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French Learning

"Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so
rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget
yourself." Henry Miller

You've decided to study a new language. Wonderful! It is one of the beautiful, rich treasures
that Henry Miller talks about. Opening yourself up to new worlds, new people and new
understanding is an awakening experience unlike any other. Cognitive scientists even say that
mastering verbal skills such as are required of language study keeps the aging brain younger
and sharper. But we must remember the advice in Henry Miller's stirring quote: "Forget
yourself."

Most of the time, when you learn a language, you are a very young child. Actually, you start
to learn a language when you a baby, even before you can speak yourself. (Some believe you
even start to learn the language of those around you while you are in the womb!) You are
constantly and gradually absorbing the sounds around you so that when your development
reaches the right stage, you are able to start to imitate those sounds.
And this is the way it needs to be, to a certain extent, to learn a language as an adult. You
have to become childlike and observe and absorb. Think of a child learning a language. Does
he worry that he mispronounces a word? Does he care if he doesn't quite get the "t" right in
truck? Of course not; he just keeps plugging away until he gets it right and he even enjoys
making everybody laugh with his funny attempts. And so must adults. If you are going to
stand on ceremony and be afraid to make a mistake, you are going to have a difficult time
learning how to speak a language. Remember, people who don't make mistakes usually don't
make anything. You need to do just what a child does. Get into the language. Immerse
yourself in it. Constantly look for ways to incorporate it in your life. Let people know you are
studying a new language. They may speak it or be studying it too, but if the topic never came
up in a conversation, neither of you would know. Restaurants, art galleries, movies,
magazines and newspapers may all be sources where you can immerse yourself, and if you
are lucky enough to travel to a country where your new language is spoken, you can really go
swimming!

Luckily, it's easy to immerse yourself if you are learning to speak French. French is a very
widely spoken language and is spoken in over thirty countries. It is widely used in fashion, the
arts, restaurants (and cooking!), and many other areas. As much as you possibly can, try to
expose yourself to anything from a French culture. That does not just mean France. Belgium,
Switzerland and Canada all have strong French speaking cultures, as do many Caribbean,
African and Asian nations. Newspapers such as Le Monde, Liberation, and Le Figaro,
magazines such as Elle, Marie-Claire and Le Nouvel Observateur are available in most large
cities, and French news programs are broadcast in some locales. Most movie DVDs can be set
to many languages. Try to watch a movie you've already seen in French; since it is familiar,
you will probably be able to figure a lot of it out. Seek out any and all ways you can expose
yourself to the beautiful French language you are about to learn.

What Did We Learn?


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1. Learning language skills keeps the aging brain younger and _____.
2. People who don't make mistakes don't make___________.
3. You can learn French in cooking, the arts and __________.
4. French is spoken in France, Belgium and____________.
5. Scientists think you may learn languages as early as in the _____.
6. Popular French publications are Le Nouvel Observateur, Elle and _____.
7. Important Newspapers in France are Le Liberation, Le Monde and _________.
8. You can watch any DVD movie in French by setting the language option to _____.
9. French is a __________ language.
10. To learn any language, you must let yourself __.

French Lessons
One of the first things you need to understand in order to learn a language is grammar.
ARGH! Did you say the "G" word? Yes, but it won't be all that bad. The very basic grammar
you need is the same grammar that a child uses and understands even before he starts school.
When a child has not quite mastered his native language, he may say "Me go there." He
doesn't exactly have it right, but he does have a subject, verb and object. You will put
sentences together in French the same way. We need a subject such as I (je), a verb such as
want (veux) and an object such as a banana (une banane). "Je veux une banane" means "I
want a banana". (We're not going to worry about pronunciation just yet; we just want to
understand how to put the words together.) Easy, right? Well, there are a few other things you
need to know about French in order to speak it.

In English, the verb in a sentence changes depending on the subject. For instance, we say "I
want" but "He wants". In French, the verb changes as well, and so you have "Je veux" and "Il
veut" for I want and he wants. However, in French, the verbs change a lot more. Compare the
English and French table of verbs:

English French
I want We want Je veux Nous voulons
You want You want Tu veux Vous voulez
He/she/it wants They want Il/elle/il veut Ils/Elles/ils veulent

As you can see, the verb changes more often in French than it does in English. But the
endings stay pretty much the same, so it is not that difficult to remember which ending to put
on which verb.

In English the article "a" stays the same whether it is a banana, an apple or an orange. In
French, the article changes too, depending on whether the noun (banana) is masculine,
feminine or neuter. Banana is feminine, so it is "une banana", but if you wanted a sandwich,
which is masculine, it would be "un sandwich". The other part of speech that changes in
French but does not in English is the adjective. An adjective describes a noun, so feminine
nouns have feminine adjectives and masculine nouns have masculine adjectives. A white
flower is "une fleur blanche", but a white dog is "un chien blanc". There are no real rules
about which nouns will be masculine or feminine, so it is best to learn any new nouns with
their article. We're not going to worry too much about all of this now, we just want to
understand the concept.

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Finally, there are "tenses" in French just as there are in English. The most commonly used
tenses in speech are the present tense, "I want", the future tense, "I will want", and the past
tense, "I wanted". The same thing happens in French; we say "je veux" for the present tense,
"je voudrai" for the future tense and "j'ai voulu" for the past tense.

Don't be overwhelmed by the differing genders and tenses. At this point, it is only important
to know that these changes take place both in English and in French and you will become
accustomed to the changes in French as you speak the language more and more.

What Did We Learn?

1. A Sentence in French needs a subject, a verb and an ______.


2. In English, an article such as "a" stays the same. In French, it ______.
3. Articles change with the gender. We say une banana, but __ sandwich.
4. Adjectives also change. A white flower is "une fleur blanche", but a white dog is un
chien ____.
5. Since there are no fixed rules about which nouns will be masculine or feminine, it is
best to learn any new nouns with their_______.
6. There are ______ in French just as there are in English.
7. The past tense in French for I wanted is _________.
8. Feminine nouns have ______ adjectives.
9. Verb ending in French stay pretty much the ____.
10. Changes in tense take place in both English and ______.

French Verb Tenses


We know that the English language uses "tenses" for verbs to indicate when an action takes
place, and the same is true for French. In the present tense, the action is taking place now, in
the future tense, it will take place and in the past tense, it already took place. In both English
and French, there are many complicated tenses, many of which we don't even use in everyday
speech. So for these French lessons, we will only learn the most common tenses: the present,
future and past. You don't even need to know the French names for theses tenses, you only
need to know at which time the action is taking place.

French verbs have different endings to indicate the tense of the verb. Those endings depend
on the "type" of verb. There are two types of verbs in French, regular and irregular verbs.
Regular verbs always have the same endings, whereas irregular verbs have their own unique
endings. Of the regular there are three kinds: "er" verbs, "ir" verbs and "re" verbs.

ALL regular "er" verbs will have the same endings that the verb Parler (to speak) has.

Present Tense Future Tense Past Tense


Je parle Je parlerai J'ai parle
Tu parles Tu parleras Tu as parle
Il/Elle parle Il/Elle parlera Il/Elle a parle
Nous parlons Nous parlerons Nous avons parle
Vous parlez Vous parlerez Vouz avez parle
Ils/Elles parlent Ils/Elles parleront Ils/Elles ont parle
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ALL regular "ir" verbs will have the same endings that the verb Finir (to finish) has.

Present Tense Future Tense Past Tense


Je finis Je finirai J'ai fini
Tu finis Tu finiras Tu as fini
Il/Elle finit Il/Elle finira Il/Elle a fini
Nous finissons Nous finirons Nous avons fini
Vous finissez Vous finirez Vouz avez fini
Ils/Elles finissent Ils/Elles finiront Ils/Elles ont fini

ALL regular "re" verbs will have the same endings that the verb Mettre (to put) has.

Present Tense Future Tense Past Tense


Je mets Je mettrai J'ai mis
Tu mets Tu mettras Tu as mis
Il/Elle met Il/Elle mettra Il/Elle a mis
Nous mettons Nous mettrons Nous avons mis
Vous mettez Vous mettrez Vouz avez mis
Ils/Elles mettent Ils/Elles mettront Ils/Elles ont mis

Save these tables to use as a reference as we move forward in speaking French. You will
notice consistency in the endings for the verbs, and once we start discussing pronunciation
you will see that, at least in spoken French, there is not as much to remember as it first
appears. Many letters are sounded the same, and some letters are not pronounced at all. Again,
don't worry about pronunciation at this point. When we start working with pronunciation
guides, once you get used to one sound, you will see it used over and over.

The other type of verb is the irregular verb. There are many irregular verbs, but only a few
that are used very consistently and therefore need to be memorized. You noticed in the regular
verbs that the "stem" of the verb always stayed the same. That is, there is always a "par" in
any form of parler, and always an "fin" in any form of finir. Irregular verbs may actually
change the stem in forming the different tenses, so it is difficult to form any rules about them.
For the moment, we will just memorize the two most important irregular verbs, "etre (to be)
and "avoir" (to have).

The tenses of "Etre:

Present Tense Future Tense Past Tense


Je suis Je serais J'ai ete
Tu es Tu seras Tu as ete
Il/Elle est Il/Elle sera Il/Elle a ete
Nous sommes Nous serons Nous avons ete
Vous etes Vous serez Vouz avez ete
Ils/Elles sont Ils/Elles seront Ils/Elles ont ete

The tenses of "Avoir"

Present Tense Future Tense Past Tense

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J'ai J'aurai J'ai eu
Tu as Tu auras Tu as eu
Il/Elle a Il/Elle aura Il/Elle a eu
Nous avons Nous aurons Nous avons eu
Vous avez Vous aurez Vouz avez eu
Ils/Elles ont Ils/Elles auront Ils/Elles ont eu

As you can see, both etre and avoir change quite a bit; sometimes etre starts with an "s",
sometimes with an "e"; sometimes avoir starts with an "a, sometimes with an "o". These are
two important verbs that just have to be memorized.

What Did We Learn?

1. In the present tense, the action is taking place ___.


2. There are two types of verbs in French, regular and ________ verbs.
3. There are three kinds of regular verbs: "er" verbs, "ir" verbs and ___verbs.
4. _____is and "er" verb.
5. "Finir" is an ____ verb.
6. The French word for "to put" is _____.
7. The most important verbs to learn in French are _____ and ____ because they are used
a lot in their own right, and because they form "auxiliary" verbs.
8. Je suis, tu es, il ___.
9. Nous avons, vous avez, ils ___.
10. Etre and Avoir are irregular verbs, so they must be _________.

Hello in French
For the time being, we can forget about the rules and regulations we read about in the first few
lessons. It is important to set some ground rules, and they will become more and more
important as we move along, but now, we want to just start talking.

The most important thing in any language is pronouncing the language correctly, or as close
to correctly as you can manage. Don't forget what we said in the very beginning. If you don't
make any mistakes, you will never learn. Forget about being embarrassed about
mispronouncing, and JUST TRY.

Let's talk about pronunciation before we start to put some greetings together. We have all
heard a French accent, and there is a reason it sounds so unique to us. The French round their
mouths more than English speakers do and the sounds are not as pronounced; of course, there
is the definitive French "rolling" r; finally, the French have more nasality (pronouncing words
through the nose) to their language than English speakers have. One of the best ways to
pronounce French well is simply to pretend to be speaking French. We have all heard
exaggerated French accents such as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther. Try to imitate a
French accent as you try to speak, and you will be surprised at how easily the proper
pronunciation will come to you.

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You will feel very successful once you have simply learned to say hello to many people in
many ways. Here is the vocabulary we need for this first exercise: (Try to put a nasal sound
on each "n" and a roll on each "r")

Hello: Bonjour (try pronouncing "bone" with a soft "b", then make the "n" very nasal; the "j"
in jour is pronounced as "zh", then "ooo" with a nice rolled " r" at the end.
Mr.: Monsieur (this is such a commonly used word, that the first syllable is not entirely
pronounced, and it becomes "M'sieur". The second syllable does not have a rolled "r" at the
end and so it sounds like "syuh".
Mrs.: Madame (this is one of the easier ones-"mah-dahm" works fine)
Miss: Mademoiselle ( Mah-dahm, then add the kissy sound "moi" or as everyone knows so
well, Miss Piggy's "moi" and then "zell".
Hi: Salut (The man's name "Sahl" and then "ooo")
Goodbye: Au revoir ("Oh, ruh voire"; don't forget to roll the "r"s)
See you soon: A bientot (This is really easy if you just say "Ah", the letters "b", "n", and the
word "toe".)

From this point on, you can say hello and goodbye to anyone. For strangers, or other people
you don't know, you say Bonjour, Madame, Monsieur or Mademoiselle_________. For
friends or relations, you say Salut Marie, or Martin.

(Bonjour is fine, too, salut is just closer to "Hi".) Goodbye is used to mean truly goodbye. A
bientot is used for someone you see frequently, or you are going to see again soon.

If you want to be specific, you can say "Good afternoon!", Bon Apres -midi, but Bonjour
works anytime during the day. For this greeting, say your soft "bon", then "ah" and the
English word "pray". Midi is "meedee". For the later hours, you greet or say goodbye to
people with Good Evening, Bonsoir or Good Night, Bonne nuit. (Bonne nuit is used at the
very end of the evening, late at night, or even when people are heading off to bed.) Here is
why it was important to learn a little about grammar in the beginning. Notice that "good" in
bonsoir is spelled "bon". That is because "soir" is a masculine noun, and so it gets the
masculine spelling for the adjective "good". In this case, you pronounce it like the bon in
bonjour (you guessed it, "jour" is a masculine noun!) and then pronounce "swat" without the
"t". For the "t", substitute your rolled "r". Now, see what happens if the adjective is feminine.
Since there are two "n"s in bonne, the second "n" makes the sound more pronounced. Where
in "bon", you only touched upon the "n" with a nasal sound, in "bonne", you pronounce the
"n", just as in English. So the English word "bone" works just fine. For "nuit", try rhyming it
with "phooey". It's a good way to remember it. You're having such a good time, you don't
want the evening to end. Phooey, time to go home.

What Did We Learn?

1. To pronounce a language, you have to just ___.


2. The French speak with more ________, speaking through the nose, than English
speakers do.
3. Hello in French is _______.
4. Mr. in French is ________.
5. The French ____ their "r"s.
6. A bientot is used for someone you see _______.
7. For the later hours, you greet or say goodbye to people with _______.
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8. Bonsoir (Good Evening) is masculine, Bonne nuit (Good Night) is ________.
9. See you soon is _______.
10. Nuit rhymes with ______.

French Subject Pronouns


Most likely, the most important information you will want to get when you are traveling in a
French speaking country is who you are talking to, what you are or want to be doing, where
you want to go, and why!!! To best understand all of the information that is to follow, you
should read the previous five chapters; reinforce your vocabulary and the bit of grammar and
pronunciation we have touched upon so far. You will notice that we like to use everyday
examples of pronunciation rather than the phonetic type. If you have a very strong accent
from any particular area, you may need to adjust it to a standard. The standard used here is
Standard American English, although it is recognized that SAE is highly variable.

Who are you?

Bonjour, je m'appelle Marie. (Hello, my name is Mary.) The French way of saying "my
name is" is to say " I call myself". If you have studied other languages, you will notice that
many other languages have the same construction. It is important to understand this kind of
"reflexive" verb, since it is used many other ways. Je ("I") me ("myself") appelle ("call").
Notice that the object "me" falls before the verb "call". This is usual, although there are
exceptions. To be able to talk to other people about their names, we need to understand a little
more grammar. (Oh, no!) You have seen that "je" means "I". And now you see that "me"
means "me" (spelled the same, but not pronounced the same.)
Let's get that pronunciation out of the way because there are many small French words that
are pronounced the same. The word "de" which means "of" is a good example. Just pretend
you are saying the slang word "duh" (which so many of us use now to mean "no kidding" or
"obviously". ALL words spelled _e will rhyme with this. Here is a list of them: de-duh (of),
je-juh, soft "j" (I), le-luh (the), me-muh (me), que-kuh (which).

However, since the "je" in our sentence is right before an "a", we have to learn one more
pronunciation rule. (Promise, only a few rules at a time!) If a vowel (you remember them, a,
e, i, o, u, sometimes y and w; in French, h is also considered a vowel) falls before another
vowel, it is not pronounced and an apostrophe will take its place. Since "me" falls before
"appelle" in our sentence, it becomes "m'appelle" (NOT me appelle), pronounced "mah pell".
Saying everyone's name will work the same way:

Whose Name? French Pronounced


My name is Mary Je m'appelle Marie Juh ma pel mare ee
Your name is Mary Tu t'appelles Marie Too tap el mare ee
Her name is Mary Elle s'appelle Marie El sap el mare ee
His name is Frank Il s'appelle Francois Il s'appelle Francois
Nous nous appellons
Our name is Dubois New news ap el own doo boi
Dubois
Your name is Mrs. Vous vous appellez Mme. Voo vooz ap el ay Mah dam
Dubois Dubois doo boi
Their name is Ils s'appellent Dubois Eel sap el doo boi
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Dubois

Note that "il" (he) is pronounced "eel" and "elle" (she) is pronounced "el".

Learn to say your name and also to ask new acquaintances their names. Remember that "My
name is" is actually "I call myself", so that "What is your name?" is really "How do you call
yourself?" We already know how to say "Comment (how) ca va (does it go)?". Now we can
say "Comment vous appellez vous?" Try to plug in "tu" and "il" and "elle", using the same
chart as above.

What is it?

Now that we know everyone's name, let's find out about some things. A quick, easy way to
learn new words as well as to get to know people and make friends is to ask them how to say
things. "What is this?" is a little difficult for us English speakers to learn because it has so
many vowels before vowels (see rule above), but luckily it doesn't change: you can use it for
everything. "Qu'est ce que c'est?", pronounced "kess kuh say" will introduce you to worlds of
vocabulary. The response will be "C'est un(e) _____" ( It's a ____). Since French nouns are
masculine, feminine or neuter, the pronoun will change. "It's a knife" will be "C'est un
couteau", (say tun coo toe), and "it's a spoon" will be c'est une cuillere" (say toon coo yeah- a
double l is usually pronounced as a "y"). Listen carefully each time someone tells you how to
say something, and perhaps take notes in your own "phonetic" alphabet.

Where in the world am I?

It is very important to be able to ask where thing are. As a tourist, you should know the name
of your hotel. Then you can say "Ou est l'hotel Angleterre?" pronounced oo eh low tel ahng le
tear. (Where is the Angleterre Hotel?") This is an easy one! Try it out with different things
and people.

Ou est le restaurant Etoile?


Where is the Star Restaurant?
(oo ay luh restaurant (with French "r"s) ay twal)
Ou sont les toilettes?
Where are the restrooms?
(oo son lay twal ette)
Ou est mon frere?
Where is my brother?
(oo ay mown fraer)

Now, try to find all of your relatives. Remember to change the article from masculine
(mon=mown) to feminine (ma=mah) depending on whether it is a male or female relative.

Soeur (soor) Sister Fils (feess) Son


Mere (mare) Mother Fille (fee) Daughter
Femme (fum) Wife Oncle (onk luh) Uncle
Mari (marry) Husband Pere (pair) Father

And When

There are two common ways to ask "when". The word "quand" (cahn) translates most closely
to when. "Nous allons au cinema. Quand?" (nooz alon oh see nay mah. Cahn) "We are going

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to the movies. When?" But when we are referring to more specific times, we should use the
equivalent of "at which time?", "A quelle heure?" (ah kell uhr):
"A quelle heure part le train?" (ah kell uhr par luh tran) "What time does the train leave?
What time are we eating? "A quelle heure mangeons-nous?" (ah kell uhr mahng ohn noo)

Looking back at some regular verbs, try to formulate your own questions about what time
things are happening.

What Did We Learn?

1. You tell people you name by saying "Je m'_______ John.


2. Je=_.
3. Tu=___.
4. Il = __.
5. Je, te de, que are all pronounced to rhyme with ___.
6. Je m'appelle, tu t'appelles, il ________.
7. "What is this?" in French is _________________?
8. At what time?_________________?
9. What time does the train leave? __________________________?
10. Say the following in French: sister, mother, brother,
husband.___________________________________________.

French Days of the Week


Days, dates and times are very important, especially if you are on a schedule and need to
catch planes or trains, meet people, etc. First, let's look at the days of the week.

Day of the Week French Pronunciation


Monday Lundi Luhn dee
Tuesday Mardi Mar dee
Wednesday Mercredi Mare cra dee
Thursday Jeudi Juh (very soft "j")dee
Friday Vendredi Von druh dee
Saturday Samedi Sam dee
Sunday Dimanche Dee mahnch

You already know some French days such as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and you also may
know Father Samedi from movies that have voodoo scenes.

In French, when we ask what day it is, we say "It is which day today?". "C'est quel jour
aujourd'hui?" (say kell jur (soft "j") oh jur du ee). The response is "C'est aujourd'hui lundi"
(Sayt oh jur doo e luhn dee) or "C'est aujourd'hui lundi, le dix Decembre". "Today is
Monday" or "Today is Monday, the 10th of December." (Sayt oh jur doo e luhn dee, luh deess
day sahm bre)

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Now you have to try "It's Tuesday, the 6th of June", and so forth. Here are the first 30
numbers, and the months of the year so that you can put all of these together.

Number French Pronunciation Number French Pronunciation


One Un Unh Sixteen Seize Sees
Two Deux Dooh Seventeen Dix-Sept Dee set
Three Trois Trah Eighteen Dix-Huit Deez wheat
Four Quatre Cat truh Nineteen Dix-Neuf Deez nuf
Five Cing Sank Twenty Vingt Vant
Six Six Seess Twenty One Vingt et un Vant eh unh
Seven Sept Set Twenty Two Vingt deux Vant dooh
Eight Huit Wheat Twenty Three Vingt Trois Vant trah
Nine Neuf Nuf Twenty Four Vingt Quatre Vant cat truh
Ten Dix Deess Twenty Five Vingt Cinq Vant sank
Eleven Onze Owns Twenty Six Vingt Six Vant seess
Twelve Douze Dues Twenty Seven Vingt Sept Vant set
Thirteen Treize Trays Twenty Eight Vingt Huit Vant wheat
Fourteen Quatorze Cat torz Twenty Nine Vingt Neuf Vant nuf
Fifteen Quinze Cans Thirty Trente Tront

The months of the year:

January - Janvier (john vee ay)


February - Fevrier (fev ree ay)
March - Mars (marss)
April - Avril (ah vril)
May - Mai (may)
June - Juin (ju ihn)
July - Juillet (ju yay)
August - Aout (oot)
September - Septembre (set tom bruh)
October - Octobre (oc tow bruh)
November - Novembre (no vahm bruh)
December - Decembre (day sahm bruh)

Just start out with "C'est aujourd'hui" then go to each chart and pick a day of the week, a
number and a month. Let's try out "It's Tuesday the 6th of June": C'est aujourd'hui le six
Juin". Now pick out different days from the calendar and try it out yourself.

What Did We Learn?

1. The days of the week are Lundi, Mardi, _____, Jeudi, _____ Samedi, Dimanche.
2. Today is Monday: C'est aujourd'hui ______.
3. Try this: Mon anniversaire est le __________________________. My birthday is
_________________.
4. Mon jour favori est_______.
5. C'est aujourd'hui ___________.
6. January =_______
7. March =____
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8. December=________
9. Un, deux, ____quatre, cinq, ___, sept, huit, ____, dix.
10. Onze, _____, treize, quatorze, _____, seize, dix-sept, dix-____, dix-____, vingt.

French Reflexive Verbs


Rise and Shine! Everyone has to get up in the morning and get their day started. What time do
you get up? A quel heure reveillez vous?. (ah kell uhr ruh vay yay voo)

We are once again talking about the reflexive verb, because the French wake themselves up.
Just as in "my name is" really translates to "I call myself", the French say "Je me leve a sept
heures." ( je me lev ah set uhr) "I get up at seven o'clock." Since you already know how to say
"My name is", "Your name is", etc., you can now use the same rules to say "I get up", "You
get up", etc. Compare them:

Je m'appelle Marie Je me leve a sept heures


Tu t'appelles Marie Tu te leves a huit heures
Elle s'appelle Marie Elle se leve a six heures
Il s'appelle Francois Il se leve a neuf heures
Nous nous appellons Nous nous levons a onze heures (Nous sommes en
Dubois vacances!- We are on vacation!)
Vous vous appellez
Vous vous levez a sept heures et demi
Mme. Dubois
Ils s'appellent Dubois Ils se levent a six heures et demis

We snuck a little something in there, didn't we? Well, not everyone gets up on the hour. We
might get up at half past, a quarter after, ten before. Let's have a look at telling the time.

The French use the 24 hour clock, especially for train departures, appointments and the like.
They may use the 12 hour clock, but they would usually be specific and say "two in the
afternoon". If you look at the number table in the previous chapter, you will be able to ask
what time it is and also tell people what time it is. We say "Quelle heure est'il?" (kell uhr ay
teal) and "Il est___heures." (eel ay___ uhr). Easy right?

Il est une heure, Il est deux heures, Il est tres heures and so on. If everyone would only be so
kind as to ask us the time on the exact hour, we would have no problem.

However, we have to be able to add fifteen minutes, a half hour or forty minutes. As you see
in the table above, 7:30 is "Sept heures et demi" (set uhr ay demi). Here are some others, and
as you plug in the numbers you have learned, you can have an infinite variety of times to talk
about.

8:15-Huit heures quinze


10:25-Dix heures vingt cinq
6:35-Six heures trente cinq

11
Wait, we said 6:30 was "six heures et demi". The half hour can be expressed as thirty or as
"half". Fifteen minutes can likewise be expressed as "quinze" or "le quart" (luh car).

Well, now that we are up, we have to use a lot more reflexive verbs to get ready. In French,
you use the reflexive verb to do most things for yourself.

I wash my face Je me lave le visage Juh muh lahv luh vee sahge
I brush my teeth Je me brosse les dents Juh muh bross lay don
I shave Je me rase Juh me roz

Using the infinitives of each of these verbs, try to substitute you, s/he for each of the
expressions above:

Wash-"laver"; brush-"brosser"; shave-"raser". You will have to look back at the endings for
the "er" verbs, but this is how you will build your knowledge, since each chapter is building
upon information found in a previous chapter.

What Did We Learn?

1. I get up at seven thirty: Je me leve a __________.


2. My daughter's name is Marie. She gets up at eight o'clock. Ma fille _______ Marie.
Elle se leve a __________.
3. What time is it? It is twenty past nine. Quelle heure est'il? Il est___________.
4. Say out the following times: 8:15-________________, 10:25-_______________6:35-
__________________________.
5. I wash my face at 8:00.____________________________________________.
6. I brush my teeth at 8:30.___________________________________________.
7. He shaves at 7:15.________________________________________________.
8. My brother and I, we get up at 6:15. Mon frere et moi, nous nous______a_____.
9. She gets up early. Elle __________ tot.
10. I get up at 7:15; it is now (maintenant) 8:15. ___________________________.

french lessons - Getting Dress


Let's have a little role play with Robert, as he gets dressed in the morning and gets ready to go
to work. Don't forget to rrrroll your "r"s so you sound as French as possible.

Robert s'habille. Il met ses chaussettes, puis sa chemise, son pantaloon. Pour mettre
(Row ber sa bee.Il meh say show set, pu ee sah sh mees, sohn pahn ta loon. Poor met ruh
Robert gets dressed. He puts on his shoes, then his shirt, his pants. To put on

sa cravate il va devant la glace; il se brosse les cheveux et se peigne. Apres


sa krah vaht eel vah de von la glass; eel suh bross lay shuh vuh ay suh paign. Ah pray
his tie, he goes in front of the mirror; he brushes his hair and combs it. After

cela, il met son veston et ses souliers. Il ne se depeche pas, il prend son
sell lah, eel meh sohn veston ay say soo lee ay. Eel nuh suh day pesh pah, eel prahn sohn
that, he puts on his jacket and his shoes. He does not hurry, he takes his

12
temps. A huit heures et demi, il descend et entre dans la salle a manger ou il mange le
tom. Ah wheat uhr ay demi, eel day sahn ay on truh lah sal ah mahn jay oo eel mahnj luh
time. At 8:30, he goes downstairs and enters the dining room where he eats

petit dejeuner.
puh tee day juh nay.
breakfast.

Did you notice a lot of reflexive verbs? Even in something like "He does not hurry"- "Il ne se
depeche pas" we see that he ("il") does not hurry himself ("se"). There are many times you
need to use this form when you are talking about how we do things. Here are some more
examples: You should be able to figure out who we are talking about now.

Il se lave les mains- He washes (is washing) his hands


Elle se brosse les cheveux- She brushes (is brushing) her hair
Ils se seche les mains- They dry (are drying) their hands
Je me nettoie les dents- I clean (am cleaning) my teeth

Something else to notice in French is that, since they refer to themselves in this construction,
it is not necessary to say "my hands" or "my hair" but rather "the hands" and "the hair". Parts
of the body are referred to as "the" rather than "my" or "your" or "his".

Some examples:

Elle a les yeux bleuss (El ah laze yueh blueh) She has blue eyes.
Il a les cheveux courts (Eel ah lay shuh vuh coor) He has short hair.
Also notice that hair is plural. In English, we say "my hair", but in French one says "the
hairs".

Try to put together a few expressions like the ones above, substituting some words. How
about describing someone grey hair or green eyes or long hair or brown eyes?

Grey-Gris (gree)
Green- Vert (vair)
Long- Longues (lohng)
Brown- Bruin (bru in)

As you can see, it is a matter of plugging in the right descriptive word with the right person;
as long as you keep doing this will all of the sentences you learn, you will build your French
faster and faster.

What Did We Learn?

1. Say in French: Robert goes in front of the mirror. He goes in front of the mirror.
2. Say in French: Robert does not hurry. He does not hurry.
3. Say in French: At 8:30, Robert goes downstairs and he eats his breakfast
4. They dry (are drying) their hands: Ils se _____ les mains.
5. I clean (am cleaning) my teeth: Je me nettoie les _____.
6. Now describe yourself: J'ai les cheveux_____, j'ai les eux____.

13
7. Say in French: Robert has green eyes and he has brown hair.
8. Now practice with your family (you may have to look back to find the titles of your
relatives): My mother has grey hair. My sister has brown eyes, etc.
9. Now practice with some clothing. My mother is putting on her brown shoes. My sister
is putting on her green skirt.
10. Now try substituting the article: She is putting on her brown shoes. She is putting on
her green skirt.

learn french language - Getting Out


Robert eats his breakfast at home most of the time, but sometimes he likes to stop at a coffee
shop for breakfast.

Pour (poor) le dejeuner, il y a (eel ee ah) du (doo) cafe au lait (cah fee oh lay) avec (ah veck)
du pain (pan) et du beurre (boor). For breakfast, there is coffee with milk with bread and
butter.

Here, we are introduced to a few new expressions and grammar rules. The idiom "Il y a" is a
very useful and widely used expression meaning "there is" or "there are." Here are some new
French words. Try to mix and match with the numbers you already know to make some
sentences.

Sample: There are five girls: Il y a cinq filles. (You already know "fille" from the relatives in
lesson six; it is the same as daughter.)

Form sentences from these words to practice:

Il y a Number Item French Pronunciation


Il y a 2 Oranges Oranges Oh rahnj
Il y a 7 Boys Garcons Gar sohn
Il y a 12 Eggs Oeufs Uf

Another French concept we see here is "some". In French, we say "of the" for some. You see
in the sentence that for breakfast we have some coffee ("du cafe"). The expression is formed
by "of"(de) and "the"(le). Don't forget that "the" changes depending on whether we are talking
about a feminine, masculine or neuter or singular or plural nouns. In the case of our coffee,
bread and butter, they are all masculine, so they get "le". The French, however, don't like the
sound of "duh luh", so they combine "de" and "le" and use "du". We have all heard of "soupe
du jour", right? Day is masculine (le jour) and so it becomes "du jour". Neuter nouns work
the same, but feminine nouns keep "de", because the sound is nicer. (The French like their
language to sound pretty!) "Some cream" would therefore be "de la creme" (crem). You are
now seeing how important it is to learn a noun with its article so you always know the gender.
If you look up a new word, note whether it has a small f or m or n. Memorize the word with
its article, and you will always know how to treat it in a sentence. So when you looked up
milk, you should have memorized "le lait" and when you looked up cream, you should have
memorized "la creme".

14
What about plural nouns? Well, the French must also have a problem with "de les", because
this construction changes to "des" (day). If you have some bananas, you would say: "J'ai des
bananes" (ba nahn). Try to say I have some friends (ami, pronounced ah mee), some books
(livre, pronounce lee vra), some drinks (boissons, pronounced boi sohn). (Hint: there is no
distinction between masculine and feminine in the plural, so they will all get "des"). If you go
back to lesson three, you can practice using different forms to say "he has", "they have", etc.

This same rule applies to another word in our breakfast. "Cafe au lait" is an expression you
may have heard before. The expression "a la" means "with" or "in the style of". Let's compare
Cafe au lait with Pie a la mode (half English, half French). Since, as we now know, milk is
masculine, it should be le lait, but the French don't use a le, they use au, hence we have "cafe
au lait". Mode, which means "style", is feminine, and so the a la can stay as it is. The same
rule that exists for "de" with the plural exists for "a" with the plural. So, rather than "a les", we
say "aux" for the plural.

Here is some vocabulary you can use try to form some sentences using "aux":
(Don't cheat and look at the bottom until you have tried the sentence.)

Donner, verb (doe nay) to give


Gateau, m (gat oh)- cake
Enfant, m (on fahn)- child
Viande, f (vee ahnde)- meat
Chien, m (shee en)- dog

*We are giving some cake to the children


**He is giving some meat to the dogs

(You may have to go back to lesson three to review "er" verbs to put the right endings for "we
are giving" and "he is giving".)

What Did We Learn?

1. A common breakfast in France is "cafe au ____" with "du pain et du _____".


2. Use the very useful expression "il y a" to express the following: There are three boys,
there are four oranges, there are eight bananas.
3. I would like some coffee: J'aimerais __ cafe.
4. I have some friends: J'ai ___amis.
5. He has some books: Il a ____ livres.
6. Give me some cream, please: Donnez-moi __ __ ____, s'il vous plait.
7. We are having drinks (some drinks): Nous avons _____ boissons.
8. For dinner, there is roast beef and potatoes: Pour le diner, ______le rostbif et pommes
de terre.
9. There are many things to learn: _______beaucoup des choses a apprendre.
10. There are four kinds of cheeses: ______quatre types de fromage.

*Nous donnons du gateau aux enfants


**Il donne de la viande aux chiens.

15
Online French Lessons - Getting Around
To go to his neighborhood cafe, Robert only has to walk to the corner of his street. If you ask
Robert where the cafe is, he would tell you "au coin (kuh wahn) de la rue(roo)". Let's practice
getting directions so we can get around easily.

If you need to find the post office, you could approach someone and ask him. We know how
to say "where is", but let's add a little politeness to it now:

Excusez-moi, ou est la poste(pust), s'il vous plait? (seal voo play)"


Excuse me, where is the post office, please?

"C'est a rue duChamps, au milieu(mee yuh) de la rue".


It's on duChamps Street, in the middle of the street.

"Excusez-moi, ou est la mairie (mary) s'il vous plait?"


Excuse me, where is the town hall, please?

"C'est sur l'autre (loh truh) cote (ko tay) de la rue, juste en face (joost on fahs)."
It's on the other side of the street, right opposite.

"Excusez-moi, ou est la Gare St. Lazare, (gar san la zar) s'il vous plait?"
Excuse me, where is the St. Lazare train station, please?

"Il faut (fow) prendre (prahn drah) le metro (met tro). C'est au coin de la rue. Prenez-le (pren
nay luh) jusqu'a (jus ka) l'arret (lar rette) Gare St. Lazare."
You have to take the metro. It's on the corner. Take it to the Gare St. Lazare stop.

Here we come across another handy idiom, "il faut". It means "it is necessary" or "you must",
and makes things a little easier for us, since we do not have to change it to agree with each
person we are talking about. "Il faut brosser les dents chaque (shock) jour" means "you must
(or one must) brush your (one's) teeth every day. You can use this to describe all of the things
in life one must do. Here are some examples:

"Il me faut me lever tot (tow) chaque matin (ma tahn)."


I have to get up early every day.

"Il faut acheter (ahsh tay) du pain aujourd'hui."


You have to buy bread today.

Il faut aller tout droit (too droi), et tourner a gauche (tour nay ah goche)."
You have to go straight ahead, and turn to the left.

Some more directions for getting around:

"Est-ce que l'avenue des Champs-Elysees (shahm zay lee zay) est loin (loo ahn) d'ici (dee
see)?"
Is the avenue Champs- Elysees far from here?"

16
"Non, nous sommes tout pres (pray) des Champs-Elysees."
No, were are right near the Champs-Elysees.

Which, of course brings us to another important French usage, "Est-ce que c'est?". If you
remember "Qu'est ce que c'est?", from lesson 6, it will help to understand this very common
expression. You may want to go back and review. "Est-ce que c'est?" simply means "Is it"
and can be used to make any sentence into a question. "C'est difficile (diffy seal)" (It's
difficult) becomes "Est-ce que c'est difficile?" (Is it difficult?") Try it on some simple
expressions that you already know: It is Henry. Is it Henry? It is her husband. Is it her
husband? It is on the corner of the street. Is it on the corner of the street? * Don't check
yourself unless you must.

What Did We Learn?

1. Where is the Post Office?_________________________________


2. The Post Office is on the corner of the street._____________________________
3. Where is the Town Hall, please?_______________________________________
4. The train station is on the other side of the street.________________________
5. Where are the restrooms?___________________________________________
6. You have to turn at the corner.________________________________________
7. Is this an apple?___________________________________________________
8. Is this difficult?____________________________________________________
9. It's easy (facile).___________________________________________________
10. I have to go home (chez moi).________________________________________

*C'est Henri. Est-ce que c'est Henri?


C'est son mari. Est-ce que c'est son mari?
C'est au coin de la rue. Est-ce que c'est au coin de la rue?

Visiting Town
Let's take the train into the city. Practice some of the expressions you already know, such as
"What time does the train leave?" from lesson 6.

Let's have a little role play where a mother and her daughter Madeleine are taking a trip into
the city.

Madeline: "Est'ce que nous sommes encore (on core)loin de la ville (veel)?"
("Are we still far from the city?")

La mere (Mother):"Encore une demi-heure." (Still another half hour.) "Nous ne restons en
ville que quatre heures." (We are only staying in town for four hours.)

Madeleine: "Nous avons le temps pour acheter mes chaussures, n'est-ce pas?" (We'll have
time to buy my shoes, won't we?)

La mere: "Oui, nous prenons (pray known) un taxi au bureau (boor oh) de l'avocat (lah vo
kah) et puis, nous mangeons chez une restaurant. Lorsqu'il fait beau, nous pouvons aller a

17
Restaurant Terrasse (tear ahs)." Yes, we take a taxi to the office of the lawyer and then, we'll
eat at a restaurant. Since the weather is nice, we'll eat at the Terrace Restaurant.

Madeleine: "Mes chaussures?" (My shoes?)

La mere: "Le magasin Printemps (prahn tom) est tout pres de la Restaurant Terrasse. Nous
avons le temps pour une promenade." (The department store Printemps is right next to the
Terrace Restaurant. We have time to take a stroll.)

La mere: "Trouvons la station (stah syon) de taxi. Elle est devant la gare, je croix."
Ah, la voila! Taxi!" Let's find the taxi stand. It is in front of the train station, I believe. Ah,
there it is! Taxi!

Chauffeur de taxi: "Bonjour. Vous allez ou?" (Hello, where are you going?)

La mere: "7, rue Marbeuf. Ca prends combien (comb bee en) de temps?" (7 Marbeuf Street.
How long will it take?)

Chauffeur de taxi: "Ca depend (day pon). A cette heure, il y a des embouteillages (ohm boo
tay yage)." (It depends. At this hour, there are traffic jams.)

La mere: "Il nous faut arriver avant dix heures." (We have to arrive before ten o'clock.)

Chauffeur de taxi: "Pas de probleme, Madame." (No problem, M'am.)

Let's talk about some of the things we learned in this exercise. We see our old friends "Est-ce
que", "Il y a" and "Il faut". You see how frequently they pop in conversation, and how handy
they are.

We come across a negative when the mother says "We are only staying in town for four
hours." The negative is formed by "ne" before the verb and some qualifier after the verb. Most
of the time you will see "ne.pas" which is simply negating something:

Je vais/ Je ne vais pas


Tu manges/Tu ne manges pas
Elle danse/Elle ne danse pas

But "ne" is also used to indicate lesser negations. In our story, the mother says "Nous ne
restons que." Using "ne.que" means only.

"Je ne mange que legumes (lay gume)." I only eat vegetables.


"Nous n'achetons que cette marque (mark)" We only buy this brand.

"Ne" is also used to denote never (with jamais) and not very much (with guere):

"Il ne danse jamais (jah may)." He never dances.


"Ils ne vont jamais a l'ecole (lay cul)." They never go to school.
"Je ne le vois guere." I hardly ever see him.
"Il n'a guere d'argent (are john)" He has little money.

18
Another negative we see in this lesson is simply "pas". Normally "pas" forms the second part
of "not", but it can be used by itself as we did here: "Pas de probleme." You will frequently
hear "pas de tout"-not at all as a response to "merci" -thank you- or "pas question" -there's no
question (of it). Little expressions like these help you sound very knowledgeable in French.

1. Are we still far from the city? Est'ce que ____ ______ encore loin de la ville?
2. We are only staying in town for four hours. Nous ne restons en ville ___ quatre
heures.
3. We are not staying in town. Nous ne restons ___ en ville.
4. We hardly stay in town. Nous ne restons _____ en ville.
5. We never stay in town. Nous ne restons ______ en ville.
6. The department store is right next to the restaurant: Le magasin est ____ ____ de la
restaurant.
7. We have time to take a stroll: Nous avons le temps pour une _________.
You have time to take a stroll (formal): ____ ____ le temps pour une promenade.
He has time to take a stroll: Il a __ ____ pour une promenade.
8. Let's find the taxi stand. _______ la station de taxi.
9. Find (formal or plural) a taxi stand. _______ un station de taxi.
10. No problem: ___ __ probleme. Not at all: ___ __ tout. No question: ___ question.

What Do We Do For Fun?


Let's use the negatives we just learned to find out our likes and dislikes.

J'aime faire de la photographie. Je n'aime pas faire de la photographie.


I like to do photography. I don't like to do photography.

Your turn. Form the negatives for the following, simply by putting "ne" before the verb and
"pas" after the verb:

J'aime les voyages. ______________________________


J'aime les voyages. J'aime les voyages.

J'aime bien lire. ______________________________


I like to read a lot. I like to read a lot.

J'aime beaucoup le sport. ______________________________


I like sports a lot. I don't like sports very much

19
If you more than like something, you can say "J'adore le cinema." Of course, instead of using
the negative, you can just say you hate it:

Je deteste le football (I hate football.) J'ai horreur des musees. ( I hate museums.)
("Le football" in French speaking countries refers to soccer. If you want to talk about
American football, you have to be specific and say "Le football americain".)

Now you can start to put things together and tell people all about yourself.

"Bonjour, je m'appelle Claude. J'aime bien regarder (ruh gard ay) des films et le sport a la
tele. J'adore la photographie et les voyages. J'ai horreur des voitures (voi toor), alors je vais
au travail (tra vai) a velo." (Hello, my name is Claude. I very much like to watch movies and
sports on T.V. I love photography and trips. I hate cars, so I go to work by bike.)

How about some other diversions?

Le football est le seul sport qui interesse Charles. (Football is the only sport Charles is
interested in.)
Marie joue au tennis. (Mary plays tennis.)
Ma cousine (coo zeen), Natalie va patiner (pah teen ay) deux fois par semaine dans un
skating pres d'elle. (My cousin goes skating two times a week at a skating rink near her.)
Le sport favori (fah vor ee) de Georges est le cyclisme. Il fait le cyclisme chaque jour et il
regarde tous les grands tours a la tele. (George's favorite sport is cycling. He cycles every
day and watches all the bicycle races on T.V.)

Elle joue de la guitare. (She plays the guitar.)

Ils adorent voyager. Ils ont visiter la Chine (sheen), les Etats Unies (laze etaz oo nee) ,
l'Amerique du Sud (sood) et l'Egypt. The love to travel. They have visited China, the United
States and Egypt.

J'aime beaucoup les musees. Le Louvre, le musee d'Orsay, et, bien sur, Versailles! (I really
like museums. The Louvre, the Museum of Orsay, and, of course, Versailles!) Les Francais
sont passionnes par les jeux (juh) d'argent (dar jahn). (The French are passionate about games
of chance.[games of money-argent means money]).

You noticed that, in French, you play "at" a sport. "Il joue au football", but for an instrument,
you use the preposition "de". "Elle joue de la guitare." You probably also noticed that
countries are "the". We're used to hearing that for "the" United States, but in French, we say it
for other countries as well: l'Austrie, l'Angleterre, etc.

1. I don't like trips: ___________________________


2. I never read:_______________________________
3. I hardly ever watch (regarder) les sports: _________________________
4. Practice with your own information: Hello, my name is______________. I like
to________. I hate______.
5. Marie plays tennis: Marie ______ au ______.
6. Natalie goes skating every day (chaque jour):________________________.
7. I play the guitar: Je ____de la ______.

20
8. I like museums, the movies and sports:_____________________________.
9. They visited the United States last year (l'annee derniere):____________________
10. My favorite sport is ______.: Mon sport favori est_______.

French Television
The French are not as addicted to television as Americans are, but they are getting close. Also
know as "le petit ecran (ay crain)"- the little screen, it is taking a larger place in everyday life.

Let's learn a little about French television by reading a small passage that you will translate.
New words will appear below.

Les televiseurs son partout: Presque* tous les foyers en possedent au moins un, et le nombre
de chaines augmente* d'annee en annee. Avec le cable et le satellite, on peut en recevoir
jusqu'a deux ou trois cents*.

Use your imagination to do this translation, and try to spot words that you already know in
English. "Televiseurs" is an easy one for televisions, but do you see any other words you may
be able to figure out? How about "posseder" (the infinitive for the verb used in the passage,
possedent, which is in the third person plural) for possess, and "chaines" for stations?
"Satellite" and "cable" are the same (many words in technical, scientific and the
communications fields are). You'd be surprised how much you can figure out from written
French based on what you have already learned, words that are close to English, and English
words that the French use. Take a moment and try to write out the translation.

*presque=almost foyers=households augmente=increase cents=hundred

How did you do? Test yourself against the translation:

Televisions are everywhere: almost all households have at least one, and the number of
channels increases from year to year; with cable and satellite, we can receive up to two or
three hundred.

French T.V. has a lot in common with T.V. in English speaking countries.

En France, la tele est financee en partie par le publicite (poo blee see tay). In France, T.V. is
financed in part by advertising.

Dan le cas des chaines publiques, par la redevance (reh day vahns) audiovisuelle. In the case
of public broadcasting, by audiovisual license.

Cote (coat ay) emissions, il y en a pour tous les gouts (goo). In terms of programs, there is
something for every taste.

Une soiree typique (tee peek) commencera avec un jeu et une serie (sair ee) suivis du journal
(joor nal) et de la meteo (met ay o). A typical evening will begin with a game and a series,
followed by the news and weather.

21
You were probably able to figure out a good part of those sentences on your own. With the
written word, it is frequently easy to work out what is being said. It will help a lot if you try to
read French publications and figure out what they say. Look at the first sentence above:

En France, la tele est financee en partie par le publicite.

If you follow along, it is almost exactly the same as English, once you know that publicite
means advertising. (By the way, just as in English advertising is shortened to "ads", in French,
publicite is shortened to "les pubs".)

En France- In France
la tele- T.V
est financee- is financed
en partie- in part
par le publicite- by advertising.

All of your reading won't be that easy, but you can try to work out the meaning by plugging in
the words you know, the ones close to English and the ones that have been borrowed from the
English language.

What Did We Learn?

1. In France T.V. is financed by


advertising:____________________________________.
2. In the United States, T.V. is also (aussi) financed by
advertising.__________________.
3. On a typical evening, I watch the news.______________________
4. My husband prefers (the verb is preferer-you have to pick the correct form for "my
husband") to watch sports.
5. Three ways to say television are: le __________, le _._. and "le _____ _____".
6. Public television exists in France and it is called _________ __________.
7. Translate this sentence, based on words you know or can figure out: J'aime regarder
les chaines publiques; je deteste les pubs. Chaque soir, mon marie regarde un match de
football. C'est la raison que nous avons deux televiseurs.
8. Now, say this in French: "Public television does not have ads. Sports programs have
many ads. There are ads for beer (la biere), cars and vacations (les vacances)."
(Remember to say "il y a" for there are.
9. We can receive up to three hundred television stations: Nous pouvons _______ juqu'a
______cents ______
10. We have televisions in every room: Nous_____des _________ dans ______chambre.

simple french phrases


France is justly proud of its film industry and even refers to it as "the seventh art". Many
French are true "cinephiles" and may go to the movies two or three times a week. Let's build
our movie vocabulary and try to have some conversations about movies, which is always a
great ice-breaker.

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actors- comediens
actresses-comediennes
adventure-adventure
animated films- dessins animes
best film-meilleur film
best screenplay-meilleur scenario
Cannes film festival-le festival de Cannes
Cesars-the Cesars, France's equivalent of the Oscars
crime-policier
comedy-comedie
director- le metteur en scene (literally-a putter in stage)
Golden Palm-La Palme d'Or (award given at Cannes film festival)
movie-le film
movie theater-le cinema

"Et maintenant, le moment que nous attendons tous: le Cesar du meilleur metteur en scene."
And now, the moment we have all been waiting for: the Oscar for the best director.

There is so much in common between the French and American cultures (though many
concentrate on the differences) that it helps us even more to learn French. With the movie
vocabulary you have learned above, and if you knew that "maintenant" meant "now", you
could easily follow what was being said.

Let's try some conversation about the movies:

"Avez-vous vu (voo) le dernier (dare nee ay) film de Spike Jones?" Have you seen the last
Spike Jones film?

"Oui, j'ai beaucoup aime le scenario, mais pas la mise en scene." Yes, I really liked the
screenplay, but not the direction.

"Est'ce que le film passe en VO ou en VF?" Is the film in the original language version or
dubbed into French? (VO stands for Version Originale and VF stands for Version Francaise.)

"Heureusement (uhr uz mehn), en VF. Je ne comprends (com prahn) pas Anglais tres bien."
Happily, dubbed into French. I don't understand English very well.

The first two sentences were in the past tense. If you refer back to Lesson 3, you will see this
past tense, the "passee compose". It is the most commonly used tense in conversation. That's a
good thing, because it is also the easiest to form. Just take the parts of the verb "avoir", also in
Lesson 3, and use it with the past participle to form the past tense.

The past participle for each verb is formed a little differently, but if we are using "regular"
verbs, the ending remains consistent.
"er" verbs- take "er" off the infinitive and add "e"
"ir" verbs- take "ir" off the infinitive and add "i"
"re" verbs-take the "re" off the infinitive and add "u"

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Parler(speak)=parle
Remplir(fill)=rempli
Entendre (hear)=entendu

Look at the sentence above "Oui, j'ai beaucoup aime le scenario". The verb "aimer" to like, is
an "er" verb, so we took the "er" off, and added "e". That is how it became "j'ai aime le
scenario". Of course, since we liked it very much, we had to add "beaucoup" in the middle.
(In the case of the "er" verbs, however, both the infinitive and the past participle end up
sounding the same, even though they are spelled differently. Both "er" and "e" are pronounced
"ay".)

Following these examples, try to form some past tenses with "ir" and "re" verbs:

"J'ai rempli le verre." I filled the glass. "Il a entendu sa mere." He heard his mother. a

What Did We Learn?

Say in French:

1. Actors and Actresses are in movies.


2. I like crime movies.
3. I have seen (j'ai vu) the latest film by Woody Allen.
4. She doesn't understand French very well.
5. He and I spoke.
6. My mother filled the pitcher (le picher).
7. I did not understand the boss (le patron).
8. We finished (finir) the work (le travail).
9. They listened to the radio (a la radio).
10. We spoke to the director, but (mais) he didn't understand us.

Learn French Online - Sports


Many people in French speaking countries are sports nuts, just as they are in English speaking
countries. "Le football", soccer is, by far, the most popular sport. Not only do people watch it
on T.V., but there are many local teams they support, and many enthusiasts play the sport
themselves for exercise and fun. Tennis and cycling are also very popular, both to watch and
to participate in.

Let's learn some sports expressions and see if we can use them in conversation.

Athletics-l'athletisme (m)
Bicycling track-le velodrome
Boating-le canotage
Cycling-le cyclisme
Field-le terrain
Fishing-la peche
Hunting-la chasse
Horse racing-les courses de chevaux

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Horseback Riding-l'equitation (f)
Rowing-l'aviron (m)
Rugby-le rugby
Running track-la piste
Shooting-le tir
Skating-le patinage
Skiing-le ski
Swimming-la natation
Swimming pool-la piscine
Team-l'equipe (m)
Tennis-le tennis
Yachting-le yachting
Wrestling-la lutte

Not too hard, right? Some of them are exactly the same as in English. You will notice that in
four cases, we specified whether it was a masculine or a feminine noun. That is because
before a vowel, the "le" or "la" is contracted to l', so you cannot tell whether it is masculine or
feminine.

Let's talk about our friend Georges, who is a sports nut.

Georges est un amateur passionne de sports. Il est membre (maum bruh) d'une equipe (ay
keep) de football. Il est aussi membre d'une association sportive qui possede un grand terrain
de sports; il y a un velodrome, une piste (peest), une piscine (pee seen) et plusieurs (plew si
yuh) terrains pour le football et le rugby, deux sports pour lesquels Georges est tres
enthousiaste.

Before you look at what it all means, say the passage above out loud and see if you can figure
out what they are talking about. Skip over the words you do not know and just get the general
idea.

Did you figure out that Georges loves sports and belongs to a club that has a lot to offer in the
way of sports? Remember "il y a" which means there is or there are?

Now check to see how you have done:

Georges is an ardent sports amateur. He is a member of a football team. He is also a member


of a sports club which possesses a large sports ground; there is a cycling track, a running
track, a swimming pool and several fields for football and rugby, two sports about which
Georges is very enthusiastic.

We are getting to the point where you should no longer need the phonetic description after
every new word. So let's review some sounds and start to use them in future pronunciation.

Vowels
Vowels are long or short. Vowels are long before a single soft consonant (vr, ch, and ll when
it is sounded as "y") Vowels are short when followed by a hard consonant or by two
consonants (os, force, juse, carte) or when a final syllable ends in a vowel sound (ma, la, si,
est) and in e or e.

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a, a as in "far" when long, and like the "a" in rat when short. Page, dame, par.
a as in "bah". La, papa.
e as in "gay". Ete, donne
e as in "pair". Pere, mere.
e as in "her". Le, me.
i as in "seen". Il, ici.
o as in "home when long, and like "law" when short. Rose, poser.
u, u pronounced as "ee", but with closely rounded lips. Lu, vu, sur.

Consonants

Consonants are the same as in English with these exceptions:

c is pronounced "k" before a, o, u or a consonant. Cage, cacao, credit.


c is pronounced "s" before e, i, y. Ce, cigare, bicyclette.
c is always pronounced "s". Francais, garcon.
ch is usually pronounced "sh". Chien, cheval, chef.
but as "k" before some words: echo, Christ, Chretien, technique, orchestre.
g is pronounced hard as in "go" before a, o, u or a consonant other than n. Gare, guide.
but soft as in "measure" before e, i, y. Manger.
gn is a soft g. Oignon, Bretagne
gu is a hard g. Guerre, guitare.
h is always silent. L' heure, l'homme.
j is pronounced like a soft g. Je, jamais.
ll is pronounced as in English when preceded by i. Illegal, illustration.
but as y as in "yes" when it is in the middle of a word. Fille, bouteille.
q, qu is pronounced like k. Coq, cinq.
r resembles the sound of gargling. Rose, Charles.
s at the beginning of a word, as in "see. Sont, sac.
but between vowels like "z". Alsace, transaction.
ss is always like the s in "see". Poisson, assassinat.
sc like sk before a, o u or a consonant. Scandale, sculpteur.
but like s before e, i or y. Descendre, science.
t is usually pronounced as in English. Tenir, question.
but like s in words ending in -tial, -tiel, -tience, -tion, etc. Nation, patience.
th is pronounced like t. The, theatre.

What Did We Learn?

1. I am crazy about (use passione) horse racing.


2. My cousin does wrestling in high school (le lycee)
3. Our friends like yachting. They have a big boat (le bateau).
4. I watch skiing on T.V.
5. George's sports club (the sports club of George) has a big sports ground.

Practice your sounds

6. Page, dame
7. Ete, donne

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8. Le, me.
9. Oignon, Bretagne
10. The, theatre

Learn French Online - Shopping


This is where most people get their most practice in speaking French. Asking for goods,
asking the price, paying for the goods and getting change are a big part of being a visitor to
another country.

The first thing you must do when you go into a shop is to say hello. There are still many small
shops in France and other French speaking countries and when one enters a small shop, one is
expected to say hello, even if you do not see the proprietor right away. In years past, most of
these small shops were at the front of the proprietor's residence, so you were stepping into his
home, and expected to greet him. So whenever you enter a shop say hello and address
whoever is there:

"Bonjour, Madame (Monsieur)."

It's nicer still to ask how they are:

"Comment ca va?"

You can go back to Lesson 4 and look at all of the responses, but in a shop, they will probably
reply "Bien, merci, et vous?", to which you can reply "Ca va, merci."

Let's visit a grocery store (une epicerie) and make some purchases (des achats).

"Est-ce que vous avez du beurre?" Do you have any butter?


"Oui, bien sur." Yes, of course.
"Alors, une plaquette de beurre. Est-ce que vous avez du fromage italien?" A package of
butter, then. Do you have any Italian cheese?"
"Oui, du parmesan." Yes, Parmesan.
"Je prends un kilo." I'll take a kilo.
"Est-ce vous avez du fromage francais?" Do you have any French cheese?
"Madame, j'ai cinquante types de fromage francais!" Madame, I have fifty types of French
cheese!

We are introduced to a few more idioms, and we'll discuss another grammar rule. (We're
trying to sneak them in painlessly.)

"Bien sur" literally means "well sure", but is used to mean "of course."
"Alors" is a great all purpose word, and is frequently used as a filler. It can mean so, well, in
that case, then. It can mean nothing whatsoever and just give you an opening to say
something. You will frequently hear "Alors, au revoir", since it sounds so harsh to just say
goodbye.

27
You may have noticed that the adjective describing a noun follows the noun, unlike in
English. We talked about grey hair (les cheveux gris) and blue eyes (les yeux bleus). Most of
the time, the adjective that describes a noun follows the noun, and must agree with it. This is
why you will have "les yeux bleus"; since eyes is plural, the adjective "blue" must also be
plural. But if you were wearing a blue sweater, you would say "Je porte un pull bleu." The
exceptions are adjectives of size: "La grande maison", la petite fille."

Now let's practice shopping. We are going to use a tense that you won't use a lot at this stage
of your French education. It is the subjunctive, and it is used to say "would". Just memorize
the expression, because it is the polite way to ask for something. We would rather hear "I
would like" than "I want", wouldn't we?

"Bonjour, Madame, j'aimerais un pull bleu". Hello, Madame, I would like a blue sweater.
Practice asking for some other items on your shopping list.

I would like Item Adjective English


J'aimerais Une robe rouge A red dress
J'aimerais Une veste noire A black jacket
J'aimerais Des chaussures bruins Brown shoes
J'aimerais Un chemisier blanc A white blouse
J'aimerais Une jupe blanche A white skirt

As you know, the adjective has to agree with the noun. That is why "bruins" is spelled with an
"s". Most of the time, it does not change the pronunciation, since the "s" is not pronounced.
There are some adjectives that change their form when they change from masculine to
feminine and, as you can see above, "white" is one of them. The masculine form "blanc" is
pronounced "blong", but when you change it to feminine, the word becomes "blanche". When
you consult your French English dictionary, it will show you both forms of an adjective, so
you just have to use the right one with the noun you are describing.

What Did We Learn?

Say in French:

1. Hello Madame, how are you?


2. Do you have any French cheese?
3. I'll take two kilos of Camembert.
4. Hello, Madame, I would like a red sweater.
5. I have a blue skirt, a white blouse and I would like to wear (porter) the "tri-couleur".
(Red, white and blue are the colors of the French flag, and they say "le tri-couleur" as
Americans would say the "red, white and blue".
6. She is wearing a black jacket, a white skirt and a yellow tie.
7. The little girl lives (habiter) in a big house.
8. The big house is white.
9. The big house has a big garden (le jardin).
10. There is a red house across the street from the white house.

common french phrases


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Well, after all that shopping, we need to find a place to relax. We can go to a cafe and have a
coffee, or we can have something a little stronger.

Avez-vous du vin rouge? Do you have red wine?

We have already talked about the easy to form a question by simply taking the sentence and
adding est'ce que before it. For example, "C'est Marie" becomes "Est-ce que Marie?" The
other way of using the interrogative (asking a question) is to invert the noun and the verb. We
do this all of the time in English. We walk. Do we walk? This is the same construction we are
using here. "Vous avez du vin rouge"-"You have red wine" becomes "Avez-vous du vin
rouge?" "Do you have red wine?" You simply have to reverse the subject of the sentence with
the verb. Let's try it now.

Vous avez une grande maison. Avez-vous une grande maison?


You have a big house. Do you have a big house?

Vous jouez au tennis. Jouez-vous au tennis?


You play tennis. Do you play tennis?

Voulez vous prendre un verre avec moi? Would you like to have a drink with me? (Literally,
would you like to take a glass with me?)

Voluntier. I'd love to.

Pourquoi pas a sept heures au restaurant Chez Jean? How about at seven o'clock at Chez
Jean?

And what can we drink?

Du cafe Some coffee


Du the Some tea
Un boutielle d'eau minerale A bottle of mineral water
Un verre de vin A glass of wine
De la biere Some beer
Le whiskey Whiskey
Le Gin Gin
Le Vodka Vodka
Un aperitif A cocktail

Now that we have had a drink together, let's try some other social scenes.

Voulez vous dejeuner avec moi? Would you like to have lunch with me?
Voulez vous diner avec moi? Would you like to have dinner with me?
Voulez vous prendre le petit dejeuner avec moi? Would you like to have breakfast with me?

Hopefully, you will always receive the same reply:


Voluntier! I'd love to!

Some other social situations:

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Je vous present mon ami I'd like you to meet my friend (formal)
C'et mon ami This is my friend (informal)
Ravi de faire votre connaissance. Nice to meet you
Moi aussi Me, too

What Did We Learn?

1. Do you have white wine?


2. Do you play tennis every day?
3. Do you have children? (des enfants)

Now let's order some things to drink

4. I'll take coffee.


5. I prefer beer.
6. I would like a gin and tonic.

And a little socialization

7. Would you like to have breakfast, lunch, dinner with me?


8. This is my friend, Marie
9. Would you like to play tennis with me?
10. Would you like to have a drink with me?

Popular French Phrases - Paying


If you are a tourist in another country, most of the time you will have to exchange your money
for the money of the country in order to buy things.

Robert n'a pas d'argent francais et pour faires ses achats et il en aura besoin. C'est pourquoi
(why) il entre dans un bureau de change (exchange office).

Robert has no French money and to make purchases he will need some. That is why he enters
an exchange office.

Putting it together:

Let's dissect this sentence so we can practice putting together some of the concepts we have
learned and become really good at forming sentences in French.

Robert has money


Subject verb object

Robert a argent.
Subject verb object

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That is a basic sentence that you just formed in French. In order for this to work really well,
you have to add a bit of French rules to it. Remember that we say we have "of the" something,
not just that we have something, as in English.

Robert a de l' argent.

Et=and

pour faires ses achats. "Pour" can mean "for", but also "in order to". "Faire ses achats" works
the same as in English-"To make his purchases". That was easy. But now we have a concept
that we have to change from the way we say it in English to the way we say it in French. "Il
en aura besoin." He will need some. Let's see how this works.

1. In French, we say "I have need" of something, rather than "I need" something.
2. Looking back at Lesson 2, you will see that "aura" is the third person singular (in
other words, he) of avoir, to have.
3. "En" means some, of it or some of it. In the present tense, this would work like this:
J'en ai besoin. (I need some.)

The second sentence should be easy for you. He goes (enters into) an exchange office.

Let's continue to get some French money and go spend it.

Robert: "Monsieur, voulez-vous changer de dollars americains?" Sir, will you exchange some
American dollars?
Changeur: Certainement. Combien monsieur veut-il changer? Certainly. How much would sir
like to exchange?
Robert: Je changerai cent dollars. I will exchange one hundred dollars.
Changeur: Voice, monsieur, quartre-vingt Euros.

Uh-oh! We need to know more numbers! Let's continue on from thirty. In Lesson , we saw
that that numbers changed from one to nineteen. But from twenty on, everything stays pretty
much the same. You only have to learn 20, 30, 40, etc. and then add one, two, three, etc. Go
back and practice the numbers in Lesson Seven for a bit, and then we can add these new
numbers:

40-quarante (car ahnt)


41-quarante et une
42-quarante deux
43-quarante trios
etc.

50-cinquante (sank ahnt)


51-cinquante et une
54-cinquante quartre
etc

60-soixiante (soi sahnt)


61-soixante et une

31
65-soixante cinq
66-soixante six
etc.

After that things get a little tricky. For seventy, you say soixante-dix (sixty-ten). Because of
this change in construction, you will not use un, deux, trios, etc. after seventy. You need to
change it to onze, deuze, treize, etc., because the ten is already accounted for. The same rule
applies to 70, 80 and 90:

70-soixante-dix (soi sahnt deece)


71-soixante onze
80-quatre vingt
82-quatre vingt et une
83-quatre vingt trois
90-quatre vingt dix
91-quatre vingt onze
94-quatre vingt quatorze.

Finally, there is cent (100) or 200 (deux cent) or 300(trios cent). After 100, you start all over
again:

101- cent et une,105-cent cinq, 220- deux cent vingt, 335- trois cent trente cinq. Now try
forming all of your own numbers!

What Did We Learn?

1. Practice simple sentences: I have money. He has five Euros. She is exchanging 100
dollars.
2. I would like to make some purchases: J'aimerais _____________________.
3. I need to change some money.__________________________________.

And now, practice your numbers:

4. 25 dollars
5. 100 Euros
6. There are forty children in the class (classe).
7. I have 1,382 books.
8. She has 3 sisters, 12 cousins and 17 nieces and nephews (nieces et neveux).
9. That costs (Ca coute) Euro94.
10. How much is that? (C'est combien?) That's 100 Euros. Ca coute 100 Euros.

french food dictionary


As much as the French love to go to their wonderful restaurants, they love to entertain at
home as well. Sunday afternoon dinner is reserved for having the entire family over, and
frequently the French will invite friends for a lovely dinner consisting of many courses.
People speak of the "French Paradox" where the French are able to eat large meals of many
courses that include fattening items such as fois gras (goose liver pate) cheeses, rich sauces,

32
etc. But the French prize quality over quantity, so even though a seven course meal may seem
like a lot, a small portion of each course is served. Let's invite some friends over and enjoy a
nice dinner together.

Bienvenue! Welcome!
Bienvenue chez nous! Welcome to our home!
Ca me fait plaisir que tu sois la. I'm so happy you're here.
Assieds-toi! Sit down! (informal)
Asseyez-vous! Sit down! (formal)

If you have invited close friends, you will "tutoyer" them, that is, use the informal "you" when
you address them. If you have invited some people you don't know very well, you will speak
to them with the formal "vous". Relatives, children and animals are always addressed in the
informal; strangers, acquaintances, bosses and anyone you meet for the first time should be
addressed in the formal. This is changing lately, especially among young people, but it is still
considered good manners to use the "vous" unless you know someone very well.

Asseyez-vous dans le salon, s'l vous plait. Please have a seat in the living room.

Voulez-vous quelque chose a boire? Would you like something to drink?


Un aperitif, une biere, une tasse de cafe? An aperitive, a beer, a cup of coffee?

J'ai l'envie d'une biere froide. Il fait tres chaud aujourd'hui. I'm in the mood for a cold beer.
It's very hot today.
Moi, je prends un cafe chaud! As for me, I'll have a hot coffee!

Since beer is a feminine noun, it gets "froide" for cold. The masculine is "froid". Hot coffee,
therefore gets "chaud"; the feminine would be chaude. Match up "une biere" with "biere
froide" and "un cafe" with "cafe chaud" and you will see how you can keep track of it all.

Il me faut rentrer dans la cuisine pour preparer le repas. Excusez-moi. I have to go back in
the kitchen to prepare the meal. Excuse me.

A table tous le monde! Entrons dans la sale a manger, s'il vous plait. Everyone to the table!
Let's go into the dining room, please.

Robert, prenez votre place pres de la fenetre. Yvette, asseyez-vous sur l'autre cote de la table,
tout pres de moi. Robert, take the place next to the window. Yvette, sit on the other side of the
table, right next to me.

Pour commencer, nous avons Coquille Saint Jacques, puis le plat principal, Magret de
Canard aux Fraise et au Porto, salade gourmande, un plateau de fromages, et, comme
dessert, la tarts aux pommes. To begin, we have scallops, then the main course, Magret of
Duck in port with strawberries, salad, cheese platter and, for dessert, apple tart.

Ooh la la!

What Did We Learn?

33
1. Welcome to our home!
2. Please sit down. (Try formal and informal.)
3. Would you like something to drink?
4. I'm in the mood for a glass of wine (une verre de vin).
5. Excuse me, I have to leave (partir).
6. Please sit right next to me.
7. Let's go into the dining room. Go (informal) into the kitchen.
8. A cold beer, a hot coffee, a red wine.
9. A plate of cheeses (a cheese platter), a salad, an apple pie.
10. Translate this joke: M. Dessault a demande de M. Marcus s'il peut (could) se tutoyer.
Oui, dit M. Marcus, s'il vous voulez.

Basic French Phrases


One of the most important and most fun things to do in French is to go to a restaurant and
order food. First of all, there are all kinds of restaurants to eat in while in France.

Nous pouvons (we can) manger a un restaurant, une auberge (inn), un bar a cafe (coffee bar),
un bistrot, une brasserie, un cafe, une hostellerie (a hostelry), un relais (road side stop), un
snack-bar et un tea-room. N'oubliez-pas (don't forget), nous mangeons le petit dejeuner, le
dejeuner et le diner chez un restaurant.

Each kind of restaurant will have their own unique perspective on food. A cafe, bistrot or
brasserie, will be less formal but nonetheless complete meals, un snack-bar or un tea room
will have light fare and un restaurant or une auberge will have finer dining.

First, let's find a good restaurant.

"Pouvez-vous nous recommender un bon restaurant?" Can you recommend to us a good


restaurant?

Once you arrive, you will want to ask for a table. "Bonjour (Bonsoir), j'aimerais une table
pour deux (trois, quatre)."

Once you are seated, the waiter or waitress (serveur ou serveuse) will ask you if you would
like something to drink: "Quelque chose a boire, Monsieur?" In a fine restaurant you would
say "La liste des vins, s'il vous plait." In a more casual setting, you might say "Qu'est-ce que
vous avez comme vins?" Literally, "what do you have in the way of wines?" In other words,
"what kinds of wine do you have?"

You can order your wine in many forms:


"j'aimerais:
une bouteille - a bottle
un pichet - a pitcher
une demi-bouteille
un verre - a glass
un litre

34
Perhaps you prefer something other than wine with your meal? You can also ask for:
Une biere
Un aperitif
Un gin
Un scotch
Un cafe
Un the

"Sec" is straight and "avec de glacons" is on the rocks. Don't forget to say "Sante" when
everyone has their drinks!

La carte is the menu in French, and le menu is a pre-arranged dinner, usually prix fixe. The
restaurant may also have une formule, which is like the specialty of the day, usually with
salad, dessert, coffee and sometimes even a glass of wine all included.

You should learn the French term for those foods you like to eat. And also the ones you want
to avoid! There is such a wide range of foods and ways to prepare them that it could take a
book just to list them. As a matter of fact, there are many. The basic terms are Viande - meat
Fruits de mer - seafood
Poisson - fish
Porc - pork
Agneau - lamb
Poulet - chicken
Salade - salad
Fromage - cheese

Before you start to eat, don't forget: "Bon appetit!"

The French eat salad after the meal, and will also have a choice of cheeses after the salad. A
separate wine may be served that complements the cheeses. Finally, there will be dessert. You
can ask for it by saying: "Je prendrai un dessert, s'il vous plait." The easy thing here is that at
a restaurant, there will be a wide assortment on a trolley, and you can pick the one that looks
most appealing to you.

If anything more is offered and you have had enough to eat or drink, say "Je suis servi,
merci." And then, of course, "L'addition, s'il vous plait." (Check, please)

In a restaurant, you will pay the waiter. Sometimes, in a less formal setting you may be told:
"Vous pouvez payer a la caisse" (You can pay at the cashier.) Normally, service is included,
but you can be sure by asking: "Est-ce que le service est compris?"

Finally you may want to know: "Acceptez-vous" (do you take):

Cheques de Voyages - Travelers checks


Dollars americains (canadiens, australiens) - American (Canadian, Australian) dollars
Cartes de credit - Credit cards

What Did We Learn?

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1. True or False? Since there are so many wonderful dishes to choose from in France and
other French speaking nations, we should memorize the things we like and don't like
to eat.
2. Always say:______ before sharing a drink with someone, and always say:_________
before sharing a meal.
3. You can have wine by the ______, _______,_______ or ______.
4. The three meals you eat in a French speaking country are _________, ________,et
______.
5. I would like a table for two. ________________________________.
6. "Pouvez-vous nous ___________ un bon restaurant?"
7. "La____des vins, s'il vous plait."
8. "J'aimerais le (la) _________ du jour, s'il vous plait." (You choose!)
9. The check, please._______________________________
10. Do you take travelers checks?

Learn How to Speak French - Chez Nous


French life centers around the family, work and school, in that order. Parents are very
involved in their children's lives, and are still fairly strict. Children are expected to "Se
comportez comme il faut" (behave as they should) or "soyez sage" (be good), and they work
hard at school. Families take long three week or one month vacations in the summer, all
together. Many families will have parents or grandparents in the country that they will visit on
weekends. Children are expected to go on these visits with no protests. Many upper and
middle class families may have a maid (la bonne), but children help with the housework, and
the mother does the cooking, usually from scratch (maybe with a little help from one of the
fine shops for fancy items like pate).

Let's spend a day with a French family.

Maman: Aujoud'hui il faut faire le menage et les courses pour la semaine prochaine. Mardi,
c'est la rentree! Nous avons beaucoup choses a faire. Today, we have to do the housework
and shop for next week. Monday is the start of school. We have a lot of things to do.

Marie: Mais, maman, nous voulons aller au cinema! But mom, we want to go to the movies!

Maman: Je comptois sur toi pour m'aider a faire le menage et les courses pour la semaine
prochaine. I counted on you to help me do the housework and the shopping for next week.

Marie: Je propose une solution: le matin je vais t'aider a faire le menage et les courses, et si
nous finissons, nous allons au cinema. I propose a solution: in the morning, I'll help you with
the housework and shopping, and if we finish, we'll go to the movies.

La rentree is the start of school, and when everyone who goes away to the country or the
shore for their summer vacations returns home to the cities. During the end of August, there
are big traffic jams because of everyone coming home for la rentree.

36
We use the infinitive in French the same as we do in English, but in English we say "to go",
or "to help". In French, the infinitive stands by itself (Aller and Aider). Have a look at the
infinitives that are used in this scene:

Subject Verb Infinitive Object


Nous Voulons Aller Au cinema
Aider a Faire Le menage
Te (but it is placed before aider and so becomes
Je Vais Aider
t'aider)

Try to use the same formula to make some sentences with infinitives:

Some verbs to use: Try (Essayer), Be able to (Pouvoir), Should (Devoir)

Some infinitives to use: To do (Faire), To help (Assister), Go (Aller)

Learn to Speak French - The Kitchen


The French like to enjoy their food and their cooking. For that reason, you will usually find a
well-equipped kitchen in a French home.

Dans la cuisine, on trouve: In the kitchen, we find:

L'evier de cuisine. The kitchen sink.


Le frigo. The refrigerator.
Le four. The oven.
La table de cuisine. The kitchen table.
Les verres glasses
Les assiettes dishes
Les couteaux the knives
Les fourchettes the forks
Les cuilleres the spoons

Let's get ready for dinner in the kitchen. Normally, that would be "en famille". A family
dinner. If you are entertaining friends, you probably use the "Salle a manger", dining room.
But let's get the kids to help us with the table.

Mes enfants, il faut mettre le couvert. Children, we have to set the table.
Faites bien attention a la vaissell, surtout les verres. Pay attention to the dishware, especially
the glasses.
Mettez le couvert comme ca: La petite assiette sur la grand assiette, la fourchette a gauche, le
couteau a droite et la cuillere a dessert devant le verre. Set the table like this: the small plate
on the large plate, the fork on the left, the knife on the right, and the desert spoon in front of
the glass.

Many French believe that: "Un repas sans vin est une journee sans soleil." "A meal without
wine is a day without sunshine."

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Apportez-moi la bouteille de vin blanc qui est au frigo et donnez-moi le tire-bouchon pour
l'ouvrir. Bring me the bottle of white wine that is in the fridge and give me the cork screw to
open it.
Qu'est-ce qu'on mange? J'ai faim! What's to eat? (What is it one eats) I'm hungry.
Je vous ai prepare un tres bon menu. Alors comme entree on a du bon melon et apres je vais
vous server une truite au champagne et raisin avec des pommes de terre sautees. I have
prepared a very good menu for you. First as an entree, we have very good melon, and after, I
will serve you Trout in Champagne and grapes with sauteed potatoes.
Et pour le dessert? And for desert?
Ah! mais avant le dessert il y a de la salade et du bon fromage et pour le dessert.une tarte au
pommes! Oh, but before the desert, there is salad and some good cheese and for desert. Apple
Pie!

How do you think la maman made the wonderful sounding trout dish? See if you can guess
the meanings of some of the words in her recipe. (Look at the bottom for the answers.)

Les ingredients:
Echalotes
Beurre
Champignons
Jaunes d'?uf
Feulles d'aneth fraiches
Sel et poivre

And how about the directions?

Eplucher les echalotes


Hachetez les champignons
Lavez les feuilles d'aneth fraiches
Chauffer la beurre

Many times you can figure out what something means by the context. You would not chop or
wash butter, so you can eliminate those for butter. Now try.

Echalotes shallots Beurre butter Champignons mushrooms Jaunes d'?uf egg yolks Feulles
d'aneth fraiches fresh dill leaves Sel et poivre salt and pepper

Eplucher les echalotes Peel the shallots Hachetez les champignons Chop the mushrooms
Lavez les feuilles d'aneth fraiches Wash the dill leaves Chauffer la beurre Heat the butter

What Did We Learn?

1. Mama is ready (prete) to prepare dinner. She takes the salad out of (de la) the
refrigerator and puts it in the kitchen sink to wash (laver) it.
2. Mama cuts (the verb is couper; don't forget to change it to third person singular) the
vegetables (les legumes) and puts the casserole (casseroule) in the oven.
3. She sets the table. Four dishes, four forks, four knives, four spoons, four glasses.
4. Mama brings the bottle of wine and opens it with (avec) the bottle opener.
5. She puts the apple pie into the oven.

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6. Don't forget (N'oubliez pas) she has chopped the mushrooms, and peeled the shallots
for the casserole.
7. After all this (apres tout ca,) she is tired, but the family is hungry!
8. What do we have for dessert?
9. Please pass me the salt and pepper.
10. Who is going (Qui va) to wash the dishes?

Learn French - The Living Room


Entrons dans le salon d'une famille francaise. Let's go into the living room of a French
family.

Le salon est meuble avec beaucoup de gout. The living room is furnished in very good taste (a
lot of taste).
A gauche, nous trouvons deux grandes fenetres. On the left, we find two large windows.
Les fenetres du salon donnent sur une petite cour. The windows of the living room look onto
(give on) a little court.
En face des fenetres, il y a le divan et le fauteuil autour du tapis. Opposite the windows are
the sofa and the armchair, situated around the rug.
C'est un beau divan, fauteuil. The sofa and armchair are beautiful.
La bibliotheque a beaucoup des livres. Cette famille aime lire. The bookcase has a lot of
books. This family likes to read.
La table basse est devant le divan. The coffee table is in front of the sofa.
Pres du fauteuil, il y a une lampe. Near the armchair, there is a lamp.
Des beaux tableaus et des belles plantes sont partout. Beautiful paintings and lovely plants
are everywhere.
Sur les murs, il y des photographies de paysages de France. On the walls, there are
photographs of French landscapes.
La television, la chaine stereo, le magnetoscope sont sur le mur sur l'autre cote de la
bibliotheque. The television, stereo and VCR are on the wall on the other side of the
bookcase.
C'est tres gentile. It is very nice.
Ca vous plait? Do you like it?
Tant mieux. Very much.
La famille est ravis que vous serez de cet avis. The family is delighted that you think so.

Let's have a look at some of the uses we see in the story.

Autour de- Around. We need to put "de" (of) for this construction. Things are not just
"around" something, but "autour de quelque chose". Note that since "le tapis" is masculine, it
becomes "autour du".

Aime lire- Love to read. The infinitive "lire" already includes the understood"to".

Ca vous plait? We have become used to the expression "S'il vous plait". Literally translated, it
means "If it pleases you". In the informal, you would say "S'il te plait".
Here we are saying "That pleases you?", substituting that for it. In the informal, it would be
"Ca te plait?", remembering that the object "te" is before the verb "plait".

39
Tant mieux- Very much. Tant is used to mean "so much, so many". (Be careful not to confuse
it with Tante, which means Aunt. Since there is an "e" at the end, the second "t" is
pronounced. For "tant", you only pronounce a nasal "n" -tahn.) "J'ai tant des choses a faire."
"Il y a beaucoup de meuble dans le salon."

Ravis que- Thrilled that. This expression goes a bit beyond “pleased”. For example, you might
normally say “Enchanté de faire votre connaisssance”, “Pleased to make your acquaintance”,
but if it is someone you have been especially anxious to meet, you may say “ravis de faire
votre connaissance”.

De cet avis- of this opinion. “Changer d’ avis.” Change one’s mind. Literally, “To change of
opinion.”

As your French improves, you may want to jot down such expressions and sprinkle them in
your conversation whenever you see an occasion.

What Did We Learn?

1. Le salon d'une famille francaise est meuble avec beaucoup __ ____.


2. Nous trouvons beaucoup des ____ ________ (beautiful paintings).
3. La _________ a beaucoup des livres.
4. Pres du _______, il y a une lampe.
5. Ca vous plait? Ca __ plait beacoup

Translate:

6. The chairs are around the rug.


7. There are photographs of the family on the walls.
8. There is a large photograph of Aunt Louise and Uncle Martin.
9. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.
10. I have changed my mind.

French Lessons - The Bedroom


Qu'est qu'on trouve dans une chambre a coucher? What do we find in a bedroom?

Dans la chambre, il y a: In the bedroom, there is:


Un lit. A bed

Sur le lit, il y a: On the bed there is:


Un matelas. A mattress.
Un oreiller. A pillow
Une couvertur.e A blanket
Un edredon. A quilt

Pres du lit, il y a: Near the bed there is:


La table de nuit. The night stand.

40
Sur la table de nuit, il y a: On the night stand there is:
La lampe de chevet. The bedside lamp.
Le reveil. The alarm clock.

La table de toilette avec une grande glace. A dressing table with a large mirror.
Sur la table de toilette il y a: On the dressing table there is:
Les brosses, les peignes, les batons de rouge, des parfums. Brushes, combs, lipstick,
perfumes.

Il y a aussi dans la chambre une commode. There is also in the bedroom a bureau.
Dans la commode, on trouve: In the bureau, we find:

Il y a aussi dans la chambre une commode. There is also in the bedroom a bureau.
Dans la commode, on trouve: In the bureau, we find:

Le calecon Underwear Les Chaussettes Socks Les chemises. Shirts

La chambre a cote de la chambre est la salle de bain. The room next to the bedroom is the
bathroom.

Dans la salle de bain, on trouve: In the bathroom, we find:


Le baignoire, le porte-savon, la douche, le lavabo, le porte-serviette, le W.C. The bathtub, the
soap dish, the shower, the sink, the towel rack, the toilet.
Dans la salles de bain, on utilize: In the bathroom we use:
Le savon de toilette, le gant de toilette, une eponge, la descente de bain, le verre a eau, la
brosse a dents, la pate dentifrice, le flacon d' dentifrice, le rasior de surete, la creme a barbe,
la serviette de bain, la bascule, et le papier hygienique. Bath soap, a face cloth, a sponge, a
bath mat, a water glass, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, a safety razor, shaving cream, a
bath towel, a scale, and toilet paper.

Notice how a few usages change in the various items we listed.

We say "le savon de toilette, le gant de toilette, la descente de bain, le flacon d' dentifrice, le
rasior de surete et la serviette de bain."

However, we use "a" with certain items: le verre a eau, la brosse a dents, la creme a barbe.

And with still others, we only use the descriptive adjective: la pâte dentifrice, le papier
hygiénique.

Learn each of these terms in their standard form. We would not say, for example "la pate a
dents" or "le rasior a surete".

And with still others, we only use the descriptive adjective: la pate dentifrice, le papier
hygienique.

Learn each of these terms in their standard form. We would not say, for example "la pate a
dents" or "le rasior a surete".

41
Try using each of the new articles you have learned in sentences you form yourself:
Ou est la (le) (les)...?
"On trouve" is used just as we do in English "We find". It is very helpful, if you are looking
for something, to use "Ou se trouve?" "Where is found?"
Ou se trouve les..?
La (le) (les)... est (sont) ici.
J'ai besoin de la (du) (des) ..
Mettez le .. sur la commode.
Donnez-moi la..., s'il vous plait.
Les.. ne sont pas dans la....

What Did We Learn?

Let's write a little story

1. In my bedroom, there are two beds.


2. One bed is mine (le mien), the other bed is my sister's (lequel de ma soeur).
3. The two beds have a pillow, a blanket and a quilt.
4. Between (entre) the beds, there is a small table.
5. On the table, there is a beside lamp and an alarm clock
6. My sister and I get up at 7:00
7. There is also a dressing table in the bedroom.
8. On the dressing table there are two brushes and two combs.
9. My sister and I share (epargner) a bathroom.
10. Every morning, I eat breakfast. My sister does not like to eat breakfast.

French Pronunciation
Let's take a telephone call.

Allo?- Hello?
J'aimerais parler a Joseph Bergen, s'il vous plait. I would like to speak to Joseph Bergen,
please.
Ne quittez pas,s'il vous plait. Hold on, please.
C'est la part de qui? Who's calling please?
Monsieur Fauconnier. Mr. Fauconnier
Eppelez, s'il vous plait. Please spell that.
F, a, c, o, n, n, i, e, r.
Repetez s'il vous plait. Please repeat.
Il ne repond pas. He does not answer.
Voulez-vous laisser une message? Would you like to leave a message?
Quel est votre numero de telephone? What is your telephone number?
123-456-7890

Bonjour, Monsieur Fauconnier, s'il vous plait. Hello, Mr. Fauconnier, please.
A l'appareille. Speaking. (On the line.)
Comment vas-tu? How are you?
Quoi de neuf? What's new?

42
Pas grand chose. Not much.
Et la famille? Tout va bien? And your family? All is well?
Oui, oui, tres bien. Et la tienne? Yes, yes, very well. And yours?
Tres bien, merci. Very well, thank you.

When Mr. Fauconnier asks about Mr. Bergen's family, he asks "et la tienne?" Possessive such
as this take the formal/plural or informal form just as pronouns do.

Here is how they work:

Singular

Masculine Feminine
Mine le mien la mienne
Yours (informal) le tien la tienne
His, hers le sien la sienne
Ours le notre la notre
Yours (formal/plural) le votre la votre
Theirs le leur la leur

Plural

Masculine Feminine
Mine les miens les miennes
Yours (informal) le tiens les tiennes
His, hers le siens les siennes
Ours le notres les notres
Yours (formal/plural) le votres les votres
Theirs le leurs les leurs

Remember that it is the gender of the noun that determines the gender of the article, so it is le
sien for something that belongs to her, if that "something" is masculine.

Mon jardin et le sien My garden and his (or hers)


Ma maison et la sienne My house and his (or hers)
Mes chiens et les siens My dogs and his (or hers)
Ma mere et la sienne My mother and his (or hers)
Sa chambre est plus petite que la votre His (her) room is smaller than yours.
Il a recu des cadeaux de ma mere et de la tienne. He has received presents from my mother
and yours.
Son auto est plus chere que la mienne. His (her) car is more expensive than mine.

Did that last one confuse you? "Auto" is feminine, but since it starts with a vowel, the pronoun
used is "son". You will rarely find the sound of two vowels together. For example, both male
and female friends sound the same. It is only when you see it written that you can see a
difference: son ami (m) and son amie (f).

43
The Alphabet:
To spell out someone's name, you will have to know your alphabet. Some of the letters are
pronounced the same as in English, but many are different.

A-ah
B-bay
C-see
D-day
E-ay
F-ef
G-zhay
H-ahch
I-ee
J-jay
K-kah
L-el
M-em
N-en
O-oh
P-pee
Q-coo
R-ehr
S-ess
T-tay
U-oo
V-vay
W-doo bluh vay
X-eeks
Y-ee grek
Z-zed

Practice spelling words and names you know.

In order to recite telephone numbers, you should also practice your numbers at this time.

What Did We Learn?

Say in French:

1. I would like to speak with:


2. Please hold on.
3. Please spell your name.
4. Please repeat.
5. What is your telephone number?
6. I'm on the line (on the apparatus).
7. What's new?
8. All is well with your family?
9. My car is bigger than his.
10. But (mais) my car is more expensive than his car.

44
Learn to Speak French - At Work
Je suis toujours occupe. I am always busy.
Quelque fois j'ai besoin du temps libre. Sometimes I need some free time.
Je prends les vacances en aout. I take vacation in August.
Heursement, je recois une mois de vacances par an. Fortunately, I receive one month vacation
per year.
Quelque fois j'aimerais prendre un jour de conge. Sometimes I like to take a day off.
J'ai un horaire tres, tres occupe. I have a schedule that is very, very busy.
Il y a toujours un rendezvous ou un reunion There is always an appointment or a meeting.
En plus, j'ai le personell a gerer. In addition, I have the staff to manage.
Il y toujours un projet qu'il faut completer, ou un proposition a faire. There is always a
project to complete, or a proposal to make.
Comme j'ai dite, Je suis toujours occupe. As I said, I am always busy.

Moi, je ne suis jamais occupe. I am never busy.


J'ai un metier tres facile et agreable. I have an easy and enjoyable job.
Je ne suis jamais prese. J'arrive et je part n'import quand. I'm never in a hurry and I come in
and leave whenever I want (n'import quand=no matter when).
Ma belle-mere croit que je suis un bon pour rien. My mother in law thinks I am a good for
nothing.

Here are some items you might find in the office. Using the directions and questions below,
try to form some sentences and questions of your own.

Le Dictionnaire The dictionary


Le Stylo The pen
Le crayon The pencil
Le bureau The desk
Le tiroir The drawer
La chaise The chair
Le livre The book

Puis-j'emprunter May I borrow


Ou est le Where is the
Il est sur le It is on the
Il est dans It is in the
Il est sous le Under the
Le caillier The folder
Le telephone The telephone
L'ordinateur The computer
Le rapport The report
Le dossier The file
Le classeur The file cabinet
L'agrapheuse The stapler

Oui, bien sur Yes, of course


Pas de problem No problem
D'acord OK
45
Que faites vous? What do you do?
Ques fait tu? What do you do?

Here are some of the many occupations you can have. Find yours and learn how to use it in
your conversation. It makes it a lot easier to have a conversation with someone with whom
you have something in common.

Comptable Accountant
Avocat(e) Lawyer
Medicin(e) Doctor
Programeur Programmer
Programeuse Programmer
Hommes d'affaires Businessman
Femmes d'affaires Businesswoman
Vendeur Salesman
Vendeuse Saleswoman
Cassier Cashier
Cassiere Cashier
Ingenieur Engineer
Ingenieuse Engineer
Secretaire Secretary
Acteur Actor
Actrice Actress
Etudiant(e) Student
Professeur(e) Professor

And where do we work?

Le medicin travail a l'hopital. The doctor works at the hospital.


Le libraire travail a la librairie. The bookseller works at the bookstore.
Le pharmacien travail a la pharmacie. The pharmacist works at the pharmacy.
L'epicier(e) travail a l'epicerie. The grocer works at the grocery store.
Le (la) boulanger(ere) travail a la boulangerie. The baker works at the bakery.
Le bijoutier travail a la bijouterie. The jeweler works at the jewelry store.

Try a few of these on your own.

What Did We Learn?

1. I am always busy, but I take vacation in July. Je suis toujours _______, mais je prends
les vacance en _______.
2. I receive six weeks vacation per year. Je recois ____ ______ de vacances par __.
3. Qui travail a l'hopital? __ ______ travail a l'hopital.
4. Qui travail a la boulangerie? _________________________________________.
5. Where is the Johnson file? It is on Steven's desk. (le bureau de Stephen).
6. May I borrow your pen?
7. Yes, of course you may borrow my pen.
8. There is always a project to complete.
9. There is always work to do.

46
10. I have worked for this company (cette societe) for 10 years.

Free French Lessons Online - Tourism


Advice
Many times, tourists get bad reputations, not because they are trying to be rude, but because
they simply do not know the custom of the country they are visiting. (Of course, there are
some people who are rude in any country they are in, including their own! We are not talking
about them. We are talking about you-the traveler who wants to learn about other countries
and cultures and get to know the people in other countries.) You cannot get to know other
people without speaking to them, and so you have taken the first steps in that direction. Even
the most halting of speech, using a guidebook and a dictionary, will help you get along in
another country. It's the tourists who refuse to make an effort to be understood by the locals
that give everyone a bad reputation. Many people (especially business people, or people in
large cities) do, indeed speak English. But why should they speak your language when you
are not willing to make the least effort to speak theirs, and you are in their country? Tourists
who have studied French before their trip tell many stories of Frenchmen going out of their
way to be helpful, (and starting to speak English) once they have heard the tourist try to speak
French. Everyone recognizes that it is not easy to learn a new language, but if you try to
communicate with a Frenchman in his own tongue, doors will open for you. Those who come
back from a visit with stories about how unfriendly the French are have surely not made an
effort to communicate with them in their own language. So your first step should be to try to
speak French as much as possible.

Society in France and other French speaking countries is still fairly formal. Do not use "tu",
unless you are specifically directed to. (Except with children.) Address new acquaintances by
Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle and their last name.

We may be accustomed to walking into a shop, going up to a counter and asking "How much
is that scarf?", without even acknowledging the existence of the clerk behind the counter. This
is considered very rude in France. Whenever you address a person, you should look at them
and say "Bonjour, Madame", then make your inquiry. In a small shop, you should say hello as
you walk in the door, both to announce your arrival, and in greeting. There are still many
small shops in French speaking countries. Although they are using "supermarches" more and
more, the French prize the quality available at their neighborhood "epicerie, boulangerie,
boucherie, fromagerie" (Grocery store, bakery, butcher, cheese shop).

Digging into your food (or drink) without some preamble seems course to the French.
Whenever you sit down to a meal, you will notice that everyone wishes everyone "bon
appetit". If you have a drink with someone, it is polite to say "a votre sante", or some
variation of it. Try "a votre famille" if it is appropriate, and, if you have been invited to
"tutoyer" (use the "tu" form and the first name) someone, you would say "a ta sante" or "a ta
famille". When you toast someone, you look them in the eye.

You will notice that the French have more subtle gestures than we do. Hearty hand shakes and
pounds on the back that indicate deep interest and approval for an American would be
considered very forward to a Frenchman.

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Observe the behavior of others and try to incorporate
their style as your own. This is not being a phony; it is respecting the traditions of other
people. This is the way you will not be viewed as an "ugly tourist".

What Did We Learn?

1. You always say _______ when you enter a shop.


2. You cannot get to know people without ______ to them.
3. True or False? It's OK to use a dictionary when you are trying to speak to someone in
French.
4. The French still prize their neighborhood _______(pick any one!)
5. True or False? You should always try to speak French, even if you do not feel
confident.
6. In French speaking countries, you address new acquaintances as Madame or
Monsieur, and you use ____ for "you"
7. You should not use the "__" form unless you have been asked to.
8. You always say "___ ______" before eating, and "_ ___ ___" before drinking.
9. True or False? A Frenchman likes a good slap on the back when he meets someone for
the first time.
10. We should ______ the traditions of other cultures.

French Directions Vocab


Be prepared for the hustle and bustle and fast pace of Paris. There are shops everywhere,
selling everything, there is loads of traffic (don't even think about taking a car-it's a special
skill to drive in Paris.) The metro and bus systems are fast and efficient, and there is no
lovelier place to just stroll. Let's take a stroll through the City of Lights and see what we can
find.

Je cherche la Banque Commerciale Europeene. Il me faut acheter des euros. I am looking for
the European Commercial Bank. I have to buy Euros.
Moi, je cherche la poste. J'ai besoin des timbres. I am looking for the post office. I need
stamps.
Je dois acheter des timbres aussi. Alors, marchons ensemble. C'est un beau jour. I have to
buy stamps, too. So, let's walk together. It's a beautiful day.
C'est un beau quartier, n'est-ce pas? This is a lovely neighborhood, isn't it?
Ah oui, il y a beaucoup des magasins. Regards, une floriste, la bibliotheque, le grand magasin
Printemps, une bijouterie, tous sur la meme rue. Look, a florist, the library, the big
department store Printemps, and a jeweler, all on the same street.
Dans mon quartier, il y a une boucherie, deux patisseries, trois restaurants et un tres beau
parc. L'ecole est tout pres, meme l'hopital. Tres convenable. In my neighborhood, there is a
butcher, two bakeries, three restaurants and a very beautiful park. The school is nearby, as
well as the hospital. Very convenient.
Je marche avec ma fille a l'ecole, puis je continue a l'hopital pour travailler. I walk with my
daughter to the school, then I continue to the hospital to go to work.
Comment aller a l' hopital de votre appartement? How do you go to the hospital from your
apartment?
C'est tout pres, juste apres le coin. It's very close, just around the corner

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C'est a gauche, puis tout droit, a la droite. It is to the left, then straight ahead, on the right.
Vous avez de la chance. You are lucky.

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Paris. Be sure to learn how to find the places
you want to visit.

Pardon, quelle est cette rue-ci, monsieur? Excuse me, which street is this, sir?
C'est la rue La Fayette. It is La Fayette street.
Quelles belles maisons et quells beaux magasins! What beautiful houses and what beautiful
stores!
C'est le centre de Paris et le quartier le plus riche. It is the center of Paris and the richest
neighborhood.

Pardon, madame, pour aller au Louvre? Excuse me, Madam, how to I go to the Louvre?
Prenez le metro. La-bas, vous trouverez une carte. C'est tres facile a suivre. Take the metro.
In there, you will find a map. It is very easy to follow.

Est-ce qu'il faut avoir un billet? Do you have to have a ticket?


Non, payez a la caisse. No, pay at the cashier window.

Laissez un jour entier pour le Louvre. C'est un immense batiment! Leave an entire day for the
Louvre. It's an immense building!

What Did We Learn?

1. I am looking for the ______(pick your bank).


2. I am going to the post office, and then (puis) the bank. I need stamps, and I have to
change Euros.
3. This is a beautiful neighborhood.
4. All of the stores are very convenient.
5. Which street is this, with the florist and the baker?
6. I like to walk in this neighborhood with my daughter.
7. My apartment (mon appartement) is near here, on the corner.
8. This is the richest neighborhood in Paris.
9. To go to the Louvre, take the metro two stops (arrets).
10. The Louvre is an immense building!

By plane.
Airplane travel is fun, fast and convenient, and if you are in a hurry, it is the only way to go.
You also get to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world.

Vous allez a Paris, madame? You are going to Paris, Madam?


Oui, madame, nous allons a Paris pour voir mes parents. Yes, Madam, we are going to Paris
to see my parents.
Vos parents sont-ils francais? Are your parents French?
Oui, madame, ils sont francais. Yes, they are French.
Et vous, madame, etes-vous francaise? And you, Madam, are you French?

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Je suis nee Francaise, mais mon mari est anglais. I was born a Frenchwoman, but my
husband is English.
Vous parlez anglais comme une Anglaise. You speak English like an Englishwoman.
Merci, madame, vous etes tres aimable. Thank you, Madam, you are very kind.

It would seem to you here that the French like to capitalize exactly the opposite we do in the
English language. When a title is used generally, it is not capitalized. Merci, madame, vous
etes tres aimable. If you write to Madame Dupres, you capitalize Madame, but if you are
referring to her, you do not. In English, we capitalize Madam. In English, we capitalize
nationalities; in French you do not: "ils sont francais". However, if you are referring to an
Englishman or a Frenchwoman, it is then capitalized, since it is the person you are speaking
about, not their nationality. "Je suis une Americaine", but "je suis americaine".

Practice translating the following:

My brother (frere) is French, his wife (femme) is English. They have three children. Their
children are charming (charmantes). They are half (moitie) French, half English.

J'aime bien voyager. Mais je n'aime pas les long voyages. Je prefer voyager en avion. I like to
travel. But I don't like long trips. I prefer to travel by plane.
Moi, je deteste voyager en avion. Ca me fait peur et c'est trop cher. I hate traveling by plane.
It scares me and it is too expensive.

The emphatic: In French, one frequently says "Moi, je." simply to indicate a converse idea.
Since you are saying "je", there would normally be no need to add "moi", but to emphasize, as
in the above example, that you are of the opposite view, it is added.

J'adore les legumes. I love vegetables.


Mon mari, lui, il ne les mange pas. Il ne mange que de la viande. My husband does not eat
them. He only eats meat.
Je suis americain. I am American.
Toi, tu es francais, n'est-ce pas? You're French, are you not?
Moi, j'aime voyager plus que tous mes amis. I like to travel more than any of my friends.

What Did We Learn?

Practice by playing around with different nationalities.

1. Vos parents, sont-ils_____?


2. Ma mere est ____, mais mon pere est ____.
3. Ils sont nes (born) en _______.
4. Ils habites (live) en _____.
5. Vous parlez ______ tres bien.
6. Je suis ________.
7. Mon ami est ______.
8. J'aime voyager en_____________.
9. Je prends un avion de _________a ___________, mais je conduis (drive) de _____ a
________.
10. Moi, je ne prends un avion _____ (never).

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By Train
You have a choice about how you want to travel, depending on cost, how quickly you want to
get there, whether it is a pleasure trip or a business trip.

Comment y aller? How do I get there?


On peut y aller en train. One can go there by train.
On peut y aller en voiture. One can go there by car.
Je prefere y aller en taxi. I prefer to go there by taxi
Je prefere y aller en bus. C'est moins cher. I prefer to go there by bus. It's cheaper.
Je prefere y aller en avion. C'est plus vite. I prefer to go there by plane. It's faster.
En vacances, c'est tres ageable d'y aller en bateau. During vacation, it's very enjoyable to go
there by boat.
Je travail en ville. Il faut y aller en velo. I work in the city. I have to go there by bike.
Moi aussi, mais je prefere y aller en moto. So do I, but I prefer to go there by motorcycle.
Moi je n'ai ni velo, ni moto. J'y vais a pied. I don't have a bike or a motorcycle. I go there by
foot.

"Y" means there. (Remember "il y a", there is or there are?) It precedes the verb in a
declarative sentence. Notice another new negative, Je ne.ni.ni. Je n'ai ni velo, ni moto. I have
neither a bike nor a motorcycle. Elle n'a ni chapeau ni gants. She has neither a hat nor gloves.
Practice with some other pair items.

Let's get on the train:

Je voudrais un billet, sil vous plait. I'd like one ticket, please.
Allez simple ou allez retour? One way or round trip?
Allez retour, s'il vous plait. Round trip, please.
C'est combien? How much is it?
Ca fait dix Euros, s'il vous plait. That will be ten Euros, please.
A quel heure part le prochain train? At what time does the next train leave?

(Practice this sentence with "le premier train" (the first train) and "le dernier train" the last
train, or the five o'clock train. Refer to Lesson 8 for times.)

Le prochain train part a sept heures dix, dans dix minutes. The next train leaves at 7:10, in ten
minutes.
Allons-y. Let's go
Il est tard. It's late.
Vites! Hurry!

Everyone likes to do something different to pass the time on a train.

Monsieur Dupres lit un roman amusant et fume sa pipe. Mr. Dupres reads an amusing novel
and smokes his pipe.
Robert est fatigue et il dort. Robert is tired and he sleeps.
Madame Dupres n'est pas fatiguee et elle parle avec une autre dame. Mrs Dupres is not tired,
and she is talking to another lady.

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Notice once again that Robert (masculine) is "fatigue", but Madame Dupres (feminine) is not
"fatiguee".

La Dame demand quel age a Robert. The lady asks how old Robert is.
Madame Dupres repond qu'il a treize ans. Mrs. Dupres replies that he is thirteen (He has
thirteen years).

In French, we say that someone "has" so many years, rather than that he "is" so many years
old. Practice saying how old everyone in your family is. Look at the numbers in Lessons
Seven and Nineteen. Hopefully, you'll get a chance to practice some high numbers.

What Did We Learn?

1. Comment peut-on aller a Paris? On peut y aller par _____, par _____, par_____.
2. C'est _____ ____ d'y aller en bus.
3. C'est plus convenable d'y aller en ____.
4. J'y vais en _____ (your choice!)

Translate:

5. I have neither a hat nor gloves.


6. I have neither a bicycle nor a motorcycle.
7. How much is a ticket to Paris?
8. What time does the next train leave?
9. How old is Robert?
10. Robert is ten years old.

Useful Phrases in French - by car


Now, let's rent a car in France.

Bonjour, madame. Puis-je vous aider? Good morning madam. Can I help you?
Je vous ai telephone il y a deux jour a propos d'une location pour ce week-end. I called you
two days ago about rental for this weekend.
Je me souviens. Vous vous rendez in province, n'est pas? I remember. You're going to the
provinces, aren't you?
Absolument. Il me faut une petite voiture, avec votre forfeit week-end. That's right
(absolutely). I need a small car, with you all-in weekend rate.
Bien sur, madame. Mais d'abord, quelques petites formalites et vous etes en route. Of course
Madam. But first a few formalities, and then you're on (your) way.
Il me faut votre permis de conduire et une carte de credit. I need your driver's licence and a
credit card.
Votre nom et adresse? Your name and address?
Suzanne Dupres, ca s'ecrit "day oo pay air ay ess"; quarante et un Rue Grenelle, Paris.
Suzanne Dupres, that's written D-U-P-R-E-S; 41 Grenelle Street, Paris.
Avez-vous un contact ou un numero de telephone a Strasbourg? Do you have a contact or a
telephone number in Strasbourg?
Non. Enfin, si. Je descends a l'hotel de Colmar. No. Well, actually yes. I'm staying at the

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Colmar Hotel.
Tres bien. Voulez-vous une assurance complementaire? Fine. Do you want additional
insurance?
Non merci. No thank you.
Alor mettez vos initiales dans les cases A et B er signez en bas, s'il vous plait. Then initial
boxes A and B and sign at the bottom, please.
Voici donc votre contrat et les cles de la vouture. C'est la Peugeot verte en face. Here's your
agreement and the car keys. It's the green Peugeot opposite.
Avez-vous besoin d'une carte routiere? Do you need a road map?
Non merci, je connais bien la region. No thanks. I know the region well.
Alors, je vous souhaite bonne route. Then have a good trip.

This all sounds very familiar when renting a car, doesn't it?

Here we see the simple way of phrasing a question, which is to reverse the verb with the
noun, just as we do in English. I can. Can I? Je puis. Puis-je? In many cases, it seems easier to
use est-ce qu'il since you can then take the declarative sentence and just add the phrase. Either
way is acceptable.

The reflexive pops up again here. "Je me souviens" , "I remember", can be translated "I
remind myself".

But here is an odd way to say "yes". Non. Enfin, si. When "yes" is a contradiction, we use
"si".
"Vous ne voulez pas une tasse de cafe?" You don't want a cup of coffee?
Si, si. J'en prends. Yes, yes. I'll take one.

A few idioms that may be confusing surface in this scene as well. "Alors" means well, then,
so, etc. Kind of a conversational entree or filler. But you noticed that Suzanne used "Enfin" to
mean "well". "Enfin, c'est un peu different." Well, that's a little different. It denotes some
contradiction or difference. More like "well, but" or "in fact". Try to use these subtle fillers to
sharpen up your spoken French.

What Did We Learn?

1. Je vous ai telephone ____ deux jours.


2. Il me faut une ____ voiture.
3. Il me faut votre permis de _______ et votre ____ de ______.
4. Je vous souhaite une _____ route.
5. Vous ne voulez pas une tasse de cafe? __,__, j'en prends.

Try to say these in French:

6. What is your name and address?


7. Give your name and address in French. (This is a good thing to know how to say and
spell!)
8. I'm staying at the Hotel Colmar.
9. Are you staying (rester) there long?
10. Well, I'll be there for two weeks.

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By subway
Au Metro:

Il faut que j'achete des tickets. I have to buy tickets


On en a, nous, des tickets. Nous avons achete la Carte Orange. We have tickets. We bought
the Orange Card (long term ticket for the metro which allows trips on other transports as
well).
Pardon madame, c'est combien la Carte Mobilis, zone un et deux? Excuse me, Madam, how
much is it for the Mobilis Card, zones one and two?
Cela depend ou vous allez et combien de voyages differents vous allez faire. That depends on
where you go and how many different trips you are going to make.
Ah oui, je vois. Je vais prendre un carnet de tickets s'il vous plait. Oh yes, I see. I'll take a
book of tickets, please.
Moi, je sais quelle ligne il faut prendre, c'est la ligne 1, en direction de la Grande Arche de
La Defense. C'est facile, il n'y a meme pas de changements. I know which line we have to
take; it's line 1, Grande Arche de La Defense direction. Then, there are no changes.
Et pour rentre c'est la direction Porte de Vincennes. A quelle station on descend? And to
return, it's direction Porte de Vincennes. What station do we go in (descend)?
On a le choix entre La Porte Maillot et les Sablons. C'est plus ou moin la meme distance. Si
on descend aux Sablons on peut prendre le petit train du Bois de Boulogne. We have a choice
between La Porte Maillot and the Sablons. It's more or less the same distance. If we go to
Sablons, we can take the little Bois de Boulogne train.

"Meme" means "the same" (la meme distance), but it is also used "as well, also, in this case"
(il n'y a meme pas de changements).

You can buy multi-trip discount tickets, or flat fee tickets for many different travel routes in
Paris. Traveling around Paris you can use the bus or the metro which are run by the R.A. T. P.
(Reseau Autonome des Transports Parisiens) and the R.E.R (Reseau Express Regional) a
train service which serves the Parisian suburbs.

Normally, there are two separate words for ticket in French. “Un billet” for the train, and “un
ticket de bus/de metro”. Commuters have a range of season tickets, but visitors buy individual
tickets, or a book of ten trips (un carnet de tickets) or “la carte Mobilis” (a one day card for
all zones) or “la carte Orange” (a one week card).

As long as you are within Paris, you can travel anyone where on the metro on one ticket,
whether you go one stop or ten stops, as long as you do not leave and then re-enter the metro
system. If you plan on doing that, you are better off with one of the discount cards. Especially
for tourists, there is the “Paris Visite” card. Try to translate the description:

C’est la carte idéale pour voyager sur tous les réseaux de transports urbain d’Ile-de-France
dans la limite des zones choisie pendant (during) 1,2,3 ou 5 jours.

What Did We Learn?

Lets match the French expressions with the English ones.

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1. Il faut que j'achete des tickets. a. Oh yes, I see.
2. C'est combien la Carte Mobilis? b. Which station do we go in?
3. Ah oui, je vois. c. I'll take 2 tickets, please
4. Je vais prendre un carnet de tickets s'il vous plait. d. Are there any changes?
5. Il nous faut prendre ligne 1, direction Grande e. We have to take line 1,
Arche de la Defense. Grande Arch direction.
f. How much for the Carte
6. A quelle station on descend?
Mobilis?
7. Paris Visite est la carte ideal pour voyager en Paris g. I have to buy tickets.
8. Cela depend ou vous allez h. I'll take a book of tickets, please.
i. Paris Visite is the ideal card for
9. Je prends deux tickets, s'il vous plait.
traveling in Paris..
10. Est'ce qui'il y a des changements?

Learn French Customs


Ou est la douane? Where is the customs?
La voila a gauche. There it is, on the left.
Porteur, etes-vous libre? Porter, are you free?
Prenez nos bagages, s'ils vous plait. Take our bags, please.
Nous avons en quatre. We have four (of them).
Portez-les a la douane, s'il vous plait. Carry them to the customs, please.
Avez-vous quelque chose a declarer? Alcool, cigarettes? Do you have anything to declare?
Alcohol, cigarettes?
Rien, monsieur. Nothing, sir.
Ouvrez, s'il vous plait. Open, please.

A new construction that we see here is the imperative. “Prenez nos bagages” “Portez-les”
and “Ouvrez” are all in the imperative case. The imperative is used to give an order to
someone. As we know, normally a sentence needs a subject, such as “you take”, “you carry”
or “you open”. In the imperative, the subject is understood. In these cases, it is understood to
be “you”. The imperative can be in the second person singular “prennes nos bagages”,
“portes-les”, the first person plural, “allons-y”or, most commonly, the second person plural
“Prenez nos bagages” “Portez-les” . The same construction exists in English. When we say
“open the door”, there is also an implied “you”.

Excusez-moi, je vais chercher mon porteur. Excuse me, I am going to find my porter.
Ah, vous voila! Portez les bagages a une voiture, s'il vous plait. Ah, there you are! Bring the
baggage to a car, please.
Je viens, monsieur. I'm coming, sir.
Mettez les valises la-dessus, s'il vous plait. Put the suitcases on there, please.
Cela fait combien? That makes how much?
Dix-huit euros, monsieur. Trois euros par valise. Eighteen Euros, sir. Three Euros per
suitcase.

You may have heard or seen the expression “Voila”. It is a very useful term to express
discovery or presentation. Here we see it used when Mr. Duprés finds his porter. “Vous
voila!” ”There you are!” By itself, “Voila” usually means “Here it is” or “ Look at this.” You

55
can also say “Le voila!” –There it or he is, “La voila!”- There it or she is and “Me voila!”-
Here I am!

Order of pronouns: le, la les and lui.

Pronouns are used to replace nouns:

Tu as donne cette idee a Maman. You gave this idea to Mom.


Tu lui as donne cette idee. (lui replaces a Maman) You gave this idea to her.
Tu l'as donne a Maman. (l' -actually la, but before a vowel-replaces cette idee) You gave it to
Mom.
Tu la lui as donne. (both are now replaced) You gave it to her.

The order of pronouns may seem difficult, but there is a simple principle: le, la and les are
“weaker” pronouns than lui and leur. They are always placed before lui or leur.

J’ai donné mon billet au contrôleur. Je le lui ai donné. I gave my ticket to the conducter. I
gave it to him.

J’ai donné mon permis de conduire aux gendarmes. Je le leur ai donné. I gave my license to
the policemen. I gave it to them.

What Did We Learn?

Let's practice the imperative in French!

1. Open the door (la porte). (Formal or plural)


2. Take my bags. (Informal)
3. Let's go!
4. Put the valises on the table (Formal or plural)
5. Give the money (l'argent) to the agent.

Now let's practice pronouns.

6. Give the money to him.


7. They gave their driver's licenses to the policemen.
8. They gave them to them.
9. I gave my passport (passeporte) to the customs agent (douanier).
10. I gave it to him.

Did we Pack Everything


Let's get packed!

When you pack, you "Faire les valises" (Literally "make the suitcases")

Monsieur Dupres a deux valises; Madame Dupres a un sac et une valise; Charles a une petite
valise. Mr. Dupres has two suitcases; Mrs. Dupres has one bag and one suitcase; Charles has

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one small suitcase.
Qui a la plupart des valises a faire? Madame Dupres, bien sur! Elle fait toutes les valises.
Who has the most suitcases to pack? Madam Dupes, of course! She packs all of the suitcases.

Why is nothing where it's supposed to be when you are trying to get packed?

Ou est mon chapeau? Where is my hat?


Ton chapeau est sur la chaise. Your hat is on the chair.
Ou est mon sac? Where is my bag?
Il est sous la chaise. It is under the chair.
Ou sont mes chaussures? Where are my shoes?
Tes chaussures sont sur la table. Your shoes are on the table.
Non, ils ne sont pas sur la table. No, they are not on the table.
Oh, peut-etre ils sont sous la table. Oh, maybe they are under the table.
Mes gants sont dans la valise? My gloves are in the suitcase?
Ils ne sont pas dans la valise. They are not in the suitcase.
Ou sont-ils? Where are they?

You have to take care when translating the words “it” and “they”. Use “il” when it substitutes
for a masculine noun in the singular. Use “elle” when it substitutes for a feminine noun in the
singular. Use “ils” when it substitutes for a masculine noun in the plural. Use “elles” when it
substitutes for a feminine noun in the plural.

“Un” and “une” are masculine and feminine for “a”. Use un with masculine nouns, une with
feminine nouns. Ce (c’ before a vowel) is the short form for both ceci and cela (this and that).
Qu’es-ce que c’est can mean:

1. What is it?
2. What is this?
3. What is that?
4. What are they?
5. What are these?
6. What are those?

Qu'est-ce que c'est? Est-ce une valise? Oui, c'est une valise. What is this? Is it a suitcase?
Yes, it is a suitcase.

Est-ce un sac? Mais non, ce n'est pas un sac. Ceci est une valise. Cela est un sac. Is it a bag?
Of course not, it's not a bag. This is a valise. That is a bag.

Answer the following questions:


Qu'est ce que c'est?

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C'est une valise.

Qu'est ce que c'est?

Qu'est ce que c'est?

Now, translate into French:

What is it?
Is it the shoes?
Yes, it is the shoes
No, it is not the shoes, it is the gloves.
Isn't this the suitcase?

There are three French equivalents for “this” ce, cette and cet. Ce is used for masculine nouns.
Ce livre (this book). Cette is used for feminine nouns. Cette table (this table). Cet is used with
a masculine noun when it begins with a vowel or “h”. (cet enfant, cet hôtel).

Ces is the plural for all of these: ce, cette or cet. (Ces livres, ces tables, ces enfants).

What Did We Learn?

1. This is my hat.
2. This book is old (vieux).
3. What is that?
4. Those are my books.
5. Where is my green hat?
6. Do you have (avez-vous) all those books?
7. Give me those shoes, please.
8. Don't give (donner) those to her.
9. She has two of those things (choses)
10. Is that a bag or a valise. It's a bag.
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French Weather
The easiest way to get a conversation going is to talk about the weather. Become accustomed
to using these expressions.

Quel temps fait-il aujourd'hui? What's the weather today?


Il fait beau. It is nice.
Il fait mauvais. The weather is bad.
Il fait chaud. It is warm.
Il y a du vent. It's windy.
Il pleut. It's raining.
Il fait froid. It is cold.
Il neige. It's snowing.
Il fait soleil. It is sunny.
Il fait couvert. It is cloudy.
Il fait lourd. It is close.
Il grele. It is hailing.
Il gele. It freezes.
Il degele. Its is thawing.
Il tonne. It is thundering.
Il y a de l'orage. There is a storm
Il y a des eclairs. There is lightening.
Quand le ciel est bleu, il fait du soleil-il fait beau temps. When the sky is blue, it is sunny- the
weather is nice.
Quand le ciel est gris, it est couvert de nuages-il fait mauvais temps. When the sky is grey, it
is covered with clouds- it is bad weather.
A Paris, il pleut quelquefois. In Paris, it rains sometimes.
A Cote d'Azur, il pleu rarement; il fait generalement beau. On the Cote d'Azur, it rarely rains;
it is generally good weather.

Normally, we use “faire” (il fait, or past tense il faisait) for the weather: Il fait mauvais ,il fait
chaud. However, to rain, to snow, to hail, to freeze, thaw and to thunder are verbs in their
own right, and are used alone.
Some other weather to be concerned about:

La brume. Haze, mist.


La pluie. Rain.
La neige. Snow
Le brouillard. Fog

Can you have a conversation about the seasons?

Robert, quelle saison aimez-vous le mieux? Robert, which season do you like the best?
J'aime bien l'hiver quand il neige et on peut faire du ski. I like the winter,when it snows and
one can ski.
J'aime bien l'ete, parce qu'il y a de belles fleurs. I like the summer when there are beautiful
flowers.

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What else do we want to know about meteorology (le meteo)?

Le matin, le soleil se leve. Le soir, le soleil se couche. In the morning the sun rises. In the
evening, the sun sets.
Le soleil se leve a l'est. Le soleil se couche a l'ouest. The sun rises in the east. The sun sets in
the west.
Pendant le jour, le soleil est dan le ciel. During the day, the sun is in the sky.
Pendant la nuit le soleil n'est pas visible, mais nous pouvons voir la lune et les etoiles. During
the night, the sun is not visible, but we can see the moon and the stars.
En ete, le soleil se leve de bonne heure. In summer, the sun rises early.
En hiver, le soleil se leve tard. In winter, the sun rises late.

Don't forget that in Europe they use the Centrigrade thermometer. To convert Fahrenheit
degrees to Centigrade, subtract 32 and multiply by 5/9ths. For example, 50 degrees F. =(50-
32)x5/9=10 degrees C.
To convert Centrigrade degrees to Fahrenheit, multiply by 5/9ths and add 32. For example, 5
degrees C. =(5x5/9+32)=41 degrees F.

What Did We Learn?

1. Today it is raining.
2. Tomorrow it will be nice. (You use the present tense, even though it is tomorrow.)
3. It is hot today; it is 30 degrees C.
4. Yesterday (hier) it was very cold.
5. Pendant le ____, le soleil est dans le ____.
6. _______la nuit, le soleil n'est pas _______.
7. En ete, le ______ se leve __ _____ _____.
8. En _____, le soliel __ ____ tard.
9. What a day! First (d'abord), it snows, then (puis) it hails, then it rains!
10. If it snows tomorrow (demain) I'll go skiing.

Next time, Let's Go to the Countryside


A drive in the country is fun, especially on a nice day. It also allows us to learn a lot about
cars, and getting around in general. We have mentioned before that you don't want to drive
around in the big cities, so the countryside is the perfect place to get to know a bit about
navigating a trip.

La route est barree a cinq cent metres, a cause de travaux. Il y a une deviation.
The road is blocked for five hundred meters because of road work. There is a detour.

Regardez le panneau:

TRAVAUX SUR LA ROUTE


ROUTE BARREE A 500M
RALENITISSEZ!

Look at the sign:

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ROAD WORK
ROAD BLOCKED FOR 500M
SLOW DOWN!

Il faut passer par une autre route. Mais sur cette route-la, la vitesse limite est de cinquante
kilometers a l'heure. En plus, il y a souvent des gendarmes sur cette route!
We must take another road. But on that road, the speed limit is 50kph. In addition, there are
often police on that road!

Mais nous ne sommes pas presses. De toute facon, il faut qu'on s'arrete a la prochaine station
service parce qu'il n'y a presque plus d'essence. We are not in a hurry. In any case, we have to
(it is necessary to) stop at the next gas station because there is hardly any gas.

On devrait aussi verifier le niveau d'huile et la pression des pneus tant que nou y sommes. We
can (one can) also check the oil level and the tire pressure since we are there.

On fait le plein? Fill it?

Ou, il vaut mieux. Yes, we'd better (it would be better).

We have gotten used to the idiom "il faut", meaning one should, we must, I must, etc. It is
used in two forms:

"Il faut" + infinitive of the verb:

Il faut conduire a droit. You must drive on the right. Il faut se reposer souvent quand on
conduit sur de grandes distances. You must rest often when driving long distances.

"Il faut que" + present tense of the verb:

Il faut qu'on s'arrete a la prochaine station service. We have to stop at the next gas station.
Il faut que j'achete un litre d'huile. I have to buy a litre of oil.

We also came into contact with some new negatives in our driving tour.

We know ne.pas.
Il n'y a pas de station service sur cette route. There is no gas station on this road.

Now look at ne.plus.


Il n'y a plus d'essence. There is no gas left.
Il n'y a presque plus d'essence. There is hardly any gas left.

Remember that we substitute "en" as the pronoun in this expression.

Une station service? Il y en une sur la droite. A gas station? There is one on the right.
(En replaces station service)

Il reste du lait? Is there milk left?


Non,il n'y en plus. No there isn't any.

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Il reste du lait? Is there milk left?
Non,il n'y en plus. No there isn't any.

What Did We Learn?

1. Oh, no, there is a detour on the road.


2. The sign says (shows:monter) : route barree, ralenitissez!
3. We are not in a hurry. Let's take the scenic route (route touristique).
4. We have to stop at the next service station.
5. We have to go to Paris tomorrow.
6. There is no train to Paris tomorrow, it's Sunday.
7. There are not eggs left.
8. We have to buy eggs today.
9. Do you have money?
10. I have some.

I prefer the Seashore


Au Bord de la Mer. At the seashore.
Mettons nos maillots de bain. Let's put on our bathing suits.
Allons a la plage! Let's go to the beach!
Nous pouvons jouer sur la plage et nour baigner. We can play on the beach and bathe.
C'est meilleure quand la maree est bas. It's better when the tide is low.
Regardez le grand bateau tout la bas a l'horizon . Look at the big boat over there on the
horizon.
Regardez le petit chalutier qui sort du port. Look at the little trawler going out of the harbor.
Je pense qu'il part a la peche. I think it is going fishing.
Demandons a ce vieux pecheur quels poisons on prend ici. Let's ask this old fisherman what
fish they catch here.
Pardon, monsieur. Quels sont les poissons que l'on peche par ici? Excuse me, sir. What fish
are caught here?
Nous nous contenterons de pecher la crevette et la moule, si toutefois il y en a. We are content
(we content ourselves) with catching shrimp and mussels, if there are any.
L'annee prochaine, je vais porter un perche. Next year, I'm going to bring my fishing pole.

You see that a fish is “une pêche” , to fish is “pêcher and a fisherman is “un pêcheur” and a
fishing pole is un perche. You will frequently find connections like this. “Un demande” is a
request, “demander” is to request and “un demandeur” is someone who makes a request, for
example.

A few old friends visit us in this passage, which affords us a little review.

Imperative: Mettons, Allons, Regardez, Demandons.


Si Il y en a: If there are any (of them).
"On" means "one" or "you" or "we".

Here is a "seaside" vocabulary:

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La mer the sea le maillot de bain bathing suit
La plage Beach la serviette de bain bathing towel
Le brise-lames breakwater le bonnet de bain bathing cap
La jetee pier la vague wave
La tente tent le banc de sable sandbank
La cabine de plage bathing cabin la mouette sea gull
Le poste de sauvetage life guard stationla promenade the promenade
La bouee de sauvetage life-buoy le quai the waterfront
La ceinture de natation life jacket le canot row boat
L'ombrelle (f.) sun umbrella le bain de soleil sun bathing
La piscine swimming pool le nageur/la nageuse swimmer

Our seashore visitors decided they would bring a fishing pole on vacation next year. This is a
simple way to express the future, instead of having to remember all of the various endings for
the future. Simply use "Aller" in the present tense and add the second verb in the infinitive.

Aller

Je vais I go/am going Nous allons We go/ are going


Tu vas You go/ are going Vous allez You go/are going
Il/elle va He/she/it goes/is going Ils/elles vont They go/are going

Add an infinitive, and you now say I'm going to..

Je vais poster quelques cartes postales. I am going to send (post) some postcards.
Qu'est-ce que tu vas faire? What are you going to do?
Je vais faire une promenade. I am going for a walk (make a walk)

Form some sentences of your own in the future tense, using aller and the infinitive.

What Did We Learn?

First, we'll practice the imperative.

1. Let's put on our bathing suits and lets go to the beach!


2. Look at the beautiful sand (sable)!
3. Let's ask the fisherman what he is fishing for.
4. The sea is cold; let's swim in the pool.
5. Look at that big wave!

And now use "aller" to form the future tense.

6. We are going to the beach tomorrow.


7. Next week (la semaine prochaine) I am going fishing every day.
8. He is going to put his rowboat at the pier.
9. My mother is going to buy a bathing suit, a bathing towel and a sun umbrella. She is
going on vacation .

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10. When (quand) is she going on vacation?

French Family Names


Chere Maman, cher Papa,

Nous devons partir apres-demain. Elle etait un tres agreeable vacances ici, mais vous nous
manquez.

Dear Mom and Dad,

We have to leave the day after tomorrow. It has been a very nice vacation, but we miss you.

In French, we say "I miss you" differently than in English. The person being missed is
actually the subject of the sentence. It therefore becomes "You are missing to me." Because of
this, you have to pay attention to the ending of the verb. "Vous me manquez " "Ma famille me
manque" "Mes amis me manquent".

Let's meet some of the members of the family.

Voici ma famille This is my family.


J'aimerais vous presenter ma famille. I'd like you to meet my family.
Voici Mon pere This is my father.
Ma mere habite a Paris. My mother lives in Paris
Ma soeur est a l'universite. My sister is at the university.
Mon frere travail a Deauville. My brother works at Deauville.
Mon mari est medicin. My husband is a doctor.
Ma femme visite sa mere. My wife is visiting her mother.

Try forming sentences of your own for the family:

Mon fils My son


Ma fille My daughter
Ma tante My aunt
Mon oncle My uncle
Mes cousins My cousins
Ma niece My niece
Mon neveu My nephew
Mon grand pere My grandfather
Ma grand mere My grandmother
Mon petit-fils My grandson
Ma petite-fille My granddaughter

Voici ma souer. Elle s'appelle Janine. This is my sister. Her name is Janine.

Introduce the other members of your family:


Il s'appelle, ils s'appellent, elles s'appellent...: His name is, their name is, their name
(feminine) is...

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And some more information about them:

Il a quarante ans. He is forty.


Elles a seize ans. She is sixteen
J'ai vingt ans. I am twenty

Mon frere, qui a quarante ans.


Ma souer, elle qui a seize ans.
C'est moi qui a vingt ans.

Quel age avez vous? How old are you?


Quel age as-tu? How old are you?
Quel age a-t-il? How old is he?

Qui ou que?

Qui: who, which, that represents people or objects. It acts as the subject of the verb.

Une firme qui fabrique des ordinateurs. A company that makes computers.
C'est moi qui part. It is I who is leaving.

Qui is always followed by a verb, sometimes preceded by an indirect pronoun:


C'est toi qui lui as donne les clefs. It's you who gave her the keys.

Que: which, that whom represents people or objects, but it acts as the direct object of the
sentence.

Le voyage que je vais faire est un voyage organize. The trip I am going to take is an organized
trip.
Regards, c'est le type que j'ai vu hier. Look, it's the guy I saw yesterday.

Now we can practice putting activities together for the people we know.

Mon fils Va Telephoner A ma fille


Ma fille Va Faire Une promenade
Mon grand pere Va Voire/td> Le dernier film de Speilberg
Ma tante Va Prendre La petit dejeuner

What Did We Learn?

1. I miss my family and my friends.


2. My mother misses me very much (beaucoup).
3. Here is my sister and my brother.
4. My nephew's name is John; my niece's name is Sarah.
5. I am twenty; my cousins are both (les deux) twenty-one.
6. My father is a salesman (vendeur) and travels a lot. I miss him.
7. Both of my grandparents are still alive (sont toujours vivants).
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8. My mother is going to take a walk.
9. My daughter is going to college next year.
10. How old is your daughter?

A l'Hotel
You may want to choose your hotel before you arrive.

Pouvez-vous me recommender un hotel, pas trop cher? Can you recommend to me a hotel,
not too expensive?
L' hotel Etoile. C'est un excellent hotel, pres d'ici. The Star Hotel. It's an excellent hotel, near
here

Let's go to a hotel and find a room.

Avez-vous des chambres libres? Do you have any rooms free?


Est-ce vous avez un chambre a deux lits? Do you have a double room?
Seulement au deuxieme etage, monsieur. Only on the second floor, sir.
Et le prix? Combien est-ce? And the price? How much is it?
Deux cents euros par jour. Two hundred Euros a day.
Mais, mon ami m'a dit que c'est un hotel pas trop cher. But my friend said this not a very
expensive hotel.
Vous etes en Paris, monsieur. You are in Paris, sir.
Est-que le petit dejeuner est compris? Is breakfast included?
Main non, monsieur, c'est a part. Oh, no, sir, it is extra.
Paris est certainement cher. Paris certainly is expensive.
Puis-je voir la chambre? May I see the room?
Avec plaisir, monsieur. With pleasure, sir.
Cette chambre est tres agreable. Elle donnne sur le jardin. This room is very pleasant. It
looks onto the garden.
Bon, je prends cette chambre. Fine, I'll take this room.
Le numero onze, alors. Le valet va monter vos bagages. Room eleven, then. The valet will
take your bags up.

Alors, quel hotel choisis-tu? So, which hotel do you choose?


Descendons a l Hotel de la Gare. C'est tout pres de la gare. C'est plues pratique, c'est plus
facile avec les bagages et c'est l' hotel le moin cher. We will go to the Station Hotel. It is right
next to the station. It is more practical, it's easier with the baggage and it's the cheapest hotel.
Oui, d'accord mai sil y a aussi l' Hotel des Voyageurs. C'est aussi tout pres de la gare. Alor,
quel hotel choisis-tu? Oh, OK, but there is also the Travelers Hotel. It's also near the station.
Which hotel do you choose?
Oh je te laisse chiosir, c'est plus simple. Oh, I leave it to you to decide, it's simpler.
Dans ce cas je choisis l' Hotel du Centre. C'est plus loin de la gare mais c'est certainement
plus confortable. In that case, I choose the Hotel Central. It's further from the station, but
certainly more comfortable.

You see that there are four ways to say "of the".
de l' Hotel

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l' Hotel de la Gare
l' Hotel des Voyageurs
l' Hotel du Centre

De + la= de la (Rue de la Cite)


De + le= du (Rue du Port)
De + l'= de l' (Rue de l'Europe)
De + les= des (Place des Quebecois)

We have also had a chance to practice the "IR" verbs. Note the endings on the "IR" verbs.

Je choisis I choose Nous choisissons We choose


Tu choisis You choose Vous choisissez You choose
Il/elle choisit S/he chooses Ils/Elles choisissent They choose

What Did We Learn?

1. Can you recommend a restaurant?


2. How much is this room? 150 Euros per day.
3. Is breakfast included?
4. May I see the room?
5. I choose this hotel; it is more practical.
6. The Central Hotel is near the center of the city; the Station Hotel is near the station
and the Tower Hotel is near the Eiffel Tower.
7. Let's go to each hotel. We'll look at the rooms and decide (decider).
8. I choose based (sur) on the price!
9. I hope breakfast is included.
10. There are no free rooms.

French Lessons - Taking Care of Yourself


Here are some important expressions about how you feel. Don't forget to try to mix them up
with other pronouns so you get to practice the different forms of etre.

Je suis fatigue I am tired


Je suis heureux(se)I am happy
Je suis triste I am sad
Je suis nerveux(se) I am nervous
Je suis fache I am angry
Je suis excite I am excited
Je suis ravi(e)I'm delighted

Now, we can do the same with avoir:

J'ai faim I'm hungry


J'ai soif I'm thirsty
J'ai froid I'm cold
J'ai chaud I'm hot

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Try using these simple sentences to practice forming negatives and questions.
Il est fatigue. Est-il fatigue? Il n'est pas fatigue. N'est-il pas fatigue? He is tired. Is he tired?
He is not tired. Is he not tired?
Elle est heureuse. Est-elle heureuse? Elle n'est pas heureuse. N'est-elle pas heureuse? She is
happy. Is she happy? She is not happy. Is she not happy?

Your turn. Rephrase each of the questions into the negative, interrogative and negative
interrogative:

Je suis triste I am sad


Je suis nerveux(se) I am nervous
Je suis fache I am angry
Je suis excite I am excited
Je suis ravi(e)I'm delighted

Let's try it with avoir:

Tu as faim. As-tu faim? Tu n'as pas faim. N'as-tu pas faim? You are hungry. Are you hungry?
You are not hungry. Are you not hungry?

Now let's get to know the parts of our body.


Le corps d l'homme et de la femmeest compose de trios parties: la tete, le tronc et les
members. La tete est d'habitude couverte de cheveus; sinon, on est chauve.
The body of a man and of a woman is composed of three parts: the head, the trunk and the
limbs. The head is usually covered with hair, if not, you are bald.

Les yeux, les sourcils,e nez, la bouche et le menton forment le visage, beau ou laid!
The eyes, the eyebrows, the nose, the mouth and the chin form the face, beautiful or ugly.
Entre la tete et le tronc, il y a le cou. Between the head and the trunk is the (there is) neck.
Le tronc porte generalement deux bras et deux jambs. The trunk usually has two arms and
two legs.
Les bras se plient aux coudes et aux poignets. Ils sont termines par les mains. The arms bend
at the elbows and at the wrists. They end at the hands
Les jambs se plient aux genoux et aux chevilles. Ils sont termines par les pieds. The legs bend
at the knees and at the ankles. They end at the feet.

Mes bras My arms


Mes jambes My legs
Mes mains My hands
Mes pieds My feet
Ma tete My head
Mes yeux My eyes
Ma bouche My mouth
Mon nez My nose
Mes orrielles My ears
Mon dos My back
Ma poitrine My chest
Mes epaules My shoulders

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Now try it with your arms, his legs, her feet, their eyes, etc. and try to put them into some
sentences of your own. For example, Ses orreilles sont tres grandes.

What Did We Learn?

1. I am hungry, I am cold, I am tired. I want to go home (rentrer chez moi).


2. I am sad when I hear (entendre) that story (histoire).
3. Tomorrow I am going to Disneyworld. I am very excited!
4. Isn't she happy that her brother won (gagner) the prize (prix)?
5. If you are hungry, let's go to a restaurant.
6. There is a restaurant near here.
7. On my head, there is hair.
8. We have two eyes and two ears but only (seulement) one mouth.
9. The neck is between (entre)the head and the shoulders.
10. My neck is between my head and my shouders.

Learn French - The Doctor


Let's hope you don't get into any accidents while you are visiting another country. Be
prepared for any emergency, however; you should contact your health insurance company
before you leave and find out what their procedure is in case you need medical attention while
you are abroad. Be sure you let someone in your travel party know the procedures, in case you
are incapacitated.

If you do hurt yourself or appear ill, someone may ask you:

Vous-etes vous fait mal, monsieur? Have you hurt yourself, sir?
Etes vous malade, madame? Are you ill, Madam?

Hopefully, your reply will be:


Oui, un peu. Yes, a little.

Ily a un(e) medicin(e) tout pres. There is a doctor nearby.

Now we are used to the fact that there are masculine and feminine nouns, and that articles and
other "modifiers" have to agree with them. Many professions take the gender of the person in
that profession. A male doctor is "un medicin" and a female doctor is "une medicine".
Let's see what happens if Mr. Dupres has a little run-in with a bicycle.

Alors, il parait que M. Dupres a une cote casse, un ?il au beurre noir, une epaule demise, ne
cheville foulee, etc. So, it seems that Mr. Dupres has a broken rib, a black eye, a dislocated
shoulder, a sprained ankle, etc.
Non, Docteur, heureusement, ce n'est pas si grave que cela. Quelques petites ecorchures
seulement. No, fortunately it is not so bad as that. Only a few slight grazes.

Note that we are now abbreviating "Monsieur" with M. The abbreviation for Madame is
Mme., and the abbreviation for Mademoiselle is Mlle.

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Let's look at some problems people might have to bring them to the doctor's, and then have a
look at some medical vocabulary.

Jean a mal a la tete. John has a headache.

(Try substituting "I have a headache, she has a headache, using the forms of "avoir" you
learned in Lesson 2.)

Madame a mal aux yeux. Madame has eye trouble.

You may have noticed that M. Dupres' black eye (un ?il au beurre noir), and now we speak
about Madame's "mal aux yeux". The plural of "?il" is "yeux" There are a number of nouns
that change form completely in the plural. We will discuss them further at a later time.

Le vieux monsieur a mal au dos. The old man has a back-ache.


Le petit garcon a mal au nez. The little boy has a problem with his nose.
La petite a mal au bras gauche. The little girl has a pain in her left arm.
Mademoiselle a mal au pied droit. The young lady has a bad right foot.
Monsieur a mal a la gorge. The man has a sore throat.
Madame a mal aux oreilles. The lady has an ear ache.

If you are paying close attention, you may notice that everyone has an ache or pain a la., but
when it is in the masculine or plural, and it has to change to au or aux, there is no accent.

Here are some other useful words to know.

Le medecin the doctor la grippe the flu


Le chirurgien the surgeon la blessure wound
Un hopital a hospital ecrase run over
Malade ill blesse wounded, injured
La maladie the illness une ambulance an ambulance
Le mal complaint or pain renverse knocked down
Le mal de c?ur heart disease faire venire un medicin to send for a doctor
Le malaise indisposition une ordonnance a prescription
Un rhume a cold une operation an operation
La fievre fever operer to operate
La douleur pain aller mieux to be getting better
Aller plus mal to be getting worseEtre gueri to be healed

Don't forget to memorize the article with each new noun, so you know what kind of adjective
to use.

What Did We Learn?

1. Is there a doctor nearby?


2. I have a sprained ankle, and I think (penser) I have a broken rib.
3. She has a headache, but she is going to work in any case (en tout cas).
4. He is not getting better, he is getting worse.

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5. I will need an operation on my knee.
6. I have a cold, and a cough (tousse) in my chest.
7. I have to go to the hospital.
8. I have a sore throat and an ear ache.
9. Well (eh bien) I have a backache and a pain in my right foot.
10. I feel fine!

Learn French Free - The Hospital


Maybe there's a problem that requires more than a visit to the doctor. Let's do more role
playing to get used to conversation.

Susanne has not heard from her sister Marie, who was supposed to pick her up at the train
station, so she calls Marie's husband Giles to find out if anything is wrong.

Giles: Ah Susanne! Encore heureux que tu as telephone. Oh, Susan, so happy that you called.
Susanne: Qu'est-ce qu'il se passe? What's happening?
Giles: Marie a eu un petit accident, elle est aux urgences a l'hopital. Marie had a little
accident; she is in the emergency room at the hospital.
Susanne: Quoi? Qu'est-ce qu'il est arrive? What? What happened?
Giles: Rien de grave. Elle s'est coupee en ouvrant une boite pour le chat. La voisine l'a
emmenee a l'hopital. Nothing serious. She cut herself while opening a can for the cat. The
neighbor took her to the hospital.
Susanne: Tu veux que j'aille la rejoindre a l'hopital? Do you want me to visit her at the
hospital?
Giles: Non, elle ne devrait pas etre longtemps, juste quelques points de sutures et une piqure
anti-tetanique, c'est tout. No, she will not be long, just a few stitches and a tetanus shot, that's
all.
Susanne: Et les enfants? Ou sont Robert et Claire? And the children? Where are Robert and
Claire?
Giles: Ici, avec moi. Ecoute, je suis desole. Prends un taxi. Here, with me. Listen, I'm sorry.
Take a taxi.
Susanne: Non, je connais bien le trajet en metro. Je vais jusqu'a Chatelet, je change et je
prends la direction Chateau de Vincennes et je descends a Nation. No, I know the metro route
very well. I go to Chatelet, I change to the Chateau de Vincennes direction and get off at
Nation.
Giles: Oui, c'est cela mais si tu as beaucoup de bagages un taxi sera plus pratique. Yes, that's
it, but if you have a lot of baggage, a taxi would be more practical.
Susanne: Bon d'accord. En tout cas, j'arrive bientot. OK, fine. In any case, I'll be there
shortly.

Let's have a look at some new idioms we used here.

Qu'est-ce qu'il se passe? What's happening?


Just use this as it is. It is used to mean "What's going on?", "What's happening?"
Quoi? "What?" used to express surprise. If you want someone to repeat something, as in the
English "What", you would say "Comment?" (Although the more polite way, in English as in
French, would be Excuse me?-Excusez-moi?)
Qu'est-ce qu'il est arrive? Literally, "what is it that arrived?". It contrasts to "Qu'est-ce qu'il se
71
passe?" which refers to more general goings-on; "Qu'est-ce qu'il est arrive?" refers to a more
specific happening, as in "What happened?".
Rien de grave. Nothing serious. You can use this to express that a problem is not serious, but
it also is used to excuse someone. If someone bumps into you and says "Pardon", your reply
may be "Rien de grave"-it's O.K., or that's O.K)
Ecoute, Ecoutez (formal or plural) means "listen", but is commonly used to get attention or at
the opening of a sentence or new thought.
Bon d'accord. "D'accord" means "OK"; this just puts a little more emphasis on it.
J'arrive. I'm coming, I'll be there. Try it with different persons: they're coming, etc.

What Did We Learn?

Practice these phrases to know what is happening

1. Salut John, qu'est-ce qu'il se passe?


2. Qu'est-ce qu'il est arrive?
3. Qu'est-ce qu'y a de nouveau? (What's new?)
4. Quoi de neuf? (What's new?)

And now, translate these phrases into French

5. Suzanne cut herself.


6. Hans cut himself.
7. I'll be there shortly.
8. They'll be there shortly.
9. Pardon me. It's O.K.
10. Listen, I'll be in Paris shortly.

Learn French For Free - The Hairdresser


Au bar de la beaute, on vend la beaute, mais c'est aussi un lieu ou les dames aiment parler
des autres. At the beauty parlor, they are in the business of beauty, but it is also the place
where the ladies like to talk about others.

Once again, practice your conversation by changing these sentences. For example, you could
say that "Marie est tres belle." Try some mix and match sentences with people you know.

Il/Elle est beau/belle He/she is beautiful/handsome


Il/Elle est intelligent(e) He/she is smart
Il/Elle est amusant(e) He/she is funny
Il/Elle est sincere He/she is sincere
Il/Elle est calme He/she is calm

Il/Elle est grand(e) He/she is tall


Il/Elle est petit(e) He/she is short
Il/Elle est mince He/she is thin
Il/Elle est gros(se) He/she is fat
Il/Elles est fort(e) He/she is strong

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Il/Elle est malade He/she is sick
Il/Elle est vieux/vielle He/she is old
Il/Elle est jeune He/she is young
Il/Elle est riche He/she is rich
Il/Elle est pauvre He/she is poor

Forming sentences is getting a lot easier, right?

Now we can get a lot of practice by taking a subject from the first column, a verb from the
second and an adjective or object from the third and fourth columns. Use your dictionary and
try forming many combinations of sentences you may want to express. To make this exercise
easier, the forms of etre, avoir, er, ir and re verbs are listed on the right.

Column A Column B Column C orColumn D


Adjective
Subject Verb Object
or Adverb
M. Bergen Etre grave l'arbre ETRE
nous
Mme. Luddy Avoir riche le ballon je suis
sommes
Mme.
chanter pauvre la banana tu es vous etes
Mehlem
Mme.
parler facile la chaise il est ils sont
Mitchell
M. Novick preparer difficile le chapeau elle est elles sont
M. Rastatter habiter interessant(e) la commode
Mme. Reilly travailler intelligent(e) le crayon
M. Reilly pratiquer stupide la fleur ER Verbs
Mme. nous
regarder poli(e) le garage je parle
Simpson parlons
M. Waller ecouter heureau (euse) le gareau tu parles vous parlez
je, tu, vous,
telephoner bon, bonne le jambon il parle ils parlent
il, elle
Nous, vous,
dormir mauvais(e) le journal elle parle elles parlent
ils, elles
les eleves finir beaucoup la lampe
le chien (la
garantir blanc(he) le lit RE Verbs
chienne)
Nous
la jeune fille choisir mechant(e) la maison J'entends
entendons
Tu vous
la fleur maigrir Americain(e) l'oeuf
entends entendez
ils
la chaise remplir amusant(e) le pays il entend
entendent
Elle Elles
le livre reussir beau (belle) le chambre
entend entendent
le disque saisir meilleure le verre
la carte manger fou (folle) la glace
la cle rencontrer mignon(ne) la film

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la voiture chercher delicieu (se) la gare
la radio acheter sec(he) la chose
le douanier demander Francais (e) la biere
le policier danser faux (fausse) le vin
le medicin aimer frais (fraiche) le viande
le banquier appeler chaud(e) l'assiette
nouveau
le pilote apporter la table
(nouvelle)
l'avocat courir triste la fourhcette
le sport couter serieu(se) le couteau
la langue couvrir doux (douce) la faim
la tele dejeuner fatigue(e) la soif
la question demeurer trop le bras
le garcon desirer incroyable boulangerie
le petit
la petite fille devinir jaune
dejeuner
la robe diner parfait(e) la bouteille
le stylo donner gentil(le) l'autobus
le crayon entrer sympathique le beurre
la parapluie envoyer gros(se) le bonbon

What Did We Learn?

1. Mrs. Simpson is watching T.V.


2. The children are polite.
3. The question is incredible.
4. The dog is sleeping in front (devant) of the garage.
5. The little girls buys some bananas.
6. The policeman and the customs agent are having dinner (dine) together (ensemble).
7. The boy takes the bus.
8. The French language is beautiful.
9. The key is on the table.
10. The book is next to (a cote de) the lamp.

Necessities
There are many short expressions that you will need to memorize to get around in the French
language. A number of these are idioms, that is, they don't fall into a normal sentence
structure, so just memorize them.

In a shop:
C'est combien? How much is it?
C'est cher. That's expensive
C'est bon marche. That's cheap.
C'est tout. That's all
Je peux payer par cheque? Can I pay by check?
Je peux payer par carte de credit? Can I pay by credit card?

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Ou doit-on payer? Where should one pay?

General:
S'il vous plait Please
Merci Thank you
Mais oui! Of course
Merci pour votre aide. Thank you for your help.
Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much
Rien de tout/ pas de tout. You're welcome (It's nothing.)
Je vous en prie. You're welcome. (A more formal way to say thank you- I pray you to have
it.)
Excusez-moi. Excuse me.
Pardon. Pardon me.
Bon weekend Have a nice weekend
Bon anniversaire Happy birthday
Bonne Annee Happy New Year
Joyeau Noel Merry Christmas
Bonne Pacques Happy Easter
A votre sante to your health (formal or plural)
A ta sante to your health (informal)
Bon voyage Have a nice trip
Allez bonne route Have a nice car trip

Making plans:
Il ya beaucoup des possibilities. There are many possibilities.
Que veux-tu faire. What do you want to do?
Ce que tu veux. Whatever you like.
Que veux-tu qu'on fasse? What to you want to do together?
(fasse is in the subjective, which we will not learn. Just memorize this expression.)
Ca m'est egal. I don't care
C'est tois qui decide. It's up to you.
Allons au cinema, musee, zoo. Let's go to the movies, museum, zoo.
On pourrait au parc. We can go to the park.
Que veux-tu faire quand il fait noir What do you want to do after dark?
On va au cinema, musee, zoo? Do you want to go to the movies, museum, zoo?
On pourrait We could:
Lire un livre Read a book
Regarder la tele Watch TV
Ecouter de la musique Listen to music
Jouer aux cartes Play cards
Jouer sur l'ordinateur Play with the computer
Faire du francais Study French

Tu aime le basketball? Do you like basketball?


J'aime le football. I like football
Le tennis Tennis
Le football americain American football
Je n'aime pas le football americain. I don't like American football
Le golf Golf

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Le baseball Baseball

Pour aller aux toilettes? How to I get to the restrooms?


Le restaurant est ouvert jusqu'a quel heure? The restaurant is open until what time?
Depeche-ttoi, tu es en retard. Hurry up, you are late.
Depechez- vous, vous etes en retard. Hurry up, you are late.

What Did We Learn?

1. How to I get to ___________( pick anyplace you would like to go)?


2. I don't like __________________(pick something you don't like).
3. How much is the _______________(pick something you want to buy)?
4. Can I pay by ___________________(pick the mode you like to pay in)?
5. Do you want to go to _____________(pick a place you'd like to go)?
6. We can go to the ________________(pick a place you'd like to go).
7. Practice all of your polite phrases: please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me.
8. Practice these useful sentences: What do you want to do? I don't care; it's up to you.
Whatever you like.
9. Let's go to a restaurant, the park, the zoo, a museum.
10. I want to stay home.

French Nouns
Unlike in English, you have to be concerned about the gender of the nouns you use in your
sentences. The gender of the noun determines the adjective or pronoun you use with it, and
many nouns have two different forms, depending on whether you are speaking of the male or
female. In addition, a word spelled or sounded the same way may have a different meaning,
depending on whether it is masculine or feminine. So it is important to pay attention to the
article (la, le, un, une)

un aide male assistant une aide, female assistant


le bal dance la balle ball
la balle ball la barre bar (rod)
le barbe barb la barbe beard
le cache card/mask la cache cache, hiding place
le capital capital, money la capitale capital city, capital letter
le casse break-in, robbery la casse breaking, damage, breakages
le cave (slang) idiot, sucker la cave basement, cellar
le champagne champagne la Champagne Champagne region
la Champagne Champagne regionla chaine chain, channel, stereo
la chaine chain, channel, stereo la chevre goat
le chose thingie, contraption la chose thing
le col collar, neck la colle glue
le coq rooster la coque hull, fuselage
le cours class, course la cour courtyard
le crepe crepe material la crepe thin pancake

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le critique male critic la critique criticism, review, female critic
le faune faun la faune fauna
le fil thread, yarn, string la file line, queue
le gene gene la gene trouble, bother
le lac lake la laque lacquer, shellac
le legume vegetable la legume (slang) la grosse legume - big shot
le lieu place la lieue league
la lieue league la livre pound (money & weight)
le mal evil la malle trunk
le manoeuvre laborer la manoeuvre maneuver, operation
le memoire memo, report la memoire memory
le merci thanks la merci mercy
la merci mercy la morale moral (of story), morals
le mort dead body la mort death
le moule mold la moule mussel
la moule mussel la mure blackberry
la mure blackberry la physique physics
la physique physics la reine queen
le rose pink (color) la rose rose (flower)
le roux red, red-head la roux (soup base)
le sel salt la selle saddle
la selle saddle la soie silk
le sol ground, floor, soil la sole sole (fish)
le tour, turn, la tour tower
le vague vagueness la vague wave
le vapeur steamer la vapeur steam, haze,
la vapeur steam, haze, la voile sail

Most nouns form their plural by adding "s", just as in English. There are a number of nouns
that form their plural differently:

Singular Plural
Le journal newspaperjournaux
Un couteau des couteaux
Le reseau les reseaux

What Did We Learn?

Paying close attention to the article, say the following:

1. We are going to a dance/there is a grand ball at the townhall (mairie).


2. Let's go the the bar tonight/ the dancer stands at the barre.
3. There is a large oak tree in front of that house/I like to watch public T.V.
4. The collar of his shirt is white/I need glue to fix (reparer) the plate.
5. This course is easy/that courtyard is beautiful.
6. I love to eat mussels/he broke (casser) the mold.
7. Santa and his reindeers/the Queen of England
8. Put the sole on the ground.
9. It is your turn to enter the tower.
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10. That old hat has a veil/that old boat has a sail.

List of French Verbs


With the vocabulary you have in hand from the previous lessons, you simply have to put
words together with verbs to be on your way, conversationally! Here are some commonly
used verbs and all of their conjugations in the present, past tense (passe compose) and future
(using aller). This should cover all of the needs of a beginner French speaker. There are many
more tenses, such as the imperfect, conditional, future and subjunctive, but these simple forms
will meet your needs for your present level of French.

Des verbes utiles: (Some useful verbs):

Commencer (Begin)- present Commencer- past Commencer- future with


tense tense aller
J'ai commence
Tu as commence
Je commence Je vais commencer
Il/Elle a commence
Tu commences Tu vas commencer
Nous avons
Il/elle commence Il/Elle va commencer
commence
Nous commencons Nous allons commencer
Vous avez
Vous commencez Vous allez commencer
commence
Ils/elles commencent Ils/Elles vont commencer
Ils/Elles ont
commence
Dire (Say) present tense Dire-past tense Dire- future with aller
Je dis J'ai dit Je vais dire
Tu dis Tu as dit Tu vas dire
Il/elle dit Il/Elle a dit Il/Elle va dire
Nous ditons Nous avons dit Nous allons dire
Vous dites Vous avez dit Vous allez dire
ls/elles disent Ils/Elles ont dit Ils/Elles vont dire
Envoyer (Send) ) present
Envoyer past tense Envoyer- future with aller
tense
J'envoie J'ai envoye Je vais envoyer
Tu envoies Tu as envoye Tu vas envoyer
Il/elle envoie Il/Elle a envoye Il/Elle va envoyer
Nous envoyons Nous avons envoye Nous allons envoyer
Vous envoyez Vous avez envoye Vous allez envoyer
Ils/elles envoient Ils/Elles ont envoye Ils/Elles vont envoyer
Mettre (Put) ) present tense Mettre past tense Mettre future with aller
Je mets J'ai mis J'ai mis
Tu mets Tu as mis Tu as mis
Il/elle met Il/Elle a mis Il/Elle a mis
Nous mettons Nous avons mis Nous avons mis
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Vous mettez Vous avez mis Vous avez mis
Ils/elles mettent Ils/Elles ont mis Ils/Elles ont mis
Manger (Eat) present tense Manger past tense Manger future with aller
Je mange J'ai manger Je vais manger
Tu manges Tu as manger Tu vas manger
Il/elle mange Il/Elle a manger Il/Elle va manger
Nous mangeons Nous avons manger Nous allons manger
Vous mangez Vous avez manger Vous allez manger
Ils/elles mangent Ils/Elles ont manger Ils/Elles vont manger
Faire (To Do) present tense Faire past tense Faire future with aller
Je fais Je fais Je vais faire
Tu fais Tu fais Tu vas faire
Il/elle fait Il/elle fait Il/Elle va faire
Nous faisons Nous faisons Nous allons faire
Vous faites Vous faites Vous allez faire
Ils/elles font Ils/elles font Ils/Elles vont faire
Parler (Speak) present tense Parler- past tense Parler- future with aller
Je parle J'ai parle J'ai parle
Tu parles Tu as parle Tu as parle
Il/elle parle Il/Elle a parle Il/Elle a parle
Nous parlons Nous avons parle Nous avons parle
Vous parlez Vous avez parle Vous avez parle
Ils/elles parlent Ils/Elles ont parle Ils/Elles ont parle

What Did We Learn?

Using the above verbs, say these sentences in French:

1. Begin at the beginning (commencement).


2. They said he was tired.
3. They are going to send a letter.
4. He put the book on the table.
5. We ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel.
6. Do your homework (devoirs)!
7. The teacher spoke to the children.
8. I began to speak, but (mais) I stopped (arreter).
9. We will wash all of the vegetables.
10. What did he do?

French Adjectives
Adjectives have to agree with the noun they modify (describe). If a noun is plural, it has to
have a plural adjective. If a noun is feminine, it has to have a feminine adjective.

Let's try some colors to describe some items.

Le chapeau est brun. The hat is brown


Le manteau est noire. The coat is black
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Le parapluie est vert. The umbrella is green.
La table est brune. The table is brown.
La valise est jaune. The suitcase is yellow.
Le col sur la robe rouge est blanc. The collar on the red dress is white.
La cravate est rouge. The tie is red.
Le veston est bleu. The jacket is blue.
La robe est blanche. The dress is white.
Le pantaloon est gris. The pants are grey.
Les gants sonts bruns. The gloves are brown.
Le mouchior est rouge. The handkerchief is red.

You will notice that the hat is masculine, and therefore "brun", while the table is feminine,
and therefore "brune", and the gloves are plural, masculine, and therefore "bruns". Some
adjectives do not change their form whether they are masculine or feminine. Both the tie
(feminine) and the handkerchief (masculine) are "rouge".

COULEURS
MasculineFeminine

Rouge Rouge
Bleu Bleue
Vert Verte
Jaune Jaune
Gris Grise
Noir Noire
Blanc Blanche

As a rule of thumb, "e" changes a word from masculine to feminine. So, if an adjective
already has an "e" at the end, it does not have to be changed.

And here are some useful adjectives to describe people. Note which adjectives change with
the feminine, indicated by (e)or (euse).

Aimable-kind
Amusant(e) amusing
Bete- stupid
Bizarre- odd
Entete-stubborn
Fatigue(e)-tired
Fatiguant(e)- tiring
Fidele- faithful
Gentil(le)-nice
honnete-honest
intelligent(e)- intelligent
paresseux (euse)- lazy
ravissant(e)- charming
sage- wise (well behaved when referring to children)
sense(e)- sensible

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sensible-sensitive
serieux (euse) serious
sympathique- nice, likeable
timide- shy
triste-sad

What Did We Learn?

Use some more mix and match to get practice in expressing yourself.
Say the sentences in the first column, and complete them by choosing the correct adjective in
the second column:

1. The hat is honnete


2. The little girl is entete
3. The merchant (marchand) isintelligent
4. The merchant (marchand) istriste
5. The widow (veuve) is bizarre
6. That painting is blue
7. The sky (ciel) is timide
8. The donkey (ane) is fidele
9. That student is sympathique
10. A ________ dog brun

Emergencies
Let's hope you never have to face an emergency while traveling in a French speaking country,
or any foreign country, but learn these expressions in case of emergency:

Emergency! Urgence !
Help! Au secours !
Fire! Au feu !
Thief! Au voleur !
Watch out! Attention !

I have had an accident. J'avais eu un accident.


There has been a crash. Il y avait une collision
There has been an explosion. Il y avait une explosion.
There is a fire in the ...... Il y a un feu dans le..
There is a flood in the ... Il y a une inondation dans le...
I heard a gunshot. J'ai entendu un coup de feu.
I need a police officer. J'ai besoin d'un policier
I need a fireman. J'ai besoin d'un pompier

To need ... avoir besoin...

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I need help. J'ai besoin de l'assistance.
I need a doctor. J'ai d'un medecin.
I need an ambulance . J'ai besoin d'une ambulance

Where is the nearest police station? Ou est le commissariat le plus proche?

I have asthma. Je suis asthmatique.


I need an inhaler. J'ai besoin d'un inhalateur.
I have diabetes. Je suis diabetique.
I need sugar now. J'ai besoin de sucre immediatement.
I'm having a heart attack. J'ai une crise cardiaque.
I'm having a stroke. J'ai une attaque.
I am drowning. Je me noyer.
I am in labor. Je suis en travail.
I am lost. Je suis egare.

To break one's arm, leg se casser le bras, la jambe


I broke my arm. J'ai casse le bras.
I broke my leg. J'ai casse la jambe.

What Did We Learn?

Say the following in French:

1. I have asthma.
2. I have diabetes.
3. I think (je crois) I am having a heart attack.
4. I have chest pains.
5. I need a doctor.
6. Help, there is a fire!
7. Call (appeller) the police.
8. Help! Thief!
9. Hello, front desk(concierge)? There is a flood in my room.
10. Someone (Quelqu'un) is injured.

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