To be or not to be in French

To be or not to be, that is the question and if it is not “to be”, it is “to have” in French!

Many important expressions in English use the verb “to be” but not in French. They are important because we use them nearly every day, but if their meaning is the same, they use the verb “to have” in French!
Here is the video:

1-      Age:

I am 20 years old:

-Je suis âgé de 20 ans
-J’ai 20 ans (most commun)

How old are you?

-Quel âge as-tu? / Quel âge avez-vous?

2-      Right or Wrong :

I am right and you are wrong:
J’ai raison et tu as tort

Qui avait raison? (who was right?)

3-      Hungry and Thirsty

I am hungry and thirsty: J’ai faim et soif

Tu as faim? (are you hungry?)

Je suis mort de soif (I am dying of thirst)

4-      Hot or Cold?

I am hot, you are cold: J’ai chaud, tu as froid,

Je suis chaud= I am enthusiastic about

5-      More Expressions:

You are lucky: tu as de la chance!

I am ashamed: j’ai honte!

He is afraid: il a peur!

We are sleepy: nous avons sommeil

You are seasick: vous avez le mal de mer.

Many expressions about time, size…
The train was 10 minutes late: le train a eu 10 minutes de retard
It is 3 m large: ça fait 3 m de long

6-      Fed up?

I am fed up: J’en ai marre!

j’en ai marre de toi: I am fed up with you

Il y en a marre: that’s enough

Plural in French

Plural of the nouns and adjectives in French:

Here is the video:

and now the script:

the main rule:

you add an “s” at the end of the word.

Many exceptions:

1- Some words are invariable:

a-words ending in “s”, in “x”, in “z”:

bus, paix, gaz

b- Chic, Snob, Mille:

des gens chic: no “s” at the end of chic, the same for snob and mille.
For hundred and eighty is different:

Deux cents ( 2 hundred) but deux cent trois (2 hundred and three)
Quatre-vingts pages but quatre-vingt-deux pages

2- plural of the words ending in “eu”, “eau”, and “au”:
they have a “x” instead of a “s” :

feu= feux; gâteau= gâteaux; tuyau= tuyaux.

3- plural of the words ending in “al”
they have a plural in “aux”

Cheval= chevaux; animal= animaux; général= généraux…
but festival = festivals.

4-plural of the words ending in “ou”
they are regular, so a “s” for the plural form but 7 exceptions to know by heart:

•Bijou (jewel): bijoux
•caillou (stone): cailloux
•chou (cabbage): choux
•genou (knee): genoux
•hibou (owl): hiboux
•joujou (toy): joujoux
•pou (louse): poux
and a new one: ripou, ripoux (crook)
5- colours:
they have a “s”, but not the words coming from a fruit or a flower:
Un livre orange, des livres orange (orange is a fruit)
however des chemises roses (rose is an exception)
also: we say une chemise verte but une chemise vert clair, when you combin several words, they become invariable.
des chemises vert clair or des chaussures gris foncé.
6- Words that change gender:
Amour, Délice, Orgue are masculine at singular but feminine for the plural, so we say:
un grand amour but de grandes amours
Gens (people) is even weirder, we say:
des gens intéressants but de petites gens, when the adjective is before the word gens, it becomes feminine!
This list is not exhaustive but you have here the main rule and exceptions.
plural in French

French Adjectives Part 2: Before or After

French Adjectives, where to place them?

The general rule is to put the adjectives after the noon, however you noticed that  in French they can also  be before it; sometimes it is not important, usually when an adjective is before the noun, it is acceptable to have it sometimes after, for example:

– Un grand livre or un livre grand (even if un grand livre sounds better with the adjective grand before), but we are going to see that, in some cases, it is not possible (this example with Grand does not work with people see below).

Here is the video:

1- Adjectives Before the Noun: Put them into your BAGS!

4 categories, adjectives about: age, size, beauty, bad and good. We can call it the BAGS (for Beauty, Age, Goodness, Size)

A- Age: old, young

-Un vieux livre
-Une vieille voiture
-Un jeune garçon
-Une jeune fille

B- Size: small, little, big, tall…

-Un grand livre
-Une grande voiture
-Une petite maison

C- Beauty: Good-looking, handsome…

-Un beau livre
-Un bel homme (ou un homme beau)
-Une belle fille
-De beaux livres

D- Bad, Good: mauvais, méchant, bon…

-Un bon garçon (a good boy)
-Une bonne élève ( a good pupil)
-De mauvais garçons (bad boys)

2-The others adjectives are always after and cannot be put before. It is the case for adjectives of color, shape, nationality, taste (see the video)

-“Un plat épicé” is a spicy dish, but you cannot say “un épicé plat”, it is not correct in French.

3-Adjectives can be before or after but with a different meaning:


-“Un grand ami” is a great friend but “un ami grand” is a tall friend.
-“Un viel ami” is a friend you have been knowing for years but “un ami vieux” is a friend who is old.
-“Un petit ami” is a boyfriend and “un ami petit” is a little friend.
Un cher ami: a dear friend but une voiture chère is an expensive car.
Une histoire drôle is a funny story but une drôle d’histoire is a weird story
Un homme grand is a tall man but un grand homme is a famous man
Mon propre libre is my own book but un livre propre is a clean book
Un seul chien is one dog only but un chien seul is a dog alone

Adjectives In French – Part I

Adjectives In French – Part 1: Masculine / Feminine

What is an Adjective? (French adjectives)

An Adjective is a word you add to another one (the noun) to have more information about it, that’s why we call it an Adjective, because it is Added.

The word Book is a noun, to add more information about it we can say ” a green book”, green is the adjective; the same thing for:

– An Old House (Old is the adjective)
– A French Man (French is here an adjective)

Video here:

Read moreAdjectives In French – Part I

Conditional Mood in French

French conditional

The French conditional is a mood and not a tense, what is the difference?
You know expressions like good or bad mood, it is the same word.
You also remember that we say “present perfect indicative mood”, because indicative = neutral, but the conditional is not neutral, with it: things may occur on certain conditions.


Have a look at the video:

Read moreConditional Mood in French

Passé Composé vs Imparfait

imparfait vs passe compose

The difficulty in French with the past tenses is they do not match any English past tenses, so how to know which tense is correct?

French Present Tense Irregular Verbs

Have a look at this video and go to below for a QUIZ on line.

Read morePassé Composé vs Imparfait

French Passé Composé

passe compose

French Passé Composé / Passé Composé être, avoir:

Read moreFrench Passé Composé