Le gérondif

French Grammar (see all)

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Le gérondif

The gérondif (the gerund) is formed with en + the present participle. It is used is to stress that two actions are simultaneous. It has the same subject as the main verb.
Victor parle en dormant. Victor speaks while sleeping.
J’ai bu un café en t’attendant. I drank a coffee while waiting for you.

We form the gerund by using the nous stem of the verb in the present tense and adding -ant. This is preceded by the preposition en.
chanter nous chantons en chantant to sing we sing while singing
finir nous finissons en finissant to finish we finish while finishing
voir nous voyons en voyant to see we see while seeing
prendre nous prenons en prenant to take we take while taking
boire nous buvons en buvant to drink we drink while drinking

Note: There are three verbs which have irregular present participles: savoir en sachant, être en étant, avoir en ayant
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