Forming Le Gérondif: en + '-ant' (while/by + -ing)

Look at these sentences:

En allant au cinéma, j'ai croisé Mathilde.
While going to the cinema, I met Mathilde.

Il est allé au marché en courant.
He went to the market running.

Je me suis blessé en me rasant.
I hurt myself while shaving.

En faisant mon lit, j'ai retrouvé mes chaussettes.
While making my bed, I found my socks.

When talking about two actions that happen simultaneously, you will use : 

en + Participe présent / Gérondif

You can also use tout en Participe présent / Gérondif - literally "all in doing something" - to emphasise the fact that the two actions are being done at the same time :

Tout en préparant le repas de ses belles sœurs, Cendrillon rêvait au Prince Charmant.
As she was making her stepsisters' meal, Cinderella dreamt of Prince Charming.

J'ai eu mon Master tout en travaillant dans un restaurant tous les weekends.
I got my Master while working in a restaurant every weekend.

Il est possible de faire des bénéfices tout en protégeant l'environnement.
It's possible to make a profit while protecting the environment.

Charlotte a rangé son appartement tout en discutant avec sa mère au téléphone.
Charlotte tidied up her apartment while chatting on the phone with her mother.

 

To form the Participe présent / Gérondif of a verb:

Take the stem of the nous form of the verb in Présent indicatif + -ant 

jouer -> nous jouons -> jouant
finir -> nous finissons -> finissant
prendre -> nous prenons -> prenant
faire -> nous faisons -> faisant

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elle a gagné du temps en prenant le train.
She saved time by taking the train.


J'ai eu mon Master tout en travaillant dans un restaurant tous les weekends.
I got my Master while working in a restaurant every weekend.


En allant au cinéma, j'ai croisé Mathilde.
While going to the cinema, I met Mathilde.


Tout en préparant le repas de ses belles sœurs, Cendrillon rêvait au Prince Charmant.
As she was making her stepsisters' meal, Cinderella dreamt of Prince Charming.


Je me suis blessé en me rasant.
I hurt myself while shaving.



Il est allé au marché en courant.
He went to the market running.


Charlotte a rangé son appartement tout en discutant avec sa mère au téléphone.
Charlotte tidied up her apartment while chatting on the phone with her mother.


Tu y es allé en marchant?
You went there walking?


En faisant mon lit, j'ai retrouvé mes chaussettes.
While making my bed, I found my socks.


Il est possible de faire des bénéfices tout en protégeant l'environnement.
It's possible to make a profit while protecting the environment.


Q&A Forum 12 questions, 31 answers

JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What is the difference between present participate and the gerund?

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Joan,

In a nutshell, the present participle ends in 'ant' but doesn't have an 'en' in front of it.

If it does it becomes a gérondif.

If you take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson you will find more explanation to your answer -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verbal/le-participe-present-et-le-gerondif

Hope this helps!

JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Cécile, the lesson in the given link say that gerund can also be used to emphasise a link of cause and effect. The sentence below also indicate a cause and effect: since he know that there was no chance he would win, he gave everything he had. Why we don't use gerund?

Sachant qu'il n'avait aucune chance de gagner, il a donné tout ce qu'il avait. 


CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Joan,

I think there is a difference between the cause and effect examples given in the lesson and the example you give which doesn't require the 'en' of the gerund.

In the cause and effect you say that -

 by doing /in doing A, you did B...

But in the last example you would just say, 'knowing that he didn't have any hope of winning, he gave all that he had'.

e.g

Connaissant sa réputation, elle ne se sentait pas bien seule avec lui = Knowing his reputation she didn't feel right alone with him

Sachant qu'ils venaient à midi, elle est partie en courses ce matin = Knowing that they were coming lunch time, she went shopping this morning

Hope this helps!

What is the difference between present participate and the gerund?

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MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Gérondif examples "by"

This lesson says to use the gerund to express "while" AND "by".  But all your examples use "while"...small thing but it would help the learning process if the examples would demonstrate both usages!

Merci

Asked 9 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

En prenant le train, il a réussi à y arriver juste à temps. -- By taking the train, he managed to get there just in time.

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Yes I know this Chris.  

If you read my original question you will see that my request was to the writers of the lesson  include IN the lesson, some examples using "BY" AS WELL AS "while".  It's all very well to mention both "while" AND "by" in the body of the lesson but repeating the use of BOTH in the examples helps to plant the usage in our understanding.

Gérondif examples "by"

This lesson says to use the gerund to express "while" AND "by".  But all your examples use "while"...small thing but it would help the learning process if the examples would demonstrate both usages!

Merci

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DrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What's the difference between a gérondif (used by itself), and en + gérondif?

Asked 10 months ago
FedA0Kwiziq community member

.un gérondif sans en à devant signifier une participle passe

DrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ou un participe présent, n'est-ce pas?

FedA0Kwiziq community member

Si, c'était une erreur.

DrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Néanmoins, merci!

What's the difference between a gérondif (used by itself), and en + gérondif?

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AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

The writing challenge corrected my use of "en tenant" to tendant, but that is wrong.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Ann,

If you re-post this question by using the 'Report it' button in your Correction Board, it will link directly to the specific quiz you're referring to and this will make it easier for Aurélie to answer you.

This forum is for more general language questions.

The writing challenge corrected my use of "en tenant" to tendant, but that is wrong.

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JamesC1Kwiziq community member

Why is the gérondif of avoir "ayant" ?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
No reason James, it is just irregular ...

Why is the gérondif of avoir "ayant" ?

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TheresaA1Kwiziq community member

how do we change a sentence in past tense to gerondif?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Elle est partie en prenant sa voiture is indeed correct!
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I am not sure I understand your question. Can you post an example of what you're struggling with?

-- Chris. 

TheresaA1Kwiziq community member
Elle est partie,  elle a pris sa voiture. 
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Elle est partie en prisant sa voiture.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

GereeB2Kwiziq community member
I think you mean - en prenant - n'est-ce pas?
StevenB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Yes Geree I think you're right. The participe present of "prendre" is prenant
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Oh, yes, of course! Silly me!

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

how do we change a sentence in past tense to gerondif?

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Chris A1Kwiziq community member

Comment on dit: Is it not so?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Chris,

I think what you are looking for is "n'est-ce pas". It corresponds to the Engish "isn't it?"

Tu es allé au ciné hier soir, n'est-ce pas? -- You went to the movies yesterday evening, didn't you?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Chris !

Ok, in that case, you could use the followings:

Tu es allé au cinéma hier, c'est correct ?
Tu es allé au cinéma hier, c'est pas vrai ?

or

Tu l'attends bien ?
Tu l'attends, c'est ça ?

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Chris !

I would need some context to give you an accurate answer :)

Chris A1Kwiziq community member

OK Aurelie,

My examples are:

You went to the cinema yesterday. Is it not so? Or

You are waiting for her. Not so?

Thanks, again, for your support.

Chris

Comment on dit: Is it not so?

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StephenC1Kwiziq community member

Why " Ils auraient de la chance" not "Ils seriaent de la chance)

Asked 2 years ago
SallyB1Kwiziq community member
To express 'being lucky'... you use the phrase 'avoir de la chance'. So if you put this in the conditional 'would be lucky' you would put the 'avoir' in the conditional... not 'être'. In English we say... I am lucky. In French we say 'J'ai de la chance'

Why " Ils auraient de la chance" not "Ils seriaent de la chance)

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MatilkaC1Kwiziq community member

Could you explain when you would use en + le gérondif as opposed to tout en + le gérondif? Thanks!

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Matilka ! The expression "tout en" is simply a way to emphasise the simultaneity of action (*all the while* doing something). À bientôt !
SimonKwiziq team member
Is there a lesson wth more details on the use of "tout en" Aurèlie ? I see it all over the place often times it doesn't make intuitive sense (to me), some varied examples would be really useful.
AurélieKwiziq team member

Excellente suggestion Simon !
I've now added "tout en" cases to the above lesson :)

Bonne journée !

Matilka asked:View original

Could you explain when you would use en + le gérondif as opposed to tout en + le gérondif? Thanks!

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Susan C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

RE Tu y es allé en marchant Would one be more

likely to say that or . . . allé à pied?
Asked 3 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
"En marchant" to me connotes the meaning of "while walking". So that would mean "You went there while walking." -- which dosent sound right. Therefore I strongly vote for "Tu y es allé à pied."

Mind you, I am not a French native speaker.

-- Chris.
Susan C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Agree. But, like you, I wonder how a French person would look at it.
KathyB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I asked my partner, who is French, and he insists that "Tu y es allé à pied" is correct. "En marchant", in this case, is strange in his opinion.

RE Tu y es allé en marchant Would one be more

likely to say that or . . . allé à pied?

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KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Where can I find information on the site about different gerunds for ir-class verbs?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member

Bonjour Kevin,

Kwiziq doesn't currently have a lesson on gerund conjugations - though it's on our list! In the meantime, take a look at Gerund conjugations

Where can I find information on the site about different gerunds for ir-class verbs?

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JohnB2Kwiziq community member

Question in the film clip at 7:00mins into it...

An example is given = elle ouvert sa fenêtre en se levant. Is this correct?, or should it be elle a ouvert sa fenêtre en se lavant?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour John, Yes, you're absolutely correct: it should indeed be "elle a ouvert sa fenêtre.". "En se levant" is correct, meaning 'while getting up', versus "en se lavant" meaning 'while washing'. Thanks for pointing this out!

Question in the film clip at 7:00mins into it...

An example is given = elle ouvert sa fenêtre en se levant. Is this correct?, or should it be elle a ouvert sa fenêtre en se lavant?

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