Unité 2 : Future, Near Future, Possessive Adjectives and Direct Object Pronouns

 

Contents

 

 

Future Tense

The future tense enables you to speak about what will happen in the future and make plans. Using the future gives a sense that you really mean what you are writing or that it is a sure bet!

Regular Verbs

The formation of the future for regular verbs is really simple.

For regular ‘-er’ and ‘-ir’ verbs, you get the infinitive and add the endings of the verb ‘avoir’ in the present:

-ai = Je chanterai
-as = tu chanteras
-a = elle chantera
-ons = nous chanterons
-ez = vous chanterez
-ont = ils chanteront

‘-re’ verbs are a little different in that you drop the ‘e’ and then add the endings:
– Elle vendra sa maison
– Les garçons prendront le pain

Some regular verbs cause difficulties when they are put into the future tense:

Example:
Je choisirai – I will choose (not Je choirai)

Irregular verbs

Many verbs that are irregular in every other tense are actually regular in the future (‘dire’, ‘prendre’, ‘mettre’). However, there a number of irregular verbs in the future too.. Below is a list of the irregular futures:

 
 
Future of Irregular Verbs
Accueillir – to welcome Aller – to go Avoir – to have Courir – to run
Craindre – to fear Devoir – to have to Envoyer – to send Être – to be

Faire – to do/make

Falloir – it is necessary Mourir – to die Pleuvoir – to rain
Pouvoir – to be able Recevoir – to get/receive Savoir – to know Tenir – to hold
Venir – to come Voir – to see Vouloir – to want/wish  

 

Specific uses of the future in French

Certain temporal clauses (quand / lorsque / dès que / aussitôt que) take the future tense in French when the future is implied.

Examples:
– Quand je serai vieille, je retournerai dans mon village – When I am old, I will return to my town/village.
– Quand tu auras 20 ans, j’en aurai 45 – When you are twenty years old, I will be 45.
– J’irai me promener quand il arrêtera de pleuvoir – I will go for a walk when it stops (will stop) raining

You will note from the sentences above that the French sometimes employ the future in a temporal clause when future time is implied. Typical examples of the conjunctions that take the future are:

  • ‘quand’ (when),
  • ‘lorsque’ (when),
  • ‘dès que’ (as soon as),
  • ‘aussitôt que’ (as soon as),
  • ‘tant que’ (as long as).

Examples: – Dès que Didier arrivera dans sa camionnette, il préparera le poisson – As soon as Didier gets (implied meaning, ‘will get’) to his van, he will prepare the fish.
– Quand le poisson sera prêt, Didier le mangera – When the fish is ready (will be ready), Didier will eat it.

‘Si’ clauses – Present + Future

The following format is employed when you have what are known as ‘si’ (if) clauses.

Examples:
– Si Didier arrive tôt au marché, il trouvera des bons poissons – If Didier arrives early at the market, he will find some good fish.
– Les vendeurs proposeront de bonnes affaires s’il leur reste beaucoup de marchandises – Traders will offer good deals if they have a lot of goods left over.

Imagine a few ‘si’ clauses yourself now to describe what you or someone else will do at the market.

 

 

Near Future

The French often use the present tense of the verb ‘aller’ (je vais, tu vas, il va, nous allons, vous allez, ils vont) plus the infinitive to describe things that you are about to do.

Examples:
– Je vais aller en France cet été – I am going to go to France this summer
– Je vais aller en ville après le déjeuner – I am going to town after lunch
– Tu ne vas pas rester seule à la maison – You are not going to stay on your own in the house Didier likes making plans and he often uses the futur proche.

There are 4 examples of the futur proche in chapter two of Didier’s story.
‘il va passer’ is the first example: can you find the other 3 in this game and explain what they mean in English.

Exercice écrit :
Now for something a bit more challenging. Using the verbs below, write an account of what you will do this summer. Try to employ as many of the words below as possible:

Aller / S’amuser / Envoyer / Rencontrer / Faire / Pouvoir / Dire / Prendre des vacances / Voir / Savoir / Venir

 

 

Possessive adjectives

The possessive adjective is used to denote the owner of something:

  • my father (mon père),
  • his bike (sa bicyclette),
  • their car (leur voiture),
  • its owner (son patron),

In French, these adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they are describing. Below we provide a table:

possessive adjectives
  Masculine Feminine Plural
my mon ma mes
your (informal) ton ta tes
his / her /its son sa ses
our notre nos
your (formal) votre vos
their leur leurs

Singular Plural

Masculine Feminine Masculine and Feminine

  • My – mon ma mes
  • Your –  ton ta tes
  • His/her/its – son sa ses
  • Our – notre notre nos
  • Your – votre votre vos
  • Their – leur leur leurs

Note: When a noun begins with a vowel or a silent h, the masculine form is used, even when the noun is feminine:

– Son amie – his/her girlfriend.
– Mon école – my school.

Also, remember that ‘son’ père can mean ‘his’ or ‘her’ father.
Similarly, ‘sa’ mère can be ‘his’ or ‘her’ mother. What counts is the gender of what you are describing, in other words, the word that follows the possessive adjective.

Direct Object Pronouns

It is important to note now that pronouns can be direct or indirect. In this unit, we consider direct object pronouns (for indirect ones, go to unit 4a).

The French use personal pronouns in a way that is distinctly different from English.

Here is a list of Direct object pronouns:

me
te
le, la
nous
vous
les

Example:

  • Tu crois qu’elle est partie ? Je le crois, oui. – Do you think she has left? Yes, I think so.

    ‘Le’ can denote ‘him’, ‘it’ or ‘so’ depending on the context.

    Using pronouns properly is an essential aspect of speaking and writing correct French. Practice and attention are vital when it comes to mastering the use of pronouns. The following is a list of the most commonly used personal pronouns.

Examples

  • Il renifle la bête et l’inspecte discrètement en la tapotant du doigt – He smells the animal and inspects discreetly by taping it with his finger.
  • Que va-t-il faire de ce poisson? Il va le faire cuire bien entendu et le déguster avec des pommes de terre de son jardin – What is he going to do with this fish? He is going to cook it of course and enjoy it with potatoes from his garden.

Now try this exercise {GAME}

 

Now take this short test on this unit!