ÊTRE - TO BE

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ÊTRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - PRESENT
ÊTRE is an irregular verb 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jesuis[je suis]
tues[tu es]
ilest[il est]
noussommes[nous sommes]
vousêtes[vous êtes]
ilssont[ils sont]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenesuispas [je ne suis pas]
tun'espas [tu n'es pas]
iln'estpas [il n'est pas]
nousnesommespas [nous ne sommes pas]
vousn'êtespas [vous n'êtes pas]
ilsnesontpas [ils ne sont pas]
[ÊTRE]
ÊTRE
TO BE
It means that it does not follow any regular pattern; it’s in a league of its own. Hence; we call it irregular. ÊTRE belongs to the 3rd group. In the 3rd group, all the verbs are irregular. Good news: only 25% of all French verbs are irregular. So relax!
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

HOW TO USE ÊTRE: (ÊTRE EXAMPLES)
- GENERAL USE -
definitionsexample use 
to belongCette voiture est à nous  
To be somewhereNous sommes en vacance au Portugal  
a beingIl y a des êtres forts et des êtres faibles  
to goElle a été en France l'année dernière  
- INFORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to beÊtre à la masse Ne lui parle pas; il est à la masse. 
to beÊtre à l'ouest Ne l'écoute pas; il est complétement à l'ouest. 
to beÊtre à la bourre Je suis encore à la bourre! 
to beÊtre à côté de ses pompes Mais tu es à côté de tes pompes où quoi? 
to beÊtre à côté de la plaque Tu es complétement à côté de la plaque! 
to beÊtre à l'aise dans ses baskets Elle a un petit ami depuis 2 mois; maintenant, elle est à l'aise dans ses baskets. 
- FORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to beêtre à l'heure Il est à l'heure aujourd'hui! C'est un miracle! 
to beÊtre à jour J'ai terminé de lire mes emails; je suis à jour! 
to beÊtre à l'aise La crise n'est pas un problème pour nous; nous sommes à l'aise. 
to beLe bien-être Le bien-être, c'est le plus important dans la vie 
to beÇa peut toujours être utile Avoir des amis, ça peut toujours être utile! 
to beÇa va être sa fête ! Il a raté ses examens: ça va être sa fête! 
to beEn quoi puis-je vous être utile ? En quoi puis-je vous être utile ? 
to beÊtre à bout de force Je suis à bout de force 
to beÊtre à la hauteur Je crois qu'il n'est pas à la hauteur. 
to beÊtre ailleurs Réponds! Tu es ailleurs ou quoi? 
to beÊtre à court d'idées Pour ce projet, nous sommes à court d'idées 
to beÊtre à découvert Je suis à découvert depuis septembre… 
WHAT'S A TENSE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB ÊTRE
What can you do with the present tense ? 
passé récent
negative?
jeviensdeêtre
tuviensdeêtre
ilvientdeêtre
nousvenonsdeêtre
vousvenezdeêtre
ilsviennentdeêtre
passé récent
positive?
jenevienspasdeêtre 
tunevienspasdeêtre 
ilnevientpasdeêtre 
nousnevenonspasdeêtre 
vousnevenezpasdeêtre 
ilsneviennentpasdeêtre 
futur proche
negative?
jevaisêtre
tuvasêtre
ilvaêtre
nousallonsêtre
vousallezêtre
ilsvontêtre
futur proche
positive?
jenevaispasêtre 
tunevaspasêtre 
ilnevapasêtre 
nousn'allonspasêtre 
vousn'allezpasêtre 
ilsnevontpasêtre 
impératif
negative?
sois
soyons
soyez
impératif
positive?
 
nesoispas 
 
nesoyonspas 
nesoyezpas 
 
Well, with the present tense you can describe actions which are occurring now, in the present. But you can do many other things with it too. Look below and you will see that, in French, you can use the present tense combined with other features in such a way that it means something totally different.
IMPÉRATIF

The French imperative (the command tense) of 1st group verbs is very easy to learn. It is used to express command or a request. It's actually the normal present tense but a shorter version.

It is formed
by dropping the "I, you, he, she, we, you, they", of the present tense. Then you erase nearly all the persons but 3; the "you" singular, the "you" plural and the "we" plural.

FUTUR PROCHE

The "futur proche" (near future) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: ALLER.

The NEAR FUTURE
is therefore expressed by ALLER in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in future, you just have to learn ALLER (3rd group, irregular).

PASSÉ RÉCENT

The passé recent (recent past) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: VENIR DE.

The past tense
is therefore expressed by VENIR DE in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in past, you just have to learn VENIR (3rd group, irregular).

THE 3 FRENCH VERB GROUPS 
ÊTRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS
What ? Another present tense ? 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jeserais
tuserais
ilserait
nousserions
vousseriez
ilsseraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jeneseraispas 
tuneseraispas 
ilneseraitpas 
nousneserionspas 
vousneseriezpas 
ilsneseraientpas 
What? A second present tense? I don't understand; I thought there was only one present tense! Help!
LE CONDITIONNEL PRÉSENT

The conditional is used in French to express: Courtesy. If you want to be polite in French, use this mood: Je voudrais du café, s'il vous plaît. I would like some coffee, please. An obligation or duty: Nous devrions partir pour prendre le dernier métro. We should leave if we want to get the last train.

Remember
: The French verb DEVOIR + Infinitive is the exact translation for SHOULD: We should leave if we want to catch the last train. The French verb POUVOIR is the exact translation for COULD or WOULD BE ABLE TO: Nous pourrions venir après le déjeuner. We would be able to come after lunch.

WHAT'S A VERB ? 
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... What's a verb? A verb is doing word; it's an action like to TO EAT, TO SPEAK, TO LEARN, TO CONTROL, TO BE etc. You could argue that TO BE, is not an action. And I'll answer that TO DO NOTHING is also an action. Did you get that? ...

Similar French Verbs
exister  |  vivre
Contrary French Verbs
disparaître  |  s'évanouir
WHAT'S A MOOD ? 
WHAT'S AN INFINITIVE ? 
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... An infinitive is the raw verb. It means "not expressing tense". For instance, in the sentence: "I go to bed early", the infinitive for the verb "I go" is: TO GO. So easy! In English, you get the infinitive adding TO before the verb in the sentence. Infinitives are everywhere. Look at this example: I want to leave early tonight. Yes, after a verb use with a person (I, you, he, she, etc.); in our example "I want", you'll always have an infinitive, in our example: to leave. ...

FRENCH VERB ÊTRE - THE INDICATIVE MOOD
The indicative mood – Recap. 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jesuis[je suis]
tues[tu es]
ilest[il est]
noussommes[nous sommes]
vousêtes[vous êtes]
ilssont[ils sont]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenesuispas [je ne suis pas]
tun'espas [tu n'es pas]
iln'estpas [il n'est pas]
nousnesommespas [nous ne sommes pas]
vousn'êtespas [vous n'êtes pas]
ilsnesontpas [ils ne sont pas]
The easiest mood! If you want to merely make a statement or ask a question about anything really, you'll use the most common mood, the Indicative Mood. In short, this is the mood we use most of the time; the present, the future, the imperfect you normally use are indicative.
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

ÊTRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - VERB ÊTRE
futur
negative?
jeserai
tuseras
ilsera
nousserons
vousserez
ilsseront
futur
positive?
jeneseraipas 
tuneseraspas 
ilneserapas 
nousneseronspas 
vousneserezpas 
ilsneserontpas 
imparfait de l'indicatif
negative?
j'étais
tuétais
ilétait
nousétions
vousétiez
ilsétaient
imparfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'étaispas 
tun'étaispas 
iln'étaitpas 
nousn'étionspas 
vousn'étiezpas 
ilsn'étaientpas 
passé simple
negative?
jefus
tufus
ilfut
nousfûmes
vousfûtes
ilsfurent
passé simple
positive?
jenefuspas 
tunefuspas 
ilnefutpas 
nousnefûmespas 
vousnefûtespas 
ilsnefurentpas 
PASSÉ SIMPLE

Good news! This past tense is not used in conversional French. Only literary people use it in formal writing, for example, in a novel or a history book. The truth is that this tense is nearly dead. So… You can forget it for the moment (unless your proficiency level is very very high)

IMPARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

This is a past tense. It is use to indicate repetition in the past or a habit in the past: Nous allions au restaurant tous les jours. We used to go to the restaurant every day.

It is also
the tense you must use when describing an action in the past: Il était heureux quand je l'ai vu. He was happy when I saw him.

FUTUR

This tense expresses an action which will take place at some time in the future. Nous irons en Chine l'hiver prochain. We will go to China next summer

WHAT'S A COMPOUND TENSE ? 
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ
More about The indicative mood! 
passé composé
negative?
j'aiété[j'ai été]
tuasété[tu as été]
ilaété[il a été]
nousavonsété[nous avons été]
vousavezété[vous avez été]
ilsontété[ils ont été]
passé composé
positive?
jen'aipasété [je n'ai pas été]
tun'aspasété [tu n'as pas été]
iln'apasété [il n'a pas été]
nousn'avonspasété [nous n'avons pas été]
vousn'avezpasété [vous n'avez pas été]
ilsn'ontpasété [ils n'ont pas été]
In French there are 7 compound tenses. But only 4 of them belong to the INDICATIVE.
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ

The Past Indefinite or Compound Past is used in everyday French. It's the informal past tense. It's used when people want to talk about facts, about actions which are finished in the past.

If you want
to describe your day at school or at the office, for example, you must use the Compound Past. There is no other way to do it.

If you want
to know what a compound tense is, go to the tab on the left hand side which says: "What's a compound tense?". Clever!?

TIP 
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... TIP: verb conjugation only occurs in two general areas: using person (I, you, he, she, etc.) and for tenses (Present, past, future, etc.). Conjugation for person happens when the subject changes; it depends on who is acting: I, you, he, she, etc. For example, we have I learn, you learn, s/he learns, etc. Using tense (past, present, future, etc.), remember that all verb conjugation starts with an infinitive verb (Put simple: an infinitive is the to form of a verb: to have, to be, to learn, etc.) ...

WHAT'S A PAST PARTICIPLE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB ÊTRE - VERB ÊTRE
Tip 
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
negative?
j'avaisété
tuavaisété
ilavaitété
nousavionsété
vousaviezété
ilsavaientété
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'avaispasété 
tun'avaispasété 
iln'avaitpasété 
nousn'avionspasété 
vousn'aviezpasété 
ilsn'avaientpasété 
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
negative?
j'eusété
tueusété
ileutété
nouseûmesété
vouseûtesété
ilseurentété
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'euspasété 
tun'euspasété 
iln'eutpasété 
nousn'eûmespasété 
vousn'eûtespasété 
ilsn'eurentpasété 
futur antérieur
negative?
j'auraiété
tuaurasété
ilauraété
nousauronsété
vousaurezété
ilsaurontété
futur antérieur
positive?
jen'auraipasété 
tun'auraspasété 
iln'aurapasété 
nousn'auronspasété 
vousn'aurezpasété 
ilsn'aurontpasété 
It's really easy to understand compound tenses when you realise that:
*
The second part is always the same (It's like the –ed form in English; it's always the same in compound tenses).
*
But, the first part is not always in present tense. Remember the Compound past? J'ai préparé des spaghetti. (Literally: I have prepared spaghetti). This 1st part is in the present tense!

Now
, Look at the following tense: the pluperfect (le Plus-que-parfait):
J'avais préparé des spaghetti.
(I had prepared spaghetti). "I had" is not a present tense: it's the imperfect of TO HAVE. Thus, The pluperfect in English is identical to French; the first part of the tense is in the past.

Now
, look at this tense in English (tricky one): "I will have prepared spaghetti". The 1st part is "will have" (It's a future – The tense is called Future perfect and yes, it's English). In French, we will say: J'aurai préparé des spaghetti ("j'aurai" is TO HAVE in the future).
FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR

The Future Perfect or Future Anterior, is an interesting tense. In French and English, it is used to express an action which will happen in the future before another future action.

In English
we commonly use Shall have or will have + the Past participle.

See
the following example: When she calls me tomorrow, I shall have finished my report (Quand elle appellera demain, j'aurai fini mon rapport).

PASSÉ ANTÉRIEUR DE L'INDICATIF

Past Anterior. This tense is not very used in French; it's a literary tense (writing only). So, unless you are a writer and/or you want to read Balzac, you can put it aside for the moment.

PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

The pluperfect or Past Perfect Indicative is used to express an action which happened in the past before another past action.

Tricky?
No. Look at the following example: "I had seen the movie he told us about." "I had seen" is the Pluperfect. You might never have seen this structure because in English, it's not really used. But it's perfectly correct. First someone told us about a movie (Past tense), second, I had seen it before (Action of "seeing" before the action of "telling"). Both tense are in the Past.

WHAT'S A PRESENT PARTICIPLE? 
FRENCH VERB ÊTRE - THE CONDITIONAL MOOD
The Conditional Mood 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jeserais
tuserais
ilserait
nousserions
vousseriez
ilsseraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jeneseraispas 
tuneseraispas 
ilneseraitpas 
nousneserionspas 
vousneseriezpas 
ilsneseraientpas 
It refers to actions / events which would, should or could happen in the future if certain conditions were met. In short, when an English speaker wants to use WOULD, SHOULD or COULD; she / he uses the conditional mood. Look at the following simple tense in conditional:
THE CONDITIONAL AND JOURNALISM

The conditional is often used in journalistic language. When journalists want to state something as an "alleged" fact, or doesn't wish to state something definitely true they use the conditional.

It is
also used in French as "could" and "would" are in English to make a request more polite: Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux, s'il vous plaît. (I would like to book a table for two, please.)

WHAT'S A TRANSITIVE VERB? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB ÊTRE
The conditional's compound tense! 
le conditionnel passé
negative?
j'auraisété
tuauraisété
ilauraitété
nousaurionsété
vousauriezété
ilsauraientété
le conditionnel passé
positive?
jen'auraispasété 
tun'auraispasété 
iln'auraitpasété 
nousn'aurionspasété 
vousn'auriezpasété 
ilsn'auraientpasété 
The conditional has only one compound tense; the Conditional Perfect (le Conditionnel Passé).
LE CONDITIONNEL PASSÉ

The Conditional Perfect. Is used to express an action or an event that you would have done if something else had been possible. "Would have" could be translated by the French conditional "j'aurais".

"Done"
is the past participle of to do (fait).

WHAT IS A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB ÊTRE - VERB ÊTRE
The Subjunctive mood 
présent du subjonctif
negative?
quejesois
quetusois
qu'ilsoit
quenoussoyons
quevoussoyez
qu'ilssoient
présent du subjonctif
positive?
quejenesoispas
quetunesoispas
qu'ilnesoitpas
quenousnesoyonspas
quevousnesoyezpas
qu'ilsnesoientpas
imparfait du subjonctif
negative?
quejefusse
quetufusses
qu'ilfût
quenousfussions
quevousfussiez
qu'ilsfussent
imparfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejenefussepas
quetunefussespas
qu'ilnefûtpas
quenousnefussionspas
quevousnefussiezpas
qu'ilsnefussentpas
The Subjunctive mood is used in French much more than in English (Actually, most English speakers don't know that it even exists!). But the Subjunctive is quite commonly used in English to express an idea contrary to a fact: "If I were you, I would learn a second language". In French, it is a very common tense. You'll use it if you want to express a wish, a fear, a doubt or a supposition.
IMPARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Imperfect subjunctive is not in use anymore. You'll find it in literature and old poetry. This tense is also rarely used in English.

PRÉSENT DU SUBJONCTIF

The subjunctive is used mainly in subordinate clause. It means that in the majority of cases where the subjunctive is used, there is no other choice; it is required after some specific expression. These expression express fear, doubt, supposition and wish.

Hang
on a minute! What does subordinate mean? See the tab on the left hand side of this page.

WHAT'S AN INTRANSITIVE VERB? 
FRENCH VERB ÊTRE - THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
The subjunctive mood and compound tenses 
passé du subjonctif
negative?
quej'aieété
quetuaiesété
qu'ilaitété
quenousayonsété
quevousayezété
qu'ilsaientété
passé du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'aiepasété
quetun'aiespasété
qu'iln'aitpasété
quenousn'ayonspasété
quevousn'ayezpasété
qu'ilsn'aientpasété
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
negative?
quej'eusseété
quetueussesété
qu'ileûtété
quenouseussionsété
quevouseussiezété
qu'ilseussentété
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'eussepasété
quetun'eussespasété
qu'iln'eûtpasété
quenousn'eussionspasété
quevousn'eussiezpasété
qu'ilsn'eussentpasété
spe The subjunctive mood has also compound tenses. The following ones are not very common in every day French conversation. They are actually quite rare.
PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Pluperfect or Past Perfect Subjunctive is rarely used in French and in English.

This tense
is avoided in conversational informal writing and speaking. It is useful if you read a lot of French literature from the 19th century.

PASSÉ DU SUBJONCTIF

The past or perfect subjunctive expresses a past action which is in relation to the present time.

This tense
is very rarely used in English but quite common in French. Il est probable qu'elle ait téléphoné (It's probable she may have called)

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