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The impersonal verbs like “Il neige”

Impersonal verbs are very useful for your daily conversation !

  • The pronoun “il” is used when describing the weather and for time related expressions. “Il” here represents the state of things – the world or universe at that moment.

Example :

Il pleut

Il neige.

It’s raining

It’s snowing.

Il fait chaud. It is hot.
Il fait froid. It is cold.
Il fait beau. It is nice (outside).
Il fait mauvais. It is bad (outside).
Il y a du vent. It’s windy.
(There is wind)
Il est six heures. It is 6 o’clock.
Il est midi. It is noon.
Il est trois heures dix. It is 10 past 3.
Il est une heure moins dix. It is 10 to 1.
Il est trois heures et demi. It is half past three.
Il est neuf heures moins le quart. It is a quarter to 9.
Il est huit heures quarante-cinq. It is eight fourty-five.
Il est tôt. It’s early.
Il est tard. It is late.
  • The verb “falloir”is always used with ”il” and expresses what is needed or what must be done.

Example :

Il faut arranger la chambre.               The room must be cleaned/tidied up.

Il faut aider les pauvres.                    One must help the poor.

Il ne faut pas être égoïste.                 One must not be selfish.

  • “Il y a” is used to express ‘there is’.

Il y a un ours sur la montagne.                      There is a bear on the mountain.

Il y a un passage secret derrière ce mur.      There is a secret passage behind this wall.

  • “ Il y a” is used for :  ___ ‘ago’.

Il y a un siècle, l’ordinateur n’existait pas.    A century ago, the computer didn’t exit.

Now you’re ready for speaking with a French person on matters like time and weather ;-)

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VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member…

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