Lesson Transcript

Hey, guys! It's Pierre from France and welcome back for more videos on French learning. We will talk about stems of verbs ending with -oir/-oire in French today. Oir, sometimes there is an E, sometimes there is no E so we will focus on all verbs that end with the sound /oir/ because even if there is an E, it's the same pronunciation, -oir/-oire.
Verbs from the third group are infamous for one thing. It's that the stem is always changing. As you can see, we will see different stems and it's annoying because you need to learn by heart all those stems and sometimes you also need to learn the endings. But today, we will not focus on the endings like when you change the form like the conjugation. We will not focus on the conjugation, but on the stem which is the most important thing. If you remember the stem, the specific stem, you're all good and you will be able to use all those verbs with -oir/-oire at the end.
So without further ado, let's get started with first category of -oir which is mainly cevoir or devoir. We’ve got two main verbs with that in French. It's recevoir “to receive” and devoir “I must” or sometimes “I shall”. So here, you've got that. Also, note that when in English you've got a verb with -eve at the end like in receive like recevoir “receive”, sometimes in French, the translation is with -cevoir “to receive” recevoir, “to deceive” decevoir. You see, it's quite similar.
So those verbs are the same logic. So for all the verbs, I will define this table and you will see different things. Here, you've got the tenses; présent, imparfait, futur, “present, imperfect, and future”, and here you’ve got the person like if it's singular, je/tu/il “I/you/” il like “he/she” like il/elle if it’s feminine. Here, you've got the plural and I will distinguish two categories like nous/vous “we/you”, plural you and ils “they” because sometimes as you can see here, it's a bit different. It's not the same so I do the distinction. But here, you can see that you don't need to do the distinction so okay. You need to remember these and these tenses and the person.
So here with this, in the blue part you see what is from the verb. So here, the blue part is something that we don't care. It's like the original stem of the verb like this is the infinitive form, this is the ending and this is the original stem. So here, you've got recevoir or devoir, but here, I'm going to use the example of a apercevoir which means “to see from a far distance” like when you see something, oh I see something so you can use apercevoir like j'aperçois quelqu'un dans la rue “Oh, I see someone in the street.” So you've got this and for the present, you've got aperçoi..., the form for present and singular, je/tu/il. It’s like aperçoi... So here, the blue part is from the verb and then this is the modification of the form of the stem that you need to apply for this group. Then here, you see three dots, it’s like you need to add the correct ending so usually it's like S-S-T like for many verbs from the third group, usually the ending is like S for je, S again for tu and T for il. So if you want to say je aperçois, je, je aperçois, je so S. If you want to use tu, tu aperçois, you add an S and here if you want to use il aperçoit, you add a T. So here, you've got the blue part which is from the verb. This, which is like for all the verbs from this category and then you add the ending.
So if you want to use the same logic with devoir “I must”, you take the D here, you add -oi so doi..., D + -oi so doi... and then you add the correct ending. But here, you can see that I added something with C. You need to add something that you don't add with the D. You just need to add this, what we call cédille. This little thing is a specific C. It means that you have to pronounce it as an S and you do it only when there is an O after that. So remember that for -cevoir, verbs like that, you need to add this little thing when there is an O after that. So it only concerns those two forms.
So this is for the first category then you've got nous / vous “we /you”. This time, you have to use apercev... so it means like apercevoir. So for the verb apercevoir or for the verb recevoir “to receive”, you want to say nous recevons “we receive”. You say nous so you take this, nous rec… and then you add -ev so nous recev… and then you add the ending so basically for nous, it’s ons, O-N-S, and for vous, it’s E-Z, it's always like that in French. So this is the three dots you see here depending on that. It’s always O-N-S for nous and E-Z for vous. Then, you've got apercevons, nous apercevons or here for recevoir “we receive”, nous recevons. So here, this, you take the E-V and then the ending. So another way to see that is like you just get rid of the -oir and then you’ve got your form for here.
For the last one, for plural, for they, it's the same than the first one and the ending for present in French is E-N-T like for all the verbs, E-N-T so aperçoivent with E-N-T, they, like “they must” ils doiv, ils, plural I with an S at the end of ils, ils doiv. So here, you've got a missing V, but the ending is still E-N-T so apercoivent. So here, they like they must, you say so D is the blue part so you add just D instead of this, D, OIV, doiv and then the ending so ils doiv “they must” ils doiv, E-N-T for that.
For the imperfect, it's the same form than for the present when you use nous or vous. It’s apercev… or dev… or recev... So for example, je recevais, je devais, tu devait. Here, it's always the same. You take the blue part, you add E-V and then you add the ending and the ending for imparfait is always the same in French. You can see that on the previous video, but it's like A-I-S, A-I-S, A-I-T. So this is for singular then you've got I-O-N-S, I-E-Z and then you've got A-I-E-N-T for the last one, A-I-E-N-T. So basically, you remember once the ending for imperfect and then you’re all good. What you need to do is then to learn the stem. So here, it's easy because the stem is always the same. As you can see, it's always the same stem for imperfect. So you just remember the ending for all the verbs of imparfait and then you remember the specific stem and you're good.
Then, future it's the same as you can see. You don't care about the person. It's always just one stem that you need to remember and here, it's apercevr... and as you can see, there is R and R is the mark of the future in French. So here, apercevr..., you just remember that. So with devoir, you want to say, “I will have to do” because in English you cannot say “I will must…” so I will have to do, je devr... so you take the blue part D, you add -evr… and then you add the ending of the future. So I guess you just remember the ending for the future, it's like imperfect. You just remember always the same ending and if you know the stem, you can do everything with the future.
So three different stems, like four different stems that you need to remember. Here, aperçoi... and aperçoiv..., apercev... and apercevr.... Those stems are quite similar just like the the future R. So this is all for this category.
The next one is with valoir. Valoir itself is a verb and you've got a lot of verbs that are made with prefix. If you add a prefix in front of -valoir, you've got a new verb like if you add pré in front of -valoir, prévaloir, it means like “prevail” and you've got the same logic. So remember the logic for -valoir. The logic is super easy in comparison with the first one. You just need to remember three different stems; one for the future, one for the imperfect, and it's the same for the plural for present and the stem of the present for just singular person. So here, you just remember V-A-U, vau... and then you add the endings. So here, I said usually for the present, it's always S-S-T, here, the ending for the present. It's almost always the case. Here since there is a vowel, it's not an S, but an X. X and S are sometimes quite similar letters. It's just like S. X is like the S when there is a vowel before. So here, there is a vowel, U, so you add just X so here it's X-X-T. Here, it was S-S-T for the ending. Here, it’s X-X-T, but don't focus too much. It's not the purpose of this video. Here, we care about the stem, not really the ending.
So here, we've got vau..., je vaux. You can use it for like “it costs”. I didn't translate it, like valoir, it means like “to cost”, one of the translation because you've got another verb you can say coûter which is first group verb, E-R, coûter, but here, you can also use valoir in French which is a possible translation for “to cost”. So here, il vaut like this car costs...I don't care like how much, and you say in French, cette voiture “this car”, cette voiture vaut with a T. Then for the plural, instead of the U, it’s an L and then it’s the same ending. Here, the ending is O-N-S, E-Z and E-N-T. If you know how to transform a verb for present, you know all those endings so nothing special for that.
Then imperfect, it's exactly the same. You remember the endings of imparfait? It’s E-E-E. I’m not going to spell it again, but you remember the stem which is similar from the plural for present and then you add the endings that you’ve learned by heart and you've got your imperfect form of valoir.
For future, as you can see here, there is again R, the future R and it's vaudr like ça vaudra “it will cost” ça vaudra. So here, you add the ending that again is always the same for the future. Future imperfect are really easy, you just learn the endings once and then if you know the stem, you can do everything. So for valoir, it’s vaudr, you remember that. So this one was quite easy.
Let's move on to two other ones like vouloir and pouvoir, really important verbs. Vouloir “I want / to want” and pouvoir “to be able to to / can”, but be careful because in French, unlike can, pouvoir is not an auxiliary so what you need to do is more to think that it's “to be able to”.
So here again three stems, so P so like you can see that as like the -ouloir category. When I say ouloir, I mean this is ou... and then oir... or ou...and oir.... So here, you’ve got different letters, but it’s like ou...oir. So for those verbs, again for present and singular, you need to remember just the first letter like V or P and then you add E-U like je veux “I want”, je veux. You take the V and you add E-U and again here, it's like S-S-T, but since this is like here, you've got the vowel, it's X-X-T. So here, you remember the correct endings and you've got peu.., je peux, tu peux, il peut like same pronunciation except that here X-X-T. So here you've got the P from the first letter of pouvoir, but for vouloir, it's the same, you use the first letter of vouloir, V, so veu, je veux..
Then for the plural and the same for the imperfect, the form that you need to use, the stem is pouv... so you just get rid of the -oir. So here, it would be for this one, vouloir. So you take this, you take out the -oir, voul... so the stem would be voul... and then you add the endings that are always the same, again, -ons, -ez, like E-Z and -ent, E-N-T, sorry, here, E-N-T. Then for the imperfect, you know the endings so you can do it. So pouv..., you remember that, pouv... or voul…
Then for the future, the logic is a bit different from the two verbs so you just need to remember. For the stem for the future, it’s like pourr... for this one, like “I will be able to” and then you add the classic ending of the future and then you've got voudr..., vouloir, voudr… “I want / I really want” so you just remember voudr... as you can see here, there is the R of the future. So here, it's RR and here it's R.
Let's move on to the next one, savoir. This one is kind of unique. You need to remember again three stems so the first one is sai... for this part of the table, S-A-I, je/tu/il so here it's S-S-T. So last time I said that because there is a vowel before, it was an X, X-X-T, X-X-T, but it's only true if it's a U so be careful. I said that but it's only with a U that you need to add X-X. Here, it's an I so it's still S so here, it's S-S-T for the present, S-S-T and then for the plural, it's still the same, -ons, -ez, -ent like E-N-T and you use the form sav..., ils savent “they know”, they ils savent with E-N-T at the end.
For the imperfect, it's the same here and then for the future, it's like saur... so you need to remember that there is the U here. It's not a V, it’s a U, saur so “I will know”. Saur, je saurai “I will know”. So here again, the R of the future. So yeah, I didn't say but savoir means like “to know”. So this one is kind of unique.
Another one which is unique is -voir “to see”. So you need to remember voi..., V-O-I and then you add the S-S-T and then for the plural, you see that it's the same form so you hear V-O-I and you add E-N-T of that. But for nous and vous and for the imperfect, the stem is the same, V-O-Y. So if you want to say “we were watching” like we watched, you can say nous voyons, V-O-Y and then you add the ending of the imperfect nous like first person plural and it's -yons so here you’ve got voyions so it would be V-O-Y-I-O-NS and be careful because it’s quite similar to the form voyons which is the same person but for present, so be careful, voyions. If there is an I, it’s imperfect, but the pronunciation is really similar, voyions, nous voyons, nous voyions. For the second one, the I is a bit longer, but you don't really care about that. You can guess with the context like when you hear it based on the context, usually you cannot miss it if you understand the rest of the sentence. Even for French people, sometimes you don't hear if it's the form so don't really care about that. Then you've got the future, V-E-R-R. This is the form that you need to remember. Again, the R of the future, but here it's RR. So this is all for this one.
Then you've got two tricky verbs, falloir and pleuvoir. Falloir is difficult to translate in English, but you can translate it by “out to / must”, but this verb is specific because there is only one person, it’s il. You cannot use elle, it's only il and it's the same for pleuvoir which means “to rain”, only il. It's like in English, you don't say “you rain”, you say “it rains”. So here, you've got the form for the plural, imperfect and future so it's like fau...,fall..., faudr... and here, pleu..., pleuv..., pleuvr.... So it’s the same here and here except that here, there is R. So those ones are kind of specific, you can remember it. I'm not going to explain. There is nothing to explain for those ones.
But here is another verb, a really tricky one, asseoir which is probably one of the only verb in French that have different stems for the same usage. So I'm going to just explain one usage. So here instead of assied..., this is one stem that you can use here, but another stem that is sometimes used is assoi.... I’m not going to explain it, but be careful. So here, I'm going to use one of the forms like the easiest one. So here, it's like assied... and then you add the S, you add the S, or you add nothing because after a D, you add nothing. It's not T, it's like you add nothing after the D. So here present.
Then you've got the future, the imperfect and the plural. The form is the same with E-Y and then you've got F, assier. So here, future with the R and then the accent. If you see only this table, it’s not really tricky, but be careful because sometimes you can see other forms like assoi...with O-I here instead of I-E-D. So be careful with that, but you should remember that, just this table and you will be fine.
Then, I just talked about verbs with -oir at the end, but I want to talk about verbs with I-R at the end. So here, you've got boire and croire. So what you need to remember is boi..., boi..., same here like croi..., croi... and then boir.., croir..., it’s the same here for the future. It’s like just get rid of the E. Here, you get rid of the R-E, R-E, R-E, R-E and the only difference is for the imperfect and the plural of nous and vous where you need to learn by heart. It's a bit different. It's buv... or croy.... So you've got the different stems that you need to remember, but the logic is the same for the rest of it. That's all for the verbs with -oire with an E.
So we've seen different categories like some of them are not categories like for this, savoir, voir- or asseoir or even boire, croire, it’s a bit different, but those ones are quite similar. So what you need to remember is you've got stems to remember and if you remember those stems like you need to learn them by heart, there is no logic and you know the endings, everything will be fine and you will get it. So here, you've got the first category of -voir then you’ve got -valoir and then you’ve got vouloir/pouvoir, -savoir, -voir, -croire, -boire. I forgot to translate that it's “to drink” and this is “to believe” and this is “to sit”. So here, you've got those categories and one thing that I’d like to think is if you use a verb that ends with -voir like for example, prévoir which means “to foresee/to forecast” like weather forecast, prévoir, prévoir la météo, la météo “forecast”. So here, prévoir, you use the same logic. So here, it's more of a category of all the verbs with voir, but it's not the same than this, be careful.
Well, that's all for today. I hope now, you can better understand verbs with -oir/-oire at the end. It was Pierre. See you guys!


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Friday at 06:18 AM
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Salut Ram,

Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

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Thursday at 11:43 PM
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Very interesting and informative lesson. Nice work by Pierre.

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Thursday at 02:31 AM
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Bonjour Marie,

Do you need endings for a particular verb? All of them are in the lesson.

Belle journée,


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Sunday at 11:29 PM
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Salut! What is the ending for the Futur?