French Verb «Falloir»


→ Watch my video lesson on the French verb FALLOIR. 

→ Take the quiz  at the end of the video to see how you can avoid using the subjunctive.

The verb FALLOIR is an IMPERSONAL verb.  You can only use it in the IL form.  In this lesson we will focus on the present tense, but you can use this verb in many other tenses.  

Master the French verb FALLOIR – Included in my Bundled French Lessons for Self-Learners

Examples from the lesson:

1. Il faut un passeport pour voyager à l’étranger.


You need a passport to travel abroad.  

2. Il faut manger pour vivre et non vivre pour manger.


You must eat to live and not live to eat. 

3. Il faut commencer maintenant.

IL FAUT + INFINITIVE We need to start now.

Falloir = Avoir besoin de

You can still use the verbs DEVOIR and AVOIR BESOIN DE to mean MUST or NEED, but you’ll sound much more French if you use FALLOIR!

When you use the verb FALLOIR with the indirect object  pronouns ME – TE – LUI – NOUS – VOUS – LEUR you can totally avoid the subjunctive by following them up with an INFINITIVE..  Just remember when translating sentences to English, IL will not be the first word you translate. It will be the pronoun.  English and French are just different that way. Look at the following examples.

1. Il me faut un nouvel appartement.
I need a new apartment.

2. Il te faut des oeufs?
Do you need eggs?

3. Il lui faut son maillot de bain.
He / She needs his / her swimsuit.

4. Il lui faut ses baskets.
He / She needs his / her sports shoes.

5. Il nous faut une grande voiture.
We need a big car.

6. Il vous faut trois euros.
You need three euros.

7. Il leur faut du travail.
They need work.


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French Subjunctive Mood

French subjunctive lesson:

→ Watch my video lesson on the French subjunctive. 

→ Take the quiz  at the end of the video. See the exercise at the bottom of this page, and I’ll tell you the answers during the video.

The subjunctive is rumored as the most difficult thing in French, but it’s not true. Watch the video lesson and follow along reading the text below the video link. I will not teach every exception in this lesson.  Let’s keep it simple for now. 

Master the French Present Subjunctive – Included in my Bundled French Lessons

→ When and why do we use the subjunctive in French?

→ How do you form the subjunctive?

→ Examples using the subjunctive in meaningful context.

French Subjunctive

  • The present French subjunctive refers to actions in the present or future.
  • Use the subjunctive when the sentence contains a dependent and a main clause.
  • The dependent and main clauses are connected by the word QUE.
  • One of the clauses will demonstrate a WEIRDO condition.
  • If what follows QUE is subjective in nature,  you must use the subjunctive. 


WWishing / wanting
IImpersonal expressions
RRequest / require / recommend
DDoubt / demand / deny

What do sentences with a main and dependent clause connected by QUE look like?  Here are some examples.

Wishing / Wanting
Je voudrais que tu finisses tes devoirs.
Je voudrais means I would like, so it demonstrates wanting. 
The Je voudrais and the tu finisses tes devoirs are connected by QUE
Just because I want THAT you finish your homework doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do it.
Je suis triste qu’elle ne vienne pas.
Je suis triste means I am sad, so it demonstrates an emotion.
The Je suis triste and the elle ne vienne pas are connected by QUE
I am sad THAT she’s not coming.
So why use the subjunctive here?  There’s not really a doubt associated with she’s not coming,  but anytime you’re dealing with emotion you do have to use the subjunctive.
Impersonal expressions
Il est important que nous répondions à toutes les questions.
Il est important means It is important, so that’s an impersonal expression. 
The Il est important and the nous répondions à toutes les questions are connected by QUE.
It is important THAT we respond to all of the questions, but just because it’s important doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen.  Right?
Requests / Requirements / Recommendations
Je suggère que vous arriviez un peu en avance.
Je suggère means I suggest, so that’s a recommendation.
Je suggère and the vous arriviez un peu en avance are joined by QUE.
Just because I suggest THAT you arrive a little early doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Demands / doubts / denying
Il faut que je mette la table.
Il faut means It is necessary, so that’s a demand. 
You can easily use Il faut followed by an infinitive and avoid the subjunctive altogether, but many times you’ll want to say Il faut que followed by another clause that begins with a subject.
In this example the Il faut and the je mette la table are joined by QUE
Just because It is necessary THAT I set the table doesn’t mean I’ll do it.
Je ne crois pas que ce soit une bonne idée.
Je ne crois pas means I don’t believe, so that demonstrates an Opinion.
The Je ne crois pas and the ce soit une bonne idée  are connected by QUE.
Just because I don’t believe THAT it is a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not.

How to Form the Present French Subjunctive

Before doing some exercises together I will show you how to form the subjunctive. There are just a few irregular verbs to learn.  As you may have guessed, the irregular verbs are the ones we use all the time.

How to form the stem / radical

  • The stem is what you’ll add the subjunctive endings to.
  • Take the -ENT off of the 3rd person plural form of the present tense verb
Il faut It is necessary
It is necessary THAT we write a letter.Il faut que nous écrivions une lettre.
That we write a letterThis part of the sentence needs the subjunctive.  Why?  Remember, just because it’s necessary doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. 

The verb «ÉCRIRE»:  Present subjunctive

How do you form the stem / radical?3rd person plural (indicative):Ils écrivent

Take the -ENT off of the 3rd person plural form of the verb.

Écriv-  This is your stem

Now add the subjunctive endings.
What are the subjunctive endings?This is the present subjunctive of the verb écrire.  The endings are in bold print:

que j’écrive

que tu écrives

qu’il écrive / qu’elle écrive / qu’on écrive

que nous écrivions

que vous écriviez

qu’ils écrivent

qu’elles écrivent

Stem-Changing Verbs in the French Subjunctive

  • Verbs that are stem changing in the present indicative are the same in the subjunctive.
  • Keep the same stem in the je, tu, il / elle / on, and ils / elles forms.
  • Only the nous and vous forms that will be different, and the same is true in the regular present tense.
  • We will look at only 4 stem changing verbs, but know that the same rule applies to other verbs in the same category.


Form the stem the regular way:  ils boivent, take off the -ent, and it becomes boiv- Only nous and vous will have a different stem.
que je boiveque nous buvions
que tu boivesque vous buviez
qu’il boive / qu’elle boive / qu’on boivequ’ils boivent / qu’elles boivent


Form the stem the regular way:  Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem envoie-
que j’envoieque nous envoyions
que tu envoiesque vous envoyiez
qu’il envoie / qu’elle envoie / qu’on envoiequ’ils envoient / qu’elles envoient


Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem prenn-
que je prenneque nous prenions
que tu prennesque vous preniez
qu’il prenne / qu’elle prenne / qu’on prennequ’ils prennent / qu’elles prennent


Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem vienn-
que je vienneque nous venions
que tu viennesque vous veniez
qu’il vienne / qu’elle vienne / qu’on viennequ’ils viennent / qu’elles viennent

Verbs with irregular stems (and regular endings) 

Verbs with one stem  

faire (fass-)   pouvoir  (puiss-)  savoir (sach-)
Que je fasseQue je puisseQue je sache
Que tu fassesQue tu puissesQue tu saches
Qu’il fasseQu’il puisseQu’on sache
Que nous fassionsQue nous puissionsQue nous sachions
Que vous fassiezQue vous puissiezQue vous sachiez
Qu’ils fassentQu’ils puissentQu’ils sachent

Verbs with two stems

Aller (aill- / all-)Vouloir (veuill- / voul-)
Que j’ailleQue nous allionsQue je veuilleQue nous voulions
Que tu aillesQue vous alliezQue tu veuillesQue vous vouliez
Qu’il ailleQu’ils aillentQu’il veuilleQu’ils veuillent

Verbs with irregular stems and irregular endings

Que j’aieQue nous ayonsQue je soisQue nous soyons
Que tu aiesQue vous ayezQue tu soisQue vous soyez
Qu’il aitQu’ils aientQu’il soitQu’ils soient

Exercise to practice the French subjunctive

  • See the written questions here, and I’ll tell you the answer in the video around the 29 minute mark.  
  • In the first exercise put all verbs in the present subjunctive.
  • In the second exercise you will need to decide between the subjunctive and the indicative. 

Exercise 1

1Il faut que tu _____ (faire) tes devoirs.
2Je veux qu’il _____ (partir) ce soir.
3Je regrette que vous _____ (être) en retard.
4Elle est très heureuse que nous _____ (prendre) le train.
5 Il faut que vous _____ (dire) la vérité.
6Je ne pense pas qu’il _____ (avoir) raison.
7Je voudrais que tu _____ (apprendre) le russe.
8Vous ne croyez pas qu’il ____ (vouloir) nous voir?
9Je ne crois pas qu’ils se _____ (connaître).
10Il faut que vous _____ (pouvoir) le comprendre.

Exercise 2

1Je regrette que tu ne ____ pas venir avec nous à la campagne ce week-end.a.  peux        b. pouvais     c. puisses d.  pourras
2Il est sûr que tu ____ le français plus vite en pratiquant tous les jours.a.  apprendras   b. apprennes    c. appris d. apprenais
3Il faut que vous ____ plus d’exercice physique.a.  fassiez     b. faites   c. ferez d.  faisiez
4Nous sommes heureux que vous _____ à notre mariage.a.  veniez     b. viendrez      c. viendriez d.  venez
5Il n’est pas certain que ce projet _____ une excellente opportunité pour nous.a.  était     b. sera   c. est d.  soit

6Je veux que mon fils _____ plus soin de ses affaires.a.  prenne     b. prend   c. prendra   d. prenait

7Le professeur exige que son élève ____ à l’examen.a.  réussit    b. réussisse    c. réussira    d.  réussissait
8Il ne me semble pas que tu ____ ta leçon par coeur.  Tu dois encore réviser.a.  savais    b. sais   c. saches d.  sauras
9Elle espère que tu _____ plus performant si tu acceptes de suivre cette formation.a.  sois    b. étais    c. seras d.  as été
10Je ne pense pas qu’il ____ tort.a.  avait     b. a c.  ait d. aura

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French Possessive Pronouns

French possessive pronouns are used to replace nouns so that you can indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. Watch my video lesson below or click here to see it on YouTube.

‼ Possessive pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender.

‼ Possessive pronouns are always preceded by definite articles:  LE – LA – LES

‼ Possessive pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender.

‼ Possessive pronouns replace nouns preceded by possessive adjectives.


‼ Plural possessive pronouns only have three forms. 
‼ Use the NOUS form with the subject pronoun ON

‼ When à and de come before le and les, you have to form contractions:  AU or AUX and DU or DES

Mini-Course on Possessive Pronouns – Included in my Bundled French Lessons

Patreon tier 1 – Lesson guide
Patreon tier 2 – 4 matching activities
Patreon tier 3 – 4 quizzes
Patreon tier 4 – 60 practice cards

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