French › Level two lessons › Transportation · Le transport

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Dialogue [edit]

Culture · France's transportation system [edit]

Grammar · -uire verbs [edit]

-uire verbs are conjugated irregularly.

Formation[edit]

conduire Listen /kɔ̃.dɥiʁ/ (koh(n)-deweer) to drive
je conduis /kɔ̃.dɥi/ (koh(n)-dewee) I drive
tu conduis /kɔ̃.dɥi/ (koh(n)-dewee) you drive
il conduit /kɔ̃.dɥi/ (koh(n)-dewee) he drives
nous conduisons /kɔ̃.dɥi.zɔ̃/ (koh(n)-dewee-zoh(n)) we drive
vous conduisez /kɔ̃.dɥi.ze/ (koh(n)-dewee-zay) you drive
ils conduisent /kɔ̃.dɥiz/ (koh(n)-deweez) they drive
conduit /kɔ̃.dɥi/ (koh(n)-dewee) driven

Supplementary vocabulary · Other -uire verbs [edit]

produire About this sound /pʁɔ.dɥiʁ/ to produce
traduire About this sound /tʁa.dɥiʁ/ to translate
réduire About this sound /ʁedɥiʁ/ to reduce
réduire à to reduce (someone) to Je l'ai réduit à l'obéissance. I reduced him to slavery.
réduire en to reduce (something) to Il l'a réduit en cendres. He reduced it to ashes.

Examples[edit]

Il conduit la voiture. He is driving the car.

Vocabulary · Driving [edit]

ouvrir to open
fermer to close

Grammar · Passé composé with être [edit]

Most verbs form the passé composé with avoir, however there are a small number of verbs that are always conjugated with être. In a general case, these verbs indicate a change in state or position.

List of verbs[edit]

aller Je suis allé au cinéma. I went to the cinema.
venir Je suis venu en France. I came to France.
arriver Le train est arrivé. The train has arrived.
partir Elle est partie travailler. She left to go to work.
rester Je suis resté à la maison. I stayed (at) home.
retourner Il est retourné au restaurant. He returned to the restaurant.
tomber Je suis tombé dans la piscine. I fell into the pool.
naître Je suis né en octobre. I was born in October.
mourir Il est mort en 1917. He died in 1917.
passer Il est passé devant la maison. He went past in front of the house.
monter Je suis monté au sommet. I climbed to the top.
descendre Il est descendu du train. He got out of the train.
sortir Je suis sorti avec mes amies. I went out with my friends.
entrer Je suis entré dans ma chambre. I entered my room.
rentrer Il est rentré tôt de l'école. He came back early from school.

The verbs that take être can be easily remembered by the acronym MRS. DR VANDERTRAMP:

M R S D R
monté resté sorti devenu revenu
V A N D E R T R A M P
venu arrivé descendu entré rentré tombé retourné allé mort parti

Direct objects[edit]

These verbs take their conjugated avoir when they are immediately followed by a direct object

For Example,

Je suis descendu.

with the direct object mes bagages becomes

J'ai descendu mes bagages.

As another example,

Je suis monté.

with the direct object mes bagages becomes

J'ai monté mes bagages.

As another example, but with ils instead of je,

Ils sont sortis.

with direct object leur passeport becomes

Ils ont sorti leur passeport.

Subject-past participle agreement[edit]

When conjugating with être, the past participles of the above verbs must agree with the subject of a sentence in gender and plurality. Note that there is no agreement if these verbs are conjugated with avoir.

  • If the subject is masculine singular, there is no change in the past participle.
  • If the subject is feminine singular, an -e is added to the past participle.
  • If the subject is masculine plural, an -s is added to the past participle.
  • If the subject is feminine plural, an -es is added to the past participle.
J suis allé(e). Nous sommes allé(e)s.
Tu es allé(e). Vous êtes allé(e)(s).
Il est allé. Ils sont allés.
Elle est allée. Elles sont allées.

Vocabulary · Trains and stations [edit]

Grammar · The pronoun y [edit]

Indirect object pronoun - to it, to them[edit]

The French pronoun y is used to replace an object of a prepositional phrase introduced by à.

  • Je réponds aux (à les) questions. - J'y réponds.
  • I respond to the questions. - I respond to them.

Note that lui and leur, and not y, are used when the object refers to a person or persons.

Replacement of places - there[edit]

The French pronoun y replaces a prepositional phrase referring to a place that begins with any preposition except de (for which en is used).

  • Les hommes vont en France. - Les hommes y vont.
  • The men go to France - The men go there.

Note that en, and not y is used when the preposition of the object is de.

Idioms[edit]

  • Ça y est! - There we go!, There you have it.
  • J'y suis! - I get it!

Vocabulary · Taking a taxi [edit]

Supplementary grammar · -rir verbs [edit]

These verbs are conjugated irregularly, and normally follow the -er conjugation scheme. In past participle form, -ir is replaced with -ert for these verbs.

Formation[edit]

A common -rir verb is ouvrir:

ouvrir Listen /u.vʁiʁ/ to open
j'ouvre /uvʁ/ I open
tu ouvres /uvʁ/ you open
il ouvre /uvʁ/ he opens
nous ouvrons /u.vʁɔ̃/ we open
vous ouvrez /u.vʁe/ you open
ils ouvrent /uvʁ/ they open
ouvert Listen /u.vɛʁ/ opened

The adjective ouvertureopening /u.vɛʁ.tyʁ/ is derived from ouvrir, and the adjective ouvertopen /u.vɛʁ/ is derived from its past participle.

Other standard -rir verbs[edit]

couvrir About this sound /kuvʁiʁ/ to cover, to cover up
découvrir About this sound /de.ku.vʁiʁ/ to discover
offrir About this sound /ɔ.fʁiʁ/ to offer
recouvrir About this sound Fr-recouvrir.ogg to cover again
rouvrir About this sound Fr-rouvrir.ogg to reopen, to open again
souffrir About this sound /sufʀiʀ/ to suffer, to endure

-rir verb exceptions[edit]

To run · Courir[edit]

courir Listen /ku.ʁiʁ/ to run
je cours Listen /kuʁ/ I run
tu cours Listen /kuʁ/ you run
il court Listen /kuʁ/ he runs
nous courons /ku.ʁɔ̃/ we run
vous courez /ku.ʁe/ you run
ils courent /kuʁ/ they run
couru /ku.ʁy/ run

To die · Mourir[edit]

mourir Listen /mu.ʁiʁ/ to die
je meurs /kuʁ/ I die
tu meurs /kuʁ/ you die
il meurt /kuʁ/ he dies
nous mourons /ku.ʁɔ̃/ we die
vous mourez /ku.ʁe/ you die
ils meurent /kuʁ/ they die
mort Listen /mɔʁ/ died

1Mourir is the only -ir verb that takes être as its helping verb in perfect tenses (and therefore agrees with the subject as a past participle in a perfect tense).

The word mort /mɔʁ/ is also used as a noun, meaning death or dead person, or as an adjective, meaning dead:

Le roi est mort. - The king is dead.

The derived word mourant /mu.ʁɑ̃/ means dying or person who is dying.

To acquire · Acquérir[edit]

acquérir Listen /a.ke.ʁiʁ/ to acquire
j'acquiers /a.kjɛʁ/ I acquire
tu acquiers /a.kjɛʁ/ you acquire
il acquiert /a.kjɛʁ/ he acquires
nous acquérons /a.ke.ʁɔ̃/ we acquire
vous acquérez /a.ke.ʁe/ you acquire
ils acquièrent /a.kjɛʁ/ they acquire
acquis Listen /a.ki/ acquired

Acquis is also a noun, meaning asset.

Examples[edit]

Text [edit]

Exercises [edit]