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  5. "Lisons" "Lit" "es" "sont"


"Lisons" "Lit" "es" "sont"

When to use "Lisons" et "Lit" in a sentence? And since 'es' et 'sont' are both 'are', it confuses me when to use these two (es and sont).

April 19, 2018



In French many of the words in the sentence have to agree with each other.

Verbs are doing words.
And in French they take up different forums, according to pronoun.
The form of the verb changes, according to the pronoun (i.e. I, you, he, she, we, theirs )

Lets take the most important one you are talking about first.

être to be
je suis I am
tu es you are (familiar)
il est he is
elle est she is
nous sommes we are
vous êtes you are (formal)
ils sont they are (masculine)
elles sont they are (feminine)

lire to read.
je lis I read
tu lis you read (familiar)
il lit he reads
elle lit she reads
nous lisons we read
vous lisez you read (formal)
ils lisent they read (masculine)
elles lisent they read (feminine)


Je lis - I read
Je suis - I am

Tu lis - You read (informal)
Tu es - You are

Il/elle/on lit - He/she/one reads
Il/elle/on est - He/She/One is

Nous lisons - We read
Nous sommes - We are

Vous lisez - You read (formal)
Vous êtes - You are

Ils/elles lisent - They read
Ils/elles sont - They are


On is also able to be translated to the less formal form of "we"; so "on lit" can also be "we read" and "on est" can also mean "we are," depending on context. :) Additionally, vous is not solely the formal form of you; though it is often used this way, it can also refer to a group of people whom one is addressing (so "vous lisez" can mean "you [all] read"). :)

It also might be confusing to some that you have "il/elle est" translated as "they are". Just something to keep in mind.


Yeah, my french teacher always had us translating "vous" to "Y'all" lol

Also: Whoops fixed it. I've edited this thing so many times trying to organize it I missed that


My class always got stuck on translating it for the second person plural; we were the opposite and had to be reminded it was you formal as well. :)

But at least you typed out the conjugations for each group; it will be a helpful comment to new Duolingoers! Mistakes happen, it's part of language learning haha.


On is closer to the English definition of : it, one.

On can be used to refer to a person or entities that are unknown to the speaker.

Here is a good article : Transparent Language


Possibly, but it can still be used in colloquial French to mean "we"; it's accepted this way under the "Time" skill in the tree and I hear my French friends using it often in this sense. Personally, I tend to translate it as "one" when I'm reading, but I think it's important for new Duolingoers who may be reading this post to be aware of the many sides, common or not, of the French pronoun "on".




Well done Swisidniak !


Verb conjugation in English is in general simpler and less formal than in French, but you would say:

I am

You are

He is

In French you would say:

Je suis

Tu es

Il est

It's just one of those things you need to learn.


Thank you so much for the help guys :)


Are you talking about conjugating the word "Lire" to read?

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