Être et les chansons françaises


Another helpful hint for these verbs is that the derivatives of an être verb will most likely take être too e.g. venir, devinir and revenir.

Also, remember that these verbs only use être when they’re intransitve i.e. when they have no direct object and that the list above misses out passer.

This poem might also help those of you who can’t remember the past participles:

allé, arrivé, venu, revenu,
entré, rentré, descendu, devenu,
sorti, parti, resté, retourné,
monté, tombé, né et mort
Ces dix-sept verbes sont conjugués avec le verbe être au passé composé!

Although French didn’t make the shortlist when it came to picking my A-Level subjects, I can still remember everything that was taught to me in the form of a poem or song. For example during our first year 7 lesson we learnt the endings for the present tense by chanting: “e for je, es for tu, e for il and elle, ons for nous, ez for vous, ent for ils and elles.”

Other songs I can still recall include the days of the week to the tune of ‘Camptown Races’: ‘Lundi, mardi, mercredi, do dah, do dah, jeudi et vendredi, do dah do dah day, samedi, dimanche, la semaine commence, lundi, mardi, mercredi, do da do dah day’ as well as the weather song (although sadly I don’t know what the tune is called): ‘Il fait beau, beau, beau. Bravo, il fait chaud! Quel temps fait-il aujourd’hui à Bordeaux? Il y a du vent, il neige un peu, il fait très froid, et il pleut beaucoup!’

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