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1. be Verb

(a) être; I am tall (slightly frm), I'm tall je suis grand m, je suis grande f; in normal speech, je suis is often pronounced and sometimes written chuis; you are tall (slightly frm), you're tall tu es grand (or) grande, vous êtes grand (or) grande (frm); (speaking to more than one person) vous êtes grands (or) grandes; he is tall (frm), he's tall il est grand; he is my best friend (frm), he's my best friend c'est mon meilleur ami
(b) (with age, certain adjectives denoting feeling) avoir; I'm cold j'ai froid; I'm hungry j'ai faim; I'm thirsty j'ai soif; he's right/wrong il a raison/tort; how old is she? quelle âge elle a? (Infrml), quelle âge a-t-elle?; I'm 15 (years old) j'ai 15 ans
(c) (with job titles) être, faire (Infml); he's an English teacher il est professeur d'anglais, il fait prof d'anglais (Infml); he's a really good teacher c'est un très bon professeur
(d) (with cost) coûter, faire (Infml); how much is it? ça fait combien? (Infml), combien ça coûte?, combien cela coûte-t-il? (frm)
(e) (with continuous verb construction) I'm listening je t'écoute; I'm writing a novel j'écris un roman; he was having a shower when I arrived il prenait (or) était en train de prendre une douche quand je suis arrivé
(f) (in forming passive: an active construction often preferred or necessary in French) être; to ~ surprised par sth être surpris par qch; I was surprised to hear that... ça m'a surpris d'entendre que...; he was told that ... on lui a dit que ...; he was given a book on lui a donné un livre
(g) (in passives that express a 'general truth': pronominal verb often used in French) this wine is drunk at room temperature ce vin se boit chambré; that word isn't used any more ce mot ne se dit plus

Except where otherwise stated, all dictionary content compiled by Neil Coffey and copyright © Javamex UK 2012. All rights reserved.