French for Beginners: Lesson 4 – Personal Pronouns and the Verb “être” (To Be)
Welcome to Lesson 4! In this lesson, we’re going to learn about French personal pronouns and the verb “être” (to be). These are fundamental in building basic sentences in French.


  • Learn French personal pronouns.
  • Understand the conjugation of the verb “être”.
  • Practice forming simple sentences.

1. French Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are words that replace names or nouns. Here are the French personal pronouns:

French Subject Pronouns English Translation
je I
tu You (singular, informal)
il / elle / on He/She/One
nous We
vous You (plural, formal)
ils / elles They (masculine/feminine)

2. Conjugation of “être”

The verb “être” means “to be” and is used frequently. Here’s how it’s conjugated:

French Subject Pronouns Conjugation of “Être” English Translation
Je suis am
Tu es are (singular, informal)
Il/Elle/On est is
Nous sommes are (plural)
Vous êtes are (formal)
Ils/Elles sont are (plural)


French Subject Pronouns Conjugation of “Être” Phonetic Spelling (English) IPA Pronunciation
Je suis zhuh swee ʒə sɥi
Tu es too ay ty ɛ
Il/Elle/On est eel/ell/on ay il/ɛl/ɔ̃ ɛ
Nous sommes noo sohm nu sɔm
Vous êtes voo et vu zɛt
Ils/Elles sont eelz/ellz son il/zɛl sɔ̃

Practice Exercise
Try forming simple sentences using the personal pronouns and different forms of “être”.

For example:

Je suis étudiant.         I am a student.
Ils sont médecins.     They are doctors.

Real-Life Application

Start noticing and using the verb “être” in your daily life. Try to describe yourself and others using this verb. For example, “I am happy” – “Je suis heureux/heureuse.”

Great job on completing Lesson 4! You’ve now learned one of the most important verbs in French and how to use it with personal pronouns. In the next lesson, we will look at definite and indefinite articles. À bientôt!