il vende, nous vendions, vous vendiez, ils vendent

 

  • Le subjonctif is a mode that is used when you want to express doubt, desire, order, suppositions, unccertainty, a possibility or judgements.
  • It often has two different persons; I would like you to…

Example:

Je veux que tu saches.

  • when the main clause ends with qui or que.

Example:

Il faut que je parte.

  • It’s also used with some conjunctions, especially the ones that link a cause and an effect. There has to be two different persons to use the subjunctif, otherwise you use the infinitive

Example:

Je étudie beaucoup afin de recevoir de bonnes notes. One person

Il crie pour que tu l’entendes

There is also a table with seven extremely irregular verbs and their conjugation in subjonctif. Just like all the cards, it follows the colour-coded system.

There is also another table with six examples of verbs with two roots.

A root that is applied to: je, tu, il, elle, on, ils and elles

And another root that is applied to nous and vous.

Example:

CROIRE –  elle croienous croyions

LE SUBJONCTIF PASSÉ

The next table below shows you the conjugation for the subjonctif passé.

To form the subjonctif passé, you need to use the verb avoir or être in subjonctif + the past participle of the verb.

Just like the subjonctif in présent, it is used when you have specific conjunctions, or to express doubt, desire, order, suppositions, unccertainty, a possibility or judgements, but about something that happened in the past.

The first clause can be in présent or in imperfait, the second clause is in subjonctif.

Example:

Je doute qu’il ait fini ses devoirs.

Je doutais qu’il ait fini ses devoirs.

Next, you will see a table with 24 examples of verbs to express uncertainty desire, feelings, doubt, orders and some conjunctions that need the subjonctif.

 

IMPARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The next table at the bottom of your card, displays the conjugation for the imparfait du subjonctif.

It gives you three different endings for each person.

1. Verbs that end in -ER – asse, -asses, -ât, -assions, -assiez, -assent 

2. Verbs that end in -IR, and -RE -isse, -isses, -ît, -issions, -issiez, -issent 

3. Verbs that end in -OIR and -OIRE  -usse, -usses, -ût, -ussions, -ussiez, -ussent

The imperfait du subjonctif is normally used in formal writing and for narration. You will not be using it much but you should be able to recognise it. 

LE PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

This is also a rare tense in French, you will not be using it much but you will have to know how to recognise it. It is used in formal writing and literature, history texts and journalism.

To form it you need to use the auxiliary verbs être or avoir and the past participle of the verb.

AVOIR – eusse, eusses, eût, eussions, eussiez, eussent

ÊTRE – fusse, fusses, fût, fussions, fussiez, fussent 

 

DISCOURS DIRECT ET INDIRECT
  • Discours indirect is used when you want to report what someone else has said.
  • When you don’t use the speaker’s exact words, you need to transform the direct speech into discours indirect.
  • Your table shows you the changes that need to happen in nice different tenses.
  • Note that when you use reported speech, you need to change pronouns, tense, place and time expressions.

The table on your card shows you clearly with examples what tense you need to change the direct sentence to.

 

Time expressions also change.

Example:

Discourse direct: « Je l’attendrai demain. »

 Discours indirect: Il a dit qu’il l’attendrait le lendemain.

Your card has a table with 14 useful expressions in direct and the indirect form. 

 

LA VOIX PASSIVE
  • The Passive Voice is used when the person doing the action is not important, but the action itself.
  • To form the Passive Voice you need to use the verb être and the verb in participe passé.
  • In the active voice, the subject and object become the object and subject respectively 
  • The Passive Voice in your card shows the verb être conjugated in eight different tenses.

Example:

Présent

Active voice: L’élève fait les exercises.

Passive voice: Les exercises sont faits par l’élève  

PRONOMS RÉFLÉCHIS / VERBS RÉFLÉCHIS
This table in your card displays the six Reflexive Pronouns, each in its own colour to identify each person.

  • Reflexive pronouns are used when the action is done and received by the subject.
  • The meaning in English is me myself, te yourself, se himself, se herself, nous ourselves, vous yourselves (pl), se themselves.
  • More French verbs need the reflexive pronoun than English verbs.
  • You can identify a Reflexive verb by the reflexive pronouns se, which is placed before the infinitive.
  • To conjugate the verb, you remove se and add the Pronom Réfléxif. You conjugate the verb according to the person.

Example:

Se lever – to wash/shower

Je me lave. I wash (myself).

  • If the verb begins with a vowel, you need to use m’, t’ or s’.

Example:

s’appeler – to be called

Je m’appelle. I call myself / My name is

PRÉSENT / VERBES RÉGULIERS AND IRRÉGULIERS

The centre pages have plenty of information on verbs. To take full advantage of the French Study Card, it’s important to understand the layout and colour coded system.

The main topic on this page is the Present Tense. This page has an upper and lower U table. The upper section contains 19 VERBES RÉGULIERS.

The bottom U table has  15 VERBES IRRÉGULIERS. On each box, you will find the verb in French, habiter, and its meaning in English, to live. The first box on the bottom U table indicates the six endings for each person to use with the irregular verbs:

French irr

Each box in the U table shows the verb, the meaning in English, and the stems of the verb in bold. The first stem is for the singular persons, and the second stem is for the plural persons.

partir

In the centre of the page, you will find the regular endings for the er, ir and re verbs for each person in the colour coded system:

french pron

This table displays all the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in Present for er, ir and re regular verbs. 90% of French verbs end in er. Learn this conjugation very well and you’ll be able to conjugate most of the verbs.

  • You use the present tense to talk about habits, current situations, facts and near future plans.

Example:

Qu’est-ce que tu fais? Je mangeWhat are you doing? I’m eating.

Je retourne à Dublin demain. I’m going back to Dublin tomorrow.

John habite à Londres. John lives in London. 

Je finis à 18 heures. I finish at 6PM.

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  To form the Present tense is quite easy:

  • First, you need to get the infinitive of the verb. Your French Card has a top U table with 19 regular verbs. They end in er, ir and re.

Example:

parler to speak

finirto finish

vendreto sell

  • Remove the infinitive ending er, ir or re. You are now left with the present stem: parl-, fin-, vend-
  • Finally, add the personal ending shown in the centre of the card, according to your type of verb and the person you want to use it with.

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present ending1

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Je parle (I speak)

tu parles (you speak)

il/elle/ons parle (he/she/one speaks)

nous parlons (we speak)

vous parlez (you speak)

ils/elles parlent (they speak).

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Use the table called FREQUÉNCE on your table, to form complete personal sentences.

Remember to practise them out loud.

VERBES IRRÉGULIERS

To conjugate an irregular verb, add the endings on the red box in the bottom U table to the stems given in the irregular verb boxes:French irr Each verb box in the bottom U table shows the verb, the meaning in English, and the stems of the verb in bold. The first stem is for the singular persons, and the second stem is for the plural persons.partir

partir – to leave

par– (stem for: I, you, he, she, it)

part– (stem for: we, you, they)

je pars

tu pars

il/elle/ons part

nous partons

vous partez

ils/elles partent

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FALLOIR- IL FAUT This is an impersonal verb. This means that it only has one grammatical person, the third personal singular.

  • You only need to add the verb in the infinitive form.

Example:

Il faut manger. It’s necessary to eat.

ALLER, AVOIR, FAIRE
This table displays 7 of the most common and most irregular verbs in French. They are very common so you should know them well. Each conjugation is shown in the colour that corresponds to each person.aller
STRESSED PRONOUNS
This table shows the pronouns used to emphasize a subject. They are displayed in the colour coded system for easy reference.

  • They’re used after c’est or ce sont.

Example:

C’est lui qui habite à ParisIt’s he who lives in Paris.

  • To emphasize the subject.

Example:

Moi, j’habite à Miami. I live in Miami. 

  • When a sentence has more than one subject or object.

Example:

Michèle et moi ne travaillons pas. Michelle and I don’t work.

  • After prepositions.

Example:

après lui after him

avec elles – with them

sans moi – without me

  • To ask and answer questions.

Example:

Qui va a la piscine? Moi! Who’s going to the pool? Me!

 J’ai faim, et toi? I’m hungry, and you?

PRONOMS DÉMONSTRATIFS
This table displays the demonstrative pronouns in masculine, feminine, neuter in singular and plural.

  • The pronouns in the singular form mean this one, that one.
  • The pronouns in plural can mean these, those.
  • They replace a noun mentioned before and they have to agree in gender and number with the noun they replace.
  • If you want to make it clear whether the nouns are near or far, you can add the suffix –ci (here, nearby)and – (there, far away)to the pronoun.

Example:

  Quel film veux-tu voir? Celui-ciWhich film do you want to watch? This one? 

OBJECT DIRECT ET INDIRECT
This table displays the Direct and Indirect Objects in the colour coded system.

  • The Direct or Indirect Object pronouns are placed before a conjugated verb.
  • If the person or thing is not preceded by a preposition, it’s a direct object.

Example:

J’ai mangé la pomme. I ate the apple.

Je l’ai mangé. I ate it. I ate it.

  • If the person or thing is preceded by a preposition, it’s an indirect object.

Example:

Est-ce que tu parles à ta voisine? Do you speak to your neighbour?

Oui, je lui parle. Yes, I speak to her. 

LE NÉGATIF
This table shows different ways of negating in French.

  • In French, a negative is normally made of two parts.
  • The word that you want to negate usually goes between the two parts.

Example:

Je ne fume pas. I don’t smoke.

Je ne mange jamais de la viande. I never eat meat. 

Je ne cherche personneI’m not looking for anyone.

PASSÉ COMPOSÉ - ÊTRE /AVOIR

The main topic on this page is the Passé Composé.

This page has an upper and lower U table. The upper section contains 14 verbs that are conjugated with être. The bottom U table has  19 verbs that are conjugated with avoir.

On the top U table, you will find infinitive verbs in French: aller. Their past participle underlined: allé, and their meaning in English: to go.

.On the bottom U table, you’ll find infinitive verbs that are conjugated with avoir. The ending of the verb is underlined: manger, and the meaning is given in English: to eat.

.In the centre of the page, you will find the regular endings for Passé Composé for the er, ir and re verbs for each person in the colour coded system:

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french pron

  • This Passé Composé is used to express that an action in the past has been completed.

Example:

Tu es allée à Paris. You went to Paris.

  • The Passé Compossé is formed with the present form of être or avoir and the particple of the verb.
  • Most of the verbs are used with avoir. You need to memorise the verbs used with être.  Remember that the top U table gives you the verbs to use with être. And the bottom U table displays some verbs you can use with avoir.

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Forming the Past Participle of the verb:

  • To get the participle of the regular verbs, check if your verb ends in: er, ir or re.

Example:

parlerto speak

finir to finish

vendreto sell

  • If it ends in er, remove the ending and add é.
  • If it ends in ir, remove the ending and add i.
  • If it ends in re, remove the ending and add u.

Example:

parler – parl + é = parlé

finir – fin + i = fini

vendre – vend + u = vendu

  • Irregular participles have to be memorised. Your card has a table called Irregular Past Participles with 24 verbs with their participle form.

.

Forming the Passé Composé with être:

  • Conjugate être in present and add the participle of the main verb. The conjugation of être is on your card on the front page.

french etre

  • When you use the Passé Composé with être, the past participle needs to agree with the subject. You have to add –e if the subject is feminine and –s if the subject is plural.

Example:

Elles sont arrivés au restaurant. They arrived at the restaurant.

Elle est restée dans sa chambre. She stayed in her room.

Tu es allée à Paris (the person is a woman). You went to Paris. 

  • All reflexive verbs use être as the auxiliary verb to conjugate in the Passé Composé.

Example:

Je me suis lavée. I washed myself. 

Use the time expressions in the table called EXPRIMER LE PASSÉ to create longer sentences.

Forming the Passé Composé with avoir:

  • Conjugate avoir in present and add the participle of the main verb. The conjugation of avoir is on your card in the present section.

french pron

Example:

J’ai parlé. I spoke.

Nous avons fini. We finished.

Tu as vendu. You sold.

For further practice, you can join or contrast sentences with the words in the table called KEY WORDS at the back of your card.

IRREGULAR PAST PARTICIPLES
This table displays 24 irregular Past Participles.

Irreg

  • Conjugate the auxiliary avoir in present, and add the irregular participle. The participle doesn’t have to agree with the subject.

Example:

J’ai eu une voiture. I had a car.

Elle a bu le café. She drank the coffee.

IMPARFAIT
This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the Imperfect.

  • To form the Imperfect, you need to get the stem from the verb conjugated in present with nous. Remove ons and add the imperfect ending from your table:

finir- to finish

nous finissons – we finish

finiss +

Imperf

  • The Imperfect is used to express the repetition of an action in the past. The beginning and end of the action is not indicated.

Example:

L’année dernière, je travaillais avec Pierre. Last year I worked with Pierre.

  • It’s used for habitual actions. In sentences where used to is used in English.

Example:

J’étudais le Français à l’école. I used to study French at school.

  • To describe weather, time, age and feelings.

Example:

Il faisait chaud pendant l’été l’année dernière. It was hot during the summer last year.

Il était trois heures. It was three o’clock. 

Quand j’avais 10 ans. When I was 10 years old.

J’avais très faim hier. I was very hungry yesterday.

  • To express that two actions were happening at the same time in the past.

Example:

Pendant que tu étudiais, je regardais la télé. While you were studying, I was watching t.v.

ÊTRE IMPARFAIT
This table displays all the conjugated forms for the verb être in Imperfect

The verb être in Imperfect can’t be formed like the other verbs with the verb conjugated in present with nous. This is an irregular verb and you have to memorise it.

Example:

 Il était à la banque. He was at the bank. 

Tu étais un enfant sage? Were you a well-behaved child? 

CONDITIONNEL
This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in Conditional.

  • Would is the form used in English for the Conditional. In French, there’s no word for would, so you need to use the following endings to form it.
  • To form the Conditional, you need to add the endings on your table to the ar and ir verbs in Infinitive. For the re verbs, remove the e.

parler, finir, vendr +

Imperf

Je parlerais  I would talk

tu finirais you would finish

elle vendraitshe would sell

  • Some verbs have irregular stems. These are given in the table called IRREGULAR STEM IN FUTURE AND CONDITIONAL, at the back of your card.  You just need to add the endings to the stems given.

Irreg Futur

Example:

Je serais disponible si les conditions étaient plus favorables. I would be available if the conditions were  favourable.

  • The Conditional is commonly used to express polite requests.

Example: 

Je voudrais de l’eau minérale, s’il vous plaît. I’d like mineral water, please. 

FUTUR
This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in Future.

  • The Future tense is used to indicate that an action will happen in the future.

Example:

Je te téléphonerai la semaine prochaine. I will call you next week. 

  • To form the Future, you need to add the endings to the ar and ir verbs in Infinitive. For the re verbs, remove the last e.

parler, finir, vendr +

Futur

Je parlerai  I will talk

tu finiras you will finish

nous vendrons we will sell

  • The future form is used with temporal conjunctions such as quand (when), dès que (as soon as), aussitôt que (as soon as), tant que (as long as).

Example:

Quand il voyagera en France, il mangera beaucoup de fromage. When he travels (will travel)  to France, he will eat a lot of cheese. 

  • Some verbs have irregular stems. These are given in the table called IRREGULAR STEM IN FUTURE AND CONDITIONAL, at the back of your card.  You just need to add the endings to the stems given.

Irreg Futur

Example:

Nous aurons bientôt notre propre maison. We will soon have our own house. 

  • You can use the time expression in the table called FUTUR EXPRESSIONS, to create complete sentences.
FUTUR PROCHE
This table displays the verb aller conjugated, needed to form the Futur Proche.

  • The Futur Proche is used to express something that’s going to happen soon.
  • It’s formed with the present tense of aller + the infinitive of the main verb.

Example:

Elle va chanter. She’s going to sing. 

Nous allons travailler. We’re going to work.

Ils vont voir Jerome. They’re going to see Jerome. 

  • Remember to use the time expressions that are in the table called FUTUR EXPRESSIONS at the back of your card.

Example:

Ils vont voir Jerome demain matin. They’re going to see Jerome tomorrow morning

ENDINGS
Unlike English, nouns in French have a masculine and feminine gender. Some endings and categories can follow a pattern, however, there might be a few exceptions, so it’s advisable to learn the noun with an article.

This table in your card displays some masculine and feminine endings.

Masculine:age

le fromage (the cheese)

Feminine: –ure

la chaussure (the shoe)

VERBES + À /+ DE
In French, some verbs are followed by the prepositions à or de. This table displays 12 common verbs with the prepositions.

Example:

Je vais téléphoner à Richard. I’m going to call Richard. 

Je joue de la guitare. I play the guitar.

PARTICIPE PRÉSENT (ING)
  • The  Participle Présent refers to the ing form of a verb. However, in French, it’s used differently in English.
  • To express the Progressive form, use the Present simple instead.

Example:

He’s sleeping. Il dort or Il est en train de dormir.

  • Instead of the gerund, French uses the infinitive of the verb or a noun.

Example

I love cycling. J’adore le cyclisme.

I love dancing. J’aime danser.

  • Use the Participe Présent with the preposition en to express that two actions are happening at the same time.

Example:

Claude s’est endormi en regardant la télévision. Claude fell asleep while watching the television. 

Paul écoute de la musique en faisant ses devoirs. Paul  listens to music while doing his homework. 

  • To form the Participe Présent, remove the ons ending from a conjugated verb in present with nous, and add ant.

Example:

nous parlons

parl + ant = parlant

Il mange en parlant. He eats while he talks.

  • There are three verbs that are formed differently:

êtreétant

avoirayant

savoirsachant