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 to use on in French 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 on fits in French A1 grammar.

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.

Sentences Overview of 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.

Test Your Knowledge on How to Use On in French

It’s not enough just to read the lesson on this subject.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

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

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.]

Anki File for How to Use On in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can 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.

Click here if you want to have the Anki File for this lesson

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

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