Learn French Customs
Ou est la douane? Where is the customs?
A new construction that we see here is the imperative. “Prenez nos bagages” “Portez-les” and “Ouvrez” are all in the imperative case. The imperative is used to give an order to someone. As we know, normally a sentence needs a subject, such as “you take”, “you carry” or “you open”. In the imperative, the subject is understood. In these cases, it is understood to be “you”. The imperative can be in the second person singular “prennes nos bagages”, “portes-les”, the first person plural, “allons-y”or, most commonly, the second person plural “Prenez nos bagages” “Portez-les” . The same construction exists in English. When we say “open the door”, there is also an implied “you”.
Excusez-moi, je vais chercher mon porteur. Excuse me, I am going to find my porter.
You may have heard or seen the expression “Voila”. It is a very useful term to express discovery or presentation. Here we see it used when Mr. Duprés finds his porter. “Vous voila!” ”There you are!” By itself, “Voila” usually means “Here it is” or “ Look at this.” You can also say “Le voila!” –There it or he is, “La voila!”- There it or she is and “Me voila!”- Here I am!
Order of pronouns: le, la les and lui.
Pronouns are used to replace nouns:
Tu as donne cette idee a Maman. You gave this idea to Mom.
The order of pronouns may seem difficult, but there is a simple principle: le, la and les are “weaker” pronouns than lui and leur. They are always placed before lui or leur.
J’ai donné mon billet au contrôleur. Je le lui ai donné. I gave my ticket to the conducter. I gave it to him.
J’ai donné mon permis de conduire aux gendarmes. Je le leur ai donné. I gave my license to the policemen. I gave it to them.
What Did We Learn?
Let's practice the imperative in French!
Now let's practice pronouns.
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