Verbs - hop by hop
Verbs in french are tricky, (but so are certain aspects of all languages). I hope this thread may help some of us climb the ladder to conquer them (and this includes me ;)
Before we can start with verbs, we need to know about personal pronouns. These are little, but highly useful words used to replace nouns. So instead of saying "PERCE_NEIGE is eating", you can say "He is eating". And all words in a sentence must agree with each other, in regard to gender and number. For more information about Je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles : I, you, we, they - click here.
Most verbs in french follow standard rules, but there are quite a number of verbs that have unique letter combinations, and some of these are used often. As my niece Emma says "The very important verbs in french DON'T follow rules, because they are so important they don't have to"
The two most critical ones that need to be learnt by rote, as they are so unique, AND so important, are:
avoir: to have | belongs to the 3rd group of french verbs. It is unique in its pattern, and is one of the most important verbs to learn.
j'ai : I have | tu as : you have | il a : he has | elle a : she has
nous avons | vous avez | ils ont | elles ont
être: to be | belongs to the 3rd group of french verbs. It is unique in its pattern, and is one of the most important verbs to learn.
je suis : I am | tu es : you are | il est : he is | elle est : she is
nous sommes | vous avez | ils sont | elles sont
They are also known as helping verbs, as they can be used with other verbs to express different nuances of time or mood. Such as " I have eaten", where have is not the main verb.
In French there are three major groups of verbs. The verb groups
1. whose Base Verbale ends in " ~er " has standardized rules
2. verbs referred to as " verbe ~issant " has standardized rules. (In english texts this group is incorrectly and misleadingly referred to as the " ~ir " group.)
3. While the oddball third group, (which is often referred incorrectly as the "~re" group in many English references), as BastouXII points out, consists of all the ones that don't fit in the first two!
Now beware - scattered through the internet, and in all the books I have so far read, they talk about the first two standard groups having exceptions that you have to learn by rote. In my research to date, and so far I have done a extensive study of ~er verbs, this is not so. Instead the exceptions follow french spelling and pronunciation rules. (just as a lot of English spelling is) If you learn the rules they will help you with many other aspects of french. I will show you the rules I have found to date - and that are helping me in my learning journey. If you find it is easier learning 'shoe verbs' or all the individual exceptions to all the verbs - then that is the right path for your learning journey. This though was not being an effective learning path for me - so instead I have hunted out these rules, that seem to not usually be taught to English speakers. I wish someone had pointed out this sort of information to me at the start of my journey, so I hope for some others out there - that they find it useful to read what I have found useful.
This is the link to the major one Verbs " ~er " group, click here
This link will take you to Verbs "~issant" group : Les verbes du 2e groupe
This link will take you to The 3rd verb group - 3e groupe ( p.s. this thread is currently under early draft format )
NOTE: I am trying to make as many as possible of the french words in this stream linked to give an audio file - so you can "hear" how to pronounce them.
(N.B. For this thread I am ever so thankful to PERCE_NEIGE - especially for guidance and feedback, and also to input from BastouXII ! Without them - I would not have been able to write this. ) I look forward to peoples input and advise, comments and questions.
Thank you for your encouragement. Yes I am still modifying this listing, and I still VERY MUCH am a beginner - and a keen learner - at french. I greatly appreciate your comments !
How do you embed the link in "our list" ? How did you do that in your comment above, BastouXII ?
Duolingo uses markdown syntax for formatting text in its forum area. For links, put the text you want to appear as link between square brackets, followed by the actual link, optionally including a text in double quotes that will appear when hovering it with the mouse, between parenthesis (no space between the two!), like this : [Text for the link](http://www.example.external_link.org/ or /internal_link_that_will_automatically_add-http://www.duolingo.com/_to_the_beginning_of_it "Alternative text")
Very good work! La seule partie sur laquelle j'émettrais quelques réserves, est la transcription du "u" en "ew", du "je" en "jzhuh" et du "on" en "ohn". Je pense qu'il ne faut pas hésiter à préciser que le "u" est un son qui ne se trouve pas dans la langue anglaise, le "j" existe dans "giraffe" ou "garage", et le "on", nasalisé, ne se retrouve pas non plus en anglais. Je sais bien que c'est une tentative de rapprocher les sons français des sons anglais, mais dans certains cas, c'est impossible, et crée de mauvaises habitudes. Quelqu'un qui croira dur comme fer qu'un "on" se prononce "ohn" aura beaucoup de mal à se motiver pour apprendre à prononcer correctement ce son ensuite.
Once I have nutted out all the patterns - and hopefully that you and more clever people like you have made some comments, I hope I will be able to continue to develop these thoughts, that shows all this - so that others can look it up (including myself) for improving the learning journey. Maybe some people can suggest other resources that have done what I am trying to do. As I also want to establish links to sound files - so I can hear what things sound like - and not just read the words - and I know I can do this on a web page. And hopefully some people who have these sound files will not mind me using them - providing I acknowledge them and the great resource they are providing. Anyway - that is getting to far ahead of myself. It is this information I want to gather first. And then to encourage some review of this work - to make sure I am on track.
If you need audio files, you can open a discussion for Duolingo users to record them for you. You would have a sample of several voices, quality, intonations, accents, etc...
Just a small thing in your header : the third group of verbs consists of all the ones that don't fit in the first two, so ~re isn't entirely true (there are a lot more).
"On" can be an informal "nous" OR a "one",
"On"" in, for instance: "One does not change a team that wins" (It's probable the English "one" used for this is from the French "on")
In unformal unwritten conversation, it's very frequent to use "on" instead of "nous".
"On" is not "it". Even if it's often a person we don't know (but not always, when the "on" is used instead of "nous", the person is known, because it's us!), "on" is not "it" because it's a person. (opposed to "ce", "ça", "cela"), "on" is often translated by "it" (when it's not by "we" or "one"), but it's an impersonnal (not a particular person who makes the action), not a neutral in the sense that it can't be a thing, it's always a person. See it as an unpersonal "we". Imagine: We (human beings) are foced to work to live. With a very general meaning.
"On" can be used when you don't know the subject, to translate the passive voice in English, but it's not a passive voice, it's an active voice, the subject is "on". In their example. "Cashier wanted" = On demande un caissier (voix active, impersonnelle) = Un caissier est demandé (voix passive)
All the verbe ended in "tenir" are made with the verb "tenir" -to hold, and follows its rule. As a general rule (very few exceptions), when a verb is made with another one, (you add a prefix), it always follows the conjugation of the verb it is made with. So, you only need to remember "tenir" to be able to conjugate "soutenir, retenir, etc.."
This one is wrong, there's not "-re" verbs. we can't take only the "re" ending, you have to take the whole syllabe. As remettre= "ettre", etc...
I agree that it is wrong but unfortunately that is the way French "re" verbs are or were taught in England. I learned them that way too and then had to relearn them when I had been living in France some time, saw how the French learned these verbs themselves and began teaching French myself.
C'est très bizarre qu'ils enseignent ça comme ça... En tout cas, c'est très bien que tu t'en sois rendu(e) compte pour corriger le tir, et eu le courage de "désapprendre" pour ensuite réapprendre!
Sur les forums, j'ai croisé récemment des personnes qui étudient le français, et essaye de trouver les règles du féminin et du masculin. Bien sûr, il existe quelques règles (les mots en "tion") mais pour la plupart, ça ne vaut même pas la peine de les chercher et ensuite de les retenir, tant il y a d'exceptions, et parce que les français n'apprennent pas le français comme ça. Quand on apprenons des mots nouveaux, on nous oblige à apprendre également le genre, et pas à le deviner, alors que je trouve ces règles assez stupides. On peut se rendre compte quand on commence à maîtriser le français qu'il y a des "motifs" qui se répètent, mais apprendre a priori ces règles... qu'en penses-tu? Est-ce que lorsqu'on enseigne le français à l'étranger on inclut ces règles bizarres? Les trouves-tu pratiques?
Je n'ai jamais appris de règles pour savoir si un mot était masculin ou féminin. On nous a toujours conseillé d'apprendre l'article avec le nom. C'est effectivement plus tard que j'ai découvert des "motifs" qui se répète et des astuces commes les mots en "tion". Je donne quelque fois des indications "à titre indicative" aux gens qui apprennent mais dès le départ je leur conseille d'apprendre l'article en même temps. La connaissance du genre vient aussi en écoutant.
Vous êtes très sage, mon premier professeur et mentor précieux. J'espère encore un jour que je peut un apprenti digne. You are very wise, my first teacher and treasured mentor. I still hope one day that I may be a worthy apprentice.
Thank you so much for your hard work. I just want to note that in the ETRE section it seems you have accidentally entered "vous avez" which should actually be "vous etes". ("Vous avez" is correctly listed above in the AVOIR section.)