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PRACTICE

MAKES
PERFECT

TM

Intermediate
French
Grammar
Eliane Kurbegov

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Contents

Introduction vii

Present tense and uses of regular and


stem-changing verbs 1
Uses of the present tense 1
The present tense of regular verbs 2
The present tense of stem-changing -er verbs 5

Articles and genders 10


Review of articles and genders 10
Using the appropriate article 11
Contractions 13
Omitting articles 13
The definite article with parts of the body 16

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the


irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire 18
The present tense conjugation of the irregular verbs aller, avoir,
tre, and faire 18
Idiomatic uses of aller 18
Idiomatic uses of avoir 20
Idiomatic uses of tre 22
Idiomatic uses of faire 25

Adjectives and comparisons 29


Use and agreement of adjectives 29
Descriptive adjectives

31

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir,


-re, and -ir 40
Verbs ending in -oir 40
Verbs ending in -re 43
Verbs ending in -ir 47

iii

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures


after prepositions 52
Prepositions and prepositional phrases introducing nouns or pronouns 52
Prepositions and prepositional phrases followed by verbal structures 57

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures


Imperative structures 65
Use of infinitive forms of verbs 67
The present participle 76

Reflexive verbs 79
Reflexive verbs in the present tense 79
Transitive verbs 80
Expressing reciprocity with reflexive verbs 81
Reflexive verbs in the imperative mood 83
Use of the definite article with parts of the body 84

Future tenses 86
The near future tense of verbs 86
The simple future tense of verbs 88
The future tense after quand, lorsque, ds que, aussitt que

91

10 Negative and interrogative structures 93


Negative expressions in simple tenses

93

Negative expressions with infinitives 95


Negative expressions in compound tenses 96
Interrogative expressions in simple tenses

96

Interrogative structures in compound tenses 102

11 Imparfait and pass compos 104


Formation of imparfait tense 104
Uses of the imparfait 107
Formation of pass compos tense 110
Uses of the pass compos 115
Using the imparfait and/or pass compos in a sentence 117
Using the imparfait and pass compos in extended writing 121

12 Adverbs and adverbial phrases 123


The functions of adverbs 123
Formation of adverbs derived from adjectives 128
Placement of adverbs 130
Adverbial phrases 132

iv

Contents

65

13 Conditional sentences 135


Conditional sentences with the imparfait and present conditional
Conditional sentences with the pluperfect and past conditional

135

140

14 Object pronouns 144


Position of object pronouns 145
Personal object pronouns me, te, nous, vous, and se 146
Direct object pronouns le, la, l, and les 149
Object pronouns y and en 151

15 Past infinitive structures and agreement of past


participles 153
Past infinitive structure of avoir verbs 153
Past infinitive structure of tre verbs 154
Past infinitive structure of reflexive verbs 155
Agreement of past participles in compound tenses 158
Agreement of past participles for verbs conjugated with either avoir or tre 162

16 Demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive pronouns 164


Demonstrative pronouns 164
Interrogative pronouns lequel, laquelle, lesquels, and lesquelles 166
Possessive pronouns 168

17 The subjunctive mood 170


Formation of present subjunctive 170
Past subjunctive 182

18 Relative pronouns 185


Function of relative pronouns 185
Answer key 191

Contents

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Introduction

You have a good understanding of French and feel you are ready to move on. You
want to progress toward a higher level of proficiency in the French language, but
advanced grammar books still look overwhelming. Then this book is for you.
This highly useful book is well suited for the student who has mastered the
basics of French grammar. It can also be used as a review book at the end of a
second- or third-year course or as a supplement to an online French course. Intermediate French Grammar aims at expanding your knowledge and usage of verb
tenses as well as your knowledge and usage of syntactical structures. It also aims
to familiarize you with function words (such as relative pronouns), which make
sentences richer and more detailed.
Each unit in the book is self-contained and therefore can be studied independently. A total of 18 lessons follow a simple and progressive format designed to
help you learn, review, and retain knowledge of intermediate grammatical forms
and structures. User-friendly charts serve as preparation for exercises, and an
Answer key at the end of the book will help you verify your mastery of the material. You will practice present, past, and future tenses in addition to commonly
used present and past conditional as well as present and past subjunctive mood
verb forms. Adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and pronouns are also important
parts of this book.
As the focus of the book is grammar, vocabulary will be presented as a context in which to review and practice grammatical and syntactical forms. Each new
concept or structure is introduced with explanations, followed by highlighted
examples illustrating and clarifying the new grammatical points, and a variety of
exercises for practice. Among those exercises, some are designed to test your writing skills and some are embedded in contextualized reading material designed to
help you review and practice essential structures and concepts in an interesting
and fun manner. These exercises allow you to practice what you are learning and
assess your understanding of concepts as well as put your knowledge into realworld tasks such as reading about the Olympic Games and writing about what the
world will look like in 50 years.
vous la parole! Amusez-vous bien tout en apprenant!

vii

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Present tense and


uses of regular and
stem-changing verbs

Uses of the present tense


In French, the present tense is used to indicate that an action or a situation takes
place at the very moment when one is speaking or that it takes place routinely.
Mes parents travaillent aujourdhui.
Je glande dans ma chambre en ce
moment.
Mon grand-pre nentend pas bien.
Tu arrives toujours en retard.

My parents are working today.


I loaf/hang out in my room at the
moment.
My grandfather does not hear well.
You always arrive late.

Note that there is no direct equivalent of the English progressive present tense
in French. To state that something is happening, simply state that it happens.
Tes amis attendent en bas.
Tu descends?

Your friends are waiting downstairs.


Are you coming down?

You may also use the idiomatic expression tre en train de (to be in the middle of) followed by an infinitive verb to stress the progressive present.
Je suis en train de choisir un cadeau.
Paul est en train de cuisiner.
Nous sommes en train de rver.
Son pre est en train de travailler.

Im (in the middle of) choosing a gift.


Paul is (in the middle of) cooking.
We are (in the middle of) dreaming.
His father is (in the middle of)
working.

The present tense is sometimes used for future actions.


Jarrive tout de suite.
Tu rappelles demain?
Nous restons en France cet t.
Vous passez ce weekend?

Ill be right there.


Will you call back tomorrow?
Well stay in France this summer.
Will you stop by this weekend?

The present tense is used after depuis to indicate that the action started in
the past is still going on in the present.
Depuis que tu habites ici, je ne suis
plus seule.
Depuis que tu as cet iPad, tu es
constamment occup.

Since you have been living here, Im


no longer alone.
Since you got this iPad, you are
constantly occupied.

The present tense of regular verbs


Remember that the first step in conjugating a regular -er, -ir, or -re verb in the present tense consists of identifying the stem or root of the verb by dropping its infinitive ending.
INFINITIVE FORM:
STEM:

jouer
jou-

finir
fin-

rpondre
rpond-

The second step consists of adding the appropriate endings for that category of verbs and for
the subject of the verb.
-er
jouer
joue
joues
joue
jouons
jouez
jouent

je
tu
il, elle, on
nous
vous
ils, elles

-ir
finir
finis
finis
finit
finissons
finissez
finissent

Je joue au Monopoly avec mes copains.


Marc et Luc gagnent le plus souvent.
Quelquefois, nous finissons trs tard.
Sabine perd souvent car elle ne fait pas attention.

-re
rpondre
rponds
rponds
rpond
rpondons
rpondez
rpondent

I play Monopoly with my friends.


Marc and Luc win the most often.
Sometimes we finish very late.
Sabine often loses because she does not
pay attention.

Here are some commonly used regular -er, -ir, and -re verbs in their infinitive forms, which
you may use in exercises found in this chapter.
-er

-ir

accompagner
adorer
annoncer
arriver
bavarder
cuisiner
dbarrasser
couter
touffer
viter
glander
laver
partager
passer
plaisanter
raccrocher
raconter
rentrer
rester
travailler
tromper

to accompany
to love, adore
to announce
to arrive
to chat
to cook
to clean up
to listen to
to suffocate
to avoid
to loaf
to wash
to share
to spend (time)
to joke
to hang up
to tell (stories)
to go back
to stay
to work
to fool

choisir
blouir
finir
grandir
russir
saisir

Ces lumires mblouissent.


Vous choisissez toujours les plus jolies
serviettes.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

-re

to choose
to dazzle
to finish
to grow
to succeed
to seize

attendre
dfendre
descendre
entendre
perdre
rpondre

to wait for
to defend
to go down
to hear
to lose
to answer

These lights dazzle me.


You always choose the prettiest napkins.

Nous passons beaucoup de bons moments


dans ce caf.
Tu entends la question?
Le vendredi, je rentre tt du travail.
Les activits sportives rendent les gens
nergiques.

We spend many good moments in this caf.


Do you hear the question?
On Fridays, I come home from work early.
Sports activities make people energetic.

Remember that the verbs ouvrir (to open), couvrir (to cover), dcouvrir (to discover), and
offrir (to offer) are conjugated like regular -er verbs.
Tu ouvres la fentre, sil te plat? On touffe
dans cette chambre.
Elle couvre ses sofas avec des coussins.
Les enfants dcouvrent tt ou tard quil y a
des rgles suivre.
Joffre toujours un joli cadeau maman
pour la Fte des Mres.

Can you open the window, please? We are


suffocating in this room.
She covers her sofas with pillows.
Children discover sooner or later that there
are rules to follow.
I always offer a pretty gift to Mom for
Mothers Day.

Note that a verb remains in the infinitive form when it appears after a preposition such as
de, avant de, or pour.
Il saisit toujours loccasion de me dfendre.
Je prpare le dner avant de tlphoner aux
copains.
Elle descend lescalier pour ouvrir la porte.

He always seizes the opportunity to defend me.


I prepare dinner before calling friends.
She comes down the stairs to open the door.

DU VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine this vocabulary list before doing the next exercises.


amusant
funny
au tlphone
on the phone
avoir envie de
to feel like
bref
in short
faire/laver la vaisselle
to do/wash the dishes
heureusement
fortunately
la coquette
the flirt (f.)

le dner
le-mail
patiemment
pendant
peut-tre
tout le temps

the dinner
the e-mail
patiently
during
maybe
all the time

EXERCICE

11
Ma famille et moi. My family and I. Write the correct present tense form of each verb
in parentheses on the line provided.

Dans ma famille, on 1.

(cuisiner) et on

2.

(manger) ensemble tous les soirs. Aprs le dner, les enfants

3.

(dbarrasser) la table et 4.

vaisselle. Maman et papa 5.

(laver) la

(regarder) le journal tlvis et moi, je

Present tense and uses of regular and stem-changing verbs

6.

(rpondre) aux e-mails de mes copains ou leurs questions sur

Facebook. Quelquefois je 7.
8.

(tlphoner) ma copine Chlo. Elle


(adorer) quon 9.

(bavarder) toute la

soire. Le problme, cest quelle na jamais envie de 10.

(raccrocher).

EXERCICE

12
Mes frres, ma sur et moi. My brothers, my sister, and I. Write the correct
present tense form of each verb in parentheses on the line provided.

Mon frre an Jrme 1.


2.

(plaisanter) tout le temps. Il

(raconter) des histoires vraiment amusantes. Pendant les soires,

tout le monde 3.

(couter) Jrme et nous, nous

4.

(attendre) patiemment la fin de lhistoire. Patrick, mon autre frre,

5.

(russir) toujours 6.

prparations. Il 7.

(viter) les

(travailler) tard au bureau ou il

8.

(accompagner) une copine chez elle avant de

9.

(rentrer) chez nous. Bref! Il 10.

le moment quand tout est prt pour 11.

(choisir)
(arriver). Nadine, ma sur

12.

(prtendre) ne pas tre intresse par les garons, mais elle

13.

(passer) beaucoup de temps devant le miroir de la salle de bain

quand j 14.

(annoncer) larrive de mes copains. Quelle coquette!

Elle 15.

(tromper) peut-tre les autres, mais pas moi! Quand elle

16.

(descendre) finalement lescalier, elle

17.

(blouir) tous mes copains. Nadine 18.

(saisir) gnralement toutes les occasions de parler mes copains. Moi, heureusement j
19.

(entendre) tout. Elle 20.

vite, ma petite sur.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

(grandir) trop

EXERCICE

13
vous dcrire! Your turn to write! Write this paragraph in French, remembering to
conjugate all verbs appropriately.

I have a small family: a mom, a dad, one brother, and one sister. We eat dinner together
every night. My mom and my sister Nina cook. During dinner, Dad talks a lot and we listen. He
is very funny and loves to tell jokes.
After dinner, I clean up the table; my dad and my brother wash the dishes. My sister who
has many friends spends a lot of time on the phone. My mom stays in her room and answers
e-mails.

The present tense of stem-changing -er verbs


Remember that some regular -er verbs have a slight stem change as they are conjugated in the
present tense.

-Er verbs that have a g in the stem will end in -eons in their nous form. Similarly, if an -er
verb has a c in the stem, it will become in the nous form.
Nous mangeons tard le samedi soir.
Nous avanons vraiment doucement.

l ll: The verbs appeler (to call) and rappeler (to call back) double the l in the stem in all
forms except for the nous and vous forms.
Tu appelles encore ta copine?
Vous rappelez ce soir, daccord?

We eat late on Saturday nights.


We progress really slowly.

Are you still calling your girlfriend?


Youll call back tonight, OK?

t tt: The verb jeter doubles the t in the stem in all forms except for the nous and vous
forms.
Je jette les vieux journaux dans le
container du recyclage.

Im throwing the old newspapers into


the recycling bin.

Nous jetons nos chaussures quand


elles sont dmodes.

We throw away our shoes when they are


out of style.

Present tense and uses of regular and stem-changing verbs

: The in the following verbs becomes in all forms except for the nous and vous
forms.
cder
dcder
esprer
possder
prfrer

to give up/in
to pass away
to hope
to possess
to prefer

Les enfants rousptent quand ils ont


trop de devoirs.
Le plus faible cde au plus fort.
Nous esprons avoir raison.
Vous tolrez beaucoup de choses.

to protect
to repeat
to reveal
to complain
to tolerate

The children complain when they


have too much homework.
The weakest gives in to the strongest.
We hope to be right.
You tolerate many things.

e : The e in the following verbs becomes in all forms except for the nous and vous
forms.
acheter
amener
lever (les
enfants)
emmener

to buy
to bring along
to raise (children)

enlever
lever (une chose)
semer

to take/put away
to raise/lift (a thing)
to sow

to take along

Ces parents lvent bien leurs enfants.


Nous achetons tous nos fruits au march.
Mon frre nous emmne au cinma ce soir.
Tu enlves ton livre? Nous mangeons.

protger
rpter
rvler
rouspter
tolrer

These parents raise their children well.


We buy all our fruit at the market.
My brother is taking us to the movies tonight.
Will you put away your book? Were eating.

y i: The y in the following verbs becomes i in all forms except for the nous and vous
forms.
envoyer
essayer
essuyer
nettoyer
payer
tutoyer
vouvoyer

to send
to try
to wipe (dry)
to clean
to pay
to use the familiar tu address
to use the formal vous address

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary before doing the following exercises.


la fin
at the end
cela
chaque
each
dabord
lamoureux (m)
lover
la pagaille
la paix
peace
la prire
le champ de bataille
battlefield
le couvent
le mousquetaire
musketeer
le sorcier
les lunettes
glasses
malheureusement
personne
nobody

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

this, that
first (of all)
disarray
prayer
convent
sorcerer
unfortunately

EXERCICE

14
La famille des Schtroumpf. The Smurf family.
Chaque Schtroumpf 1.

(possder) un trait de personnalit

distinct. Par exemple, le Schtroumpf lunettes 2.

(porter) des

lunettes. Le Schtroumpf paresseux 3.


4.

(rouspter) avant de

(travailler). Tous les Schtroumpfs 5.

(respecter) le Grand Schtroumpf, mais ils le 6.


famille, on ne 7.
8.

(tutoyer). Dans cette

(vouvoyer) personne. Les Schtroumpfs


(habiter) en paix et en harmonie dans un joli petit village.

Mais un jour le sorcier Gargamel 9.

(envoyer) une

Schtroumpfette au village. Dabord la Schtroumpfette 10.

(semer) la

pagaille dans la famille Schtroumpf. Mais la fin, les Schtroumpfs 11.


(cder) son charme et tout le monde 12.

(aimer) la Schtroumpfette.

EXERCICE

15
Des cousins clbres. Famous cousins. Write each one of the following -er verbs in
the appropriate present tense form.

Le personnage principal du clbre film Roxane est un mousquetaire et il s


1.

(appeler) Cyrano. Beaucoup de gens se

2.

(moquer) de lui parce quil 3.

(possder) un norme nez. Cyrano 4.

(rouspter) et

5.

(provoquer) ses adversaires en duel. Il

6.

(gagner) toujours.
Cyrano 7.

(aimer) secrtement la belle Roxane, sa cousine.

Malheureusement Roxane 8.
9.

(prfrer) le beau Christian. Cyrano


(cder) aux prires de Christian. Il 10.

(accepter) de crer des pomes que Christian 11.

(envoyer) Roxane.

Present tense and uses of regular and stem-changing verbs

Cyrano 12.

(emmener) Christian sur le champ de bataille mais

promet Roxane de 13.

(protger) son amoureux. Il

14.

(essayer) de faire cela mais Christian

15.

(dcder) sur le champ de bataille.


Dsespre, Roxane s 16.

du film, Cyrano 17.


18.

(enfermer) dans un couvent. la fin


(rvler) son amour Roxane avant de

(dcder) dans ses bras. Cest triste et romantique, nest-ce pas?

EXERCICE

16
vous dcrire! Your turn to write! Translate the following paragraph into French.
Mr. and Mrs. Duport have a big family. They are raising five children. Unfortunately, they
own a small home. So the children share two bedrooms. The Duports take the children to
school every day. The big ones protect the little ones.
While the children spend the day at school, Mrs. Duport works at her office and
Mr. Duport cleans the house and cooks.
The Duport family hopes to possess a big house someday! But for the moment, nobodys
complaining!

EXERCICE

17
Qui est-ce? Who is this? After reading this paragraph, answer the questions that follow
in complete sentences.

Elle rpond au nom dAudrey en hommage la clbre actrice Audrey Hepburn.


Ladolescente Audrey grandit dans une famille ordinaire. Elle a un pre chirurgien-dentiste et
une mre enseignante. Elle a aussi un frre et deux surs, mais Audrey est lane des quatre
enfants. Quand elle finit ses tudes de lyce, Audrey ne va luniversit quune anne et puis
elle fait quelques films pour la tlvision. Elle joue son premier grand rle au cinma lge de
vingt-deux ans et elle gagne le Csar (Oscar) du premier espoir fminin en lan 2000. Depuis
cette anne-l, la jeune actrice ne cesse pas de jouer des rles cinmatographiques importants
qui la rendent clbre dans le monde entier.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Qui est-ce? Cest Audrey Tautou, clbre pour ses rles dans les films Le fabuleux destin
dAmlie Poulain, Coco avant Chanel et Da Vinci Code.
1. Comment sappelle la personne dcrite dans ce passage?

2. Dans quelle sorte de famille grandit-elle?

3. Quelle est la profession de son pre?

4. Est-ce quelle est enfant unique?

5. Quest-ce quelle fait aprs un an duniversit?

6. Quest-ce quelle gagne en lan 2000?

7. Quel est lquivalent amricain dun Csar?

8. Quels films la rendent clbre?

Present tense and uses of regular and stem-changing verbs

Articles and genders

Review of articles and genders


Review the following rules of thumb to help you determine the gender of a noun,
but remember there are exceptions to the rules, and whenever possible it will be
safer verifying the gender of a noun in a book or dictionary. Review the following
chart in which nouns are classified by gender according to their endings:
MASCULINE NOUN ENDINGS

FEMININE NOUN ENDINGS

-eau
-on
-oir
-eur
-ou
-
-er
-in/ain

-e
-son
-tion
-euse
-ette
-t
-re
-ine

Now look at the following examples and note the patterns:

10

MASCULINE NOUNS

FEMININE NOUNS

le bateau
le bureau
le jumeau

boat
office/office desk
twin boy

laffiche
la chaise
la jumelle

poster
chair
twin girl

le jambon
le raton
le ton

ham
little rat
tone

la maison
la saison
la raison

house
season
reason

le soir
le rasoir
le manoir

evening
razor
manor

la composition
la nation
la rsolution

composition
nation
resolution

le professeur
le coiffeur
le menteur

teacher (male)
hairdresser (male)
liar (male)

la vendeuse
la coiffeuse
la menteuse

saleslady
hairdresser (female)
liar (female)

le bijou
le chou
le clou

jewel
cabbage
nail

la chambrette
la coquette
la fillette

little room
flirt (female)
little girl

MASCULINE NOUNS

FEMININE NOUNS

le bl
le th
le d

wheat
tea
die (n.)

la clbrit
la fiert
la beaut

fame
pride
beauty

le boucher
lpicier
louvrier

butcher (m.)
grocery clerk (m.)
worker (m.)

la bouchre
lpicire
louvrire

butcher (lady)
grocery store clerk (f.)
worker (f.)

le copain
le voisin
le pain

friend (m.)
neighbor (m.)
bread

la copine
la voisine
la farine

friend (f.)
neighbor (f.)
flour

Using the appropriate article


Remember that articles almost always precede a noun, and they vary according to the gender and
number of the noun they accompany. Look at the following summary chart for articles.
GENDER AND NUMBER

INDEFINITE
ARTICLES

DEFINITE
ARTICLES

DEMONSTRATIVE
ARTICLES

PARTITIVE
ARTICLES

Masculine singular
Feminine singular
Plural

un
une
des

le/l
la/l
les

ce/cet
cette
ces

du/de l
de la/de l
des

Remember to use indefinite articles in French when talking about countable things or
people.
Jai une meilleure amie.
Tu as un beau sweat.

I have a (one) best friend.


You have a beautiful sweatsuit.

The plural indefinite article must be used in French even though it may be implied in
English.
Nous avons des roses rouges.
Elle a des cheveux longs.

We have (some) red roses.


She has (some) long hair.

The plural indefinite article des should not be used before an adjective. It is replaced by de.
Il a de beaux yeux.

He has beautiful eyes.

Remember to use definite articles in French when talking about things in general even when
the definite article is omitted in English.
Le bl pousse bien en Alsace.
Largent ne fait pas le bonheur.

Wheat grows well in Alsace.


Money does not guarantee happiness.

Use definite articles before days of the week or moments of time when meaning regularly on
that day or at that moment of time.

Articles and genders

11

Le samedi, je ne travaille pas.


Le matin, jai toujours sommeil.
Lt, il fait chaud.

On Saturdays, I do not work.


In the mornings, I am always sleepy.
In the summer, it is hot.

Make necessary adjustments to singular articles that precede a vowel sound.


Le and la become l before a vowel sound.
le garon (the boy), larbre (the tree), lhtel (the hotel)
la fille (the girl), laffiche (the poster), lhistoire (the story)
The masculine article ce becomes cet before a vowel sound,
e.g., ce mtier (this job), cet emploi (this job).
Du and de la become de l before a vowel.
du gteau (some cake), de lor (some gold), de lhumus (some
humus)
de la limonade (some lemonade), de leau (some water),
de lhsitation (some hesitation)

DEFINITE ARTICLES:
MASCULINE SINGULAR:
FEMININE SINGULAR:
DEMONSTRATIVE ARTICLES:
PARTITIVE ARTICLES:
MASCULINE SINGULAR:
FEMININE SINGULAR:

Do not use indefinite and partitive articles in negative sentences. Simply use de before the
noun. Look at the following examples:
AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCE

NEGATIVE SENTENCE

Jai un frre.
Elle a une voiture.
Je prends du lait.
Jai de la patience.

I have a brother.
She has a car.
Im having milk.
I have patience.

Je nai pas de frre.


Elle na pas de voiture.
Je ne prends pas de lait.
Je nai pas de patience.

Je veux des
bonbons.

I want candy.

Je ne veux pas de
bonbons.

I do not have a brother.


She does not have a car.
Im not having (any) milk.
I do not have (any)
patience.
I do not want (any) candy.

Review the following chart of possessive adjectives, as these function as articles:


GENDER AND NUMBER

MY

YOUR (FAMILIAR)

HIS/HER

OUR

YOUR (FORMAL)

THEIR

Masculine singular
Feminine singular
Plural

mon
ma
mes

ton
ta
tes

son
sa
ses

notre
notre
nos

votre
votre
vos

leur
leur
leurs

Je rejoue mes films prfrs plusieurs fois.


Tu portes ton nouveau jean et ta nouvelle
chemise?

I replay my favorite movies several times.


Are you wearing your new jeans and your
new shirt?

Use the masculine singular possessive adjective mon/ton/son before a feminine singular
noun that starts with a vowel sound.

12

MASCULINE NOUN

FEMININE NOUN STARTING WITH A VOWEL SOUND

mon ami (my male friend)


ton pre (your father)
son chalet (his/her chalet)

mon amie (my female friend)


ton affaire (your affair)
son habitation (his/her habitation)

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Contractions
Always contract the prepositions (at, in, to) and de (from, of) with the definite articles le
and les.

le

les

au

aux

de

le

les

du

des

Tu vas au bureau ce matin?


Dis aux enfants quil faut faire les devoirs!

Are you going to the office this morning?


Tell (to) the children that they must do the
homework!
I leave the house at 7 a.m., and I come back
at 6 p.m.
These are the students notebooks.

Je pars de la maison sept heures du


matin et je rentre six heures du soir.
Ce sont les cahiers des lves.

Omitting articles
There are instances when nouns are not preceded by articles.

After the prepositions en, comme, sans, entre when expressing generalities
En hiver, nous faisons du ski.
Comme dessert, je voudrais de la glace.
Sans loisirs, la vie est monotone.

During the winter, we go skiing.


For dessert, I would like some ice cream.
Without leisure-time activities, life is
monotonous.
Among friends, we can say everything.

Entre amis, on peut tout se dire.

After the negative adverbs ni... ni


Je nai ni confiture ni beurre en ce moment.

After expressions of quantity such as assez de (enough), beaucoup de (many), peu de


(little of ), un peu de (a little of ), trop de (too much); and un litre de (a liter of ), un kilo
de (a kilo of ); or une douzaine de (a dozen of ), une bouteille de (a bottle of ), une tasse
de (a cup of ), and un verre de (a glass of )
Donnez-moi un litre de lait.
Je voudrais un peu de sucre.

Give me a liter of milk.


I would like a little sugar.

After certain verbal expressions such as avoir besoin de (to need), tre couvert/rempli de
(to be covered/filled with)
Ces chiens ont besoin de nourriture.
Leurs bols sont remplis deau.

I have neither jam nor butter right at this


moment.

These dogs need food.


Their bowls are filled with water.

Before unmodified occupations and professions, after the verbs tre (to be) and devenir
(to become)
Elle est grante.
Nous devenons tudiants.

She is a manager.
We are becoming students.

Articles and genders

13

EXERCICE

21
Conversation du matin. Morning conversation. Translate the following short
dialogues into French. Use the familiar tu form for verbs and the appropriate articles before
nouns whenever necessary.

1. What do you want, lemonade or water? A little water, please!

2. Do you have coffee in the morning? Yes, I always have a cup of coffee.

3. Do you need some sugar in your coffee? Yes, I need a lot of sugar.

4. Can you buy a bottle of wine for dinner? Sure, a dinner without wine is not a real dinner.

5. Do not bring any flowers this time! Why not? You love flowers.

6. Yes, but I have lots of roses from the garden. May I bring a dessert?

7. No, thanks. We have fruit for dessert. Fruit is perfect in the summer, youre right!

8. See you tonight! Or this afternoon!

EXERCICE

22
Que veux-tu faire dans la vie, Marc? What do you want to do in life,
Mark? Write the following questions in French. Use the familiar tu form for your verbs and
the appropriate articles before nouns whenever necessary. Use est-ce que in your questions.

1. Are you a student?

2. What is your favorite subject this year?

14

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

3. What do you want to be in ten years?

4. Do you want to be a teacher, a hotel manager, an astronaut, an actor?

5. What is important? Money, fame, pride?

EXERCICE

23
Les voitures. Cars. Complete each French sentence with the appropriate definite,
indefinite, demonstrative, or possessive article so that it corresponds to the English sentence.
Write X on the line provided if no article is necessary.
Individual cars appear at the end of the 18th century in our societies.

1.
3.

voitures individuelles paraissent 2.

fin du 18me sicle dans

socits.

Electric cars have existed since the 1900s but lose their appeal when Henry Ford invents his gas-powered
engine.

4.
6.

voitures lectriques existent depuis 5.


attrait quand Henry Ford invente 7.

annes 1900 mais perdent de


moteur lessence.

Our world counts around a billion cars today.

8.

monde compte aujourdhui prs dun milliard de 9.

voitures.

One disadvantage of the proliferation of this type of car is our dependence on oil.

10.
12.

inconvnient de la prolifration de 11.

type de voitures est

dpendance du ptrole.

Another one is the damage to the environment.

Un autre en est les dgts 13.

environnement.

When are we going to drive cars that use neither gas nor electricity?

Quand allons-nous conduire 14.


16.

voitures qui nutilisent ni 15.

essence ni

lectricit?

Articles and genders

15

The definite article with parts of the body


In French, parts of the body are preceded by a definite article rather than a possessive adjective
when it is obvious whose part of the body is referred to. Look at the following examples, and note
that this is especially true in commands:
Tu fermes les yeux, tu tendors et tu te sens
mieux.
Sors le doigt du nez, Ccile! Ne suce pas le
pouce, Jeannot!
Levez la main, les enfants! Vous deux, fermez
les yeux!

You close your eyes, you fall asleep, and


you feel better.
Take your finger out of your nose, Ccile!
Do not suck your thumb, Jeannot!
Raise your hands, children! You two, close
your eyes.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine this vocabulary list before doing the following exercises.


lpaule (f.)
shoulder
le bras
loreille (f.)
ear
le cou
lorteil (m.)
toe
le coude
la bouche
mouth
le doigt
la cheville
ankle
le dos
la dent
tooth
le genou
la figure
face
le nez
la jambe
leg
le pied
la joue
cheek
le poignet
la main
hand
le pouce
la nuque
nape of neck
le ventre
la poitrine
chest
les cheveux
la tte
head
les yeux

arm
neck
elbow
finger
back
knee
nose
foot
wrist
thumb
belly
hair
eyes

EXERCICE

24
lentranement! Boot camp! You are at boot camp, and these are the orders you
hear. Complete each command as directed.

Rentrez 1.

(your belly)! Redressez 2.

(your chest)! Ne baissez pas 3.


4.

(your eyes)! Mettez


(your hand) sur 5.

Haussez 6.

(your chin)! Fermez 7.

mouth) et ne montrez pas 8.


9.
10.

16

practice makes perfect

(your chest)!

(your teeth)! Mettez


(your feet) lun ct de lautre! Rentrez
(your knees)!

Intermediate French Grammar

(your

EXERCICE

25
Dans la salle dattente chez le docteur. In the waiting room at the doctors
office. Translate what you hear various patients complain about. Use the idiom avoir mal
to express to hurt. The first sentence has been done for you.

1. My head has been hurting for five days.

Jai mal la tte depuis cinq jours.


2. My right leg hurts a lot. I cant walk.

3. My toe hurts. I think it is broken.

4. My wrist hurts. I play tennis too often.

5. My belly hurts. I cant eat.

6. My chest hurts. I must have bronchitis (une bronchite).

7. My nose hurts. I have a cold (un rhume).

8. I have a toothache. I need a dentist.

9. I have a scratch (une griffure) on my face.

10. My elbow hurts.

Articles and genders

17

The present tense and


idiomatic uses of the
irregular verbs aller, avoir,
tre, and faire
The present tense conjugation of the
irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire
Remember that the present tense conjugation of some basic verbs is irregular and
requires memorization of each verbal form. See the following conjugations:
aller (to go)
je vais
tu vas
il/elle/on va
nous allons
vous allez
ils/elles vont

avoir (to have)

tre (to be)

faire (to do/make)

jai
tu as
il/elle/on a
nous avons
vous avez
ils/elles ont

je suis
tu es
il/elle/on est
nous sommes
vous tes
ils/elles sont

je fais
tu fais
il/elle/on fait
nous faisons
vous faites
ils/elles font

Je vais luniversit deux fois par


semaine.
Mes amis vont au Canada une fois
par an.
On a de la chance quand on gagne
la loterie.
Vous avez beaucoup de courage.
Tu es un excellent ami.
Tes surs sont croquer.
Je fais des fautes en franais.
Monsieur, vous faites une erreur.

I go to the university twice a week.


My friends go to Canada once a year.
One is lucky when one wins the lottery.
You have a lot of courage.
You are an excellent friend.
Your sisters are adorable (to eat).
I make mistakes in French.
Sir, you are making a mistake.

Idiomatic uses of aller


The verb aller is used in idiomatic expressions that do not translate literally from
French to English. Here is a list of aller expressions that you may be able to use in
this chapter.
aller la pche
aller au fond des choses
aller avec quelque chose
aller bien/mal
aller bon train

18

to go fishing
to get to the bottom of things
to go with something/to match/to fit
to feel well/bad
to go at a good speed/rhythm

aller chercher (quelquun ou


quelque chose)
aller de lavant
aller droit au but

to go get (someone or something)

Nous allons bien aujourdhui.


Va chercher le courier!
Ce foulard va bien avec ton chemisier.
Vous allez bon train. Continuez!
Je vais droit au but: il me faut de largent.

We are fine today.


Go get the mail!
This scarf goes well with your shirt.
You are going at a good speed. Continue!
Im getting straight to the point: I need money.

to move forward
to go straight to the goal/get straight to the point

Note the following idiomatic phrases:


a va de soi.
a va sans dire.
a va!
a va comme a?

It is self-evident.
It goes without saying.
Im fine!/It works!
Is that OK?/Does it work?

Tu vas en France cet t? a va sans dire.

Are you going to France this


summer? That goes without saying.
Hi, Jeanne! How are you? Im fine,
thank you.
How is work? It is fine, thank you.

Salut, Jeanne! a va? a va bien, merci.


Comment va le travail? Il va bien, merci.
EXERCICE

31
Bonjour. Comment a va? Hello, how are you? Translate Denise and Johnnys
conversation.

1. DENISE: Hi, Johnny! How are you?

2. JOHNNY: Fine, thanks. How about you?

3. DENISE: Fine. Goes without saying: Im on vacation.

4. JOHNNY: Lets go fishing this afternoon!

5. DENISE: This afternoon Im going to get my new dress.

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire

19

6. JOHNNY: The pretty dress that goes with my tuxedo (le smoking)?

7. DENISE: Yes, for Saturday. Im keeping a good pace, right?

8. JOHNNY: Thats (self-) evident.

Idiomatic uses of avoir


The verb avoir is used in many idiomatic expressions that do not translate literally from French
to English. Here is a list of avoir expressions that you may be able to use in this chapter:

20

avoir besoin de
avoir bonne/mauvaise conscience
avoir chaud/froid
avoir confiance en
avoir de la chance/de la malchance
avoir envie de
avoir hte (de)
avoir honte (de)
avoir lair (heureux/heureuse...)
avoir lhabitude de
avoir limpression de
avoir lintention de
avoir lieu
avoir peur de
avoir pleine conscience de
avoir raison/tort
avoir sommeil
avoir ans

to need
to have a clear/guilty conscience
to be hot/cold
to trust
to be lucky/unlucky
to feel like/to want
to be in a hurry (to)
to be ashamed (of)
to look (happy . . .)
to be used to
to get the impression/to have the feeling that
to intend to
to take place
to be afraid to
to be fully aware of
to be right/wrong
to be sleepy
to be . . . old

Il fait zro degr Celsius. Jai froid.


Nina a envie daller au cinma.
Jai limpression de connatre ce monsieur.
Tu as hte darriver, nest-ce pas?
Nous avons confiance en nos parents.
Vous avez si hte que a de partir?
Tes amis ont lair heureux.

It is zero degrees Celsius. I am cold.


Nina feels like going to the movies.
I have the feeling I know this gentleman.
You are in a hurry to arrive, arent you?
We trust our parents.
Are you so anxious to leave?
Your friends look happy.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

32
Quelle expression choisir? What expression should we choose? Choose the
appropriate expression and write it on the line provided. Be sure to include the correct form
of the verb avoir.

hte
raison
1. J

ans
lintention

envie
honte

sommeil
de la chance

limpression
besoin

que tu as chaud. Attends! Jouvre la fentre.

2. Vous

. Audrey Tautou est une excellente actrice.


!

3. Marc gagne toujours la loterie. Il


4. Le film commence dans deux minutes. J

darriver.

5. Aprs le dner, ma grand-mre

6. Mon grand-pre

soixante

quand il va lcole sans ses devoirs.

7. Jeannot
8. Les tudiants

de beaucoup de livres.

9. Yvonne

de rester la maison le soir.

10. Nous

de voyager cet t.

EXERCICE

33
Trouvons les synonymes. Lets find synonyms. Rewrite the italicized part of the
sentence using the appropriate avoir idiom from the ones listed in the previous exercise.

1. Nous comptons rester chez nous ce weekend.


2. Tu crois tre malade?
3. Tu voudrais dormir?
4. Vous voulez une bonne pizza ce soir ?
5. Il na pas fait son travail. Il a mauvaise conscience.
6. Je suis en retard. Je suis press darriver.
7. Dhabitude nous mangeons ensemble.
8. Ils nont pas de chance. Ils perdent la roulette.
9. Marie semble fatigue aujourdhui.
10. Ce prof est qualifi. Je crois quon va apprendre.

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire

21

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercise.


alors
so, then
penser
le bruit
noise
silencieux
le chiot
puppy
trembler
le rconfort
comfort

to think
silent, quiet
to shiver, tremble

EXERCICE

34
vous dcrire! Your turn to write! Translate the following paragraph into French
using the vous form for you.

Lolo and Lili are puppies, and they are brother and sister. They are afraid of loud noises.
When they hear a noise, they start to tremble. The Duport children are fully aware of that. They
are used to avoiding noises. Unfortunately, their friends do not always feel like being silent. So
they shout, and the puppies need comfort. They trust the Duport family. You think that they
are lucky to have a nice family? You are right!

Idiomatic uses of tre


The verb tre is used idiomatically in expressions that do not translate literally from French to
English.

Cest + + stress pronoun + de + infinitive verb. This structure is used to express that it
is someones turn to do something.
Cest moi de nettoyer la cuisine.
Cest lui de vider les ordures.
Cest elles de prparer le dner.

22

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Its my turn to clean the kitchen.


Its his turn to empty the garbage.
Its their turn to prepare dinner.

Cest/Il est/Elle est + + person or stress pronoun. This structure is used to express
possession.
Cest maman.
Le journal, il est papa.
Elle est moi, cette serviette.

It belongs to Mom.
The newpaper belongs to Dad.
This towel belongs to me.

The form est can be just part of a phrase, such as the following:
Cest a!
a y est!
Cest tout.
a mest gal.
Tu as raison! Cest a.
Jai fini. a y est!
Je nai pas envie de manger. Cest tout.
Il pleut? a mest gal. Je sors.
Cest bien fait pour toi!

Thats it!
Done!
Thats all.
Its all the same to me/I dont care.
You are right! Thats it!
I finished. Done!
I do not feel like eating. Thats all.
Its raining? I dont care. Im going out.
It serves you right!

The verb tre is also used in the following expressions:


tre court de
tre daccord
tre de retour
tre en train de
tre en vacances
tre sur le point de

to be short of (something)
to agree
to be back
to be in the process/middle of
to be on vacation
to be about

Ce film est ennuyeux. Je suis daccord avec toi.


Thierry est de retour de son voyage en Italie.
Il est sur le point dannuler la confrence.
Ils sont en train de tlphoner.
la fin du mois, je suis court dargent.

This movie is boring. I agree with you.


Thierry is back from his trip to Italy.
He is about to cancel the conference.
They are in the middle of a call.
At the end of the month, I am short on
money.

Nous sommes is used with days of the week to indicate what day it is.
Nous sommes lundi aujourdhui.

It is Monday today.

Uses of cest/ce sont and il(s)/elle(s) sont


Cest is followed by an adjective in the masculine form when expressing a general idea.
Jean arrive souvent en retard. Cest vrai.
Tu penses quil pleut dj? Cest possible!

Jean often comes late. Its true.


You think it is already raining? Its possible!

Cest/ce sont are followed by noun phrases that describe people or things.
Cest/ce sont + article + noun phrase
(includes article and may include adjective)
Cest le nouveau professeur de chimie.
Cest un printemps bizarre.
Ce sont des familles clbres.
Ce sont nos affaires.

He is the new chemistry teacher.


It is a weird spring.
They are famous families.
It is our business.

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire

23

Il/elle est and Ils/elles sont are followed by adjectives or unmodified occupations.
Il/elle est/Ils/elles sont + adjective
Nolle? Elle est trs gentille.
Les albums de photos? Ils sont beaux.

Nolle? She is very nice.


The photo albums? They are beautiful.

Il/elle est/Ils/elles sont + unmodified occupation


(no article or adjective included)
Jean et Thomas? Ils sont peintres.
Madeleine? Elle est esthticienne.

Jean and Thomas? They are painters.


Madeleine? She is a cosmetician.

EXERCICE

35
Compltez! Complete! Choose the appropriate expression from the list. Then complete
each sentence. Be sure to include a subject such as je, c, il(s), or elle(s) and the correct form
of the verb tre. The first one is done for you.

samedi
sur le point
1. Jai dexcellents rsultats.

court
tout

actrice
toi

moi
professeur

heureuse
gal

Je suis heureuse.

2. Audrey Tautou?

une excellente

3. M. Rtaud?

de chimie.

4. Tu me donnes un seul petit sandwich.


5. Nina,

? Mais jai faim.

de dbarrasser la table!

6. Attention! Ne touche pas cet iPad!


7. Mais non! Je ne vais aux cours.

.
aujourdhui.

8. Tu as besoin dargent? Dsol! Je

dargent aussi.

9. Tu nes pas content parce que je nai pas dargent te donner?

de finir nos prparatifs de voyage. Encore une minute et

10. Nous
a y est!

EXERCICE

36
Le dilemne dIrne. Irnes dilemma. Write the omitted part of the sentence using the
appropriate tre structure. Use the instructions in parentheses.

24

1.

dimanche. (It is)

2.

de prparer le djeuner? (Its my turn)

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

3. Comment prparer mes omelettes?


4. Ma sur Irne

dufs. (Im short of)


de sortir. (is about)

5. Je lui demande dacheter une douzaine dufs.


6.

, ma sur! (She is nice)

7. Ah!
8.

. (She agrees)

! (Done)

! (Irne is back)

davoir une famille comme a! (Its great)

Idiomatic uses of faire


The verb faire is used in many idiomatic expressions that do not translate literally from French to
English. Here is a list of faire expressions that you may be able to use in this chapter:
Physical activities

faire du sport
faire de la musculation/de la gymnastique
faire de la natation/de la plonge
faire du football/du volleyball
faire de la marche/des randonnes
faire des promenades ( vlo, en moto)

to do sports
to lift weights/to do gymnastics
to swim/dive
to play soccer/volleyball
to go for walks/hikes
to go for (bicycle, motorcycle . . .) rides

On fait beaucoup de football en Europe.

They play a lot of soccer in


Europe.
We dive when we go to Corsica.

Nous faisons de la plonge quand nous allons


en Corse.
Les touristes font des promenades cheval en
Camargue.

Tourists go for horse rides in


Camargue.

Domestic activities

faire des achats/des courses


faire la vaisselle/le linge
faire le lit/le mnage

to go shopping/run errands
to do the dishes/the laundry
to make the bed/do the household
chores

Papa fait des achats en ville pendant que maman fait


les courses au march.
Nous faisons la vaisselle tous les jours et le linge
le samedi.

Dad is shopping in town while Mom


runs errands at the market.
We do the dishes every day and the
laundry on Saturdays.

Leisure time activities

faire des voyages


faire de la photo/de la peinture
faire du texto
faire la queue
faire un blog

to take trips
to do photography/painting
to text
to wait in line
to blog

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire

25

Les Lonard font de la photo comme hobby.


Moi, je fais du texto longueur de journe.

The Lonards do photography as a


hobby.
I text all day long.

Weather

faire beau/mauvais
faire chaud/froid
faire du soleil/du brouillard

to be nice/bad
to be hot/cold
to be sunny/foggy

Il fait du soleil sur la Cte Mditerrane.


Il fait toujours du brouillard tt le matin.

It is sunny on the Mediterranean coast.


It is always foggy early in the morning.

States of being

faire peur
faire envie
faire semblant de
faire de son mieux

to scare (someone)
to make (someone) feel like/to tempt someone
to do as if/to pretend
to do ones best

Les dentistes font peur aux enfants.


Tu fais semblant dtre amoureux ou tu les
vraiment?

Dentists scare children.


Do you pretend to be in love, or are you
really(in love)?

Educational activities

faire des tudes


faire son droit/sa mdecine
faire son baccalaurat (bac)/sa thse

to study/to be a student
to study law/medicine
to take the baccalaureate exam/to do a thesis

Cest en terminale que les tudiants


font leur bac.
Martin fait sa mdecine. Cest long et
difficile.

It is in their senior year that students take


their baccalaureate exam.
Martin studies medicine. Its long and
difficult.

Phrases

a fait combien?
a fait douze euros.
Quest-ce que a fait?
a ne fait rien.
a fait mal.
a fait combien, ce collier ?
Il est cher mais a ne fait rien. Je lachte.

How much is it?


It costs 12 euros.
What does it matter?
It does not matter./No problem.
It (that) hurts.
How much is this necklace?
It is expensive, but it does not matter.
Im buying it.

The structure faire + infinitive verb is used to indicate that someone is having someone else
do a job or task.
Nous faisons construire une maison.
Je fais nettoyer mes vtements chers.
Laurie se fait couper les cheveux.

26

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

We are having a house built.


Im having my expensive clothes cleaned.
Laurie is having her hair cut.

EXERCICE

37
On sort ou on fait le mnage? Are we going out or cleaning the house? Find
the appropriate completion of each sentence among the choices, and write the
corresponding letter on the line provided.

1.

Il fait beau aujourdhui, alors...

a. envie.

2.

Mais il faut faire... avant de sortir.

b. Je peux le laver demain.

3.

Bon, moi,... et alors on sort.

c. fait combien?

4.

Mais, on a aussi le linge...

d. faire laver le linge la blanchisserie.

5.

Ca ne fait rien! ...

e. le mnage

6.

Daccord. On peut aussi...

f. faire.

7.

Oui, mais a...

g. je fais le lit,

8.

Je ne sais pas mais a me fait...

h. allons faire une promenade!

EXERCICE

38
Mireille et Mathieu ont une discussion. Mireille and Mathieu have a
discussion. Write Mathieus replies to Mireille. Follow the instructions in parentheses.
1. M IREILLE : Dis, Mathieu, cest toi de faire les courses pour la semaine.
M ATHIEU :
(But I feel like going for a bike ride. The weather is nice.)
2. M IREILLE : Je suis trs occupe aujourdhui. Tu sais que ce nest pas facile de faire son droit.
M ATHIEU :
(This beautiful weather is simply tempting. Thats all.)
3. M IREILLE : Moi aussi, mais je fais mon travail.
M ATHIEU :
(Agreed. I run the errands. You study your law.)
4. M IREILLE : Et qui fait le mnage et le linge ce weekend?
M ATHIEU :
(How much is it to have the house cleaned?)

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs aller, avoir, tre, and faire

27

5. M IREILLE : Cest trop cher pour notre budget, mon petit Mathieu.
M ATHIEU :
(It doesnt matter. I have to do my exercise.)
6. M IREILLE : a y est! Le mois prochain, on est ruin cause de toi.
M ATHIEU :
(Fine. Ill do my best today.)

EXERCICE

39
Cest une grande artiste! She is a big artist. Write each verb in parentheses in the
appropriate present tense form.

Cline Dion 1.

(tre) une chanteuse canadienne. Cline

2.

(habiter) dabord Montral. Sa mre

3.

(tre) violoniste, et son pre accordoniste. lge de cinq ans,

elle 4.

(chanter) pour la premire fois devant un public pour le

mariage de son frre.


En 1980, quand Cline Dion 5.
6.

(avoir) douze ans, sa mre

(envoyer) une cassette musicale Ren Anglil, figure du monde

musical au Qubec. Le monsieur 7.


8.

(adore) la voix de Cline; cela

(aller) de soi.
En 1984, elle 9.

10.

(aller) de lavant et
(reprsenter) la jeunesse de son pays pour la venue du pape.

Cline Dion est aujourdhui une grande artiste internationale. Sa chanson My Heart Will
Go On 11.

(faire) partie dun album qui est un de ses plus grands

succs.

28

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Adjectives and
comparisons

Use and agreement of adjectives


There are several types of adjectives in the French language. Some serve as articles
for nouns and noun phrases, while others are descriptive and serve to give you
attributes and characteristics of nouns.
Possessive and demonstrative adjectives (see Chapter 3) function as articles
and accompany a noun or noun phrase. Like any adjective in the French language, these adjectives agree in gender (masculine, feminine) and in number (singular, plural) with the noun they accompany.
mon pre

my father

ma mre

my mother

ce plateau

this tray

cette tasse this cup

mes amis
my favorite
favoris
friends
ces bouteilles these bottles

The indefinite adjective tout


The indefinite adjective tout can serve as the article of a noun and is part of many
phrases.
In the singular forms, tout/toute usually means whole in English. Look at
the following examples:
Tu manges tout le gteau?
Tu veux toute la salade?

Are you eating the whole cake?


Do you want the whole salad?

Now note the variety of translations of tout/toute in the following


phrases:
Toute la journe, je lis.
Tout le monde veut tre heureux.
Pendant tout lhiver, ils skient.
Tout acte criminel doit tre puni.
Jai toute raison de croire quil
est honnte.
Cest de toute importance.

All day long, I read.


Everybody wants to be happy.
Throughout the winter, they ski.
Any criminal act must be punished.
I have every reason to believe
he is honest.
This is of high importance.

In the plural forms, tout/toute usually means all in English. Look at the
following examples:
Tous nos copains sont drles.
Toutes nos affaires sont l.

All our friends are funny.


All our things are here.

29

Now, note the variety of translations of tous/toutes in the following phrases:


Allons-y, tous les trois!
Je vais au gym tous les deux jours.
Tu vas au cours tous les jours?
Il roule toute vitesse.
Cest toute une histoire, a!

Lets go, all three of us!


I go to the gym every other day.
Do you go to class every day?
He drives at full speed.
Thats quite a story!

EXERCICE

41
Pierre et Luc trouvent des billets de concert bon prix. Pierre and Luc find
well-priced concert tickets. Write the correct form of the adjective tout in the space
provided.

1.

les billets pour ce concert sont en baisse.


les deux! Daccord?

2. Allons-y,
3.

le monde va vouloir acheter des places ce prix!

4. Achetons nos billets

vitesse!

5.

la semaine, je vais penser ce concert.

6.

nos copains vont tre jaloux de nous.

7. On invite

la bande?

8. Et cest toi qui vas payer pour

les copains!

The adjective quel


The interrogative adjective quel can serve as the article of a noun and agrees in gender and number with the noun it accompanies.
Quel couteau veux-tu?
Quelle couleur prfre-t-il?
Quels jours vient-elle?
Quelles photos sont moi?
Quelle heure est-il?

Which knife do you want?


What color does he prefer?
On which days does she come?
Which photos are mine?
What time is it?

The adjective quelin all its formscan also be used in exclamations.


Quel film!
Quelle journe!
Quels parents gnreux!
Quelles histoires!

What a movie!
What a day!
What generous parents!
What stories!

Now note the variety of translations of the various forms of quel in the following phrases:
Quel temps fait-il?
Quel dommage!
Tu achtes nimporte quelles
serviettes.
Quelle que soit la conclusion,
je dois savoir.

30

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

How is the weather?


Too bad!/What a pity!
You buy any napkins whatsoever.
Whatever the conclusion may be, I have
to know.

EXERCICE

42
Quel film pouvons-nous aller voir? What movie can we go see? Complete each
sentence appropriately with a phrase from the list. One of the options may be used more
than once.

quelle

nimporte quel

1.

quel que soit

quel

quel dommage

film tu veux voir? La comdie ou le film daventure?

2. A

heure est-ce quil commence, le film daventure?


!

3. A quinze ou dix-huit heures! Trop tt pour moi!


4. Non, je ne veux pas voir
5. coute!
heures.

film!
le type de film, je ne peux pas aller au cin avant vingt

6. Ah oui! Le film autobiographique!

histoire incroyable!

Descriptive adjectives
Descriptive adjectives are used to describe things or people; they provide attributes or characteristics for nouns. Look at the following list of adjectives, which will be useful in upcoming exercises. Note that adjectives may be colors such as blanc (white), nationalities such as amricain
(American), and numerical such as premier (first). Adjectives may also be used to convey physical, psychological, moral, and emotional attributes such as fort (strong) or franc (frank).
actif
aimable
amricain
annuel
assis
attentif
bas
blanc
bleu
bon
canadien
chanceux
cher
complet
concret
court
cruel
dernier
diffrent
discret
fch
faible
faux
fier
fort

active
amiable
American
annual
seated
attentive
low
white
blue
good
Canadian
lucky
expensive/dear
complete
concrete
short
cruel
last
different
discrete
angry
feeble/weak
false
proud
strong

franc
franais
gentil
grand
gris
gros
haut
heureux
honnte
impoli
inactif
indiscret
inquiet
jaune
jeune
lger
lourd
malheureux
malhonnte
mauvais
muet
noir
pareil
paresseux
petit

frank
French
nice
tall
gray
fat/big
high
happy
honest
rude
inactive
indiscrete
worried
yellow
young
light
heavy
unhappy
dishonest
bad
mute
black
similar/same
lazy
small
Adjectives and comparisons

31

peureux
placide
plaintif
poli
premier
russi
riche
rose

easily frightened
placid
plaintive
polite
first
well done
rich
pink

rouge
sec
secret
sot
sportif
sympathique
vert
violet

red
dry
secret
dumb/silly
athletic
friendly
green
purple/violet

Position of descriptive adjectives


In contrast to English adjective-noun phrases, most French adjectives follow rather than precede
the noun.
un exemple concret
un enfant gentil
une histoire drle
une femme heureuse
une fleur jaune
un crivain amricain

a concrete example
a nice child
a funny story
a happy woman
a yellow flower
an American writer

Commonly used adjectives such as autre (other) and mme (same) precede the noun in
French just as in English.
une autre fois
la mme chose

another time
the same thing

dautres raisons
les mmes jours

other reasons
the same days

Many of the adjectives that precede the noun can be remembered as pertaining to Beauty,
Age, Good (and bad), and Size. Look at the following BAGS chart:
BEAUTY

AGE

GOOD/BAD

SIZE

beau
joli

jeune
vieux
nouveau

bon
mauvais

grand/gros
long
petit

Quel joli rosier!


Regarde ce beau chat!
Cest un jeune prof.
Quel vieux manoir!
Voil mon nouveau vlo.
Quel bon gteau!
Donne-moi ce gros livre!
Le petit garon est mignon.

What a pretty rose bush!


Look at that beautiful cat!
Its a young teacher.
What an old manor!
There is my new bike.
What a good cake!
Give me this big book!
The little boy is cute.

Some adjectives are used before or after the noun. Beware that their meaning usually changes
according to their position. Look at the following sets of sentences, and compare the meanings of
the adjectives in each set:

32

Cest mon seul ami.


Un chien seul est triste.

This is my only friend.


A lonely dog is sad.

Mon ancien prof est encore au lyce.


Ce site ancien attire les touristes.

My former teacher is still at the high school.


This ancient site attracts tourists.

Cet acteur a un certain regard


mystrieux.
Cest une victoire certaine pour
notre quipe.

This actor has a certain mysterious look.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

It is a sure victory for our team.

Nous tudions les grands hommes de lhistoire.


Cet homme grand l-bas, cest mon pre.

We are studying important historical men.


That tall man over there is my father.

Prends ta propre serviette!


Prends une serviette propre!

Take your own towel!


Take a clean towel!

Je lis la dernire page du dernier chapitre.


Le mois dernier, il a fait chaud.

Im reading the last page of the


last chapter.
Last month, it was hot.

La prochaine fois, je vais rester chez moi.


Lan prochain, nous allons voyager.

Next time, Im going to stay home.


Next year, we are going to travel.

EXERCICE

43
Quelle rponse est logique? Which answer is logical? Write the letter of the best
completion of each sentence on the line provided.

1.

Ne prends pas ma voiture!

a. On peut le manger?

2.

Nous sommes dj le 4 juillet.

b. Il est mignon et poli.

3.

Marius a gagn la loterie.

c. Ils gardent mes secrets.

4.

Aujourdhui tu vas au cours.

d. Ils ont plus de charme.

5.

Cette anne, pas de vacances!

e. Il na pas plus de trente ans.

6.

Quel jeune professeur!

f. Mais lan prochain, je veux aller au Canada.

7.

Quel petit garon adorable!

g. Le mois prochain, nous partons la mer.

8.

Jai des copains discrets.

h. Cest un homme chanceux.

9.

Je prfre les vieux htels.

i. Cest le premier ce semestre, nest-ce pas?

Quel gteau russi!

j. Cest la dernire fois que je te le dis!

10.

EXERCICE

44
Cest vous dcrire! It is your turn to write! Write the following phrases in French.
Beware of the position of the adjective in the phrase.

1. my only son

2. a lonely man

3. his own father

Adjectives and comparisons

33

4. a certain charm

5. a definite day

6. a clean sweater

7. a bad dinner

8. an angry gentleman

9. a heavy book

10. her former boyfriend

Feminine agreement of descriptive adjectives


French adjectives agree in number and gender with the nouns they describe. There are several
patterns of masculine/feminine forms for adjectives as well as several patterns of singular/plural
forms. In addition, there are irregular feminine and plural adjective forms.
Look at the following chart showing some masculine to feminine adjective patterns. These
adjectives were previously listed. You may refer to the list for the meanings.
NO CHANGE

ee

x se/sse

s/t/d//i/u + e

f ve

l lle

aimable
jeune
riche
rouge

heureux/heureuse
peureux/peureuse
chanceux/chanceuse
faux/fausse

petit/petite
grand/grande
fch/fche
russi/russie

actif/active
attentif/attentive
plaintif/plaintive
sportif/sportive

annuel/annuelle
cruel/cruelle
gentil/gentille
pareil/pareille

Look at the following chart showing some additional masculine to feminine patterns for
adjectives:
CONSONANT

DOUBLE CONSONANT

bas/basse
bon/bonne
gros/grosse
muet/muette
sot/sotte

34

practice makes perfect

+e

er re

et te

c che

cher/chre
dernier/dernire
fier/fire
lger/lgre
premier/premire

complet/complte
concret/concrte
discret/discrte
inquiet/inquite
secret/secrte

blanc blanche
franc franche
sec sche

Intermediate French Grammar

Remember to check a dictionary for new adjectives to verify that their feminine form is not
irregular. Here are some examples of adjectives that have irregular feminine forms:
beau/belle
doux/douce
fou/folle
frais/frache
long/longue

handsome/beautiful
gentle
crazy
fresh
long

mou/molle
nouveau/nouvelle
public/publique
vieux/vieille

Quelle belle vue!


La brise est douce.
Elle est un peu folle, cette actrice.
Jadore la salade frache du jardin.
Cest une longue histoire.
Cette balle molle est bonne pour les petits.

soft
new
public
old

What a beautiful view!


The breeze is gentle.
This actress is a little crazy.
I love fresh salad from the garden.
Its a long story.
This soft ball is good for the little ones.

Beau, nouveau, vieux


Remember that beau, nouveau, and vieux have two masculine singular forms depending on
whether the noun that follows starts with a consonant or vowel sound. However, they have
only one feminine singular form.
Masculine singular

vieil homme
vieux chteau

old man
old castle

nouvel an
nouveau pull

New Years
new sweater

bel arbre
beau bijou

beautiful tree
beautiful jewel

belle toile

beautiful star

Feminine singular

vieille toilette

old attire

nouvelle photo new photo

EXERCICE

45
Les jumeaux Luc et Lucie. The twins Luc and Lucie. These identical twins have
everything in common. Apply to Lucie the adjective that describes Luc.

1. Luc est beau. Lucie est


2. Il est petit. Elle est

.
.

3. Il est peureux. Elle est

4. Il est souvent inquiet. Elle est souvent

5. Il nest pas gros. Elle nest pas

6. Il peut tre un peu fou. Elle peut tre un peu

.
.

7. Il nest pas sot. Elle nest pas


8. Il est amricain. Elle est
9. Il est plutt actif. Elle est plutt
10. Il nest pas du tout cruel. Elle nest pas du tout

.
.
.

Adjectives and comparisons

35

EXERCICE

46
Dcrivez! Describe! Using the nouns in the word bank, write the following phrases in
French.

la salade
la garde-robe

la personne
la prire

la laine
la brioche

la robe
la dmonstration

la mre
la voix

1. a fresh salad
2. a crazy person
3. a soft wool
4. an expensive dress
5. a proud mother
6. a complete wardrobe
7. a silent prayer
8. a dry brioche
9. a public display
10. a low voice

Plural agreement of descriptive adjectives


Most French adjectives add an -s in their plural forms, in the masculine as well as their feminine
forms. However, no -s can be added if the adjective already ends in -s or -x. Look at the following
chart:
MASCULINE SINGULAR

MASCULINE PLURAL

FEMININE SINGULAR

FEMININE PLURAL

bleu
petit
assis
jaune
heureux
actif
doux
fou
blanc

bleus
petits
assis
jaunes
heureux
actifs
doux
fous
blancs

bleue
petite
assise
jaune
heureuse
active
douce
folle
blanche

bleues
petites
assises
jaunes
heureuses
actives
douces
folles
blanches

Il a les yeux bleus.


Nous avons des roses jaunes.
Les enfants actifs sont sains.
Nous sommes assis devant vous.
Les nappes blanches sont belles.

He has blue eyes.


We have yellow roses.
Active children are healthy.
We are seated in front of you.
The white tablecloths are beautiful.

Now look at the following chart, and note that the adjectives beau, nouveau, and vieux have
two masculine singular forms but only one masculine plural form:

36

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

MASCULINE SINGULAR

MASCULINE PLURAL

FEMININE SINGULAR

FEMININE PLURAL

beau/bel
nouveau/nouvel
vieux/vieil

beaux
nouveaux
vieux

belle
nouvelle
vieille

belles
nouvelles
vieilles

Ces beaux tableaux sont chers.


Ces nouveaux htels sont magnifiques.
Ces vieux arbres doivent tre coups.

These beautiful paintings are expensive.


These new hotels are magnificent.
These old trees must be cut.

EXERCICE

47
Dsirable ou indsirable? Desirable or undesirable? Place a check mark next to
only what you find desirable.

1.

de vieilles chaussures

2.

des employs malhonntes

3.

de gros diamants

4.

de nouvelles Corvettes

5.

des amies folles

6.

de beaux enfants

7.

de bonnes notes aux examens

8.

de mauvais parents

EXERCICE

48
Jen veux beaucoup. I want many of them. Finish the sentence Je veux beaucoup
de (I want many) with all of the following phrases. Remember you do not use an article
after beaucoup de.

Je veux beaucoup de...


1. red roses

2. new books

3. active children

4. gentle dogs

5. good dinners

6. beautiful clothes

7. old cars

8. expensive jewels

Adjectives and comparisons

37

9. fresh apples

10. long vacations

11. happy friends

12. honest workers

Adverbial use of descriptive adjectives


Some descriptive adjectives can be used as adverbs to modify the meaning of the verb. Note how
the adjective droit (straight) is an adjective describing the noun ligne (line) in the first example
that follows, but is an adverb modifying the meaning of the verb aller in the second example that
follows:
Cest une ligne droite.
Tournez gauche et allez droit jusquau coin!

It is a straight line.
Turn left and go straight to the corner!

aller droit
couper court
croire ferme
dire tout haut
il fait mauvais
parler bas/haut
parler fort
payer cher
tenir bon
tout bronz(e)

to go straight
to cut short
to firmly believe
to say out loud
the weather is bad
to speak in a low/loud voice
to speak loudly
to pay a lot
to hold your position/to hold out
all tanned

Il est un peu sourd. Il faut parler fort.


Jai pay cher pour ce mobilier.
Dans un marathon, il faut tenir bon
jusqu la fin.

He is a little deaf. You must speak loudly.


I paid a lot for this furniture.
In a marathon, you have to hold out until
the end.

EXERCICE

49
Quelle expression est approprie? What expression is appropriate? Write the
letter of the appropriate supplement to what is being stated.

38

1.

Arrte de zigzaguer!

a. Je ne veux pas payer cher.

2.

Je cherche une petite maison.

b. Exprime-toi tout haut!

3.

Le bb dort.

c. Va droit!

4.

Regarde la petite fille en robe rouge.

d. Il est tout propre!

5.

Tu peux tre franc.

e. Parlez bas!

6.

Pourquoi tu veux laver ce pull?

f. Elle est toute jolie.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary list before doing the next exercise.
lpoque (f.)
era
entourer
to surround
le bicentenaire
bicentennial
envisager
to imagine
le Parisien
Parisian
partager
to share
le pied
foot
raliser
to realize
le sicle
century

audacieux
incroyable
innombrable
majestueux
neuf

audacious
incredible
numerous
majestic
new

EXERCICE

410
La tour Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower. Fill in each blank in the following paragraphs with the
most appropriate adjective from the list provided. Remember to pay attention to the gender
and number as well as the meaning of the adjective.

techniques
innombrables

audacieuse
populaire

grande
haute

dix-neuvime
franais

Lambition de raliser une tour 1.

entier
universelle

de plus de mille pieds

est une ide 2.

mais 3.

4.

au 5.

6.

problmes 7.

dans le monde
sicle. Mais il y a d
. En France, vers

1878, le gouvernement envisage lorganisation dune 8.


9.

Exposition

pour lanne 1889, le bicentenaire de la rvolution

10.

.
publique
majestueuse
merveills
mtallique
incroyable (use twice)

neuves
hostiles

surpris
chre

Gustave Eiffel propose une tour 11.


un peu 12.

remarquables
originales

. Cette ide est juge

et beaucoup trop 13.

. Mais M.

Eiffel gagne le support de lopinion 14.

et on dcide de

construire la tour Eiffel au centre de la ville de Paris. M. Eiffel est entour dhommes
15.

qui partagent ses ides 16.

Malheureusement il y a aussi de 17.

hommes de lpoque comme

Alexandre Dumas qui sont 18.


les Parisiens, 19.
21.

lide de la tour Eiffel. Cependant,


et 20.

, vont voir la

lvation de la tour, au rythme 22.

de douze mtres par mois.

Adjectives and comparisons

39

The present tense of


irregular verbs ending
in -oir, -re, and -ir

Verbs ending in -oir


Although many verbs have irregular patterns of conjugation in the present tense,
grouping them in families of verbs makes it easier to remember their conjugations. Pay attention to the following -oir verbs.
The first three forms of irregular forms are usually very similar.
je dois
tu dois
il/elle/on doit

For its nous and vous forms, the stems of the verbs devoir, savoir, and recevoir are derived from their infinitive forms.
devoir dev nous devons, vous devez
savoir sav nous savons, vous savez
recevoir recev nous recevons, vous recevez

The verb voir has a pattern of conjugation similar to devoir, savoir, and recevoir in the singular forms, but its stem remains constant except for the y, which
takes the place of i in the nous and vous forms.

je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

devoir

voir

savoir

recevoir

(to have to)

(to see)

(to know)

(to receive)

dois
dois
doit
devons
devez
doivent

vois
vois
voit
voyons
voyez
voient

sais
sais
sait
savons
savez
savent

reois
reois
reoit
recevons
recevez
reoivent

Je dois nettoyer ma chambre


aujourdhui.
Ils voient tout de leur fentre.
Tu vois bien avec ces lunettes?
Nous recevons des compliments
pour un travail bien fait.

I must clean my room today.


They see everything from their room.
Do you see well with those glasses?
We receive compliments for a job
well done.

The verb savoir means to know for a fact or to know how to.
Vous savez bien quil est franais.
Je sais jouer du piano.

40

You know (that) he is French.


I know how to play the piano.

The verbs pouvoir, vouloir, and valoir have similar patterns of conjugation. Note that as for
the previous -oir verbs, their nous and vous forms have a stem derived from their infinitive
forms.
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

pouvoir (to be able to)


peux
peux
peut
pouvons
pouvez
peuvent

vouloir (to want to)


veux
veux
veut
voulons
voulez
veulent

Ma copine peut vraiment bien nager.


Vous pouvez voir que cest une championne.
Mes amis veulent aller luniversit de Paris.
Tu ne veux pas rester encore un moment?

valoir (to be worth)


vaux
vaux
vaut
valons
valez
valent

My girlfriend can swim really well.


You can see that she is a champion.
My friends want to go to the University
of Paris.
Dont you want to stay another moment?

Note the following vouloir expressions:


en vouloir quelquun
vouloir bien
vouloir du bien/du mal quelquun
vouloir dire
sans le vouloir
Jen veux mon copain. Il ne veut pas venir la
boum avec moi.
Dne avec moi, Justin! Je veux bien!
Les parents ne veulent que du bien pour leurs
enfants.
Que veux-tu dire? Je ne comprends pas.
Jai ferm la porte sans le vouloir.

to hold a grudge against/to be mad at


to be willing
to have good/bad intentions toward
someone
to mean
unintentionally
I am angry at my friend. He does not
want to come to the party with me.
Have dinner with me, Justin! Sure,
glad to!
Parents want nothing but good things
for their children.
What do you mean? I do not
understand.
I closed the door unintentionally.

The verb falloir (to have to/must) only exists in the third-person singular because it is an
impersonal verb.
Il faut faire la vaisselle.
Il faut savoir le franais.
Il faut du courage pour persvrer.
Il faut de la chance pour russir.

We/you/one must do the dishes.


We/you/one must know French.
We/you/one need(s) courage to persevere.
We/you/one need(s) luck to succeed.

Also note the translation of Il ne faut pas in the following example:


Il ne faut pas perdre courage.

We/you/one must not lose courage.

The verb valoir (to be worth) is often used in the third-person singular or plural when estimating costs and as part of the expression il vaut mieux (it is better).
Ce tableau vaut une fortune.
Ces bijoux ne valent pas grand-chose.
Il vaut mieux attendre encore un peu.

This painting is worth a fortune.


These jewels are not worth much.
It is better to wait a little longer.

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

41

EXERCICE

51
Daccord ou pas daccord? Agree or disagree? Place a check mark next to only the
statements you agree with.

1.

Il ne faut pas aider ses amis.

2.

Il faut en vouloir aux professeurs stricts.

3.

Il faut vouloir du bien ses amis et sa famille.

4.

Les tudiants peuvent travailler et gagner de largent.

5.

Les parents savent toujours tout.

6.

Beaucoup de gens voient trs bien sans lunettes.

7.

On peut voir la Tour Eiffel Paris.

8.

Vouloir, cest pouvoir.

9.

Un tableau de Monet vaut normment dargent.


Il vaut mieux ne pas manger du tout le soir.

10.

EXERCICE

52
Que savez-vous faire et que devez-vous faire? What do you know how to do,
and what must you do? crivez en franais.
1. In the evening, I have to study.

2. My parents know that I am a serious student.

3. My brother John knows how to speak French.

4. In my French class, we must do written exercises after each class.

5. We must not use electronic translators to do the work.

6. My brother has to help me sometimes.

42

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

7. Sometimes I ask: What do you mean? because he knows more than me.

8. Unintentionally, he makes (rendre) my work more difficult.

Verbs ending in -re


There are many families of verbs and patterns of conjugation among -re verbs.

Verbs like connatre, mettre, and prendre


The verbs connatre (to know a place or a person) and reconnatre (to recognize) belong to
the same family. Once you know how to conjugate connatre, just add the prefix -re to
each verbal form to conjugate the verb reconnatre.
The verbs mettre (to put/put on), permettre (to permit/allow), promettre (to promise), and
remettre (to postpone/delay) belong to the same family. Once you know how to conjugate
mettre, just add the appropriate prefix to each verbal form to conjugate the other verbs in
this family.
The verbs prendre (to take), apprendre (to learn), comprendre (to understand), and surprendre (to surprise) belong to the same family. Once you know how to conjugate prendre, just
add the appropriate prefix to each verbal form to conjugate the other verbs in this family.
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

connatre
connais
connais
connat
connaissons
connaissez
connaissent

Vous connaissez mon ami David?


Je connais la ville de Strasbourg.
Nous reconnaissons ce caf.
Je mets mon manteau.
Les professeurs ne nous permettent pas
dcouter nos mobiles.
Tu me promets de venir?
Il faut remettre la fte dimanche prochain.
Mes copains prennent le bus.
Japprends facilement le franais.
Tu ne me surprends jamais.

mettre
mets
mets
met
mettons
mettez
mettent

prendre
prends
prends
prend
prenons
prenez
prennent

Do you know my friend David?


I know the city of Strasbourg.
We recognize this caf.
I put on my coat.
The teachers do not allow us to listen to
our portables.
Do you promise me to come?
We have to postpone the party to
next Sunday.
My friends take the bus.
I am learning French easily.
You never surprise me.

Verbs like lire, dire, and crire


These verbs have similar patterns of conjugation and other verbs that belong to their respective
family.
The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

43

je/j
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

lire (to read)


lis
lis
lit
lisons
lisez
lisent

dire (to say/tell)


dis
dis
dit
disons
dites
disent

crire (to write)


cris
cris
crit
crivons
crivez
crivent

By attaching a given prefix to one of the previous verbs, you obtain a new verb.
lire relire
to read to read again
dire redire
to tell to tell again
dire prdire
to tell to predict
dire mdire
to tell to talk badly about/slander
crire rcrire
to write to write over
crire dcrire
to write to describe
crire prescrire
to write to prescribe
Je relis ce livre pour la troisime fois.
Ne me redis pas toujours la mme chose.
Les voyants prdisent le futur.
Nous ne mdisons pas car nous sommes
honntes.
Je rcris ma dissertation.
Le mdecin me prescrit un mdicament.

I am reading this book over for the third time.


Dont always repeat the same thing to me.
Clairvoyants predict the future.
We do not slander, because we are honest.
Im writing my essay over.
The doctor prescribes me a medication.

EXERCICE

53
La biographie de Nostradamus. The biography of Nostradamus. Write the verbs
in parentheses in the correct present tense forms.

1.
2.

-vous (connatre) Nostradamus? C


(tre) un mdecin et astrologue de la Renaissance. En 1538,

cause de la peste (the plague), il 3.


enfants. Alors il 4.
5.
Nostradamus 6.

44

(perdre) sa femme et ses deux


(parcourir) toute la France et il

(secourir) de nombreuses victimes de la peste. Dans ses textes,


(dcrire) certaines de ses interventions mdicales. Il

7.

(crire) aussi des almanachs astrologiques. Ces almanachs

8.

(connatre) un grand succs. On 9.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

(dire) quen 1524, Nostradamus 10.

(prdire) lavenir du jeune roi

(king) Henri de Navarre. En 1566, il 11.

(annoncer) que sa mort est

proche et 12.

(crire) son testament. Peu aprs, il

13.

(dcder). En 1791, les rvolutionnaires

14.

(piller) son tombeau (tomb). Ils 15.

(esprer) trouver un trsor mais, au lieu de cela, ils 16.

(dcouvrir)

seulement la date o son tombeau est profan.


De nos jours, beaucoup de gens 17.

(lire) et

18.

(relire) les manuscrits de Nostradamus. On

19.

(reconnatre) limportance historique de ce personnage

intriguant. Ses prdictions 20.

(permettre) des discussions

intressantes.

The verbs boire and croire


These two verbs drop their infinitive ending -re and add the following endings -s, -s, and -t for
their singular forms. Note that their endings in the plural forms are -ons, -ez, and -ent.
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

boire (to drink)


bois
bois
boit
buvons
buvez
boivent

On boit beaucoup deau minrale la maison.


Vous buvez du jus dorange. Cest bon.
Tu crois quil faut partir?
Vous croyez quelle ment?

croire (to believe)


crois
crois
croit
croyons
croyez
croient

We drink a lot of mineral water at home.


You drink orange juice. Thats good.
Do you think/believe we must leave?
Do you believe she is lying?

The verbs craindre, teindre, and peindre


These verbs drop -dre from their infinitive endings for their singular forms and add the following
endings -s, -s, and -t for their singular forms. To obtain their plural forms, just change the d consonant from the stem to gn and add -ons, -ez, and -ent.
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

craindre (to fear)


crains
crains
craint
craignons
craignez
craignent

teindre (to turn off)


teins
teins
teint
teignons
teignez
teignent

peindre (to paint)


peins
peins
peint
peignons
peignez
peignent

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

45

Pourquoi est-ce que tu crains tellement les


araignes?
teignons la lumire! On verra mieux lcran.
Il peint si bien! Que cest beau!

Why do you fear spiders so much?


Lets turn off the light! Well see the
screen better.
He paints so well. How beautiful this is!

The verb plaire (to please)


Like other irregular -re verbs, this verb drops its -re infinitive ending and adds -s, -s, and -t in its
singular forms. Once you know its plural stem plais-, just add -ons, -ez, and -ent to obtain its
plural forms.
je plais
tu plais
il/elle/on plat

nous plaisons
vous plaisez
ils/elles plaisent

Although this verb can be conjugated in all its forms, note that the third-person singular
and plural are the most frequently used because this verb is often used to express likes and
dislikes.
Also remember to place what is liked at the beginning of the sentence and use it as a subject
of the verb plaire.
Cette voiture de sport me plat beaucoup.
Ces chaussures ne me plaisent pas du tout.

I like this sports car a lot.


I do not like these shoes at all.

Note the special meaning of the verb plaire in the following sentences:
Tu me plais, Jean-Luc.
Mon frre admire Myriam. Elle lui plat.

Im attracted to you, Jean-Luc.


My brother admires Myriam. He is
attracted to her.

EXERCICE

54
Que penses-tu de Marc? What do you think of Marc? Write the following
sentences addressed to Jeanine in French. Use the verb plaire to translate the verb to like,
and use intonation for asking questions.

1. I like this beautiful painting. Do you like it too, Jeanine?

2. How about these paintings? Do you like them?

3. Look who is there. Do you like Marc, Jeanine?

4. He is handsome. Everybody is attracted to him.

5. Do you know that he paints really well?

46

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

6. Believe me! He is excellent.

7. Dont be afraid to speak to him! He is nice!

8. Oh! They are turning off the lights. It must be time to leave.

Verbs ending in -ir


There are several patterns of conjugations and families of verbs among -ir verbs. Lets examine
verbs that have similar patterns as well as their extended families.

Verbs like venir and tenir


The verbs devenir (to become), prvenir (to warn), provenir (to come from), revenir (to come
back), survenir (to occur/to arise), and parvenir (to manage to) belong to the venir (to come)
family. Similarly, the verbs retenir (to retain) and soutenir (to support) belong to the tenir (to
hold) family.
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

venir
viens
viens
vient
venons
venez
viennent

Vous venez au concert ce soir?


Ce garon devient de plus en plus beau
avec lge.
Nous revenons de vacances le 8 juin.
Chaque fois quun dlai survient, nous
parvenons rentrer quand mme.
Retenez ce client, sil vous plat!
Cet argent provient de mon travail
de lt pass.
Les lois soutiennent le systme de justice.
Prviens-moi sil y a beaucoup de
bouchons sur la route!

tenir
tiens
tiens
tient
tenons
tenez
tiennent

Are you coming to the concert tonight?


This boy becomes more and more handsome
with age.
We are coming back from vacation on June 8.
Each time a delay occurs, we manage to come
home anyway.
Keep this client, please.
This money comes from my work last summer.
Laws support the system of justice.
Warn me if there are many jams on the road!

The verb tenir is often used idiomatically as in the expressions that follow:
ne pas tenir en place
tenir + infinitive
tenir lil
tenir une promesse
tenir (la route)

to be restless
to absolutely want to/insist on
to keep an eye on
to keep a promise
to hold (the road)
The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

47

Elle tient devenir astronaute.


Je tiens mon chiot lil car il ne peut
pas tenir en place.
Cette nouvelle voiture tient bien la route.
Il faut tenir ses promesses, nest-ce pas?

She wants to be an astronaut.


I keep an eye on my puppy because he is restless.
This new car holds the road well.
We must keep our promises, right?

Note the following idiomatic expressions, which include an imperative form of the verb
tenir:
Tiens! Regarde!
Tenez! Cest vous.

Look at this!
Take it! Its yours.

EXERCICE

55
La grammaire franaise. French grammar. Complete each sentence with the correct
form of the verb in parentheses.

1. Cette leon

de plus en plus complique. (devenir)

2. Je

beaucoup de bonnes ides quand mme. (retenir)

3. Et toi, tu

comprendre tout cela? (parvenir)


toutes ces rgles de grammaire? (venir)

4. Do
5. Est-ce que ces mots

du latin? (provenir)
matriser la grammaire franaise. (tenir)

6. Je
7. Quand une difficult
grammaire. (survenir)

, je consulte ce livre de

8. Dans mon cours de franais, mon prof


tudiants. (tenir)
9. Nous

lil tous les

tous bien apprendre la langue. (tenir)


bien nous exprimer. (parvenir)

10. La plupart du temps, nous


11.

, regarde! Voil notre prof! (tenir, imperative familiar)

12.

, Madame Desjardins! Je vous rends mon devoir! (tenir,


imperative formal)

Verbs like courir and sortir


The verbs dormir (to sleep) and servir (to serve) as well as sortir (to go out), partir (to leave), and
mentir (to lie) follow the same pattern of conjugation in the present tense. However, note that
while dormir loses its m, servir loses its v, and partir, sortir, and mentir lose their t in the stem
of their singular forms, the verb courir (to run) does not lose the consonant r from its stem in the
singular forms.

48

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

courir
cours
cours
court
courons
courez
courent

Ne cours pas si vite! Tu vas tomber.


Les enfants dorment encore?
Servons la quiche!
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

sortir
sors
sors
sort
sortons
sortez
sortent

dormir
dors
dors
dort
dormons
dormez
dorment

Dont run so fast! Youre going to fall.


Are the children still sleeping?
Lets serve the quiche!
partir
pars
pars
part
partons
partez
partent

Sortez, les enfants! Il fait beau.


Quand est-ce quils partent en vacances?
Il ne faut pas mentir. Quand on ment,
on est malhonnte.

servir
sers
sers
sert
servons
servez
servent

mentir
mens
mens
ment
mentons
mentez
mentent

Go out, children! The weather is nice.


When do they leave on vacation?
One must not lie. When people lie, they
are dishonest.

Note that the verb sortir (to go out/to take out) can be transitive or intransitive. An intransitive verb does not admit an object, whereas a transitive verb admits an object. In the following
sentence, the verb is followed by the adverbial phrase tous les samedis. The verb is not followed
by an object.
Jrme sort tous les samedis.

Jrme goes out every Saturday.

In the following sentences, the verb is followed by the direct object la voiture/les billets:
Je sors la voiture du garage.
Les passagers sortent leurs billets.

Im taking the car out of the garage.


The passengers take out their tickets.

Note the usage of the intransitive verb courir (to run) and the transitive verbs parcourir
(to run/cover a distance) and secourir (to come to someones help/aid). In the following sentence,
the verb is followed by a prepositional phrase pour attraper. The verb is not followed by an object
and is intransitive.
Rmy court pour attraper le bus.

Rmy runs to catch the bus.

In the following sentence, the verb is followed by a direct object: trente kilomtres. The verb
is transitive.
Rmy parcourt trente kilomtres
pied aujourdhui.

Rmy runs a distance of thirty kilometers today.

In the following sentence, the verb is followed by a direct object: la victime. The verb is
transitive.

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

49

Le secouriste de garde secourt la


victime de laccident.

The paramedic on call comes to the aid of the


accident victim.

Note the usage of the intransitive verb dormir (to sleep) and that of the transitive verb
endormir (to put to sleep). In the following sentence, the verb is followed by a prepositional phrase
jusqu huit heures. The verb dormir is an intransitive verb, which does not admit a direct
object.
Gigi dort jusqu huit heures.

Gigi sleeps until eight oclock.

In the following sentence, the verb is followed by a direct object: le bb. The verb endormir
is a transitive verb, which admits a direct object.
Gigi endort le bb en lui chantant une
berceuse.

Gigi puts the baby to sleep by singing him a


lullaby.

Note this special intransitive use of the verb servir:


quoi sert ce truc?
Il sert peler les tomates.

What is this thing for?


It is used to peel tomatoes.

EXERCICE

56
Mon weekend. My weekend. Complete each sentence with the correct form of the
appropriate verb in parentheses.

1. En gnral, je

jusqu neuf heures le samedi. (dormir/endormir)

2. Je fais du jogging. Je

deux ou trois kilomtres. (courir/parcourir)


pas. Je suis sportive, tu sais. (mentir/servir)

3. Cest vrai! Je ne
4. quoi a
(sortir/servir)

de courir? Mais cest excellent pour la forme!

5. Si je vois une victime, je la

si je peux. (sortir/secourir)

6. Aprs mon jogging, mes amis et moi


7. Je
(endormir/partir)

djeuner. (mentir/sortir)

gnralement de la maison vers 11 heures.

8. Dans ma voiture, jcoute la musique rock car les autres musiques m


. (dormir/endormir)
9. Au caf, ma serveuse favorite nous
10. Ginette ne
pas bon. (servir/mentir)

50

practice makes perfect

. (servir/secourir)
jamais. Elle nous prvient quand quelque chose nest

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

57
Lhistoire de lescargot et de la tortue. The story of the snail and the
turtle. Complete each sentence with the correct form of the appropriate verb in
parentheses.

Un jour, lescargot 1.

(demander) sa camarade la tortue

de le laisser voyager sur son dos. Il 2.

(dire) quil

3.

(tre) malade aujourdhui et que la tortue

4.

(devoir) le secourir et lemmener chez son oncle le mdecin.

La trs gentille tortue 5.

(tre) daccord et se

6.

(mettre) en route avec lescargot sur son dos. Elle

7.

(tenir) bien la route mais elle 8.

(parcourir) seulement un mtre en une heure et lescargot ne 9.


(tenir) plus en place. Lescargot 10.
route. Il 11.

(craindre) de mourir en cours de


(dire) la tortue quil 12.

(connatre) un raccourci (shortcut) mais il faut traverser la rivire. La tortue


13.

(prendre) le raccourci; elle 14.

trs bien et 15.

(arriver) de lautre ct de la rivire en deux minutes.

Mais o 16.
17.

(nager)

(tre) son ami lescargot? Elle le


(voir) au milieu de la rivire et 18.

(revenir) le secourir. ce moment loncle de lescargot 19.

(voir) la

tortue et lescargot sortir de la rivire et il 20.


(toward them). Lescargot 21.
22.

(courir) vers eux


(dire) que leau de la rivire

(devoir) tre magique parce quil 23.

(aller) beaucoup mieux. Son oncle lui 24.

(dire) quil

25.

(faire) trs chaud et quil faut beaucoup

26.

(boire) par ce temps. La tortue, elle

27.

(assurer) son ami lescargot quil 28.

(valoir) mieux ne pas 29.


30.

(rentrer) la maison ce soir. C


(tre) trop loin. Lescargot 31.

(promettre) la tortue quelle 32.

(pouvoir) passer la nuit chez son oncle.

Cest une histoire dormir debout, nest-ce pas? This is an unbelievable story, isnt it?

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re, and -ir

51

Prepositions, prepositional
phrases, and
verbal structures
after prepositions
Prepositions and prepositional phrases
introducing nouns or pronouns
Prepositions and prepositional phrases (groups of words serving as a preposition)
serve to introduce noun phrases or pronouns. They give details pertaining to the
manner in which something is done, the location where something happens, a
time element, or a detail such as with whom or because of what.
Look at the following list of simple prepositions (one word) and prepositional
phrases (a group of words).

aprs
avant
avec
chez

52

contre
dans
de
depuis

at/in/to
after
before
with
at/to someones
home or office
against
in
from/of
for/since

derrire
devant
en
entre
envers
malgr
pendant
pour
sans
sauf
selon
sous
sur
vers

behind
in front of
in/on/upon
between
toward
in spite of
during
for
without
except for
according to
under
on/on top of
toward

cause de
ct de
droite de
gauche de
au centre de

because of
next to
to the right of
to the left of
at the center of

au dessus de
au lieu de
au milieu de
au sujet de

above
instead of
in the middle of
about/on the
subject of
on behalf of
for fear of
outside of
underneath
across from
in addition to
thanks to
until/up to
alongside of
far from
near
regarding/as for
vis-a-vis

de la part de
de peur de
en dehors de
en dessous de
en face de
en plus de
grce
jusqu
le long de
loin de
prs de
quant
vis--vis de

In the following examples, the preposition introduces a noun:


Aprs les cours, ils vont au caf.
Entre le restaurant et le thtre, il
y a des magasins.
Je ne bois pas de caf sans sucre.
On dne vers 19 heures.

After classes, they go to the caf.


Between the restaurant and the
theater, there are stores.
I do not drink coffee without sugar.
We have dinner around 7 p.m.

Remember to make appropriate contractions when the prepositional phrase is followed by le


or les.
+ le au
+ les aux

de + le du
de + les des

On ferme les routes cause des temptes.


Les touristes restent jusquau mois daot.
Regarde la vache au milieu du chemin!
Quant aux concerts, ils sont annuls.

They close the roads because of storms.


The tourists stay till the month of August.
Look at the cow in the middle of the path!
As for the concerts, they are cancelled.

In the following sentences, note that prepositions are followed by stress pronouns (moi, toi,
lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles).
Tout le monde est dehors sauf moi.
Selon toi, il va faire mauvais temps?
Je fais tout pour eux.

Everyone is outside except for me.


According to you, the weather is going to be bad?
I do everything for them.

EXERCICE

61
Le cours dhistoire de Jeanie. Jeanies history class. Write in French.
1. We go to school around 8 A.M.

2. We have class every day except for Sundays.

3. My first class on Mondays is my favorite class thanks to the teacher.

4. I sit between my good friends Frank and Jerry.

5. My history class today is about World War II.

6. In spite of Frank who talks during class, I am very attentive.

7. Sometimes, because of him, the teacher stops talking in the middle of a sentence.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

53

8. In front of me, there is a map.

9. On the map, we can see all the countries.

10. For me, this is a very interesting class.

Geographical prepositions , de, en


Several prepositions are used to express in, to, or from a geographical place. If the place is a city
or town, use to express in or to the city, and use de to express from or of the city.
Le prince Albert habite Monaco.

Prince Albert lives in Monaco.

Nous allons Montral cet t.


Mon copain vient dOttawa.
Je ne sais pas qui est le maire dOttawa.

We are going to Montreal this summer.


My friend comes from Ottawa.
I do not know who the mayor of Ottawa is.

To determine which preposition to use for various geographical entities such as regions and
countries, identify the gender and number of the name of the area. Use en, au, or aux to express
to the place and use du, de, or des to express from the place as indicated in the following chart:
MASCULINE SINGULAR
PLACE

FEMININE SINGULAR
PLACE

MASCULINE OR FEMININE
PLURAL PLACE

in/to

au

en

aux

from

du

de

des

Jose habite au Canada parce que le Canada


est son pays natal.
Elle parle anglais et franais puisquelle
est du Canada.
Mais Jose va souvent en Martinique parce
que la Martinique est une belle le.
Quand elle rentre de Martinique, elle est
bronze.
Quelquefois elle voyage aussi aux tats-Unis
parce que les tats-Unis sont intressants.
Quand elle revient des tats-Unis, son
anglais est meilleur.

Jose lives in Canada because Canada is her


country of birth.
She speaks English and French since she is
from Canada.
But Jose goes to Martinique often because
Martinique is a beautiful island.
When she comes back from Martinique, she
is tanned.
Sometimes she travels to the United States
because the United States is interesting.
When she comes back from the United States,
her English is better.

Note that all continents have the feminine gender.


lAmrique du nord/du sud (f.)
lAustralie (f.)
lAfrique (f.)
lEurope (f.)
lAsie (f.)

54

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

North/South America
Australia
Africa
Europe
Asia

Le Vietnam est en Asie.


La Suisse est en Europe.
Le Burkina Faso est en Afrique.
La ville de Sydney est en Australie.
La ville de Qubec est en Amrique du nord.

Vietnam is in Asia.
Switzerland is in Europe.
Burkina Faso is in Africa.
The city of Sydney is in Australia.
The city of Quebec is in North America.

Look at the following chart and note that of the feminine country is not the same as from the
feminine country:

of
from

MASCULINE SINGULAR
PLACE

FEMININE SINGULAR
PLACE

MASCULINE OR FEMININE PLURAL


PLACE

du
du

de la
de

des
des

Tunis est la capitale de la Tunisie.


La recette de ce couscous vient de Tunisie.

Tunis is the capital city of Tunisia.


The recipe of this couscous dish comes
from Tunisia.

VOCABULAIRE ET CULTURE. Vocabulary and culture.


LES PAYS FRANCOPHONES
DEUROPE ET LEURS CAPITALES

LES PAYS FRANCOPHONES


DAFRIQUE ET LEURS CAPITALES

LES RGIONS FRANCOPHONES


DAMRIQUE ET LEURS CAPITALES

la Belgique: Bruxelles
Belgium: Brussels

lAlgrie (f.): Alger


Algeria: Alger

Hati: Port-au-Prince
Hati: Port-au-Prince

la France: Paris
France: Paris

le Burundi: Bujumbura
Burundi: Bujumbura

la Guyane (franaise): Cayenne


(French) Guiana: Cayenne

la Suisse: Berne
Switzerland: Bern

le Cameroun: Yaounde
Cameroun: Yaounde

la Louisiane: la Nouvelle Orlans


Lousiana: New Orleans

le Luxembourg: Luxembourg
Luxemburg: Luxemburg

le Mali: Bamako
Mali: Bamako

la Martinique: Fort-de-France
Martinique: Fort-de-France

Monaco: Monaco
Monaco: Monaco

le Sngal: Dakar
Senegal: Dakar

le Qubec: Qubec
Quebec: Qubec City

EXERCICE

62
Un voyage dans des rgions francophones du monde. A trip to Frenchspeaking regions of the world. Write in French.
1. Im going to Luxembourg. The capital of Luxembourg is Luxembourg.

2. Im going to Quebec. The capital of Quebec is Qubec City.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

55

3. Im going to Burundi. The capital of Burundi is Bujumbura.

4. Im going to French Guiana. The capital of French Guiana is Cayenne.

5. Im going to Belgium. The capital of Belgium is Brussels.

6. Im going to Martinique. The capital of Martinique is Fort-de-France.

7. Im going to Cameroun. The capital of Cameroun is Yaounde.

8. Im going to France. The capital of France is Paris.

EXERCICE

63
Do viennent-ils? Where do they come from? Based on the nationality of the
following people, which you will easily recognize, complete each sentence by stating from
which region or country they come. The first one has been done for you.

1. Monique est franaise.

Elle vient de France/Elle vient de Martinique.

2. Ivoline est camerounaise. Elle vient

3. Abou est sngalais. Il vient

4. Jean-Franois est belge. Il vient

5. Rgine est suisse. Elle vient

6. ric est burundais. Il vient

7. Sylvie est qubecoise. Elle vient

8. Meg est louisianaise. Elle vient

9. Fatima est algrienne. Elle vient

10. Hassane est malien. Il vient

56

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Prepositions and prepositional phrases followed


by verbal structures
Some prepositions introduce specific verbal forms such as infinitives, past infinitives, and present
participles. Look at the following chart:
PREPOSITION OR
PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

MEANING

FOLLOWED BY

aprs

after

Past infinitive

pour
sans
avant de
au lieu de
de peur de
de
after adjectives or
verbs

in order to
without
before
instead of
for fear that
of/from

Infinitive
or
Past infinitive

en

while/upon/by

avoir or tre in the infinitive


form + past participle
Verb ending in
-er, -ir, -re, -oir ending
avoir or tre in the infinitive
form + past participle

Infinitive
or
Past infinitive

Verb ending in
-er, -ir, -re, -oir ending
avoir or tre in the infinitive
form
+ past participle
Present participle nous form of present tense
-ons
+ -ant

Aprs + past infinitive


When this preposition is followed by a verb, it is always followed by the past infinitive structure,
which consists of the auxiliary verb avoir (to have) or tre (to be) and a past participle. Remember
that the past participle of regular verbs is obtained by dropping the infinitive ending of the verb
and adding for -er verbs, i for -ir verbs, and u for -re verbs. (For more on past infinitive structures, see Chapter 15.)
First look at the following chart of regular verbs using avoir as an auxiliary verb:
INFINITIVE

PAST PARTICIPLE

PAST INFINITIVE

apporter
to bring
choisir
to choose
perdre
to lose

apport
brought
choisi
chosen
perdu
lost

aprs avoir apport


after having brought
aprs avoir choisi
after having chosen
aprs avoir perdu
after having lost

Aprs avoir mang, nous regardons


les nouvelles.
Aprs avoir travaill toute la semaine,
ils sont fatigus.
Aprs avoir fini le diner, nous regardons
les nouvelles.
Aprs avoir rpondu un texto, jai
ferm mon iPad.

After eating, we watch the news.


After working all week, they are tired.
After having finished dinner, we watch the news.
After having answered a text message, I closed
my iPad.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

57

Some verbs have irregular past participles. The following is a list of common irregular past
participles:
avoir
connatre
courir
croire
devoir
dire
crire
tre
faire
lire
mettre
offrir
ouvrir
plaire
pouvoir
prendre
recevoir
savoir
voir
vouloir

to have
to know
to run
to believe
to have to
to say/tell
to write
to be
to do
to read
to put (on)
to offer
to open
to please
to be able to
to take
to receive
to know
to see
to want

Aprs avoir dit la vrit, on se sent mieux.


Aprs avoir t en vacances, nous sommes
reposs.
Aprs avoir connu un ami pendant
longtemps, on peut bien le dcrire.
Aprs avoir reu un premier prix, il est
content.
Aprs avoir fait une promenade, je rentre
chez moi.

eu
connu
couru
cru
d
dit
crit
t
fait
lu
mis
offert
ouvert
plu
pu
pris
reu
su
vu
voulu

had
known
run
believed
had to
said/told
written
been
done
read
put (on)
offered
opened
pleased
been able to
taken
received
known
seen
wanted

After having told the truth, one feels better.


After having been on vacation, we are rested.
After having known a friend for a long time,
one can describe him well.
After having received a first prize, he is happy.
After having taken a walk, I go home.

Remember that families of verbs have similar past participles. Look at how the families of
prendre and mettre verbs form their past participles.

58

prendre pris
to take taken
apprendre appris
to learn learned
comprendre compris
to understand understood
surprendre surpris
to surprise surprised

mettre mis
put (on) put (on)
remettre remis
to put back (on) put back (on)
permettre permis
to allow allowed
promettre promis
to promise promised

Aprs avoir pris le mauvais train,


je dois retourner.
Aprs avoir appris le vocabulaire,
je lutilise.
Aprs avoir promis un beau cadeau,
je dois acheter quelque chose
de bien.
Aprs avoir remis sa cravate, il est
prt partir.

After having taken the wrong train, I have to


go back.
After having learned the vocabulary, I use it.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

After having promised a beautiful gift, I have


to buy something good.
After having put his tie back on, he is ready
to leave.

Now look at the following list of verbs using tre as an auxiliary verb. Remember that these
verbs are mostly verbs of coming and going but also include the verbs rester (to stay), natre
(to be born), and mourir (to die).
aller
arriver
partir/repartir
sortir/resortir
retourner
entrer/rentrer
venir/devenir/revenir
rester
monter/remonter
descendre/redescendre
tomber/retomber
passer/repasser
natre/renatre
mourir

to go
to arrive
to leave/to leave again
to go out/to go back out
to return/to go back
to enter/to go back
to come/to become/to come back
to stay
to go up/to go back up
to go down/to go back down
to fall/to fall again
to pass by/to pass by again
to be born/to be reborn
to die

Note that among tre verbs, the following have irregular past participles:
venir/devenir/revenir venu/devenu/revenu
natre n
mourir mort
Aprs tre descendu, il va au garage.
Aprs tre revenu de France, il parle
vraiment bien franais.

After having come down, he goes to the garage.


After having come back from France, he
speaks French really well.

Remember to make the past participle and the subject agree when forming the past infinitive of an tre verb. Add -e for the feminine singular agreement, add -s for the masculine plural
agreement, and add -es for the feminine plural agreement with the subject.
Aprs tre rentre la maison, elle
promne son chien.
Aprs tre monts en haut de la Tour
Eiffel, ils ont une vue magnifique.
Aprs tre tombes plusieurs fois,
elles ont peur.

After getting home, she walks her dog.


After going up the Eiffel Tower, they have a
magnificent view.
After having fallen several times, they are
afraid.

EXERCICE

64
Les hritires des parfumeries Fragonard. The heirs of the Fragonard
perfume factories. Complete each sentence with the past participle of the verb in
parentheses.

1. Aprs avoir
(ouvrir) une usine Grasse en 1926, Eugne Fuchs la
nomme Fragonard en lhonneur du peintre Jean-Honor Fragonard.
(acheter) un magasin Grasse o il vend directement
2. Aprs avoir
ses produits, Eugne commence bientt vendre ses parfums des parfumeurs dans le
monde entier.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

59

3. Aprs avoir
(crer) des parfums clbres, la maison Fragonard
dveloppe un petit empire et ouvre deux muses Paris.
(travailler) pour leur pre lusine de parfum
4. Aprs avoir
Fragonard, Agns et Franoise Costa, petites-filles dEugne Fuchs, prennent en main
lentreprise Fragonard.
5. Aprs avoir dabord
(continuer) la tradition des parfums
Fragonard, les deux surs sont maintenant dans les vtements, les bijoux et toutes sortes
de choses bien en dehors de la parfumerie traditionnelle.

EXERCICE

65
Lhistoire de Jean et dlise. Jean and lises story. Complete each sentence with
the past infinitive form of the verb in parentheses.

60

1. Aprs
secondaires. (aller)

au lyce pendant quatre ans, Jean finit ses tudes

2. Aprs

ses tudes secondaires, Jean passe le baccalaurat. (finir)

3. Aprs
mdecine la facult. (russir)

au baccalaurat, Jean commence des tudes de

4. Aprs
(aller)

au lyce pendant quatre ans, lise veut aller en Afrique.

5. Aprs
France. (faire)

du bnvolat pour le Corps de la Paix, lise rentre en

6. Aprs

ses tudes de mdecine, Jean devient mdecin. (finir)

7. Aprs
(rentrer)

dAfrique, lise travaille comme infirmire pour Jean.

8. Aprs

amoureux dlise, Jean pouse lise. (tomber)

9. Aprs
(pouser)

lise, Jean dcide quil est temps davoir des enfants.

10. Aprs
veut pas denfants. (prendre)

la dcision davoir des enfants, Jean comprend qulise ne

11. Aprs
(comprendre)

qulise ne veut pas encore denfants, Jean est trs du.

12. Aprs

du, Jean dcide quil vaut mieux attendre un peu. (tre)

13. Aprs
enfants. (attendre)

un peu, lise a chang davis. Ils ont maintenant trois

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Prepositional phrase + infinitive or past infinitive


A prepositional phrase is followed by an infinitive verb when the action of that verb takes place
simultaneously with the action of the main verb in the sentence. In addition, the subject of the
main verb must be the same as the subject of the infinitive verb.
Avant de sortir, tu finis tes devoirs!
Au lieu de jouer aux jeux vido, il
doit travailler.
Pour avoir un bon salaire, il faut un
bon emploi.
Il part sans dire au revoir?
force dessayer, il va russir.

Before going out, you finish your homework!


Instead of playing video games, he must work.
To have a good salary, one needs a good job.
He is leaving without saying good-bye?
By trying, he is going to succeed.

A prepositional phrase is followed by a verb in the past infinitive when the action of that
verb takes place before the action of the main verb in the sentence. In addition, the subject of the
main verb must be the same as the subject of the infinitive verb.
Elle rvise son essai de peur davoir
omis quelque chose.
Il nest pas bon daller travailler sans
avoir mang.

She reviews her essay fearing she omitted something.


It is not good to go to work without having eaten.

EXERCICE

66
Ce petit coquin! This little rascal! Complete each sentence as directed using the
appropriate prepositional phrase followed by an infinitive verb.

1. Toto veut toujours jouer


(instead of doing his homework)

2. Il court dans les corridors de lcole


(instead of walking)

3. Il travaille rapidement
(in order to go out and play)

4. Il sort
(without asking permission)

5. Un jour, il va tre puni


(for having disobeyed)

Regretter de + infinitive verb or past infinitive


The verb regretter (to regret) can be followed by the preposition de and an infinitive verb. The two
actions must take place simultaneously. In addition, the subject of the main verb must be the
same as the subject of the infinitive verb.
Jaccepte de faire ce projet.
Nous regrettons de ne pas avoir de patience.

I accept to do this project.


We are sorry we do not have any patience.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

61

The verb regretter de can be followed by a verb in the past infinitive. The action of the verb
in the past infinitive must precede the action of the main verb. In addition, the subject of the
main verb must be the same as the subject of the infinitive verb.
Je regrette de vous avoir drang.

I regret I disturbed you.

See Chapter 7 for more verbs like regretter.

EXERCICE

67
Quel dommage! What a pity! Write in French. Beware that some sentences require an
infinitive structure, while others require a past infinitive structure.

1. I regret I do not have this book.

2. He regrets he is not able to come to the party.

3. She regrets that she is busy today.

4. We regret we have forgotten to bring the cake.

5. Our friends regret that they have not written.

6. You (familiar) regret that you sold your car, dont you?

Adjectives + de + infinitive verb or past infinitive


Look at the following sets of sentences, and note that in the first sentence of each set, the verbal
structure after the preposition de is the infinitive because the action takes place simultaneously
with the action of the main verb. Note also that in the second sentence of each set, the verbal
structure after the preposition de is the past infinitive because the action takes place before the
action of the main verb. In all sentences, the subject of the main verb is the same as the subject of
the infinitive or past infinitive verb.
Elle est contente dtre en bonne sant.
Elle est contente davoir rencontr ses amis.
Ils sont dsols de ne pas pouvoir aller au cinma.
Ils sont dsols dtre arrivs en retard.

62

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

She is happy to be in good health.


She is happy to have met her friends.
They are sorry they cannot go to the movies.
They are sorry they arrived late.

EXERCICE

68
Quel dommage! What a pity! Write in French. Beware that some sentences require an
infinitive structure, while others require a past infinitive structure.

1. I am happy I have many friends.

2. He is satisfied he is in good health.

3. She is delighted to be living in France.

4. We are sad to be leaving soon.

5. You (m., pl.) are jealous that you are not rich.

6. They (m.) are angry that they have to work this weekend.

7. I am sorry that I did not go for a walk before the rain.

8. We are unhappy that we did not pass this exam.

9. He is sorry that he was late.

10. They (f.) are mad they have no invitation.

Preposition en + present participle


This preposition en is followed by a present participle to express while, upon, or by when the main
verb and the verb following the preposition have the same subject. To form the present participle
of a verb, drop the -ons ending of the nous form of the present tense and add -ant.
En coutant attentivement, jai entendu loiseau. By listening attentively, I heard the bird.
En lisant beaucoup de livres de science-fiction, Upon reading many science fiction books,
tu as dvelopp ton imagination.
you developed your imagination.
Il est tomb en courant.
He fell while running.

See Chapter 7 for more on present participles.

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures after prepositions

63

EXERCICE

69
Cest comme cela. Thats how it is. Write the letter of the most appropriate
completion of each sentence on the line provided.

1.

On est raisonnable

a. en mentant.

2.

On montre quon apprcie ses amis

b. en persvrant dans ses efforts.

3.

On garde ses amis

c. en dsobissant.

4.

On est discret

d. en les remerciant.

5.

On doit ses parents

e. en tant fidle.

6.

On apprend beaucoup

f. en choisissant de bons amis.

7.

On russit en tout

g. en gardant nos secrets.

8.

On perd la confiance des gens

h. en faisant des recherches.

EXERCICE

610
Un projet de camping. A camping project. Complete each sentence with the
present participle, infinitive, or past infinitive, form of the verb in parentheses as appropriate.

1. Nous achetons une tente pour

du camping. (faire)

2. Nous ne pouvons pas partir sans


3. force de/d
(escalader)

tout le matriel. (organiser)


des montagnes, toi, tu es en pleine forme.

beaucoup de sports en plein air, les sportifs restent en forme!

4. En
(faire)
5. Aprs
(suivre)

de rgulires sessions dathltisme, moi aussi, je suis prt.

6. Je nai pas peur de

tes randonnes. (participer)

7. Je souhaite seulement
8. Mais, peu importe! Je suis ravi d

64

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

plus dexprience. (avoir)


de taccompagner. (accepter)

Imperative, infinitive,
and present
participle structures

Imperative structures
The imperative forms of a verb are used for instructions, suggestions, and commands. They are mostly used in oral communication. Written instructions are
often expressed with infinitives in the French language.

Formation of imperative forms


Although the imperative is a mood, its conjugated forms are borrowed from the
present tense indicative for regular -er, -ir, and -re verbs as well as for irregular
verbs.
Remember to use the second-person singular (tu), and the first- and secondperson plurals (nous and vous) of the present tense conjugation of a verb to create
imperative forms.
Tu choisis. Choisis!
Nous choisissons. Choisissons!
Vous choisissez. Choisissez!

You are choosing. Choose!


We are choosing. Lets choose!
You are choosing. Choose!

Remember that in the case of -er verbs, you must drop the -s from the tu
form to obtain the familiar command form. This is also true for the verb aller.
Tu dcides. Dcide!
Nous dcidons. Dcidons!
Vous dcidez. Dcidez!

You are deciding. Decide!


We are deciding. Lets decide!
You are deciding. Decide!

Tu vas. Va!
Nous allons. Allons!
Vous allez. Allez!

You are going. Go!


We are going. Lets go!
You are going. Go!

Note that the dropped -s in the familiar command of the verb aller is back if
the command includes the pronoun y.
Va! Go!
but
Nous pouvons prendre un seul
chien; alors choisis, Jeannot!
Prenons le plus gros!
Monsieur, donnez ce chiot mon
fils, sil vous plat!
Prends ton chiot et va attendre
dans la voiture, Jeannot!
Vas-y! Jarrive.

Vas-y! Go there!
We can take only one dog; so choose,
Jeannot!
Lets take the fattest one!
Sir, give this puppy to my son, please!
Take your puppy and go wait in the
car, Jeannot!
Go there! Im coming.

65

Only a few verbs have imperative forms that are not obtained from the present tense indicative. Memorize the imperative stems for the following verbs:
avoir (to have)
aie
have
ayons
lets have
ayez
have

tre (to be)


sois
be
soyons
lets be
soyez
be

Sachez, madame, que nous ne vendons


que la meilleure qualit!
Sois poli, mon enfant!
Ayons patience!

savoir (to know)


sache
know
sachons
lets know
sachez
know

Know that we sell only the best quality,


madame!
Be polite, my child!
Lets be patient!

Use of the various imperative forms


The various forms of the imperative mood help distinguish whom an instruction is addressed to.
The second-person singular and plural imperative forms are used to give direct instructions, suggestions, and commands.
Obis et fais tes devoirs, Marie!
Ne reste pas trop longtemps dehors, mon chou!
Arrosez les plantes et coupez lherbe aujourdhui,
monsieur Jason!
Rentrez tout de suite, les enfants! Il va pleuvoir.

Obey and do your homework, Marie!


Dont stay out too long, honey!
Water the plants and cut the grass
today, Mr. Jason!
Come home right away, children! Its
going to rain.

The first-person plural imperative is used to command and instruct one other person or
several other persons, but it includes the speaker as well.
Allons la piscine!
Restons calmes!

Lets go to the pool!


Lets stay calm!

Note the second-person plural imperative form of the verb vouloir is used in formal settings to give polite instructions and also at the end of a formal letter as part of a closing.
It is followed by an infinitive verb.
Veuillez entrer, mesdames.
Veuillez accepter, madame, mes
sincres salutations.

Please enter, ladies.


Please accept, madam, my
sincere salutations.

Note that the verb vouloir is used in the interrogative structure to soften an instruction
or a command.
Veux-tu fermer la porte, sil te plat, Philippe.

66

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Please close the door, Philippe.

EXERCICE

71
Suivez bien ces instructions! Follow these instructions well! Madame Jonat is
out of town and left a list of instructions for her son. Complete each instruction with the
correct imperative form of the verb in parentheses.

1. N

pas de vider la poubelle tous les jours! (oublier)

2.

le journal chaque jour. (rentrer)

3.

lcole et

4.

tes devoirs diligemment! (faire)

5.

gentil et patient avec le chien! (tre)

6. Ne

lheure! (aller/partir)

pas trop la tlvision. (regarder)

7.

bien les amis que tu invites la maison! (choisir)

8.

des fruits et des lgumes chaque soir! (manger)


pas les mmes jeans tous les jours. (mettre)

9. Ne
10.

-moi de tes nouvelles rgulirement! (donner)

EXERCICE

72
Notre forum des toiles. Our star forum. Write the correct imperative form of each
verb in parentheses, keeping in mind that this message is addressed to many potential
Internet users.

1.
vos horizons! 3.
galaxies et les toiles! 4.
dinscription! 5. N
e-mail et 6.
7.
but commercial. 8.
passionns de la science. 9.
10.

(ouvrir) et 2.

(largir)

(devenir) membres de notre forum sur les


(vouloir) remplir le formulaire
(oublier) pas dinclure votre adresse
(recevoir) notre bulletin hebdomadaire.
(tre) rassurs! Nous ne nous servons pas de vos coordonnes
(savoir) que notre forum est au profit des
(explorer) et
(discuter) ensemble notre univers!

Use of infinitive forms of verbs


There is a great variety of uses of the infinitive form of a verb in French. For example, an infinitive
verb can be used to give instructions in recipes. An infinitive verb can also serve as the subject of
Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

67

a verb, thus assuming the function of a noun. In addition, verbs that follow a preposition such as
(to), avant de (before), de (of, from), pour (in order to), or sans (without) are in the infinitive form.

Infinitives used to give directions of instructions


to a general public
In instructions addressed to a general public, such as recipes, assembly guides, parking instructions, or security measures, the infinitive form of verbs is preferred rather than imperative forms.
Mettre une pince de sel et laisser bouillir.
Identifier les pices A et B et les mettre
lune ct de lautre.
Garer la voiture dans le parking indiqu.
Ne pas abandonner les bagages.

Put in a pinch of salt and let boil.


Identify parts A and B and put them next
to each other.
Park the car in the assigned parking lot.
Do not abandon baggage.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary list before doing the next exercise.
luf (m.)
egg
ajouter
add
la farine
flour
chauffer
warm up/heat
la pte
dough
cuire
cook
la pince
pinch
graisser
grease
la pole
pan
laisser
let
le beurre
butter
mlanger
mix
le fouet
whip
mesurer
measure
le lait
milk
prparer
prepare
le sel
salt
reposer
rest
le sucre
sugar
verser
pour

EXERCICE

73
Dcouvrez la recette des crpes! Discover the recipe for crpes! Writing letters A
through J on the lines provided, put the following crpe-making steps into the correct order.

68

1.

Ajouter le lait et les ufs et mlanger avec le fouet ou le mixer.

2.

Laisser reposer la pte.

3.

Verser la farine dans un bol.

4.

Prparer tous les ingrdients.

5.

Verser un peu de pte dans la pole et faire cuire.

6.

Faire chauffer la pole.

7.

Mesurer la farine.

8.

Mettre une pince de sel et un peu de sucre vanille dans le bol de farine.

9.

Graisser une pole avec du beurre.

10.

Faire dorer la crpe des deux cts.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Infinitives used as subjects


Activities are often stated in the form of an infinitive verb, which functions as the subject of the
conjugated verb in the sentence.
Faire du sport est essential pour rester
en forme.
Nager me permet de faire de lexercice
tout en relaxant.
Manger reprsente un des grands plaisirs
de la vie.

Doing sports is essential to stay in shape.


Swimming allows me to exercise while
relaxing.
Eating represents one of the great pleasures
in life.

EXERCICE

74
Un peu de tout! A little of everything! Write in French.
1. Reading all day, thats my hobby.

2. Answering my questions is urgent.

3. Walking alone in the streets at night is dangerous.

4. To pass this exam is my only goal.

5. Buying new clothes is fun.

6. To help friends is natural.

Infinitives after a conjugated verb


Remember that when two verbs have the same subject, the first one is conjugated and the second
one stays in the infinitive form.
The verbs aimer (to like/love), adorer (to love), dsirer (to desire), devoir (to have to/must),
pouvoir (to be able to/can), vouloir (to want to), savoir (to know), sembler (to seem), and souhaiter
(to wish) are among the many verbs followed by an infinitive verb.
Jadore jouer au tennis.
Les touristes veulent acheter des souvenirs.
Elle semble avoir des difficults.
Je souhaite devenir clbre.

I love to play tennis.


Tourists want to buy souvenirs.
She seems to have difficulties.
I want to become famous.

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

69

Sometimes the infinitive verb is used to express a goal. In that case the preposition pour
(in order to) is omitted and implied.
Nous allons au club (pour) rencontrer
des amis.
Le professeur vient (pour) corriger nos
examens.
Vous partez (pour) faire des courses?

We are going to the club (in order) to meet


friends.
The professor comes (in order) to correct our
exams.
Are you leaving (in order) to go shopping?

Note that the verbs dire (to say/tell), penser (to think), and croire (to think/to believe) can be
followed by an infinitive verb in French even though they are not in English.
Elle dit avoir raison.
Pensez-vous vendre votre maison?
Il croit tre riche.

She says she is right.


Do you think youll sell your house?
He believes to be rich.

Note the following special expressions:


laisser tomber quelque chose
faire croire quelque chose quelquun

to drop something
to make someone believe something

Attention! Ne laisse pas tomber le vase!


Je nai pas lintention de laisser tomber
ce projet.
Tu fais croire tout le monde que tout
est bien.

Careful! Dont drop the vase!


I do not intend to give up this project.
You make everyone believe that all is well.

Infinitives after the preposition de


Some verbs are followed by a required preposition and an infinitive verb. Here are lists of such
verbs that you may use in this chapter:
Avoir expression + de + infinitive
avoir envie de
avoir honte de
avoir lhabitude de
avoir limpression de
avoir lintention de
avoir loccasion de
avoir la chance de

to feel like (to want/wish to)


to be ashamed to
to be used to
to have the feeling that
to intend to
to have the opportunity to
to be so lucky as to

Tu as envie de sortir boire un pot?


Jai limpression dtre malade.
En France, tu as souvent loccasion de
prendre le train.
Nous avons la chance dtre si heureux.

Do you want to go out for a drink?


I feel sick.
In France you often have the opportunity
to take the train.
We are lucky to be so happy.

tre expression + de + infinitive

70

tre mme de
tre en train de
tre sur le point de

to be up to/able to
to be in the middle/process of
to be about to

Tu es mme de finir ce travail?


Oui, je suis en train de terminer.
Le restaurant est sur le point de fermer.

Are you up to finishing this job?


Yes, I am finishing.
The restaurant is about to close.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Adjective + de + infinitive
capable de
certain(e)/sr(e) de
du(e) de
dsol(e) de
enchant(e) de
heureux(-se) de
ravi(e) de

able to
sure that
disappointed to
sorry to
delighted to
happy to
delighted to

Enchant de faire votre connaissance, Delighted to make your acquaintance,


madame.
madam.
Tu es sre de pouvoir venir?
Are you sure you can come?
Je suis du de ne pas voir mon copain. I am disappointed not to see my friend.

Verb + de + infinitive
accepter de
arrter de
dcider de
essayer de
faire semblant de
oublier de
refuser de
regretter de

to accept to
to stop
to decide to
to try to
to pretend to
to forget to
to refuse to
to regret to

Arrte de fumer!
Essaie de faire de ton mieux!
Noublie pas dapporter du pain!
Ils regrettent de ne pas parler franais.

Stop smoking!
Try to do your best!
Dont forget to bring bread!
They are sorry they do not speak French.

EXERCICE

75
Jeannot est paresseux! Jeannot is lazy! Write in French.
1. Jeannot, stop playing this game!

2. Do not pretend to do homework!

3. You always forget to write what (ce que) you have to do.

4. You are capable of having good grades.

5. You are about to finish your high school studies.

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

71

6. Are you not ashamed to be lazy?

7. Do you intend to live on the street?

8. You are lucky to have this family!

Infinitives after the preposition


There are verbs that are necessarily followed by the preposition and an infinitive verb. There are
also special expressions that include followed by an infinitive. Note some of these expressions
in the following sentences:
Jai quelque chose te dire.
Tu as quelque chose faire?
Cet outil sert couper les ufs en tranches.
Cet article est facile comprendre.
Tu nas rien ajouter?
Ces instructions sont difficiles suivre.
Il reste payer la facture.
Il y a peu/beaucoup faire ici.

I have something to tell you.


Do you have something to do?
This instrument is used to slice eggs.
This article is easy to understand.
Do you have nothing to add?
These instructions are difficult to follow.
What remains to be done is to pay the bill.
There is little/much to do here.

Verb + + infinitive
aider quelquun
apprendre
apprendre quelquun
arriver
commencer
continuer
obliger quelquun
renoncer
russir

to help someone to
to learn to
to teach someone to
to manage to
to begin to
to continue to
to force someone to
to give up (doing something)
to succeed in/to manage

Il apprend conduire.
Mon pre apprend ma petite sur
nager.
Ma mre oblige Jeannot ranger sa
chambre.
Je renonce faire du ski.
Tu russis comprendre?

He is learning to drive.
My father teaches my little sister how
to swim.
My mother forces Jeannot to clean up
his room.
Im giving up skiing.
Do you manage to understand?

Verb + quelquun + de + infinitive


conseiller quelquun de
dfendre quelquun de
demander quelquun de
dire quelquun de
permettre quelquun de
suggrer quelquun de

72

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

to advise someone to
to forbid someone from
to ask someone to
to tell someone to
to allow someone to
to suggest for someone to

Les conseillers conseillent aux lves


de remplir leur formulaire.
Maman dit toujours mon pre de
ne pas trop travailler.
On permet aux adhrents de mettre
des commentaires sur le site.

Counselors advise students to fill out


their forms.
Mom always tells my dad not to work
too much.
They allow subscribers to put comments
on the site.

EXERCICE

76
Le travail dun conseiller pdagogique. The work of a school counselor.
Write the letter of the most appropriate completion of each sentence on the line provided.

1.

Je fais un travail qui...

a. de garder leurs secrets.

2.

Chaque jour, je conseille des jeunes...

b. de les voir partir calmes et rassurs.

3.

Trs souvent, ils me disent...

c. ce travail pour le reste de ma vie.

4.

Japprends aux lycens ...

d. me parler sincrement.

5.

Je ne leur suggre jamais de...

e. renoncer leurs rves.

6.

Quelquefois, ils font semblant de...

f. les aider.

7.

Mais je ne renonce jamais...

g. ne pas mcouter.

8.

Ils arrivent gnralement ...

h. trouver des solutions leurs


problmes.

9.

Je suis toujours ravi...

i. de venir me confier leurs difficults.

10.

Jai quelquefois loccasion...

j. de laisser tomber ce travail!

11.

Jai envie de continuer...

k. permet daider les jeunes lycens.

12.

Je nai pas lintention...

l. davoir de linfluence sur leurs


projets davenir.

EXERCICE

77
La biographie de Grard Depardieu. Grard Depardieus biography. Write in
French.

1. Grard Depardieu grows up (grandir) with five brothers and sisters.

2. The adolescent decides (dcider de) to steal (voler) cars.

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

73

3. It is hard to believe (croire), but its true!

4. He manages (arriver ) to stop (cesser de) doing (faire) this.

5. He starts (commencer ) to take (suivre) comedy classes in Paris.

6. American cinema offers (offrir /de) Depardieu to play (jouer) in Green Card.

7. Depardieu learns (apprendre ) very fast to earn (gagner) a lot of money.

8. He becomes (devenir) famous and rich and seems (sembler) to love (adorer) both.

Infinitives after impersonal expressions


Impersonal expressions containing a conjugated verb other than the verb tre are sometimes followed directly by an infinitive verb.
Il faut
Il vaut mieux

It is necessary
It is better

Remember that impersonal expressions should not be translated literally from French into
English. Infer the subject from contextual clues, and translate accordingly into English.
Il faut couter ton professeur, Philippe!
Il faut partir. Sinon, nous allons tre en retard.
Il vaut mieux ne pas mentir, ma petite chrie.

You have to listen to your teacher, Philippe!


We have to leave. Otherwise, well be late.
Youd better not lie, my little darling.

Some impersonal expressions containing a conjugated verb other than the verb tre are followed by the preposition de and an infinitive verb.
Il suffit de sourire pour charmer les gens.
Il importe dtre honnte.

It suffices to smile to charm people.


It is important to be honest.

Many impersonal expressions that include an adjective are followed by de and an infinitive
verb.
Il est bon/mauvais de
Il est dangereux de
Il est facile/difficile de
Il est dfendu/permis de
Il est intressant/ennuyeux de
Il est juste/injuste de
Il est utile/inutile de
Il est amusant/ennuyeux de

74

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

It is good/bad to
It is dangerous to
It is easy/difficult to
It is forbidden/allowed to
It is interesting/boring to
It is just/unjust to
It is useful/useless to
It is fun/boring to

Il est dfendu de fumer.


Il est dangereux de courir sur une
chausse mouille.
Il est bon de croire en soi.
Il est inutile dinsister.

It is forbidden to smoke.
It is dangerous to run on a wet pavement.
It is good to believe in oneself.
It is useless to insist.

EXERCICE

78
Vrai ou faux? True or false? Write V (vrai) or F (faux) on the line provided.
1.

Il est facile descalader les Alpes.

2.

Il est bon de voler les voitures.

3.

Il est juste dtre malhonnte.

4.

Il est utile de parler franais.

5.

Il est dfendu de brler un feu rouge.

6.

Il est ennuyeux dtre une bonne comdie.

7.

Il est dangereux de marcher sur lautoroute.

8.

Il vaut mieux avoir un diplme universitaire.

9.

Il faut tre franais pour comprendre le franais.

10.

Il vaut mieux couter le professeur.

EXERCICE

79
Pour russir dans la vie. To succeed in life. Write the appropriate verb from the list
for each blank.

facile
faut

amusant
persvrer

tre
dangereux

Pour russir dans la vie, il suffit de 1.

croire
travailler
dur et de

2.

dans ses initiatives. videmment il nest pas toujours

3.

de faire cela. Il nest pas 4.

des efforts inutiles. Il 5.

savoir que certains ont plus de chance dans

la vie que dautres. Malgr tout, il est bon de/d 6.


destin et il est 7.
8.

de faire

courageux face au

de se laisser dmoraliser. Il est permis de


en soi.

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

75

The present participle


The present participle of a verb is formed by using the stem obtained from the first-person plural
of the present tense -ons ant.
regarder (to watch)
finir (to finish)
perdre (to lose)
faire (to make/do)
pouvoir (to be able to)

nous regardons
nous finissons
nous perdons
nous faisons
nous pouvons

regardant
finissant
perdant
faisant
pouvant

The verbs avoir (to have), tre (to be), and savoir (to know) have irregular present participle
stems, which must be memorized.
avoir ayant

tre tant

savoir sachant

The preposition en (while/by/upon doing) generally precedes the present participle but is
sometimes omitted and implied. Use this verbal form only to express while/by/upon doing
something.
Je fais des exercices darobic
en regardant la tl.
Je maigris en mangeant moins et
en faisant du sport.
Sachant la rponse, je suis mme de
lexpliquer.
tant bon lve, je russis mes examens.

I do aerobics while watching TV.


I lose weight by eating less and exercising.
Knowing the answer, I am able to explain it.
Being a good student, I pass my exams.

EXERCICE

710
Banalits et dictons. Generalities and sayings. Write the letter of the appropriate
completion of each sentence on the line provided.

76

1.

On sinstruit

a. on garde ses amis.

2.

Lapptit vient

b. on est sr de gagner sa vie.

3.

En coutant bien

c. en devenant clbre.

4.

On est aimable

d. on devient bilingue.

5.

En gardant les secrets

e. en voyageant.

6.

En travaillant dur

f. en mangeant.

7.

On devient riche

g. on finit par comprendre.

8.

En apprenant une langue trangre

h. en offrant son aide.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

711
Tout en faisant cela! While doing this! Write the following sentences in French.
1. By practicing a lot learning a new language becomes easy.

2. While listening to the news in French, I am beginning to understand more.

3. Upon doing grammar exercises, I can write French more correctly.

4. But I sometimes have difficulties while doing my homework.

5. People (On) become more tolerant while understanding other cultures.

EXERCICE

712
Des dictons! Sayings! Translate the following common sayings into English.
1. Il est dangereux de laisser libre cours ses passions.

2. Il faut avoir assez de force pour suivre la raison.

3. Il est rare de trouver des politiciens sincres.

4. Il est difficile de dfinir lamour.

5. Il est bon de poser des questions.

6. Cest en souffrant quon devient fort.

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

77

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary list before doing the next exercise.
la confiance
trust
avouer
to admit/confess
le buisson
bush
malin
cunning
le champ
field
marcher
to walk
le matre
master
ravi
delighted
le roi
king
rcolter
to harvest
le sac
bag
rendre service
to do favors

EXERCICE

713
Lhistoire du chat bott (Charles Perrault). The story of Puss in
Boots. Complete each sentence with the appropriate word from the list provided.
Capitalize when necessary.

rcolter
enchant
dans

chercher
rendant
(use twice)

rencontrer
dsol
au

trouv
sans

cette histoire, un chat trs intelligent aide son matre qui est

1.
2.

dtre pauvre. Le chat demande 3.

matre de lui donner un sac pour 4.

6.

son

des fruits et des lgumes et

aussi des bottes pour 5.

dans les champs et les buissons. Prtendant


de la nourriture, le chat part laventure.

En 7.

certains services 8.

gagne sa confiance. Le chat permet alors 9.

roi, le chat
son matre de

10.

la fille du roi qui tombe amoureuse de lui.

11.

avouer quil est trs pauvre, le matre pouse la fille du roi. Le roi

est charm davoir 12.

78

marcher
quant au

un bon mari pour sa fille. Le matre est

13.

davoir pous la fille du roi et davoir un chat si malin.

14.

chat, il est ravi davoir un matre riche et heureux.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Reflexive verbs

Reflexive verbs in the present tense


Remember that reflexive verbs can be categorized into regular verb groups or
families of irregular verbs like other verbs. Look at the following list of regular -er
verbs used reflexively. Beware of the stem-changing verbs.
sapprocher
(de)
sarrter
sexcuser
shabiller
sinquiter
( )
se baigner
se balader
se brosser les
dents
se calmer
se coiffer
se coucher
se demander

to get near/
close (to)
to stop
to excuse oneself/
apologize
to get dressed
to be worried
to take a bath/
to bathe
to take a walk

se fcher
se fatiguer
se laver
se lever (e )
se maquiller
se prparer
se prsenter

to brush ones teeth se promener (e )


to calm down
to style ones hair
to go to bed
to wonder

Je mexcuse de vous dranger.


On se fatigue aprs une longue
journe de travail.
Ses parents se fchent quand il
rentre tard.
Les enfants se lavent les mains
quand ils rentrent.
Alors ils se reposent.

se rappeler (l ll)
se reposer
se rveiller
se scher ( )

to get angry/
mad
to get tired
to wash
oneself
to get up
to put on
makeup
to get ready
to introduce
oneself
to take a walk
to remember
to rest
to wake up
to dry oneself

I apologize for disturbing you.


One gets tired after a long day
of work.
His parents get mad when he comes
home late.
Children wash their hands when
they come home.
Then they rest.

79

Now look at the following list of irregular verbs used reflexively:


sassoir
sen aller
sendormir
sinscrire
se mettre daccord

to sit down
to go away
to fall asleep
to enroll
to come to an
agreement

Je men vais.
Tu tendors vite.
Nous nous mettons daccord.
Vous vous mettez en route?
Elles se rendorment toujours.
Pierre se souvient trs bien de son
sjour au Sngal.

se mettre en colre
se mettre en route
se rendormir
se souvenir (de)

to get angry
to start off/to get going
to go back to sleep
to remember

Im going away.
You fall asleep fast.
We come to an agreement.
Are you setting off?
They always go back to sleep.
Pierre remembers his stay in Senegal
very well.

You have seen how to conjugate most of the preceding verbs in a previous chapter of this
book. Now look at the present tense conjugations of the verb sassoir (to sit down).
je massois
tu tassois
il/elle/on sassoit
nous nous assoyons
vous vous assoyez
ils/elles sassoient

je massieds
tu tassieds
il/elle/on sassied
nous nous asseyons
vous vous asseyez
ils/elles sasseyent

Regarde! Je massieds prs de toi.


Nous nous asseyons gnralement
devant tout le monde.

Look! Im sitting next to you.


We usually sit in front of everybody.

Note the following imperative forms of the verb sassoir:


Assieds-toi!
Asseyons-nous!

Sit down!
Lets sit down!

Asseyez-vous!
Assieds-toi ct
de moi!
Ne vous asseyez pas
l! Cest sale!

Sit down!
Sit down next to me!

Ne tassieds pas!
Ne nous asseyons
pas!
Ne vous asseyez pas!

Do not sit down!


Lets not sit down!
Do not sit down!

Dont sit there!


Its dirty.

Note that the verbs sapprocher de (to get near), se souvenir de (to remember), and sen aller
(to go away) only exist in the reflexive form.
Je mapproche de la maison.
On se souvient de moments mmorables.
Tu ten vas dj?

I get near my house.


One remembers memorable moments.
Are you already leaving?

Transitive verbs
Transitive verbs (verbs admitting a direct object) can be used reflexively or nonreflexively. Verbs
are reflexive only if the action of the verb is done by the subject to him- or herself. Compare the
following sets of sentences. In the first sentence, the verb is not used reflexively (the action is not
done by the subject to itself), but in the second sentence, the same verb is used reflexively (the
action is done by the subject to itself).

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Cette musique endort tout le monde.


Le bb sendort.
Le professeur rappelle aux lves quil faut tudier.
Le professeur se rappelle quil doit rendre les devoirs.
Ce grand bruit inquite les passagers.
Le pilote ne sinquite pas.

This music puts everybody to sleep.


The baby is falling asleep.
The teacher reminds the students
that they must study.
The teacher remembers that he must
return the homework.
This big noise worries the passengers.
The pilot is not worried.

EXERCICE

81
Aujourdhui je vais chez le coiffeur! Today Im going to the hair stylist! Write
the appropriate form of the verbs in parentheses in the present tense on the lines provided.

1. Le matin, je

vers six heures et je

dix minutes plus tard. (se rveiller/se lever) 2. Je

et je

. (se doucher/se maquiller) 3. Ensuite je


je

et

aller chez le coiffeur. (shabiller/se prparer)

4. Il

Jrme et il

(sappeler/se coiffer) 5. Il ne

comme Elvis Presley.


jamais de la coiffure que je veux et il

naturellement. (se souvenir/sexcuser) 6. Souvent je


dans ma chaise et Jrme me
(sendormir/rveiller) 7. Jrme
cheveux. (scher/coiffer) 8. Quand cest fini, je
contente, je paie Jrme et je

.
et

mes
bien et si je suis

. (se regarder/sen aller)

Expressing reciprocity with reflexive verbs


Note that the following reflexive verbs may be used to express reciprocity from one subject to
another.
sadmirer
saider
saimer
scrire
sembrasser
senvoyer des mails
se dire bonjour
se donner des cadeaux
se fiancer
se marier
se regarder
se rencontrer

to admire oneself/one another


to help oneself/one another
to love/like oneself/one another
to write to one another
to kiss each other
to send e-mails to one another
to say hello to one another
to give gifts to one another
to get engaged to each other
to get married to each other
to look at oneself/at one another
to meet one another
Reflexive verbs

81

se revoir
se sparer
se serrer la main

to say good-bye to one another


to separate from one another
to shake hands with one another

Compare the following sets of sentences and the meanings of the reflexive verbs in each set:
Marie se regarde dans le miroir.
Marie et Pierre se regardent tendrement.
Marie se spare de son fianc.
Marie et Pierre se sparent.

Marie looks at herself in the mirror.


Marie and Pierre look at each other tenderly.
Marie leaves (separates herself from) her fianc.
Marie and Pierre split up (they leave each other).

Reflexive verbs include a reflexive pronoun. The pronoun is se in the infinitive form but varies according to the subject pronoun in the conjugated forms. Look at the following conjugation
of se souvenir in the present tense indicative:
je me souviens
tu te souviens
il/elle/on se souvient

nous nous souvenons


vous vous souvenez
ils/elles se souviennent

EXERCICE

82
Quand faut-il le verbe rflchi? When do we need the reflexive verb? Write and
compare the two sets of sentences. Use the verb reflexively only when appropriate.

1 a. We are watching a good movie. b. We watch each other.


a.
b.
2 a. The little girl says good-bye. b. The little girls say good-bye to each other.
a.
b.
3 a. I am helping my cousin Maurice. b. Maurice and I are helping each other.
a.
b.
4 a. They do not separate children. b. The two brothers do not like to be away (separate)
from each other.
a.
b.
5 a. He shakes the gentlemans hand. b. The gentlemen shake hands.
a.
b.
6 a. The secretary is enrolling students. b. The student is enrolling in a course.
a.
b.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

7 a. I am meeting Marianne. b. Marianne and I are meeting today.


a.
b.
8 a. You (tu) admire this pretty lady. b. You (tu) admire yourself in the mirror.
a.
b.

Reflexive verbs in the imperative mood


Remember to use the appropriate reflexive pronoun before the conjugated verb when giving negative instructions and commands with reflexive verbs.
Ne te fche pas!
Ne vous inquitez pas!
Ne nous affolons pas!

Do not get angry!


Do not worry!
Lets not panic!

Also remember to use the appropriate reflexive pronoun after the conjugated verb in affirmative instructions and commands.
Brosse-toi les dents!
Approchez-vous de mon bureau!
Allongeons-nous ici!

Brush your teeth!


Approach my desk!
Lets lay down here!

EXERCICE

83
Logique ou pas logique? Logical or not logical? Write L if the statement is logical;
write PL if it is not logical.

1.

Il fait chaud. Habille-toi plus chaudement!

2.

Ne nous approchons pas de lincendie! Cest dangereux.

3.

Ne te dpche pas daller au cours! Le prof est strict.

4.

Ne te lave pas avant daller te coucher!

5.

Ne vous approchez pas de moi! Je suis malade.

6.

Mariez-vous puisque vous vous aimez!

7.

Ne vous arrtez pas ici! Cest l que vous habitez.

8.

Brosse-toi les dents avant de manger!

9.

Souvenez-vous des bons moments!

10.

Serrez-vous la main puisque vous tes rconcilis!

Reflexive verbs

83

EXERCICE

84
Les instructions du professeur aux lves. The teachers instructions to the
students. Write the following instructions a teacher gives his students in French.
1. Hurry up!

2. Sit down!

3. Do not talk to each other!

4. Get up!

5. Approach the board!

6. Do not worry!

7. Remember the answers!

8. Talk to each other!

9. Agree with each other!

Use of the definite article with parts of the body


When used in conjunction with a reflexive verb, parts of the body are preceded by a definite
article rather than a possessive article in a French sentence. Look at the following sentences:
Tu te casses la jambe, tu te retrouves
lhpital et puis, tu te dplaces avec des
bquilles.
Je me lave les cheveux. Aprs, je me les sche
et puis, je me les boucle.
Je me lave la figure. Aprs, je me maquille et
puis, je me mets du mascara.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

You break your leg, you find yourself in the


hospital, and then you move around with
crutches.
I wash my hair. After that, I dry it, and then
I curl it.
I wash my face. Afterward, I put on makeup,
and then I put on mascara.

Tu te rases le menton. Aprs, tu tessuies la


figure et puis, tu te peignes les cheveux.
On se serre la main, on se tient la main, on
se fait la bise sur la joue.

You are shaving your chin. Afterward, you


wipe your face, and then you comb
your hair.
We shake hands, we hold hands, we kiss on
the cheek.

EXERCICE

85
Les petites habitudes. Common habits. Write in French.
1. In the morning, Marie gets up, washes her face, brushes her teeth, puts on makeup, and
gets dressed.

2. Jean-Marc wakes up, goes back to sleep for a few minutes, wakes up again, combs his hair,
shaves his face, washes himself, dries himself, and dresses.

3. When men meet, they shake hands and say hello.

4. When women meet, they kiss on the cheek, and they give (faire) each other compliments.

Reflexive verbs

85

Future tenses

The near future tense of verbs


This tense should theoretically relate to events in the relatively near future. It is,
however, used in many instances instead of the simple future tense for any future
event.
Je vais vite acheter du lait.
Dans deux ans, tu vas tre majeur.

Im quickly going to buy some milk.


In two years, you are going to be
an adult.

The near future tense requires the appropriate conjugated form of the verb
aller followed by an infinitive verb.
Je vais venir te voir aprs lcole.
Tu vas jouer au foot.
On va prendre le bus pour rentrer.
Nous allons dner vers 18 heures.
Les copains, vous allez tre tonns.

I am going to see you after school.


You are going to play soccer.
We are going to take the bus to
go home.
We are going to eat dinner
around 6 p.m.
Friends, you are going to be
astonished.

Note that the two negative adverbs hug the helping verb aller in the near
future.
Mes parents ne vont pas tre l.
Ma soeur ne va plus tre l non plus.

My parents are not going to be there.


My sister is not going to be there any
more either.

Also note that when a reflexive verb is used in the near future or after a conjugated verb, the reflexive pronoun must match the subject pronoun.
Je vais me reposer maintenant.
Elsa va se fcher avec toi.
Nous allons nous baigner.
Vous voulez vous marier?

86

Im going to rest now.


Elsa is going to get mad at you.
Were going to take a bath.
You want to get married?

EXERCICE

91
Ils vont sortir ce soir. They are going to go out tonight. Write this dialogue
in French.

1. JULIETTE: Are you going to come to the party tonight?

2. CHRISTOPHE: Yes, but I am going to finish my math homework first.

3. JULIETTE: Good. Im going to wait for you at my house.

4. CHRISTOPHE: Fine. Im going to pick you up around seven oclock.

5. JULIETTE: Im going to wear my new dress tonight.

6. CHRISTOPHE: I cant wait to go to the party. Its going to be fun.

EXERCICE

92
On va samuser comme des fous! We are going to have fun like
crazy! Translate the following conversation. Use intonation when posing questions.
1. JULIETTE: Are you getting dressed, Christophe?

2. CHRISTOPHE: Yes, but I want to look at myself in the mirror. Wait!

3. JULIETTE: Oh! You are handsome. Look at yourself!

4. CHRISTOPHE: I am looking at myself. Not bad!

5. JULIETTE: Now, look at me!

6. CHRISTOPHE: You are beautiful! Come closer!

Future tenses

87

The simple future tense of verbs


This tense is used to discuss what will happen in the future. It is a simple tense requiring a stem
and an ending. The stem is usually the entire infinitive verb (except for -re verbs or irregular verbs
ending in -re, which lose -e from the ending of the infinitive). The endings are -ai, -as, -a, -ons,
-ez, -ont.
Look at the future tense conjugations of the following regular verbs:
je
tu
il/elle/on
nous
vous
ils/elles

chercher (to pick up)


chercherai
chercheras
cherchera
chercherons
chercherez
chercheront

saisir (to seize)


saisirai
saisiras
saisira
saisirons
saisirez
saisiront

Demain je chercherai ton tailleur la blanchisserie.


Je vais texpliquer mon ide et tu saisiras.
Il est sr que nous confondrons les jumeaux.

confondre (to confuse)


confondrai
confondras
confondra
confondrons
confondrez
confondront

Tomorrow I will get your suit at the


cleaners.
Im going to explain my idea to you,
and you will get it.
It is certain that we will confuse the
twin boys.

Remember that the only difference in conjugating a reflexive verb in the future tense is the
reflexive pronoun in front of the conjugated verb.
Nous nous dirons au revoir laroport.
Je me souviendrai de toi.

We will say good-bye to each other


at the airport.
I will remember you.

Remember that most verbs that have a stem change in the present tense will also have that
stem change in all the forms of the future tense.
acheter jachterai, tu achteras, il/elle/on achtera, nous achterons, vous achterez, ils/
elles achteront
appeler jappellerai, tu appelleras, il/elle/on appellera, nous appellerons, vous appellerez,
ils/elles appelleront
jeter je jetterai, tu jetteras, il/elle/on jettera, nous jetterons, vous jetterez, ils/elles jetteront
payer je paierai, tu paieras, il/elle/on paiera, nous paierons, vous paierez, ils/elles paieront

However, verbs like rpter are exceptional because they do not carry that stem-change over
into the future.
rpter je rpterai, tu rpteras, il/elle/on rptera, nous rpterons, vous rpterez,
ils/elles rpteront

Many frequently used verbs have an irregular future stem. Look at the following list of such
verbs:
aller
avoir
courir
devoir
envoyer/renvoyer
tre

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

ir
aur
courr
devr
enverr/renverr
ser

fer/refer
mourr
pourr
recevr
saur
tiendr/obtiendr/retiendr
viendr/deviendr/reviendr/surviendr
verr/reverr
voudr

faire/refaire
mourir
pouvoir
recevoir
savoir
tenir/obtenir/retenir
venir/devenir/revenir/survenir
voir/revoir
vouloir

The following impersonal expressions have irregular future stems:


Il faut
Il vaut mieux
Il pleut
Il gle

Il faudra
Il vaudra mieux
Il pleuvra
Il glera

It is necessary
It is better
It rains
It freezes

It will be necessary
It will be better
It will rain
It will freeze

You have previously seen that the verb sasseoir (to sit down) has two present tense conjugations. It also has two future tense conjugations.
je massirai
tu tassiras
il/elle/on sassira
nous nous assirons
vous vous assirez
ils/elles sassiront

je massoirai
tu tassoiras
il/elle/on sassoira
nous nous assoirons
vous vous assoirez
ils/elles sassoiront

EXERCICE

93
Le monde de demain. Tomorrows world. Complete all the questions by writing the
verb in parentheses in the future tense.

Parlons dabord de mode vestimentaire! Quelle 1.


mode dans dix ans? Est-ce quil y 2.
dlphant ou est-ce quon 3.

(avoir) des mini-jupes, des pattes


(crer) quelque chose de totalement

nouveau? Est-ce que les gens 4.


Est-ce quils 5.

(vivre) jusqu deux cents ans?


(rester) en bonne sant toute leur vie? Est-ce que les

maladies comme le Sida et le cancer 6.


que nos enfants et nos petits-enfants 7.
Est-ce quils 8.

(tre) la

(tre) radiques? Quest-ce


(faire) pour gagner leur vie?
(se promener) dans lespace? Comment est-ce quils

9.

(communiquer) entre eux? Est-ce quils

10.

(pouvoir) voyager travers le temps?

Future tenses

89

EXERCICE

94
Crons un hros ou une hrone! Lets create a hero or a heroine! Using the
following phrases and conjugating the verbs in the future tense will allow you to paint the
portrait of a superhero. You can start each sentence with Il or Elle.

1.

(tre) invincible.

2.

(porter) des vtements arodynamiques.

3.

(se transporter) nimporte o.

4.

(se transformer) en nimporte quoi.

5.

(se battre) contre des monstres.

6.

(sauver) les innocents.

7.

(navoir) peur de rien.

8.

(ne pas pouvoir) mourir.

9.

(savoir) rsister aux forces du mal.

10.

(obtenir) le respect de tout le monde.

EXERCICE

95
Ce weekend! This weekend! Complete each sentence with the verb provided in the
simple future tense.

1. Je
(se lever) tard samedi et je
(prendre) une longue douche.
2. Je
(faire) un petit jogging et je
(courir) tout autour du parc.
(rentrer) la maison et je

3. Je
une omelette.

(se faire)

(se faire) beau/belle et je


4. Je
(shabiller) pour sortir en ville.
5. Je

(se mettre) en route pour un rendez-vous avec des amis et j


(envoyer) des texto.

6. Je

(rejoindre) les copains au caf du centre-ville et je


(bavarder).

7. J
bon film amricain.
8. Je

(aller) au cin et je
(sassoir) une terrasse de caf et je
(boire) une limonade.

90

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

(regarder) un

EXERCICE

96
Leurs projets de mariage. Their wedding plans. Write the following paragraph in
French using the verbs provided. They appear here in the order you need them.

esprer
avoir lieu
sembrasser

pleuvoir
y avoir
applaudir

paratre
se regarder
se rendre

arriver
faire leurs vux de mariage

Lets hope it will not rain next Sunday. Juliette will appear at the church with her
bridesmaids (les demoiselles dhonneur), and then Romo will arrive. The wedding will take
place outside (dehors). There will be 50 guests. Juliette and Romo will look at each other
tenderly. Then they will say their wedding vows. They will kiss, and everyone will applaud. After
the ceremony, all the guests will go to the garden.

The future tense after quand, lorsque, ds que,


aussitt que
In contrast to English, the future tense is used in French after quand and lorsque (when) as well
as after ds que and aussitt que (as soon as) when the action of the verb that follows takes place
in the future.
Tlphone-moi quand tu arriveras Paris.
Envoie-moi un texto ds que tu sauras
ta note dexamen.

Call me when you arrive in Paris.


Send me a text message as soon as you
know your exam grade.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary list before doing the next exercise.
aprs-demain
the day after tomorrow
lavenir
demain
tomorrow
partir de...
demain aprs-midi
tomorrow afternoon
bientt
demain matin
tomorrow morning
dans dix jours
demain soir
tomorrow night
ensuite
dimanche prochain
next Sunday
plus tard
lanne prochaine
next year
tout lheure
la semaine prochaine next week
tout de suite
le mois prochain
next month

in the future
starting . . .
soon
in ten days
then
later
in a while
right away

Future tenses

91

EXERCICE

97
Une visite. A visit. Write in French. Use the familiar form (tu).
1. When you get off the plane, call me! I will come immediately. (dbarquer de lavion,
appeler, venir)

2. As soon as you arrive, we will sit down to eat. (arriver, sasseoir, manger)

3. Tomorrow we will get up early and visit the town. (se lever, visiter)

4. Next Sunday, you will meet my friends. (rencontrer)

5. Next week, we will have fun watching a big basketball game at the stadium. (samuser,
regarder)

6. In 10 days, you will accompany my family to the Riviera. (accompagner la Cte dAzur)

7. I hope it will not rain when we stay in Nice. (esprer, pleuvoir, rester)

8. If it rains, we will not be able to sail. (pleuvoir, pouvoir, faire de la voile)

9. It will be better to go to the casino tomorrow night. (valoir mieux, aller au casino)

10. Next month, as soon as we finish our vacation, I will have to start school. (finir, devoir,
commencer)

11. Starting tomorrow we will speak only in French to each other. (se parler)

12. Soon you will speak French very well. (parler)

92

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Negative and
interrogative structures

10

Negative expressions in simple tenses


Remember that in French two negative adverbs are necessary to make a verb negative. If a verb is conjugated in a simple tense such as the present or simple future
tense (one verbal form consisting of a stem and an ending), the negative adverbs
hug the single verbal form.
Review the following negative expressions:
Ne... pas
Ne... plus
Ne... rien
Ne... jamais
Ne... personne
Ne... que
Ne... ni... ni
Ne... aucun(e) + nom

not
no more/no longer
nothing/not anything
never/not ever
nobody/not anybody
only/nothing but
neither . . . nor
none + noun

Je ne veux rien, merci.


Nous nallons jamais aux courses
de chevaux.
Elle na ni patience ni
persvrance.
Je nai aucune ide.
Demain, je ne ferai rien.

I dont want anything, thank you.


We never go to horse races.
She has neither patience nor
perseverance.
I have no idea (whatsoever).
Tomorrow I will do nothing.

Some phrases do not include a verb. In that case ne is omitted.


Pas comme ca!
Jamais de la vie!
Plus maintenant!
Ni lun ni lautre!

Not like that!


Never in my/your life!
Not now/anymore!
Neither one!

It is possible in French to use two negative words together. Note that the
adverb pas is never part of those phrases. The adverb ne is a part of the structure
only when there is a verb in the sentence.
jamais personne
jamais plus
jamais rien
plus personne
plus que
plus rien

never anybody/nobody ever


never again
never anything
nobody left/nobody anymore
only . . . left/nothing left but
nothing left/nothing anymore

93

Quest ce que tu veux? Plus rien, merci.


Est-ce quon peut fermer le
magasin? Oui, il ny a plus personne.
Il te reste de largent? Non, je nai plus
quun euro.

What do you want? Nothing else, thanks.


Can we close the store? Yes, there is
nobody left.
Do you have any money left? No, all I have
left is one euro.

EXERCICE

101
Tout est ngatif aujourdhui! All is negative today! Translate the negative answers
to the following questions.

1. Tu vas souvent au gym?


Non,

! (never)

2. Il y a beaucoup de monde larrt de bus tard le soir?


! (nobody)

Non,

3. Vous voulez acheter quelque chose ici?


! (nothing)

Non,

4. Qui vois-tu rgulirement au cours de statistiques?


! (Never anybody)
5. Tu voudrais encore un caf ou un croissant?
! (Neither one)
6. Tu vois encore tes copains du lyce?
! (Never again)

EXERCICE

102
As-tu chang? Have you changed? Write the letter of the most appropriate reply to
each statement or question on the line provided

94

1.

Tu dtestes les escargots.

a. Plus jamais! O sont-ils?

2.

Tu rentres toujours encore vers 20h?

b. Non, merci, je nai plus faim.

3.

Tu aimes toujours le vin rouge?

c. Je ne vais ni lun ni lautre.

4.

Tu vas aux concerts de rock ou rap?

d. Non, je ne bois plus que le blanc.

5.

Tu veux encore un caf ou un croissant?

e. Non, plus jamais. Cest trop tard.

6.

Tu vois encore tes copains du lyce?

f. Cest vrai. Je nen mange jamais.

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Negative expressions with infinitives


To make an infinitive verb negative, place the two negative adverbs before the infinitive.
Je suis dsole de ne pas avoir faim.
Jespre ne pas revoir cet homme.
Nous dcidons de ne plus fumer.
Ils prennent la rsolution de ne jamais faire
de drogues.
Jadore ne pas devoir travailler.
Tu prfres ne pas sortir ce soir?
Elle est daccord pour ne plus fumer.
Ils considrent ne plus jamais inviter
cet impoli.
Jai envie de ne rien faire ce soir.

Im sorry that Im not hungry.


I hope I will not see this man again.
We decide not to smoke anymore.
They take the resolution to never do
any drugs.
I love not having to work.
Do you prefer to not go out tonight?
She agrees not to smoke anymore.
They are thinking of never again inviting this
rude man.
I feel like doing nothing tonight.

Consider the following exceptions, and note that personne and que appear after the infinitive verbs:
Jai lintention de ne voir personne demain.
Nous dcidons de ne faire que le minimum.

I intend to see nobody tomorrow.


We decide to only do the minimum.

EXERCICE

103
Quelle vie ennuyeuse! What a boring life! Write in French.
1. Jeannot is capable of doing nothing on the weekend.

2. He often decides to see no one and to do nothing.

3. He prefers not to go to school anymore.

4. He does not want to study anything anymore.

5. He likes neither studying nor working.

6. To have nothing to do all day seems boring!

Negative and interrogative structures

95

Negative expressions in compound tenses


In compound tenses such as the near future or the future perfect, which require an auxiliary verb,
the negative adverbs ne... pas (not), ne... pas encore (not yet), ne... plus (no more/longer), ne...
jamais (never/not ever), ne... rien (nothing/not anything) hug the auxiliary verb. Look at the following sentences, and note the place of plus, pas, jamais, and rien after the infinitive verb in the
near future tense:
Nous nallons plus rester longtemps.
Vous nallez pas aimer ce film.
Ils ne vont plus jamais revenir.
Je ne vais rien changer.

We are not going to stay much longer.


You are not going to like this movie.
They are never going to come again.
I am not going to change anything.

In the following examples, note the place of pas and pas encore after the past participle in
the future perfect tense:
Elle naura pas fini dici demain.
Ils ne seront pas encore arrivs huit heures.

She will not have finished by tomorrow.


They will not have arrived yet by eight oclock.

However, when using the negative phrases ne... personne (nobody/no one) and ne... que
(only), place the adverb ne before the auxiliary verb, but place personne or que after the second
verb, which is in the infinitive or in the past participle form. Look at the following sentences.
In the following examples, note the place of personne and que after the infinitive verb in the
near future tense:
Elle ne va voir personne ce soir.
Tu ne vas recevoir quun cadeau de moi.

She is going to see no one tonight.


You are going to receive only one gift from me.

In the following examples, note the place of personne and que after the past participle in the
near future perfect:
Nous naurons vu personne.
Ils nauront reu quun ticket chacun.

We will have seen no one.


They will have received only one ticket each.

Interrogative expressions in simple tenses


Questioning may require a yes or no answer or a specific piece of information. Regardless of
which type of question you ask, several structures are always available to you.

Interrogative structures
Remember that French has several interrogative structures, and the inverted interrogative structure (verb-subject) is more formal.
Note that two interrogative structures do not require any change in word order, as you compare a statement with the corresponding question. Lets change the statement Tu pars (youre
leaving) into the question Are you leaving?
STATEMENT

STATEMENT + INTONATION

STATEMENT + EST-CE QUE

Tu pars.

Tu pars?

Est-ce que tu pars?

Note that the third and more formal interrogative structure does require a change in word
order, as you compare a statement with the corresponding question.
STATEMENT

Tu pars.
Il part.

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practice makes perfect

QUESTION-INVERSION

You are leaving.


He is leaving.
Intermediate French Grammar

Pars-tu?
Part-il?

Are you leaving?


Is he leaving?

Remember not to use the inversion for the first-person singular of a verb except for a few
standard phrases. Also remember that regular -er verbs and the verb aller require an inserted
-t- in the third-person singular.
Mange-t-il?
Chante-t-elle?
Va-t-on au cinma?

Does he eat?
Does she sing?
Are we going to the movies?

Remember that in inversions, the two negative adverbs hug the verb-subject phrase.
Ne mange-t-il pas?
Ne chante-t-elle jamais?
Ne va-t-on plus au cinma?

Does he not eat?


Does she never sing?/Doesnt she ever sing?
Are we no longer going to the movies?

Note that the inversion structure exists in sentences where the subject is a noun. However,
the subject-noun must remain at the beginning of the sentence.
STATEMENT

INVERSION-QUESTION

Marie parle bien franais.


Marie speaks French well.
Ses parents voyagent souvent.
Her parents travel often.

Marie parle-t-elle bien franais?


Does Marie speak French well?
Ses parents voyagent-ils souvent?
Do her parents travel often?

Interrogative words
Interrogative words are necessary because you want to know specific information such as how
(comment), who (qui), what (quest-ce que or quest-ce qui), where (o), and when (quand).

Qui (Who)
Note that qui as subject of the verb is immediately followed by the verb. Qui, as subject of the
verb, may also be followed by est-ce qui and the verb.
Qui + verb
Qui vient rgulirement dner?
Who comes and dines regularly?

Qui est-ce qui + verb


Qui est-ce qui vient rgulirement dner?
Who comes and dines regularly?

Note that qui, object of the verb, can be followed by est-ce que + statement. In a more familiar style, it can also be followed directly by the statement.
Qui (+ est-ce que) + statement
Qui est-ce que tu invites?/Qui tu invites?
Whom do you invite?

Qui + inversion
Qui invites-tu?
Whom do you invite?

Note how qui is used after stress pronouns or peoples names to assign, confirm, and emphasize various roles.
Cest moi qui organise la soire.
Cest toi qui envoies les invitations.
Cest Nicole qui apporte la musique.
Ce sont Jacques et Jeanine qui font les dcorations.

Que (What)
Note that que is the direct object of the verb and is followed by est-ce que + statement or by an
inversion.
Negative and interrogative structures

97

Qu + est-ce que + statement


Quest-ce que tu voudrais?
What would you like?

Que + inversion
Que voudrais-tu?
What would you like?

Note that comment (how), o (where), pourquoi (why), and quand (when) can be followed
by est-ce que + statement, or in a more familiar style, directly by the statement. Each one of these
question words can also, in a more formal style, be followed by an inversion.
Comment (+ est-ce que) + statement
Comment (est-ce que) vous venez?
How are you coming?

Comment + inversion
Comment venez-vous?
How are you coming?

O (+ est-ce que) + statement


O (est-ce que) vous allez?
Where are you going?

O allez-vous?
Where are you going?

Pourquoi (+ est-ce que) + statement


Pourquoi (est-ce que) vous faites a?
Why are you doing this?

Pourquoi + inversion
Pourquoi faites-vous a?
Why are you doing this?

Quand (+ est-ce que) + statement


Quand (est-ce que) vous arrivez?
When are you arriving?

Quand + inversion
Quand arrivez-vous?
When are you arriving?

Frequently used questions


Remember the following basic questions, which are often asked using the inversion structure:
Combien de temps est-ce quil faut?
Quelle heure est-il?
Quel temps fait-il?
Comment vas-tu?/Comment allez-vous?

How much time is needed?


What time is it?
What is the weather like?
How are you?

Also remember to use depuis and the present tense when you want to know for how long
something has been going on.
Depuis quand (est-ce que) tu fais du yoga?
Depuis quand Raymond a-t-il cet iPod?
Depuis combien de temps (est-ce qu)
il pleut?

For how long have you been doing yoga?


For how long has Raymond had this iPod?
For how long has it been raining?

EXERCICE

104
Un petit tour en montagne? A little trip to the mountains? Change each
statement into a question using the est-ce que method on the first line and the inversion
method on the second line.

1. Tu pars en voyage cet t.


a.
b.
2. Josette adore le Qubec.
a.
b.

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Intermediate French Grammar

3. Nous pouvons passer le weekend dans votre chalet de montagne.


a.
b.
4. Vous avez deux chiens l-bas.
a.
b.
5. Ils sont mchants.
a.
b.
6. Vos chiens sont des chiens de garde.
a.
b.

EXERCICE

105
Il faut quelques dtails sur le tour en montagne. We need a few details
about the trip to the mountains. Using the familiar register for you (tu) and we (on),
ask the following questions. Use est-ce que whenever possible. Do not use inversions.

1. Are you organizing the tour?

2. Whom are you inviting?

3. Who is driving?

4. Do we all bring food ( manger)?

5. When are we leaving and at what time?

6. Where are we staying for the night?

7. What are we going to do on Sunday?

Negative and interrogative structures

99

8. Why are we not leaving today?

9. How do you know that the roads are good?

10. How much time do we need to arrive?

Prepositions and interrogative adverbs


To elicit specific information, prepositions and interrogative adverbs such as qui (whom) or quoi
(what) can be used.
Avec qui partages-tu ta tente?
Grce qui est-ce que tu trouves le moyen
de payer?
En face de quoi est-ce que vous installez
votre tente?
Dans quoi est-ce que tu ranges ton sac de
couchage?

With whom do you share your tent?


Thanks to whom do you have the means
to pay?
Across from what do you install your tent?
In what do you put away your sleeping bag?

To elicit specific information, prepositions and noun phrases including the interrogative
adjective quel (which) can be used. Remember that the adjective quel agrees in gender and number with the noun it describes.
Dans quel car tu arrives?
De quels outils on a besoin?
Sous quelle tente tu restes?
Aux environs de quelles villes vous restez?

In which bus do you arrive?


Which tools do we need?
Under which tent are you staying?
In the vicinity of which cities are you staying?

Review prepositions and prepositional phrases in Chapter 6.


EXERCICE

106
Parle-moi de tes vacances. Tell me about your vacation. Write in French, using
the familiar register and est-ce que whenever possible. Do not use inversions.
1. Where are you going on vacation?

2. With whom are you going?

3. Next to whom are you sitting on the plane?

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Intermediate French Grammar

4. In what hotel are you staying?

5. Is your hotel near or far from the beach?

6. On what beach is the hotel?

7. Across from what other hotels is it?

8. What do you need?

9. For what meals are you paying in advance?

10. Why are you not staying longer?

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary before doing the next exercise.


disponible
available
lutter
mdaill
decorated with a medal
remporter

to fight
to win

EXERCICE

107
Carrire sportive de Tony Estanguet. Tony Estanguets sports career. Read the
following paragraph, and match the questions and answers that follow.

Tony, Aldric et Patrice Estanguet pratiquent le cano et le kayak grce leur pre. Patrice
est mdaill de bronze en kayak aux Jeux olympiques dt dAtlanta en 1996. En lan 2000, les
deux frres Patrice et Tony doivent lutter pour soffrir le deuxime billet disponible derrire
Emmanuel Brugvin qualifi en tant que champion du monde. Cest finalement Tony qui obtient
le billet.
Il reprsente son pays et remporte la mdaille dor aux Jeux olympiques dt de 2000
Sydney. En 2003, il remporte la coupe du monde. Dbut 2004, il se slectionne facilement pour
les Jeux olympiques dt de 2004 Athnes. L, il remporte la mdaille dor face Michal
Martikan.
1.

Qui pratique le kayak?

a. Emmanuel Brugvin

2.

Grce qui les garons Estanguet pratiquent-ils


le kayak?

b. Il faut lutter.

3.

Qui est mdaill de bronze aux Jeux olympiques


en 1996?

c. une mdaille dor

Negative and interrogative structures

101

4.

Derrire qui les deux frres Tony et Patrice sont-ils


pour les qualifications de champion du monde en 2000?

d. les trois frres


Estanguet

5.

Quest-ce que Tony espre aussi remporter en 2000?

e. Patrice

6.

Quand et o est-ce que Tony gagne une mdaille dor?

f. Michal Martikan

7.

Face qui Tony remporte-t-il la mdaille dor


Athnes en 2004?

g. en 2000 Sydney

Que faut-il faire pour avoir le succs de Tony Estanguet?

8.

h. leur pre

Interrogative structures in compound tenses


Interrogative structures are only impacted by the compound tense when the structure is an inversion. Lets first change the statement Tu vas partir (You are going to leave) into the question Are
you going to leave? using intonation and est-ce que methods.
STATEMENT

STATEMENT + INTONATION

STATEMENT + EST-CE QUE

Tu vas partir.

Tu vas partir?

Est-ce que tu vas partir?

Now lets change the statement to a question using the inversion method. Note that the inversion is between the subject and the auxiliary verb.
STATEMENT

QUESTION-INVERSION

Tu vas partir.

You are going to leave.

Vas-tu partir?

Are you going to leave?

Remember not to use the inversion for the first-person singular (je) of a verb. Also remember that the verb aller requires an inserted -t- in the third-person singular.
Va-t-il sortir?
Va-t-elle venir?
Va-t-on faire ce projet?

Is he going to go out?
Is she going to come?
Are we going to do this project?

Note that the sentence structure required for inversions in compound tenses such as the
near future is the same in sentences where a conjugated verb is followed by an infinitive verb.
Pierre ne sait-il pas parler franais?
Tes amis naiment-ils pas le foot?
Ne veux-tu pas faire la cuisine?

Does Pierre not know how to speak French?


Dont your friends like soccer?
Dont you want to cook?

EXERCICE

108
Les projets de Joey. Joeys plans. Change each statement into a question using the
inversion method.

1. Joey veut suivre des cours dans une universit franaise.

2. Ses parents vont payer les frais de scolarit.

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Intermediate French Grammar

3. Son professeur de franais va crire une lettre de recommandation pour Joey.

4. Joey va envoyer son dossier luniversit sans dlai.

5. Le comit dadmission doit tudier son dossier.

6. Joey va recevoir une rponse au mois de mai.

EXERCICE

109
Les Jeux olympiques de 2016. The 2016 Olympic Games. Read the paragraph,
and write questions about its content as instructed. Use the inversion method for each
except for number 2.

Les Jeux olympiques vont avoir lieu au Brsil, Rio de Janeiro, en 2016. Le prsident du
comit international va tre Jacques Rogge. Cest lui qui doit organiser les prparatifs des Jeux.
Pour moderniser la ville de Rio et faciliter le transport, il va falloir exproprier des centaines
de familles dans la banlieue ouest de la ville. La ville de Rio doit trouver une solution ce
problme.
1. Where and when are the Olympic Games going to take place?

2. Who is the president of the international committee going to be?

3. What must he organize?

4. Why is it going to be necessary to expropriate hundreds of families?

5. What must they do in the city of Rio?

Negative and interrogative structures

103

Imparfait and
pass compos

11

Formation of imparfait tense


Remember that the imparfait is a simple tense; the conjugated verb consists of a
stem and an ending. The stem is obtained by dropping the -ons ending of the
nous form of the present tense of the verb. This is true for both regular and irregular verbs.
regarder
(to watch)
regardons
regard

rougir
(to blush)
rougissons
rougiss

descendre
(to go down)
descendons
descend

faire
(to make/do)
faisons
fais

The endings of the conjugated forms of the verb are as follows: -ais, -ais, -ait,
-ions, -iez, -aient.
je faisais

I did/was doing

nous faisions

tu faisais

you did/were
doing
he/she/one did/
was doing

vous faisiez

il/elle/on faisait

ils/elles faisaient

we did/were
doing
you did/were
doing
they did/were
doing

The only verb for which the stem for the imparfait is not obtained in that
fashion is the verb tre (to be). The imparfait stem for tre is t-.
jtais
tu tais
il/elle/on tait

I was
you were
he/she/one was

Quand jallais au gymnase chaque


matin, jtais en excellente forme.
Quand elle allait au cours
rgulirement, elle avait de trs
bonnes notes.
Le matin nous voyions le soleil
se lever.
Le facteur venait trois heures
prcises.
Nous connaissions tous les voisins.
Nous nous arrtions et nous disions
bonjour.

104

nous tions
vous tiez
ils/elles taient

we were
you were
they were

When I was going to the gym every


morning, I was in great shape.
When she was going to class
regularly, she had very good
grades.
In the morning, we would see the
sun rise.
The mailman would come at
three oclock sharp.
We knew all the neighbors.
We would stop and say hello.

For -ger ending verbs, remember to insert an e after g in all conjugated forms of the imparfait except in the nous and vous forms in order to conserve the soft g sound.
manger (to eat)
je mangeais
tu mangeais
il/elle/on mangeait
nous mangions
vous mangiez
ils/elles mangeaient

corriger (to correct)


je corrigeais
tu corrigeais
il/elle corrigeait
nous corrigions
vous corrigiez
ils/elles corrigeaient

Ils mangeaient comme des ogres.


Quand nous faisions des erreurs, les profs
nous corrigeaient.
Nous plongions lun aprs lautre.
Il neigeait toujours quand nous allions en
montagne.

plonger (to dive)


je plongeais
tu plongeais
il/elle/on plongeait
nous plongions
vous plongiez
ils/elles plongeaient

neiger (to snow)


il neigeait

They were eating like ogres.


When we made mistakes, the teachers
corrected us.
We dove one after another.
It always snowed when we went to the
mountains.

For -cer ending verbs, remember to insert a cedilla under the letter c in all conjugated forms
of the imparfait except in the nous and vous forms in order to conserve the s sound in the stem.
annoncer
(to announce)
jannonais
tu annonais
il/elle/on annonait
nous annoncions
vous annonciez
ils/elles annonaient

avancer

commencer

lancer

(to advance)

(to start)

(to throw)

javanais
tu avanais
il/elle/on avanait
nous avancions
vous avanciez
ils/elles avanaient

je commenais
tu commenais
il/elle/on commenait
nous commencions
vous commenciez
ils/elles commenaient

je lanais
tu lanais
il/elle/on lanait
nous lancions
vous lanciez
ils/elles lanaient

On annonait larrive du train.


Il lanait la balle aussi loin que possible.
Ta montre avanait.
Ils commenaient le repas.

They were announcing the arrival of the train.


He was throwing the ball as far as possible.
Your watch was fast.
They were starting the meal.

For -ier ending verbs, remember that the nous and vous forms of the imparfait will have an
i in the stem and another i in the ending.
copier (to copy)
je copiais
tu copiais
il/elle/on copiait
nous copiions
vous copiiez
ils/elles copiaient

tudier (to study)


jtudiais
tu tudiais
il/elle/on tudiait
nous tudiions
vous tudiiez
ils tudiaient

Vous copiiez ladresse.


Vous oubliiez toujours le numro de
ma maison.
Nous tudiions les cultures antillaises.
Nous remerciions la serveuse chaque fois
quelle nous servait.

oublier (to forget)


joubliais
tu oubliais
il/elle/on oubliait
nous oubliions
vous oubliiez
ils/elles oubliaient

remercier (to thank)


je remerciais
tu remerciais
il/elle/on remerciait
nous remerciions
vous remerciiez
ils/elles remerciaient

You were copying the address.


You always forgot the number of my house.
We were studying Caribbean cultures.
We would thank the waitress each time she
served us.

Imparfait and pass compos

105

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Examine the following vocabulary, which appears in the upcoming exercise.


Il tait une fois
largent (m.)
lor (m.)
la cadette
la chasse
la pche
la tapisserie
le bonheur
le carrosse
le corps

once upon a time


silver/money
gold
youngest
hunting
fishing
tapestry
happiness
carriage
body

le meuble
le miroir
le sol
dfendre
envier
pouser
mort (e)
prier
samuser
sempcher

furniture
mirror
floor
to forbid
to envy
to marry
dead
to ask/beg
to have fun
to help oneself

EXERCICE

111
Barbe bleue (un conte de Charles Perrault). Bluebeard (a Charles Perrault
tale). Write all the verbs in parentheses in the appropriate imparfait form to create a
version of this classic tale.

Il 1.

(tre) une fois un homme qui

2.

(avoir) de belles maisons, des montagnes dor et dargent, des

meubles richement dcors, et des carrosses luxueux. Cet homme 3.


(tre) unique parce quil 4.
5.

(avoir) une barbe bleue. Ses voisins


(avoir) deux trs belles filles. Il 6.

(vouloir) pouser une de ces filles. Chez Barbe bleue, il ny 7.

(avoir)

que promenades, chasse, pche, danses et festins. On ne 8.

(dormir)

pas, on 9.

(passer) toute la nuit samuser.

Bientt la cadette des deux belles filles 10.

(tre) marie

Barbe bleue. Aprs un mois, Barbe bleue 11.

(prier) sa jeune pouse

de continuer de samuser pendant son absence. Elle 12.


inviter sa famille et ses amies. Elle 13.
possessions mais il lui 14.

(devoir)
(avoir) libre accs toutes ses

(dfendre) daller dans un seul petit

bureau.
Les amies de la jeune pouse 15.
voir toutes les richesses de la maison. Elles 16.

(tre) impatientes de
(examiner)

toutes les belles choses de la maison: les tapisseries et les immenses miroirs o elles se

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Intermediate French Grammar

17.

(voir) et s 18.

19.

(pouvoir) pas sempcher denvier le bonheur de leur amie.


Mais la jeune pouse 20.

(tre) terriblement curieuse de savoir


(avoir) dans le petit bureau de son poux. Arrive la

ce quil y 21.
porte du bureau, la tentation 22.
23.

(admirer). Elles ne

(tre) si forte quelle ne

(pouvoir) pas y rsister. Une fois la porte ouverte, quelle horreur!

Il y 24.

(avoir) sur le sol des corps de femmes mortes. Quest-ce quil

25.

(falloir) faire? Do 26.

(venir) ces

corps de femme?
( suivreto be continued)

Uses of the imparfait


A French verb in the imparfait tense can be translated into English with the progressive past
tense (something was happening) as in the following example:
Tout le matin, les enfants roulaient bicyclette.

All morning long, the children were riding


their bikes.

A French verb in the imparfait tense can be translated into English with would or used to
(something would or used to happen) as in the following example:
Quand elle tait petite, Dara jouait la poupe.

When she was little, Dara would play with


a doll.
or
When she was little, Dara used to play with
a doll.

A French verb in the imparfait tense can also be translated with the simple past when
accompanied by adverbial phrases of time such as toute la journe (all day long) or chaque matin
(each morning), which convey that the action was ongoing or that the action took place on a regular basis.
Il partait au travail six heures chaque matin.
Il travaillait toute la journe.

He left for work at 6 a.m. each morning.


He worked all day long.

Similarly, the French verb in the imparfait can be translated into English by a simple past
when there is any indication in the sentence that the action occurred for an unspecified number
of times.
Il rentrait quand il en avait envie.
Elle tudiait de temps en temps.

He came home whenever he felt like it.


She studied from time to time.

Imparfait and pass compos

107

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

The following expressions indicate that an action was habitual or regular and can
therefore be cues that the past occurrence should be expressed in the imparfait tense.
le lundi, le mardi, le mercredi, le jeudi, le vendredi, le samedi, le dimanche
on Mondays, on Tuesdays, on Wednesdays, on Thursdays, on Fridays, on Saturdays, on Sundays
le matin, laprs-midi, le soir, la nuit
in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night
chaque anne
each year
tous les ans
chaque fois
each time
toutes les fois
chaque jour
each day
tous les jours
chaque mois
each month
tous les mois
frquemment
frequently
de temps en temps
gnralement
generally
dhabitude
jamais
never
quand jtais...
parfois/quelquefois
sometimes
quand il y avait...
rarement
rarely
quand il pleuvait
souvent
often
quand il neigeait
toujours
always

every year
every time
every day
every month
from time to time
usually
when I was
when there was
whenever it rained
whenever it snowed

EXERCICE

112
Quand javais cinq ans. When I was five years old. Write the following sentences
in French.

1. I often cried. (pleurer)

2. I always wanted my mommy. (vouloir)

3. I ate fruit every day. (manger)

4. I sometimes played with my brother. (jouer)

5. I rarely had homework. (avoir)

6. Whenever it snowed, my school was closed. (neiger, tre)

7. I read from time to time. (lire)

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8. I usually had friends at home in the afternoon. (avoir)

9. Each time I had a new tooth (la dent), I received a dollar. (avoir, recevoir)

10. I was never mean. (tre)

EXERCICE

113
Quand Bill Gates tait jeune. When Bill Gates was young. Complete the
following sentences with the verb in parentheses in the appropriate form of the imparfait.

1. Son pre
professeur. (tre)

avocat et sa mre
luniversit de Harvard. (aller)

2. En 1973, il
3. Il

bien Paul Allen. (connatre)

4. Il

linformatique. (adorer)

5. Il n

que vingt ans lors de la fondation de la socit Microsoft. (avoir)

6. En 1985 la premire version de Windows


7. En 1985 Bill Gates
8. En 1986 Microsoft Corporation
(stock market). (faire)

le jour. (voir)
le logiciel le plus populaire du monde. (vendre)
son entre en Bourse

Imparfait after the adverb si


Note that the imparfait tense is used after the adverb si (if) to make suggestions. In this case, it
does not express a past action.
Si on regardait un vieux film ce soir?
Si on nettoyait le garage demain?
Si tu tudiais un peu plus, Jonas?
Si seulement tu faisais parfois ton lit!

How about watching an old movie tonight?


How about cleaning the garage tomorrow?
How about studying a little more, Jonas?
If only you made your bed sometimes!

Imparfait and pass compos

109

EXERCICE

114
Si seulement... If only . . . Complete the following sentences with the verb in
parentheses in the appropriate form of the imparfait.

1. Si seulement vous

moins impatients, mes amis! (tre)

2. Si seulement nous

plus de temps, mes amis! (avoir)

3. Si seulement nos profs

moins de travail, mes amis! (donner)

4. Si seulement nous

partir en vacances, mes amis! (pouvoir)

5. Si seulement nous

tous les examens, mes amis! (russir)

6. Si seulement nous ne
(devoir)

pas travailler toute la journe, mes amis!

Formation of pass compos tense


Remember that the pass compos tense is a compound tense that consists of an auxiliary verb
and a past participle.
Past participles of regular verbs are easily derived from the infinitive forms of the verbs.
Review the following examples:
The past participle of regular verbs is formed by adding - for -er verbs, -i for -ir verbs, and
-u for -re verbs to the stem of the verb.
chercher
punir
prtendre

cherch
puni
prtendu

Past participles of irregular verbs must be memorized. Here is a list of frequently used irregular verbs and their past participles:
aller
avoir
connatre
devoir
dire
dormir
crire
tre
faire
lire
offrir
ouvrir
plaire
pleuvoir

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practice makes perfect

to go
to have
to know
to have to
to say/tell
to sleep
to write
to be
to do
to read
to offer
to open
to please
to rain

all
eu
connu
d
dit
dormi
crit
t
fait
lu
offert
ouvert
plu
plu

Intermediate French Grammar

gone
had
known
had to
said/told
slept
written
been
done
read
offered
opened
pleased
rained

pouvoir
recevoir
savoir
voir
vouloir

to be able to
to receive
to know
to see
to want

pu
reu
su
vu
voulu

been able to
received
known
seen
wanted

All derivatives from venir have a past participle ending in u.


venir: venu
to come: came

devenir: devenu
to become: became

revenir: revenu
to come back: came back

All derivatives from prendre have similar past participles that include pris.
prendre: pris
to take: taken

apprendre: appris
to learn: learned

comprendre: compris
to understand: understood

surprendre: surpris
to surprise: surprised

All derivatives from mettre have similar past participles that include mis.
mettre: mis
permettre: permis
to put (on): put (on) to allow: allowed

promettre: promis
to promise: promised

remettre: remis
to postpone/put back on:
postponed/put back on

Formation of pass compos with auxiliary verb avoir


Remember that it is imperative to use the appropriate conjugated form of an auxiliary verb before
the past participle to form the pass compos tense. The auxiliary verb is avoir (to have) for transitive verbs. In the following sentences, note that there are two English translations for each verb
in the pass compos; although the first translation may be more common, the second translation exhibits the same verbal structure as the French pass compos.
Jai achet des billets de train en ligne.
Nous avons pris le train.
Moi, jai fini de lire mon livre dans le
train.
Toi, tu as dormi pendant une heure.
Paul a prtendu dormir.
Toi et Paul, vous navez rien vu du
paysage.
Mes parents ont reu mon message.
Il a plu hier soir.

I bought/have bought train tickets online.


We took/We have taken the train.
I finished/have finished reading my book on the
train.
You slept/have slept for an hour.
Paul pretended/has pretended to sleep.
You and Paul saw/have seen none of the
countryside.
My parents received/have received my message.
It rained/has rained yesterday.

Now review the conjugation of the verb prendre in the pass compos. Note that the past
participle of an avoir verb does not change in the conjugation. The exception to this rule will be
explained in Chapter 15.
jai pris
tu as pris
il/elle/on a pris
nous avons pris
vous avez pris
ils/elles ont pris

I took/have taken
you took/have taken
he/she/one has taken
we took/have taken
you took/have taken
they took/have taken

Imparfait and pass compos

111

EXERCICE

115
Le rve dEvelyne. Evelynes dream. Put the verbs in parentheses into the appropriate
form of the pass compos.

Hier soir Evelyne 1.


2.

(faire) un beau rve. Dans son rve elle


(imaginer) quelle 3.

(russir) tous

ses examens de fin danne. Ses professeurs 4.

(fliciter) Evelyne

pour ses bons rsultats. Ses parents 5.

(offrir) une belle voiture de

sport Evelyne comme rcompense. Ses amis 6.

(prtendre) quils

ntaient pas du tout jaloux. Le beau Thomas 7.

(ouvrir) la portire

de la voiture pour Evelyne. Ce geste 8.


9.

(plaire) Evelyne. Alors elle

(inviter) Thomas laccompagner dans sa belle voiture. Elle

10.

(dire) au revoir tous ses copains. Mais ce ntait quun rve! Zut!

EXERCICE

116
Une invitation. An invitation. In the list provided, find the appropriate verb to fit each
blank in the following paragraph, and put the verb into the correct form of the pass
compos.

regarder
rpondre
pleuvoir

jouer
prendre
manger

recevoir
faire
accepter

devoir
rendre
danser
une invitation aujourdhui pour rendre visite

Mes parents 1.

nos amis canadiens Montral. Tout de suite ils 2.

et naturellement ils

3.

affirmativement linvitation. Lanne dernire nous

4.

visite nos amis au mois de juillet. Nous

5.

un avion dAir Canada. Montral, il y avait beaucoup faire. Nous

6.

dans des restaurants chics. Maman et papa

7.

des achats dans les petites boutiques. Nous les jeunes, nous

8.

dans des botes de nuit. Ctait chouette! Il faisait gnralement

beau mais un jour il 9.

trs fort et nous 10.

rester la maison. Alors on 11.


12.

112

practice makes perfect

des films et on
au Monopoly.

Intermediate French Grammar

Formation of pass compos with auxiliary verb tre


The auxiliary verb tre (to be) is used for intransitive verbs of movement. Review the list of such
verbs, and note that they can often be remembered in pairs of opposites.
aller

to go

arriver
descendre
entrer
natre
passer
tomber

to arrive
to go down
to enter
to be born
to pass by
to fall

venir/revenir/
retourner/rentrer
partir
monter
sortir
mourir
rester
devenir

to come/come back/
return/go back
to leave
to go up
to go out
to die
to stay
to become

Among these verbs, the ones with irregular past participles are as follows:
(re)venir (re)venu

natre n

mourir mort

It is imperative to use the appropriate conjugated form of the auxiliary verb tre (to be)
before the past participle of these verbs to form their pass compos. Review the conjugation of
the verb natre (to be born) in the pass compos. You will observe that the second English
translation of each verb does not reflect the French verbal structure; in English, we use only the
auxiliary verb have in the past tense.
Je suis n/ne.
Tu es n/ne.
Il est n.
Elle est ne.
On est n.
Nous sommes ns/nes.
Vous tes n/ne/ns/nes.
Ils sont ns.
Elles sont nes.

I was born/have been born.


You were born/have been born.
He was born/has been born.
She was born/has been born.
We were born/have been born.
We were born/have been born.
You were born/have been born.
They were born/have been born.
They were born/have been born.

Remember to make the past participle of the verb agree in gender and number with the
subject of the verb.

In the phrase Il est n, the past participle n remains in its original form because it reflects
the masculine gender and singular number of the subject il.
In the phrase Elle est ne, the past participle ne changes to the feminine form because it
reflects the feminine gender and singular number of the subject elle.
In the phrase Ils sont ns, the past participle ns reflects the masculine gender and plural
number of the subject ils.
In the phrase Elles sont nes, the past participle nes reflects the feminine gender and
plural number of the subject elles.

Be especially aware of the many spelling possibilities of a past participle of a verb conjugated
with tre when the subject is vous. This subject pronoun vous could represent a male (vous tes
n), a female (vous tes ne), several males or a mixed group (vous tes ns), and finally several
females (vous tes nes).
Bill Gates est n en 1955.
Sa femme Melinda est ne en 1964.
Venus et Serena Williams sont
nes en 1980 et en 1981.

Bill Gates was born in 1955.


His wife, Melinda, was born in 1964.
Venus and Serena Williams were born in 1980
and 1981.

Imparfait and pass compos

113

En quelle anne tes-vous n,


monsieur Dupont?
En quelle anne tes-vous nes,
mesdames?

In what year were you born, Mr. Dupont?


In what year were you born, ladies?

The auxiliary verb tre (to be) is also used for reflexive verbs in the pass compos tense.
Review the conjugation of the reflexive verb samuser (to have fun) in the pass compos.
Je me suis amus/amuse.
Tu tes amus/amuse.
Il sest amus.
Elle sest amuse.
On sest amus.
Nous nous sommes amuss/amuses.
Vous tes amus/amuse/amuss/amuses.
Ils se sont amuss.
Elles se sont amuses.

I had fun/have had fun.


You had fun/have had fun.
He had fun.
She had fun.
We had fun/have had fun.
We had fun/have had fun.
You had fun/have had fun.
They had fun/have had fun.
They had fun/have had fun.

Note that the past participle agrees in gender and number with the reflexive pronoun (which
has the same gender and number as the subject of the verb).

In the sentence Je me suis amus, the past participle amus remains in its original form
when the reflexive pronoun me represents a male. The pronoun me is the same person as je.
In the sentence Je me suis amuse, the past participle amuse changes to its feminine
form when the reflexive pronoun me represents a female. The pronoun me is the same
person as je.

Now review the following sentences and note the spelling of the past participle for each verb.
In the first sentence, the past participle amus reflects the masculine gender of the pronoun s
(which represents Pierre). In the second sentence, the past participle amuse reflects the feminine
gender of the pronoun s (which represents Cline).
Pierre sest amus la fte.
Cline sest amuse aussi.

Pierre had fun at the party.


Cline had fun, too.

Now review the following sentences, and note the spelling of the past participle for each
verb. In the first sentence, the past participle amuss reflects the masculine gender and the plural
number of the pronoun se (which represents Pierre and Paul). In the second sentence, the past
participle amuses reflects the feminine gender and the plural number of the pronoun se (which
represents Cline and Marie-Louise).
Pierre et Paul se sont amuss au cirque.
Cline et Marie-Louise se sont amuses
Disneyworld.

Pierre and Paul had fun at the circus.


Celine and Marie-Louise had fun at Disney
World.

EXERCICE

117
Comment sest pass lt de Nathalie? How did Nathalies summer go? In the
following dialogue between Marc and Nathalie, write the verbs in parentheses in the pass
compos taking care to make past participles agree with the subject.

1. MARC: Dis, o est-ce que tu


2. NATHALIE: Je

114

practice makes perfect

au mois de juin? (aller)


en Corse. Ctait bien. (aller)

Intermediate French Grammar

3. MARC: Tu

combien de temps? (rester)

4. NATHALIE: Moi, je

trois semaines et ma tante aussi. (rester)

5. MARC: Et le reste de ta famille? Ils

? (ne pas venir)

6. NATHALIE: Si, si. Mais papa et maman


semaines. (rentrer)

Paris aprs deux

7. MARC: Ah! Je vois! Mais tu


pas? (revenir)

Paris seulement en aot, nest-ce

8. NATHALIE: Cest vrai! Je

en Italie pour tout le mois de juillet. (aller)

9. MARC: Quelle voyageuse! Tu


(tomber)

amoureuse dun Italien l-bas?

10. NATHALIE: Oh la la! Je

en bote tous les soirs. (sortir)

EXERCICE

118
Marc se plaint. Marc is complaining. Write the verbs in parentheses in the pass
compos taking care to make past participles agree with the reflexive pronoun.

1. MARC: Tu sais, je

devant ta maison chaque jour. (sarrter)

2. NATHALIE: Quoi? Tu

sans moi, alors. (sennuyer)

3. MARC: Pour sr! Je

cet t. (ne pas samuser)

4. NATHALIE: Oh! Je suis dsole! Nous


5. MARC: Oui, justement! Mais tu
nouvelles de toi! (se dpcher)
6. NATHALIE: Bon, bon. a va, Marc. Je
mon copain. (samuser)

frquemment en mai. (se voir)


de partir en juin et pas de
en Italie mais tu es toujours

Uses of the pass compos


The pass compos is used when referring to a past occurrence that took place at a precise moment
of time such as ce moment (at that moment), for a specified number of times such as trois fois
(three times), or for a specific length of time such as pendant quinze minutes (for fifteen
minutes).
A precise moment of time will often be indicated in a narrative by means of expressions such
as the following:
avant-hier
hier
ce matin
hier matin
cet aprs-midi
hier aprs-midi
ce soir
hier soir

the day before yesterday


yesterday
this morning
yesterday morning
this afternoon
yesterday afternoon
tonight
yesterday evening

lundi dernier
la semaine dernire
le mois dernier
lan dernier/lanne dernire
lautomne dernier
lhiver dernier
lt dernier
le printemps dernier

last Monday
last week
last month
last year
last fall
last winter
last summer
last spring

Imparfait and pass compos

115

A precise moment of time can also be indicated in a narrative by means of expressions such
as the following:
ce moment
huit heures
alors/ensuite/puis
aprs
dabord

at that moment
at eight oclock
then
afterward
first of all

enfin
soudain
sur ce fait
tout coup

Papa a pris la voiture ce matin pour aller au


travail.
Maman est alle au march deux fois
aujourdhui.
Hier aprs-midi, il y a eu un gros orage.
Soudain lorage sest interrompu.
Nous sommes rests la maison pendant une
heure seulement.
Mais nous navons pas pu jouer au tennis.

finally
suddenly
upon that fact
all of a sudden

Dad took the car this morning to go


to work.
Mom went to the market twice today.
Yesterday afternoon there was a big storm.
Suddenly the storm stopped.
We stayed at home for an hour only.
But we have not been able to play tennis.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the upcoming exercise.


lpouse (f.)
la chambre
la tour
le cabinet

bride
bedroom
tower
little room/study

le sang
malgr
menacer
remarquer

blood
despite
to threaten
to notice

EXERCICE

119
Le conte de Barbe bleue. Bluebeards tale. Write the verbs in parentheses in the
pass compos. Take care to use the appropriate auxiliary verb and past participle for each
verb.

Dans le bureau de Barbe bleue, la jeune pouse 1.


terriblement peur quand elle 2.
Alors elle 3.
4.

(avoir)
(voir) les corps des femmes mortes.

(fermer) la porte du bureau et elle


(remonter) sa chambre. Mais elle 5.

(remarquer) quil y avait du sang sur la clef du bureau. Malgr ses efforts, elle 6.
(ne pas pouvoir) nettoyer le sang de la cl. Ce soir-l, Barbe bleue
7.
pouse mais il 8.
9.
10.

116

practice makes perfect

(rentrer) de voyage. Il tait dabord content de revoir sa jeune


(voir) quelle semblait bien nerveuse. Barbe bleue
(demander) son pouse si tout allait bien et elle
(rpondre) avec hsitation que oui. Puis elle

Intermediate French Grammar

11.

(confesser) quelle 12.

cl. Barbe bleue 13.

(se fcher) et 14.

(menacer) son pouse. Elle 15.


16.

(perdre) une

(demander) pardon, mais Barbe bleue


(rester) froid face sa pauvre pouse.

Il 17.

(dire) quelle devait mourir demain pour son crime. La pauvre

jeune femme 18.

(aller) voir sa sur Anne. Elle

19.

(implorer) Anne de chercher ses frres pour laider. Et puis elle

20.

(monter) dans la plus haute tour pour voir approcher ses frres.

( suivreto be continued)

Using the imparfait and/or pass compos


in a sentence
There are instances when it is very clear whether the pass compos or the imparfait is the
appropriate tense to use in a sentence.

Pass compos or imparfait


In the next two sentences, the pass compos is clearly the tense to use because the past occurrences took place and were completed at a specific moment of time.
Elle est ne le 9 janvier 1945.
Elle est morte le 30 mars 1980.

She was born on January 9, 1945.


She died on March 30, 1980.

In the next two sentences, the imparfait is clearly the tense to use because the past occurrences took place on a regular basis, at unspecified times, and for an indefinite length of time.
Il passait tous les jours dans ma rue.
Mais il ne savait pas o jhabitais.

He passed every day in my street.


But he did not know where I lived.

However, there are instances when the speaker has to make a decision about which tense to
use to express a unique perspective. Compare the following sets of sentences, and note the use of
the imparfait for the verb avoir in the first sentence and the use of the pass compos for the
same verb in the second sentence. Note that in the first sentence, the imparfait helps communicate a vague feeling (unspecified time or duration of the feeling), but in the second sentence, the
pass compos helps communicate the sudden urge of the feeling supported by the use of the
adverb vraiment.
Javais envie de danser avec Patrick
mais il ne voulait pas.
Jai eu vraiment envie de danser avec
Patrick; alors je lai invit.

I felt like dancing with Patrick, but he did


not want to.
I really felt like dancing with Patrick, so I
invited him.

Verbs indicating a feeling such as aimer (to like/love), a state of mind such as penser (to
think), or a condition such as tre (to be) will frequently be used in the imparfait because of their

Imparfait and pass compos

117

intangible nature and the difficulty one would have specifying for how long or at what moment
someone thought something or something was a certain way. Here is a list of such verbs:
aimer
adorer
dtester
croire
penser
esprer
savoir
sembler
pouvoir
vouloir

to like/love
to love/adore
to hate/detest
to believe
to think
to hope
to know
to seem
to be able to
to want

avoir
tre
avoir envie de
avoir besoin de
avoir lhabitude de
avoir limpression de
avoir peur de
avoir sommeil
avoir tort/raison
avoir peur de

to have
to be
to feel like
to need
to be used to
to feel like
to be afraid/scared of
to be sleepy
to be wrong/right
to be afraid of

Now look at the following examples:


Je ne savais pas quil y avait une fte chez
Nicolas.
Il croyait quon se rencontrait chez lui.
Il esprait revoir tous nos copains.
Tout le monde tait chez moi.
Il y avait environ une dizaine de personnes.
Javais sommeil tout le matin.

I did not know there was a party at Nicolass.


He thought we were meeting at his house.
He was hoping he would meet all our friends.
Everybody was at my house.
There were about 10 people.
I was sleepy all morning long.

Compare the following sets of sentences, and note the unique perspective the imparfait or
the pass compos can give to what happened or was going on:
Javais faim.
Jai eu faim.
Nous avions peur.
Nous avons eu peur.
Je connaissais son secret.
Jai connu son secret.

I was hungry.
I got hungry.
We were scared.
We got scared.
I knew his secret.
I found out his secret.

EXERCICE

1110
Une matine bien russie. A successful morning. Complete the following
paragraph by writing each verb in parentheses in the appropriate past tense.

La semaine dernire Emma 1.


2.

(avoir) lhabitude de se lever vers huit heures. Dabord elle

3.

(se laver) et 4.

les cheveux. Ensuite elle 5.

(se brosser) les dents et


(prendre) le petit djeuner. Finalement

elle 6.

(faire) un long jogging ou une longue promenade. Mais

samedi matin, pendant quelle 7.

118

(aller) en vacances. Le matin elle

(se promener) au parc, elle

8.

(avoir) une norme surprise. Eh oui! Elle

9.

(se trouver) nez nez avec un beau chien roux. Le chien

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

10.

(sapprocher) delle. Il 11.

mignon et gentil et Emma 12.

(tre)
(ne pas avoir peur) de lui. Son collier

13.

(indiquer) quil 14.

15.

(avoir) aussi un numro de tlphone sur son collier. Emma

16.

(tlphoner) Jean, le matre de Rex. Jean

17.

(ne pas savoir) que son chien 18.

seul au parc. Quand il 19.

(sappeler) Rex. Il y

(tre)

(entendre) la nouvelle, il

20.

(venir) le chercher tout de suite. Jean et Emma

21.

(devenir) de bons amis et Jean 22.

(offrir) un bb de Rex Emma.

EXERCICE

1111
Une aprs-midi peu russie. A failed afternoon. Write the following sentences in
French. Use your best judgment when choosing the pass compos or imparfait to express
the past tense.

1. Emma wanted to go to the pool yesterday afternoon, but she needed a new bathing suit.

2. So she went to the store, and she bought a bikini.

3. Later when she left her house, the sky was still blue.

4. But when she arrived at the pool, it was starting to rain.

5. Then she got scared when she heard thunder and saw lightning.

6. She suddenly did not feel like swimming anymore.

7. Emma returned to the bus station and took the bus.

8. Finally she went back home and prepared dinner.

Imparfait and pass compos

119

Pass compos and imparfait in a sentence


There are instances when the pass compos and the imparfait will be used in the same
sentence.
In the following sentence, note the use of the imparfait for the verb aller to express the progressive past tense (was going) and for the verb devoir, which expresses a general state of mind.
Also note the use of the pass compos for the verb se rappeler to underline the instantaneous
nature of the act of remembering and the specific time at which the act of remembering
occurred.
Il allait quitter la maison mais il sest
rappel quil devait dabord fermer les
fentres.

He was going to leave the house, but he


remembered that he had to close the
windows first.

A common type of sentence in which the pass compos and imparfait are found is a sentence in which an action was going on when another action interrupted the one in progress. The
action that was in progress is expressed in the imparfait tense, while the interrupting action is
expressed in the pass compos tense.
Les tudiants crivaient une dissertation
quand le nouvel tudiant sest prsent.
Nous avons regard un documentaire
pendant que le professeur corrigeait nos
devoirs.
Le rveil a sonn alors que jtais encore
endormi.

The students were writing a dissertation when


the new student presented himself.
We watched a documentary while the teacher
was correcting our homework.
The alarm clock rang while I was still asleep.

EXERCICE

1112
Philippe et Chlo sont coquins. Philippe and Chlo are rascals. Write the letter
of the best completion for each sentence on the line provided.

1.

120

Quand Philippe a vu Chlo pour la

a. elle a rpondu salut.

premire fois,

b. Chlo et Philippe partaient en douce.

2.

Quand il a dit bonjour Chlo,

c. les tudiants prenaient des notes.

3.

Aprs que Philippe sest prsent,

d. il a plu Chlo.

4.

Pendant que le prof enseignait,

e. ctait dans un cours de philosophie.

5.

Alors que le prof parlait encore,

f. pourquoi ils riaient.

6.

Quand Chlo et Philippe taient dehors,

g. la cloche a sonn pour la fin du cours.

7.

Chlo et Philippe riaient comme des fous,

h. quand la copine de Chlo est arrive.

8.

La copine de Chlo a demand

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Using the imparfait and pass compos


in extended writing
In an extended piece of writing such as a journal page, a letter, an e-mail, or a story, pass compos and imparfait will alternate as necessary. Review the following paragraph in which descriptive elements such as the weather and the condition of the sky are expressed with imparfait,
feelings such as appreciating something are expressed with imparfait, ongoing actions such as
walking for an unspecified time are expressed with imparfait, but sequential occurrences taking
place at specific moments of time such as a gunshot erupting, people stopping and listening, are
expressed in the pass compos.
Il faisait un temps magnifique. Le ciel tait
The weather was magnificent. The sky was
bleu; il ny avait pas un seul nuage
blue; there was not a single cloud on the
lhorizon. Nous marchions petits pas dans
horizon. We were walking slowly in the
la fort. Les oiseaux sifflaient du haut des
forest. Birds were whistling from high up
arbres et les branches des arbres balanaient
in the trees, and the branches of the trees
doucement. Nous apprciions ces moments
were swinging gently. We were enjoying
paisibles. Soudain un grand bruit a
these peaceful moments. Suddenly a big
interrompu la tranquillit des lieux. Nous
noise interrupted the tranquillity of the
nous sommes arrts et nous avons dress
place. We stopped and we listened. We
loreille. Nous nous sommes alors dirigs
then moved in the direction of the noise,
dans la direction du bruit et voil que nous
and there we found ourselves face-to-face
nous sommes retrouvs face face avec un
with a boar.
sanglier.

Here is a summary of key concepts to bear in mind when using the pass compos and imparfait tenses:
IMPARFAIT

PASS COMPOS

background and descriptive information


such as dates and places
generic state of mind or feeling
progressive action without clear
beginning or end
action interrupted by another action
habitual action

specific and completed occurrence


sudden or instantaneous states of mind or feelings
occurrence framed by clearly defined time
occurrence that interrupted an action in progress
occurrence that took place once or a specific
number of times

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this vocabulary before doing the upcoming exercise.


ses pieds
lpe (f.)
le bras
le cavalier
le couteau
le gentilhomme
sur le coup

at his feet
sword
arm
horseman
knife
gentleman
immediately

Imparfait and pass compos

121

EXERCICE

1113
Lhistoire de Barbe bleue. Bluebeards tale. Complete each sentence with the
appropriate pass compos or imparfait form of the verb in parentheses.

Le lendemain, Barbe bleue 1.

(venir) dans la tour chercher son

pouse pour la punir. Elle 2.


elle 3.

(se jeter) ses pieds et une fois de plus,


(demander) pardon. Mais le cruel Barbe bleue

4.

(ne rien vouloir) entendre. Il 5.

(prendre) son couteau et 6.

(lever) le bras. Juste ce moment-l,

deux cavaliers 7.

(entrer) dans le chteau. Ils 8.


(tre) arms dpes. La jeune femme 9.

(reconnatre) ses frres. Ils 10.


11.

(attraper) Barbe bleue qui


(essayer) de fuir. Dans la bataille avec les deux cavaliers, Barbe

bleue 12.

(tomber) du haut dune tour et il 13.


(mourir) sur le coup. La jeune femme 14.

(se remarier) plus tard un trs honnte gentilhomme. Ils 15.


beaucoup denfants.

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(avoir)

Adverbs and
adverbial phrases

12

Adverbs have a variety of functions. However, the most common function of


adverbs consists in modifying the meaning of a verb by telling how or in what
way, how much or to what degree, when or how often, and where something is
done. An adverb can be a single word such as bien (well) or a phrase such as
toute allure (in a great hurry).

The functions of adverbs


Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per function
How and where, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples:
Comment et o How and where

ailleurs/partout
bien/mal/mieux
dehors/dedans
dessus/dessous
devant/derrire
ensemble/seul
ici/l
lentement/vite

elsewhere/everywhere
well/badly/better
outside/inside
on top/below
in the front/in the back
together/alone
here/there
slowly/fast

Je ne voudrais pas vivre ailleurs.


Oh! Elle crit mal!
Le chien est dehors?
Il est assis derrire.

I would not like to live elsewhere.


Oh! She writes badly!
Is the dog outside?
He is seated in the back.

Beware that bien (well) and mieux (better) are adverbs that should not be
confused with bon (good) and meilleur (better), which are adjectives. Compare
the following sentences, and note that bien and mieux are invariable parts of
speech that modify the meaning of the verb in the sentence.
Je vais bien aujourdhui, mieux
quhier.
Elle danse bien, ta copine. Mais
moi, je danse mieux.

I am feeling fine today, better than


yesterday.
Your friend dances well. But I dance
better.

Note the irregular use of the adverb bien in the following examples. Although
an adverb modifies an action verb (not the verb tre), it is used after the verb tre
in these sentences:

123

Tu as gagn beaucoup dargent? Cest bien!


Elle a de bonnes notes? Cest trs bien!

You earned a lot of money? Thats nice!


She has good grades? Thats very good!

On the other hand, bon and meilleur are adjectives that describe a noun in the sentence and
therefore agree in gender and number with that noun.
Cette tarte est bonne, meilleure que lautre.
Tu as de bonnes ides.

This tart is good, better than the other one.


You have good ideas.

Similarly, remember that mal (badly) is an adverb that should not be confused with the
adjective mauvais (bad). Compare the following sentences, and note that mal is an invariable
part of speech that modifies the meaning of the verb in the sentence. On the other hand, mauvais
is an adjective that describes a noun in the sentence and therefore agrees in gender and number
with that noun.
Ce rasoir marche mal.
Mes gencives me font mal.
Quelle mauvaise pice!
Ce sont de mauvaises plaisanteries.

This razor works badly.


My gums hurt.
What a bad play!
These are bad jokes.

Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per function When or with
which frequency, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples:
Quand et avec quelle frquence When or with which frequency

ainsi
alors
aprs
aujourdhui
autrefois
avant
dj
demain
donc
encore

thus
then
afterward
today
formerly
before
already
tomorrow
so
still

Tu termines enfin cette dissertation?


Tu as encore faim?
Nous faisons toujours attention.
Elle a parfois peur de conduire.
Il change soudain davis!

enfin
ensuite
maintenant
parfois
puis
quelquefois
soudain
souvent
toujours

finally
then
now
sometimes
then
sometimes
suddenly
often
always

Are you finally finishing this essay?


Are you still hungry?
We always pay attention.
She is sometimes afraid to drive.
He suddenly changes his mind!

Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per function To what
degree, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples:
Dans quelle mesure To what degree

assez
aussi
autant
beaucoup
comme
davantage
environ
juste
mme

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enough/pretty much/fairly
also
as much
a lot
as/like
more
approximately
just
even

Intermediate French Grammar

moins
peu
plus
presque
si
tellement
trop
vraiment

less
little
more
almost
so/such
so (much)
too much
really

Elle va beaucoup apprendre dans ce cours.


Ils parlent peu.
La ville est environ deux kilomtres dici.
Il reste du caf. Tu en veux davantage?
Tu vas vraiment vivre en Guadeloupe?

She is going to learn a lot in this class.


They speak little.
The town is at approximately two kilometers
from here.
There is coffee left. Do you want more?
Are you really going to live in Guadeloupe?

Note that the adverb aussi (also, in addition, moreover) is never used at the beginning of a
French sentence or clause. In the French sentence, it usually follows the verb.
Mireille est brune et mince; elle est
aussi trs jolie.
Il est en France. Il voudrait aussi
visiter le Canada.
Apporte-moi un souvenir; rappelle-toi
aussi ta tante.

Mireille is brown-haired and slim; she is also


very pretty.
He is in France. He would also like to visit
Canada.
Bring me a souvenir; also remember
your aunt.

Note that the adverb aussi (also, in addition, moreover) may follow the stress pronoun in the
French sentence.
Tu es gourmand! Moi aussi.
Ils adorent jouer cache-cache.
Nous aussi.

You are fond of food! Me, too.


They love to play hide-and-seek. We do, too.

Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per their affirmative function, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples. When the following adverbs are used
to affirm or confirm a fact in a reply, they appear at the beginning of a sentence:
oui
si
volontiers
srement
parfaitement
bien sr
bien entendu

yes
yes (answer to negative question)
gladly
surely
of course
of course
of course

Vous avez envie de boire un verre


de vin? Volontiers!
Vous ne voulez pas deau? Si, je voudrais
un verre deau, sil vous plat.

Do you feel like having a glass


of wine? Gladly!
Dont you want any water? Yes, I would
like a glass of water, please.

Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per their function of probability, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples:
peut-tre
probablement
apparemment

maybe/perhaps
probably
apparently

Jirai peut-tre au Maroc.


Il pleuvra probablement ce soir.

I will perhaps go to Morocco.


It will probably rain tonight.

When the following adverbs are used in a reply that does not include a verb, they appear at
the beginning of a sentence:
Tu iras la piscine? Peut-tre!
Il va pleuvoir? Probablement!

Will you go to the pool? Perhaps!


Is it going to rain? Probably!

Adverbs and adverbial phrases

125

Look at the following lists of commonly used adverbs grouped as per their function of negativity, and note how these adverbs are used in the examples:
In negative sentences, the primary adverb of negation ne is accompanied by an auxiliary
adverb of negation such as the following:
jamais
rien
gure
pas
personne
plus

never
nothing
not much/hardly
not
nobody
no more/no longer/more

These adverbs are placed after the conjugated verb in the sentence in the present, future, and
near future tenses.
Cet ordinateur ne marche gure.
Je ne referai jamais cette faute.
Il ne va plus parler.

This computer hardly works.


I will never make this mistake again.
He is not going to talk again.

These adverbs are placed after the helping verb in the sentence in the pass compos except
for personne (nobody) and que (only), which follow the past participle:
Elles nont rien fait.
Nous navons vu personne.

They did not do anything.


We did not see anyone.

EXERCICE

121
Quel est le contraire? What is the opposite? Write the letter of the opposite for each
adverb on the line provided.

1.

plus

a. enfin

2.

jamais

b. souvent

3.

peu

c. vite

4.

quelquefois

d. toujours

5.

avant

e. srement

6.

peut-tre

f. aprs

7.

dabord

g. moins

8.

lentement

h. beaucoup

EXERCICE

122
Parlons de Jacques! Lets talk about Jacques! Write in French. Use intonation
structure for questions.

1. Jacques really likes France. He wants to stay here a little longer.

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Intermediate French Grammar

2. Of course! He has a lot to do and a lot to learn every day.

3. He likes the French culture so much!

4. So can he stay here for approximately a year?

5. He is not ever going to go back home?

6. Yes, of course! He will go back, but not yet.

7. He can probably still stay one or two months.

8. You are so pessimistic.

Adverbs used before adjectives


Many previously seen adverbs are also found before adjectives; in that case, the adverb modifies
the meaning of the adjective it precedes.
Ton arbre est plus grand cette anne.
Ce tableau est vraiment trs beau.
Oh non! Ta robe est dj sale!
Elle a un si joli visage.
Ta mre est si raisonnable.
Cet argument est assez logique.
Ton copain est trop gentil.
Toi aussi, tu es tellement mignon!
Ils sont plutt impatients.
Elle est moins nergique que toi.

Your tree is bigger this year.


This painting is really very beautiful.
Oh no! Your dress is already dirty!
She has such a pretty face.
Your mother is so reasonable.
This argument is pretty logical.
Your friend is too nice.
You too are so cute!
They are rather impatient.
She is less energetic than you.

Adverbs used before other adverbs


Some adverbs are also found before other adverbs; in that case, the first adverb modifies the
meaning of the adverb it precedes.
Il me tlphone assez souvent.
Tu parles trop fort.
Ce nest pas mal.
Je ne comprends jamais rien.
Elle est presque toujours prsente.
a ne te plat pas? Moi non plus.

He calls me pretty often.


You speak too loudly.
Thats not bad.
I never understand anything.
She is almost always present.
You dont like it? Me neither.

Adverbs and adverbial phrases

127

EXERCICE

123
Comment est cette personne? How is this person? Complete each sentence
according to the instructions in parentheses.

1. Albert Einstein est

! (so intelligent)

2. George Washington est


3. Descartes est

. (very admirable)
. (so logical )

4. Oprah Winfrey est


5. Bill Gates est

. (very rich)
. (pretty generous)

6. Angelina Jolie est

. (rather pretty)

EXERCICE

124
Comment font-ils les choses? How do they do things? Complete each sentence
according to the instructions in parentheses.

1. Les enfants jouent

. (almost always)
. (too hard )

2. Les adultes travaillent


3. Les artistes crent

. (so spontaneously)

4. Les paresseux ne font

. (never anything)

5. Les gourmands mangent


6. Les chanteurs rock chantent
7. Les mauvais professeurs enseignent
8. Les bons parents lvent leurs enfants

. (really too much)


. (too loudly)
. (so badly)
. (rather well )

Formation of adverbs derived from adjectives


Many adjectives can easily be changed into adverbs by adding the suffix -ment to their feminine
form.

Adjectives that end in a consonant


When an adjective ends in a consonant, the suffix -ment is added to its feminine form.

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Intermediate French Grammar

MASCULINE ADJECTIVE

FEMININE ADJECTIVE

ADVERB

lent
slow
seul
alone
actuel
current
cruel
cruel
attentif
attentive
naf
nave
cher
dear
fier
proud
heureux
happy
malheureux
unhappy

lente

lentement
slowly
seulement
only
actuellement
currently
cruellement
cruelly
attentivement
attentively
navement
navely
chrement
dearly
firement
proudly
heureusement
fortunately
malheureusement
unfortunately

seule
actuelle
cruelle
attentive
nave
chre
fire
heureuse
malheureuse

Quelquefois on paie chrement pour ses


fautes.
Le journal sort actuellement une fois par
semaine.
Il pleut. Heureusement, jai mon parapluie.
Les tudiants ont firement reu leurs
diplmes.

Sometimes one pays dearly for ones mistakes.


The newspaper currently comes out once
a week.
It is raining. Fortunately, I have my umbrella.
The students proudly received their diplomas.

Adjectives that end in -e, -, or -i


These can easily be changed into adverbs by adding the suffix -ment to their masculine form.
MASCULINE ADJECTIVE

ADVERB

raisonnable
reasonable
honnte
honest
instantan
instantaneous
spontan
spontaneous
poli
polite
joli
pretty

raisonnablement
reasonably
honntement
honestly
instantanment
instantaneously
spontanment
spontaneously
poliment
politely
joliment
prettily

Il vaut mieux se comporter honntement


dans la vie.
Il change davis instantanment.
Il faut toujours parler poliment.
Tu vas dcorer la bote joliment.

It is better to behave honestly in life.


He changes his mind instantaneously.
We must always speak politely.
You are going to decorate the box prettily.
Adverbs and adverbial phrases

129

Adjectives that end in -ent or -ant


When these adjectives consist of more than one syllable, they can easily be changed into adverbs
by substituting -emment to the -ent ending and -amment to the -ant ending.

ADJECTIVE

ADVERB

lgant
elegant
frquent
frequent
patient
patient
rcent
recent

lgamment
elegantly
frquemment
frequently
patiemment
patiently
rcemment
recently

Habille-toi lgamment pour la fte ce soir.


Attends-moi patiemment!
Rcemment il y a des vols dans le quartier.

Dress elegantly for tonights party.


Wait patiently for me!
Recently there are thefts in the
neighborhood.
You are frequently on Facebook.

Vous tes frquemment sur Facebook.


EXERCICE

125
Le portrait dAlexandre. Alexanders portrait. Complete each sentence with the
adverb derived from the adjective in parentheses.

1. Ds quil a un projet, il commence et finit

. (rapide)

il fait parfois des erreurs. (vident)

2.
3. Mais a arrive

. (rare)

4. Cest le genre de personne qui peut travailler

mais vite. (patient)

5. Cest pourquoi le patron lui donne

les grands projets. (frquent)

devenir superviseur un jour ou lautre. (sr)

6. Il va
7.

les gens trop ambitieux ne sont pas sympa. (gnral)


Alexandre est gentil. (heureux)

8. Mais ce nest pas le cas.


9. Il nest pas

gentil mais gnreux. (seul)

10. Il aide volontiers et


11.

tous ses collgues. (poli)


cest mon meilleur ami. (actuel)

Placement of adverbs
The most common position of an adverb in the French sentence is right after the conjugated verb
in the sentence.

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Note the placement of simple adverbs right after the verb in the following sentences when
the verb is in a simple tense such as the present or simple future:
Jaime beaucoup les fraises.
Tu iras vite au march.
Je tentends bien.

I like strawberries a lot.


You will quickly go to the market.
I hear you well.

Note the placement of simple adverbs right after the auxiliary verb in the near future:
Ils vont dj partir.
Vous allez aussi refuser?

They are already going to leave.


Are you also going to refuse?

Note the placement of simple adverbs right after the conjugated verb when the conjugated
verb is followed by an infinitive:
Nous allons souvent chercher des fleurs.
Ils veulent toujours manger.

We often go get flowers.


They always want to eat.

Note that adverbs of time usually appear at the beginning or at the end of a sentence:
Demain, je vais me reposer.
Je voudrais aller la plage maintenant.

Tomorrow, I am going to rest.


I would like to go to the beach now.

Note that adverbs of location usually appear at the end of a sentence:


Ne va pas l-bas!
Voil mon livre. Mon cahier est dessous.

Do not go over there!


There is my book. My notebook is under.

Some adverbs such as ainsi (thus), aprs (afterward), alors (then), puis (then), and ensuite
(then), because of their transitional function, are positioned at the beginning of a sentence or of a
clause.
Tu vas prendre une douche. Puis tu vas te
coucher.
Tu as vingt et un ans; donc tu es majeur.

You are going to take a shower. Then you are


going to go to bed.
You are twenty-one years old; so you are of
legal age.

EXERCICE

126
Comment je commence la journe. How I start the day. Write in French, being
careful to place the adverb appropriately in the sentence.

1. First I wake up.

2. Then I brush my teeth, and I take a shower.

3. Afterward, I get dressed, and I brush my hair.

4. Finally I eat breakfast.

Adverbs and adverbial phrases

131

5. I usually go to the office around eight oclock.

6. So I have to take the bus at seven oclock.

7. At 7 A.M. there are already many people at the bus stop.

8. When all goes well, I am at work at 7:45 A.M.

Adverbial phrases
Adverbial phrases always modify the meaning of a verb. They come in a great variety of composite structures. Here are a few common ones:
Adverbial phrases introduced by a preposition

bon march
la mode
voix basse/hausse
avec plaisir
dabord
(bas/haut) de gamme
de jour/de nuit
de prfrence

for a good price


in style
in a low/loud voice
with pleasure
first
(low/high) end
during the day/
during the night
preferably

On vend cette maison bon march.


Je prfre arriver en avance.
Cette petite fille bavarde sans cesse.
Je veux une tlvision de haut gamme.

de temps en temps
en avance
en gnral
en premier
en retard
par exemple
sans cesse

from time to time


early
generally
first
late
for example
incessantly

They are selling this house for a good price.


I prefer to arrive early.
This little girl talks incessantly.
I want a high-end television.

Adverbial phrases introduced by tout

tout coup
tout dabord
tout de suite

suddenly
first of all
right away

Je veux sortir tout lheure mais tout


dabord je dois finir ma composition.
Tu veux tre la mode. Cest tout fait
normal.

tout de mme
tout fait
tout lheure

I want to go out in a little while, but first of all


I have to finish my composition.
You want to be in style. Thats quite normal.

Adverbial phrases introduced by dun air or dune manire

dun air arrogant


dun air fch

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Intermediate French Grammar

anyway
entirely
in a little while

arrogantly
angrily

dun air joyeux


dun air ennuy
dune manire bizarre
dune manire efficace
dune manire mouvante
dune manire satisfaisante

joyously
in a bored or annoyed manner
in a bizarre manner
in an efficient manner
in a moving manner
in a satisfactory manner

Lemploy fait des efforts pour faire son


travail dune manire satisfaisante.
Papa est parti dun air fch.
Maman a dit au revoir dun air ennuy.

The employee makes efforts to do his work


satisfactorily.
Dad left with an angry look.
Mom said good-bye in an annoyed manner.

EXERCICE

127
Comment Mme Tonie enseigne-t-elle? How does Mrs. Tonie teach? Write in
French, being careful to place the adverb appropriately in the sentence. Here are the verbs
you will need to write your sentences.

saluer
enseigner
venir

demander
prsenter

aller
surprendre

commencer
aimer

1. She greets students in an enthusiastic manner.

2. First of all, she asks students how they are.

3. Then she promptly starts the lesson.

4. She teaches in an efficient and interesting manner.

5. Sometimes she also presents lessons in a bizarre fashion.

6. Even when Mme Tonie surprises the students, they like her class.

7. For example, one day, she comes to class as the artist Monet.

Adverbs and adverbial phrases

133

EXERCICE

128
Le bnvolat. Volunteer work. Complete the following paragraph using the
appropriate adverb from the list.

au contraire
surtout
par exemple
rgulirement

srement
dj
gravement
mme

peut-tre
attentivement
aussi
jamais

dfinitivement
compltement
immdiatement

t bnvole, 2.

Si vous navez 1.

il

est temps aujourdhui de vous engager dans une uvre. Et 3.


vous avez 4.

si

t bnvole, vous allez 5.

trouver des possibilits de bnvolat sur notre site. Vous tes 6.


ignorant des causes? Aucun problme! Ne vous inquitez 7.
8.

pas.

, tudiez 9.

les descriptions que nous

donnons sur notre site. Vous pouvez, 10.

11.

rendre visite aux personnes ges. Vous pouvez

12.

aider divertir des enfants 13.

malades. Nous pouvons 14.

vous aider trouver lassociation et

laction qui vous conviennent.


Nhsitez pas! Contactez-nous 15.

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Intermediate French Grammar

13

Conditional sentences

Conditional sentences consist of an if clause and a result clause. Whereas the if


clause serves to state a hypothesis, the result clause serves to state a consequence.
Depending on the tenses used, this type of sentence may help predict what could
still happen or state what could have happened.

Conditional sentences with the imparfait


and present conditional
This type of sentence helps hypothesize what might happen in the present and the
future. It includes an if clause introducing a condition to be realized (the verb in
this clause is in the imparfait) and a result clause that would then ensue (the verb
in this clause is in the conditional present).
Si lavion partait lheure, nous
ne raterions pas notre
correspondance.

If the plane left on time, we would


not miss our connection.

Use and formation of present conditional


The present tense of the conditional is used to express that something would
hypothetically happen in the present or in the future under certain conditions. It
is formed by using the future stem of the verb (see Chapter 9) and adding the endings of the imparfait tense: -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient.
Examine the following conjugations of regular verbs in this tense. Remember that the future stem of a regular verb is simply the infinitive form of the verb
(minus the -e ending for -re verbs).
-er verbs
. . . would notice
je remarquerais
tu remarquerais
il/elle/on remarquerait
nous remarquerions
vous remarqueriez
ils/elles remarqueraient

-ir verbs
. . . would choose
je choisirais
tu choisirais
il/elle/on choisirait
nous choisirions
vous choisiriez
ils/elles choisiraient

-re verbs
. . . would sell
je vendrais
tu vendrais
il/elle/on vendrait
nous vendrions
vous vendriez
ils/elles vendraient

135

Now examine the following conjugations of irregular verbs in the present conditional:
aller
. . . would go
jirais
tu irais
il/elle/on irait
nous irions
vous iriez
ils/elles iraient

avoir
. . . would have
jaurais
tu aurais
il/elle/on aurait
nous aurions
vous auriez
ils/elles auraient

tre
. . . would be
je serais
tu serais
il/elle/on serait
nous serions
vous seriez
ils/elles seraient

faire
. . . would do/make
je ferais
tu ferais
il/elle/on ferait
nous ferions
vous feriez
ils/elles feraient

The same spelling changes that occurred in the simple future tense (see Chapter 9) also
appear in the present conditional.
e

l ll

t tt

yi

acheter
jachterais
to buy I
would buy

appeler
jappellerais
to call I
would call

jeter je
jetterais
to throw I
would throw

payer je
paierais
to pay I
would pay

EXERCICE

131
Si ma copine Joanne mappelait! If my friend Joanne called me. Write all verbs
in the appropriate form of the present conditional.

1. Je

tout de suite. (rpondre)

2. On se

probablement pendant une demi-heure. (parler)

3. Nous

une discussion anime. (avoir)

4. Mes parents

ce qui se passe. (demander)

5. Je

que ce nest rien. (dire)

6. Ils ne me

pas. (croire)

7. Ils

que jai des secrets. (penser)

8. Je

la porte de ma chambre. (fermer)

9. Maman

furieuse. (tre)

10. J

des explications fournir. (avoir)

11. Je

ma conversation tlphonique. (terminer)

12. J

des textos. (crire)

13. Joanne et moi, nous nous


14. Je
15. Ils me
16. J

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practice makes perfect

finalement daccord. (mettre)


mes parents que ce nest rien. (rpter)
une bonne nuit. (souhaiter)
au lit. (aller)

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

132
Que ferais-je sans toi? What would I do without you? Write the following
sentences using verbs in the present conditional.

1. I would often be alone.

2. I would not have a best friend.

3. I would not be able to share my feelings.

4. I would not have fun all the time.

5. I would be working all the time.

6. I would forget a lot of things.

Special meanings of aimer, vouloir, pouvoir, and


devoir in the conditional present
The verbs aimer (to like), vouloir (to want), and pouvoir (to be able to) are often used in the present conditional to make a polite request.
Je voudrais une glace, sil vous plat.
Jaimerais essayer ce pantalon.
Pourriez-vous me dire o se trouve la sortie?
Ils pourraient crire un texto sils avaient un
tlphone ou un iPad.

I would like an ice cream, please.


I would like to try on these pants.
Could you tell me where the exit is?
They could write a text message if they had
a phone or an iPad.

The verb devoir in the present conditional is used to express an obligation or a suggestion.
Tu devrais rendre visite tes parents plus
souvent.
Nous devrions partir maintenant. Il est tard.

You ought to/should visit your parents more


often.
We ought to/should leave now. It is late.

Conditional sentences

137

EXERCICE

133
Des achats! Purchases! Write the following sentences in French to complete the
dialogue between Gabriel and a salesperson.

1. GABRIEL: Bonjour, monsieur. Je/J


en pointure 10. (I would like)

essayer cette paire de chaussures

2. VENDEUR: Bien, monsieur. Je vous cherche ces chaussures. Est-ce que vous les
en brun ou en noir? (would you prefer)
3. GABRIEL: Je les

en noir, sil vous plat. (I would prefer)

4. VENDEUR: Voil, monsieur. Est-ce que vous


paire en noir? (would like)
5. GABRIEL: Daccord. Merci bien. Mais
paire aussi dans une pointure 10? (could you)
6. VENDEUR: Je suis votre service, monsieur. Mais vous
chaussures-ci. Elles sont trs lgantes. (you should )

aussi essayer cette


-vous mapporter cette autre
acheter ces

Using si clauses with the imparfait and result clauses with


the conditional present
One of the most common uses of the present conditional is to express a result that is not guaranteed, because it is subject to certain conditions. In that case, it appears after a si (if ) clause, which
expresses the condition.
Look at the following sentences, and note that the verb in the si clause is in the imparfait
tense and the verb in the result clause is in the present tense of the conditional mood:
Si javais le temps, jirais au cinma plus
souvent.
Si nous avions plus dconomies, nous
serions plus laise.
Si vous gagniez la loterie, vous auriez de la
chance.

If I had the time, I would go to the movies


more often.
If we had more savings, we would be more
comfortable.
If you won the lottery, you would be lucky.

In some cases, as in English, the condition for an opportunity to realize may be omitted and
there is no si clause in the sentence.
Tu crois quil va faire beau? Ce serait bien!
Tu fais du saut llastique? Moi, jaurais
une peur bleue.
Je ne sais pas o nous irions faire cela.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

You think the weather will be good? That


would be nice!
You go bungee jumping? I would be scared
to death.
I do not know where we would go to do this.

EXERCICE

134
Que dhypothses! How many hypotheses! Finish each sentence with an
appropriate hypothetical result. Write the letter of that result clause in the space provided.

1.

Si jtais un auteur clbre,

a. je parlerais bien franais.

2.

Si jtais un oiseau tropical,

b. je voudrais tre artiste.

3.

Si personne ne maimait,

c. je serais alcoolique.

4.

Sil ny avait pas de prjugs,

d. je serais plus mince.

5.

Sil fallait renatre,

e. je serais un perroquet.

6.

Si je navais jamais faim,

f. il y aurait moins de conflits.

7.

Si je buvais tout le temps du vin,

g. ce serait triste et dprimant.

8.

Si jhabitais en France,

h. je serais Shakespeare.

9.

Si javais des amis sngalais,

i. seraient-ils verts?

Sil y avait des habitants sur Mars,

j. je visiterais lAfrique.

10.

EXERCICE

135
Rvons! Lets dream! Write the following sentences in French using the imparfait and
present conditional.

1. If I lived near the beach, I would swim every day.

2. If I had to live on an island, it would be Martinique.

3. If I were an animal, I would be a dolphin.

4. If I had to live with only one person, I would choose my best friend.

5. If I could build a house, I would build a palace.

6. If I bought a new car, I would buy a Tesla.

Conditional sentences

139

Conditional sentences with the pluperfect


and past conditional
This type of sentence helps hypothesize about the past. It includes an if clause introducing a condition that needed to be realized (the verb in this clause is in the pluperfect) and a result clause
that would then have ensued in the past (the verb in this clause is in the past conditional).
Si lavion tait parti lheure, nous naurions
pas rat notre correspondance.

If the plane had left on time, we would not


have missed our connection.

Use and formation of the pluperfect


One of the uses of the pluperfect tense is to express that something had already happened prior
to another past action. In the following sentence, note that while the action of going out (sommes
sortis) is in the pass compos, the action of the rain stopping (avait cess) preceded the action
of going out and is therefore in the pluperfect:
Il avait dj cess de pleuvoir quand nous
sommes sortis.

It had already stopped raining when we


went out.

A common use of the pluperfect is in a si (if ) clause to express the condition that had to be
realized before a desired result could ensue.
Jaurais gard ton secret si tu mavais
demand.

I would have kept your secret if you had


asked me.

The pluperfect is a compound tense similar to the pass compos. It is formed by using the
appropriate auxiliary verb in the imparfait followed by the appropriate past participle (see
Chapter 11). Examine the following conjugations of regular verbs in the pluperfect.
-er verbs
. . . had eaten
javais mang
tu avais mang
il/elle/on avait mang
nous avions mang
vous aviez mang
ils/elles avaient mang

-ir verbs
. . . had finished
javais fini
tu avais fini
il/elle/on avait fini
nous avions fini
vous aviez fini
ils/elles avaient fini

-re verbs
. . . had lost
javais perdu
tu avais perdu
il/elle/on avait perdu
nous avions perdu
vous aviez perdu
ils/elles avaient perdu

Now examine the following conjugations of irregular verbs in the pluperfect. Remember
that the past participle of an tre verb such aller (to go) agrees in gender and number with the
subject of the verb.
aller
. . . had gone
jtais all/alle
tu tais all/alle
il/on tait all/elle tait alle
nous tions alls/alles
vous tiez all/alle/alls/alles
ils taient alls
elles taient alles

140

practice makes perfect

avoir
. . . had
javais eu
tu avais eu
il/elle/on avait eu
nous avions eu
vous aviez eu
ils/elles avaient eu

Intermediate French Grammar

tre
. . . had been
javais t
tu avais t
il/elle/on avait t
nous avions t
vous aviez t
ils/elles avaient t

EXERCICE

136
Lhistoire des triplets. The triplet story. Complete each sentence with the appropriate
pluperfect form of the verb in parentheses.

1. En septembre 2006 Serge

ses tudes. (commencer)

2. En dcembre 2009 il

son diplme. (recevoir)

3. En janvier 2010 il

en Afrique. (partir)
aux tats-Unis. (rentrer)

4. En juin 2011 il
5. En juillet 2011 il

un emploi. (trouver)

6. En aot 2011 il

(se marier).

7. En octobre 2011 sa femme


8. Serge

quils allaient avoir un bb. (annoncer)


des jumeaux. (vouloir)

Trois bbs sont ns au mois de mai!

Formation of the past conditional


The past tense of the conditional is used to express that something would have happened in the
past under certain conditions. The past conditional is a compound tense formed by using the
appropriate auxiliary verb in the present tense of the conditional followed by the appropriate past
participle (see Chapter 11).
-er verbs
. . . would have noticed
jaurais remarqu
tu aurais remarqu
il/elle/on aurait remarqu
nous aurions remarqu
vous auriez remarqu
ils/elles auraient remarqu

-ir verbs
. . . would have chosen
jaurais choisi
tu aurais choisi
il/elle/on aurait choisi
nous aurions choisi
vous auriez choisi
ils/elles auraient choisi

-re verbs
. . . would have sold
jaurais vendu
tu aurais vendu
il/elle/on aurait vendu
nous aurions vendu
vous auriez vendu
ils/elles auraient vendu

Now examine the following conjugations of irregular verbs in the past conditional. Remember that the past participle of an tre verb such as aller (to go) agrees in gender and number with
the subject of the verb.
aller
. . . would have gone
je serais all/alle
tu serais all/alle
il/on serait all/elle serait alle
nous serions alls/alles
vous seriez all/alle/alls/alles
ils seraient alls/elles seraient alles

avoir
. . . would have had
jaurais eu
tu aurais eu
il/elle/on aurait eu
nous aurions eu
vous auriez eu
ils/elles auraient eu

tre
. . . would have been
jaurais t
tu aurais t
il/elle/on aurait t
nous aurions t
vous auriez t
ils/elles auraient t

Conditional sentences

141

EXERCICE

137
Suite de lhistoire des triplets. The triplet story, continued. Complete each
sentence with the appropriate past conditional form of the verb in parentheses.
Si Serge et sa femme navaient pas eu de triplets...

1. They probably would have had twins. (avoir des jumeaux)

2. They would not have needed so many baby clothes. (avoir besoin de vtements de bb)

3. They would not have hired a nanny. (engager une nounou)

4. Serge would have gone back to work immediately. (retourner au travail)

5. They would not have received so many gifts. (recevoir des cadeaux)

6. They would have had less work. (avoir moins de travail)

7. They would have slept more. (dormir davantage)

8. They would not have been surprised. (tre surpris)

Conditional sentences with pluperfect and past conditional


In this type of sentence, the si clause that introduces a condition that needed to be realized has a
verb in the pluperfect; the clause that announces what could have happened as a result has a verb
in the past conditional.
Si je navais pas t aussi presse, je naurais
pas march dans la flaque.
Si ma robe avait t sale, jaurais srement
remarqu.
Si le bus tait venu tout de suite, je naurais
pas t si mouille.
Si javais su que tu tais aussi en retard, je ne
me serais pas dpche.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

If I had not been in such a hurry, I would not


have walked into the puddle.
If my dress had been dirty, I would have
surely noticed.
If the bus had come right away, I would not
have been so wet.
If I had known that you were late too,
I would not have hurried.

EXERCICE

138
Si Nathalie ntait pas partie... If Nathalie had not left . . . Translate the following
sentences into English.

1. Si Nathalie ntait pas partie en France, elle naurait pas rencontr Andr.

2. Si elle navait pas rencontr Andr, elle ne serait pas reste en France.

3. Si elle ntait pas reste en France, elle ne se serait pas marie.

4. Si elle ne stait pas marie, elle serait revenue aux tats-Unis.

5. Si elle tait revenue aux tats-Unis, elle aurait travaill avec son pre.

6. Si elle avait travaill avec son pre, elle ne serait pas devenue aussi indpendante.

7. Si elle ntait pas devenue aussi indpendante, elle naurait pas pu devenir prsidentedirectrice-gnrale dune grande socit.

Conditional sentences

143

14

Object pronouns

Object pronouns are important because they allow you to efficiently refer to things
or people previously mentioned without repeating nouns or noun phrases. In the
following sentence, note how a considerable chunk of speech used in the question
is replaced by the single pronoun y in the reply to the question:
Ils sont alls lpicerie du coin?
Oui, ils y sont alls hier
aprs-midi.

Did they go to the corner grocery


store? Yes, they went there
yesterday afternoon.

Review the various object pronouns in the following chart:


DIRECT/INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS
TO REPLACE PEOPLE ONLY

DIRECT OBJECT
PRONOUNS TO REPLACE
PEOPLE OR THINGS

me (m) me/to me
te (t)
you/to you (familiar)
nous
us/to us

le
la
l

vous
se (s)

you/to you (formalplural)


oneself/himself/
herself/themselves

INDIRECT OBJECT
PRONOUNS TO REPLACE
PEOPLE ONLY

him
lui
her
leur
him/her
(before
vowel sound)

to him/to her
to them

les them

Review the various object pronouns used to replace prepositional phrases


except for + person, in the following chart:
TO REPLACE + THING OR PREPOSITIONAL
PHRASE INDICATING LOCATION

y (translations vary, but the pronoun


can often mean there or it)

144

TO REPLACE

de + NOUN OR de + VERB

en (translations vary, but the


pronoun can often mean from
there or from/of it)

De grands concepts. Big concepts.


The first essential concept pertaining to object pronouns is that object pronouns receive the
action of the verb directly (the noun or noun phrase receiving the action of the verb is not
preceded by any preposition) or indirectly (the noun or noun phrase receiving the action of
the verb represents one or several persons and is preceded by the preposition ).
In the following sentence, note that the noun replaced is le panneau. Because there is
no preposition linking the verb as vu to the noun le panneau, the pronoun needed to replace
le panneau is a direct object pronoun.
Tu as vu le panneau? Oui, je lai vu.

Did you see the sign? Yes, I saw it.

In the following sentence, note that the noun phrase replaced is ton copain. Because
the preposition links the verb as parl to the noun copain, the pronoun needed to replace
ton copain is an indirect object pronoun.
Tu as parl ton copain? Oui,
je lui ai parl ce matin.

Did you speak to your friend? Yes, I


spoke to him this morning.

Remember that an indirect object pronoun in the French language always replaces +
person(s). Look at the following examples of indirect object noun phrases:
maman
cet ami
leurs parents
au professeur
aux camarades de classe

to Mom
to this friend
to their parents
to the teacher
to the classmates

The second essential concept pertaining to object pronouns is that direct object pronouns may replace persons, things, or phrases. One set of pronouns that may replace both
people and things is the set of direct object pronouns: le, la, l, les. Look at the following
questions and replies. All replies include the direct object pronoun le (or l before a vowel
sound).
Tu as vu le panneau? Oui, je lai vu.
Tu as vu le panneau qui est lentre de
la rue? Oui, je lai vu.
Tu as vu lagent de police? Oui,
je lai vu.

Did you see the sign? Yes, I saw it.


Did you see the sign that is at the entrance of
the street? Yes, I saw it.
Did you see the policeman? Yes, I saw him.

Position of object pronouns


Remember that the position of object pronouns in the French sentence is usually before the conjugated verb (before the conjugated auxiliary verb in compound tenses), unlike the position of the
object pronoun after the verb in an English sentence. Compare the position of the object pronoun
in the following French and English sentences:
Je le vois. I see him.

Je lai vu. I saw him.

In French sentences where two consecutive verbs have the same subject, the first verb is conjugated and the second verb is in the infinitive form. This syntactical format includes the near
future. In that case, the object pronoun precedes the infinitive verb in the French sentence.
Le dernier film de Harry Potter? Elle
voudrait le voir. Nous, nous allons
le voir ce soir.

The last Harry Potter movie? She would like


to see it. We are going to see it tonight.

Object pronouns

145

Tu vas faire ton projet? Oui, je vais le


faire tout de suite.

Are you going to do your project? Yes, I am


going to do it right away.

The only type of French sentence in which the object pronoun appears after the verb is an
imperative affirmative structure.
Regarde-le!
Parle-lui!

Watch him!
Speak to him!

Beware that the object pronouns me and te become moi and toi in imperative affirmative
structures.
Regarde-moi!
Retourne-toi!

Look at me!
Turn (yourself) around!

In negative sentences, the adverbs of negation (ne... pas, ne... rien, ne... jamais, etc.) hug
the conjugated verb in simple tenses such as the present, the simple future, or the present conditional. They also hug the conjugated auxiliary verb in compound tenses such as the pass compos, pluperfect, or past conditional. But when an object pronoun appears, the position of the
pronoun right before the conjugated verb overrides the position of ne. So ne, the primary adverb
of negation, precedes the object pronoun that precedes the conjugated verb.
La chemise rouge? Je ne la veux pas.
Du vin? Non, je nen voulais pas.
Ramona? Non, je ne lui ai pas encore
tlphon.
La France? Je ny suis jamais all.

The red shirt? I do not want it.


Wine? No, I did not want any.
Ramona? No, I have not called her yet.
France? I never went there.

In negative sentences with two consecutive verbsthis includes the near futurenegative
adverbs hug the conjugated verb. The pronoun precedes the infinitive verb.
Tu ne peux pas nous rendre visite
aujourdhui? Dommage!
La plage? Non, je ne vais pas y aller.

You cannot pay us a visit today? Too bad!


The beach? No, I am not going to go there.

Personal object pronouns me, te, nous, vous, and se


The pronouns me/te/nous/vous/se always replace people. They can be used as direct and indirect
object pronouns. They are the indirect object when they are the object of a verb that is followed
by the preposition and a person. Here are some verbs followed by + person:
apprendre quelquun
conseiller quelquun
demander quelquun
dire quelquun
donner quelquun

to teach to someone
to advise someone
to ask someone
to tell (to) someone
to give to someone

enseigner quelquun
parler quelquun
prsenter quelquun
tlphoner quelquun

to teach to someone
to speak to someone
to present to someone
to call someone

In the following sentence, it is easy to identify the indirect object function of the pronoun
me because it translates as to me:
Elle me parle.

She talks to me.

In the following sentence, even though the English translation of me is for me, it is important to understand that in the French sentence, the pronoun me is the direct object. Because in
French, one says, Je cherche Marie/Je cherche Paul/Je cherche mon amie, one can conclude that
the verb chercher is a transitive verb followed by a direct object.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Elle me cherche.

She is looking for me.

In the following sentence, even though the English translation of me is me, it is important
to understand that in the French sentence, the pronoun me is the indirect object. Because in
French, one says: Je tlphone Marie/Je tlphone Paul/Je tlphone mon amie, one can
infer that the verb tlphoner is followed by the preposition + person (an indirect object).
Elle me tlphone.

She calls me.

Beware that the pronouns me/te/nous/vous/se are the same pronouns found in the conjugations of reflexive verbs. Review the present tense conjugation of the verb sappeler (to be called/
named) and of the verb se dire (to tell oneself ). Look at the literal translation of each verbal form.
je mappelle
tu tappelles
il/elle/on sappelle
nous nous appelons
vous vous appelez
ils/elles sappellent

I call myself
you call yourself
he/she/one calls himself/herself/oneself
we call ourselves
you call yourselves
they call themselves

Once again, note me/te/nous/vous/se can be direct or indirect objects pronouns. They are
direct objects in the conjugation of sappeler because we say in French appeler quelquun. But
they are indirect objects in the conjugation of the verb se dire because we say in French dire
quelquun.
je me dis
tu te dis
il/elle/on se dit
nous nous disons
vous vous dites
ils/elles se disent
Les enfants samusent dehors.
Nous nous lavons chaque matin.
Tu te dpcheras! Daccord?
Vous allez vous ennuyer.
Ils se parlent souvent.
Je me demande ce quils disent.

I tell myself
you tell yourself
he/she/one tells himself/herself/oneself
we tell ourselves
you tell yourselves
they tell themselves
The children are having fun outside.
We wash (ourselves) each morning.
You will hurry! OK?
You are going to get bored.
They often talk to each other.
I ask myself (wonder) what they are saying.

Note that the reflexive pronoun se is used in the following phrases where the subject is the
impersonal pronoun cela (a in its abbreviated form). In this case, se does not replace a person.
Cela (a) se voit.
Cela (a) se comprend.
Cela (a) ne se fait pas en France.

This is obvious.
This is understandable.
This does not happen (is not done) in France.

Remember that the pronoun follows the verb in the imperative affirmative syntactical structure and that the pronoun te becomes toi in that type of sentence.
Amuse-toi, Nicole!
Dites-vous que cest pour le mieux,
mesdames!
Arrtons-nous ici!

Have fun, Nicole!


Tell yourselves that its for the best, ladies!
Lets stop here!

Object pronouns

147

EXERCICE

141
De bonnes amies. Good friends. Complete the following dialogue lines with me (m)
or te (t).

1. MAY: Tu sais que tu

tlphones tous les soirs, Iris?

2. IRIS: Oui. Jaime

raconter toutes mes petites histoires du jour.

3. MAY: Je sais, mais ric pense que tu


4. IRIS: ric

tlphones trop souvent.

connat seulement depuis quelques semaines!

5. MAY: Cest vrai mais il


6. IRIS: Alors, tu

aime bien.
dis que je ne dois plus

appeler.

7. MAY: Si, si, mais peut-tre moins et tu pourrais


8. IRIS: Alors l, tu

contacter sur Facebook.

brises le cur.

EXERCICE

142
De bons amis. Good friends. Complete the following dialogue lines with
nous or vous.

1. Iris: May et ric! Je suis surprise de


2. MAY: Tiens, Iris! Tu veux
3. IRIS: Je ne sais pas, je
4. RIC: Penses-tu? Tu ne

rencontrer ici!

accompagner au caf du coin?


drange peut-tre.
dranges pas du tout.

5. IRIS: Franchement, je ne voudrais pas

empcher davoir un moment intime.

6. MAY: Mais quest-ce que tu racontes, Iris? Pour qui est-ce que tu
7. RIC: May et moi, nous sommes amis. Cest tout. Viens, accompagne8. IRIS: Daccord. Je

prends?
!

suis. Allons-y!

EXERCICE

143
Chez ric. At rics house. Write the following sentences in French. Take care to place the
object pronouns appropriately and use the appropriate pronoun for you (familiar or plural).

1. Mom, I present you my friends.

2. (to Mom) Their names are Iris and May.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

3. (to Iris and May) Im going to teach you to play the guitar.

4. We are going to have fun.

5. Mom will hear you; but do not worry!

6. She is probably going to ask you to come back.

7. I advise you to say yes.

8. She will love you.

Direct object pronouns le, la, l, and les


The pronouns le, la, l, and les can replace people or things. They are used to replace direct object
nouns or noun phrases. They can only replace a noun or noun phrase that does not include a
preposition.
Je dois nettoyer le comptoir? Bon, je le nettoie.
Je dois nettoyer la fentre? Bon, je la nettoie.
Je dois nettoyer la table? Non, je lignore.
Je dois nettoyer les verres? Bon, je les nettoie.
Est-ce que je vois le cousin Henri? Oui, je le vois.
Est-ce que je vois la cousine Henriette? Non, je ne la vois pas.
Est-ce que jaime la cousine milie? Je ne laime pas.
Est-ce que jinvite les cousins Luc et Nicolas? Oui, je les invite.

Note that in the following replies to questions, two object pronouns are used and that me/
te/nous/vous/se precede the direct object pronouns le/la/l/les.
Tu crois que le prof va nous rendre nos
examens? Oui, je sais quil va nous les
rendre.
Tu penses quil va te donner ta note?
Evidemment, il va me la donner.

Do you think that the teacher is going to


return our exams to us? Yes, I know
that he is going to give them back to us.
Do you think he is going to give you your
grade? Of course, he is going to give it
to me.

Object pronouns

149

EXERCICE

144
Ma nouvelle voiture. My new car. Complete the following dialogue lines with the
appropriate object pronouns. Where two pronouns are required, remember to place me/te/
nous/vous before le/la/l/les.

1. PATRICE: Viens voir ma nouvelle voiture! Tu vas


2. RMY: Oh! Quelle beaut! Je peux

adorer.

conduire?

3. PATRICE: Je veux bien, mais attention. Si tu salis son bel extrieur, tu


4. RMY: Ne tinquite pas, Patrice. Tes beaux siges, je

nettoierai aussi volontiers.

5. PATRICE: Regarde tes jolies voisines l-bas. Je vais


6. RMY: Laisse-moi faire a. Je
7. PATRICE: Trs bien. Tu
8. RMY: Naturellement, je

nettoieras.

inviter faire un tour.

connais bien.
prsentes, alors?
prsenterai volontiers.

Indirect object pronouns lui and leur


The pronouns lui and leur can only replace a noun phrase consisting of and a person (lui) or
and more than one person (leur).
Elle va rendre visite ses grands-parents?
Oui, elle va leur rendre visite demain.
Elle va apprendre Jeanine rouler en vlo?
Je crois quelle compte lui apprendre
faire du vlo bientt.
Elle a crit son cousin Jimmy? Non, elle
ne lui a pas encore crit.
Elle rendra ce livre au prof? Mais oui, elle
lui rendra ce livre aujourdhui.

Is she going to pay her grandparents a visit?


Yes, she is going to visit them tomorrow.
Is she going to teach Jeanine to ride the bike?
I think she intends to teach her to ride
the bike soon.
Did she write her cousin Jimmy? No, she
did not write him yet.
Will she return this book to the teacher?
Of course, she will return this book to
him today.

Note that in the following replies to questions, two object pronouns are used and that the
direct object pronoun precedes the indirect object pronoun:
Tu crois que M. Cerise va expliquer la leon
Jojo? Jespre quil va la lui expliquer.
Il va demander son argent aux parents de
Jojo? Oui, il a dit quil allait le leur
demander.

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practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Do you believe that Mr. Cerise is going to


explain the lesson to Jojo? I hope that he is
going to explain it to him.
Is he going to ask Jojos parents for his money?
Yes, he said that he is going to ask them
for it.

EXERCICE

145
Martine va apprendre lire. Martine is going to learn to read. In the following
question-and-answer sets, complete each reply with an appropriate direct or indirect object
pronoun. In some cases you are required to supply both a direct pronoun and an indirect
pronoun.

1. Tu comptes apprendre lire Martine? Oui, je vais

apprendre lire ces mots-ci.

2. Mais tu vas dabord enseigner la phontique ta fille? Bien sr, je vais


enseigner tout doucement.
3. Et les plus petits? Eh bien, je vais dabord

apprendre compter.

4. Est-ce quils connaissent les nombres de 1 10? Mais oui, ils


trs bien.
5. Et les additions? Ils savent

connaissent

faire avec de petits nombres.

6. Tu pourrais leur donner ce livre. Oui, tu as raison, je vais

donner.

Object pronouns y and en


One use of the pronoun y is to replace a noun phrase including and a thing.
Tu penses aux devoirs de demain? Oui,
cest a. Jy pense beaucoup.
Tu rponds souvent aux questions du prof?
Oui, jy rponds tout le temps.

Do you think about tomorrows homework?


Yes, I think about it a lot.
Do you often answer the teachers questions?
Yes, I answer them all the time.

Another common use of the pronoun y is to replace a prepositional phrase indicating a


location.
Tu vas la piscine? Non, je ny vais pas
aujourdhui.
La cl du bureau est dans ton sac? Oui,
elle y est.
Il est encore en France? Oui, il y est
toujours.

Are you going to the pool? No, Im not going


there today.
Is the office desk key in your purse? Yes,
its there.
Is he still in France? Yes, he is still there.

The object pronoun en is used to replace noun phrases or verbs that include the preposition
de (of, from).
Tu as envie dune limonade? Non merci,
je nen ai pas envie.
Tu reviens du Canada? Oui, jen suis
revenue hier.
Tu as envie de manger du couscous? Oui,
jen ai vraiment envie.

Do you want a lemonade? No thanks, I do


not want any.
Are you coming back from Canada? Yes,
I came back from there yesterday.
Do you feel like eating couscous? Yes,
I really feel like it.

Note that, whereas penser means to think about a thing or a person, penser de means to
have an opinion of.
Quest-ce que tu en penses, de ce
documentaire? Il est trs bien fait.

What do you think of this documentary?


It is very well done.
Object pronouns

151

EXERCICE

146
Des remarques et des conseils! Comments and advice! Fill in each blank in the
following sentences with the pronoun y or en.

1. Il faut faire moins derreurs dans tes devoirs. Tu


2. Tu dois faire des efforts. Tu n

fais vraiment beaucoup.

fais pas assez.

3. Tu reviens du gymnase? Quest-ce que tu fais quand tu


toujours fatigu.
4. Tu as envie dun verre deau? Je t

vas? Tu

reviens

donne un.
as pas envie?

5. Tu as envie de manger un sandwich? Ah non? Tu n


6. Tu ne sais pas la rponse cette question? Ah! Je vois. Tu

penses.

7. Tu ne veux pas chercher la rponse dans ton livre? Elle


8. O est la page des rponses? Ah! Tu vois! La rponse

est certainement.
est.

EXERCICE

147
Bijou et Joujou. Jewel and Toy. Complete the following paragraph with the
appropriate object pronouns.

Jai deux chiens qui 1.

appellent Bijou et Joujou. Je 2.

favori est une vieille balle rouge. Je 3.


chiens ne 4.

lance la balle vingt ou trente fois par jour. Mes

fatiguent jamais. Ils courent et 5.

attrapent. Quelquefois la balle

atterrit dans la rue. Alors je dois 6.

aller et 7.

jachte une balle de plus. Nous 8.

avons besoin. Comme a, je pourrais lancer deux

balles, une pour Bijou et une pour Joujou. Je 9.


pas? Qu 10.

152

adore. Leur jouet

practice makes perfect

pensez-vous?

Intermediate French Grammar

ramasser. Il faudrait peut-tre que

donne beaucoup dexercice, nest-ce

Past infinitive structures


and agreement of
past participles

15

The verbal structure that follows the preposition aprs when the subject of the
verb in the aprs clause is the same as the subject of the main verb in the sentence
is called the past infinitive. In the following example, the same subject (Alex) is the
one who fed the dog and washed his hands.
Aprs avoir donn manger au
chien, Alex sest lav les mains.

After feeding the dog, Alex washed


his hands.

Past infinitive structure of avoir verbs


Look at the following examples, and note that the past infinitive form of a verb is
similar to the pass compos (see Chapter 11). However, the auxiliary verb is not
conjugated.
Aprs avoir vu le film, nous avons
eu une longue discussion.
Aprs avoir discut les thmes du
film, nous avons crit une
dissertation.
Aprs avoir relu ma composition,
jtais satisfait de mon travail.

After watching the movie, we had a


long discussion.
After discussing the themes of the
movie, we wrote an essay.
After rereading my composition,
I was satisfied with my work.

In the previous sentences, the verbs in the past infinitive form were avoir
verbs, and the past participles in each verbal form remained in their original form
regardless of the gender and number of the subject(s).
EXERCICE

151
Formons des passs de linfinitif! Lets form past
infinitives! Write the phrases in parentheses in French. All verbs use the
auxiliary avoir.

1. (after driving the carconduire la voiture)

2. (after seeing the accidentvoir laccident)

153

3. (after calling the policeappeler la police)

4. (after describing the accidentdcrire laccident)

5. (after putting the car in the garagemettre la voiture au garage)

6. (after telling the storyraconter lhistoire)

Past infinitive structure of tre verbs


Lets examine sentences in which the verbs in the past infinitive are tre verbs. The past participle
agrees in gender and number with the subject of the verb. Remember to add -e to the past participle to make it feminine, add -s to to make it plural, and add -es to make it feminine plural.
In the following example, -es is added to the past participle sorti to make it agree with the
feminine plural subject Danielle et Dara:
Aprs tre sorties de la salle de classe,
Danielle et Dara ont chang des ides.

After leaving the classroom, Danielle and


Dara exchanged ideas.

In the following example, -e is added to the past participle arriv to make it agree with the
feminine singular subject Dara:
Aprs tre arrive chez elle, Dara sest
change.

After arriving home, Dara changed (clothes).

In the following example, -s is added to the past participle mont to make it agree with the
plural subjects Alex et Dara. The masculine form was used because among the subjects, there is
at least one male.
Aprs tre monts dans leurs chambres,
Alex et Dara se sont prpars aller
dormir.

After going up to their rooms, Alex and Dara


prepared to go to sleep.

In the following example, nothing is added to the past participle all because the subject
Alex is masculine singular.
Aprs tre all dire bonne nuit ses parents, After saying good night to his parents, Alex
Alex sest endormi.
fell asleep.

154

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

152
Parlons de Monique! Lets talk about Monique! Complete each sentence by putting
the verb in parentheses into the past infinitive. Be sure to choose the appropriate auxiliary
verb for the verb you are using in the past infinitive.

1. Aprs

, Monique sest rappele quelle navait pas dargent. (sortir)

2. Aprs
(retourner)

, Monique a pris son sac avec son porte-monnaie.

3. Aprs
manger une glace. (aller)

au supermarch, Monique sest arrte un stand pour

4. Aprs
(manger)

sa glace, Monique a pris rendez-vous chez la coiffeuse.

5. Aprs
(prendre)

rendez-vous, Monique a achet son magazine favori.

6. Aprs

la maison, Monique a lu son magazine. (aller)

Past infinitive structure of reflexive verbs


Reflexive verbs use the auxiliary verb tre in compound tenses and in the past infinitive form.
However, the past participle of a reflexive verb agrees with the direct object of the verb when there
is one placed before the verb. Often the reflexive pronoun is the direct object. Examine the following sentences. In each past infinitive form of the verb se coucher (to go to bed), the reflexive pronoun s is the direct object of the verb coucher because it receives the action of the verb directly;
in French, we say coucher quelquun for to put someone to bed.
When the reflexive pronoun represents Alex (male), nothing is added to the past participle
couch.
Aprs stre couch, Alex a fait de beaux
rves.

After going to bed, Alex had beautiful dreams.

When the reflexive pronoun represents Dara (female), -e is added to the past participle
couch.
Aprs stre couche, Dara a fait de beaux
rves.

After going to bed, Dara had beautiful


dreams.

When the reflexive pronoun represents Alex and Dara (a male and a female), -s is added to
the past participle couch.
Aprs stre couchs, Alex et Dara ont fait de
beaux rves.

After going to bed, Alex and Dara had


beautiful dreams.

When the reflexive pronoun represents Danielle and Dara (two females), -es is added to the
past participle couch.
Aprs stre couches, Danielle et Dara ont
fait de beaux rves.

After going to bed, Danielle and Dara had


beautiful dreams.

Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

155

Grand concept. Big concept.


In some cases, the reflexive pronoun is not the direct object of the verb. In that case, there is
no agreement of the past participle with the reflexive pronoun. To know when to make the
agreement of the past participle with the preceding reflexive pronoun of a verb, it is imperative that you know how to identify the direct or indirect object function of the reflexive
pronoun by following a series of reasoning steps.
Example 1

1. In the past infinitive structure aprs stre couch, you want to know whether s is
the direct object of the verb coucher.
2. Formulate a sentence with the verb coucher in a nonreflexive form with a noun receiving the action of the verb coucher. For example: Maman couche le bb. Mom
is putting the baby to sleep.
The noun phrase le bb, which receives the action of the verb, does not include the
preposition . Therefore, it is a direct object. (Review the lesson on me/te/nous/vous/se in
Chapter 14.) This reasoning allows you to verify whether the reflexive pronoun is the direct
or indirect object of the verb.
3. Once you know that the reflexive pronoun is the direct object, add -e when it represents a female subject, -s when it represents a masculine plural subject, and -es when
it represents a feminine plural subject.
Example 2

1. In the past infinitive structure, Aprs stre lav les mains, Dara... , you want to
know whether s is the direct object of the verb laver.
2. Ask yourself whether the subject washed herself (s) or whether she washed her
hands (les mains). Here les mains is the direct object that receives directly the action of the verb laver (laver les mains).
In the example Aprs stre lav les mains, Dara... , the reflexive pronoun s has the
function of indirect object because the subject washed her hands (direct object) to herself
( quelquun = indirect object).
3. Once you know that the reflexive pronoun is the indirect object, use the past participle in its original form without making it agree, regardless of the gender and number of the subject.
Aprs stre lav les mains, Dara...
Aprs stre lav les mains, Alex et Dara...
Aprs stre lav les mains, Dara et Danielle...
Example 3

1. In the past infinitive structure, aprs stre dit bonne nuit, Alex et Dara... (after saying good night to each other, Alex and Dara . . .), you want to know whether s (to each
other) is the direct object of the verb dire.
2. Formulate a sentence using the verb dire followed by actual names of people. For
example, Alex dit bonne nuit Dara. Alex says good night to Dara. You realize that
the pronoun se replacing Dara or Alex is an indirect object ( + person).
3. Once you know that the reflexive pronoun is the indirect object, use the past participle dit in its original form without making it agree, regardless of the gender and
number of the subject.

156

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

153
Toujours aprs! Always afterward! Using the reflexive verb in parentheses, translate
each past infinitive phrase into French.

1. After hurrying up, Michelle . . . (se dpcher)

2. After getting angry, Michelle and Genevive . . . (se fcher)

3. After getting up, John . . . (se lever)

4. After bathing, the boys . . . (se baigner)

5. After washing their hands, the girls . . . (se laver)

6. After falling asleep, Mike and Lili . . . (sendormir)

EXERCICE

154
La routine de Mlanie. Mlanies routine. Complete each sentence by putting the
verb in parentheses into the past infinitive. Be sure to choose the appropriate auxiliary verb
for the verb you are using in the past infinitive.

1. Aprs

, Mlanie a pris une douche. (se lever)

2. Aprs

, Mlanie est partie au travail. (se maquiller)

3. Aprs

au travail, Mlanie sest fait un caf. (arriver)

4. Aprs

un caf, Mlanie a regard son emploi du temps. (se faire)

5. Aprs
premier mmo. (se faire)

une ide du travail quelle doit faire, Mlanie a crit son

6. Aprs
un article. (se dpcher)

de faire ce premier mmo, Mlanie a commenc crire

7. Aprs

son article, Mlanie est alle aux toilettes. (finir)

8. Aprs
(se laver)

les mains et la figure, Mlanie est retourne au travail.

Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

157

Agreement of past participles in compound tenses


Review the following chart that summarizes the rules of agreement of past participles. These
rules govern the past participle in past infinitive forms as well as the past participle in compound
tenses such as the pass compos, the pluperfect, and the past conditional.
tre VERBS

REFLEXIVE

(tre) VERBS

avoir VERBS

The past participle


agrees with the
subject of the
verb.
Elle est sortie. She
went out.
Ils sont sortis. They
went out.
Elles sont sorties.
They went out.

The past participle agrees with


the preceding direct object in
the sentence (often the
reflexive pronoun).
Elle sest fche. She became
angry.
Ils se sont fchs. They became
angry.
Elles se sont fches. They
became angry.

The past participle agrees with


the preceding direct object
when there is one.
Je lai comprise (la leon).
I understood it (the lesson).
Je les ai vus (les garcons). I saw
them (the boys).
Je les ai appeles (les filles).
I called them (the girls).

You have already learned to make past participles agree with the subject of an tre verb such
as aller (to go) and sortir (to go out) in Chapter 11. In this chapter, you have learned to make past
participles of reflexive verbs such as se coucher or se fcher agree with the reflexive pronouns
me/te/nous/vous when these are direct objects of the verb in past infinitive structures. The same
concept applies to past participles in compound tenses.
In the following sentence, the past participle fche agrees with the preceding direct object,
which is the reflexive pronoun s representing elle:
Elle sest fche.
Elle stait fche.
Elle se serait fche.

She got angry.


She had gotten angry.
She would have gotten angry.

In the following sentence, the past participle fchs agrees with the preceding direct object,
which is the reflexive pronoun s representing ils:
Ils se sont fchs.
Ils staient fchs.
Ils se seraient fchs.

They (m.) became angry.


They (m.) had become angry.
They (m.) would have become angry.

In the following sentence, the past participle fches agrees with the preceding direct object,
which is the reflexive pronoun s representing elles:
Elles se sont fches.
Elles staient fches.
Elles se seraient fches.

They (f.) became angry.


They (f.) had become angry.
They (f.) would have become angry.

Beware of the following type of sentence in which the reflexive pronoun is not the direct
object and the past participle does not agree with it. In the first sentence, la main receives the action of the verb directly and is the direct object of the verb. The reflexive pronoun is an indirect
object (it answers the question to whom). In the second sentence, la bise receives the action of the
verb directly and is the direct object of the verb. The reflexive pronoun is an indirect object (it
answers the question to whom).
Les deux hommes se sont serr la main.
The two men shook hands.
Les femmes se sont fait la bise sur la joue. The women kissed each other on the cheek.

158

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

EXERCICE

155
Au concert. At the concert. Write the past participle of the verb in parentheses in its
correct form.

1. Jean et Ins sont


2. Mireille est

un concert. (aller)
en retard. (arriver)

3. Jean et Ins se sont


4. Ils se sont

avec Mireille. (fcher)


la bise quand mme. (faire)

5. Ils se sont tous les trois


6. Ils se sont

de rentrer au thtre. (dpcher)


leurs places. (asseoir)

7. Jean et Ins se sont beaucoup

. (amuser)

8. Mais le concert na pas plu Mireille. Elle sest


9. Mireille est
10. Jean et Ins sont

. (ennuyer)

en premier. (partir)
jusqu la fin. (rester)

Agreement of the past participle with direct object pronouns


le, la, l, and les
Now you will learn to make past participles of avoir verbs agree with the pronouns le, la, l, and
les, which are by definition direct object pronouns, as well as with the pronouns me/te/nous/
vous, but only when they are direct objects of the verb.
When verbs are conjugated in a compound tense with the auxiliary verb avoir, you will
make the past participle agree with the pronouns le, la, l, and les because they are direct objects
of the verb preceding the verb.
Read and analyze the following series of mini-dialogues between Marc and Nathalie. Note
that all verbs are in the pass compos.
Dialogue 1
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, o est-ce que tu as pos le sac de provisions?
Marc: Je lai pos sur la table de la cuisine.

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle pos remains unchanged because there is no direct object before the verb. In this sentence, the noun phrase receiving the action of the verb
(direct object) is le sac de provisions.
In Marcs reply, the past participle pos agrees with the direct object pronoun l, which is
masculine singular because it replaces le sac de provisions. Therefore, its spelling remains
unchanged.
Dialogue 2
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, o est-ce que tu as rang les fruits?
Marc: Je les ai rangs dans le frigo.

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle rang remains unchanged because there is no direct object before the verb. In this sentence, the noun phrase receiving the action of the verb
(direct object) is les fruits.
Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

159

In Marcs reply, the past participle rangs agrees with the direct object pronoun les, which
is masculine plural since it replaces les fruits. Therefore -s was added to the past participle.
Dialogue 3
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, o est-ce que tu as mis la cl de la voiture?
Marc: Je lai mise sur le bureau comme dhabitude.

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle mis remains unchanged because there is no direct
object before the verb. In this sentence, the noun phrase receiving the action of the verb (direct
object) is la cl de la voiture.
In Marcs reply, the past participle mise agrees with the direct object pronoun la, which is feminine singular since it replaces la cl de la voiture. Therefore -e was added to the past participle.
Dialogue 4
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, o est-ce que tu as mis les cls de la maison?
Marc: Je les ai mises sur le bureau comme dhabitude.

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle mis remains unchanged because there is no direct
object before the verb. In this sentence, the noun phrase receiving the action of the verb (direct
object) is les cls de la maison.
In Marcs reply, the past participle mises agrees with the direct object pronoun les, which is
feminine plural since it replaces les cls de la maison. Therefore -es was added to the past
participle.
EXERCICE

156
De retour de vacances. Back from vacation. Write the past participle of the verb in
parentheses in its correct form in each dialogue line.

1. RIC: Jasmine, o as-tu

le sac bleu? (mettre)

2. JASMINE: Je crois que je lai

au bas de lescalier. (voir)

3. RIC: Et o sont les deux valises? Je les avais


(poser)
4. JASMINE: Je les ai dj

devant la porte.
dans notre chambre. (monter)

5. RIC: Franchement, tu es courageuse! Moi, jaurais


6. JASMINE: Jtais presse. Mais je nai pas encore
cartes didentit. (retrouver)
7. RIC: Quoi! Tu les as toujours

peur! (avoir)

9. RIC: Moi aussi. Tu te rappelles que javais


fois? (perdre)

mon passeport une

10. JASMINE: Oui, tu lavais si bien

que tu ne savais plus o. (ranger)

11. RIC: Et ma carte de crdit! Je lai bien


tout lheure. (voir)

160

practice makes perfect

nos nouvelles
dans ton sac dos. (remettre)

8. JASMINE: Je sais bien! Ah! Les voil! Jai

12. JASMINE: Je lai

. (attendre)

dans mon portefeuille


aussi, ta carte. Mais vrifie quand mme! (voir)

Intermediate French Grammar

Agreement of the past participle with direct object


pronouns me/te/nous/vous
When verbs are conjugated in a compound tense with the auxiliary verb avoir, you will make the
past participle agree with the pronouns me, te, nous, and vous, which necessarily appear before
the verb but only when they are direct objects of the verb.
Read and analyze the following series of mini-dialogues between Marc and Nathalie. Note
that all the verbs are in the pass compos.
Dialogue 1
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, tu mas entendue?
Marc: Non, pas du tout. Tu mas dit quelque chose?

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle entendue agrees with the pronoun me, which is
feminine because it represents Nathalie. In this sentence, the pronoun me receives the action of
the verb directly (direct object) because in French, the verb entendre is followed directly by the
name or definition of the person (entendre quelquun).
In Marcs reply, the past participle dit does not agree with the direct object pronoun m. The
pronoun is an indirect object in this case because in French, the verb dire requires the preposition before the name or definition of the person (dire quelquun). Therefore, its spelling
remains unchanged.
Dialogue 2
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, tu mas coute?
Marc: Mais oui, je tai bien entendue.

In Nathalies sentence, the past participle coute agrees with the pronoun m, which is
feminine (it represents Nathalie). In this sentence, the pronoun m receives the action of the verb
directly (direct object) because in French, the verb couter is followed directly by the name or
definition of the person (couter quelquun). Therefore, -e was added to the past participle cout.
In Marcs reply, the past participle entendue agrees with the direct object pronoun t (representing Nathalie). The pronoun is a direct object in this case because in French, the verb entendre
is followed directly by the name or definition of the person (entendre quelquun). Therefore, -e
was added to the past participle entendu.
Dialogue 3
Nathalie: Dis, Marc, tes parents nous ont invits?
Marc: Mais oui, ils nous ont invits pour ce soir.

In Nathalies and in Marcs sentences, the past participle invits agrees with the pronoun
nous, which is masculine plural (it represents Nathalie and Marc). In this sentence, the pronoun
nous receives the action of the verb directly (direct object) because in French, the verb inviter is
followed directly by the name or definition of the person (inviter quelquun). Therefore, -s was
added to the past participle invit.
EXERCICE

157
Conversation. Conversation. Write the past participle of the verb in parentheses in its
correct form in each dialogue line.

1. LISE: Tu mas

ce joli bracelet, Yves! Que cest gentil! (offrir)

2. YVES: Bien sr! Cest la Saint Valentin aujourdhui! Et toi, tu mas


quelque chose? (acheter)
Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

161

3. LISE: Je tai

ce beau dner aux chandelles. Regarde! (prparer)

4. YVES: Mais, dis donc, est-ce que Bob et Marie ne nous ont pas
(inviter)
5. LISE: Si, ils nous ont
(envoyer)

une invitation, mais pas pour aujourdhui.

6. YVES: Tu ne mavais pas

que ctait pour ce soir. (dire)

7. LISE: coute, Yves! Je tai simplement


(demander)

de rentrer tt ce soir.

8. YVES: Bon. Tant mieux. Je tai mal

. Cest tout! (comprendre)

9. LISE: Aucun problme! Tu mas

la bouteille de vin? (apporter)

10. YVES: Zut! Je ne tai pas

pour a non plus! (entendre)

Agreement of past participles for verbs conjugated


with either avoir or tre
The following verbs are conjugated in the pass compos with the auxiliary verb tre only when
they do not have a direct object. The past participle agrees with the subject of the verb.
monter:
descendre:
rentrer:
sortir:
passer:

Liliane est monte en haut.


Jeanine est descendue en bas.
Sophie est rentre.
Irne est sortie.
Pascale est passe.

Liliane went upstairs.


Jeanine went downstairs.
Sophie went home.
Irne went out.
Pascale came by.

The same verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary verb avoir when they have a direct object.
Notice how the meaning of the verb changes when it has a direct object. The past participle agrees
with the preceding direct object when there is one.
monter:
descendre:
rentrer:
sortir:
passer:

La valise? Marc la monte


en haut.
La valise? Marc la descendue
en bas.
La voiture? Marc la rentre.
La poubelle? Marc la sortie.
Lpreuve? Marc la passe.

The suitcase? Marc took it


upstairs.
The suitcase? Marc took it
downstairs.
The car? Marc took it in.
The garbage? Marc took it out.
The test? Marc took it.

EXERCICE

158
Conversation. Conversation. Write the pass compos of the verb in parentheses
using the appropriate auxiliary verb and the correct form of the past participle.

1. LISE: Yves, tu
(descendre)
2. YVES: Oui, oui! J

162

practice makes perfect

la cave me chercher une bouteille de vin?


la bouteille de Chteau Lafitte. (remonter)

Intermediate French Grammar

3. LISE: Tu l

? Trs bien. (trouver)

4. YVES: L o je l

lan dernier. (mettre)

5. LISE: Tu sais, Maryse

me voir ce matin. (passer)

6. YVES: Elle va bien? Elle


Canada? (rentrer)

finalement

7. LISE: Oui, et elle

du

son examen de matrise. (passer)

8. YVES: Est-ce quelle a ses rsultats? Elle

? (russir)

9. LISE: Elle ne sait pas encore, Yves! Elle n


(rester)

que quinze minutes.

10. YVES: Dommage. a fait longtemps que je ne l

. (ne pas voir)

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercise.


la btise
silliness
crever
to burst
la grenouille
frog
respirer
to breathe
le ballon
balloon
retenir
to hold back
le buf
ox
senfler
to swell up
le souffle
breath

EXERCICE

159
La grenouille qui voulait se faire aussi grosse que le buf. The frog who
wanted to be as big as the ox. Complete this version of the fable by writing either the
pass compos or the past infinitive form of the verb in parentheses as appropriate.

Un jour une grenouille 1.

(voir) un buf qui lui paraissait trs

beau. Elle 2.
3.

(se dire) quelle voudrait tre grosse, elle aussi. Alors elle
(respirer) et 4.

(retenir) son souffle

pendant trs longtemps. Aprs l 5.

(observer) pendant un certain

temps, le buf lui 6.

(dire) darrter ces btises. Tu ne seras jamais

aussi grosse que moi, petite grenouille. Tu 7.

(natre) petite. Cest ta

nature. Mais la petite grenouille, obstine, lui 8.

(rpondre) quelle

ferait tout pour tre aussi grosse que lui. Et elle 9.

(continuer) de

retenir son souffle. Malheureusement, aprs 10.


ballon, la petite grenouille 11.
12.

(senfler) comme un
(crever) et elle

(mourir). Que cest triste!

Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

163

Demonstrative,
interrogative, and
possessive pronouns

16

As previously seen, pronouns are used to allow for more efficient and less redundant communication. As speakers of a language become fluent, they increasingly
rely on pronouns. Demonstrative pronouns are used to point something out that
has been previously mentioned. Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions
about something previously mentioned.

Demonstrative pronouns
These pronouns are used to say this/that one and these/those ones. They reflect the
gender (m./f.) and number (sing./pl.) of the noun they replace. Therefore, there are
four forms of this pronoun:
MASCULINE
SINGULAR

MASCULINE
PLURAL

FEMININE
SINGULAR

FEMININE
PLURAL

celui
this/that one

ceux
these/those

celle
this/that one

celles
these/those

Quel essai est-ce que tu prfres?


Which essay do you prefer? Simons
Celui de Simon ou celui dAdeline?
or Adelines?

Demonstrative pronouns are not used alone. They are followed:


By -ci or -l to distinguish this one from that one
Quel dessert veux-tu? Celui-ci ou celui-l ?
What dessert do you want? Do you want this one or that one?

By a complement introduced by a preposition such as de (indicating possession or origin) or en (indicating the material or make)
Toutes ces voitures sont belles,
All these cars are beautiful, but
mais celle de Jean-Jacques est
Jean-Jacquess is my favorite.
ma favorite.
Des accents que tu connais, tu
Of the accents that you know, do
aimes mieux celui du franais ou
you prefer the French or
celui du qubcois?
Qubcois?
Il y a deux pantalons qui me
There are two pairs of pants that I
plaisent, celui en laine et celui
like, the ones out of wool and the
en lin.
ones out of linen.

164

By a relative clause
Des deux pantalons, jaime mieux
celui qui cote le plus cher.

Of the two pairs of pants, I prefer


the ones that cost the most.

EXERCICE

161
Prparatifs pour le camping. Preparations for camping. Fill each blank with an
appropriate demonstrative pronoun.

1. Jai deux livres te prter:

-ci et

2. Il te faut un iPhone. Tu veux


de papa?

-l.

de maman ou

3. Emporte au moins deux brosses dents!


Prends-les!

sont nouvelles!

4. Quel sac de couchage est-ce que tu veux?


en fibre synthtique?

en coton ou

5. Bon, je vois que tu as ce quil faut. Tu as aussi tes deux sacs dos. Laisse-moi taider porter
.

EXERCICE

162
Que porter? What to wear? Write the following sentences in French.
1. I have a red T-shirt and a blue T-shirt. I think Im going to wear this one.

2. Of all my shorts, I prefer that one.

3. Sometimes my sister lends me one of her dresses. Today I would like the cotton one.

4. Sometimes my mom offers to lend me one of her elegant dresses. But I prefer my sisters
ones.

5. These brooches (la broche) are beautiful. Let (familiar) me try on this one and that one!

Demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive pronouns

165

Interrogative pronouns lequel, laquelle, lesquels,


and lesquelles
These pronouns are used to ask which one(s). They reflect the gender (m./f.) and number (singular/
plural) of the noun they replace. Therefore, there are four forms of this pronoun:
MASCULINE SINGULAR

MASCULINE PLURAL

FEMININE SINGULAR

FEMININE PLURAL

lequel

lesquels

laquelle

lesquelles

Jai trois trs bons livres lire. Lequel est-ce que je devrais lire en premier?
Lequel quel livre

I have three very good books to read. Which one should I read first?

Je vois deux rues, une sur la gauche et lautre sur la droite. Laquelle est-ce que je prends?
Laquelle quelle rue

I see two streets, one on the left and the other on the right. Which one do I take?

Tous ces lgumes me paraissent excellents. Lesquels est-ce que je vais acheter?
Lesquels quels lgumes

All these vegetables look excellent to me. Which ones am I going to buy?

Jadore tes chaussures. Lesquelles est-ce que tu viens dacheter?


Lesquelles quelles chaussures

I love your shoes. Which ones did you just buy?

When lequel, lesquels, and lesquelles are preceded by the preposition or de, use the contracted forms:
lequel auquel
lesquels auxquels
lesquelles auxquelles

de lequel duquel
de lesquels desquels
de lesquelles desquelles

Il y a deux guichets de vente ici. Auquel est-ce quil faut aller?


auquel = lequel

There are two sales booths here. To which one do I have to go?

Je vois une dizaine de plages sur la carte. Auxquelles est-ce quon va aller?
auxquelles lesquelles

I see about ten beaches on the map. To which ones are we going to go?
On parle de deux films dans cet article. Duquel est-ce que tu parlais?
They speak about two movies in this article. Which one were you talking about?
De tous ces animaux sauvages, desquels as-tu le plus peur?
Of all these wild animals, of which ones are you the most afraid?

166

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercises.


largent (m.)
silver
le bracelet
lor (m.)
gold
le collier
la bague
ring
le diamant
la boucle doreille
earring
le mdaillon
la montre
watch

bracelet
necklace
diamond
locket

EXERCICE

163
la recherche dun bijou. Looking for jewelry. Fill in each blank with an
appropriate form of lequel. The form of the verb will help you determine whether you need
a singular or plural form of lequel.

1. Voil deux beaux colliers.

te plat le mieux?

2. Voil deux belles paires de boucles doreille.


3. Regarde ces bagues en argent!

te plaisent le mieux?
te plaisent le mieux?

4. Il y a aussi de beaux mdaillons en or dans cette vitrine.

te plat?
te

5. Cette montre en diamants est magnifique. Et lautre aussi.


plat?
6. Il y a aussi ces beaux bracelets en or et en argent.

te plat?

EXERCICE

164
Indcise. Undecided. Write the following sentences in French using the appropriate
demonstrative and interrogative pronouns. Practice using the verb plaire for to like.

1. I like both necklaces. I do not know which one I like best.

2. I adore these two bracelets. I think I prefer the one out of gold.

3. These watches are magnificent. Which one do I prefer?

4. Look at these lockets. Which one do you like best, Jennie?

5. I like these three pairs of earrings. Which ones should I buy? These or those?

Demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive pronouns

167

Possessive pronouns
These pronouns are used to express mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs. The possessive pronoun reflects the gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) of the noun it
replacesthat is, the object possessed, never the possessor. Since the object can be masculine
singular, masculine plural, feminine singular, or feminine plural, there are four forms for the
pronoun mine:
MASCULINE SINGULAR
MASCULINE PLURAL
FEMININE SINGULAR
FEMININE PLURAL

mine
yours
his/hers
ours
yours
theirs

Le sac dos? Cest le mien.


Les draps? Ce sont les miens.
La couverture? Cest la mienne.
Les serviettes? Ce sont les miennes.

The backpack? It is mine.


The sheets? They are mine.
The blanket? It is mine.
The towels? They are mine.

MASCULINE
SINGULAR

MASCULINE
PLURAL

FEMININE
SINGULAR

FEMININE
PLURAL

le mien
le tien
les sien
le ntre
le vtre
le leur

les miens
les tiens
les siens
les ntres
les vtres
les leurs

la mienne
la tienne
la sienne
la ntre
la vtre
la leur

les miennes
les tiennes
les siennes
les ntres
les vtres
les leurs

Note that the French possessive pronoun is always preceded by an article (le, la, les), and if the
preposition or de precedes the article le or les, the contracted articles au and aux must be used.
Tu tiens tes articles de toilette. Et moi, je tiens aux miens.
(aux miens les miens)

You value your toiletries. And I value mine.


Tu prends soin de tes affaires et moi, je prends soin des miennes.
(des miennes de les miennes)
You take care of your things, and I take care of mine.
VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercises.


lassiette (f.)
plate
la tente
loreiller (m.)
pillow
le drap
la brosse dents
toothbrush
le rveil
la serviette
towel
le tennis

tent
sheet
alarm clock
tennis shoe/sneaker

EXERCICE

165
qui est-ce? To whom does it belong? Write the correct form of the possessive
pronoun on each line.
EXAMPLE:

Cette brosse dent? Cest la mienne. (mine)

1. Ce pyjama? Cest

. (mine)

2. Ces tennis blancs? Ce sont

168

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

, Jennie? (yours)

3. Ces serviettes? Ce sont

, Jennie et moi. (ours)

4. Ce drap? Cest

. (hers)

5. Cette tente? Cest

. (hers)

6. Ces assiettes blanches en plastique? Ce sont


(yours)
7. Ces oreillers? Ce sont

, Suzie et Marie?
. (theirs)

8. Et ce rveil? Cest

. (theirs)

EXERCICE

166
Boucle dor et les trois ours. Goldilocks and the three bears. Write the correct
form of the demonstrative, interrogative, or possessive pronoun in the blank spaces.

Il y avait une fois une petite fille aux cheveux blonds et boucls.
1.

sappelait Boucle dor. Un jour, alors quelle se promenait dans la

fort, elle est entre dans la petite maison des trois ours (petit, moyen et grand). Ils taient
sortis. Boucle dor a trouv trois jolis bols de soupe sur la table. 2.
est-ce quelle devait boire? Elle a choisi 3.
vu trois jolies chaises. 4.
Elle a choisi 5.

du petit ours. Puis, elle a


est-ce quelle devait choisir pour sasseoir?
du petit ours. Mais quand elle sest assise, la chaise

sest casse! Ensuite, Boucle dor a mont lescalier et dans la chambre coucher, elle a trouv
trois jolis lits. 6.
choisi 7.

est-ce quelle devait choisir pour se reposer? Elle a


du petit ours et elle sest endormie dans ce lit.

ce moment, les trois ours avaient fini leur promenade et sont rentrs chez eux. Ils ont
vu que quelquun avait touch aux dlicieuses soupes. Le petit ours a cri: O est
8.
Le petit ours a cri: 9.

? Puis, ils ont vu que quelquun avait dplac les jolies chaises.
est casse! Alors, ils sont monts dans leur

chambre coucher et ils ont vu Boucle dor couche sur le lit du petit ours. Le grand ours et le
moyen ours ont dit: Cette fille est couche sur un de nos lits! Le petit ours a cri: Oui, elle
est naturellement sur 10.

. Boucle dor sest rveille brusquement

et a saut par la fentre. Elle nest jamais revenue parce quelle a eu si peur!

Demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive pronouns

169

17

The subjunctive mood

In contrast with the indicative mood, which includes many tenses (present, past,
and future), the subjunctive mood includes only two tenses that are used in real-life
situations: present and past. In contrast also with the indicative mood, which indicates facts or certainty, the subjunctive mood indicates subjectivity and uncertainty.
There are many opportunities to use the subjunctive mood in the French language.

Formation of present subjunctive


The present subjunctive is formed by adding -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, and -ent to the
stem of the verb. The stem is obtained by dropping the -ent ending of the thirdperson plural in the present tense.
ils parlent
ils finissent
ils vendent

parl
finiss
vend

Note that the stems of regular -er verbs are the same in the present indicative
and in the present subjunctive. In addition, present indicative and present subjunctive endings are the same except in the nous and vous forms. Therefore, the
present indicative and present subjunctive conjugations of regular -er verbs are
the same except in the nous and vous forms.
parler
que je parle
(that I may speak)
que tu parles
quil/elle/on parle
que nous parlions
que vous parliez
quils/elles parlent

finir
que je finisse
(that I may finish)
que tu finisses
quil/elle/on finisse
que nous finissions
que vous finissiez
quils/elles finissent

vendre
que je vende
(that I may sell)
que tu vendes
quil/elle/on vende
que nous vendions
que vous vendiez
quils/elles vendent

Note: subjunctive endings are the same for all verbs except for avoir and tre.
avoir
que jaie
(that I may have)
que tu aies
quil/elle/on ait
que nous ayons
que vous ayez
quils/elles aient

170

tre
que je sois
(that I may be)
que tu sois
quil/elle/on soit
que nous soyons
que vous soyez
quils/elles soient

Tu es triste quon ne soit pas dans le mme


cours?
Vraiment! Tu doutes quelle ait sa matrise?
Moi, jaimerais bien quelle explique mieux.
Bon. Il vaut mieux que nous finissions cet
exercice.
Cest bizarre que ces deux prtendent
comprendre.

Are you sad that we are not in the same class?


Really! You doubt that she has her masters?
I would like her to explain better.
OK, we had better finish this exercise.
Its bizarre that these two pretend to
understand.

EXERCICE

171
Conjuguons au prsent du subjonctif! Lets conjugate in the present
subjunctive! Write the correct form of the present subjunctive for the verb in parentheses.
1. que je

(rougir)

2. que nous

(regarder)

3. que vous

(chercher)

4. quelle

(rendre)

5. que tu

(tre)

6. quon

(avoir)

7. quils

(finir)

8. que je
9. quelles

(dfendre)
(saisir)

10. que tu

(vendre)

11. que je

(monter)

12. que vous

(descendre)

EXERCICE

172
Un excellent tudiant. An excellent student. Complete the following lead-in phrases
with the verb in parentheses conjugated in the appropriate form of the present subjunctive.
Il faut quil...

1.

le professeur. (couter)

2.

les devoirs. (avoir)

3.

son travail. (finir)

4.

aux discussions de classe. (participer)

5.

bien aux questions. (rpondre)

The subjunctive mood

171

Il ne faut pas quil...

6.

trop. (bavarder)

7.

son temps rver. (perdre)

8.

insolent. (tre)

9.

tout le temps. (rougir)


peur de rpondre. (avoir)

10.

Present subjunctive conjugations of irregular verbs


Irregular verbs (except for avoir and tre) have the subjunctive endings previously listed: -e, -es,
-e, -ions, -iez, -ent.
For many irregular verbs, the present subjunctive stem is obtained by dropping the -ent
ending of the third-person plural in the present tense, just as for regular verbs.

Verbs with one stemregular endings


connatre (to know/to be familiar)
je/il/elle/on connaisse
tu connaisses
nous connaissions
vous connaissiez
ils/elles connaissent
craindre (to fear)
je/il/elle/on craigne
tu craignes
nous craignions
vous craigniez
ils/elles craignent
dire (to say/to tell)
je/il/elle/on dise
tu dises
nous disions
vous disiez
ils/elles disent
dormir (to sleep)
je/il/elle/on dorme
tu dormes
nous dormions
vous dormiez
ils/elles dorment
crire (to write)
j/il/elle/on crive
tu crives
nous crivions
vous criviez
ils/elles crivent

172

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

faire (to do, to make)


je/il/elle/on fasse
tu fasses
nous fassions
vous fassiez
ils/elles fassent
lire (to read)
je/il/elle/on lise
tu lises
nous lisions
vous lisiez
ils/elles lisent
mettre (to put/to put on)
je/il/elle/on mette
tu mettes
nous mettions
vous mettiez
ils/elles mettent
plaire (to please)
je/il/elle/on plaise
tu plaises
nous plaisions
vous plaisiez
ils/elles plaisent
pouvoir (to be able to/can)
je/il/elle/on puisse
tu puisses
nous puissions
vous puissiez
ils/elles puissent
savoir (to know)
je/il/elle/on sache
tu saches
nous sachions
vous sachiez
ils/elles sachent

Il ne faut pas que tu craignes les chiens.


Il est bon quon puisse recycler.
Tu veux que je te fasse un sandwich?
Il est drle que cette fille ne te plaise pas.
Ton prof est srement content que tu lises
tout.
Cest extraordinaire que tu saches toutes ces
conjugaisons.

You must not fear dogs.


It is good that we are able to recycle.
Do you want me to make you a sandwich?
It is funny that you do not like this girl.
Your teacher is surely happy that you read
everything.
Its extraordinary that you know all those
conjugations.

The subjunctive mood

173

Il faut que nous crivions nos cartes de


remerciements.
Elle ne voudrait pas quil sorte si tard.

We have to write our thank-you cards.


She would rather he did not go out so late.

Verbs with two stemsregular endings


For the following irregular verbs, the present subjunctive stem is obtained by dropping the -ent
ending of the third-person plural in the present tense for all forms except for nous and vous. In
the following conjugations, note the distinctly different stem in the nous and vous forms. Also
note that the nous and vous forms of those verbs are a duplication of the imparfait forms.
aller (to go)
j/il/elle/on aille
tu ailles
nous allions
vous alliez
ils/elles aillent
boire (to drink)
je/il/elle/on boive
tu boives
nous buvions
vous buviez
ils/elles boivent
croire (to believe)
je/il/elle/on croie
tu croies
nous croyions
vous croyiez
ils/elles croient
devoir (to have to/must)
je/il/elle/on doive
tu doives
nous devions
vous deviez
ils/elles doivent
prendre (to take)
je/il/elle/on prenne
tu prennes
nous prenions
vous preniez
ils/elles prennent
recevoir (to receive)
je/il/elle/on reoive
tu reoives
nous recevions
vous receviez
ils/elles reoivent

174

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

tenir (to hold)


je/il/elle/on tienne
tu tiennes
nous tenions
vous teniez
ils/elles tiennent
venir (to come)
je/il/elle/on vienne
tu viennes
nous venions
vous veniez
ils/elles viennent
voir (to see)
je/il/elle/on voie
tu voies
nous voyions
vous voyiez
ils/elles voient
vouloir (to want)
je/il/elle/on veuille
tu veuilles
nous voulions
vous vouliez
ils/elles veuillent

Papa insiste que nous allions cette runion.


Il ne faut pas que nous buvions.
Je voudrais vraiment que tu viennes
avec moi.
Je ne suis pas sr que tu veuilles
maccompagner.
Je doute que nous voyions Arnold l-bas.

Dad insists that we go to this meeting.


We must not drink.
I would really like you to come with me.
Im not sure that you want to accompany me.
I doubt that we will see Arnold over there.

EXERCICE

173
Conjuguons au prsent du subjonctif. Lets conjugate in the present
subjunctive. Write the correct forms of the present subjunctive of the verbs in parentheses.
1. quelles
2. quon
3. que nous
4. que je
5. que nous
6. que tu

(aller)
(boire)
(venir)
(vouloir)
(pouvoir)
(tenir)

The subjunctive mood

175

7. que je

(prendre)

8. quon

(recevoir)

9. que nous

(plaire)

10. que vous

(lire)

11. que j

(crire)

12. que tu

(craindre)

13. que je

(dormir)

14. quon

(faire)

EXERCICE

174
Je voudrais que mes professeurs... I would like my teachers to . . . Complete the
title phrase with the appropriate present subjunctive form of the verb in parentheses.

1.

indulgents avec nous. (tre)

2.

que nous ne comprenons pas toujours. (voir)

3.

bien enseigner. (savoir)

4.

bien leurs tudiants. (connatre)

5.

en retard au cours. (ne pas venir)

6.

bien nous expliquer les choses une seconde fois. (vouloir)

7.

que nous pouvons tous apprendre. (croire)

8.

parole quand ils font des promesses. (tenir)

9.

nos runions dtudiants. (venir)


nos anxits. (comprendre)

10.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercise.


la limite de vitesse
speed limit
brler
la patience
patience
cder
la priorit
right-of-way
dpasser
le feu rouge
red light
envoyer des textos
le permis de conduire
drivers license
porter
assur
insured

176

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

to run (a light)
to yield
to exceed
to text message
to carry

EXERCICE

175
Comment devons-nous conduire? How must we drive? Write the following
sentences in French. Start each sentence with Il faut que nous... or Il ne faut pas que
nous...

1. We must be prudent.

2. We must have a lot of patience.

3. We must yield the right-of-way.

4. We must carry our drivers license.

5. We must be insured.

6. We must not exceed the speed limit.

7. We must not drink.

8. We must not text message.

9. We must not fall asleep.

10. We must not run red lights.

Uses of the present subjunctive


The present subjunctive is used to show that the action of the verb in the subordinate clause goes
on at the same time as or later than the action expressed by the verb in the main clause.
In addition, the subject of the subordinate clause must differ from the subject of the main
clause. Notice that the English equivalents are sometimes worded differently from the French.
The word that (que) is not always used in English.
Il aimerait que nous achetions le nouvel iPad.
Nous sommes tristes que vous partiez.

He would like us to buy the new iPad.


We are sad that you are leaving.

The subjunctive mood

177

Grands concepts. Big concepts.


Concept 1
Since the subjunctive is hardly ever used in English aside from set phrases such as, Be it
right, be it wrong . . ., translations from French to English will widely vary when the subjunctive is used in French. It is often impossible to translate literally. So you will have to use
your own judgment about the best English equivalent for a French subjunctive verb.
Il faut quon y aille.
Literal translation: It is necessary that we go there.
Preferable translation: We have to go there.

Concept 2
In addition, when translating from English to French, the structure in the French sentence
will often be significantly different from the structure in the English sentence.
Je ne veux pas / quil vienne.
I do not want / him to come.

Concept 3
Do not use the subjunctive mood in an independent clause (stand-alone clause) or in a main
clause (a stand-alone clause on which another clause depends).
This is an independent clause; it stands alone:
Je veux une glace.

I want an ice cream.

Examine the following sentence:


Je vais acheter une glace pendant que
tu finis ton caf.

I am going to buy an ice cream while you are


finishing your coffee.

In the preceding sentence, there is a main clause, which stands alone and makes sense
by itself: Je vais acheter une glace.
There is also a subordinate clause that only makes sense when linked to the main clause:
pendant que tu finis ton caf.
Only use the subjunctive in a dependent clause. The verb or the adjective used in the
main clause or the conjunction introducing the dependent clause must trigger the use of
subjunctive.
In the following sentence, the verb Il faut triggers the use of the subjunctive in the
dependent clause.
Il faut / quil aille au cours.

He must go to class.

Present subjunctive after impersonal expressions of necessity


or uncertainty
The following commonly used impersonal expressions are followed by the subjunctive:
Il est utile/inutile que
Il est impensable que
Il est important que
Il est possible/impossible que
Il faut que
Il ne faut pas que

178

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

It is useful/useless that
It is unthinkable that
It is important that
It is possible/impossible that
It is necessary that/One must
One must not

Il vaut mieux que


Il est dommage que
Il est rare que
Il est urgent que

It is better that
It is a pity that
It is rare that
It is urgent that

Il est rare que les gens naiment pas les


vacances.
Il est important que les jeunes gens aillent
luniversit.
Il est possible quun tudiant brillant
reoive une bourse.
Il est dommage que les examens soient
parfois si difficiles.

It is rare that people do not like vacations.


It is important that young people go to
university.
It is possible for a brilliant student to receive
a scholarship.
It is too bad that exams are sometimes so
difficult.

Note that impersonal expressions that express certainty are not followed by the subjunctive
mood. In the following sentences, the simple future of the indicative mood is used after the expression il est clair and the pass compos of the indicative mood is used after il est vident.
Il est clair que tu tudieras la physique.
Il est vident que nous avons fait une faute.

It is clear that you will study physics.


It is evident that we made a mistake.

Also note the meaning of il faut changes in the negative form:


Il faut que vous arrtiez de fumer.
Il ne faut pas que vous vous ruiniez la sant.

You have to stop smoking.


You must not ruin your health.

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review the following vocabulary before doing the next two exercises.
lespce (f.) en danger
endangered species
le prjug
la croyance
belief
le rchauffement
la glace polaire
polar ice
le soleil
la lune
moon
gal/gaux

prejudice
warming
sun
equal

EXERCICE

176
Lenvironnement. The environment. Checkmark the statements that appear to
be true.

1.

Il est possible que la lune tourne autour du soleil.

2.

Il est impossible que lhomme aille dans lespace.

3.

Il est possible que les glaces polaires fondent.

4.

Il nest pas urgent quon limite lmission de CO2.

5.

Il ne faut pas que nous protgions les espces en danger.

6.

Il est inutile que nous recyclions le papier, le plastique et le verre.

7.

Il est juste que nous participions tous aux efforts de recyclage.

The subjunctive mood

179

8.

Il ne faut pas que nous ignorions le rchauffement global.

9.

Il se peut quil y ait des galaxies quon na pas encore dcouvertes.

10.

Il est vrai quil y a des Martiens sur Mars.

EXERCICE

177
Les droits de lhomme. Human rights. Complete the following statements by writing
the verbs in parentheses in the present subjunctive.

1. Il serait juste que tous les hommes

gaux. (tre)

2. Il faut que tous les individus dune nation


(pouvoir)

tre reprsents.

3. Il est bon quune nation

toutes les croyances. (respecter)

4. Il ne faut pas quil y

des prjugs dans la socit. (avoir)

5. Il est impratif quon


(voter)

pour lire les membres du gouvernement.

6. Il est impensable que les femmes n


hommes. (avoir)

pas les mmes droits que les

Present subjunctive after verbs or adjectives of advice, wishes,


commands, doubts, and feelings
The present subjunctive is found in subordinate clauses introduced by verbs or adjectives expressing advice, wishes, commands, feelings, and doubts. Examine the following summary chart,
which contains some examples of such verbs or phrases:
ADVICE

WISHES

COMMANDS

DOUBTS

FEELINGS

conseiller
to advise
recommander
to recommend
proposer
to propose

avoir envie
to feel like/want
dsirer
to desire
souhaiter
to wish

insister
to insist
ordonner
to order
dfendre
to forbid

tre triste
to be sad
tre content(e)
to be happy
tre dsol(e)
to be sorry

suggrer
to suggest

vouloir
to want

interdire
to forbid

douter
to doubt
ne pas tre sr(e)
to be uncertain
ne pas tre
certain(e)
to be uncertain
tre surpris
to be surprised

Je recommande que vous fassiez une


demande.
Tu dsires que je vienne?
Il ordonne que nous restions.
Je ne suis pas sr que ce projet russisse.
Nous regrettons que vous ne puissiez pas
participer.

180

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

regretter
to regret

I recommend that you make a request.


Would you like me to come?
He orders us to stay.
Im not sure that this project will succeed.
We regret that you are unable to participate.

EXERCICE

178
Exprimez des opinions. Express opinions. Write in French. Use vous for you in all
the sentences, and use the verbs in parentheses.

1. I recommend that you vote. (voter)

2. I wish that you would get involved. (sengager)

3. I am not sure that you want to be involved. (vouloir tre engags)

4. I regret that you do not feel the need to participate. (ne pas sentir le besoin de...)

5. I suggest you get informed. (se renseigner)

6. I propose you take classes in political science. (suivre des cours en sciences politiques)

7. I insist that we all attend these classes. (aller ...)

8. I am surprised that you agree. (tre daccord)

Present subjunctive after specific conjunctions


The subjunctive is found in subordinate clauses introduced by conjunctions such as the
following:
moins que
afin que/pour que
avant que
bien que/malgr que/quoique
de crainte que/de peur que
jusqu ce que
pourvu que
sans que without

unless
in order that
before
although
for fear that
until
provided that

Il faut payer la facture moins quil y ait


une erreur.
Prenez des parapluies de peur quil ne
pleuve plus tard.
Attendez jusqu ce que je finisse.

We have to pay the bill unless there is


an error.
Take umbrellas for fear that it may rain later.
Wait until I finish.
The subjunctive mood

181

EXERCICE

179
Lhistoire de Boucle dor. Goldilockss story. Write the following sentences in French.
Beware that the use of the subjunctive mood is not required in all dependent clauses.

1. Goldilocks entered the bears house before they came back home. (entrer dans/rentrer)

2. She tasted their soups until she found the best one. (goter/trouver)

3. She broke a chair, although she did not mean to do it. (casser/ne pas avoir lintention)

4. She chose the small bed because it looked cute. (choisir/avoir lair)

5. She slept until the bears came up to their bedroom. (dormir/monter )

6. When she woke up, she jumped through the window for fear that the bears would eat her.
(se rveiller/sauter/manger)

Past subjunctive
The past subjunctive exists only in a dependent clause and must be introduced by the same verbs
or adjectives previously mentioned for the present subjunctive. This tense is used when the action
in the dependent clause precedes the action in the main clause. Note that in the following example,
the action of consenting in the dependent clause took place before the action of being delighted
in the main clause. First you consented, and then she was delighted.
Elle est ravie que vous ayez consenti
travailler avec elle.

She is delighted that you consented


to work with her.

The past subjunctive is a compound tense formed with the appropriate auxiliary verb avoir
or tre in the present subjunctive and a past participle. You may review how to identify the correct auxiliary verb in Chapter 11 and how to make the agreement of past participles in Chapter 15.
Examine and compare the conjugation of an avoir verb (parler), an tre verb (arriver), and
a reflexive verb (se lever).
parler
que jaie parl
(that I spoke)
que tu aies parl
quil/elle/on ait parl
que nous ayons parl
que vous ayez parl
quils/elles aient parl

182

practice makes perfect

arriver
que je sois arriv(e)
(that I arrived)
que tu sois arriv(e)
quil/elle/on soit arriv(e)
que nous soyons arriv(e)s
que vous soyez arriv(e)(s)
quils/elles soient arriv(e)s

Intermediate French Grammar

se lever
que je me sois lev(e)
(that I got up)
que tu te sois lev(e)
quil/elle/on se soit lev(e)
que nous nous soyons lev(e)s
que vous vous soyez lev(e)(s)
quils/elles se soient lev(e)s

The past subjunctive is used after the same expressions as the present subjunctive. It is used
to show that the action or situation in the subordinate clause (after que) happened before the
action or situation in the main clause.
Il est surpris que les tudiants aient tous
rendu leurs devoirs.
Je doute que mes camarades soient arrivs
avant moi.

He is surprised that the students all turned


in their homework.
I doubt that my classmates arrived before me.

Note that when conjunctions such as avant que (before), de peur que (for fear that), and sans
que (without) introduce a verb in the subjunctive, the adverb ne often appears before the verb.
This is purely syntactical and should not be interpreted as giving the verb a negative meaning.
Je vais les rveiller moins quils ne se
soient dj levs.

I am going to wake them up unless


they have already gotten up.

EXERCICE

1710
Feuilleton. Soap opera. Write the past subjunctive form of each verb, using the subject
provided for 112; then write the present subjunctive for numbers 1318.

1. (quitter) Je suis dsol que ta copine Marie t

, Christophe.

2. (rester) a mtonne que vous

ensemble si longtemps.
.

3. (ne pas se marier) Je suis contente que vous


4. (partir) Je veux bien te tenir compagnie moins que tu ne
quelque part.
5. (tre) Je regrette de te dire a mais je doute que Marie t
6. (couter) Je ne suis pas sre que tu m

quand je tavertissais.

7. (dire) Tu es fch que j

la vrit. Je comprends.

8. (tre) Tu nes pas content que j

si franche.
des illusions pendant le temps de ta

9. (se faire) Jai peur que tu


liaison.
10. (faire) Bien quelle
faisais pas confiance.

fidle.

des efforts pour tre mon amie, je ne lui

11. (tomber) Malgr que tu


meilleure amie.
12. (ne pas se rendre compte) Il est dommage que tu
tai toujours aim.
13. (ne pas sortir) Il est impensable que nous
sommes faits lun pour lautre!
14. (se dire) Je nenvoie pas ce texto de peur que tu

amoureux delle, je suis reste ta


que moi, je
ensemble. Nous
que je suis folle.

The subjunctive mood

183

15. (ne pas comprendre) Jespre quun jour tu maimeras mais jai peur que tu
mes sentiments.
le bon

16. (tre) Je voudrais te le dire mais je doute que ce


moment.
17. (arriver) Alors je vais attendre jusqu ce que le bon moment
18. (finir) Je ne veux pas que ce beau rve

184

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

.
.

18

Relative pronouns

Function of relative pronouns


Relative pronouns replace a noun called the antecedent; they introduce a new
clause (subject, verb, and sometimes complement) that gives information about
the antecedent.

The pronouns qui and que


The pronoun qui (who, which, or that) is the subject of the verb in the relative clause
and can replace things or people. In the following sentence, qui is the relative
pronoun that replaces la prof, and it is the subject of the verb entre.
La prof qui entre dans la salle de
classe est notre nouvelle prof.

The teacher who is entering our


classroom is our new teacher.

In the following sentence, qui is the relative pronoun that replaces la rponse,
and it is the subject of the verb est.
La rponse qui est au tableau semble correcte.
The answer that is on the board seems correct.

The pronoun que (whom, which, that) is the direct object of the verb in the
relative clause and can replace things or people. This pronoun is sometimes omitted in the English sentence. In the following sentence, que is the relative pronoun
that replaces la dame, and it is the direct object of the verb vois.
La dame que tu vois l-bas est la directrice.
The lady (whom) you see over there is the director.

In the following sentence, que is the relative pronoun that replaces lascenseur,
and it is the direct object of the verb prends.
Lascenseur que je prends mne au premier tage.
The elevator (that) I am taking leads to the first floor.

185

EXERCICE

181
Mon nouveau cours. My new class. Write the appropriate relative pronoun qui or
que (qu) in the space provided.

1. Le cours

je suis ce semestre est assez difficile.

2. Le professeur

enseigne le cours est trs jeune.

3. Les tudiants

sinscrivent pour ce cours sont gnralement trs avancs.


je devrai faire pour ce cours seront obligatoires.

4. Les devoirs
5. Jai dj les livres
6. Le syllabus

je dois utiliser.
est sur le site web du professeur est celui de ce cours.

7. Cette fille l-bas est celle

sest inscrite en mme temps que moi.

8. Je me demande si ce cours est vraiment celui


9. En tout cas, les tudes

elle voulait.

nous allons faire me passionnent.

10. Et je ne suis pas le type de personne

sintresse tout.

The pronouns qui and lequel


The pronoun qui is also used after a preposition to replace a person.
Le copain qui tu as prt ce CD est fiable.
La copine pour qui nous organisons cette
fte est ma meilleure amie.

The friend to whom you lent this CD is


reliable.
The friend for whom we are organizing this
party is my best friend.

A form of lequel is used after a preposition to replace a thing. The form of lequel changes
according to the gender and number of the noun it replaces. The four different forms of lequel
are:
masculine singular
feminine singular

lequel
laquelle

La moto sur laquelle tu es arriv est neuve.


Le parking dans lequel tu as gar ta moto
nest pas gratuit.

masculine plural
feminine plural

lesquels
lesquelles

The motorcycle on which you arrived is


brand new.
The parking lot in which you parked your
motorcycle is not free.

Remember to use the contracted forms of the prepositions and de when they are followed by
lequel, lesquels, and lesquelles (see the section on the interrogative pronoun lequel in Chapter 16).
lequel auquel
lesquels auxquels
lesquelles auxquelles

de lequel duquel
de lesquels desquels
de lesquelles desquelles

In the following sentence, auxquels replaces the preposition and the interrogative pronoun
lesquels that replaces les concerts (masculine plural noun):

186

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

Les concerts auxquels tu vas sont


toujours trs chers.

The concerts you attend are always


expensive.

Note that the pronoun quoi takes the place of lequel (or one of its forms) after a preposition
when the antecedent is vague or when the antecedent is an entire idea.
Je me demande quoi tu penses.

I wonder what you are thinking about.

EXERCICE

182
Mes professeurs et mes cours cette anne. My teachers and my classes this
year. Write the appropriate relative pronoun qui or a form of lequel in the space provided.
1. Le prof avec
mathmatiques.
2. La dame

tu parlais tout lheure, cest mon prof de


jai dit bonjour, cest ma prof dart.
nous marchons, cest M. Rami, le prof de

3. Le monsieur derrire
physique.
4. Les deux dames
langue.

bavardent en franais, ce sont des profs de

5. Ce laboratoire est celui dans

je vais apprendre linformatique.


je vais suivre le cours

6. Cette salle de classe est celle dans


danglais.
7. Voil la liste de runions

je devrai aller.

8. Voil le prof de gymnastique. La salle dans


est l, droite.

je vais faire du yoga

The pronoun o
The pronoun o is used to say where and replace a location.
Voil la ville o auront lieu les prochains
Jeux olympiques.

There is the city where the next Olympic


Games will take place.

The pronoun o is also used to say when in expressions like the following:
au moment o
le jour o
lanne o
Il a su que ce film allait lui plaire au
moment o il a commenc.

at the moment when


on the day when
the year when
He knew he would like the movie from the
moment when it started.

Relative pronouns

187

VOCABULAIRE UTILE. Useful vocabulary.

Review this list of vocabulary before doing the next exercise.


luniversit (f.)
college
le diplme
diploma
la main
hand
le lyce
high school
la vie
life
les tudes (f.)
studies

EXERCICE

183
Une anne mmorable. A memorable year. Translate each sentence into French.
1. The year when I started college is memorable.

2. It was the year when I finished my high school studies.

3. I remember the day when I received my diploma.

4. The moment the diploma was in my hands, I knew that I was starting a new life.

5. The day when I started college, it was a new life.

The pronoun dont


The pronoun dont replaces de qui as well as de + form of lequel. It stands for things and people.
It is often (but not always) translated into English as of whom and whose.
Examine the examples in the following table, and note that the pronoun dont is used to
elaborate on relationships and possessions. Remember that noun phrases that define relationships and possessions require the preposition de. The pronoun dont is also used in clauses that
include a verbal structure requiring the preposition de.

188

RELATIONSHIPS

POSSESSIONS

Cest le monsieur dont le


fils est dans mon cours.
It is the gentleman whose
son is in my class.
le fils du monsieur
Cest la fille dont le frre
est dans ton quipe.
This is the girl whose brother
is on your team.
le frre de la fille

Regarde la pauvre fille dont


le sac dos a disparu.
Look at the poor girl whose
backpack disappeared.
le sac de la fille
Cest la voisine dont le
chien aboie toujours.
This is the neighbor whose
dog always barks.
le chien de la voisine

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

STRUCTURE IN RELATIVE CLAUSE


INCLUDES THE PREPOSITION de

Voil lordinateur dont je


me sers.
There is the computer I use.
se servir de...
La chose dont jai besoin,
cest du papier.
The thing I need is paper.
avoir besoin de

Here is a list of expressions that are frequently found in relative clauses introduced by dont:
avoir besoin de
avoir envie de
avoir peur de
rver de
parler de
se servir de
se souvenir de
tre fier de

to need
to want/crave/desire
to be afraid of
to dream of
to talk about
to use
to remember
to be proud of

La ville dont je rvais est Paris.


Le pain dont javais le plus envie tait
le pain au chocolat.
Le jour dont je me souviens le mieux
est le jour o nous sommes monts
en haut de la Tour Eiffel.

The city I was dreaming about is Paris.


The bread I wanted the most was the
chocolate croissant.
The day I remember the best is the day when
we went up the Eiffel Tower.

EXERCICE

184
Des vacances Paris. A vacation in Paris. Translate each of the following sentences
into English. Beware of the varying translations for the pronoun dont.

1. Mes vacances Paris sont les vacances dont je me souviendrai toute ma vie.

2. Lincident avec le pickpocket la cathdrale de Notre-Dame est le seul incident dont je nai
pas un souvenir agrable.

3. La petite Smartcar, cest la voiture dont beaucoup de gens se servaient.

4. Le mtro tait le transport dont le plus de gens avaient besoin.

5. La chose dont jtais le plus fier, ctait de communiquer en franais.

Relative pronouns

189

EXERCICE

185
Les Jeux olympiques modernes. Modern Olympic Games. Complete the
following sentences with the appropriate relative pronoun qui, que, o, dont, or a form
of lequel.

Cest un franais, Pierre de Coubertin, 1.

a fait revivre les jeux

des Grecs de lAntiquit. Les premiers Jeux olympiques 2.

ont eu lieu

en 1896 Athnes en Grce sont devenus un vnement sportif international majeurun


vnement 3.

fascine les gens dans le monde entier. Les jeux

comprennent les sports dt et dhiver 4.

des milliers dathltes

participent diverses comptitions. Les jeux se dplacent de pays en pays et il y a toujours une
crmonie douverture et une crmonie de clture 5.

de nombreux

athltes participent. Les athltes portent les drapeaux des pays 6.


reprsentent et 7.

ils sont fiers. Le pays 8.

ont lieu les jeux est responsable pour le bon droulement des jeux et pour les crmonies.

190

practice makes perfect

Intermediate French Grammar

ils

Answer key

Present tense and uses of regular and stem-changing verbs

11

1. cuisine 2. mange 3. dbarrassent 4. lavent 5. regardent 6. rponds


9. bavarde 10. raccrocher

12

1. plaisante 2. raconte 3. coute 4. attendons 5. russit 6. viter 7. travaille 8. accompagne


9. rentrer 10. choisit 11. arriver 12. prtend 13. passe 14. annonce 15. trompe 16. descend
17. blouit 18. saisit 19. entends 20. grandit

13

Jai une petite famille: une maman, un papa, un frre et une sur. Nous mangeons ensemble chaque
soir/tous les soirs. Ma mre et ma sur Nina cuisinent. Pendant le dner, papa parle/bavarde beaucoup
et nous coutons. Il est trs drle et adore/aime raconter des blagues/des plaisanteries.

7. tlphone

8. adore

Aprs le dner, je nettoie la table; mon pre et mon frre font la vaisselle. Ma sur qui a beaucoup damis
passe beaucoup de temps au tlphone. Ma mre reste dans sa chambre et rpond aux e-mails/mls.

14

1. possde 2. porte 3. rouspte 4. travailler


9. envoie 10. sme 11. cdent 12. aime

15

1. appelle 2. moquent 3. possde 4. rouspte 5. provoque 6. gagne 7. aime 8. prfre


9. cde 10. accepte 11. envoie 12. emmne 13. protger 14. essaie 15. dcde 16. enferme
17. rvle 18. dcder

16

Monsieur/M. et madame/Mme Duport ont une grande famille. Ils lvent cing enfants. Malheureusement,
ils possdent une petite maison. Alors les enfants partagent deux chambres ( coucher). Les Duport
emmnent les enfants lcole chaque jour/tous les jours. Les grands protgent les petits.

5. respectent 6. tutoient 7. vouvoie

8. habitent

Pendant que le enfants passent la journe lcole, Mme Duport travaille son bureau et M. Duport nettoie
la maison et cuisine.
La famille Duport espre possder une grande maison un jour! Mais pour le moment, personne ne proteste.

17

1. Elle sappelle Audrey Tautou. 2. Elle grandit dans une famille ordinaire. 3. Son pre est chirurgiendentiste. 4. Non, elle nest pas enfant unique/Non, elle a un frre et deux surs. 5. Elle fait des films
pour la tlvision. 6. Elle gagne le csar du premier espoir fminin. 7. Cest un Oscar . 8. Les films
Le fabuleux destin dAmlie Poulain, Coco avant Chanel et Da Vinci Code la rendent clbre.

Articles and genders

21

1. Quest-ce que tu veux, de la limonade ou de leau? Un peu deau, sil te plat.


2. Tu prends du caf le matin? Oui, je prends toujours une tasse de caf.
3. Tu as besoin de sucre dans ton caf? Oui, jai besoin de beaucoup de sucre.
4. Tu peux acheter une bouteille de vin pour le dner? Bien sr, un dner sans vin nest pas un vrai dner.
5. Napporte pas de fleurs cette fois! Pourquoi pas? Tu adores/aimes les fleurs.

191

6. Oui, mais jai beaucoup de roses du jardin. (Est-ce que) Je peux apporter un dessert?
7. Non, merci. Nous avons des fruits comme dessert/pour le dessert. Les fruits sont parfaits en t, tu as
raison.
8. ce soir! Ou cet aprs-midi!

22

1. Est-ce que tu es tudiant? 2. Quelle est ta matire prfre cette anne? 3. Quest-ce que tu veux faire
dans dix ans? 4. Est-ce que tu veux tre professeur, grant dhtel, astronaute, acteur? 5. Quest-ce qui
est important? Largent, la clbrit, la fiert?

23

1. Les 2. la 3. nos 4. Les 5. les 6. leur 7. son


13. l 14. des 15. X 16. X

24

1. le ventre 2. la poitrine 3. les yeux 4. la main 5. la poitrine 6. le menton 7. la bouche


8. les dents 9. les pieds 10. les genoux

25

1. done 2. Jai trs mal la jambe droite. Je ne peux pas marcher. 3. Jai mal lorteil. Je crois quil est
cass. 4. Jai mal au poignet. Je joue trop souvent au tennis. 5. Jai mal au ventre. Je ne peux pas
manger. 6. Jai mal la poitrine. Je dois avoir une bronchite. 7. Jai mal au nez. Jai un rhume. 8. Jai
mal aux dents. Jai besoin dun dentiste. 9. Jai une griffure au visage/ la figure. 10. Jai mal au coude.

The present tense and idiomatic uses of the irregular verbs


aller, avoir, tre, and faire

31

1. Salut, Johnny! a va/Tout va bien? 2. a va bien/Bien, merci. Et toi? 3. Bien. a va sans dire: je suis
en vacances. 4. Allons la pche cet aprs-midi! 5. Cet aprs-midi, je vais chercher ma nouvelle
robe. 6. La jolie robe qui va avec mon smoking? 7. Oui, pour samedi. Je vais bon train, nest-ce
pas? 8. a va de soi.

32

1. ai limpression 2. avez raison 3. a de la chance.


8. ont besoin 9. a envie 10. avons lintention

33

1. Nous avons lintention de 2. Tu as limpression d 3. Tu as sommeil? 4. Vous avez envie d 5. Il a


honte. 6. Jai hte 7. Nous avons lhabitude de manger 8. Ils ont de la malchance 9. a lair 10. Jai
limpression

34

Lolo et Lili sont des chiots et ils sont frre et sur. Ils ont peur des bruits forts. Quand ils entendent un bruit,
ils commencent trembler. Les enfants Duport sont pleinement conscients de a/cela. Ils ont lhabitude
dviter les bruits. Malheureusement, leurs amis nont pas toujours envie dtre silencieux. Alors ils crient et
les chiots ont besoin de rconfort. Ils ont confiance en la famille Duport. Vous pensez quils ont de la chance
davoir une famille sympa/gentille/agrable? Vous avez raison!

35

1. done 2. Cest, actrice 3. Cest un professeur 4. Cest tout 5. cest toi 6. Il est moi 7. Cest
samedi 8. suis court 9. a mest gal 10. sommes sur le point

36

1. Cest 2. Cest moi 3. Je suis court 4. est sur le point 5. Elle est daccord
sympa 7. a y est, Irne est de retour 8. Cest formidable/chouette

37
38

1. h

2. e

3. g.

4. f

5. b

6. d

7. c

8. Notre 9. X 10. Un 11. ce 12. notre

4. ai hte

5. a sommeil

6. a, ans

7. a honte

6. Elle est gentille/

8. a

1. Mais jai envie de faire une promenade/un tour bicyclette/en vlo. Il fait beau.
2. Ce beau temps me fait envie. Cest tout.
3. Daccord. Je fais les courses. Tu fais ton droit.
4. a fait combien de faire nettoyer la maison?
5. a ne fait rien. Je dois faire mon sport.
6. Bon. Je fais de mon mieux aujourdhui.

39

192

1. est 2. habite 3. est 4. chante 5. a 6. envoie 7. adore 8. va 9. va 10. reprsente 11. fait

Answer key

Adjectives and comparisons

41
42
43
44

1. Tous

2. tous

1. Quel

2. quelle

45

1. belle 2. petite
10. cruelle

46

1. une salade frache 2. une personne folle 3. une laine douce 4. une robe chre 5. une mre
fire 6. une garde-robe complte 7. une prire silencieuse 8. une brioche sche 9. une
dmonstration publique 10. une voix basse

47
48

Suggested answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

49
410

1. c

The present tense of irregular verbs ending in -oir, -re,


and -ir

51
52

Suggested answers: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

53

1. Connaissez 2. est 3. perd 4. parcourt 5. secourt 6. dcrit 7. crit 8. connaissent 9. dit


10. prdit 11. annonce 12. crit 13. dcde 14. pillent 15. esprent 16. dcouvrent 17. lisent
18. relisent 19. reconnat 20. permettent

54

1. Ce beau tableau me plat. Il te plat aussi, Jeanine? 2. Et ces tableaux-ci? Ils te plaisent? 3. Regarde qui
est l. Marc te plat, Jeanine? 4. Il est beau. Il plat tout le monde. 5. Tu sais quil peint trs
bien? 6. Crois-moi! Il est excellent. 7. Naie pas peur de lui parler! Il est gentil/sympa! 8. Oh! Ils
teignent les lumires. Il doit tre lheure de partir.

55

1. devient 2. retiens 3. parviens 4. viennent 5. proviennent


9. tenons 10. parvenons 11. Tiens 12. Tenez

56

1. dors 2. parcours
10. ment

57

1. demande 2. dit 3. est 4. doit 5. est 6. met 7. tient 8. parcourt 9. tient 10. craint
11. dit 12. connat 13. prend 14. nage 15. arrive 16. est 17. voit 18. revient 19. voit
20. court 21. dit 22. doit 23. va 24. dit 25. fait 26. boire 27. assure 28. vaut 29. rentrer
30. est 31. promet 32. peut

1. j

2. g

3. h.

3. Tout

4. toute 5. Toute 6. Tous

3. Quel dommage
4. i

5. f

4. nimporte quel

7. toute 8. tous
5. peu importe

6. Quelle

6. e 7. b 8. c 9. d 10. a

1. mon seul fils 2. un homme seul 3. son propre pre 4. un certain charme 5. un jour
certain 6. un pull propre 7. un mauvais dner 8. un monsieur fch 9. un livre lourd 10. son
ancien copain
3. peureuse 4. inquite 5. grosse 6. folle

7. sotte

8. amricaine

9. active

1. roses rouges 2. nouveaux livres 3. enfants actifs 4. chiens doux/gentils 5. bons dners 6. beaux
habits 7. vieilles voitures 8. bijoux chers 9. pommes fraches 10. longues vacances 11. amis
heureux 12. employs/travailleurs honntes
2. a

3. e

4. f

5. b

6. d

1. haute 2. audacieuse 3. populaire 4. entier 5. dix-neuvime 6. innombrables 7. techniques


8. grande 9. universelle 10. franaise 11. mtallique 12. incroyable 13. chre 14. publique
15. remarquables 16. neuves 17. grands 18. hostiles 19. surpris/merveills
20. surpris/merveills 21. majestueuse 22. incroyable

1. Le soir, je dois tudier. 2. Mes parents savent que je suis un tudiant srieux. 3. Mon frre John sait
parler franais. 4. Dans mon cours de franais, nous devons faire des devoirs crits aprs chaque
classe. 5. Nous ne devons pas utiliser de traducteurs lectroniques pour faire les devoirs. 6. Mon frre
doit maider quelquefois. 7. Quelquefois je demandeQue veux-tu dire? parce quil sait plus que
moi. 8. Sans le vouloir, il rend mon travail plus difficile.

3. mens 4. sert 5. secours 6. sortons

6. tiens 7. survient 8. tient


7. pars 8. endorment 9. sert

Answer key

193

194

Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and verbal structures


after prepositions

61

1. Nous allons lcole vers huit heures du matin. 2. Nous avons cours chaque jour/tous les jours except/
sauf le dimanche. 3. Mon premier cours le lundi est mon cours favori/prfr grce au professeur.
4. Je suis assise entre mes bons amis Frank et Jerry. 5. Mon cours dhistoire aujourdhui est propos de la
deuxime guerre mondiale. 6. Malgr Frank qui parle/bavarde pendant le cours, je suis trs attentive.
7. Parfois/Quelquefois, cause de lui, le professeur cesse de parler au milieu dune phrase. 8. Devant moi,
il y a une carte. 9. Sur la carte, nous pouvons voir tous les pays. 10. Pour moi, cest un cours trs
intressant.

62

1. Je vais au Luxembourg. La capitale du Luxembourg est Luxembourg. 2. Je vais au Qubec. La capitale


du Qubec est la ville de Qubec. 3. Je vais au Burundi. La capitale du Burundi est Bujumbura. 4. Je vais
en Guyane franaise. La capitale de la Guyane franaise est Cayenne. 5. Je vais en Belgique. La capitale de
la Belgique est Bruxelles. 6. Je vais en Martinique. La capitale de la Martinique est Fort-de-France.
7. Je vais au Cameroun. La capitale du Cameroun est Yaounde. 8. Je vais en France. La capitale de la
France est Paris.

63

1. done 2. du Cameroun 3. du Sngal 4. de Belgique 5. de Suisse 6. du Burundi 7. du Qubec


8. de Louisiane 9. dAlgrie 10. du Mali

64
65

1. ouvert

66

1. au lieu de faire ses devoirs 2. au lieu de marcher


5. pour avoir dsobi

67

1. Je regrette de ne pas avoir ce livre. 2. Il regrette de ne pas pouvoir venir cette fte. 3. Elle regrette
dtre occupe aujourdhui. 4. Nous regrettons davoir oubli dapporter le gteau. 5. Nos amis
regrettent de ne pas avoir crit. 6. Tu regrettes davoir vendu ta voiture, nest-ce pas?

68

1. Je suis content(e) davoir beaucoup damis. 2. Il est content dtre en bonne sant. 3. Elle est ravie
dhabiter en France. 4. Nous sommes tristes de partir bientt. 5. Vous tes jaloux de ne pas tre riches.
6. Ils sont fchs de devoir travailler ce weekend. 7. Je regrette de ne pas avoir fait de promenade avant la
pluie. 8. Nous sommes malheureux de ne pas avoir russi cet examen. 9. Il est dsol davoir t en
retard. 10. Elles sont fches de ne pas avoir dinvitation.

69
610

1. f

Imperative, infinitive, and present participle structures

71

1. oublie 2. Rentre 3. Va, pars


10. Donne

72

1. Ouvrez 2. largissez 3. Devenez


9. Explorez 10. discutez

73
74

1. E

75

1. Jeannot, arrte de jouer ce jeu! 2. Ne prtends pas faire les devoirs! 3. Tu oublies toujours dcrire
ce que tu dois faire. 4. Tu es capable davoir de bonnes notes. 5. Tu es sur le point de finir tes tudes de
lyce. 6. Tu nas pas honte dtre paresseux? 7. Tu as lintention d habiter/de vivre dans la rue? 8. Tu
as de la chance davoir cette famille!

76

1. k

2. achet

3. cr 4. travaill

5. continu

1. tre all 2. avoir fini 3. avoir russi 4. tre alle 5. avoir fait 6. avoir fini 7. tre
rentre 8. tre tomb 9. avoir pous 10. avoir pris 11. avoir compris 12. avoir t
13. avoir attendu

2. d

1. faire

3. e

4. g

2. organiser

2. F

3. C

5. c

5. I

4. sans demander permission

6. h 7. b 8. a

3. escalader

4. A

3. pour sortir jouer

4. faisant

5. avoir suivi 6. participer

4. Fais 5. Sois 6. regarde 7. Choisis


4. Veuillez 5. oubliez 6. recevez

7. avoir

8. Mange

8. accepter

9. mets

7. Soyez 8. Sachez

6. H 7. B 8. D 9. G 10. J

1. Lire toute la journe, cest mon hobby. 2. Rpondre mes questions est urgent. 3. Marcher seul dans
les rues la nuit est dangereux. 4. Russir cet examen est mon seul but. 5. Acheter de nouveaux habits
est amusant. 6. Aider les amis est naturel.

Answer key

2. i

3. a

4. h

5. e

6. g

7. f

8. d

9. b

10. l

11. c

12. j

77

1. Grard Depardieu grandit avec cinq frres et surs. 2. Ladolescent dcide de voler des voitures.
3. Cest difficile croire mais cest vrai. 4. Il arrive cesser de faire a/cela. 5. Il commence suivre des
cours de comdie Paris. 6. Le cinma amricain offre Depardieu de jouer dans Green Card.
7. Depardieu apprend trs vite gagner beaucoup dargent. 8. Il devient clbre et riche et semble
adorer/aimer les deux.

78
79
710
711

1. F

712

1. It is dangerous to give in to your passions. 2. One has to have enough strength to listen to reason.
3. It is rare to find sincere politicians. 4. It is difficult to define love. 5. It is good to ask questions.
6. Hardship makes you stronger.

713

1. Dans 2. dsol 3. 4. rcolter 5. marcher 6. chercher 7. rendant


10. rencontrer 11. Sans 12. trouv 13. enchant 14. Quant au

Reflexive verbs

81

1. me rveille/me lve 2. me douche/me maquille 3. mhabille/me prpare 4. sappelle/se coiffe


5. se souvient/sexcuse 6. mendors/rveille 7. sche/coiffe 8. me regarde/men vais

82

1a. Nous regardons un bon film.

2. F

1. travailler
1. e

2. f

3. F

4. V

5. V

6. F 7. V 8. V 9. F 10. V

2. persvrer 3. facile
3. g

4. h

5. a

4. amusant

5. faut 6. tre

7. dangereux

8. croire

6. b 7. c 8. d

1. En pratiquant beaucoup, apprendre une nouvelle langue devient facile. 2. En coutant les nouvelles en
franais, je commence comprendre plus/davantage. 3. En faisant des exercices de grammaire, je peux
crire le franais plus correctement. 4. Mais quelquefois jai des difficults en faisant mes devoirs.
5. On devient plus tolrant en comprenant les autres cultures.

8. au 9.

1b. Nous nous regardons.

2a. La petite fille dit au revoir.

2b. Les petites filles se disent au revoir.

3a. Jaide mon cousin Maurice.

3b. Maurice et moi, nous nous aidons.

4a. Ils ne sparent pas les enfants.

4b. Les deux frres naiment pas se sparer.

5a. Il serre la main du monsieur. 5b. Les messieurs se serrent la main.


6a. Le/la secrtaire inscrit les tudiants. 6b. Ltudiant sinscrit un cours.
7a. Je rencontre Marianne.

7b. Marianne et moi, nous nous rencontrons aujourdhui.

8a. Tu admires cette jolie dame.

8b. Tu tadmires dans le miroir.

83
84

1. PL

85

1. Le matin, Marie se lve, se lave la figure, se brosse les dents, se maquille et shabille.

2. L

3. PL

4. PL

5. L 6. L 7. PL 8. PL 9. L 10. L

1. Dpchez-vous! 2. Asseyez-vous! 3. Ne vous parlez pas! 4. Levez-vous! 5. Approchez-vous du


tableau! 6. Ne vous inquitez pas! 7. Rappelez-vous les rponses! 8. Parlez-vous! 9. Mettez-vous
daccord!
2. Jean-Marc se rveille, se rendort pour quelques minutes, se rveille de nouveau, se peigne les cheveux, se
rase la figure, se lave, se sche et shabille.
3. Quand les hommes se rencontrent, ils se serrent la main et se disent bonjour.
4. Quand les femmes se rencontrent, elles se font la bise sur la joue et se font des compliments.

Future tenses

91

1. Tu vas venir la fte ce soir?


2. Oui, mais je vais finir mes devoirs de math/mathmatiques dabord.
3. Bon. Je vais tattendre chez moi.
4. Bon. Je vais te chercher vers sept heures.
5. Je vais porter ma nouvelle robe ce soir.
6. Jai hte daller la fte. a va tre amusant.

Answer key

195

92

1. Tu thabilles, Christophe?
2. Oui, mais je veux me regarder dans le miroir. Attends!
3. Oh! Tu es beau! Regarde-toi!
4. Je me regarde. Pas mal!
5. Regarde-moi maintenant!
6. Tu es belle. Approche-toi!

93

1. sera 2. aura 3. crera 4. vivront 5. resteront 6. seront


9. communiqueront 10. pourront

94

1. Il/Elle sera 2. Il/Elle portera 3. Il/Elle se transportera 4. Il/Elle se transformera 5. Il/Elle se


battra 6. Il/Elle sauvera 7. Il/Elle naura 8. Il/Elle ne pourra pas 9. Il/Elle saura 10. Il/Elle
obtiendra

95

1. me lverai, prendrai 2. ferai, courrai 3. rentrerai, me ferai 4. me ferai, mhabillerai 5. me


mettrai, enverrai 6. rejoindrai, bavarderai 7. irai, regarderai 8. massirai/assoirai, boirai

96

Esprons quil ne pleuvra pas dimanche prochain. Juliette paraitra lglise avec ses demoiselles dhonneur
et ensuite Romo arrivera. Le mariage aura lieu dehors. Il y aura 50 invits. Juliette et Romo se regarderont
tendrement. Ils feront leurs voeux. Ils sembrasseront et tout le monde applaudira. Aprs la crmonie, tous
les invits iront au jardin.

97

1. Quand tu dbarqueras de lavion, appelle-moi! Je viendrai tout de suite. 2. Ds que/Aussitt que tu


arriveras, nous nous assirons/assoirons pour manger. 3. Demain nous nous lverons tt et visiterons la
ville. 4. Dimanche prochain, tu rencontreras mes amis. 5. La semaine prochaine, nous nous amuserons
regarder un grand match de basketball au stade. 6. Dans 10 jours, tu accompagneras ma famille la Cte
dAzur. 7. Jespre quil ne pleuvra pas quand nous resterons Nice. 8. Sil pleut, nous ne pourrons pas
faire de la voile. 9. Il vaudra mieux aller au casino demain soir. 10. Le mois prochain, ds que/aussitt
que nous finirons nos vacances, je devrai commencer lcole. 11. partir de demain nous ne nous
parlerons quen franais. 12. Bientt tu parleras trs bien franais.

10

Negative and interrogative structures

101
102
103

1. jamais

2. personne

1. f

3. d

104

1a. Est-ce que tu pars en voyage cet t? 1b. Pars-tu en voyage cet t?

2. e

4. c

3. rien 4. Jamais personne


5. b

7. feront

8. se promneront

5. Ni lun ni lautre. 6. Jamais plus

6. a

1. Jeannot est capable de ne rien faire le weekend. 2. Il dcide souvent de ne voir personne et de ne rien
faire. 3. Il prfre ne plus aller lcole. 4. Il ne veut plus rien tudier. 5. Il naime ni tudier ni
travailler. 6. Navoir rien faire toute la journe semble ennuyeux!
2a. Est-ce que Josette adore le Qubec?

2b. Josette adore-t-elle le Qubec?

3a. Est-ce que nous pouvons passer le weekend dans votre chalet de montagne?
le weekend dans votre chalet de montagne?
4a. Est-ce que vous avez deux chiens l-bas?
5a. Est-ce quils sont mchants?

3b. Pouvons-nous passer

4b. Avez-vous deux chiens l-bas?

5b. Sont-ils mchants?

6a. Est-ce que vos chiens sont des chiens de garde? 6b. Vos chiens sont-ils des chiens de garde?

196

105

1. Est-ce que tu organises le tour? Cest toi qui organises le tour. 2. Qui est-ce que tu invites? 3. Qui
conduit?/Qui est-ce qui conduit? 4. Est-ce quon apporte tous manger? 5. Quand est-ce quon part et
quelle heure? 6. O est-ce quon reste pour la nuit? 7. Quest-ce quon va faire dimanche? 8. Pourquoi
est-ce quon ne part pas aujourdhui? 9. Comment est-ce que tu sais que les routes sont bonnes? 10. De
combien de temps est-ce quon a besoin pour arriver?

106

1. O est-ce que tu vas en vacances? 2. Avec qui est-ce que tu vas? 3. A ct de qui est-ce que tu es
assis(e)? 4. Dans quel htel est-ce que tu restes? 5. Est-ce que ton htel est prs ou loin de la
plage? 6. Sur quelle plage est ton htel? 7. En face de quels autres htels est-ce quil est? 8. De quoi
est-ce que tu as besoin? 9. Pour quels repas est-ce que tu paies lavance? 10. Pourquoi est-ce que tu ne
restes pas plus longtemps?

107

1. d

Answer key

2. h

3. e

4. a

5. c

6. g 7. f 8. b

108

1. Joey veut-il suivre des cours dans une universit franaise? 2. Ses parents vont-ils payer les frais
de scolarit? 3. Son professeur de franais va-t-il crire une lettre de recommandation pour Joey?
4. Joey va-t-il envoyer son dossier luniversit sans dlai? 5. Le comit dadmission doit-il tudier son
dossier? 6. Joey va-t-il recevoir une rponse au mois de mai?

109

1. O et quand les Jeux olympiques vont-ils avoir lieu? 2. Qui va tre le prsident du comit
international? 3. Que doit-il organiser? 4. Pourquoi va-t-il tre ncessaire de/Pourquoi va-t-il falloir/
exproprier des centaines de familles? 5. Que doit faire la ville de Rio ?

11

Imparfait and pass compos

111

1. tait 2. avait 3. tait 4. avait 5. avaient 6. voulait 7. avait 8. dormait 9. passait


10. tait 11. priait 12. devait 13. avait 14. dfendait 15. taient 16. examinaient 17. voyaient
18. admiraient 19. pouvaient 20. tait 21. avait 22. tait 23. pouvait 24. avait 25. fallait
26. venaient

112

1. Je pleurais souvent. 2. Je voulais toujours ma maman. 3. Je mangeais des fruits tous les jours/chaque
jour. 4. Je jouais quelquefois/parfois avec mon frre. 5. Javais rarement des devoirs. 6. Quand il
neigeait, mon cole tait ferme. 7. Je lisais de temps en temps. 8. Dhabitude javais des amis la
maison laprs-midi. 9. Chaque fois que javais une nouvelle dent, je recevais un dollar. 10. Je ntais
jamais mchant(e).

113
114
115

1. tait/tait

116

1. ont reu 2. ont accept 3. ont rpondu 4. avons rendu 5. avons pris 6. avons mang
7. ont fait 8. avons dans 9. a plu 10. avons d 11. a regard 12. a jou

117

1. es alle 2. suis alle 3. es reste 4. suis reste 5. ne sont pas venus


7. es revenue 8. suis alle 9. es tombe 10. suis sortie

118

1. me suis arrt 2. tes ennuy 3. ne me suis pas amus


5. tes dpche 6. me suis amuse

119

1. a eu 2. a vu 3. a ferm 4. est remonte 5. a remarqu 6. na pas pu 7. est rentr


8. a vu 9. a demand 10. a rpondu 11. a confess 12. a perdu 13. sest fch
14. a menac 15. a demand 16. est rest 17. a dit 18. est alle 19. a implor 20. est monte

1110

1. tait 2. avait 3. se lavait 4. se brossait 5. prenait 6. faisait 7. se promenait


8. a eu 9. sest trouve 10. sest approch 11. tait 12. na pas eu peur/navait pas peur
13. indiquait 14. sappelait 15. avait 16. a tlphon 17. ne savait pas 18. tait
19. a entendu 20. est venu 21. sont devenus 22. a offert

1111

1. Emma voulait aller la piscine hier aprs-midi mais elle avait besoin dun nouveau maillot de bain.
2. Alors elle est alle au magasin et elle a achet un bikini. 3. Plus tard quand elle a quitt sa maison, le
ciel tait encore bleu. 4. Mais quand elle est arrive la piscine, il commenait pleuvoir. 5. Alors elle a
eu peur quand elle a entendu le tonnerre et vu des clairs. 6. Soudain elle navait plus envie de nager.
7. Emma est retourne larrt dautobus/de bus et a pris lautobus/le bus. 8. Finalement elle est rentre
chez elle/ la maison et a prpar le dner.

1112
1113

1. e

1. tiez

2. allait

2. avions

3. connaissait

3. d

5. avait 6. voyait 7. vendait 8. faisait

3. donnaient 4. pouvions 5. russissions

1. a fait 2. a imagin 3. a russi


8. a plu 9. a invit 10. a dit

2. a

4. adorait

4. c

5. b

4. ont flicit 5. ont offert

6. devions
6. ont prtendu 7. a ouvert

6. sont rentrs

4. nous sommes vus

6. g 7. h 8. f

1. est venu 2. sest jete 3. a demand 4. ne voulait rien 5. a pris 6. a lev 7. sont entrs
8. taient 9. a reconnu 10. ont attrap 11. essayait 12. est tomb 13. est mort
14. sest remarie 15. ont eu/avaient

Answer key

197

198

12

Adverbs and adverbial phrases

121
122

1. g

123
124

1. si intelligent

125

1. rapidement 2. videmment 3. rarement 4. patiemment 5. frquemment 6. srement


7. Gnralement 8. Heureusement 9. seulement 10. poliment 11. Actuellement

126

1. Dabord je me lve. 2. Alors/Ensuite/Puis je me brosse les dents et je prends une douche. 3. Aprs je
mhabille et je me brosse les cheveux. 4. Finalement/Enfin je prends le petit djeuner. 5. Dhabitude je
vais au bureau vers huit heures. 6. Alors je dois prendre le bus sept heures. 7. sept heures du matin,
il y a dj beaucoup de monde larrt dautobus/de bus. 8. Quand tout va bien, je suis au travail 7h45.

127

1. Elle salue les tudiants dune manire enthousiaste. 2. Tout dabord elle demande aux tudiants
comment ils vont. 3. Alors/Ensuite/Puis elle commence la leon promptement. 4. Elle enseigne dune
manire efficace et intressante. 5. Quelquefois/Parfois elle prsente aussi les leons dune manire
bizarre. 6. Mme quand Mme Tonie surprend les tudiants, ils aiment son cours. 7. Par exemple, un
jour, elle vient en cours en tant que lartiste Monet.

128

1. jamais 2. peut-tre 3. mme 4. dj 5. dfinitivement 6. compltement 7. surtout


contraire 9. attentivement 10. par exemple 11. rgulirement 12. aussi 13. gravement
14. srement 15. immdiatement

13

Conditional sentences

131

1. rpondrais 2. parlerait 3. aurions 4. demanderaient 5. dirais 6. croiraient 7. penseraient


8. fermerais 9. serait 10. aurais 11. terminerais 12. crirais 13. mettrions 14. rpterais
15. souhaiteraient 16. irais

132

1. Je serais souvent seul(e). 2. Je naurais pas de meilleur ami. 3. Je ne pourrais pas partager mes
sentiments. 4. Je ne mamuserais pas tout le temps. 5. Je travaillerais tout le temps. 6. Joublierais
beaucoup de choses.

133
134
135

1. voudrais/aimerais

136

1. avait commenc 2. avait reu


7. avait annonc 8. avait voulu

137

1. Ils auraient probablement eu des jumeaux. 2. Ils nauraient pas eu besoin de tant de vtements de bb.
3. Ils nauraient pas engag de nounou. 4. Serge serait retourn au travail immdiatement.
5. Ils nauraient pas reu tant de cadeaux. 6. Ils auraient eu moins de travail. 7. Ils auraient dormi
davantage. 8. Ils nauraient pas t surpris.

138

1. If Nathalie had not gone to France, she would not have met Andr. 2. If she had not met Andr, she
would not have stayed in France. 3. If she had not stayed in France, she would not have married. 4. If
she had not married, she would have come back to the United States. 5. If she had come back to the United
States, she would have worked with her father. 6. If she had worked with her father, she would not have
become as independent. 7. If she had not become as independent, she could not have become CEO of a big
company.

2. d

3. h

4. b

5. f

6. e 7. a 8. c

1. Jacques aime vraiment la France. Il veut rester ici un peu plus longtemps. 2. Bien sr! Il a beaucoup
faire et beaucoup apprendre tous les jours/chaque jour. 3. Il aime tellement la culture franaise!
4. Alors il peut rester ici pour environ une anne/un an? 5. Il ne va jamais rentrer chez lui/ la maison?
6. Mais si, bien sr! Il va rentrer mais pas encore. 7. Il peut probablement encore rester un mois ou deux.
8. Tu es si pessimiste.
2. trs admirable

3. si logique

4. trs riche 5. assez gnreux 6. assez jolie

1. presque toujours 2. trop dur 3. si spontanment


fort 7. si mal 8. plutt bien

1. h

2. e

3. g

2. prfreriez

4. f

5. b

3. prfrerais

4. jamais rien 5. vraiment trop 6. trop

8. Au

4. voudriez/aimeriez 5. pourriez 6. devriez

6. d 7. c 8. a 9. j 10. i

1. Si jhabitais prs de la plage, je nagerais chaque jour/tous les jours. 2. Si je devais vivre/habiter sur une
le, ce serait la Martinique. 3. Si jtais un animal, je serais un dauphin. 4. Si je devais vivre/habiter avec
une seule personne, je choisirais mon/ma meilleur(e) ami(e). 5. Si je pouvais construire une maison, je
construirais un palais. 6. Si jachetais une nouvelle voiture, jachterais une Tesla.

Answer key

3. tait parti

4. tait rentr 5. avait trouv 6. stait mari

14

Object pronouns

141
142
143

1. me 2. te

144
145
146
147

1. l

2. la 3. la

1. lui

2. la lui

1. en

2. en

15

Past infinitive structures and agreement of past participles

151

1. aprs avoir conduit la voiture 2. aprs avoir vu laccident 3. aprs avoir appel la police 4. aprs
avoir dcrit laccident 5. aprs avoir mis la voiture au garage 6. aprs avoir racont lhistoire

152
153

1. tre sortie

154

1. stre leve 2. stre maquille


7. avoir fini 8. stre lav

155

1. alls 2. arrive 3. fchs


10. rests

156

1. mis 2. vu 3. poses 4. montes 5. attendu 6. retrouv


10. rang 11. vue 12. vue

157

1. offert 2. achet
10. entendue

158

1. es descendu 2. ai remont 3. as trouve


8. a russi 9. est reste 10. ai pas vue

159

1. a vu 2. sest dit 3. a respir 4. a retenu 5. avoir observe 6. a dit


9. a continu 10. stre enfle 11. a crev 12. est morte

16

Demonstrative, interrogative, and possessive pronouns

161
162

1. celui, celui

163
164

1. Lequel 2. Lesquelles

165
166

1. le mien 2. les tiens 3. les ntres

1. vous

3. me 4. te

2. nous

3. vous

5. m 6. me, t 7. me 8. me
4. nous

5. vous

6. nous

7. nous

8. vous

1. Maman, je te prsente mes amies. 2. Elles sappellent Iris et May. 3. Je vais vous apprendre jouer de
la guitare. 4. Nous allons nous amuser. 5. Maman va vous entendre; mais ne vous inquitez pas!
6. Elle va probablement vous demander de revenir. 7. Je vous conseille de dire oui. 8. Elle vous aimera/
adorera.
4. les 5. les 6. les 7. me les 8. te les

3. leur

3. y, en

4. les
4. en

1. s 2. les 3. leur 4. se

5. les 6. le leur
5. en 6. y 7. y 8. y

5. l 6. y 7. la 8. en 9. leur 10. en

2. tre retourne

3. tre alle 4. avoir mang

1. Aprs stre dpche 2. Aprs stre fches


stre lav les mains 6. Aprs stre endormis

2. celui, celui

3. Aprs stre lev

3. tre arrive 4. stre fait

4. fait 5. dpchs 6. assis

3. prpar

5. avoir pris 6. tre alle

4. invits

5. envoy

6. dit

4. Aprs stre baigns

5. stre fait
7. amuss

5. Aprs

6. stre dpche

8. ennuye 9. partie

7. remises 8. eu 9. perdu
7. demand

8. comprise

9. apport

4. ai mise 5. est passe 6. est rentre 7. a pass

3. Celles-ci/Celles-l

4. Celui, celui

7. es ne

8. a rpondu

5. celui-ci/celui-l

1. Jai un tee-shirt rouge et un tee-shirt bleu. Je crois/pense que je vais porter celui-ci. 2. De tous mes
shorts, je prfre celui-l. 3. Quelquefois/Parfois ma sur me prte une de ses robes. Aujourdhui je
voudrais celle en coton. 4. Quelquefois/Parfois ma mre offre de me prter une de ses robes lgantes.
Mais je prfre celles de ma sur. 5. Ces broches sont belles. Laisse-moi essayer celle-ci et celle-l!
3. Lesquelles 4. Lequel 5. Laquelle 6. Lequel

1. Jaime les deux colliers. Je ne sais pas lequel jaime le mieux. 2. Jadore ces deux bracelets. Je crois/pense
que je prfre celui en or. 3. Ces montres sont magnifiques. Laquelle est-ce que je prfre? 4. Regarde ces
mdaillons! Lequel est-ce que tu aimes le mieux, Jennie? 5. Jaime ces trois paires de boucles doreille.
Lesquelles est-ce que je devrais acheter? Celles-ci ou celles-l?
1. Celle-ci 2. Duquel
mienne 10. le mien

3. celui

4. le sien 5. la sienne

4. Laquelle 5. celle

6. les vtres

6. Lequel 7. celui

7. les leurs 8. le leur


8. la mienne 9. La

Answer key

199

200

17

The subjunctive mood

171

1. rougisse 2. regardions 3. cherchiez 4. rende 5. sois 6. ait 7. finissent 8. dfende


9. saisissent 10. vendes 11. monte 12. descendiez

172

1. coute
10. ait

173

1. aillent 2. boive 3. venions 4. veuille 5. puissions 6. tiennes 7. prenne


9. plaisions 10. lisiez 11. crive 12. craignes 13. dorme 14. fasse

174

1. soient 2. voient 3. sachent 4. connaissent 5. ne viennent pas


8. tiennent 9. viennent 10. comprennent

175

1. Il faut que nous soyons prudents. 2. Il faut que nous ayons beaucoup de patience. 3. Il faut que nous
cdions la priorit. 4. Il faut que nous portions notre permis de conduire. 5. Il faut que nous soyons
assurs. 6. Il ne faut pas que nous dpassions la limite de vitesse. 7. Il ne faut pas que nous buvions.
8. Il ne faut pas que nous envoyions des textos. 9. Il ne faut pas que nous nous endormions. 10. Il ne
faut pas que nous brlions des feux rouges.

176
177
178

1.

179

1. Boucle dor est entre dans la maison des ours avant quils ne rentrent. 2. Elle a got leurs soupes
jusqu ce quelle trouve la meilleure. 3. Elle a cass une chaise bien quelle nait pas lintention de faire a/
cela. 4. Elle a choisi le petit lit parce quil avait lair mignon. 5. Elle a dormi jusqu ce que les ours
montent leur chambre ( coucher). 6. Quand elle sest rveille, elle a saut par la fentre de peur/de
crainte que les ours la mangent.

1710

1. ait quitt 2. soyez rests 3. ne vous soyez pas maris 4. sois parti 5. ait t 6. aies coute
7. aie dit 8. aie t 9. te sois fait 10. ait fait 11. sois tomb 12. ne te sois pas rendu
compte 13. ne sortions pas 14. te dises 15. ne comprennes pas 16. soit 17. arrive 18. finisse

18

Relative pronouns

181
182
183

1. que 2. qui 3. qui 4. que 5. que 6. qui 7. qui 8. qu 9. que 10. qui

184

1. My vacation in Paris is the vacation I will remember all my life. 2. The incident with a pickpocket at
Notre-Dame is the only incident that I do not have a pleasant memory of. 3. The little Smartcar is the car a
lot of people used. 4. The subway was the transportation that most people needed. 5. What I was the
most proud of was communicating in French.

185

1. qui 2. qui 3. qui 4. o 5. auxquelles 6. qu 7. dont 8. o

2. ait

2.

1. soient

3.

3. finisse 4. participe

4.

5.

2. puissent 3. respecte

6.
4. ait

5. rponde

7.

8.

5. vote

6. bavarde

9.

7. perde

8. soit 9. rougisse
8. reoive

6. veuillent 7. croient

10.

6. aient

1. Je recommande que vous votiez. 2. Je souhaite que vous vous engagiez. 3. Je ne suis pas sr(e) que
vous vouliez tre engags. 4. Je regrette que vous ne sentiez pas le besoin de participer. 5. Je suggre que
vous vous renseigniez. 6. Je propose que vous suiviez des cours en sciences politiques. 7. Jinsiste que
nous allions tous ces cours. 8. Je suis surpris(e) que vous soyez daccord.

1. qui 2. qui 3. qui 4. qui 5. lequel 6. laquelle 7. auxquelles 8. laquelle


1. Lanne o jai commenc luniversit est mmorable. 2. Ctait lanne o jai termin/fini mes tudes
de lyce. 3. Je me rappelle le/Je me souviens du jour o jai reu mon diplme. 4. Au moment o le
diplme tait dans mes mains, jai su que je commenais une nouvelle vie. 5. Le jour o jai commenc
luniversit, ctait une nouvelle vie.

Answer key