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 of which you're part: e.g. '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 like this:

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

Here "on" includes Men/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

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

on = one/you/people/we


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

on = we


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 = we/us


On y va!Let's go!
Clever stuff underway!