French Verbs Are Accessible

Present Tense-

Avoir, Ítre, and aller-

We will now learn to conjugate avoir (to have), Ítre (to be), and aller (to go), which are essential for learning French.

Listen carefully as your screen reader pronounces the different forms of avoir.

Subject Pronouns- Avoir- English Translation-
j' ai I have
tu as you have
il, elle, on a he, she, one has
nous avons we have
vous avez you have
ils, elles ont they have

Avoir is used in a number of special ways.

  1. To talk about how old you are:
    Quel âge as-tu? (How old are you?)
    J'ai vingt ans. (I am 20.)

  2. In a number of idiomatic expressions, such as:
    Il y a (there is, are)
    Avoir besoin de (to need)
    Avoir envie de (to want, feel like)
    Avoir peur de (to be afraid of)
    Avoir faim (to be hungry)
    Avoir soif (to be thirsty)
    Avoir de la chance (to be lucky)
    Avoir chaud (to be hot)
    Avoir froid (to be cold)
    Avoir raison (to be right)
    Avoir tort (to be wrong)
    Avoir sommeil (to be sleepy)

  3. As a helping verb in compound tenses:

  4. J'ai parlé. (I spoke.)
    Ils avaient dîné. (They had dined.)

Now, let's listen to the conjugation of être.

Subject Pronouns- être- English Translation-
je suis I am
tu es you are
il, elle, on est he, she, one is
nous sommes we are
vous êtes you are
ils, elles sont they are -

Please pay close attention to the way your screen reader pronounces the third-person plural forms of avoir and être, and learn to tell them apart. Listen for the z sound in ils ont and elles ont, and for the s sound in ils sont and elles sont.

The verb être is used in different ways.

  1. One special use of être is the idiom être en train de + an infinitive, which means to be in the process of doing something -- whatever action is expressed in the infinitive. For example, Je suis en train de travailler (I am in the process of working).

  2. être also serves as the helping verb for certain kinds of verbs in compound tenses such as the passé composé.
    Je suis né. (I was born.)
    Ils sont allés. (They went.)
    Nous nous sommes réveillés. (We woke up.)

Finally, listen to the way your reader conjugates the verb aller.

Subject Pronouns- Aller - English Translation-
je vais I go, am going
tu vas you go, are going
il, elle, on va he, she, one goes, is going
nous allons we go, are going
vous allez you go, are going
ils, elles vont they go, are going-

You will find it helpful to know aller when talking about how you are feeling, and it will be essential when using the futur proche (near future tense), which we will study in another module.