Past Participle Agreement in French

Past Participle in English:

Only one auxiliary verb to build the present tense: to have, for example: I have danced
the video:

French Past Participle:

2 auxiliary verbs to have: j’ai dansé and also to be: je suis allé (only if “je” is a boy), but if we say “elle est allée” (she went), you can see there is an agreement between the past participle and the subject of the sentence. ans this is the rule:

1. With the verb to be as an auxiliary verb, there is an agreement between the subject and the past participle:

– Elle est allée
– Elles sont allées
– Nous sommes allés

2. With the verb to have, there is no agreement between the subject and the past participle

so we will write “elle a dancé”, however:
Elle a mangé la tarte (she ate the pie) with a pronoun becomes:
Elle l’a mangée

Rule: when the object (here the pronoun) is before the verb to have, you must agree it with the past participle. (the agreement is not with the subject, but with the direct object)

In our example, the word pie is feminine in French, so when it becomes the pronoun “la” or l’ before the verb to have, you must add an final “e” to the past participle.

Another example:

J’ai mangé le gâteau = je l’ai mangé (gâteau or l’ are masculine)

J’ai révisé mes lessons = je les ai révisées (lesson or les are feminine)

J’ai pris la voiture (I have taken the car) = je l’ai prise (voiture or l’ are feminine)

French Past Participle: French prepositional verbs have no direct object but indirect ones, so no agreement: je lui ai écrit (even of lui is a girl because the verb is écrire à)

Dictation

past participle

Size and Weight in French

Size and Weight in French

The way of talking about size in French and in English is different, and it is rarely possible to translate word for word a sentence or a question related to the size of something.

Video: Click

Vocabulary:

Lenght: la hauteur (high: haut, haute)
Width: la Largeur (wide: large)

1- How long are your skis?

  • De quelle longueur sont tes skis?
  • Quelle est la longueur de tes skis?
  • Combien mesurent tes skis?
  • Combien font tes skis de long?

They are 2 meters long:

  • Ils sont longs de 2 mètres
  • Ils ont 2 mètres de long
  • Ils mesurent 2 m
  • Ils font 2 m

We write 1,20m but we say 1 m 20! (as you can see we use a comma)


2- How wide is the window?

  • De quelle largeur est la fenêtre?
  • Quelle est la largeur de la fenêtre?
  • Combien mesure la fenêtre?
  • Combien fait la fenêtre de long?

3- Height

We have two words in French, one for building and big thing (la hauteur) another one for people (la taille)

How high is this building?

  • De quelle hauteur est cet immeuble?
  • Quelle est la hauteur de cet immeuble?
  • Combien mesure cet immeuble?
  • Combien fait cet immeuble de haut?

It is 20 m high

  • Il est haut de 20 m
  • Il fait 20 m de haut
  • Il mesure 20 m de haut
  • Il a 20 de haut

What is your height?

  • Combien mesures-tu?
  • Tu fais quelle taille?
  • Quelle est ta taille?

He is 1.75 m in height

  • Il mesure 1m75
  • Il fait 1m75
  • Sa taille est de 1m75

4- What is your weight?

  • Combien pesez-vous?
  • Tu fais quel poids?
  • Quel est ton poids?

En vs Y in French

en vs y

En vs Y, two little words but very useful, they are used for a noun or a noun phrase in sentences like:

the video is here:

The exercise is here: click

Je réponds à ton email: j’y réponds
I am replying to your email: I am replying to it

Je parle de ma maison: j’en parle
I am talking about my house: I am talking about it

The question is when and how to use them.

1- Y

“Y” for things and animals

Prends garde au chien: Prends-y garde
Be careful with the dog:  be careful with it

Elle pense aux vacances: Elle y pense
She is thinking about her holiday: she is thinking about it

The Rule: “Y” can replace a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence where the verb introduces them with the word “à”

Répondre à, aller à , penser à…

You need to know the verbs in French to use “y” correctly.

The verb Aller (to go) needs either y or en in short sentences:
J’y vais: I go, I am off (short sentence)
Je vais au cinéma (long sentence)

With people, we prefer to keep the proper pronoun/
Je pense à ma mère  Je pense à elle! (instead of j’y pense).

2- En

“En” for things, animals and people

Charles parle de ses amis: Charles en parle
Charles is talking about his friends: Charles is talking about them

Que penses-tu de ce livre? Qu’en penses-tu?
What do you think of this book? What do you think of it?

The Rule: “En” can replace a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence where the verb introduces them with the word “de”

Parle de, penser de, jouer de…

The verb Aller (to go) needs either y or en in short sentences:
Je m’en vais: I am off (short sentence)

Tu me donnes des fleurs, tu me donnes de l’eau: tu m’en donnes.

3- More rules

“En” represents a part of a bigger quantity or number of something

J’ai acheté des fraises  J’en ai acheté
Je n’ai pas d’argent  Je n’en ai pas
Je n’ai pas d’eau  Je n’en ai pas
J’ai pris des livres  J’en ai pris

En also works with singular countable words: J’ai acheté une voiture = j’en ai acheté une (we add “une” or “un” at the end to be sure we are not talking about several cars)

Y also means “there” or “here”

Je reste là or J’y reste

J’y suis, j’y reste

Pay attention to the name of countries: With feminine ones, we use “en”: je vais en France, but we will say “j’y vais”, no problem with masculine countries: je vais à Cuba: j’y vais.

4- Idiomatic Expressions

Expressions with “y” and “en”:

There is: il y a
Ça y est: here it is, done it!
En avoir assez: to be fed up or to get enough

Aller:

S’en aller: je m’en vais: I am off, I go away
Va-t-en: go away!
Y aller: to go there, to be off: j’y vais
Vas-y: go!

Example:
Tu sais ce que je pense ? Do you know what I am thinking at?
Tu sais que je le pense: You know that I think what I’ve just said
Tu sais que j’y pense: You know that I am thinking about it!
Tu sais ce que j’en pense ? Do you know what I am thinking about it?

QUIZ: EN vs Y in French

Image of En vs Y in French:
en vs y

 

Charlotte et Pierre / Conversation

Here is the video:  Click

  • Charlotte: Bonjour!

  • Pierre: Bonjour madame!

  • C: Comment t’appelles-tu?

  • P: Je m’appelle Pierre Durand, madame.

  • C: Et quel âge as-tu?

  • P: J’ai 12 ans

  • C: Comment s’appellent tes parents?

  • P: Mon père s’appelle Georges et ma mère Paulette.

  • C: Tu as des frères et soeurs?

  • P: Oui, j’ai deux frères et une soeur.

  • C: Ils ont quel âge?

  • P: Mon grand frère a 14 ans, mon petit frère 10 ans et ma soeur a 8 ans.

  • C: Très bien, merci!



You should be able to understand the conversation thanks to the lessons about Greetings, Familly and Numbers.

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