What is a verb?
A verb describes an action (bring, read, walk, run, learn), an occurrence (happen, become), or a state of being (be, exist, stand).
What is an 'infinitive'?
The infinitive is the 'to ….' form of the verb. This is the form found in the dictionary.
parler (to speak)
What is meant by the term 'conjugation'?
French verbs have different endings depending upon who is doing the action, and whether the action is taking place in the past, present or future. Conjugation is the process of determining those endings.
Je parle (I speak)
Tu parles (You speak)
Je parlais (I was speaking)
What is a 'modal' verb
They express modality – that is, likelihood, ability, permission such as can, may, want, must etc. and are usually followed by infinitive
je veux manger (I want to eat)
The 3 main modal verbs are:-
Vouloir (to want to)
Pouvoir (to be able to)
Devoir (to have to)
What is a reflexive verb?
A verb in which the subject acts on itself as the object
Je me lave (I wash myself)
What are the two auxiliary verbs used to form past tenses?
être and avoir
What is a past participle ?
Past participles are used with an auxiliary verb to form compound tenses such as the perfect/pluperfect tenses
eg J'ai fini (I have finished)
What is a present participle ?
The present participle is the '-ing' form in English, and the '-ant' form in French
Il faire ses devoirs en chantant
(He does his homework whilst singing)
What are group I verbs?
Group I verbs are regular -er verbs. Their infinitives always ends in 'er', also their conjugations follow a regular pattern.
e.g. parler (to speak)
What are group II verbs?
Group II verbs are regular -ir verbs. Their infinitives always ends in 'ir' also their conjugations follow a regular pattern.
e.g. finir (to finish)
What are group III verbs?
Group III verbs are regular -re verbs. Their infinitives always ends in 're' also their conjugations follow a regular pattern.
attendre (to wait)
What are group IV verbs?
Group IV verbs are the spell changers and irregular verbs whose conjugations do not follow a regular pattern.
vouloir (to want to)
faire (to do)
What is the present tense ?
The present tense describes an event that is happening now.
Je mange (I eat)
What is the imperfect tense ?
Describes an ongoing event that happened in the past
Je mangais (I was eating)
What is the perfect tense ?
The perfect tense describes a completed event that happened in the past.
J'ai mangé (I have eaten)
What is the pluperfect tense
The pluperfect tense describes a completed event that had happened in the past.
What is the immediate future tense ?
The immediate future tense describes an event that is about to happen.
Je vais manger (I'm going to eat)
What is the future tense ?
The future tense describes an event that will happen in the future.
Je mangerai (I will eat)
What is the conditional mood, present tense?
The conditional tense describes an event that would happen.
Je mangerais (I would eat)
What is the subjunctive mood, present tense?
The subjunctive is used mostly with verbs or adverbs expressing desire, doubt or eventuality.
Il faut que vous parliez avec le patron
(You must speak to the owner)
What is the active voice?
The active voice describes a subject performing an action on an object.
Le chat mange le poisson
(The cat eats the fish)
What is the passive voice?
The passive voice describes what is done to someone or something.
Le poisson est mangé par le chat
(The fish is eaten by the cat)
What is the imperative mood ?
The imperative mood is used to give instructions or commands.
Continue tout droit
(Go straight on)
How is a present participle used ?
Present participles are used as qualifiers as in "un insecte volant" (a flying insect)