Susan has taught college-level French and has a PhD in French studies.
Using the Verb Sourire
You're at a family reunion ready to give a big smile for the camera, saying, Un grand sourire! (pronounced: uhn grahn soo-reer). Everyone is taking pictures with an appareil-photo (camera) (pronounced: ap aray photo) or a mobile (cell phone) (pronounced: moe beel). Your aunt wants you and your sis to flash 'a big smile!' Your cousin then tells you to smile for her picture by saying, Souris! (pronounced: soo rie). You insist that you are already smiling and tell her, Je souris! (pronounced: zhuh soo rie) ('I am smiling!').
Do you see the verb sourire in these examples? All of these examples use the French verb to smile or sourire (pronounced: soo rear). In French, you don't ask someone to smile for a picture with, 'Say cheese!', like we do in English, even though the French love cheese (fromage; pronounced: fro majh)! Instead, they ask for a smile.
Forms of sourire
Let's take a look at the conjugation of this verb:
|VERB: sourire (soo rear)|
|Subject Pronoun||Sourire Conjugation||Pronunciation||Translation|
|je||je souris||(zhuh soo rie)||I smile/I am smiling|
|tu||tu souris||(too soo rie)||you smile, you are smiling|
|il/elle/on||il/elle/on sourit||(eel/el/ohn soo rie)||he/she/we smile or he/she/we are smiling|
|nous||nous sourions||(noo soo rie ohn)||we smile, we are smiling|
|vous||vous souriez||(voo soo rie ay)||you smile, you are smiling|
|ils/elles||ils/elles sourient||(eel/el soo rie)||they smile, they are smiling|
The forms, or conjugation, for this verb pretty much need to be memorized because they don't fit the normal pattern of other verbs ending in -re. We call this an irregular verb.
Other Examples of Sourire
If your grandmother at the family reunion wants all of her grandchildren to smile for the camera, she would tell them, Souriez! Maybe your grandfather reassures her that they are already smiling, so he tells her, Ils sourient!
The infinitive form of the verb sourire is also used as a noun. Sourire can mean to smile as well as a smile, as in this proverb: Un sourire ne coûte rien (A smile doesn't cost a thing).
By the way, don't confuse a smile with a mouse--the word for mouse in French is souris, too!
The verb sourire means to smile. Its conjugation is considered irregular because it doesn't exactly fit the pattern of other verbs ending in -re.
Here's a summary of the verb forms:
|VERB: sourire (soo rear)|
|Subject Pronoun||Sourire Conjugation|
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