What is Gerund in French?

How do you form the gerund in French?

Understanding the French Gerund (for Beginners)

Introduction: The gerund is a verbal form that is used to express actions that are occurring or taking place at the same time as the main verb in a sentence.

In French, the gerund is formed from the present participle form of the verb and is used to express a simultaneous or ongoing action.

1. Basic Formation:

To form the French gerund, the present participle form of the verb is needed.

The present participle form is found by taking the infinitive of the verb and removing the “re” ending, and then adding -ant.

For example:

  • Parler (to speak) becomes parlant (speaking)
  • Écrire (to write) becomes écrivant (writing)
  • Vivre (to live) becomes vivant (living)

2. Usage:

The French gerund is often used to express a simultaneous or ongoing action, especially in complex sentence structures.

For example:

  • Elle est en train de lire un livre. (She is in the process of reading a book.)
  • Je pense à aller au cinéma en sortant du travail. (I am thinking about going to the cinema after work.)
  • Il est en train de manger son déjeuner. (He is eating his lunch.)

3. Irregular Forms:

Some verbs have irregular forms when forming the gerund.

These irregular forms will need to be memorized.

For example:

  • Avoir (to have) becomes ayant (having)
  • Être (to be) becomes étant (being)
  • Faire (to do) becomes faisant (doing)

4. Practice:

Practice forming the French gerund by working through exercises that involve a variety of verbs.

Pay attention to irregular forms, and focus on memorizing them.

Conclusion: The French gerund is an important aspect of French grammar, and it is used to express simultaneous or ongoing actions.

By following the basic formation rule and memorizing the irregular forms, you’ll be able to use the gerund confidently and accurately in conversation and writing.


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