- Usage in the Sentence
- Usage in Grammatical Constructions
Être is one of the most common verbs in French; in any French class, it will be the first one you will learn. Here are some basic things you need to know about it.
Il est grand.
He is tall.
Usage in the Sentence
Rule 1: Just like aller and avoir, être can be used both in sentences and in grammatic constructions. When used on its own, it means "to be" and can identify things and people:
C'est mon soeur.
This is my sister.
or indicate dates and times:
Aujourd’hui on est le 15 octombre.
Today is October 15.
or be used with adjectives to describe something:
Je suis petit.
Be careful, the verb être is very common but irregular.
|il, elle, on||est|
Usage in Grammatical Constructions
Rule 2: Être is also used as an auxiliary verb in compound tenses conjugations with certain groups of verbs. For example, with all reflexive verbs (les verbes pronominaux):
Je me suis lavé.
I washed (myself).
In passive sentences:
Elle est respectée de tous ses collègues.
She is respected by all her colleagues.
And with several verbs of movement and their derivatives when they are used without a direct object, such as aller (to go), venir (to come), or retourner (to return).
Il est venu hier.
He came yesterday.
Je _ monté.