French Revision Cards

past tense - perfect

- an action that happened + finished in the past

il (he)  +  a (has)  +  regardé (watched)  =  il a regardé (he has watched/ he watched)                      subject  +  present tense of 'avoir'  +  past participle  =  perfect tense

subject pronouns:

  • I . Je 
  • You (s) . Tu
  • He/ She/ It . Il/ Elle/ On
  • We . Nous
  • You (pl) . Vous
  • They . Ils/ Elles

past participle:

  • '-er' verbs } stem + é (regarder: regard + é = regardé)
  • '-ir' verbs } stem + i (finir: fin + i = fini)
  • '-re' verbs } stem + u (vendre: vend + u = vendu) 
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avoir + être

avoir - to have:

  • I have . J'ai
  • You have . Tu as
  • He/ She/ It has . Il/ Elle/ On a
  • We have . Nous avons
  • You have (pl) . Vous avez
  • They have . Ils/ Elles ont

être - to be:

  • I am . Je suis
  • You are . Tu es
  • He/ She/ It is . Il/ Elle/ On est
  • We are . Nous sommes
  • You are (pl) . Vous êtes
  • They are . Ils/ Elles sont
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past tense - imperfect

- used to describe something or someone in the past 

regardons  +  -ons  =  regard-

verb in 'nous' form in the present tense  +  remove '-ons'  =  imperfect stem

imperfect endings:

  • Je . -ais
  • Tu . -ais
  • Il/ Elle/ On . -ait
  • Nous . -ions
  • Vous . -iez
  • Ils/ Elles . -aient
  • C'était formidable. > It was great.
  • Nous étions épuisés. > We were exhausted.
  • La piéce était bondée. > The room was overcrowded.
  • Il pleuvait depuis deux heures. > It had been raining for 2 hours/ since 2 o'clock. 
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'être' verbs

some verbs use 'être' instead of 'avoir' to form the perfect tense.

  • To go . Aller
  • To come . Venir
  • To come back . Revenir
  • To arrive . Arriver
  • To leave . Partir
  • To go out . Sortir
  • To go down . Descendre
  • To go up . Monter
  • To be born . Naître 
  • To die . Mourir
  • To become . Devenir
  • To stay . Rester
  • To fall . Tomber
  • To return . Retourner
  • To go in . Entrer
  • To go back . Rentrer
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future tense - simple future

infinitive of the verb  +  future tense endings  =  simple future (I will...)

future endings:

  • Je . -ai
  • Tu . -as
  • Il/ Elle/ On . -a
  • Nous . -ons
  • Vous . -ez
  • Ils/ Elles . -ont
  • regarder (to look) - regarder  +  ending
  • finir (to finish) - finir  +  ending 
  • vendre (to sell) - vendr*  +  ending  >>  *in '-re' verbs, you get the stem by dropping the '-e' before adding the correct ending. 
  • Je regarderai . I will look 
  • Il finira . He will finish
  • Ils vendront les fruits . They will sell the fruits
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future tense - near future

je vais (I'm going)  +  danser (to dance)  =  Je vais danser > I am going to dance

present tense of aller  +  infinitive  =  near future tense (I am going to...)

  • Il va déménager la semaine prochaine.  >  He's going to move house next week.
  • Le forêt et ses animaux vont disparaître. > Te forest and its wild life are going to disappear. 

some important verbs are irregular in the future tense - their stems are not in the infinitive form:

  • aller (to go)  >  ir-
  • être (to be)  >  ser-
  • avoir (to have)  >  aur-
  • faire (to do)  >  fer-
  • venir (to come)  >  viendr-
  • vouloir (to want to)  >  voudr-
  • voir (to see)  >  verr-
  • devoir (to have to)  >  deur-
  • pouvoir (to be able to)  >  pourr-
  • recevoir (to recieve)  >  recev-
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conditional tense

je regarderai (I will look)  +  je regardais (I was looking)  =  je regarderais (I would look)

stem in future tense (usually infinitive)  +  imperfect tense endings  =  would, could, should

verb  +  future stem  +  imperfect ending  +  conditional:

  • manger (to eat)  +  je mangerai  +  je mangeais  +  je mangerais (I would eat)
  • finir (to finish)  +  je finirai  +  je finissais  +  je finirair (I would finish)
  • vendre (to sell)  +  je vendrai  +  je vendais  +  je vendrais (I would sell)
  • être (to be)  +  je serai  +  j'étais  +  je serais (I would be) 

'Si' + the imperfect tense is always followed by a verb in the conditional

  • Si j'étais riche, je voyagerais autour du monde. - If I was rich, I'd travel around the world. 

To say 'could' in French, use the conditional from of 'pouvoir' (to be able to) followed by an infinitive. To say 'should' use the conditional form of 'devoir' (to have to) followed by an infinitve. 

  • Elle pourrait aller en France. - She could go to France.
  • Tu devrais te plaindre. - You should complain. 
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i would like...

'Je voudrais'+'J'aimerais' - I would like >> These two verbs are very useful in the conditional tense. 

vouloir (to want):

  • I would like . Je voudrais
  • You (sing.) would like . Tu voudrais
  • He/ She/ It would like . Il/ Elle/ On voudrait
  • We would like . Nous voudrions
  • You (pl.) would like . Vous voudriez
  • They (m/f) would like . Ils/ Elles voudraient 

aimer (to like):

  • I would like . J'aimerais
  • You (sing.) would like . Tu aimerais
  • He/ She/ It would like . Il/ Elle/ On aimerait
  • We would like . Nous aimerions 
  • You (pl.) would like . Vous aimeriez
  • They (m/f) would like . Ils/ Elles aimeraient
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present tense

je  +  regarder  +  -er  =  regard-  +  -e

subject  +  infinitive  +  remove ending  =  stem  +  new correct ending

'-er' endings  +  '-ir' endings  +  '-re' endings: 

  • Je . -e     -is     -s
  • Tu . -es     -is     -s
  • Il/ Elle/ On . -e     -it     ---
  • Nous . -ons     -issons     -ons
  • Vous . -ez     -issez     -ez
  • Ils/ Elles . -ent     -issent     -ent

Infinitive  +  stem:

  • parler  >  parl-
  • finir  >  fin-
  • vendre  >  vend-
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