"Être" et "Avoir" seem hopeless

EricR31

EricR31

If I was taking level 1 for a grade, I would have just failed, LOL. And I reviewed those lessons many times. Does it just take a year or two to figure them out?
RobertR34

RobertR34

If you are talking about movement, use etre.  Otherwise, avoir.  It's the same in German, Italian and Spanish;  a lot of other languages as well.   English is the exception, not the rule.  To answer your question,  it does take a year or two as an adult.
Peter--252

Peter--252

Eric,
Is it the perfect tense that is the problem, as Robert is alluding to, or did you mean you're having trouble with the irregular conjugations of the verbs?

If it's the perfect tense, Robert is mainly correct, although verbs of changing also use être (e.g. je suis né: I was born) , and so do all reflexive verbs.
There's a Youtube video which has a nice explanation with examples: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KaNWXKU5L0

If it's mastering the conjugations, I suspect the only way to learn is practice. 
 
EricR31

EricR31

My frustration is that I am starting to understand the meanings more often, but I cannot seem to construct anything of my own. If I haven't seen and memorized the exact combination of words, I almost always get it wrong.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, my current goal is just to understand some written and spoken French and on that I'm making progress. Speaking and writing, other than rote copying, is beyond my ability right now.
RobertR34

RobertR34

I wouldn't worry about "etre" and "avoir" right now.  You just need to hear a lot of French; the dialogues will certainly help with that. I am a classical musician, so listening to and repeating sounds exactly is second nature to me. Recording yourself and comparing it to the native speaker would be a great exercise right now.

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