B1 - Intermediate
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The present participle

The present participle

Learning Objectives 

  • Know how to form and use the present participle
  • Know how to form and use the gerund
  • Be able to use “être en train de + infinitive”
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Key Words & Phrases

Je suis en train de faire à manger.

J’étais en train de prendre ma douche.

Learn

the present participle

the gerund

Lawless French: forming the present participle

Talk in French: the present participle

Grammar Collins Dictionary: the present participle

Ressources FLE: the gerund

Watch

Learn French with Pascal: the present participle 

Learn French with FrenchPod101: the gerund

Read

Lawless French: participle present and gerund

ThoughtCo: all about the present participle

Cliffsnotes: the present participle and gerund

Blog: vocabulary about health and the body

FrenchPod101: vocabulary about health

YouLearnFrench: vocabulary about ailments

YouLearnFrench: vocabulary about illnesses

Practice

Lawless French: practice present participles

Tex’s French Grammar: practice present participles

To learn French: practice gerunds

Bonjour de France: advanced exercises on present participles

Using one of the recommended resources to get writing feedback, respond to the prompt below.

  • Write sentences using the items below, as per the example. Put the first action in the passé composé et the second as a gerund. You can use any subject. 

Example: Se tordre la cheville / Courir 

    => Un athlète s’est tordu la cheville en courant.

  • Se casser une jambe / faire du ski
  • Attraper un rhume / sortir sans manteau
  • S’endormir / regarder la télé
  • Faillir avoir un accident / venir
  • Rencontrer des amis / se promener dans le parc

Using one of the platforms for finding a tutor or language exchange partner, practice the speaking activities below.

Partner Speaking Exercise:

You are going to practice giving advice using the present participle. Choose a question starting with “comment” amongst the following questions, or make a question yourself.

You will go first and give a single-sentence piece of advice using a gerund. Your partner will go next, and so on until one of you runs out of ideas! 

The aim is to make as many sentences as possible for each question. Go through at least 3 questions.

  • Comment rester en forme ?
  • Comment gérer son stress ?
  • Comment arrêter de grossir ?
  • Comment se faire des amis ?
  • Comment apprendre une nouvelle langue ?
  • Comment se préparer pour un marathon ?
  • Comment adopter un animal ?

Example: Comment éviter les caries ? 

On peut éviter les caries en se brossant les dents trois fois par jour. 

On peut éviter les caries en allant chez le dentiste régulièrement. 

On peut éviter les caries en mangeant moins de sucre.

Independent Speaking Exercise:

Respond to the following questions by making full sentences. Think of other simultaneous causal or conditional actions and make a few sentences of your own.

  • Que fais-tu, d’habitude, en attendant le bus, le train ou l’avion ?
  • Regardes-tu la télé en mangeant ?
  • Est-ce que tu écoutes de la musique en travaillant ?

You can find instructions and a download link in our flashcards module.

Lesson Content
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