on versus nous

Share This Post

In this French grammar lesson you will learn about on versus nous.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • what the subject pronouns are in French
  • on versus nous: when to use which one
  • how on versus nous are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on on versus nous
  • how to practice with flashcards for on versus nous
  • 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 on versus nous!

Table of Contents

Table of Subject Pronouns

tuyou (singular informal)
ilhe, it (masculine)
elleshe, it (feminine)
onone, we (informal), people, they
nouswe (formal)
vousyou (singular formal and all plurals)
ilsthey (masculine, or mixed masculine and feminine)
ellesthey (feminine)

On versus Nous

In French there are two ways to say “we“.

  • On
  • Nous

However, what is the difference between the two?

  1. On: informal we

Generally used in informal speech and informal writing.

On va au parc.

We are going to the parc.

This sentence could be placed in an informal context.

A few friends are going to the park, and one of them says this to another friend who just joined them and doesn’t know where they are going.

On est là.

We are there

This is also something which could be said or sent as a text message in an informal context.

For example, if you’d like to let someone know that a group (of friends) has arrived somewhere.

So, on is an informal “we”, often used in speech and casual writing.

  1. Nous: formal we

Generally used in formal speech and writing.

Nous allons au bureau.

We are going to the office.

This sentence could be placed in a formal context.

A few office workers get a call asking where they are going to. And one of them replies with the above mentioned sentence.

Nous aimerions en avoir une copie.

We would like to have a copy.

This sentence could be part of an email written from one person to another.

When you write something you always have to use the nous form.

So, nous is a formal “we”, and is often used in formal speech and writing.

Example Sentences with On versus Nous

The final section of this lesson on on versus nous is about seeing on and nous in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of on versus nous through examples.

On va au parc.

We are going to the parc.

On est là.

We are there

On a soif.

We are thirsty.

Nous allons au bureau.

We are going to the office.

Nous aimerions en avoir une copie.

We would like to have a copy.

Nous avons faim.

We are hungry.

Quiz Yourself on On versus Nous

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

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!

Question 1

 va au parc.


Question 2

 est là.


Question 3

 avons faim.


Question 4

 aimerions en avoir une copie.


Question 5

 allons au bureau.


Question 6

 a soif.


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?

I have been learning languages for over 20+ years and I was always frustrated with books, courses, and classes that I had tried.

It never really seemed to work for me.

I wanted to learn a language in the most effective and efficient way, and there was nothing out there for me.

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.

These courses are easy to follow, clear, and allow you to become fluent in the most effective and efficient way.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

  • 800+ Lessons with audio
  • 800+ Quizzes
  • 10,000 Flashcards with explanations, images, and audio
  • A gamified way of learning a new language
  • A vibrant community (including support from me)

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).

All you have to do is study 30 minutes a day and you will be fluent in no time!

Don’t miss out – register for free and start learning!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Don't miss out on any new French Lessons! You will also get a free copy of our graphical overview of all French Verb Tenses, and the French A0/A1 Anki Deck!

More To Explore

Do You have any feedback? let me know!

I would love to know how I can make learning Languages easier for you