Complex Grammar

En + present participle


‘En + present participle’ is used when you want to describe two actions which happen more or less at the same time:

_ e.g. En sortant de l’hôtel, tournez à droite_. (As you go out of the hotel, turn right)

It translates the English expressions ‘whilst/while -ing’ and ‘by -ing’:

_ e.g. Je me suis cassé la jambe ___en faisant ____du ski. (I broke my leg (whilst) skiing.)

_ ____e.g. ____En mangeant ____moins,__ ___on perd des kilos. (By eating less, you lose weight.)

The present participle is formed as follows:

  • Take the ‘nous’ form of the present tense, e.g ‘nous faisons’
  • remove the ‘nous’ and ‘-ons ending to give the stem ‘fais-’
  • add ‘-ant’, to give ‘faisant

Three important exceptions are :

  • être : étant - being

  • avoir : ayant - having

  • savoir : sachant - knowing

How do you form the present participle?
Your answer should include: Take the 'nous' form / remove the 'ons' / add 'ant'
Translate: en jouant au tennis, je me suis cassé le bras
Your answer should include: whilst playing tennis / I broke my arm


The __subjunctive mood __is used in a number of situations, most commonly in expressions of necessity or desire.

The present subjunctive is formed using the 3rd person plural __[ils/elles] form of the __present indicative.

Remove the -ent and add the following endings:

Complex Grammar, figure 1

Many of the most common verbs are irregular in the subjunctive, and are listed in the following table:

Complex Grammar, figure 2


Il faut qu’elle __fasse__ ses devoirs _(She must do her homework.)_ [It is necessary that she does her homework.]

Mon père veut que j’aille_ à l’université_ (My father wants me to go to university) […wants that I go…]

_Bien qu’il y __ait__ du vent, il fait chaud (_Even though it__‘s__ windy, it’s hot)

Which kind of expressions require the subjunctive?
expressions of necessity or desire