1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. What is "our" when using the …


What is "our" when using the "On" subject in French?

This is a follow-up to my last post. Since it seems that "on" is often used instead of nous in less formal conversations, I've been practicing using that format.

But if in the sentence you have to say something along the lines of your or ours, how would that be translated when you're using the "on" format in French? Would you use notre/nos, or would you use something different?

April 15, 2020



If on means we it will be notre (possessive adjective) and le nôtre (possessive pronoun).
If on is the impersonal form, it will be son/sa or le sien/ la sienne.


Mixing 'on' (third person, singular) with 'nous' (first person, plural) is absolutely fine when speaking or in casual written registers, e.g. "vous avez vos clefs, on a les nôtres." But it is grammatically incorrect and should be avoided in formal contexts such as official letters or essays. Additional note: I don't always pronounce the circumflex, but in the case of "notre" /ɔ:/ and "nôtre" /o/, I actually do. I'm a native from the North of France - it may be different for other French speakers. our = notre. ours = le nôtre.


Answer: "Notre" is "our" when using "on" because "nous" and "on" litteraly means the same thing, it's just that "on" is a informal way of saying "nous". Hope I've helped you.


Notre chien est trop gros. Sans "notre" vous seriez perdre le sens du pluriel. Je me demande ce que les Français pourraient dire à ça.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.