Mais où est donc Ornicar?

All french students will know this “off by heart”!! We called a memo-technique phrase. What is it? It relates to the “conjonction de coordination” – that little word linking 2 sentences into one.

Coordinate = to bring different elements into a relationship // or, in grammar: part of compound sentences, equal in rank and fulfilling identical functions) – choose the definition that is best for you to remember.

The “conjonction de coordination” in french grammar, are 7 little words: mais, où, et, donc, or, ni, car

The sentence sounds like: mais où est donc ornicar – translation: but where is Ornicar – note: the 7 littles word form a sentence to remember in french, its translation doesn’t correlate in english – it must be LEARNT from a French perspective )

Which are the 7 littles word?mais où est donc ornicar

mais = but

où = where

et = and

donc = consequently, so

or = nevertheless, now

ni = whether

car = because, as

These little word are used to link words or part of sentences with the same grammatical nature or the same function.

It is 2 words or sentences linked together.


Lionel se déguise en Spiderman. ( first sentence, present form)

Il tourne un film. ( second sentence, present form)

Let’s make one whole sentence now:

Lionel se déguise en Spiderman car il tourne un film.
(tranlation: Lionel is dressed as Spiderman as he works on a movie set)

Got it?

Let’s practice:

Il est fatigué. Il est courageux = Il est fatigué MAIS courageux. ( He is tired but courageous)

J’irai à Paris demain. J’irai à Londres demain. J’irai à Paris OU à Londres demain.( We could have said as well, ET) – I will go to Paris or London tomorrow.

Paul va a la piscine. Sophie va à la piscine = Paul ET Sophie vont à la piscine. (Paul and Sophie are going to the swimming pool)

J’ai faim. Je mange = J’ai faim DONC  je mange. (I am hungry so I eat)

Il ne sait pas s’il part. Il ne sait pas s’il reste là = Il ne sait pas s’il part NI s’il reste là. He doesn’t know whether he is staying or going)

Je suis en colère. Tu as menti = Je suis en colère CAR tu as menti. ( i am angry because you lied)