Using nous, vous, ils/elles when conjugating verbs for multiple people

Look at these sentences:

Jean et moi sommes allés au cinéma.
Jean and I went to the cinema.

Sarah et ma soeur sont allées à la plage.
Sarah and my sister went to the beach.

M. Dupont et Mme Vichy vont au bureau.
Mr Dupont and Mrs Vichy are going to the office.

Louise et toi êtes allés au cinéma
Louise and you went to the cinema.

Lucie et moi allons au cinéma tous les mercredis.
Lucie and I go to the cinema every Wednesday.

Notice that when more than one person is the subject of a verb (does the action), that verb conjugates in one of the three plural forms in French (nous, vous, ils / elles).

 

[ person(s) + person(s) = ils or elles

person(s) + toi = vous

person(s) + moi  =  nous  ]

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Jean et moi sommes allés au cinéma.
Jean and I went to the cinema.


Sarah et ma soeur sont allées à la plage.
Sarah and my sister went to the beach.


M. Dupont et Mme Vichy vont au bureau.
Mr Dupont and Mrs Vichy are going to the office.


Louise et toi êtes allés au cinéma
Louise and you went to the cinema.


Lucie et moi allons au cinéma tous les mercredis.
Lucie and I go to the cinema every Wednesday.


Q&A

Bill

Kwiziq community member

19 May 2019

0 replies

Are there two lessons here?

It seems like you are trying to explain two concepts, but aren't explicit about it.First compound subjects take plural verb forms: Sarah et ma soeur sont allées à la plage.

Second the subject pronoun changes form from its singular usage:

je --> moi

tu --> toi

Melisa

Kwiziq community member

28 April 2019

2 replies

Pronunciation of M. & Mme?

In "M. Dupont et Mme Vichy vont au bureau." above, it sounds like M. is just being pronounced as the letter M and not as monsieur but Mme is pronounced as madame. Is that really how this would be said aloud? Also, is it correct that the M. has a period to denote abbreviation but the Mme does not? Is there a rule to help explain this?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

28 April 2019

28/04/19

Bonjour Melisa !

First, yes M. needs the period to make it clear that it's the abbreviation of "Monsieur" and not just the letter M, where Mme is obvious enough not to necessitate this :)

As for the audio file, it was an error, and thanks to you, I've now fixed it to read "Monsieur" as it should!

Merci et à bientôt !

Melisa

Kwiziq community member

30 April 2019

30/04/19

Thank you! The audio files for every example are one of the most helpful features of this site. 

Gwen

Kwiziq community member

9 March 2019

2 replies

Tout le monde

I'm a bit confused as to whether to use Tout le monde as a singular or plural word:

"Tout le monde va dormir"

"Tout le monde vont dormir"

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

9 March 2019

9/03/19

Hi Gwen,

It is - 'Tout le monde va dormir'...

Gwen

Kwiziq community member

11 March 2019

11/03/19

Thank you!

abt

Kwiziq community member

19 July 2018

2 replies

"de" or "des"

"Bonjour

Can you please clarify for me why the answer on 1 of the questions - see below - contains "de" before the adjective and noun?

"Ta soeur et ses amis ont de jolies poupées."

I would have expected "des" because "poupées" is plural.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

19 July 2018

19/07/18

Hi abt,

it is a little rule of grammar that when the adjective precedes the noun 'des' will become 'de',

e.g.

J'ai de belles chaussures de randonnée = I have great walking boots

Il a besoin de nouvelles lunettes He needs new glasses

Ils ont de très bonnes notes à l'école = They have very good marks at school

Je vous souhaite de bonnes vacances! = I wish you a good holiday!

Hope this helps!

abt

Kwiziq community member

19 July 2018

19/07/18

Merci Cécile!

I was not (yet) aware of this rule :)

Flóra

Kwiziq community member

11 July 2018

2 replies

Why is the correct form of ''You and your friends play football.'' "Toi et tes amis jouent au foot."?

According to the lesson, "Toi" plus anything else is supposed to create a sentence with the verb in a "vous" form. Shouldn't it be "Toi et tes tes amis jouez au foot"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 July 2018

16/07/18

Yes, I would have thought so, too. Why do you think this is wrong?

-- Chris. 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

19 July 2018

19/07/18

Hi Flóra,

In the sentence you suggest, it would be correct if you add a 'vous'.

Tes amis et toi, vous jouez au football?

In 'toi et tes amis jouent au football' the subject becomes multiple persons and the 'toi' is lost among them as it is at the beginning of the sentence.

Hope this helps!

CrystalMaiden

Kwiziq community member

23 April 2018

1 reply

Why is the weekday pluralized at " tous les mercredis? "

I was taught earlier that you're not allowed to pluralize weekdays like that. Is it because of the tous les structure? Also, I think it'd help if the lesson advised you to pretend the subject pronoun is there before the verb but after the person name to make conjugating easier: " Jean and I, we went to the cinema = Jean et moi (nous) sommes alles au cinema. "

Chris

Kwiziq community member

26 April 2018

26/04/18

Let me try to clarify:

We meet Mondays. -- On se rencontre le lundi.

In examples like this, where you would use the weekday in its plural form in English, you simply use the definite article and singular in French.

However, if you wanted to say:

We meet every Monday. -- On se rencontre tous les lundis. Or: ....chaque lundi.

So, apparently, the plural version of weekdays does exist but you use it differently than in English. When you would say "every Monday" in English, you can say "all Mondays" in French and use the plural.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Getting that for you now.