French subject pronouns

In French, when it comes to using “you” in the singular, there are two possibilities. Tu is less formal, and is used, for instance, when speaking to young children, to close friends and family, or casually among one’s peers; vous would be used more formally. The vous singular takes the same verb form as the vous plural, though, but if there was an adjective involved the adjective would take the singular form – vous êtes malade (you, singular, are sick), vous êtes malades (you, plural, are sick).

The subject pronouns are

Singular

  • je (I)
  • tu (you, informal)
  • il (he, it*), elle (she)

Plural

  • nous (we)
  • vous (you, plural or singular formal)
  • ils (they, masculine), elles (they, feminine)

* Il is used as as a neuter subject to impersonal verbs (il pleut = it is raining) and as the neuter subject of être (to be) in expressions such as il est difficile de travailler içi (it is difficult to work here).

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