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This blog has been designed for basic French students of I.I.T Kanpur (Foreign Language Program) as an additional tool to help them through their learning of the language.

Les 5 sens

  • voir (to see) : la vue
  • entendre (to hear) : l’ouïe
  • goûter (to taste) : le goût
  • sentir (to smell) : l’odorat
  • toucher (to touch) : le toucher


Time indicators : duration


 + duration

+ présent / passé composé / futur

used to express the total duration of an action.

  • Je me repose pendant le week end.
  • I rest during the week end.
  • मैं week end में आराम करता हूँ।
  • Je suis allé au Maroc pendant les vacances.
  • I went to Morocco during the holidays.
  • मैं छुट्टियों में Morocco गया।
  • Je vais prendre un café pendant la pause.
  • I am going ta have coffee during the break.
    • Elle se coiffe pendant des heures !
    • She does her hair for hours !
    • घंटों तक
    • Ils ont cherché le coupable pendant des mois.
    • They looked for the culprit for months.
    • उन्होने दोषी को महीनों तक ढूँढा।


+ date/time

+ présent / passé composé / futur

used to refer to the ending point of an action.

  • Il travaille jusqu’à 18 heures.
  • He works till 6 pm.
  • वह 6 बजे तक काम करता है।
  • Elle a lu jusqu’à l’arrivée du train.
  • She has been reading till the arrival of the train.
  • उसने ट्रैन के आने तक पढ़ा।
  • Je vais être occupé jusqu’à la fin du mois.
  • I am going to be busy till the end of the month.
  • मैं महीने के अंत तक व्यस्त रहूँगा।


+ date/time

+ duration

+ présent/passé composé

→ used to refer to the starting point of an action continuing in the present.

  • Elle travaille ici depuis le 3 janvier.
  • She works here since the 3rd January.
  • वह यहाँ ३ जंवरी से काम कर रही है।
  • Elle est mariée depuis deux ans.
  • She is married since deux years.
  • वह २ साल से शादी-शुदा है।


+ duration

+ passé composé

→ used to refer to the starting point of a past action.

  • Ils sont arrivés ici il y a deux ans.
  • They arrived here two years ago.
  • वे यहाँ दो साल पहले आ गये
  • Il y a une semaine, elle a eu un accident.
  • A week ago, she met with an accident.
  • एक हफ़्ते पहले, उसके साथ एक  हदसा हुआ।

!!! Don’t forget that “il y a” means also in other contexts “there is/are !!!


+ duration

+ présent / passé composé / futur

→ used to express the time taken to accomplish an action.

  • Elle mange toujours en 10 minutes.
  • She always it in 10 minutes.
  • वह हमेशा 10 minutes में खाती है।
  • Il a appris à parler français en 6 mois.
  • He learned to speak French in 6 months.
  • उसने 6 महिनों में फ़्रसीसी बोलना सिखा।

!!! Don’t forget that “en” is also used with months and year to refer to a particular time and then does not express a duration !!!

  • Son anniversaire est en mars.
  • His birthday is in March.
  • Elle est née en 1990.
  • She was born in 1990.


+ duration

+ présent / futur

→ used to refer to the starting point of an action which is going to happen in the future.
  • Je pars dans 10 minutes !
  • I am leaving in 10 minutes !
  • मैं 10 minutes बाद जा रहा हूँ।
  • Il va revenir dans un mois.
  • He is going to come back in one month.
  • वह एक महीने बाद आ जाएगा।


You can also look at this illustrated schema :

dans le temps



  1. Fill up the blanks with the correct time indicator.
  2. Check the right answer.
  3. Fill up the blanks.
  4. Select the right answer (pendant/depuis/il y a).
  5. Idem.
  6. Fill up the blanks with pendant/depuis/il y a.
  7. Idem. 

Verbs conjugated with both “être” and “avoir” in the “passé composé”

As we have seen in the post on the “passé composé“, most of the verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary “avoir“. Pronominal verbs and a few other verbs (aller, venir, entrer, retourner, partir etc.) are conjugated with the auxiliary “être“.

Some verbs are conjugated in the passé composé with both “être” and “avoir”. When they are intransitives (= they are not followed by an object), they are conjugated with the auxiliary “être“. When they are transitives (= they are followed by an object), they are conjugated with the auxiliary “avoir“. 

Here are the most common verbs which can be both transitives and intransitives : 


  • Il est descendu de l’arbre.
  • He came down from the tree.
  • वह पेड़ से उतर गया / नीचे आया।
  • Il a descendu la bouteille.
  • He took the bottle down / downstairs. 
  • उसने बोटल उतारा / नीचे किया।


  • Il est monté dans l’abre.
  • He climbed up in the tree.
  • वह पेड़ में चढ़ा।
  • Il a monté l’enfant dans l’arbre.
  • He put the child up in tree. 
  • उसने बच्चे को पेड़ में चढ़ाया।
  • Il est monté dans sa chambre.
  • He went upstairs in his room.
  • वह ऊपर अपने कमरे में गया।
  • Il a monté son livre.
  • He put his book upstairs.
  • उसने अपनी किताब उपर रखी।


  • Il est sorti.
  • He went out.
  • वह निकला।
  • Il a sorti ses vêtements de l’armoire.
  • He took his clothes out from the cupboard.
  • उसने अपने कपड़े अलमारी से निकाले।


  • Il est passé par ici.
  • He went by this place.
  • वह यहाँ से गुज़र गया।
  • Il a passé ses vacances ici.
  • He spent his holidays here.
  • उसने अपनी छुट्टियाँ यहाँ गुज़ारी।

If you face difficulties in identifying if the verb is transitive or intransitive, it may help to translate the sentence in Hindi. For example, when “sortir” means “निकलना” (“nikalna”), then, “sortir” is intransitive and you have to use the auxiliary “être“, and when “sortir” means “निकालना” (“nikaalna”), then, “sortir” is transitive and you have to use the auxiliary “avoir“.

Questions with subject/verb inversions

In French there are three different ways to form a simple yes/no question :

  1. By adding a question mark : Vous venez ?
  2. By adding a question mark + est-ce que : Est-ce que vous venez ?
  3. By reversing the subject-verb order : Venez-vous ?
The examples 1 and 2 correspond to a standard level (though the first example is usually used only when speaking and not when writing). The last example with inversion of subject-verb order correspond to formal French


This construction is also possible when using interrogative words :

  • Comment allez-vous ?
  • Quel livre lisez-vous en ce moment ?

1. Addition of -t- in third person singular.

In the third person singular, when the verb ends in a vowel, a -t- is added to make the liaison possible :

  • Aime-t-elle la musique classique ?
  • Quand arrive-t-il ?

2. With “c’est” and “il y a”.

The inverted forms of “c’est” and “il y a” are : “est-ce” and “y a-t-il“:

  • Est-ce possible ?
  • Y a-t-il de la place ?

3. When the subject is a noun or a proper noun.

When the subject is a proper name or noun, the corresponding subject pronoun (“il”, “elle”, “ils”, or “elles”) is added for inversion with the verb.

  • Marie vient ce soir ? → Marie vient-elle ce soir ?
  • Les étudiants sont prêts ? → Les étudiants sont-ils prêts ?

4. With compound tenses etc.

In compound tenses, such as the “passé composé”, the subject pronoun is inverted with the auxiliary (the conjugated verb). With the “futur proche” and verbs followed by an infinitive (“pouvoir”, “vouloir” etc.), here also the subject pronoun is inverted with the conjugated verb.

  • Est-elle arrivée ?
  • Vont-ils venir ?
  • Peux-tu m’aider ?

5. With a negation.

In a negative sentence, the order is as follows :

  • Ne vient-elle pas ?
  • N’est-elle pas venue ?
  • Ne va-t-elle pas venir ?

Le corps (the body)

  • la tête : head
  • l’oeil (m), les yeux : eye
  • le nez : nose
  • la bouche : mouth
  • la dent : tooth
  • le cheveu, les cheveux : hair
  • l’oreille (f) : ear
  • le cou : neck
  • l’épaule (f) : shoulder
  • le bras : arm
  • la main : hand
  • le doigt : finger
  • le ventre : stomach, belly
  • le dos : back
  • la jambe : leg
  • le pied : foot

If you want to say that you are feeling pain in one of you body parts, the following expression is used : AVOIR MAL À…

  • J’ai mal à la tête. (I have a headache.)
  • J’ai mal au dos. (My back is aching.)
You can also listen to this traditional song that French kids use to learn during their childhood :