Culture Magazine

The Disappearing Nous

By Sedulia @Sedulia


When I was studying French as a child in Louisiana, we learned the regular verbs:

j'aime, écoute, mange                    nous aimons, écoutons, mangeons [we love, listen, eat]

tu aimes, écoutes, manges             vous aimez, écoutez, mangez 

il aime, écoute, mange                   ils aiment, écoutent, mangent

(the je, tu, il and ils verbs are pronounced exactly the same)

and how to ask a question by inverting the verb and noun: 

Es-tu? Auriez-vous? Va-t-il? 

But in real life, in Paris, most people, most of the time, ask questions like this: Tu es...? Vous auriez...? Il va...?

As for the nous, it is disappearing in speech along with the future tense. Everyone just says on [one]. Instead of nous irons [we will go] they say on va [lit. one goes/is going].

Languages change.... words die. Is this an example?

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