Tuesday, November 26, 2019

All about Être, a French Super Verb

All about Être, a French Super Verb Être  is an irregular French verb that means to be. The multitalented verb  Ãƒ ªtre  is omnipresent in the French language, both written and spoken and appears in a multitude of idiomatic expressions, thanks to its utility and versatility. It  is one of the  most-used  French verbs. In fact, of  the thousands of French verbs, it is among the top 10, which also include:  avoir, faire, dire, aller, voir, savoir, pouvoir, falloir  and  pouvoir. Être is also an auxiliary verb in  compound tenses and the passive voice. The ThreeMain Uses of'Être' The many forms of  Ãƒ ªtre  are busy binding together the French language in three essential ways: 1) to describe a temporary or permanent state of being, 2) to describe someones profession, and 3) to indicate possession.   1. Être is used with adjectives, nouns, and adverbs to describe a temporary or permanent state of being. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Il est beau. He is handsome.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Je suis Paris. Im in Paris.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Nous sommes franà §ais. Were French.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il est l-bas. Hes over there. 2. Être is used to describe someones profession; note that in French the indefinite article is not used in this type of  construction. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Mon pà ¨re est avocat. My father is a lawyer.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Je suis à ©tudiant. Im a student.  Ã‚  Elle à ©tait professeur. She used to be a professor. 3. Être can be used with the preposition plus a stressed pronoun to indicate possession. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ce livre est moi.   This is my book.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   qui est cet argent  ? Cest Paul. Whose money is this?  Its Pauls. Être as an Auxiliary Verb 1. For Compound Tenses: While avoir is the auxiliary for most verbs in the French  compound tenses,  Ãƒ ªtre  is the auxiliary for  some verbs  as well. The conjugated auxiliary verb is used with the past participle of the main verb to form the compound tense. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Je suis allà © en France.   I went to France.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Nous à ©tions dà ©j sortis.   We had already left.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il serait venu si...   He would have come if... 2.  For the  Ã¢â‚¬â€¹Passive Voice:  ÃƒÅ tre  in the present tense and the past participle of the main verb forms the passive voice. For example:   Ã‚  Ã‚  La voiture est lavà ©e.  - The car is washed.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il est respectà © de tout le monde.   He is respected by everyone. Expressions With'Avoir' That Mean 'to Be' When does to have (avoir) mean to be (à ªtre) in French? In several idiomatic expressions, which are governed by the laws of use over time, as odd as the  use may seem.  For this reason, there are a number of state of being idiomatic expressions with avoir that are translated as  to be in English:   Ã‚  Ã‚  avoir froid to be cold  Ã‚  Ã‚  avoir raison to be right  Ã‚  Ã‚  avoir xx ans to be xx years old Weather Expressions Use 'Faire,' Not 'Être' Weather is another instance of odd  idiomatic usage. When talking about the weather, English uses a form of the verb to be. French uses the verb faire (to do or make) rather than à ªtre:   Ã‚  Ã‚  Quel temps fait-il  ? Hows the weather?  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il fait beau. It is nice out. / The weather is nice.  Ã‚  Ã‚  Il fait du vent. It is windy. Idiomatic Expressions with'Être' A multitude of idiomatic expressions using  Ãƒ ªtre exist.  Here are a few of the better-known expressions: à ªtre cà ´tà © de la plaque  Ã‚  to be way off the mark, to not have a clueà ªtre bien dans sa peau  Ã‚  to be at ease/comfortable with oneselfà ªtre bouche bà ©e  Ã‚  to be flabbergastedà ªtre dans le doute   to be doubtfulà ªtre dans la mouise  (familiar) to be flat brokeà ªtre dans la panade  (familiar) to be in a sticky situationà ªtre dans son assiette  Ã‚  to feel normal, like oneselfà ªtre de   to be at/in (figuratively)à ªtre en train de   infinitive   to be (in the process of) present participleà ªtre haut comme trois pommes  Ã‚  to be knee-high to a grasshopperà ªtre sur son trente et un  Ã‚  to be dressed to the ninesen à ªtre   to take part inà §a mest à ©gal  Ã‚  its all the same to meà §a y est   thats it, its donecest   it is (impersonal expression)cest   date  Ã‚  its (date)cestdire  Ã‚  that is, i.e., I meancest moi / toi / Paul   thats mine / yours / Paulscest à §a   thats it, thats rightcest cadeauà ‚  Ã‚  Its free, on the housecest dans la poche  Ã‚  Its in the bag, a sure thing, a done dealcest grà ¢ce   Ã‚  its (all) thanks to cest la vie!  Ã‚  thats life!cest le pied  Ã‚  its greatcest parti  Ã‚  here we go, here goes, and were offce nest pas de la tarte  Ã‚  its not easyce nest pas grave  Ã‚  it doesnt matter, no problemce nest pas la mer boire  Ã‚  Its not the end of the worldce nest pas mardi gras aujourdhui  Ã‚  what youre wearing is ridiculousce nest pas terrible  Ã‚  its not that greatce nest pas tes oignons!  Ã‚  none of your business!ce nest pas vrai!  Ã‚  no way! I dont believe it! Youre kidding!est-ce que  Ã‚  no literal translation; this expression is used to ask  questionssoit... soit...   either... or... Conjugations of'Être' Below is the useful present-tense conjugation of  Ãƒ ªtre.  For  a complete conjugation of  tenses, see  all tenses. Present tense je suistu esil estnous sommesvous à ªtesils sont

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