French - Phrasebook
150 pages
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French - Phrasebook

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En savoir plus
150 pages
English

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Description


Visiting Paris, Nice or the French countryside? The creator of the famous language-learning method has developed this indispensable companion for your break or business trip to France.

°Over 2 hours of audio

°Getting started with French : 21 mini-lessons

°Useful words and phrases

°Phonetic pronunciations

°Essential vocabulary for a range of contexts


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 12 décembre 2013
Nombre de lectures 77
EAN13 9782700560725
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 43 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0075€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

French
Sommaire Copyright Avertissement Introduction How to use this book France: facts & figures A bit of history The French language Getting started DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11 DAY 12 DAY 13 DAY 14 DAY 15 DAY 16 DAY 17 DAY 18 DAY 19 DAY 20 DAY 21 Les indispensables Numbers Pronunciation Space and time Asking questions Useful words and expressions Conversing First contact Meeting people Expressing opinions Accepting invitations Religion and traditions The weather Time and the calendar Asking for assistance Signs, notices and abbreviations Travelling Getting around town Outdoor activities Accommodation Eating and drinking Shopping Business meetings Health
Guide Couverture Page de titre Sommaire Texte Copyright
© Assimil 2013
EAN numérique : 9782700560725
ISBN papier : 978-2-7005-0574-0
Graphic design : Atwazart

Réalisation de l’ePub : Prismallia
Contrôle de l’ePub : Céladon éditions
French


Estelle Demontrond-Box




B.P. 25
94431 Chennevières-sur-Marne cedex
France
Avertissement


This phrasebook doesn’t claim to be a substitute for a language course, but if you devote a bit of time to reading it and learning a few useful phrases, you’ll quickly find that you’re able to participate in basic exchanges with French speakers, enriching your travel experience.

A word of advice: don’t aim for perfection! Those you’re speaking to will forgive any mistakes and appreciate your efforts to communicate in their language. The main thing is to leave your inhibitions behind and speak!
Introduction How to use this book France: facts & figures A bit of history The French language
How to use this book

Section 1: Getting started in French

Can you spare a half an hour a day? Do you have three weeks ahead of you before your trip? In that case, jump in with the mini-lessons specially developed to familiarize you with French in just 21 days. These mini-lessons are aimed at beginners with no prior knowledge of French and will give you the basics you need to understand and address people in all sorts of situations.
• Discover the day’s lesson, using the phonetic transcriptions to help you read the French out loud. Repeat it as many times as you wish!
• Check the translation in everyday English, as well as the word-for-word translation, which will help you get used to the structure of the language.
• Read the notes that follow the lesson – these explain key linguistic points so you can apply them in other contexts.
• Finally, do the short exercise to consolidate what you’ve learned.

The next day, move on to the following lesson! Taking the time to do a little French each day is the most effective way to learn and remember it.

Section 2: Conversing
This section gives you the tools you’ll need for dealing with a variety of situations in which you might find yourself during your trip. It provides useful vocabulary and expressions that you can use in a range of contexts. The French is accompanied by a translation, as well as a phonetic transcription that will help you pronounce it. This ready-to-use ‘survival kit’ is all you need to be an independent traveller!
France: facts & figures

Surface area (Continental France and Corsica) 551,500 km 2 Population 65,630,692 (2012 est.) Capital Paris Overseas departments, territories and collectivities Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Réunion, Mayotte, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, St Martin, St Barthélemy, New Caledonia Land boundaries Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland Sea boundaries English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea Languages French; regional languages and dialects including Provençal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Occitan, Catalan, Basque Government Republic governed by a president and a bicameral parliament called the Assemblée Nationale; France is divided into 27 régions and 101 départements National holiday 14 July (Fête Nationale – commemorates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the overthrow of the monarchy)
France is the largest country in the European Union in area, and boasts diverse landscapes, from the mountain chains of the Alps in the east and the Pyrenees in the southwest to low-lying river basins such as the Rhône, which empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Mont Blanc (4,810 m) in the Alps is the highest point in Western Europe. France is often referred to as L’Hexagone because of its shape.

The fifth largest economy in the world, the country has an advanced industrial economy and is also a major agricultural producer. It is at the political heart of Europe and is a leading member of international bodies such as NATO and the UN.

France is a secular country, though the predominant religion has historically been Roman Catholicism. It also has the largest Jewish community in Europe, as well as the largest Muslim community, at 5–10% of the population.

Today’s France is multicultural, with immigrants principally coming from other European countries, North Africa, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from Paris, its major cities include Marseille and Lyon, both with over 1.5 million people, followed by Lille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice.

France is a very popular destination for tourists, making it the most visited country in the world!
A bit of history


Although archaeological finds indicate that the first modern humans arrived in France 40,000 years ago (and earlier ancestors were present long before that), the history of what we know now as France really begins with the region the Romans called Gaul, in reference to the Celtic Gauls who were the main group in the area. In the first millennium BC, colonies were established there by Greeks and Romans, and by 51 BCE Gaul had been conquered by Rome.

In the later stages of the Roman Empire, Germanic Franks increased their dominance, and in 486 CE the Frankish King Clovis I united Gaul under his rule. The Franks ruled for hundreds of years, reaching their fullest extent under Charlemagne. The western part of Charlemagne’s empire, West Francia, became the Kingdom of France, and by 987 CE the French monarchy was established. The next centuries saw a succession of religious and political conflicts, but France grew in power and by the 16th century had started a colonial empire.

In 1789, the French Revolution overthrew the monarchy, an event that shook the world. In the century that followed, the country alternated between different forms of government – from republic, to empire (under Napoleon Bonaparte), to monarchy, back to republic, and so on, finally settling into a more stable republic in 1870.

In the 20th century, France was involved in both World Wars. It suffered huge losses in World War I, which left 1.4 million French dead. In World War II, the country was conquered by Nazi Germany, which occupied it from 1940–44. After its liberation at the end of World War II, France’s current form of government was established, and the country developed into the modern power it is today.

Over its history, France has been influential in a number of fields, including literature, philosophy, science, art, film and fashion. Not to mention winemaking and cuisine, perhaps its most famous exports.
The French language

There are an estimated 260 million French speakers in the world. French is the second most studied foreign language after English. It is spoken in some 48 countries, not just in France and its overseas territories, but in parts of Belgium and Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, as well as Québec in Canada. It is also spoken in numerous African countries and in Southeast Asia. From its previous status as the language of diplomacy, it continues to play an important role in international institutions such as the UN and EU.

The alphabet
The good news is that the French alphabet is the same as the English alphabet, although the letters are pronounced differently.
a [ah] , b [bay] , c [say] , d [day] , e [uh] , f [ef] , g [jzay] , h [ash] , i [ee] , j [jzee] , k [kah] , l [el] , m [em] , n [en] , o [oh] , p [pay] , q [kew] , r [ehr] , s [es] , t [tay] , u [ew] , v [vay] , w [doobluh vay] , x [eeks] , y [eegrek] , z [zed]

Pronunciation

Unfortunately, French is not pronounced exactly like it is written. It also includes some sounds that don’t exist in English. The best way to pick it up is to use the phonetic transcriptions we’ve provided and read the text aloud, trying to put on the most exaggerated French accent you can! Don’t be embarrassed – French people won’t think you sound silly. It’s their language, and they will appreciate your efforts!

Here are a few of the things English speakers find trickiest:

• Silent letters  : Certain letters in French words are not pronounced. This often occurs at the end of words, such as the final consonants: for example, salut [salew] hi . The French ‘h’ is also silent: homme [om] man .
• Liaison  : Sometimes a usually silent final consonant is pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel sound or mute ‘h’: les enfants [lay z ah n fah n ] . This is called ‘liaison’.
• Nasal vowels  : There are nasal vowel sounds in French that occur with syllables ending with ‘n’ or ‘m’. The ‘n’ or ‘m’ is silent, but makes the preceding vowel nasal. These don’t exist in English, but you can try to approximate them by pronouncing -ng (as in song ) and then stopping before completing the g . We indicate this in the phonetic transcriptions with a superscript ‘n’: ah n .
• The French ‘r’  : This is pronounced completely differently from the English ‘r’ – it is a guttural sound closer to the Spanish ‘j’ or the Scottish ‘ch’ sound in Loch Ness . To pronounce it, place the base of your tongue at the back of the throat and the tip of your tongue behind the lower teeth, as if you were coughing up a hairball!
• The French ‘u ’ : Careful! This is not the English oo sound, but closer to the ew in few . To pronounce it, tightly purse your lips with the tongue towards the front of the mouth, its tip resting against the lower teeth – basically, as if you were saying ‘ee’, but with your lips pursed.

And remember: practice makes perfect!

Ready? Let’s get started!
Getting started DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6 DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11 DAY 12 DAY 13 DAY 14 DAY 15 DAY 16 DAY 17 DAY 18 DAY 19 DAY 20 DAY 21
DAY 1

Je m’appelle…
My name is…

Bonjour ! Comment vous appelez-vous ?
boh n jzoor komah n voo zaplay voo
hello! how you (formal) call-yourself?
Hello! What’s your name?
Je m’appelle Alexandre. Enchanté !
jzuh mapel aleksah n druh ah n sha n tay
i myself-call alexandre. enchanted!
My name is Alexandre. Pleased to meet you!
D’où venez-vous ?
doo vuhnay voo
from-where come-you
Where are you from?
Je viens d’Australie. J’habite à Brisbane.
jzuh vya n dohstralee jzabeet ah breesban
i come from-australia. I-live at brisbane.
I am from Australia. I live in Brisbane.

Notes

There are two ways to say you in French: tu and vous . Tu is the informal you when speaking to a relative, friend or child. Vous is formal and should be used to address someone older or who you don’t know well. Vous is also the plural you , for addressing more than one person. The formal vous should be used virtually any time you address a stranger, along with the vous form of the conjugated verb (the second-person plural).

Je m’appelle (‘I call myself’) is the equivalent of My name is . The verb s’appeler to call oneself includes a reflexive pronoun, indicating that the subject is performing the action on itself (eg, myself , yourself , himself , etc.). These are often left out in English, but must be included in French. Here are some various forms: Comment t’appelles-tu ? What’s your name? (informal singular) Tu t’appelles… Your name is … (inf. sing.) Il/Elle s’appelle… His/Her name is … Vous vous appelez… Your name is … (form.) / Your names are … (pl.)
In French you need to say where you ‘come’ from, rather than where you ‘are’ from: Je viens de (I come from) + the country. If the country starts with a vowel, Je viens de becomes Je viens d’ → Je viens d’Australie .

Practice – Translate the following sentences: What’s your name? ( inf. ) Where are you from? ( form. ) Je m’appelle Sophie. J’habite à New York.

Answers: Comment t’appelles-tu ? D’où venez-vous ? My name is Sophie. I live in New York.
DAY 2

Voici Hélène !
Meet Hélène!

Marc, je te présente Hélène, une amie.
mark jzuh tuh prayzah n t ehlen ewn amee
marc, I you( inf. ) present helen, a friend
Marc, let me introduce you to my friend Helen.
Enchanté ! Vous êtes ici en vacances ?
ah n shah n tay voo zet eesee ah n vakah n s
enchanted! you( form./pl. ) are here in holidays?
Pleased to meet you! Are you here on holiday?
Oui, je suis ici avec mon mari et mon fils.
wee jzuh swee eesee avek moh n maree eh moh n fees
yes, i am here with my husband and my son
Yes, I’m here with my husband and my son.
Quel âge a votre fils ?
kel ajz ah votruh fees
what age has your( form./pl. ) son?
How old is your son?
Il a douze ans.
eel ah dooz ah n
he has twelve years
He is 12.

Notes

In French, you ‘have’ 30 years, rather than you ‘are’ 30 years old: J’ai trente ans ! To say this, you’ll need to know how to conjugate avoir to have . To ask someone’s age, you say:
Quel âge as-tu ? ( inf. ) or Quel âge avez-vous ? ( form. ).

When you introduce someone, you can say Voici Hélène. This is Helen. or Je vous présente Hélène. Let me introduce you to Hélène .

avoir to have and être to be are both irregular verbs:
avoir to have être to be j’ai I have je suis I am tu as you have (inf. sing.) tu es you are (inf. sing.) il/elle a he/she/it has il/elle est he/she/it is nous avons we have nous sommes we are vous avez you have (form./pl.) vous êtes you are (form./pl.) ils/elles ont they have ils/elles sont they are

Every French noun has a gender: masculine or feminine . If the noun refers to a person, it takes the person’s gender: un ami a friend (male); une amie a friend (female). But nouns for inanimate objects also have a gender; it’s best to memorize the gender when you learn a new noun.

Practice – Translate the following sentences: This is Sophie. I am thirty. Quel âge as-tu ? Il est en vacances ?

Answers:
Voici Sophie. / Je te/vous présente Sophie. J’ai trente ans. How old are you? (inf.) Is he on holiday?
DAY 3

Les passants
Passers-by

La femme est très grande !
la fam eh treh grah n d
the woman is very tall
The woman is very tall!
Oui, et l’homme est petit !
wee eh lom eh puhtee
yes and the-man is small
Yes, and the man is small!
Regarde, le chapeau bleu est vraiment joli !
ruhgard luh shapoh bluh eh vrehmah n jzolee
look, the hat blue is really pretty
Look, the blue hat is really pretty!
Et les enfants sont si mignons !
eh lay zah n fah n soh n see meenyoh n
and the children are so cute
And the children are so cute!

Notes

Don’t forget that most final consonants in French are silent. For example, in est the ‘st’ is not pronounced: est [eh] . Likewise, in plural words, the two final consonants are silent: enfants [ah n fah n ] . But if the final consonant is followed by a silent e , it is pronounced: grande [grah n d ] .

Following the above rule, les is normally pronounced [lay] . But if a normally silent consonant is followed by a word starting with a vowel or a mute ‘h’, the consonant is pronounced ( le s e nfants = [lay z ah n fah n ] ). This is called liaison .

Le , la , les and l’ are all forms of the definite article the . Why so many? Because the form varies according to the gender and number of the noun: le is used with a masculine singular noun ( le chapeau ); la with a feminine singular noun ( la femme ); les with a plural noun ( les enfants ) and l’ with a singular noun beginning with a vowel or a silent ‘h’ ( l’homme ). Though articles are often missed out in English, they are always included in French.

The gender and number of the noun also changes the form of the adjective used with it. Usually the feminine form is made by adding an - e at the end of the adjective ( l’homme est petit → la femme est petit e ), and the plural form by adding an - s ( l’enfant est mignon → les enfants sont mignon s ).

Practice – Translate the following sentences: The children are cute. The hat is small. L’homme est grand. La femme est jolie.

Answers: Les enfants sont mignons. Le chapeau est petit. The man is tall. The woman is pretty.
DAY 4

Au café
At the café

Un coca et une limonade, s’il vous plaît !
a n koka eh ewn leemonad seel voo pleh
a coke and a lemon-soda if-it you pleases
A coke and a lemon soda, please.
Avec des pailles ?
avek day pa-ee
with some straws?
With straws?
Oui, merci. Oh, et un café !
wee mehrsee o eh a n kafay
yes, thank-you. oh and a coffee!
Yes, please. And a coffee.
D’accord. Et voici une chaise pour votre ami !
dakor eh vwasee ewn shehz poor votruh amee
of-agreement. and here-is a chair for your friend( masc. )
OK, and here is a chair for your friend!

Notes

The equivalent of the indefinite article a/an is un for a masculine noun and une for a feminine noun. Des is the plural form some . In English, it is often left out, but in French it must be included.

Unlike English, un , une or des is not used in front of a person’s occupation ( il est serveur he is a waiter ), religion ( elle est musulmane she is a Muslim ) or before cent a hundred and mille a thousand : 105 = cent cinq .

Most nouns add an - s to form the plural ( une chaise → des chaise s ). The - s is not pronounced. However, nouns ending in s , x or z do not change in the plural: un prix a price → des prix some prices .

Note that ‘Yes, please’ is actually ‘Yes, thank you’: Oui, merci  !
In a café or a bar, to get the server’s attention, just wave discreetly and say S’il vous plaît ! Please! It is not uncommon for people to add monsieur sir , madame madam or mademoiselle miss , which is considered a polite way to address people in service situations. This may seem formal to English speakers, but is viewed as considerate in France.

Practice – Translate the following sentences: Excuse me, please. Thank you, madam. D’accord. Voici votre café.

Answers: S’il vous plaît. Merci, madame. Okay. Here is your coffee.
DAY 5

La famille et les animaux domestiques
Family & pets

As-tu des frères et sœurs ?
ah tew day frehr eh suhr
have-you some brothers and sisters?
Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Non, je suis fille unique.
noh n jzuh swee fee ewneek
no, i am daughter single
No, I am an only child.
Et ton mari et toi, vous avez des animaux domestiques ?
eh toh n maree eh twa voo zavay day zaneemoh domesteek
and your( inf. ) husband and you( inf. ), you( pl. ) have some animals domestic?
And you and your husband, do you have any pets?
Nous avons un chat et deux chiens. Ils sont gentils !
noo zavoh n a n shah eh duh shya n eel soh n jzah n tee
we have a cat and two dogs. they are nice!
We have a cat and two dogs. They are nice!

Notes

When you see a superscript n in the phonetic transcription, this indicates a nasal vowel. When pronouncing it, air escapes both through the mouth and the nose as if you had a cold. The ‘n’ or ‘m’ following the vowel is not usually pronounced: imagine that the vowel is followed by ‘ng’ as in ‘wrong’, but don’t actually pronounce the -ng: non [no ng ] ; un [a ng ] .

Une fille means daughter and girl ; un fils son . The plural form of the latter is des fils – nouns ending in - s do not change in the plural. Note also un animal → des animaux : words ending in - al usually form their plural with - aux .

In French, possessive pronouns ( my , your , his , her , its , our , their ) need to agree with the gender and number of the noun they modify, so each has three different forms. For example, ton your (informal) with a masculine noun or any noun starting with a vowel ( ton mari your husband , ton enfant your child ); ta with a feminine noun ( ta femme your wife – note that femme means both woman and wife !); and tes with a plural noun ( tes amis your friends ).

Practice – Translate the following sentences: I have a brother. Your ( inf. ) husband is nice. Ce sont tes fils ? Nous avons deux sœurs.

Answers: J’ai un frère. Ton mari est gentil. They are your sons? We have two sisters.
DAY 6

Au marché
At the market

Bonjour, je voudrais des œufs, s’il vous plaît.
boh n jzoor jzuh voodreh day zuh seel voo pleh
hello, i would-like of-the eggs, if-it you( form. ) pleases
Hello, I would like some eggs, please.
Bien sûr. Autre chose ?
bya n sewr ohtruh shohz
well sure. other thing?
Of course. Anything else?
De la crème et du fromage aussi.
duh la krem eh dew fromajz ohsee
of the cream and of-the cheese also
Some cream and some cheese as well.
Du fromage, je vous en mets combien ?
dew fromajz jzuh voo zah n meh koh n bya n
of-the cheese i you of-it put how-much?
How much cheese do you want?
Un gros morceau ! J’adore le fromage !
a n groh morsoh jzador luh fromajz
a fat piece! I-love the cheese!
A big piece! I love cheese!

Notes

Du , de la, d’ and des are used to refer to an indeterminate quantity ( some , any ). Masculine words take du ( du fromage ), feminine words take de la ( de la crème ), words beginning with a vowel take de l’ ( de l’eau water ), and plurals take des ( des œufs – watch out, the ‘f’ is not pronounced in the plural form of this word!).

To ask for something, you can use the verb vouloir to want in either the present or conditional tense. Here are a few conjugations of this very useful but irregular verb. Another polite way to ask for something is with the conditional tense of aimer to like/love .
je veux I want je voudrais… I would like… tu veux you want (inf. sing.) nous aimerions… we would like… il/elle veux he/she wants Aimeriez-vous ? Would you like …? nous voulons we want vous voulez you want (form./pl.) ils/elles veulent they want

Practice – Translate the following sentences: I would like eggs, please. How much/many? Je voudrais de l’eau. Voulez-vous un café ?

Answers: Je voudrais/J’aimerais des œufs, s’il vous plaît. Combien ? I would like some water. Do you want a coffee?
DAY 7

À la gare
At the station

Excusez-moi, monsieur. Où est le quai C ?
ekskewzay mwa muhsyuh oo eh luh keh say
excuse-me sir. where is the platform C?
Excuse me, sir. Where is platform C?
Il est là-bas, après le quai B. Vous voyez ?
eel eh la ba apreh luh keh bay voo vwahyay
it( masc. ) is there-low after the platform B. you see?
It is over there, after platform B. Do you see it?
Merci ! Et à quelle heure part le train pour Besançon ?
mehrsee eh ah kel uhr par luh tra n poor buhzah n soh n
thanks! and at what hour leaves the train for Besançon?
Thank you! And what time does the train for Besançon leave?
Il part à 15 heures. Bon voyage !
eel par ah ka n z uhr boh n vwahyajz
it( masc. ) leaves at fifteen hours. good trip!
It leaves at 3 pm. Have a nice trip!

Notes

To ask a question in French you can either: 1) Raise your voice at the end of a sentence: Tu vas à Paris ? You’re going to Paris? 2) Add Est-ce que at the beginning of a sentence: Est-ce que tu vas à Paris ? 3) Invert the subject and verb: Vas-tu à Paris ?

Or a question can start with a question word: Qu’est-ce que …? What …? Quel (m.) / Quelle  (f.) / Quels (m. pl.) / Quelles (f. pl.) …? Which …? Quand … ? When …? À quelle heure … ? At what time …? Où … ? Where …? Comment … ? How …? Qui … ? Who …? Combien (de) … ? How much/How many …? Pourquoi … ? Why …?
Besançon : The cedilla ( cédille ) ‘ç’ is pronounced s .
The 24-hour clock is frequently used in France: heures 6 am ; heures 6 pm . Keep this in mind when catching trains!

Practice – Translate the following sentences: When does it leave? Where is platform B? À quelle heure part le train ? Le train part à quatorze heures.

Answers: Quand part-il ? Où est le quai B ? What time does the train leave? The train leaves at 2 pm.
DAY 8

Au téléphone
On the phone

Allô ! Bonjour, Martine ! Ça va ?
aloh boh n jzoor marteen sa va
hello! good-day martine! it goes?
Hello, Martine! How’s it going?
Oui, très bien, merci. Qu’est-ce que tu fais ?
wee treh bya n mehrsee keskuh tew feh
yes very well thanks. what-is-it that you do?
Very well, thank you. What are you doing?
Je cuisine: je finis un gâteau au chocolat !
jzuh kweezeen jzuh feenee a n gatoh oh shokola
i cook: i finish a cake at-the chocolate
I’m cooking: I’m just finishing a chocolate cake!
Super ! J’adore le chocolat ! J’arrive !
sewpehr jzador luh shokola jzareev
super! I-love the chocolate! I-arrive!
Super! I love chocolate! I’m on my way!
D’accord ! À tout de suite !
dakor ah toot sweet
OK! right away!
OK! See you in a minute!

Notes

The French answer the phone with Allô ? If you’ve dialled the wrong number, just apologize: Pardon [pardoh n ] Sorry , and say Je me suis trompé(e) de numéro [jzuh muh swee troh n pay duh newmayroh] I dialled the wrong number . The most common way to ask how someone is doing is Ça va ?

There are three types of regular in French: the first group ends in ‘-er’ ( cuisiner ); the second in ‘-ir’ ( finir ) and the third in ‘-re’ ( prendre ). To form the present tense of regular ‘-er’ verbs, just add the endings below to the stem: je cuisin e nous cuisin ons tu cuisin es vous cuisin ez il/elle cuisin e ils/elles cuisin ent
Introducing the useful irregular ‘-re’ verb faire to do, to make . Note that the present tense in French is used both for the simple present and the present continuous (eg, to be …-ing ): Qu’est-ce que tu fais ? What do you do? or What are you doing? je fais I do nous faisons we do tu fais you do (inf. sing.) vous faites you do (form./pl.) il/elle fait he/she/it does ils/elles font they do

Practice – Translate the following sentences: I am making a cake. We are cooking. Il adore le fromage ! Elles arrivent !

Answers: Je fais un gâteau. Nous cuisinons. He loves cheese! They ( f. ) are coming!
DAY 9

Ma maison
My house

Ta maison est comment, Guy ?
ta mehzoh n eh komah n ghee
your( inf .) house is how, Guy?
What is your house like, Guy?
Ma maison est assez petite !
ma mehzoh n eh tasay puhteet
my house is quite small!
My house is quite small!
Mais il y a un beau jardin et une jolie piscine.
meh eeleeya a n boh jzarda n eh ewn jzolee peeseen
but it here has a beautiful garden and a pretty pool
But there is a beautiful garden and a lovely pool.
Il y a trois chambres: mes enfants ont la plus grande !
eeleeya trwa shah n bruh may zah n fah n oh n la plew grah n d
it here has three bedrooms: my children have the most big!
There are three bedrooms: my children have the biggest!

Notes

Il y a is used in both singular and plural contexts and means there is , there are . Il y avait is there was , there were .

Le , la or les plus is how you form the superlative -est ; the most : le plus petit the smallest .

Adjectives in French have to agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe. Note that in most contexts, adjectives follow the noun: une maison chère an expensive house . One of the exceptions to this rule is for adjectives describing something’s beauty, as in line 3, which are placed before the noun. Here are the forms (masc. sing., masc. pl., fem. sing., fem. pl.) of some useful adjectives:

petit, petits, petite, petites small
grand, grands, grande, grandes big , tall , important
beau, beaux, belle, belles beautiful
joli, jolis, jolie, jolies pretty , nice
moche, moches, moche, moches ugly
heureux, heureux, heureuse, heureuses happy
triste, tristes, triste, tristes sad
bon, bons, bonne, bonnes good
mauvais, mauvais, mauvaise, mauvaises bad
cher, chers, chère, chères expensive

Practice – Translate the following sentences: The pool is beautiful. There are two expensive houses. Quelle chambre est la plus jolie ? Comment est ton jardin ?

Answers: La piscine est belle. Il y a deux maisons chères. Which is the nicest bedroom? What is your garden like?
DAY 10

Où se trouve la boulangerie ?
Where is the bakery?

Excusez-moi ! Où se trouve la boulangerie la plus proche ?
ekskewzay mwa oo suh troov la boolah n jzree la plew prosh
excuse-me! where itself finds the bakery the most near?
Excuse me, where is the nearest bakery?
Alors, allez tout droit et puis tournez à droite.
alor alay too drwa eh pwee toornay a drwat
so go( form./plural ) all straight and then turn at right
Go straight ahead and then turn right.
Ensuite, continuez jusqu’à l’église.
ah n sweet koh n teenew-ay jzewska laygleez
next continue( form./plural ) until the-church
Next, carry on until you reach the church.
La boulangerie est derrière l’église, en face de la poste.
la boolah n jzree eh dehryehr laygleez ah n fas duh la post
the bakery is behind the-church in face of the post
The bakery is behind the church, opposite the post office.

Notes

The imperative (used to give instructions or commands) is just the present tense without the ‘you’ ( tu or vous ), like in English: vous allez you go ; Allez ! Go! However, in informal singular commands, the ‘-s’ is dropped from the end of the verb: tu vas you go , but Va ! Go!

Directions might also be given using devez you should , you must (form.) → vous devez tourner , vous devez continuer . This is from the auxiliary verb devoir to have to , which is always used with another verb in infinitive form. Je dois aller . I must go.

Some other common prepositions of place include dans in , à côté de next to , à gauche on the left , près de near , devant in front of .

If you get lost, simply say Je suis perdu(e) !
Aller to go is a very useful irregular ‘-er’ verb: je vais I go nous allons we go tu vas you go (inf. sing.) vous allez you go (form./pl.) il/elle va he/she/it goes ils/elles vont they go

Practice – Translate the following sentences: Excuse me, where is the post office? It is behind the bakery. Où se trouve le marché le plus proche ? Vous devez aller tout droit.

Answers: Excusez-moi, où se trouve la poste ? C’est derrière la boulangerie. Where is the nearest market? You must go straight ahead.
DAY 11

Quel est votre métier ?
What is your job?

Quel métier faites-vous, Anne ?
kel maytyay feht voo an
what occupation do-you, anne
What job do you do, Anne?
Je suis architecte. Je travaille beaucoup !
jzuh swee zarsheetekt jzuh trava-ee bohkoo
I am architect. I work much!
I am an architect. I work a lot!
Vous aimez votre travail ?
voo zemay votruh trava-ee
you like your work?
Do you like your job?
Comme-ci, comme-ça. Je finis la journée très tard.
kom see kom sa jzuh feenee la jzoornay treh tar
like-this like-that. I finish the day very late.
So so. I finish work very late.

Notes

Remember, the French ‘r’ is guttural – it comes from the back of the throat, as if you were coughing something up!
Practice: a r chitecte - t r avail - t r ès ta r d .

A person’s occupation is given without un or une : elle est architecte .

For regular verbs ending in ‘-ir’ , just take off the ‘-ir’ and add the following endings to the stem (shown here with finir to finish ): je fin is nous fin issons tu fin is vous fin issez il/elle fin it ils/elles fin issent
Let’s look at the forms of the possessive pronouns. They need to agree in gender and number with the thing possessed. Thing possessed Masc. sing. Fem. sing. Plural my mon ma mes your (inf. sing.) ton ta tes his/her/its son sa ses our notre notre nos your (form./pl.) votre votre vos their leur leur leurs

Practice – Translate the following sentences: Do you work late? / Are you working late? (inf.) They finish their cake. Quel travail faites-vous ? Je suis électricien/électricienne.

Answers: Tu travailles tard ? Ils/Elles finissent leur gâteau. What job do you do? I am an electrician ( m./f. ).
DAY 12

Au restaurant
At the restaurant

Bonsoir, madame. Vous avez choisi ?
boh n swar madam voo zavay shwazee
good-evening madam. you have chosen?
Good evening, madam. Have you chosen?
J’aimerais la salade de tomates et puis le poulet.
jzemuhreh la salad duh tomat eh pwee luh pooleh
I would-like the salad of tomatoes and then the chicken
I would like the tomato salad and then the chicken.
Vous désirez des haricots verts en accompagnement ?
voo dayzeeray day areeko vehr ah n nakoh n panyuhmah n
you desire some beans green in accompaniment?
Would you like green beans as a side dish?
Non, je n’aime pas les haricots. Je préférerais des frites.
noh n jzuh nem pa lay areeko jzuh prayfayruhreh day freet
no I [negative particle]-like not the beans. I would-prefer some fries
No, I don’t like beans. I would prefer fries.
Tout de suite, madame ! Et j’apporte la carte des vins.
toot sweet madam eh jzaport la kart day va n
all of now madam! and I-bring the menu of-the wines
Straight away, madam! And I’ll bring the wine list.

Notes

When ordering, the conditional tense is a polite way to ask for something. We’ve already seen an example of this: je voudrais I would like from vouloir to want ; j’aimerais (from aimer to like/love ) means exactly the same thing. To form the regular conditional, the following endings are added to the infinitive: j’aimer ais nous aimer ions tu aimer ais vous aimer iez il/elle aimer ait ils/elles aimer aient
But some verbs conjugate irregularly in the conditional. For example, faire to do ; je ferais I would do , etc:
je fer ais nous fer ions tu fer ais vous fer iez il/elle fer ait ils/elles fer aient
To make a verb negative in French, ne and pas are added on either side of the verb: Je ne mange pas . I don’t eat. If the verb begins with a vowel, ne becomes n’ : Je n’ aime pas les haricots . I don’t like beans.

Practice – Translate the following sentences: I do not like beans. I would like the wine list. Il préférerait du poulet. Voulez-vous des frites ?

Answers: Je n’aime pas les haricots. J’aimerais la carte des vins. He would prefer chicken. Would you like fries?
DAY 13

Que penses-tu de Pierre ?
What do you think of Pierre?

Dis, Eléanore, que penses-tu de Pierre ?
dee elayonor kuh pah n s tew duh pyehr
say, eleanor, what think-you of pierre?
Hey, Eléanore, what do you think of Pierre?
Il est très mignon. J’adore ses cheveux blonds !
eel eh treh meenyoh n jzador say shuhvuh bloh n
he is very cute. I-love his hair( plural ) blond.
He is very cute. I love his blond hair!
Et tu as vu ses yeux bleus ? Ils sont trop beaux !
eh tew a vew say zyuh bluh eel soh n tro boh
and you have seen his eyes blue? they are too beautiful!
And have you seen his blue eyes? They are beautiful!
En plus, il est intéressant et intelligent !
ah n plews eel eht a n tayrehsah n eh a n tehleejzah n
in more, he is interesting and intelligent
Moreover, he is interesting and intelligent!
Oui, je suis d’accord. Il est canon !
wee jzuh swee dakor eel eh kanoh n
yes I am of-agreement. he is cannon!
Yes, I agree. He is hot!

Notes

Here are some linking words to help your sentence flow: et [eh] and ; ou [oo] or ; mais [meh] but ; parce que [parsuh kuh] because ; en plus [ah> n plews] moreover .

And here are some ways to give your opinion: je pense que [jzuh pah n s kuh] I think (that) ; je suis d’accord [jzuh swee dakor] I agree ; je ne suis pas d’accord [jzuh nuh swee pa dakor] I don’t agree ; j’aime [jzem] I like ; je n’aime pas [jzuh nem pa] I don’t like ; je préfère [jzuh prayfehr] I prefer ; je déteste [jzuh daytest] I hate .

Note that cheveux hair is plural ( one hair is un cheveu ), so the words that modify it need to be plural as well: ses cheveux blonds . We see the same thing in line 3: ses beaux yeux bleus his beautiful blue eyes – by way of comparison (if he was a cyclops!): son bel œil bleu his beautiful blue eye .

Practice – Translate the following sentences: She agrees. I think he is hot! Je n’aime pas mes cheveux. J’adore ses yeux verts !

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