How to use On in French [Explanation and 6 Examples]

how to use on in french

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In this grammar lesson on subject pronouns, you will learn how to use on in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • what the subject pronouns are in French
  • how on means informal we in French
  • how on means one/you/people in French
  • how on is used in sentences in French
  • how you can quiz yourself on how to use on in French
  • how to practice with flashcards for how to use on in French
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

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

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to use on in French!

Table of Contents

Table of Subject Pronouns

jeI
tuyou (singular informal)
ilhe, it (masculine)
elleshe, it (feminine)
onwe (informal), one, you, people
nouswe (formal)
vousyou (singular formal and all plurals)
ilsthey (masculine, or mixed masculine and feminine)
ellesthey (feminine)

On means “informal we”

In French on is used to say we.

This is often used in speaking but not in writing.

In writing the subject pronoun nous is used.

For that reason you can think of on as the informal we

Please take a look at some examples regarding how to use on in French.

On est prêt à commencer.

We are ready to begin.

On est tous là.

We are all here.

On est prêt à partir maintenant.

We are ready to leave now.

On means “one/you/people”

On can mean people in general.

Here it often refers to the habits and customs of people.

En France, on travaille 35 heures par semaine.

In France we work 35 hours per week.

On can also take the place of an indefinite person.

This means that it can refer to an individual – very much similar to “one” in English

On doit être prêt à tout.

One must be ready for anything.

On ne doit pas voler.

One musn’t steal.

Example Sentences on How to Use On in French

The final section of this lesson about how to use on in French is about seeing on in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding about how to use on in French through examples.

Below you can find all the sentences used in this lesson, neatly organised in one place.

on (informal we)

On est prêt à commencer.

We are ready to begin.

on (informal we)

On est tous là.

We are all here.

on (informal we)

On est prêt à partir maintenant.

We are ready to leave now.

on (one/you/people)

En France, on travaille 35 heures par semaine.

In France we work 35 hours per week.

on (one/you/people)

On doit être prêt à tout.

One must be ready for anything.

on (one/you/people)

On ne doit pas voler.

One musn’t steal.

Quiz Yourself on How to Use On in French

At the end of every lesson you can do a small flashcards.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want. There’s no limit to it!

Choose the right answer!On est prêt à commencer. [We are ready to begin.]
Choose the right answer!En France, on travaille 35 heures par semaine. [In France we work 35 hours per week.]
Choose the right answer!On doit être prêt à tout. [One must be ready for anything.]
Choose the right answer!On est tous là. [We are all here.]

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French A1 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,764 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A1.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to learn a new language?

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So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be a easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

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The courses of Language Atlas have:

  • 800+ Lessons with audio
  • 800+ Quizzes
  • 10,000 Flashcards with explanations, images, and audio
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You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

This includes over 60 lessons and quizzes, 500 flashcards that adapt to how you learn, and access to the community (including support from me).

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