French Voir, Coire, and Boire

Overview

In Le Passé Composé, some verbs have very short irregular past participles (vu, dû, pu, bu, cru, su, lu, plu, tu). Learn how to conjugateverbs like VOIR (to see), DEVOIR (to have to), POUVOIR (to be able to), BOIRE (to drink), SAVOIR (to know), LIRE (to read), PLAIRE (to like) and TAIRE (to keep quiet) in Le Passé Composé in French.

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As Units progress, you will learn more and more irregular verbs. These three verbs – voir, croire, and boire – meaning “to see,” “to believe,” and “to drink,” respectively are all conjugated similarly. Below are the three conjugation tables for these verbs in the present tense. The other resources linked in this module will review these verbs separately.

Subject PronounVoirMeaning
JevoisI see
TuvoisYou see
Il/Elle/OnvoitHe/She/One sees
NousvoyonsWe see
VousvoyezYou see
Ils/EllesvoientThey see
Subject PronounCroireMeaning
JecroisI believe
TucroisYou believe
Il/Elle/OncroitHe/She/One believes
NouscroyonsWe believe
VouscroyezYou believe
Ils/EllescroientThey believe
Subject PronounBoire*Meaning
JeboisI drink
TuboisYou drink
Il/Elle/OnboitHe/She/One drinks
NousbuvonsWe drink
VousbuvezYou drink
Ils/EllesboiventThey drink

*When you talk about drinking, you have to remember that we typically drink in quantities. Just like with the verb manger (to eat), we eat/drink some of something. Meaning in most contexts, we should use the partitive article, de, following these verbs. Review the partitive article in A1.1 Module 9. You will read and practice example sentences with boire in this module.

Notice the similarities between the three tables. In the first, second, third person singular, and third person plural forms, the conjugation of these three verbs begin in similar ways. The endings of each conjugation should look familiar, too. The Nous and Vous forms of these verbs need the most attention. Take a close look at how the fourth letter of Voir and Coire changes from “i” to “y” and in Boire, the third letter is a “v.”

As you learn more verbs, it’s important to see them used in context. Always take some time to review the example sentences provided and complete the short exercise provided with the module. These sentences will also help you improve your vocabulary.

Examples:

Je vois mon amie dans la rue.                        I see my friend in the street.

Tu bois du thé le matin.                                  You drink some tea every morning.

Elise croit que Mathieu aime Elizabeth.         Elise believes that Matthew loves Elizabeth.

Au bar, nous buvons de la bière.                    At the bar, we are drinking some beer.

Voyez-vous ce beau sac-à-main ?                   Do you see this beautiful purse?

Elles ne croient pas au mensonge.                 They do not believe the lie.

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French Relative Pronouns Qui vs Que

In French, direct object pronouns are used for verbs which aren’t followed by prepositions: Me (me), te (you), nous (us), vous (you), le (him or it), la (her or it), les (them). For example, Je vois le garçon. Je le vois. (I see the boy. I see him).

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
Reading:
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
Listening:
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.