French IV Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

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61. Personal Pronouns

Subject Direct Object Indirect Object Disjunctives
je I me me me to me moi me
tu you te you te to you toi you
il he le him lui to him lui him
elle she la her lui to her elle her
nous we nous us nous to us nous us
vous you vous you vous to you vous you
ils they les them leur to them eux them
elles they les them leur to them elles them

You have already learned the subject pronouns.  They go before the conjugated verb forms.  The Direct and Indirect Object pronouns go before the verb even though in English they go after it.  They also go after the ne in a negative sentence and right before the verb. The disjunctive always go after prepositions, or can be used alone for emphasis.

Sample Sentences: 

J'achète des pantalons. I buy some pants.
Je les achète. I buy them.
Je vous donne la boîte. I give the box to you.
Je vous la donne. I give it to you.
Après toi. After you. (familiar)
Nous allons avec elle. We go with her.
Il ne la quitte pas. He doesn't leave her.
Il la quitte. He leaves her.
Je t'aime. or Je vous aime. I love you.
Elle ne l'aime pas. She doesn't love him.

When you have more than one pronoun; me, te, nous, or vous come first, then le, la, or les, then lui or leur.  Me, te, le, and la contract to m', t', and l' when they precede a vowel, the same way je does.  In commands, the pronouns go after the verb, connected with a hyphen.  And the pronoun order changes a little too:  Le, la, or les come first; then moi, toi, (Me and te become moi and toi in commands) nous, or vous; then lui, or leur.

If you have pronouns, they go before the complete verb in regular sentences; but after the ne and before the form of avoir in negative sentences.

Nous lui avons parlé. We spoke to him/her.
Vous en avez écouté trois. You've listened to three of them.
Je t'ai demandé du pain. I asked you for some bread.
Il ne l'a pas aimé. He didn't like it/her/him.
Tu n'y as pas habité. You didn't live there.
Je ne vous ai pas parlé. I didn't speak (or haven't spoken) to you.
Nous ne l'avons pas fini. We didn't finish (or haven't finished)  it.

In the passé composé with avoir, direct object pronouns only must agree in gender and number with the past participle.

Je les ai aimés. I liked them.
Il l'a regardée. He watched her.
Elles nous ont écouté(e)s. They listened to us.

Add an e if the pronoun is feminine, and an s if it is plural.  The l' could mean him or her, so you might not need to put the extra e on the past participle.  The same for nous and vous.  They must have an s because they are plural, but it is unclear as to whether they are masculine or feminine.

62. Parts of the Body / Les parties du corps

  Standard French Slang
head la tête la caboche / le crâne
hair les cheveux les tifs
face la figure / le visage / la face  
forehead le front  
cheek la joue  
ear l'oreille les esgourdes
eye/s l'œil / les yeux les mirettes
beard la barbe la barbouse
mustache la moustache  
mouth la bouche la gueule / la boîte
lip la lèvre  
nose le nez le blair / le pif
tongue la langue  
tooth la dent les crocs
neck le cou  
eyebrows les sourcils  
eyelashes les cils  
chin le menton  
throat la gorge  
skin la peau  
blood le sang  
bone l'os  
shoulder l'épaule  
chest la poitrine  
waist la taille  
belly button le nombril  
back le dos  
heart le cœur  
lungs les poumons  
brain le cerveau  
liver le foie  
kidney le rein  
bladder la vessie  
rib la côte  
arm le bras  
elbow le coude  
wrist le poignet  
fist le poing  
hand la main  
fingers les doigts  
stomach / belly l'estomac / le ventre le buffet / le bide
butt les fesses les miches
body le corps  
hip la hanche  
leg la jambe  
knee le genou  
foot le pied le penard / les arpions
toes les orteils  
ankle la cheville  
thigh la cuisse  
shin le tibia  
calf le mollet  
thumb le pouce  
nails les ongles  
tattoo le tatouage  
piercing le piercing  
blond blond/e  
brunette brun/e  
red-head roux/rousse  
light brown châtain  


► To say something hurts or that you have an ache, you can use avoir mal à (body part):

J'ai mal à la tête.  I have a headache.
J'ai mal à l'estomac.  I have a stomach ache.
Elle a mal au bras.  Her arm hurts.
Tu as mal au genou?  Your knee hurts?
Il a mal aux orteils.  His toes hurt.

However, if someone is causing you pain, use faire mal (to hurt) plus the indirect pronoun.

Tu me fais mal.  You're hurting me.
Ne lui faites pas mal.  Don't hurt him / her.

► When describing hair color or eye color, you use blonds, châtain, bruns, roux for hair; and bleus, verts, marron, noirs for eyes. Notice that châtain and marron do not agree in gender or number.

Elle a les cheveux roux. Elle est rousse. She has red hair. She is a red-head.
Il a les yeux marron. He has brown eyes.

Combien mésures-tu ? / Combien fais-tu ? How tall are you?
Combien pèses-tu ? How much do you weigh?
Je fais 1m60. I am 1 m 60 cm.
Je pèse 50 kilos. I weigh 50 kilos.


Listen to the l'apparence physique : un copain à moi mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French Listening Resources.

63. Asking Questions

1) Invert the subject and verb form and add a hyphen.  Instead of Vous parlez anglais? use Parlez-vous anglais?  But if you invert il, elle, or on, you must put a t between the verb form (if it ends in a vowel) and the subject for ease of pronunciation.  Parle-il anglais? is incorrect and must become Parle-t-il anglais?  And je is usually only inverted with pouvoir or devoir.  However, if je is inverted with pouvoir, you don't use peux, but puis.  Puis-je ? (pweezh) is Can I?

2)  Add n'est-ce pas ? (ness pah) to the end of the sentence.  It is equivalent to isn't it, don't you, aren't we, won't you, etc.

3)  If the question requires a yes or no answer, put Est-ce que (ess kuh) at the beginning.  It contracts to Est-ce qu' before a word beginning with a vowel, such as elle, il or on.  You can also use interrogative words (quand, comment, où, etc.) at the beginning of the sentence and then add est-ce que.

4) With interrogative words, you can also use inversion:  Quand tes parents partent-ils en vacances ?  Or you can use an interrogative with est-ce que and normal word order:  Pourquoi est-ce que vous êtes ici ?

5) Quel / Quelle / Quels / Quelles (which, what) agrees with the noun it modifies.  It precedes the noun or the verb être, it may follow a preposition, and it can be used with inversion or with est-ce que.  Quelle est la date ?  A quelle heure partez-vous ?  Quels bagages est-ce que vous prenez ?  Notice that the forms of quel can also be used in exclamatory sentences.  Quel beau jour !  / Quelle belle journée ! What a beautiful day!

6)  With negative questions, negative expressions remain in their usual place (i.e. around the verb, or verb and subject if inverted).  Tu ne travailles pas ?  Est-ce que tu ne travailles pas ?  Ne travailles-tu pas ?  Pourquoi n'as-tu pas travaillé ?

► Asking Questions with the Passé Composé
Only the auxiliary verb (avoir or être) and the subject pronoun are inverted.  The past participle follows.
A-t-il été surpris ?  Was he surprised?
T'es-tu amusé ?  Did you have fun?

64. Interrogative Pronouns


To ask about people:

Long Form

Short Form


Subject Qui est-ce qui
Qui est-ce qui est venu?
Qui est venu?
Who came?
Direct Object Qui est-ce que
Qui est-ce que tu as vu?
Qui as-tu vu?
Whom did you see?
Object of Preposition Preposition + qui est-ce que
A qui est-ce que tu as parlé?
Preposition + qui
A qui as-tu parlé?
Whom did you speak to?
To ask about things:

Long Form

Short Form


Subject Qu'est-ce qui
Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé?

No short form

What happened?
Direct Object Qu'est-ce que
Qu'est-ce que tu as fait?
Qu'as-tu fait?
What did you do?
Object of Preposition Preposition + quoi est-ce que
De quoi est-ce que tu as parlé?
Preposition + quoi
De quoi as-tu parlé?
What did you talk about?


► Use of Inversion when Subject is Noun:
a. With qui and quoi, inversion pattern is regular.
Qui Marie a-t-elle vu?  Whom did Marie see?
De quoi Marc a-t-il besoin?  What does Marc need?

b. With que, the noun subject must be inverted directly.
Que veut Jean?  What does Jean want?
Que font les autres?  What are the others doing?

c.  However, if the sentence contains more than a subject and verb, or if the verb is in a compound tense (such as the passé composé), the short form is not used.
Qu'est-ce que Luc veut faire aujourd'hui?  What does Luc want to do today?
Qu'est-ce que les autres ont fait?  What did the others do?

► Verb Agreement:
a. Interrogative pronouns are usually masculine singular.
Les voitures font du bruit.  Qu'est-ce qui fait du bruit? Cars make noise. What makes noise?
Les enfants sont arrivés.  Qui est arrivé? The children arrived. Who arrived?

b.  Exception:  when qui is followed by a conjugated form of être, the verbs agrees with the noun that follows.
Qui étaient Les Trois Mousquetaires? Who were the three Musketeers?

► Qu'est-ce que (or qui) vs. Quel:
a. Qu'est-ce que c'est que is used to ask for a definition, and quel asks for specific information.
Qu'est-ce que c'est que le camembert?  What is "camembert"?
Quel est le problème?  What is the problem?

b. When followed by a conjugated form of être, quel is used if être is followed by a noun and qu'est-ce qui is used if être is followed by anything other than a noun.
Quelle est la date?  What is the date?
Qu'est-ce qui est bon?  What is good?

► Written vs. Spoken French with Questions

In spoken French, inversion and the use of est-ce que are usually dropped, but they must be used in written French. Additionally, some forms are contracted or the word order may differ. It's also very common to use qui c'est qui in place of qui or qui est-ce qui.

Written forms Spoken forms Translation
Parlez-vous français ?
Est-ce que vous parlez français ?
Vous parlez français ? Do you speak French?
Comment l'avez-vous appris ?
Comment est-ce que vous l'avez appris ?
Vous l'avez appris comment ? How did you learn it?
Quand es-tu arrivé ?
Quand est-ce que tu es arrivé ?
Quand t'es arrivé ?
T 'es arrivé quand ?
When did you arrive?
De quoi parlent-ils ?
De quoi est-ce qu'ils parlent ?
De quoi ils parlent ?
Ils parlent de quoi ?
What are they talking about?
Pourquoi me regardes-tu ?
Pourquoi est-ce que tu me regardes ?
Pourquoi tu me regardes ? Why are you looking at me?
Qui t'a dit ça ?
Qui est-ce qui t'a dit ça ?
Qui c'est qui t'a dit ça? Who told you that?

65. Forms of Lequel

Lequel is a pronoun that replaces the adjective quel and the noun it modifies.  It expresses Which one? as a question, but which in a statement (usually preceded by a preposition).

Adjective Pronoun





Masculine Quel livre lis-tu? Quels livres lis-tu? Lequel lis-tu? Lesquels lis-tu?
Feminine Quelle page lis-tu? Quelles pages lis-tu? Laquelle lis-tu? Lesquelles lis-tu?


Lequel contracts with à and de in the plural and masculine singular forms:



Masculine à + lequel = auquel à + lesquels = auxquels
de + lequel = duquel de + lesquels = desquels
Feminine à + laquelle = à laquelle à + lesquelles = auxquelles
de + laquelle = de laquelle de + lesquelles = desquelles


Voilà le portrait sans retouche de l'homme auquel j'appartiens. - That's the unaltered portrait of the man to which I belong. [Edith Piaf - La Vie en Rose]
Et des amours desquelles nous parlons. - And the loves about which we talk. [by Jean-Denis Bredin]

► You can also use another preposition + form of lequel to translate preposition + which: on which, to which, in which, etc.

La table sur laquelle j'ai mis la bouteille est là-bas. - The table on which I put the bottle is over there.
Le bâtiment dans lequel j'habite est très vieux. - The building in which I live is very old.

66. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns join sentences together.  These words signal a relative clause which explains the noun, called the antecedent.   If the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause (a verb immediately follows), use qui.  If the relative pronoun is the direct object of the clause (subject + verb follows), use que. If the verb of the dependent clause requires the preposition de, use dont to replace it. Also use dont to mean whose.  Qui, que, and dont can all mean that or who, depending on the sentence. If the antecedent is a place or time, use to mean where or when. When there is no specific antecedent, ce is added as an artificial one before que, qui or dont; but it can refer to only things, not people.  Ce qui, ce que and ce dont generally mean what.

Je mange des choses qui sont bonnes. I eat things that are good. qui is subject
Je mange des choses que j'aime. I eat things that I like. que is object
C'est ce que je disais. That's what I said. no antecedent
La femme dont le mari est mort... The woman whose husband is dead... whose
Voici ce dont j'ai besoin. Here is what I need. avoir besoin is followed by de
C'est un restaurant on sert du poisson. It's a restaurant where they serve fish. restaurant is a place


Dont can also be translated as including or of which. Sept morts, dont 6 civils, dans l'attentat. Seven dead, including six civilians, in the attack.

► After verbs of declaration or opinion (dire, affirmer, prétendre, jurer, déclarer, reconnaître, avouer, penser, croire), you do not need to use a relative pronoun or to repeat the subject. As long as the subject is the same in both clauses, you can replace que + subject + conjugated verb with the infinitive.

Je pense que je peux le faire. = Je pense pouvoir le faire. I think that I can do it.
Elle dit qu'elle le connais. = Elle dit le connaître. She says that she knows him.
Vous avouez que vous avez menti. = Vous avouez avoir menti. You admit that you lied.

67. Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns translate to the one(s), or that/those when replacing a noun.  There are four forms, but they are not often used alone.  De, qui, que, dont and -ci or -là usually follow them.

Masc. Fem.
Singular celui celle
Plural ceux celles


Donnez-moi mon billet et celui de Guillaume.  Give me my ticket and William's. (or: the one of William)
Il porte ses propres livres et ceux de sa sœur.  He is carrying his own books and his sister's. (or: those of his sister)
Quelles fleurs aimes-tu, celles-ci ou celles-là?  Which flowers do you like, these (ones) or those (ones)?
Ceux qui travaillent dur réussissent.  Those who work hard succeed.
C'est celui dont je parle.  That's the one I'm talking about.

The indefinite demonstrative pronouns ceci (this), cela (that) and ça (this/that) refer to indefinite things or ideas.

J'aime ça.  I like that.
Prenez ceci.  Take this.

68. To Read, To Say / Tell, & To Laugh

lire-to read dire-to say/tell rire-to laugh
lis lisons dis disons ris rions
lis lisez dis dites ris riez 
lit lisent dit disent rit rient

The past participles are: lu, dit and ri, and all three are conjugated with avoir.

69. Disjunctive Pronouns

1. As mentioned above, disjunctives are mostly used after prepositions and can only replace people, not things.  However, if the preposition is à, there are two possible rules:

à + person = indirect pronoun

à + person + à = disjunctive pronoun, in these cases:

se fier à to trust
s'habituer à to get used to
s'intéresser à to be interested in
penser à to think about
rêver à to dream about

2. They can also be used alone, to emphasize a subject, with être à (to belong to) or in compound subjects.

Moi, j'ai faim.  Me, I am hungry.
Ses amis et lui, ils aiment manger.  His friends and he, they like to eat.
Ce livre est à moi !  That book is mine!

3. They can be added to -même to mean -self.

elle-même = herself

4. They are also used with ne...que.

Ce n'est que lui.  It's only him.

70. Y & En

Y and en are both pronouns that go before the verb.  Y (ee) means it or there.  En (awn) means some or some (of them), or of it.  They replace prepositional phrases.  In French, the phrases will begin with à (or any contraction of it), en, sur, sous, chez, devant, derrière, dans, etc. for y; and de (or any contraction of it) or a number for en.  They cannot replace people unless the person is introduced with an indefinite article, partitive, number or quantity.  Sometimes y and en have no direct translation in English. Remember that they go before the verb, except in a command, in which they follow the verb and are connected with a hyphen.  The -er verbs also add the -s they lost when forming the you (familiar) command.

Sample Sentences
Do you want some apples? Voulez-vous des pommes?
Do you want some? En voulez-vous?
I have three sisters. J'ai trois sœurs.
I have three (of them). J'en ai trois.
It is in the drawer Il est dans le tiroir.
It is there. Il y est.
I am going to Detroit. Je vais à Détroit.
I am going there. J'y vais.
I am going to go to Atlanta. Je vais aller à Atlanta.
I am going to go there. Je vais y aller.
Answer the telephone! Répondez au téléphone !
Answer it! (formal) Répondez-y !
Stay there! (familiar) Restes-y !
Don't stay there! (familiar) N'y reste pas.

Y and en can also replace a phrase or clause, especially with verbs that require à or de after them:

I think a lot about these stories. Je réfléchis beaucoup à ces histoires.
I think about them a lot. J'y réfléchis beaucoup.
He obeyed the rules. Il a obéi aux règles.
He obeyed them. Il y a obéi.
We don't need this book. On n'a pas besoin de ce livre.
We don't need it. On n'en a pas besoin.
She's using the computer. Elle se sert de l'ordinateur.
She's using it. Elle s'en sert.

Notice y and en don't go after the verb in negative commands. Treat them like pronouns.  Ne or Je plus y or en all contract to N'y, J'y, N'en, and J'en.  When you have a conjugated verb plus an infinitive (vais and aller), the y or en go in between the two verbs.

71. To See, To Believe, & To Write

Verbs take a direct object if they do not need a preposition to connect it to the noun.  Verbs that take indirect objects use prepositions after the verb.  Voir-to see (vwahr) and croire-to believe (krwahr) take a direct and écrire-to write (ay-kreer) takes an indirect.

voir-to see croire-to believe écrire-to write
vois (vwah) voyons (vwah-yohn) crois (krwah) croyons (krwah-yohn) écris (ay-kree) écrivons (ay-kree-vohn)
vois voyez (vwah-yay) crois croyez (krwah-yay) écris écrivez (ay-kree-vay)
voit voient (vwah) croit croient (krwah) écrit écrivent (ay-kreev)

The past participles are: vu, cru, and écrit.

You can sometimes tell if a verb takes a direct or indirect object by using the verbs in English.  We say "I see her" or "She believes him" or "He writes to them."   In French, it would be "Je la vois" (direct), "Elle le croit" (direct) and "Il leur écrit." (indirect)  But don't always count on English to help you out.  Téléphoner (à) and obéir (à) both take indirect objects in French but you can't tell that in English.  In this case, you can tell by the à that follows the infinitive.

Writing Vocabulary

writing l'écriture (f) question mark le point d'interrogation "at" sign (@) l'arobase (f)
punctuation la ponctuation exclamation point le point d'exclamation asterisk l'astérisque (m)
period le point quotation marks les guillemets (m) brackets le crochet
comma la virgule parentheses la parenthèse slash la barre
colon les deux points (m) apostrophe l'apostrophe (f) uppercase majuscule
semi-colon le point-virgule hyphen le trait d'union lowercase minuscule

When typing in French, you must leave an extra space before a punctuation mark that has two components, such as a colon, semi-colon, question mark, exclamation point, etc.

72. Animals

ant la fourmi giraffe la girafe pig le cochon
antelope l'antilope goat la chèvre pigeon le pigeon
antenna l'antenne goose l'oie (f) pike le brochet
bat la chauve-souris gorilla le gorille pony le poney
beak le bec grasshopper la sauterelle puppy le chiot
bear l'ours (m) hamster le hamster rabbit le lapin
bee l'abeille (f) hare le lièvre raccoon le raton laveur
bird l'oiseau (m) hen la poule rat le rat
blackbird le merle herring la hareng rooster le coq
bull le taureau hoof le sabot salmon le saumon
butterfly le papillon horn la corne scale l'écaille (f)
calf le veau horse le cheval scorpion le scorpion
cat le chat hummingbird le colibri sea gull la mouette
caterpillar la chenille iguana l'iguane seal le phoque
cheetah le guépard insect l'insecte (m) shark le requin
chicken le poulet jellyfish la méduse sheep le mouton
chimpanzee le chimpanzé kitten le chaton shrimp la crevette
claw la griffe ladybug la coccinelle slug la limace
cockroach le cafard lamb l'agneau (m) snail l'escargot (m)
cod la morue lark l'alouette (f) snake le serpent
cocoon le cocon lion le lion sparrow le moineau
cow la vache lizard le lézard spider l'araignée (f)
crab le crabe lobster (spiny) la langouste squid le calamar
crayfish l'écrevisse (f) louse le pou squirrel l'écureuil (m)
crocodile le crocodile mackerel le maquereau starfish l'étoile de mer
crow le corbeau mole la taupe swallow l'hirondelle (f)
deer le cerf monkey le singe swan le cygne
dog le chien mosquito le moustique tadpole le têtard
donkey l'âne (m) moth le papillon de nuit tail la queue
dragonfly la libellule mouse la souris tiger le tigre
duck le canard mule le mulet toad le crapaud
eagle l'aigle (m) mussel la moule trout la truite
eel l'anguille (f) nest le nid tuna le thon
elephant l'éléphant (m) nightingale le rossignol turkey le dindon
feather la plume octopus la pieuvre turtle la tortue
fin la nageoire ostrich l'autruche wasp la guêpe
fish le poisson owl le hibou weasel la belette
flea la puce ox le bœuf whale la baleine
fly la mouche oyster l'huître (f) wing l'aile (f)
fox le renard parrot le perroquet wolf le loup
frog la grenouille partridge la perdrix worm le ver
gill la branchie penguin le pingouin zebra le zèbre

sit assis to bark aboyer
lie down couche-toi to growl grogner
shake donne la patte to pant haleter
dog/cat food les croquettes to whine/whimper gémir
leash la laisse to drool baver
collar le collier to meow miauler
to take/let dog out sortir le chien to scratch griffer
to climb on grimper sur to pounce on se jeter sur

73. Plaire & Manquer

plaire-to please, enjoy manquer-to miss, be lacking
plais   plaisons   manque   manquons  
plais   plaisez   manques   manquez  
plaît   plaisent   manque   manquent  

The past participle of plaire is plu.  To say that someone likes something, you have to switch the subject and object around, so that literally it translates to "something or someone pleases."  As a reflexive verb, se plaire means to enjoy being somewhere.  Faire plaisir à can also be used to mean "to delight or to like."

Cette chienne plaît à Dominique.  Dominique likes this dog.  (Literally:  This dog is pleasing to Dominique.)
Ça t'a plu?  Did you like it?
Ils se plaisent à Londres.  They enjoy being in London.
Cela me fait plaisir de vous revoir.  I am happy to see you again.

Manquer has several meanings: to miss, to lack, or to regret the absence (miss).  The last meaning uses inverted word order just like plaire.  Manquer à means "to fail to do."

Elle a manqué le train.  She missed the train.
Vous manquez de courage.  You lack courage.
Tu me manques.  I miss you.  (Literally:  You are missing to me)
Ils ont manqué aux devoirs.  They failed to do the homework.

74. Pluperfect (Past Perfect)

This compound tense is used for flashbacks or anything that had happened before the time of the narration.  It's formed with the imperfect tense of avoir or être and the past participle of the main verb.  This tense is comparable to the passé composé.

Imperfect of avoir or être
avais avions étais étions
avais aviez étais étiez + past participle
avait avaient était étaient

Je n'avais pas fini mon travail quand il est arrivé.
 I had not finished my work when he arrived.
Vous aviez faim parce que vous n'aviez pas du tout mangé.  You were hungry because you hadn't eaten at all.
Nous avions manqué le rendez-vous parce que le bus était en retard. We had missed the meeting because the bus was late.

75. Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns refer to no one or nothing in particular, such as someone or something.



each chacun(e)


quelque chose (de + adjective)

not one, none



quelques-uns / quelques-unes


n'importe quoi


quelque part


n'importe qui




n'importe où



any time n'importe quand


un(e) autre


nulle part

Do not confuse chacun with chaque (each, every).  Chacun is a pronoun and replaces a noun, while chaque is an adjective that describes a noun.

76. Subjunctive Mood

If a sentence expresses a subjective statement of opinion, the subjunctive mood is used rather than the indicative.  The subjunctive is used in dependent clauses introduced by the word que.  The main clause must express personal opinions or feelings and have a different subject from the dependent clause.  If the two subjects are the same, the infinitive is used.

Je doute que Marc soit là.  I doubt that Marc is here. (shows judgment and opinion)
Je veux venir.  NOT: Je veux que je vienne.  (use infinitive, same subject)

To form the subjunctive, use the ils/elles form of the present indicative tense.  This is also the form for the ils/elles form of the subjunctive.  For je, tu, il/elle, drop the -ent and add -e, -es, and -e.  Nous and vous use the imperfect forms.

-e -ions
-es -iez
-e -ent

Conjugations in the Subjunctive

avoir être faire aller
aie ayons sois soyons fasse fassions aille allions
aies ayez sois soyez fasses fassiez ailles alliez
ait aient soit soient fasse fassent aille aillent
vouloir pouvoir savoir pleuvoir
veuille voulions puisse puissions sache sachions
veuilles vouliez puisses puissiez saches sachiez
veuille veuillent puisse puissent sache sachent pleuve

These verbs and conjunctions are followed by the subjunctive:

Verbs Verbal Expressions Conjunctions
douter il faut que avant que
suggérer il vaut mieux que pour / afin que
vouloir il est important que jusqu'à ce que
proposer il se peut que à moins que
avoir peur il est possible que bien que / quoique
regretter il est temps que sans que
craindre c'est dommage que en attendant que
être content(e)/triste/désolé(e)/surpris(e), etc.
(negative and interrogative forms only)

Je veux que tu viennes avec moi. I want you to come with me.
Il est content que nous soyons là. He's happy that we are here.
Est-ce que vous pensez qu'elle puisse le faire ? Do you think that she can do it?
Il faut que je fasse la vaisselle. I have to do the dishes.
Elle sera là jusqu'à ce que vous partiez. She will be there until you leave.

► However, douter, jusqu'à ce que, à moins que, and bien que / quoique use the subjunctive whether there is a change in subject or not.  And when using avant before an infinitive, the construction is avant de + infinitive.  Note, also, that the subjunctive is not used with espérer or il est probable, although the subjunctive may be used with these words in other Romance languages.

► The word ne is used after certain conjunctions (most notably avant que and à moins que) that take the subjunctive, but this does not make the phrase negative:
Finissez le travail avant que la classe ne se termine. Finish the work before class ends.

77. Falloir & Valoir

Falloir (to be necessary) and valoir (to be worth) are two very common impersonal verbs used in several phrases and situations. Their conjugations are:

imperfect il fallait il valait
present perfect il a fallu il a valu
present il faut il vaut
future il faudra il vaudra
conditional il faudrait il vaudrait

Falloir can be translated as must, have to, be required to, etc. It can be followed directly by an infinitive, or a subject and the subjunctive mood.
Il faut rester à la maison aujourd'hui. You must stay at home today.
Il faut pas le faire ! You must not do it!
Il faut qu'il parte à 8h. He must leave at 8.

In addition to worth, valoir mieux is used in translating "it's better."
Ça ne vaut pas la peine. It's not worth it.
Il vaut mieux en rire qu’en pleurer. It's better to laugh about it than cry.

78. Adverbs

bien well quelquefois sometimes
mieux better toujours always
mal badly vite quickly
peu little donc therefore
déjà already encore yet
bientôt soon quelque part somewhere
ici here maintenant now
there tôt early
dedans inside tard late
dehors outside peut-être maybe
souvent often jamais (n)ever
d'habitude usually nulle part nowhere

To form an adverb, simply take the feminine form of an adjective and add -ment to the end.  If the masculine form ends in -e, you just add the -ment to that.  Adjectives ending in -ent or -ant take the endings -emment and -amment.

Masculine Feminine Adverb
naturel naturelle naturellement
heureux heureuse heureusement
lent lente lentement
facile facile facilement
probable probable probablement
intelligent intelligente intelligemment
brillant brillante brillamment
récent récente récemment

Some adverbs such as actuellement (currently, now) and éventuellement (possibly, perhaps) can be deceiving. 

A Few Irregular Adverbs
vrai vraiment
gentil gentiment
profond profondément
bref brièvement
précis précisément

Adverbs are placed right after the verb in a simple tense.  Adverbs of opinion and time usually go at the beginning or end of the sentence.  When peut-être and sans doute begin a sentence or clause, they are usually followed by que.  With the passé composé, most adverbs are placed between the auxiliary verb and past participle.  In negative sentences, pas precedes the adverb, except with peut-être, sans doute, sûrement, and probablement.  Adverbs of time and place generally follow the past participle.

79. Tools & Hobbies


tools les outils chisel le ciseau
toolbox la boîte à outils measuring tape le mètre
hammer le marteau chainsaw la tronçonneuse
screwdriver le tournevis file la lime
nail le clou do-it-yourself le bricolage
screw la vis handicrafts l'artisanat
wrench la clé embroidery la broderie
adjustable wrench la clé à molette cross-stitch le point de croix
bolt le boulon needlework la couture
nut l'écrou (m) needle l'aiguille (f)
pliers les pinces (f) thread le fil
saw la scie painting peindre
blade la lame jewelry making faire des bijoux
handle le manche gardening le jardinage
anvil l'enclume (f) knitting le tricot
clamp / vise l'étau (m) photography la photographie
shovel la pelle woodworking la menuiserie
pick axe la pioche pottery la poterie
drill la perceuse drawing le dessin
drill bit la mèche cooking la cuisine

Other expressions related to hobbies/leisure time:

bavarder - to chat
bronzer - to tan
faire la grasse matinée - to sleep in late
faire la sieste - to take a nap
faire une pause - to take a break
faire une promenade - to take a walk
faire un tour - to go out for a while
prendre un bain de soleil - to sunbathe
prendre un verre - to go out for a drink
se détendre - to relax
se reposer - to rest

80. False Cognates

Les faux-amis or false cognates are a common pitfall among language students.  The following are some common words that you may be deceived by:

Abus is used to mean excess or overindulgence, and usually not abuse.
Disposer means to arrange or to have available, not to dispose of.
Une injure is an insult, not an injury.
Actuel and actuellement mean current and currently.
Avertissement is a warning, not an advertisement.
Une recette is a recipe, not a receipt.
Fournitures refers to supplies, not furniture.
Original means new or innovative.
Humeur means mood, not humor.
Formel is used to mean strict, not formal.

Déjeuner du matin
Jacques Prévert

Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s'est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j'ai pleuré.

Jacques Prévert

He put the coffee
In the cup
He put the milk
In the cup of coffee
He put the sugar
In the café au lait
With the coffee spoon
He stirred
He drank the café au lait
And he set down the cup
Without a word to me
He lit
A cigarette
He made smoke-rings
With the smoke
He put the ashes
In the ashtray
Without a word to me
Without a look at me
He got up
He put
His hat upon his head
He put
his raincoat on
Because it was raining
And he left
In the rain
Without a word
And I, I took
My head in my hand
And I cried.

Translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from Paroles by Prévert

Le Corbeau et le Renard
Jean de la Fontaine

Maître corbeau, sur un arbre perché,
Tenait en son bec un fromage,
Maître renard, par l'odeur alléché,
Lui tint à peu près ce langage:
<<Eh bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous êtes joli !  que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte à votre plumage,
Vous êtes le phénix des hôtes de ces bois.>>
A ces mots, le corbeau ne se sent pas de joie;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le renard s'en saisit, et dit: <<Mon bon monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute.
Cette leçon vaut bien un fromage sans doute.>>
Le corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne l'y prendrait plus.

The Crow and the Fox
Jean de la Fontaine

Master Crow perched on a tree,
Was holding a cheese in his beak.
Master Fox attracted by the smell
Said something like this:
"Well, Hello Mister Crow!
How beautiful you are! how nice you seem to me!
Really, if your voice
Is like your plumage,
You are the phoenix of all the inhabitants of these woods."
At these words, the Crow is overjoyed.
And in order to show off his beautiful voice,
He opens his beak wide, lets his prey fall
The Fox grabs it, and says: "My good man,
Learn that every flatterer
Lives at the expense of the one who listens to him.
This lesson, without doubt, is well worth a cheese."
The Crow, ashamed and embarrassed,
Swore, but a little late, that he would not be taken again.

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