Susan has taught college-level French and has a PhD in French studies.
Using the Verb Etudier
A semester study-abroad in Paris! You're looking forward to your time at a French university, and the first item on the agenda is a getting-to-know-you social with the other students. One way to learn more about your fellow classmates is to figure out what they're planning to study. But how do you do that in French? Let's find out by joining a conversation:
J'étudie (pronounced: zhay-too-dee) les maths (I study math), says Julie.
Tu étudies (pronounced: too-ay-too-dee) les maths? (You study math?), you ask.
Then you tell Julie that Pauline and Jacques, across the room, study math too:
Ils étudient (pronounced: eel-zay-too-dee) les maths aussi! (They study math, too!)
Pauline then walks over and tells you that Louis studies biology and Claire studies Spanish:
Il étudie (pronounced: eel-ay-too-dee) la biologie et elle étudie (pronounced: el-ay too-dee) le français.
Did you notice the forms of étudier (pronounced: ay-too-dyay) that are used? Etudier is the infinitive form of the verb 'to study,' which means it is the basic, generic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say 'I study,' we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: j'étudie.
Let's take a look at the verb conjugation in the present tense for all the forms of the word.
Forms of Etudier
Here's the conjugation chart for étudier:
|Subject Pronoun||Etudier Conjugation||Pronunciation||Translation|
|je||j'étudie||(zhay-too-dee)||I study, I am studying|
|tu||tu étudies||(too ay-too-dee)||you study, you are studying|
|il/elle/on||il/elle/on étudie||(eel/el/ohn ay-too-dee)||he/she studies, he/she is studying|
|nous||nous étudions||(noo zay-too-dyohn)||we study, we are studying|
|vous||vous étudiez||(voo zay-too-dyay)||you study, you are studying|
|ils/elles||ils/elles étudient||(eel/el zay-too-dee)||they study, they are studying|
The conjugation of this verb is the same as the other verbs that follow the pattern for verbs ending in -er. Since this verb fits the normal pattern of verbs ending in -er, we call this a regular -er verb.
Since étudier begins with a vowel, je drops the e and it is replaced with an apostrophe. So it looks like this: j'étudie.
Other Examples of Etudier
Let's get back to that social and learn about the other students studying abroad.
Julie turns to Pauline and asks if she studies a lot:
Tu étudies beaucoup?
Oui, she tells her. J'étudie trop! (Yes, I study too much!)
Everyone agrees and laughs, saying, 'We all study too much!'
Nous étudions trop!
You laugh, too, telling them that they do study too much, but you use different words for 'to study':
Ah, vous bûchez et vous travaillez trop!
Did you notice that in that last sentence, you didn't use the word étudier? Bûcher and travailler can also mean étudier, or 'to study'. Bûcher is a very informal, conversational way of saying étudier. They are regular -er verbs, so they're conjugated the same basic way as étudier.
Here's a review with some sentences using étudier, based on what we just went over:
Tu étudies la biologie?
Oui, j'étudie la biologie.
Elle étudie le français et il étudie les maths.
Nous étudions beaucoup.
Vous étudiez trop!
The verb étudier means 'to study' in English. Its conjugation is considered regular because it fits the pattern of other verbs ending in -er. Here's the chart for the basic conjugation in the present tense for étudier:
|Subject Pronoun||Etudier Conjugation|
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