Être Conjugation in the Present Tense (Le Présent)

être conjugation in the present tense

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In this French grammar lesson we will learn about être conjugation in the present tense.

Être which means “to be” is an irregular verb, and one of the most important verbs in the French language. Therefore it warrants its own lesson.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how être is conjugated in French,
  • how être is used in French,
  • how être is pronounced in French,
  • how être is used in sentences in French,
  • how être conjugation Anki files can be downloaded.

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar if you are curious about how être fits in French A1 grammar.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about être conjugation in the present tense!

Table of Contents

Être Conjugation in the Present Tense

jesuis
tues
il/elle/onest
noussommes
vousêtes
ils/ellessont

Usage of Être

This section on être conjugation in the present tense will show you how être is used in French.

The verb être means “to be”.

There are 4 general usages for the verb être in French.

  1. To present oneself

Je suis Mme Martin

I am Miss Martin

This is similar to how you use it in English.

  1. To state one’s nationality

Il est américain

He is American

Please note that nationalities in French are not capitalized unless they are used as a proper noun.

  1. To talk about your job/profession

Je suis avocat

I am a lawyer

In French, when you talk about your profession you don’t use an article before your profession.

  1. Describe a person or a thing

Vous êtes heureuse Mme Martin?

Are you happy Miss Martin?

Note that when we are in a formal situation or are speaking to someone that is older than us we generally use “vous”

Tu es triste Paul?

Are you sad Paul?

When we are in an informal situation or when we are speaking to someone our own age we generally use “tu”

Pronunciation of Être

In this section on être conjugation in the present tense we will focus on pronunciation.

There are 2 important rules to take into account when we want to pronounce an être conjugation in the present tense.

  1. We do not pronounce the last e in the subject pronoun elle

Elle est

She is

We would not pronounce the “e” in the world “elle”. After the double “l” we would immediately go to pronouncing the “est”.

  1. Rather than pause in between certain words, we pronounce them in one go. This is called a liason and applies in the following expressions

On est

Vous êtes

Here we can see that “on est” is pronounced in one go, and in “vous “êtes” the letter s at the end of the subject pronoun will be pronounced with the letter z.

Example Sentences with Être Conjugations

The final section of this lesson on être conjugation in the present tense is about seeing être in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of être conjugation in the present tense through examples.

Je suis canadien.

I am Canadian.

Je suis Mme Martin.

I am Miss Martin.

Je suis M Dubois.

I am Mr Dubois.

Tu es jeune.

You are young.

Tu es triste Paul?

Are you sad Paul?

Il est blond.

He is blond.

Il est américain.

He is American.

Nous sommes libraires.

We are librarians.

Vous êtes belle.

You are beautiful.

Vous êtes heureuse Mme Martin?

Are you happy Miss Martin?

Ils sont pharmaciens.

They are pharmacists.

Anki File for Être Conjugation in the Present Tense

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can better remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1, you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

You can also choose to just get the Anki File for French A1 Verbs. This only has the verbs for French A1.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or if you don’t know what Anki is, then please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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