Lesson 19 of Essential French (EF) is the final lesson of new material in EF. We will probably finish off with Lesson 20 tomorrow, just because it is a review chapter, and I know what my day will look like!
In any case, this lesson covers a number of the verb tenses already covered in Alpha Teach Yourself French in 24 Hours (ATYF). In fact, it is almost surprising to come to the realization that we haven’t seen the imperfect in EF until now. And I already commented on my bewilderment at the strikingly different view of the importance of the subjunctive.
Beyond that, this lesson also illustrates by example a number of expressions that are formed with avoir “to have”, though in English the idioms require “to be”.
Avoir, Not Être
This is not intended as an exhaustive list, by any stretch of the imagination. But here are some common expressions that use avoir, rather than être, as an English speaker might guess:
- avoir faim “to be hungry”
- avoir soif “to be thirsty”
- avoir peur [de…] “to be scared/afraid [of…]” (de is not required, hence the brackets)
- avoir chaud “to be/feel hot”
- avoir froid “to be/feel cold”
Before and After
This is not at all an uncommon thing to want to do… You want to say, “Before doing x…” or “After doing y….”. In French, we already noted that rather than using the present participle, prepositions (other than en) with verbs usually govern the infinitive:
- avant de + infinitive “before doing…”
- après + auxiliary infinitive + passé composé “after doing…”
More Verb Tenses
Before introducing any new tenses, the lesson shares some more examples of le futur (introduced in the last lesson, and earlier in ATYF), and then gives the forms of some irregulars. The irregularity, in all these cases, is a stem change:
- aller → ir-
- avoir → aur-
- être → ser-
- faire → fer-
It also points out that quand and dès que in expressions about the future take future forms in both the primary and secondary clause. This is very different from English.
I don’s see any need to go over all the tense endings for the new tenses (new for EF, but old to ATYF). I will however mention the French names provided in this lesson of EF, since I appreciate this practice within EF:
- L’Imparfait “Imperfect”
- Le Conditionnel “Conditional”
- Le Subjonctif “Subjunctive”
Otherwise, all the notes and comments about these verb forms have been thoroughly covered by ATYF. I am a little unhappy with the paltry coverage of these forms by EF, to be honest. But I will end here.