Louisiana French/Introduction to Verbs
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.
|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)
Now we can learn our first verb!
|Être (To Be)|
|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.|
|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)
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)|
|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)
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)|
|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.|
|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|