COMPLETE

FRENCH
THE BASICS

Written by CarolAnn D’Annunzio

Edited by Zvjezdana Vrzi´, Ph.D. c

Copyright © 2008 by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. Living Language is a member of the Random House Information Group Living Language and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Living Language, an imprint of Random House, Inc. www.livinglanguage.com Editor: Zvjezdana Vrzic, Ph.D. ´ Production Editor: Lisbeth Dyer Production Manager: Thomas Marshall Interior Design: Sophie Ye Chin First Edition ISBN: 978-1-4000-2409-4 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available upon request. This book is available at special discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions or premiums. Special editions, including personalized covers, excerpts of existing books, and corporate imprints, can be created in large quantities for special needs. For more information, write to Special Markets/Premium Sales, 1745 Broadway, MD 6-2, New York, New York 10019 or e-mail specialmarkets@randomhouse.com. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

DEDICATION I would like to dedicate this book to my husband and best friend, Paul Sonnenberg, who has been my biggest fan, supporting me in all of my endeavors, especially in the writing of this course.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to the Living Language team: Tom Russell, Nicole Benhabib, Christopher Warnasch, Zvjezdana Vrzi´ , Suzanne McQuade, Shaina Malkin, c Elham Shabahat, Sophie Chin, Denise DeGennaro, Linda Schmidt, Alison Skrabek, Lisbeth Dyer, and Tom Marshall. Special thanks to Brigitte Dewever for reviewing the book. The author would like to thank her former student Christopher Warnasch, his Living Language team, and her editor, Zvjezdana Vrzi´ . Special thanks to Frances c and Rick Gonzalez, Agnieszka Leesch, Dana Salmon, and Joseph Porretta.

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Adjectives and agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Lesson 1 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xiii French spelling and pronunciation . . . and gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Lesson 3 (sentences) . . . . . 24 Cognates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The verb être (to be) in the present tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . definite articles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Personal pronouns . 19 Placement of adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Course Outline iii www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Lesson 4 (conversations) . . . . . . . . .25 Asking questions . . . . . . .x Language learning tips .5 Lesson 2 (phrases) . . . . . . . 31 Possessive adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Indefinite articles . . . . . . . . .2 Nouns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 UNIT 2: Talking about family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .COURSE OUTLINE How to use this course . . . . . . . .31 Lesson 5 (words) . . . . . . . .xxiii UNIT 1: Greetings and introductions .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 C’est (it is) + adjective . .43 Lesson 7 (sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 The verb avoir (to have) in the present tense—plural forms . . . . . . . . 41 The verb avoir (to have) in the present tense—singular forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lesson 6 (phrases) . . . .71 Lesson 11 (sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 Placement of color adjectives . . . . . . . . .57 Lesson 9 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Negatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 The placement and agreement of adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Days of the week: When and when not to use an article . .78 iv Complete French: The Basics www. . . . . . . .47 Uses of être (to be) and avoir (to have) . .58 Group 1 verbs: Verbs ending in -er . .76 Forming questions . . . . . . 46 The interrogative adjectives . . . . . . . . .62 Lesson 10 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 UNIT 3: Everyday life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 More fixed expressions with the verb avoir (to have) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Lesson 8 (conversations) . . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 Partitive articles . . . . . . . . . 104 The near future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 Group 3 verbs: Verbs ending in -re . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Lesson 13 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . you. . . . . . . .117 Lesson 17 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . .112 The subject pronoun on (one. . . we. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lesson 12 (conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 UNIT 5: Using the telephone and making appointments . . . . . .86 UNIT 4: At a restaurant . . 89 The verb manger (to eat) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Group 2 verbs: Verbs ending in -ir . . . . . . . . .108 Lesson 16 (conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Contractions with the preposition à . . . . . . . . .124 Course Outline v www. . . . .92 Lesson 14 (phrases) . .99 The verb boire (to drink) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Aller (to go) in idiomatic expressions . . . . 83 The verb aller (to go) in the present tense . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Lesson 15 (sentences) . . . . . . . . . 110 The polite form je voudrais (I would like) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 The verb prendre (to take) in the present tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . they) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .135 Lesson 19 (sentences) . . . .170 Adverbs .LivingLanguage. . . .149 UNIT 6: Asking for directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167 Lesson 23 (sentences) . . .174 Lesson 24 (conversations) . . . . . . . . . . 153 The verb conduire (to drive) in the present tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to make) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . must. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .com . . . .146 The future tense of irregular verbs . to want) . . . .178 The verb venir (to come) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155 Verbs of change of place and state of being . 161 The imperative . . . . . . . .183 vi Complete French: The Basics www.163 Il faut + infinitive (it is necessary to. . . . . . . . . .Lesson 18 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 The conditional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 The verb faire (to do. . . . .153 Lesson 21 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158 Lesson 22 (phrases) . . one has to) . . . . . . . . . .142 Lesson 20 (conversations) . 169 The verbs pouvoir (to be able. . . . . . . . . . 145 The future tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . can) and vouloir (to wish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 The verb devoir (to have to. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to owe) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . one must. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 The past tense (passé composé) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 The past tense of irregular verbs .

. .218 UNIT 8: Work and school . . . . . . . . . . .230 Lesson 30 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . .224 The imperfect tense of some verbs with spelling changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211 Superlatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187 Indirect object pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 The verb acheter (to buy) . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Lesson 27 (sentences) . . . . . . . . 223 The imperfect tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Comparison of adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196 The verb préférer (to prefer) . . . . . . . . . . . . . lire (to read). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187 Lesson 25 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223 Lesson 29 (words) . . . . . . . .207 Lesson 28 (conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191 Lesson 26 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and dire (to say) .UNIT 7: Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 The imperfect and the compound past tense . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Direct object pronouns . . . . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205 Demonstrative adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . .236 Course Outline vii www. . . . . . . . . . . . .233 The verbs écrire (to write). . . . . . 204 -yer verbs . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . for) . . . . . . . and pendant (during. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Uses of the verb jouer (to play) . . . . . . . . . . . . can) . . . .270 The verb voir (to see) . . .253 UNIT 9: Sports and leisure . .266 Lesson 35 (sentences) . . . . . . . of which.262 The past conditional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to be acquainted with) 250 Position of certain adjectives . . . . . 269 The pluperfect tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276 Lesson 36 (conversations) . . . .286 viii Complete French: The Basics www. 279 Relative pronouns . . . . . whose) . . . .Lesson 31 (sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pour (for). . .244 Lesson 32 (conversations) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257 Lesson 33 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . .257 The verb pouvoir (to be able. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241 The SST verbs . . . . . . . . .281 The relative pronouns lequel (which) and dont (of whom. . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 Using depuis (since). . . . . . . . . . 261 Compound tenses: Future perfect .259 Lesson 34 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 The verbs savoir (to know) and connaître (to know.

. . . .324 French in action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289 Lesson 37 (words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352 Summary of French grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .306 The present subjunctive of irregular verbs . . . .313 Lesson 40 (conversations) . . . . . . 289 Reflexive verbs .302 Reciprocal verbs . . . . . . .290 Past tense of reflexive verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .com . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 The present subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355 Course Outline ix www. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .327 Supplemental vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .LivingLanguage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 The expressions avoir mal à (to have pain in. . . . . . . 320 The verbe suivre (to follow) . .303 Lesson 39 (sentences) . . . . . . . . . . . . to ache) and faire mal (to hurt) . . . .297 Lesson 38 (phrases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .UNIT 10: Doctors and health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .332 Internet resources . .322 Agreement of past participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

)1 How are you? (infml.) = informal.) How are you? (fml. familiar.. (m./f. (infml. Everything is going well. You will also learn greetings and various other expressions of courtesy that will help you communicate with other people more smoothly.Unit 1 Greetings and introductions Bonjour et bienvenue! Hello and welcome! We’ll begin our first unit with some basic words and useful expressions so that you can start to speak French right away. The following abbreviations will be used in this course: (m.com . introduce yourself to others.) = singular. (f. Merci. Comment allez-vous? Comment vas-tu? Très bien.) = masculine.) is used.) = feminine. (pl.LivingLanguage. (lit. (sg. You will learn how to say your name. 1 Good day!/Hello! Hello!/Hi!/Bye! How’s everything? Everything is well. 1 Lesson 1 www. Thank you.) Very well. French is fantastique! Enjoy your new adventure! Allons-y! Let’s go! Lesson 1 (words) WORD LIST 1 LES SALUTATIONS (Greetings) Bonjour! Salut! Ça va? Ça va. say where you are from. and ask other people for basic information about themselves.) = plural.) = formal. (fml. polite. If a word has two grammatical genders.

) il elle 2 PLURAL I you he she nous vous (pl.) elles (f. oui non Bienvenue! Au revoir! À bientôt! À tout à l’heure! Bonsoir! Bonne nuit! Notes Nice to meet you.Enchanté. SINGULAR je tu (sg. We’ll talk more about the reasons for this distinction later in the lesson. Enchanté is an adjective meaning delighted. Similarly.LivingLanguage. When greeting each other.com . sg.) yes no Welcome! Good-bye! See you soon! See you later! Good evening! Good night! The expression Bonjour! combines two French words: bon.. and jour. Delighted. the French give a firm handshake or a kiss on each cheek. A man uses the form enchanté. with an additional -e at the end in writing./Enchantée. used conversationally to mean Nice to meet you. which means day. and soir. which means good. and the form enchantée.. which means good. Bonsoir! (Good evening!) contains bon.) ils (m. (lit. should be used by a woman. NUTS & BOLTS 1 Personal pronouns The following table lists the French personal pronouns. infml. fml.) we you they they Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. which means evening.

When we have a mixed group of subjects—for instance. it is also used when talking to a person you do not know or to whom you need to show respect.) Comment vas-tu? How are you? (infml. Vous is a pronoun used to address two or more people (cf. .) The first expression uses the word vous (you). a group of your friends 8. . Tu is used with family members. your parents 5. and elles. your new boss 7. while the other expression ends in tu (you).. PRACTICE 1 Tu or vous? Which pronoun would you use when speaking to .LivingLanguage.Notice that in the vocabulary list at the beginning of the lesson. your two best friends 6. friends. such as an older person or a superior. a stranger on a bus 3. your dog 2. which refers to plural subjects of masculine gender. a boy and two girls—the masculine form ils is used. which refers to plural subjects of feminine gender. your girlfriend or boyfriend Lesson 1 3 www. English y’all or you guys). your sister 4.com . there are two ways of saying How are you? Comment allez-vous? How are you? (fml. and other people with whom you are more familiar. even pets! Note that there are also two ways to say they in French—ils. ? 1.

Excusez-moi. Sophia and Robert 6. Marc and Marie 2. 1. ils. here are man woman girl boy student (male/female) 4 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. there is. D’accord. Excuse me.com . il.LivingLanguage. nous. the parents 3. Sylvia and Helen 8. Entrez. there are here is. Come in. Paul and I 7. tu. the girls WORD LIST 2 E NCORE DES SALUTATIONS and useful words) Pardon. vous. PRACTICE 2 Decide which French pronoun—je. the teacher 4. elle. All right. Sophia 5. voilà voici l’homme la femme la fille le garçon l’étudiant/l’étudiante ET DES MOTS UTILS (More greetings Pardon me./Okay.Check your answers at the end of this lesson. or elles—replaces the following nouns. Entendu. All right.

com . When a word is feminine. all nouns are either masculine or feminine. we use the article la. SINGULAR Masculine le.moi toi aussi qui maintenant devant me you also who now in front (of) NUTS & BOLTS 2 Nouns. When a singular noun begins with a vowel or an h. The a or e from the article is dropped. The definite articles are given in the following table. animals. or abstract concepts. In French. whether they refer to people. French nouns are always preceded by articles. definite articles.LivingLanguage. l’ Feminine la PLURAL Masculine/feminine les The articles tell us the “gender” of nouns. things. When a word is masculine. la fille the girl le garçon the boy The words le and la are definite articles and correspond to the English the. Take a look at the following examples. we use le. we use l’ before the word. and gender Like English nouns. and the article and the following noun are pronounced together as one Lesson 1 5 www.

which is also silent. is silent. les garçons the boys les filles the girls les amis (m. Plural nouns also carry this final plural -s marker.) the student (male) l’étudiante (f. which is pronounced leh.com .LivingLanguage. This rule is referred to as élision (elision).word.) the friends (male) les amies (f. Look at the following examples. Note that the final -s in the article.) the friends (female) les étudiants (m.) the student (female) l’homme (m. l’ami (m.) the students (male) 6 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www.) the friend (male) l’amie (f.) the man The article les is used with both masculine and feminine plural nouns.) the friend (female) l’étudiant (m.

it is feminine.les étudiantes (f.LivingLanguage. when. which indicates the noun’s gender. as in most cases. it does not correspond to the sex of a person. For example.com .) the students (female) les hommes the men It is best to learn each new noun together with its definite article. we can generally say that if a noun ends with a consonant. le crayon the pencil le papier the paper la porte the door la classe the class There are some general rules that will help you identify the gender of a noun. le ticket the ticket la blouse the blouse le train the train la lampe the lamp Lesson 1 7 www. and if it ends with a vowel. it is masculine. otherwise often unpredictable.

_____ fille 2.) the student (female) PRACTICE 3 Fill in the blanks with the correct definite article—le.LivingLanguage. _____ amie 3.) the student (male) l’étudiante (f. la. _____ étudiante 8 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www.Unfortunately. 1. _____ professeur 5. l’avocat (m.) the lawyer (female) l’étudiant (m. or les. le livre the book la maison the house le café the café la nation the nation Many nouns for professions derive their feminine form by adding the feminine ending -e to the masculine form. there are many exceptions to this rule.) the lawyer (male) l’avocate (f. l’. _____ enfants 4.com .

2. 4. ils. a Romance language related to Spanish and Italian. le. tu PRACTICE 2: 1. 4. 5. elle. 3.LivingLanguage. 8. vous. 3. 7. l’ Lesson 1 9 www. 4. elles PRACTICE 3: 1. is spoken as either a first or a second language in more than 30 countries around the world. tu. 3.Culture note French in the world French. tu. elles. 7. elles. 5. 6. 6. 2. l’. Many English speakers do not realize that a very large number of the English words are actually French in origin. l’allemand l’anglais l’espagnol le grec l’italien le polonais le portugais le russe German English Spanish Greek Italian Polish Portuguese Russian ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. il. 2. les. Here are the names for some of the langues (languages) of the world besides le français (French). nous. ils. 8. vous. vous. vous. vous. 5. Le monde francophone (the Francophone world) consists of approximately 125 million people. following the Norman conquest in 1066. They were borrowed into English in the course of centuries.com . la.

. You’re welcome.. (lit. des États-Unis aux États-Unis DE POLITESSE (More polite expres- Please. I beg of you. Il n’y a pas de quoi. from the United States to the United States NUTS & BOLTS 1 The verb ÊTRE (to be) in the present tense Now let’s look at one of the most important verbs. Ça va comme-ci comme-ça. Ça va bien.LivingLanguage. let’s learn how to conjugate the verb être. .) Everything is so-so. as in the English I speak but she speaks. . You’re welcome. Everything is well.Lesson 2 (phrases) PHRASE LIST 1 E NCORE DES EXPRESSIONS sions) S’il vous plaît. The subject pronouns that you have previously learned are paired with present tense forms of the verb être in the table below. It’s going badly. So. Ça va mal. in French in English from Paris in France It is . Je vous en prie. we say that we conjugate the verb. .. 10 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. It’s not going well. Ça va très bien.) Here I am. When we change the forms of a verb to match the different subjects. Everything is really well. en français en anglais de Paris en France C’est . Me voici. De rien.com . être (to be). I’m delighted to make your acquaintance. (lit. Je suis ravi/ravie de faire votre connaissance. You’re welcome.

Je _____ professeur. you are French. Lesson 2 11 www.) we are you are they are they are Marie est américaine. Marie takes the place of elle.) elles sont (f.) ils sont (m. Marie is from Paris. We are French. Marc is English. Marie is American.SINGULAR je suis tu es (infml. sg. Marie _____ de Paris.) il est elle est I am you are he is she is PLURAL nous sommes vous êtes (pl. 3. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb être. I am a teacher. Use the English translation for help. Jean et Louis. we have Marie est (Marie is). Mes amis sont français. 2. 5. we have Mes amis sont (My friends are). 4.. Mes amis takes the place of ils. Tu _____ mon ami. therefore. fml. 1. Nous _____ français. PRACTICE 1 Look at the following sentences. You are my friend.com . Jean and Louis.LivingLanguage. therefore. vous _____ français. My friends are French. 6. Marc _____ anglais.

Il est bibliothècaire.7. police officer stockbroker janitor lawyer (male/female) artist architect babysitter (male/female) conductor social worker auditor clown le bibliothècaire/la bibliothècaire librarian (male/female) Notes You have learned that. l’agent de police l’agent de change l’agent de service l’avocat/l’avocate l’artiste l’architecte le baby-sitter/la baby-sitter le chef d’orchestre l’assistante sociale le commissaire aux comptes le clown He is a teacher.com . He’s a librarian. I am a teacher. Hélène et Geneviève _____ de Paris. Mon ami Paul _____ de Nice. 12 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. 8. She is a teacher. however. PHRASE LIST 2 LES PROFESSIONS (Professions) Il est professeur. Elle est avocate. Hélène and Geneviève are from Paris. My friend Paul is from Nice. When indicating a person’s profession.LivingLanguage. an article is always used before the noun. Je suis professeur. She’s a lawyer. Elle est professeur. the article is omitted. in French.

pl. Contrast that with the following. The French adjective intelligent looks very similar to the English word.NUTS & BOLTS 2 Adjectives and agreement An adjective is a word used to describe a noun. Martine est intelligente.) intelligentes (m.LivingLanguage. as ehn-teh-lee-zhen. but due to its presence.) intelligente (f. Martine is intelligent. Luc is intelligent. we Lesson 2 13 www. masculine plural. the preceding consonant t is pronounced: ehn-teh-lee-zhent. Martine is a feminine singular noun. and feminine plural—depending on the gender and number specification of the noun. intelligent. intelligent (m.com . feminine adjectives are marked by the feminine ending -e. feminine singular. and intelligente is an adjective in the feminine singular form. but unlike the English equivalent. This final -e is silent. sg. Luc is a masculine noun. Note that most final consonants in French are not pronounced.) intelligents (f. Luc est intelligent. Typically. and intelligent is a masculine adjective. Consider the four forms of the adjective intelligent in French.) Notice how the different forms are used in sentences. pl. it has four different forms— masculine singular. sg. so intelligent in French is pronounced without the final t. When an adjective modifies a plural subject.

Luc et Joseph sont intelligents. the distinction is present and important to maintain in writing. However. Here are more examples of regular adjectives.com . Martine and Julie are intelligent. Luc and Joseph are intelligent. Martine et Julie sont intelligentes. which simply require adding an -e to form the feminine and -s to form the plural.also add the plural marker. MASCULINE FEMININE SINGULAR SINGULAR MASCULINE FEMININE PLURAL PLURAL important importante importants importantes important grand petit bleu gris noir vert brun grande petite bleue grise noire verte brune grands petits bleus gris noirs verts bruns grandes petites bleues grises noires vertes brunes big. to either the masculine or the feminine form of the adjective. Recall that this final plural -s is not pronounced. -s.LivingLanguage. Here’s an example involving a feminine plural subject. tall small blue gray black green brown 14 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. so there is no audible distinction between the singular and plural forms of adjectives.

Roger is sincere./f. MASCULINE/ FEMININE SINGULAR MASCULINE/ FEMININE PLURAL agréable aimable autre brave difficile drôle énorme étrange facile agréables aimables autres braves difficiles drôles énormes étranges faciles pleasant kind other brave. which has only two different forms./f. Roger et Brigitte sont sincères. sincère (m. Here are other adjectives like sincère.com . Brigitte est sincère.If the masculine form of an adjective already ends in a silent -e. the feminine is the same as the masculine form. One such adjective is sincère (sincere). Roger and Brigitte are sincere. sg.LivingLanguage.) sincères (m. Brigitte is sincere.) Roger est sincère. fine difficult funny enormous strange easy Lesson 2 15 www. pl.

there is no distinction in pronunciation. -f to -ve. Look at the following examples. In the latter case.MASCULINE/ FEMININE SINGULAR MASCULINE/ FEMININE PLURAL large magnifique mince rapide sympathique rouge jaune rose larges magnifiques minces rapides sympathiques rouges jaunes roses wide magnificent thin quick friendly red yellow pink The feminine of irregular adjectives is formed by changing the masculine endings from -x to -se. -er to -ère. and -et to either -ète or -ette. MASCULINE FEMININE SINGULAR SINGULAR MASCULINE FEMININE PLURAL PLURAL sérieux actif fier inquiet violet sérieuse active fière inquiète violette sérieux actifs fiers inquiets violets sérieuses actives fières inquiètes violettes serious active proud worried violet 16 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. the spelling of the feminine form needs to be memorized.LivingLanguage.com .

LivingLanguage. MASCULINE FEMININE SINGULAR SINGULAR MASCULINE FEMININE PLURAL PLURAL égal général principal national égale générale principale nationale égaux généraux égales générales equal general principal national principaux principales nationaux nationales PRACTICE 2 Choose the correct form of the adjective. La femme est (intelligente. intelligent). intelligent). He is French. Most masculine adjectives ending in -al in the singular change that ending to -aux in the plural form.com . 3. He is lazy. Le garçon et la fille sont (sincères. the masculine plural is the same as the singular. sincère). Ils sont paresseux. américaine). Lesson 2 17 www. 2. Ils sont français. They are French. Sophie est (américain. 1.If the masculine singular ends in -s or -x. Il est paresseux. Il est français. 4. Le professeur est (intelligente. They are lazy.

8. fières). and their forms need to be memorized. actives). Ils sont (paresseux. 7. L’avocate est (américain. They also have an additional form when placed in front of a masculine singular word starting with a vowel. paresseuses).LivingLanguage. MASCULINE FEMININE SINGULAR SINGULAR MASCULINE FEMININE PLURAL PLURAL ancien bon gentil parisien violet ancienne bonne gentille parisienne violette anciens bons gentils parisiens violets anciennes bonnes gentilles old good nice. MASCULINE FEMININE MASCULINE FEMININE SINGULAR SINGULAR PLURAL PLURAL BEFORE A VOWEL beau vieux nouveau belle vieille beaux vieux belles vieilles bel vieil beautiful old nouvelle nouveaux nouvelles nouvel new Il a un nouvel imperméable. Some adjectives double the final consonant before adding an -e to form the feminine.com . He has a new raincoat. Françoise et Carol sont (fière. Elles sont (actifs. kind parisiennes Parisian violettes violet Some adjectives are completely irregular. 18 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www.5. américaine). 6.

7. Dupont. 4. ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. 2. sincères. 3. Accents count. What is your name? My name is Pierre Dupont. américaine. write down all of your new words. First. sont PRACTICE 2: 1. Good day. Enchanté/Enchantée de faire votre connaissance. paresseux Lesson 3 (sentences) SENTENCE GROUP 1 Here are some general terms you will find helpful when having a conversation with someone. Monsieur Dupont.LivingLanguage. 4. 6. 7. and then again before bedtime. as does labeling things in French around the house using stick-on notes. 5. Flash cards also work well. êtes. américaine. est. suis. est. Bonjour. intelligent. 2.) What is your name? Comment t’appelles-tu? (infml. Mr. Pleased to meet you. 6.com . 3. sommes. Lesson 3 19 www. spend a few minutes reviewing vocabulary in the morning. when your mind is refreshed from sleep.Tip! There is no magic to learning vocabulary. intelligente. 5. es. 8. too! A good way to approach the study of vocabulary is to read and concentrate on the new words several times a day instead of spending a large amount of time in one sitting. fières. est. Je m’appelle Michèle Soubrié. 8. but there are some simple tricks that you may want to consider. Comment vous appelez-vous? (fml.) Je m’appelle Pierre Dupont. taking the time to really focus on the spelling. My name is Michèle Soubrié. For example. actives.

Note the titles in French: Monsieur (Sir). I’m from the United States. La Salle. Madame (Madam). J’habite à Montréal. Miss La Salle. Notes Good day. Salut. So ladies and gentlemen is Mesdames et Messieurs. Comment allez-vous? a. Hi. Je suis américain. Bonjour. Mademoiselle La Salle. Ms. Je suis des États-Unis. and Mademoiselle (Miss).Bonjour. Comment vous appelez-vous? a. Good day.LivingLanguage. b. Their abbreviations are M.com . Madame La Salle. (Mr. b. everyone! Nice to see you! It’s a joy to be here! See you later! Where do you live? Where do you live? I live in the United States..). c. Je m’appelle Jean. Où habitez-vous? a. Ms. and Mlle (Miss). 2. Je suis français. Où habites-tu? 3. tout le monde! Quel plaisir de te voir! Quelle joie d’être ici! À plus tard! Où habitez-vous? (fml. PRACTICE 1 Select the best response to each question. 1. Use Messieurs for gentlemen and Mesdames for ladies.).) J’habite aux États-Unis.) Où habites-tu? (infml. c. Je m’appelle Pierre. Mme (Mrs. 20 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. Je suis de Paris.

Non. je suis célibataire. merci. Non. Voici ma femme. The man and the woman are French. La femme est française. c. L’homme est français. Tu es marié/mariée? Non. Je suis français. Où habites-tu? a.) De quelle nationalité êtes-vous? (fml.com . 4. Are you married? No. Je suis artiste./f.) What’s your nationality? I am Italian/Canadian/Irish. I am single.LivingLanguage.b. SENTENCE GROUP 2 Now look at some useful terms and sentences you can use to inquire about and describe people. She is charming. c. Il est charmant. b. Lesson 3 21 www. He is charming. (m. J’habite à Nice. b. Je suis de Paris. Très bien. Oui. Who is this?/Who is it? Here is my husband. Qui est-ce? Voici mon mari. The man is French. Here is my wife. Ça va. Je m’appelle Philippe. Tu es professeur? a.) Je suis italien/ canadien/irlandais. et vous? c. What’s your nationality? De quelle nationalité es-tu? (infml. J’habite à Paris. 5. Elle est charmante. L’homme et la femme sont français. The woman is French.

français/française anglais/anglaise irlandais/irlandaise américain/américaine mexicain/mexicaine italien/italienne canadien/canadienne espagnol/espagnole French English Irish American Mexican Italian Canadian Spanish NUTS & BOLTS 1 Placement of adjectives Notice that nationality adjectives follow the noun l’origine (the origin) or la nationalité (the nationality). Pierre is of Irish origin. I am of American origin. Voici un homme américain.Notes Here are more adjectives of nationality.com . Voici une femme française. Jean-Luc est d’origine canadienne. 22 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. Here is an American man. Jean-Luc is of Canadian origin. Pierre est d’origine irlandaise. Voici un homme français. Here is a French woman. Here is a French man. Je suis d’origine américaine.LivingLanguage. The adjectives of nationality also follow the noun in these examples.

Tu _____ marié? 6. Here is an American woman. Here is an intelligent man. Etats-Unis. Où habitez-vous? Je suis des _____. Ah! Vous _____ américaine! 5. _____ va bien. Non. Oui. Le garçon est intelligent et la fille est _____. L’étudiant et le professeur sont _____. 8. 4. most adjectives in French follow the noun they modify. 3. je suis _____. Here is a charming woman. Language link If you would like to forge ahead on your own to explore and expand your French vocabulary. célibataire. merci.com . appelle. êtes 1. Bonjour.Voici une femme américaine.languageguide. The website’s mission is to provide resources for language learning and cultural enrichment. Ça va? 2. a fun place to start could be www. Voici un homme intelligent.LivingLanguage. ça.org/francais. In fact. Lesson 3 23 www. 7. je m’_____ Henri de la Salle. intelligents. es. PRACTICE 2 Choose the appropriate words from the list below to fill in the blanks. intelligente. Voici une femme charmante.

merci. vous êtes français? Olivier: Non! Je suis américain. appelle. États-Unis. My name is Sophie. Olivier: And I am a student at the university. a PRACTICE 2: 1. 2.LivingLanguage. Comment allez-vous? Olivier: Ça va bien. France is wonderful. Olivier. 5. Vous êtes de Paris? Sophie: Oui. Sophie: Bienvenue. 3. Sophie: Welcome. I am an English teacher in high school. 4. b. I am from Paris. 7. Je m’appelle Sophie. êtes.com . Olivier! Olivier: Merci beaucoup! Olivier: Hello! My name is Olivier. 8. ça. b. Sophie: Je suis enchantée. 6. intelligents Lesson 4 (conversations) CONVERSATION 1 Sophie and Olivier meet at a friend’s party. Olivier: Et moi. 2. thank you. c. a.ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. How are you? Olivier: Very well. 4. Sophie: That’s great. 3. Sophie: I am pleased to meet you. célibataire. Olivier! Olivier: Thank you very much. es. Olivier. La France est magnifique. intelligente. je suis de Paris. 5. Sophie: C’est super! Je suis professeur d’anglais au collège. are you French? Olivier: No! I am American. And you. You are from Paris? Sophie: Yes. je suis étudiant à l’université. 24 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. Et vous. Olivier: Bonjour! Je m’appelle Olivier.

Other French words for high school are le lycée and l’école secondaire. NUTS & BOLTS 1 Cognates There are many words in French that look very similar to their English translations.LivingLanguage. They are called cognates. Je suis étudiant. as in Olivier’s and Sophie’s statements above. blond certain cruel différent élégant excellent horrible le boulevard le bureau le chef le client la blouse la boutique la nation la photo la phrase la question la table l’accident l’âge l’animal l’automobile Lesson 4 25 www.com . Finally. You probably do not even realize how many French words you already know! Here are some examples.Notes Remember that there is no article before nouns denoting professions. but they are usually spelled similarly and have the same meanings. (female) Also note that word le collège is not the equivalent of the English word college. I am a professeur. it means secondary school or high school. They may be pronounced differently in the two languages. I am a student. (male) Je suis professeur. the French word for college is l’université.

CONVERSATION 2 Fabienne and her cousin Martine are in a café. PRACTICE 1 Look at the following definitions in English and fill in the blanks in French using the cognates you have just learned. Luc: Salut. are words that may sound or be spelled the same or nearly the same as in English but have a different meaning. Fabienne’s friend. A woman’s article of clothing often worn with a skirt is called la _____. Ça va très bien. a person wishing to order a meal consults le _____. Another example of a false cognate is the French word sale (dirty). c’est une amie? 26 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. et toi? Luc: Pas mal.LivingLanguage. The word blessé may look similar to the word blessed. A broad avenue often lined with trees is called le _____. La fille blonde. which has nothing at all to do with shopping. Luc. 3. 4.” which. arrives just as Martine excuses herself from the table. This word can refer to a main office or a piece of furniture in a bedroom: le _____. While seated in a restaurant. Luc. like le collège.le fruit le guide le menu le zoo orange l’avenue l’éléphant l’hôtel l’océan la télévision Keep in mind that there are also “false cognates. Fabienne! Comment vas-tu. 1.com . but its actual meaning is wounded. 5. chère amie? Fabienne: Ah! Bonjour. merci. The colors often associated with Halloween are black and _____. 2.

LivingLanguage. Elle est marieé? Non.) How are you? Comment allez-vous? (fml. (de) quel/de quelle (what [+ noun]). Martine est célibataire. The blonde-haired girl.) What is your name? Lesson 4 27 www.com . and how about you? Luc: Not bad. and à quelle heure (at what time). Elle habite ici? Non. Eh bien! Pas de chance! Luc: Hi. Elle est française? Non. elle est des États-Unis. Let’s look at the examples from the conversations in this lesson.) How are you? Comment t’appelles-tu? (infml. she’s from the United States. thanks. quand (when). my dear friend? Fabienne: Ah! Hello. my friend. C’est bien.Fabienne: Luc: Fabienne: Luc: Fabinne: Luc: Fabienne: Luc: C’est ma cousine Martine. où (where). elle est américaine. Luc: Is she French? Fabienne: No. Does she live here? Fabienne: No. Luc. Martine is single. Comment vas-tu? (infml. is she a friend? Fabienne: It’s my cousin Martine. Fabienne! How are you. Luc: Is she married? Fabienne: No. Everything’s fine. she’s American. pourquoi (why). Luc: That’s good. qui (who). Luc: Oh well! No luck! NUTS & BOLTS 2 Asking questions Some of the most commonly used question words are comment (how).

l.) 5.com .LivingLanguage.) 2. (Ask where he is. Je m’appelle Monsieur Le Brun. Marc est d’origine française. J’habite à Boston. Quelle femme est canadienne? Which woman is Canadian? The question Comment? can also be used informally to mean What? or How’s that again? PRACTICE 2 Write a question that could lead to each of the following answers. 3. (Ask where she is. 28 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www. 4. Voici le médecin.Comment vous appelez-vous? (fml. Voici Martine. Quel homme est français? Which man is French? Quelle is used before a feminine noun.) What is your name? De quelle nationalité es-tu? What’s your nationality? De quelle origine es-tu? What’s your origin? Où est Paul? Where is Paul? Où habites-tu? Where do you live? Quel is used before a masculine noun.

Franche-Comte. Où est Martine? 2. Aquitaine. It is made up of twenty-two provinces (provinces). menu. Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Haute-Normandie. and way of life vary greatly from region to region.com . blouse. in the north. weather. Où est le médecin? 5. Comment vous appelez-vous? 4. In the east. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. the country Although metropolitan France is smaller than the state of Texas. boulevard. De quelle origine est Marc? Lesson 4 29 www. Centre. located in the northwest. ANSWERS PRACTICE 1: 1. Normandy. Basse-Normandie. and Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Nord-Pas-de-Calais. MidiPyrenees. 3. Ile-de-France. 4. 5. Brittany. France also has départements d’outre-mer (overseas departments): Guyane (French Guiana) in Northern South America. Lorraine. Martinique in the Caribbean. Auvergne. Bourgogne. The scenery. has a rocky coastline with many inlets. Pays de la Loire. and Rhone-Alpes. the mountains of the Alps are covered with snow all year and are a popular skiing location. almost three times that of Texas. Here are their names in French: Alsace. PoitouCharentes. bureau PRACTICE 2: 1. orange. Limousin. it has the population of more than sixty million people. Corse. Languedoc-Roussillon. Champagne-Ardenne. Picardie.Culture note France. 2. Où habites-tu?/Où habitezvous? 3. Bretagne. has a flat coastline with long sandy beaches.LivingLanguage.

What’s your origin/nationality? Hello!/Hi!/Bye! Good-bye! See you soon! Where is . . . ? Merci! Il n’y a pas de quoi! S’il vous plaît. What is your name? My name is . Comment vous appelez-vous? (fml. De quelle origine/nationalité êtes-vous? (fml./It’s going well. À demain! Good day! Good evening! How are you? Is everything okay?/How’s it going? Everything is well.) Salut! Au revoir! À bientôt! Où est . ? Thank you! You’re welcome! Please.UNIT 1 ESSENTIALS Here are some of the most important phrases and expressions you’ve learned in this unit. .LivingLanguage. . Bonjour! Bonsoir! Comment allez-vous? Ça va? Ça va bien.) Je m’appelle . See you tomorrow! 30 Unit 1: Greetings and Introductions www.com . . . . .

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