How to conjugate easily the verb Être in French

Updated: Jan 23


One of the most important verbs in French is Être which literally means To be. It is one of the commonly used verbs and it can serve as an auxiliary to conjugate compound tenses like passé composé. So make sure you know how to conjugate it if you want to speak fluently French.😉

Today, I’ll not be long, I just want to share with you, in which context we use the verb to be in French and the most common tenses of its conjugation.





1. In which context do you use the verb to be in French?

The verb Être is used in the following contexts :


  • To give an information on somebody : for example the profession, nationality, describing somebody, emotions…

Examples

Elle est espagnole. (She is spanish.)

Je suis professeur. (I am a teacher.)


  • To give an information on something : telling colors, size, ...

Examples

Ma robe est bleue. (My dress is blue.)

Son appartement est lumineux. (His apartment is luminous.)


  • To give information on a place: telling where somebody or something is.

Examples

Aline et Jeanne sont à Berlin. (Aline and Jeanne are in Berlin.)

L’ordinateur est sur la table. (The computer is on the table.)


  • As an auxiliary : Like the verb avoir, the verb to be is used as an auxiliary to form compound tenses like the perfect tense (passé composé), past perfect (plus que parfait), …

Examples

Je suis allée à Madagascar l’été dernier. (I went to Madagascar last summer.)

Nous sommes revenues à la maison. (We went back home.)

  • To ask questions : The verb Être is used in some questions like in Qu'est-ce que and est-ce que.

Examples

Qu'est-ce que tu fais le samedi? ( What do you do on Saturday?)

Qui est-ce? (Who is this?)

Example

Il est quelle heure? (what time is it?)

  • In the passive voice: To turn an active sentence to passive voice, we use the verb être.

Examples

Active : Le policier a arrêté le voleur (the policeman arrested the thief)

Passive : Le voleur a été arrêté par le policier (the thief has been arrested by the policeman)


2. How to conjugate the verb Être

Être is one of the irregular verbs in French. Its structure changes a lot depending on the subject. We will see how it is conjugated in different tenses. To make it simple, I made a summary of the most commonly used tenses in the picture below.




3. Practice


Now that you are done learning the verb Être, you might want to practice with some exercises. If that is the case, you can test yourself by taking the quiz below. Bonne chance !



For more exercises, you can explore the exercises below.

Exercice Verbe être au futur

Exercice Verbe être à l'imparfait




#learnfrench #frenchforbeginners #learntospeakfrench #aprenderfrances #apprendrelefrançais #frenchlessons #frenchonline

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