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Salut chers amis !

Last week ( check previous post here-, we started talking about the conjugation of some "er" verbs with peculiarities out of which we treated the verbs that end with "ger" like "manger =to eat".

Today, we will be looking into another category of "er" verbs with peculiarities : verbs that end with "cer".

Verbs that end with "cer" like "commencer = to start/commence" follow the normal pattern of conjugation except in the "nous" form (first person plural) where the "c" before the present tense ending is replaced with "ç".

See conjugation:

Je commence

Tu commences

Il/Elle commence

Nous commençons <<=== here lies our focus.

Vous commencez

Ils/Elles commencent

From the above conjugation, you would notice that the "c" of the "nous" form (the first person plural) has a tail which we call "cédille =cedilla". The reason why that sign is introduced is so as to maintain the same sound of "c" all through the conjugation. In French phonetics, "c" in front of vowels like "o, u, a" sounds /k/ like in the word "cover" while "c" in front of vowels like "e, i" sounds /s/ like in the word "cinema". If we relate this to the verb "commencer", we would notice that having the first person plural of its conjugation as "nous commencons" will alter the sound /s/ that exists in the other forms of conjugation by changing it to /k/. So, to maintain the sound /s/ all through the conjugation, the sign you see under the letter "c" is introduced.

Other verbs in this category are : placer =to place, tracer =to trace, agacer =to nag at, menacer =to threaten and many more. All these verbs are conjugated the same way as we have done for "commencer" in this lesson. You can try do your own conjugation and drop it in the comment box.

Till we meet again, keep learning french for it is a beautiful language. Don't forget to tell a friend to tell another friend that Ma Petite France is here to make learning the grammar of French language as easy as possible.

Olabayo Joshua Awodirepo


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