Louisiana French/Introduction to Verbs

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Louisiana French

01. Introduction02. Grammar and Pronunciation03. Greetings
04. Time05. Introduction to Verbs06. Verbs and Tenses07. Goodbyes


Here we will introduce verbs and how to use them in Cajun French. However, we first need to understand the subject pronouns. In English these are the words I, you, he/she/it, we, and they.

French English Pronunciation
Je I ʒə ["s" sound in "treasure" (standard French) or "sh" sound in "shop" in Cajun French]
Tu You Like two or more commonly tee
Vous You (polite form) Like Vooz if before a word that starts with a vowel
Like Voo if before a word that starts with a consonant
Il/Y He Like the letter E
Elle/É She Like the letter L if before a word that starts with a vowel
Like the letter A before a word that starts with a consonant
On We ɔ̃ [No English Equivalent] if preceding a consonant
Like English on if preceding a vowel
Vous-autres You (y'all) Sounds like Vooz-aught
Ils They Like the letter E if before a consonant
Like eez before a vowel
Ça / Eusse / Eux-autres They In order they're said sah, us, and uhz-aught

These, generally, are the subject pronouns and how they are pronounced in Cajun. There are some other ones that can be used, but for now let's stick to these.

Être (To Be)[edit]

Now we can learn our first verb!

Être (To Be)
Cajun English Cajun English
Je sus [j'sus] I am On est We are
Tu es [t'es] You are Vous-autres est You are (Y'all are)
Il/Elle/Ça/Eusse/Eux-autres est He/she is, or They are Ils sont They are
Vous êtes You are (formal)

Je and Tu elide (combine) with the conjugation. So Tu est is said T'es and Je sis is J'sus. Être corresponds to "am/are" in English. Here are some sample sentences that are good practice.

Examples of Être.
Cajun English
J'sus un étudiant à cette école. I am a student at this school.
Il est un bon cuisinier. He is a good cook.
Eusse est bien jolie. They are very pretty.
Il est trois heures quinze. It is 3:15.
Elle est la meilleure chanteuse. She is the best singer.

Note that we tell time by using être. Être is irregular. This means that most verbs do not follow the pattern that être does. However, it is very frequently used so it is taught first.

Avoir (To Have)[edit]

Another important verb is Avoir. This means "To Have" in English. Also, later you will see that it is used for talking about things that happened in the past.

Avoir (To Have)
Cajun English Cajun English
Je ai [j'ai] I have On a We have
Tu as [t'as] You have Vous-autre a You have (Y'all have)
Il/Elle a He/she has Ils/Elles ont They have
Vous avez You have (formal)

Ils sont and Ils ont sound very similar. However, it is very important to note their distinctions.

Differences in pronunciation
Ils sont (They are) isɔ̃ (has an s sound, ee sohn)
Ils ont (They have) Either izɔ̃ (has a z sound, eez on)

Aller (To Go)[edit]

Aller is a very important verb in Louisiana French because as in English, the verb "go" is used extensively. Also, aller is used in making the future tense of the verb for the vast majority of verbs in Louisiana French, in fact you will hear every verb used with aller in the future, its just that there are some verbs like être who have the future conjugation of sera, but this will be discussed shortly.

Aller (To Go)
French English French English
Je vas [j'vas] I go On va We go
Tu vas You go Vous allez You go (formal, and rare)
Il/Elle va He/she goes Ça/Eusse/Eux-autres va They go
Ils vont They go

Examples of the use of aller

Examples of Aller.
French English
J'vas à l'école tout les matins pendant la semaine. I go to school every morning during the week
Il va au restaurant équand il a faim He goes to the restaurant when he's hungry
Eusse va à Wal-Mart pour ajeter tout leur manger They go to Wal-Mart to buy all of their food

Louisiana French

01 . 02 . 03 . 04 . 05 . 06 . 07