How To Say ING In French

 

Over the past three years I’ve been teaching French online and have heard students make this mistake many times. The mistake is to add the word “suis” when trying to say “I am” doing something. For example, to say “I am speaking” I will often hear students say, “Je suis parle”. This is totally wrong. In French “Je parle” means both “I speak” and “I am speaking”.

There is absolutely no need for the word “suis” for am because the “am” is actually embedded in the verb. So, “Je mange” means both “I eat” and “I am eating” and “Je suis mange” would be totally wrong if you’re trying to say “I am eating”. In the audio lesson below I’ll walk you through lots of examples. Please comment and share.

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EXAMPLES

PRESENT TENSE
I’m singing the song.
RIGHT: Je chante la chanson
WRONG: Je suis chante la chanson.

I’m listening to the song.
RIGHT: J’écoute la chanson.
WRONG: Je suis éctoute la chanson.

I’m eating the pizza.
RIGHT: Je mange la pizza.
WRONG: Je suis mange la pizza.

I’m staying home tonight.
RIGHT: Je reste chez moi ce soir.
WRONG: Je suis reste chez moi ce soir.

I’m inviting my friends to the restaurant.
RIGHT: J’invite mes amis au restaurant.
WRONG: Je suis invite mes amis au restaurant.

I’m learning French.
RIGHT: J’apprends le français.
WRONG: Je suis apprends le français

I am not working today.
RIGHT: Je ne travaille pas aujourd’hui.
WRONG: Je ne suis pas travaille aujourd’hui.

I am not inviting Jean.
RIGHT: Je n’invite pas Jean.
WRONG: Je ne suis pas invite Jean.

I am not reading the book.
RIGHT: Je ne lis pas le livre.
WRONG: Je ne suis pas lis le livre.

PAST TENSE
I was working yesterday.
RIGHT: J’ai travaillé hier OR Je travaillais hier.
WRONG: Je suis travaillé hier OR J’étais travaillé hier.

I was talking with to friend.
RIGHT: J’ai parlé à mon ami OR je parlais avec mon ami.
WRONG: Je suis parlé à mon ami OR J’étais parlé à mon ami.

FUTURE TENSE
I’m going to eat the pizza.
RIGHT: Je vais manger la pizza OR Je mangerai la pizza.
WRONG: Je suis vais manger la pizza OR Je suis mangerai la pizza.

I’m going to work tomorrow.
RIGHT: Je vais travailler demain OR Je travaillerai demain.
WRONG: Je suis vais travailler demain OR Je suis travaillerai demain.

Merci! I hoped this has helped. To learn more why not try a private lesson via Skype? Please use the form below to sign up!

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