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On = we, one, people

On : we

Look at these examples:

On est très proches, ma soeur et moi.We are very close, my sister and I.

On va au cinéma ce soirWe're going to the cinema tonight.

On y va!Let's go!
This use of on is for a specific group of people which you're a part of (i.e. My friends and I).

Here on is equivalent in meaning to nous (we), though they aren't followed by the same conjugation of the verb:

On est gentils.We're nice.

Nous sommes gentils.We're nice.

See also Nous vs on (subject pronouns)

On : one/you/people

You can also use on in a more general sense, as such:

Si on travaille dur, on gagne plusIf you work hard you earn more
Here on includes people in general, or can be a theoretical statement such as one [does that].

This form is often used when expressing rules such as:

On ne doit pas parler la bouche pleine.People mustn't speak with their mouths full.

 

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Examples and resources

On ne doit pas parler la bouche pleine.People mustn't speak with their mouths full.
Nous sommes gentils.We're nice.
On est gentils.We're nice.

on = one/you/people/we


Si on travaille dur, on gagne plusIf you work hard you earn more

on = we


On va au cinéma ce soirWe're going to the cinema tonight.
On est très proches, ma soeur et moi.We are very close, my sister and I.

on = we/us


On y va!Let's go!
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