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How to Learn french language online ?

January 9, 2016

French : Romance Language of 128 million 

How to learn french

1. Some Basic Phrases

2. Pronunciation

3. Alphabet

4. Nouns, Articles and Demonstratives

5. Useful Words and General Vocabulary

6. Subject Pronouns

7. To Be and to Have

8. Question Words

9. Numbers / Ordinals

10. Days of the Week

11. Months of the Year

12. Seasons

13. Directions

14. Color and Shapes

15. Weather

16. Time

17. Family and Animals

18. To Know People and Facts

19. Formation of Plural Nouns

20. Possessive Adjectives

21. To Do or Make

22. Work and School

23. Prepositions and Contractions

24. Countries and Nationalities

25. Negative Sentences

26. To / In and From places

27. To Come and to Go

28. Conjugating Regular Verbs

29. Pronominal (Reflexive) Verbs

30. Irregularities in Regular Verbs

31. Past Indefinite Tense

32. Irregular Past Participles

33. Etre Verbs

34. Food and Meals

35. Fruits, Vegetables, Meats

36. To Take, Eat or Drink

37. Quantities

38. Commands

39. More Negatives

40. Holiday Phrases

French National Anthem

Canadian National Anthem

French II

41. Imperfect Tense

42. Places

43. Transportation

44. To Want, to Be Able to, to Have to

45. House

46. Furniture

47. Comparative and Superlative

48. Irregular Forms

49. Clothing

50. To Wear

51. Future Tenses

52. Preceding and Plural Adjectives

53. Adjectives: Feminine

54. Adjectives: Plurals

55. More Adjectives

56. Rendre plus Adjective

57. C'est vs. Il est

58. Sports and Hobbies

59. Nature

60. To Live

61. Object Pronouns

62. Parts of the Body

63. Asking Questions

64. Interrogative Pronouns

65. Forms of Lequel

66. Relative Pronouns

67. Demonstrative Pronouns

68. To Read, to Laugh, to Say

69. Disjunctive Pronouns

70. Y and En

71. To Write, to See, to Believe

72. Animals

73. Plaire and Manquer

74. Pluperfect

75. Indefinite Pronouns

Déjeuner du matin

Le corbeau et le renard

French III

76. Colloquial Expressions

77. False Cognates

78. More Useful Words

79. Adverbs

80. Forms of Tout

81. Passive Voice

82. Depuis, il y a, and pendant in past contexts

83. Shopping

84. Post Office and Bank

85. To Receive

86. Infinitives followed by Prepositions

87. To Follow

88. Faire Causative

89. Direct / Indirect Discourse

90. Office / School Supplies

91. Conditional Tenses

92. Parts of a Car / Gas Station

93. To Drive

94. Travelling / Airport

95. Special Uses of Devoir

96. Cosmetics / Toiletries

97. Present participle

98. Abbreviations / Slang

99. Past Infinitive

100. In the Ocean

101. To Die

102. In Space

103. Subjunctive Mood

104. Possessive Pronouns

105. Simple Past

106. Make-Believe Stuff

107. Quebec French

1. Some Basic Phrases

Bonjour (bohn-zhoor) Hello / Good day

Bonsoir / Bonne nuit (bohn-swahr/bun nwee) Good evening / Good night (only said when going to bed)

Au revoir! (ohr-vwah) Goodbye!

S'il vous plaît (seel voo pleh) Please

Merci beaucoup (mair-see boh-koo)

Je vous en prie / de rien (In Canada: Bienvenu) (zhuh voo zawn pree/duh ree-ahn/bee-awn-vuh-

Thank you very much

new) You're welcome.

Oui / non (wee/nohn) Yes / no

Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle (muh-syuh, mah-dahm, mahd-mwah-zell) Mister, Misses, Miss

Comment allez-vous? (koh-mawn tahl-ay voo) How are you? (formal)

Ça va? (sah vah) How are you? (informal)

Je vais bien (zhuh vay bee-ahn) I'm fine

Ça va bien / mal / pas mal (sah vah bee-ahn/mahl/pah mahl) I'm good / bad / not bad

Je suis fatigué(e) (zhuh swee fah-tee-gay) I'm tired

Je suis malade (zhuh swee mah-lahd) I'm sick

J'ai faim (zhay fawn) I'm hungry

J'ai soif (zhay swahf) I'm thirsty

Comment vous appelez-vous? (koh-mawn voo zah-play voo) What's your name? (formal)

Comment t'appelles-tu? (koh-mawn tah-pell tew) What's your name? (informal)

Je m'appelle... (zhuh mah-pell) I am called...

Mon nom est... (mohn nohm ay) My name is...

Vous êtes d'où? (voo zet doo) Where are you from? (formal)

Tu es d'où? (tew ay doo) Where are you from? (informal)

Où habitez-vous? (ooh ah-bee-tay voo) Where do you live? (formal)

Où habites-tu? (ooh ah-beet tew) Where do you live? (informal)

Je suis des Etats-Unis / du Canada. (zhuh swee day zay-tahz-ew-nee/dew kah-nah-dah) I am from the United States / Canada.

J'habite aux Etats-Unis / au Canada. (zhah-beet oh zay-tahz-ew-nee/ oh kah-nah-dah) I live in the U.S. / Canada.

Vous avez quel âge? (voo za-vay kell ahzh) How old are you? (formal)

Tu as quel âge? (tew ah kell ahzh) How old are you? (informal)

J'ai ____ ans. (zhay ____ awn) I am ____ years old.

Parlez-vous français?

Parles-tu anglais?

(par-lay voo frahn-say) Do you speak French? (formal)

(parl tew on-glay) Do you speak English? (informal)

Italien, Allemand, Espagnol (ee-tahl-ee-ahn, ahll-uh-mawn, es-pahn-yol) Italian, German, Spanish

Russe, Japonais, Chinois (rooss, zhah-po-neh, shee-nwah) Russian, Japanese, Chinese

Je parle... (zhuh parl) I speak...

Je ne parle pas... (zhuh nuh parl pah) I don't speak...

Je (ne) comprends (pas) (zhuh nuh com-prawn pah) I (don't) understand

Je (ne) sais (pas) (zhuhn say pah) I (don't) know

Excusez-moi / Pardonnez-moi (eg-scew-zay mwah/par-dohn-ay mwah) Excuse me / Pardon me

Je regrette / Je suis désolé(e) (zhuh re-gret/zhuh swee day-zoh-lay) I'm sorry

A tout à l'heure / A bientôt (ah too tah luhr/ah bee-ahn-toh) See you later / See you soon

Salut (sah-lew) Hi / Bye

Je t'aime (zhuh tem) I love you (singular)

Je vous aime (zhuh voo zem) I love you! (plural)

2. Pronunciation

French letter(s)

English Sound

a, à, â

ah

é, et, and final er and ez

ay

e, è, ê, ai, ei, ais

eh

i, y

ee

o

oh

o

shorter and more open than aw in bought

ou

oo

oy, oi

wah

u

ew

u + vowel

wee

c (before e, i, y)

s

ç (before a, o, u)

s

c (before a, o, u)

k

g (before e, i, y)

zh

ge (before a, o)

zh

g (before a, o, u)

g

gn

nyuh

h

silent

j

zh

qu, final q

k

r

rolled

s (between vowels)

z

th

t

x

ekss, except as s in six, dix, and soixante in liaisons, like z

Note: French pronunciation is tricky because it uses nasal sounds which we do not have in English and there are a lot of silent letters. However, if a word ends in C, R, F or L (except verbs that end in -r) you usually pronounce the final consonant. Their vowels tend to be shorter as well. The French slur most words together in a sentence, so if a word ends in a consonant that is not pronounced and the next word starts with a vowel or silent h, slur the two together as if it were one word.

More about Pronunciation

1. The "slurring" that I mentioned is called liaison. It is always made:

• after a determiner (words like un, des, les, mon, ces, quels)

• before or after a pronoun (vous avez, je les ai)

• after a preceding adjective (bon ami, petits enfants)

• after one syllable prepositions (en avion, dans un livre)

• after some one syllable adverbs (très, plus, bien)

• after est

It is optional after pas, trop fort, and the forms of être, but it is never made after et.

2. Sometimes the e is dropped in words and phrases, shortening the syllables and slurring more words.

• rapid(e)ment, lent(e)ment, sauv(e)tage (pronounced ra-peed-mawn, not ra-peed-uh-mawn)

• sous l(e) bureau, chez l(e) docteur (pronounced sool bewr-oh, not soo luh bewr-oh)

• il a d(e) bons copains (eel ahd bohn ko-pahn, not eel ah duh bohn ko-pahn)

• il y a d(e)... , pas d(e)... , plus d(e)... (eel yahd, pahd, plewd, not eel ee ah duh, pah duh, or plew duh)

• je n(e), de n(e) (zhuhn, duhn, not zhuh nuh or duh nuh)

• j(e) te, c(e) que (shtuh, skuh, not zhuh tuh or suh kuh - note the change of the pronunciation of the j as well)

3. In general, intonation only rises for yes/no questions, and all other times, it goes down at the end of the sentence.

4. Two sounds that are tricky to an American English speaker are the differences between the long and short u and e. The long u is pronounced oooh, as in hoot. The short u does not exist in English though. To pronounce is correctly, round your lips as if to whistle, and then say eee. The long and short e are relatively easy to pronounce, but sometimes it is difficult to hear the difference. The long e is pronounced openly, like ay, as in play. The short e is more closed, and pronounced like eh, as in bed.

6. And of course, the nasals. These are what present the most problems for English speakers. Here are the orthographical representations, and approximate pronunciations. Nasal means that you expel air through your nose while saying the words, so don't actually pronounce the n fully.

My Representation

Pronunciation

Orthographical Representation

ahn

an apple

in, im, yn, ym, ain, aim, ein, eim, un, um, en, eng, oin, oing, oint, ien, yen, éen

awn

on the desk

en, em, an, am, aon, aen

ohn

my own book

on, om

In words beginning with in-, a nasal is only used if the next letter is a consonant. Otherwise, the in- prefix is pronounce een before a vowel.

3. Alphabet

a

ah

j

zhee

s

ess

b

beh

k

kah

t

teh

c

seh

l

ell

u

ooh

d

deh

m

em

v

veh

e

uh

n

en

w

doo-blah-veh

f

eff

o

oh

x

eeks

g

zheh

p

peh

y

ee-grek

h

ahsh

q

koo

z

zed

i

ee

r

air

4. Nouns, Articles and Demonstrative Adjectives

All nouns in French have a gender, either masculine or feminine. For the most part, you must memorize the gender, but there are some endings of words that will help you decide which gender a noun is. Nouns ending in -age and -ment are usually masculine, as are nouns ending with a consonant. Nouns ending in -ure, -sion, -tion, -ence, -ance, -té, and -ette are usually feminine.

Articles and adjectives must agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. And articles have to be expressed even though they aren't always in English; and you may have to repeat the article in some cases. Demonstratives are like strong definite articles.

Definite Articles (The)

Masculine

Feminine

Before Vowel

Plural

le lit the bed

la pommethe apple

l'oiseau the bird

les gants the gloves

Indefinite Articles (A, An, Some)

Masculine

Feminine

Plural

un lit a bed

une pommean apple

des gants some gloves

Demonstrative Adjectives (This, That, These, Those)

Masc.

Masc, Before Vowel

Fem.

Plural

ce lit this/that bed

cet oiseau this/that bird

cette pommethis/that apple

ces gants these/those gloves

If you need to distinguish between this or that and these or those, you can add -ci to the end of the noun for this and these, and -là to the end of the noun for that and those. For example, ce lit-ci is this bed, while ce lit-là is that bed.

5. Useful Words and General Vocabulary

It's / That's

c'est

say

There is/are

il y a

eel-ee-yah

There is/are

voilà

vwah-lah

Here is/are

voici

vwah-see

and

et

ay

always

toujours

too-zhoor

but

mais

may

often

souvent

soo-vawn

now

maintenant

mahnt-nawn

sometimes

quelquefois

kell-kuh-fwah

especially

surtout

sir-too

usually

d'habitude

dah-bee-tewd

except

sauf

sohf

also, too

aussi

oh-see

of course

bien sûr

bee-ahn sir

again

encore

awn-kore

so so

comme ci, comme ça

kohm see kohm sah

late

en retard

awn-ruh-tar

not bad

pas mal

pah mal

almost

presque

presk

book

le livre

leevr

friend (fem)

une amie

ew nah-mee

pencil

le crayon

krah-yohn

friend (masc)

un ami

ah-nah-mee

pen

le stylo

stee-loh

woman

une femme

ewn fawn

paper

le papier

pah-pyaya

man

un homme

ah-nohm

dog

le chien

shee-ahn

girl

une fille

feey

cat

le chat

shah

boy

un garçon

gar-sohn

Note: When il y a is followed by a number, it means ago. Il y a cinq minutes means five minutes ago.

6. Subject Pronouns

Subject Pronouns

Je

zhuh

I

Nous

noo

We

Tu

tew

You (informal)

Vous

voo

You (formal and plural)

Il Elle On

eel ell ohn

He She One

Ils Elles

eelell

They (masc.) They (fem.)

Note: Il and elle can also mean it when they replace a noun (il replaces masculine nouns, and elle replaces feminine nouns) instead of a person's name. Ils and elles can replace plural nouns as well in the same way. Notice there are two ways to say you. Tu is used when speaking to children, animals, or close friends and relativs. Vous is used when speaking to more than one person, or to someone you don't know or who is older. On can be translated into English as one, the people, we, they, or you.

7. To Be and To Have

Present tense of être - to be (eh-truh)

I am

Je suis

zhuh swee

We are

Nous sommes

noo sohm

You are

Tu es

tew ay

You are

Vous êtes

voo zett

He is She is One is

Il est Elle est On est

eel ay ell ay ohn ay

They areThey are

Ils sont Elles sont

eel sohn ell sohn

Past tense of être - to be

I was (being)

j'étais

zhay-teh

We were (being)

nous étions

ay-tee-ohn

You were (being)

tu étais

ay-teh

You were (being)

vous étiez

ay-tee-ay

He was (being) She was (being) One was (being)

il était elle était on était

ay-teh ay-teh ay-teh

They were (being)They were (being)

ils étaient elles étaient

ay-teh ay-teh

Note: Je and any verb form that starts with a vowel (or silent h) combine together for ease of pronunciation.

Future Tense of être - to be

I will be

je serai

suh-reh

We will be

nous serons

suh-rohn

You will be

tu seras

suh-rah

You will be

vous seriez

suh-ree-ay

He will be She will be One will be

il sera elle sera on sera

suh-rahsuh-rahsuh-rah

They will beThey will be

ils seront elles seront

suh-rohn suh-rohn

Note: You must use the subject pronouns; but I will leave them out of future conjugations.

Present tense of avoir - to have (ah-vwahr)

I have

j'ai

zhay

We have

avons

ah-vohn

You have

as

ah

You have

avez

ah-vay

He/she has

a

ah

They have

ont

ohn

Past tense of avoir - to have

I had

j'avais

zhah-veh

We had

avions

ah-vee-ohn

You had

avais

ah-veh

You had

aviez

ah-vee-ay

He/she had

avait

ah-veh

They had

avaient

ah-veh

Future tense of avoir - to have

I will have

j'aurai

zhoh-reh

We will have

aurons

oh-rohn

You will have

auras

oh-rah

You will have

aurez

oh-ray

He/she will have

aura

oh-rah

They will have

auront

oh-rohn

Avoir and être are used in many common and idiomatic expressions that should be memorized:

avoir chaud - to be hot avoir froid - to be cold avoir peur - to be afraid avoir raison - to be right avoir tort - to be wrong avoir faim - to be hungry avoir soif - to be thirsty avoir sommeil - to be sleepy avoir honte - to be ashamed avoir besoin de - to need avoir l'air de - to look like, seemavoir envie de - to feel like avoir de la chance - to be lucky

être de retour - to be back être en retard - to be late être en avance - to be early être d'accord - to be in agreement être sur le point de - to be about to être en train de - to be in the act of être enrhumée - to have a cold nous + être (un jour) - to be (a day)

J'ai froid. I'm cold. Tu avais raison. You were right. Il aura sommeil ce soir. He will be tired tonight. Elle a de la chance! She's lucky! Nous aurons faim plus tard. We will be hungry later. Vouz aviez tort. You were wrong. Ils ont chaud. They are hot. Elles avaient peur hier. They were afraid yesterday.

Je suis en retard! I'm late! Tu étais en avance. You were early. Elle sera d'accord. She will agree. Nous sommes lundi. It is Monday. Vous étiez enrhumé. You had a cold. Ils seront en train d'étudier. They will be (in the act of) studying. Elles étaient sur le point de partir. They were about to leave. On est de retour. We/you/they/the people are back.

8. Question Words

Who

Qui

kee

What

Quoi

kwah

Why

Pourquoi

poor-kwah

When

Quand

kawn

Where

ooh

How

Comment

kohn-mawn

How much / many

Combien

kohn-bee-ahn

Which / what

Quel(le)

kehl

9. Numbers / Les numéros

Zero

Zéro

zay-roh

One

Un

ahn

Two

Deux

duh

Three

Trois

twah

Four

Quatre

kat

Five

Cinq

sahn

Six

Six

seess

Seven

Sept

set

Eight

Huit

weet

Nine

Neuf

nuhf

Ten

Dix

deess

Eleven

Onze

ohnz

Twelve

Douze

dooz

Thirteen

Treize

trehz

Fourteen

Quatorze

kah-tohrz

Fifteen

Quinze

kanz

Sixteen

Seize

sez

Seventeen

Dix-sept

dee-set

Eighteen

Dix-huit

deez-weet

Nineteen

Dix-neuf

deez-nuhf

Twenty

Vingt

vahn

Twenty-one

Vingt et un

vahn tay ahn

Twenty-two

Vingt-deux

vahn duh

Twenty-three

Vingt-trois

vahn twah

Thirty

Trente

trawnt

Thirty-one

Trente et un

trawnt ay uhn

Thirty-two

Trente-deux

trawnt duh

Forty

Quarante

kuh-rawnt

Fifty

Cinquante

sank-awnt

Sixty

Soixante

swah-ssawnt

Seventy

Soixante-diz

swah-ssawnt deez

(Belgium & Switzerland)

Septante

seh-tahnt

Seventy-one

Soixante et onze

swah-ssawnt ay ohnz

Seventy-two

Soixante-douze

swah-ssawnt dooz

Eighty

Quatre-vingts

ka-truh vahn

(Belgium & Switzerland)

Huitante

weet-ahnt

Eighty-one

Quatre-vingt-un

ka-truh vahn tahn

Eighty-two

Quatre-vingt-deux

ka-truh vahn duh

Ninety

Quatre-vingt-dix

ka-truh vahn deez

(Belgium & Switzerland)

Nonante

noh-nahnt

Ninety-one

Quatre-vingt-onze

ka-truh vahn ohnz

Ninety-two

Quatre-vingt-douze

ka-truh vahn dooz

One Hundred

Cent

sawnt

One Hundred One

Cent un

sawnt ahn

Two Hundred

Deux cents

duh sawnt

Two Hundred One

Deux cent un

duh sawnt ahn

Thousand

Mille

meel

Two Thousand

Deux mille

duh meel

Million

Un million

ahn meel-ee-ohn

Note: French switches the use of commas and periods. 1,00 would be 1.00 in English. Belgian and Swiss French use septante, huitante and nonante in place of the standard French words for 70, 80, and 90. Also, when the numbers 5, 6, 8, and 10 are used before a word beginning with a consonant, their final consonants are not pronounced.

Ordinal Numbers

first

premier, première

second

deuxième

third

troisième

fourth

quatrième

fifth

cinquième

sixth

sixième

seventh

septième

eighth

huitième

ninth

neuvième

tenth

dixième

eleventh

onzième

twelfth

douzième

twentieth

vingtième

twenty-first

vingt et unième

thirtieth

trentième

Note: The majority of numbers become ordinals by adding -ième. But if a number ends in an e, you must drop it before adding the -ième. After a q, you must add a u before the -ième. And an f becomes a v before the -ième.

10. Days of the Week / Les jours de la semaine

Monday

lundi

lahn-dee

Tuesday

mardi

mahr-dee

Wednesday

mercredi

mare-kruh-dee

Thursday

jeudi

zhuh-dee

Friday

vendredi

vahn-druh-dee

Saturday

samedi

sahm-dee

Sunday

dimanche

dee-mahnsh

day

le jour

luh zhoor

week

la semaine

lah suh-men

today

aujourd'hui

oh-zhoor-dwee

yesterday

hier

ee-air

tomorrow

demain

duh-mahn

Note: Articles are not used before days, except to express something that happens habitually on a certain day, such as "on Monday." (you would use le before the day, as in "le lundi")

11. Months of the Year / Les mois de l'année

January

janvier

zhan-vee-ay

February

février

fay-vree-ay

March

mars

marz

April

avril

ah-vril

May

mai

may-ee

June

juin

zhwahn

July

juillet

zhwee-ay

August

août

oot

September

septembre

sep-tawm-bruh

October

octobre

ahk-toh-bruh

November

novembre

noh-vawm-bruh

December

décembre

day-sawm-bruh

Month

le mois

luh mwah

Year

l'an / l'année

lawn/law-nay

Note: To express in a certain month, such as "in May," use en before the month as in "en mai." With dates, the ordinal numbers are not used, except for the first of the month: le premier mai but le deux juin. Also note that days of the weeks and months of the year are all masculine and not capitalized in French.

12. Seasons / Les saisons

Summer

l'été

lay-tay

in the summer

en été

awn ay-tay

Fall

l'automne

loh-tohn

in the fall

en automne

aw noh-tohn

Winter

l'hiver

lee-vair

in the winter

en hiver

aw nee-vair

Spring

le printemps

luh prahn-tawn

in the spring

au printemps

oh prahn-tawn

13. Directions / Les directions

North

le nord

luh nor

South

le sud

luh sewd

East

l'est

lest

West

l'ouest

lwest

14. Colors and Shapes / Les couleurs et les formes

Red

rouge

roozh

square

le carré

kah-ray

Orange

orange

oh-rahnzh

circle

le cercle

sair-kluh

Yellow

jaune

zhohn

triangle

le triangle

tree-awn-gluh

Green

vert/e

vehr/t

rectangle

le rectangle

ruhk-tawn-gluh

Blue

bleu/e

bluh

oval

l'ovale

loh-vahl

Purple

pourpre violet/te

poo-pruh vee-oh-leh/lett

cube

le cube

kewb

White

blanc/he

blawn/sh

sphere

la sphère

sfair

Brown

brun/e marron

brahn/brewn mah-rohn

cylinder

le cylindre

see-lahn-druh

Black

noir/e

nwahr

cone

le cône

kohn

Pink

rose

roze

octagon

l'octogone

ok-toh-gohn

Gold

doré/e

doh-ray

box

une boîte

bwaht

Silver

argenté/e

ahr-zhawn-tay

Gray

gris/e

gree/z

Note: In French, nouns and adjectives have a gender. Ex: vert/e = vert is the masculine form of green, verte is the feminine form. Almost all adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they modify (except marron and orange, as well as colors that are modified with the words clair-light and foncé-dark) and most are placed after the noun. Un carré brun would be a brown square and une boîte noire would be a black box.

15. Weather / Le temps

What's the weather like?

Quel temps fait-il?

kell tawn fay-teel

It's nice.

Il fait bon.

eel fay bohn

bad

Il fait mauvais

moh-vay

cool

Il fait frais

fray

cold

Il fait froid

fwah

warm, hot

Il fait chaud

shoh

cloudy

Il fait nuageux

noo-ah-zhuh

beautiful

Il fait beau

boh

mild

Il fait doux

dooh

stormy

Il fait orageux

oh-rah-zhuh

sunny

Il fait (du) soleil

eel fay (dew) so-lay

windy

Il fait du vent

vawn

foggy

Il fait du brouillard

broo-ee-yar

snowing

Il neige

eel nezh

raining

Il pleut

pluh

freezing

Il gèle

zhell

Note: The du in "il fait (du) soleil" is optional. In Canada, du is often not said, but in France it is common.

16. Time / Le temps

What time is it?

Quelle heure est-il?

kell urr ay-teel

It is...

Il est...

eel ay

one o'clock

une heure

oon urr

two o'clock

deux heures

duh zurr

noon

midi

mee-dee

midnight

minuit

meen-wee

a quarter after three

trois heures et quart

twa zurr ay car

one o'clock sharp

une heure précise

oon urr pray-sees

four o'clock sharp

quatre heures précises

ka-truh urr pray-sees

twelve thirty

midi (minuit) et demi

meee-dee (meen-wee) ay duh-mee

six thirty

six heures et demie

see zurr ay duh-mee

a quarter to seven

sept heures moins le quart

set urr mwahn luh car

five twenty

cinq heures vingt

sank urr vahn

ten fifty

onze heures moins dix

ohnz urr mwan dees

in the morning/AM

du matin

doo mah-tahn

in the afternoon/PM

de l'après-midi

duh lah-pray mih-dee

in the evening/PM

du soir

doo swahr

Note: Official French time is expressed as military time (24 hour clock.)

17. Family and Animals / La famille et les animaux

Family

la famille

fah-mee

Relatives

des parents

pahr-awn

Grand-parents

les grands-parents

grawn-pahr-awn

Parents

les parents

pahr-awn

Mom

la mère, maman

mehr, ma-ma

Stepmother/Mother-in-Law

la belle-mère

bell-mehr

Dad

le père, papa

pehr, pa-pa

Stepfather/Father-in-Law

le beau-père

boh-pehr

Daughter

la fille

fee

Son

le fils

feess

Sister

la soeur

sir

Half/Step Sister

la demi-soeur

duh-mee-sir

Sister-in-Law

la belle-soeur

bell-sir

Stepdaughter/Daughter-in-Law

la belle-fille

bell-fee

Brother

le frère

frehr

Half/Step Brother

le demi-frère

duh-mee-frehr

Brother-in-Law

le beau-frère

boh-frair

Stepson/Son-in-Law

le beau-fils

boh-feess

Twins (m)

les jumeaux

zhoo-moh

Twins (f)

les jumelles

zhoo-mell

Uncle

l'oncle

ohnk-luh

Aunt

la tante

tawnt

Grandmother

la grand-mère

grawn-mehr

Grandfather

le grand-père

grawn-pehr

Cousin (f)

la cousine

koo-zeen

Cousin (m)

le cousin

koo-zahn

Wife

la femme

fawn

Husband

le mari

mah-ree

Woman

la femme

fawn

Man

l'homme

ohm

Girl

la fille

fee

Boy

le garçon

gar-sohn

Niece

la nièce

nee-ess

Nephew

le neveu

nuh-vuh

Grandchildren

les petits-enfants

puh-tee-zawn-fawn

Granddaughter

la petite-fille

puh-teet fee

Grandson

le petit-fils

puh-tee feez

Distant Relatives

des parents éloignés

pahr-awn zay-lwawn-yay

Single

célibataire

say-lee-bah-tair

Married

marié(e)

mah-ree-ay

Separated

séparé(e)

say-pah-ray

Divorced

divorcé(e)

dee-vor-say

Widower / Widow

veuf / veuve

vuhf / vuhv

Dog

le chien / la chienne

shee-ahn / shee-enn

Cat

le chat / la chatte

shah / shaht

Puppy

le chiot

shee-oh

Kitten

le chaton

shah-tohn

Pig

le cochon

koh-shohn

Rooster

le coq

kohk

Rabbit

le lapin

lah-pahn

Cow

la vache

vahsh

Horse

le cheval

chuh-val

Duck

le canard

kah-nahr

Goat

la chèvre

shev-ruh

Goose

l'oie

lwah

Sheep

le mouton

moo-tohn

Lamb

l'agneau

lon-yoh

Donkey

l'âne

lon

Mouse

la souris

soo-ree

18. To Know People and Places

connaître-to know people (koh-net-truh)

savoir-to know facts (sahv-wahr)

connais

koh-neh

connaissons

koh-nezz-ohn

sais

say

savons

sah-vohn

connais

koh-neh

connaissez

koh-nezz-ay

sais

say

savez

sav-ay

connaît

koh-neh

connaissent

koh-nezz

sait

say

savent

sahv

Note: Connaître is used when you know people or places, savoir is used when you know facts. When savoir is followed by an infinitive it means to know how.

Je connais ton frère. I know your brother. Je sais que ton frère s'appelle Jean. I know that your brother is named John. Connaissez-vous Grenoble? Do you know (Are you familiar with) Grenoble? Oui, nous connaissons Grenoble. Yes, we know (are familiar with) Grenoble. Tu sais où Grenoble se trouve. You know where Grenoble is located. Ils savent nager. They know how to swim.

19. Formation of Plural Nouns

To make a noun plural, you usually add an -s. But there are some exceptions:

Sing.

Plural

If a noun already ends in an -s, add nothing.

bus

le bus

les bus

If a noun ends in -eu or -eau, add an x.

boat

le bateau

les bateaux

If a masculine noun ends in -al or -ail, change it to -aux.

horse

le cheval

les chevaux

Some nouns ending in -ou add an -x instead of -s.

knee

le genou

les genoux

There are, of course, some weird exceptions: un oeil (eye) - des yeux (eyes); le ciel (sky) - les cieux (skies); and un jeune homme (a young man) - des jeunes gens (young men).

20. Possessive Adjectives

Masc.

Fem.

Plural

My

mon (mohn)

ma (mah)

mes (may)

Your

ton

ta

tes

His/Her/Its

son

sa

ses

Our

notre (noh-truh)

notre

nos (noh)

Your

votre

votre

vos

Their

leur (luhr)

leur

leurs (luhr)

Note: Possessive pronouns go before the noun. When a feminine noun begins with a vowel, you must use the masculine form of the pronoun for ease of pronunciation. Ma amie is incorrect and must be mon amie, even though amie is feminine.

C'est ma mère et mon père. This is my mother and my father. Ce sont vos petits-enfants? These are your grandchildren? Mes parents sont divorcés. My parents are divorced. Sa grand-mère est veuve. His grandmother is a widow. Notre frère est marié, mais notre soeur est célibataire. Our brother is married, but our sister is single. Ton oncle est architecte, n'est-ce pas? Your uncle is an architect, isn't he? Leurs cousines sont hollandaises. Their cousins are Dutch.

21. To Do or Make

Faire-to do, make (fair)

fais

fay

faisons

fezz-ohn

fais

fay

faites

fett

fait

fay

font

fohnt

Faire is used in expressions of weather (il fait beau) and many other idiomatic expressions: faire de (a sport) - to play (a sport) faire le sourd / l'innocent - to act deaf / innocent faire le (subject in school) - to do / study (subject) faire le ménage - to do the housework faire la cuisine - to do the cooking faire la lessive - to do laundry faire la vaisselle - to do the dishes faire une promenade - to take a walk faire une voyage - to take a trip faire les courses - to run errands faire des achats - to go shopping faire de l'exercice - to exercise faire attention - to pay attention faire la queue - to stand in line

22. Work and School

Masculine

Feminine

architect

l'architecte

lar-shee-tekt

l'architecte

lar-shee-tekt

accountant

le comptable

kohn-tahbl

la comptable

kohn-tabl

judge

le juge

zhoozh

la juge

zhoozh

business peron

l'homme d'affaires

lohn dah-fehr

la femme d'affaires

fahn dah-fehr

baker

le boulanger

boo-lawn-zhay

la boulangère

boo-lawn-zhay

hair dresser

le coiffeur

kwah-fur

la coiffeuse

kwah-fur

computer programmer

le programmeur

proh-grah-mur

la programmeuse

proh-grah-mur

secretary

le secrétaire

suk-ray-tehr

la secrétaire

suk-ray-tehr

electrician

l'électricien

ay-lehk-tree-see-ahn

l'électricien

ay-lehk-tree-see-ahn

mechanic

le mécanicien

may-kah-nee-syahn

la mécanicienne

may-kah-nee-syenn

cook

le cuisinier

kwee-zee-nyay

la cuisinière

kwee-zee-nyay

salesperson

le vendeur

vawn-dur

la vendeuse

vawn-dur

fire fighter

le pompier

pohn-pyay

le pompier

pohn-pyay

plumber

le plombier

plohn-byay

le plombier

plohn-byay

librarian

le bibliothécaire

bee-blee-oh-teh-kehr

la bibliothécaire

bee-blee-oh-teh-kehr

police officer

l'agent de police

lah-zhawnd poh-leess

l'agent de police

lah-zhawnd poh-leess

reporter

le journaliste

zhoor-nah-leest

la journaliste

zhoor-nah-leest

factory worker

l'ouvrier

loov-ree-ay

l'ouvrière

loov-ree-ay

banker

le banquier

bahn-kee-ay

la banquière

bahn-kee-ay

lawyer

l'avocat

lah-voh-kah

l'avocate

lah-voh-kah

postal worker

le facteur

fah-tur

la factrice

fah-tur

carpenter

le charpentier

shar-pawn-tyay

le charpentier

shar-pawn-tyay

engineer

l'ingénieur

lahn-zhay-nyur

l'ingénieure

lahn-zhay-nyur

doctor

le médecin

mayd-sawn

la médecine

mayd-sawn

nurse

l'infirmier

lahn-feer-myay

l'infirmière

lahn-feer-myay

pharmacist

le pharmacien

fahr-mah-see-ahn

le pharmacienne

fahr-mah-see-ahn

psychologist

le psychologue

psee-koh-lohg

la psychologue

psee-koh-lohg

dentist

le dentiste

dawn-teest

la dentiste

dawn-teest

veterinarian

le vétérinaire

vay-tay-ree-nehr

la vétérinaire

vay-tay-ree-nehr

taxi driver

le chauffeur de taxi

shoh-furd tahk-see

le chauffeur de taxi

shoh-furd tahk-see

writer

l'écrivain

lay-kree-vahn

l'écrivaine

lay-kree-vahn

teacher

l'instituteur

lahn-stee-tew-tur

l'institutrice

lahn-stee-tew-tur

professor

le professeur

proh-fuh-sur

le professeur

proh-fuh-sur

student

l'étudiant

lay-tew-dee-awn

l'étudiante

lay-tew-dee-awnt

Note: Notice that some professions are always masculine, even if the person is a woman. There are also words that are always feminine (such as la victime) even if the person is a man.

Math

les mathématiques

maht-ee-mah-teek

Algebra

l'algèbre

lal-zheb

Calculus

le calcul

kahl-kool

Geometry

la géométrie

zhay-oh-may-tree

Economics

les sciences économiques

see-awns ay-kon-oh-meek

Foreign Languages

les langues étrangères

lawn zay-trawn-zhair

Linguistics

la linguistique

lahn-gee-steek

Literature

la littérature

lee-tay-rah-tur

Philosophy

la philosophie

fee-loh-soh-fee

Psychology

la psychologie

p-see-kol-oh-zhee

Political Science

les sciences politiques

see-awns poh-lee-teek

History

l'histoire (f)

ees-twahr

Geography

la géographie

zhay-oh-grahf-ee

Physics

la physique

fees-eek

Biology

la biologie

bee-ol-oh-zhee

Chemistry

la chimie

shee-mee

Zoology

la zoologie

zoh-ol-oh-zhee

Botany

la botanique

boh-tah-neek

Art

les arts

zahr

Music

la musique

mew-zeek

Dance

la danse

dahns

Drawing

le dessin

duh-sahn

Painting

la peinture

pahn-tur

Computer Science

l'informatique

ahn-for-mah-teek

Technology

la technologie

teck-no-loh-zhee

Physical Education

l'éducation physique (f)

lay-dew-kah-see-ohn fee-zeek

Notice that you do not use an indefinite article before professions, unless they are preceded by an adjective.

Qu'est-ce que vous faites dans la vie? What do you do for a living? Je suis avocate. I am a lawyer. (fem.) Je suis professeur. I am a professor. Je suis étudiant. I am a student (masc.) Où est-ce que vous faites les études? Where do you study? Je vais à l'université de Michigan. I go to the university of Michigan. Je fais mes études à l'université de Toronto. I study at the University of Toronto. Qu'est-ce que vous étudiez? What do you study?

Quelles matières étudiez-vous? What subjects do you study? J'étudie les langues étrangères et la linguistique. I study foreign languages and linguistics. Je fais des mathématiques. I study/do math. Ma spécialization est la biologie. My major is biology.

23. Prepositions and Contractions

among

parmi

par-mee

at / to / in

à

ah

at the house of

chez

shay

between

entre

on-truh

for

pour

poohr

from / of / about

de

duh

in

dans

dawn

on

sur

sir

with

avec

ah-veck

without

sans

sawn

Prepositional Contractions

à + le = au

oh

at / to / in the

à + les = aux

oh

at / to / in the (pl.)

de + le = du

dew

of / from / about the

de + les = des

day

of / from / about the (pl.)

In: Dans vs. En Dans is used to show the time when an action will begin, while en shows the length of time an action takes.

Je pars dans quinze minutes. I'm leaving in 15 minutes. Il peut lire ce livre en une demi-heure. He can read this book in a half hour.

With: Avec vs. De vs. A vs. Chez Avec implies doing something or going along with someone; de is used in phrases of manner and in many idiomatic expressions; à is used when referring to someone's attributes; and chez is used to mean "as far as (person) is concerned." To describe the way a person carries him/herself, no extra word is used.

Je vais en France avec ma soeur. I'm going to France with my sister. Elle me remercie d'un sourire. She thanks me with a smile. L'homme aux cheveux roux est très grand. The man with the red hair is very tall. Chez cet enfant, tout est simple. With this child, everything is simple. Il marche, les mains dans les poches. He walks with his hands in his pockets.

24. Countries and Nationalities / Les pays and les nationalités

France

la France

frahns

français/e

frawn-say/sez

Switzerland

la Suisse

sweess

suisse

sweess

Italy

l'Italie

lee-tah-lee

italien/ne

ee-tahl-ee-awn/enn

Germany

l'Allemagne

lahl-mawn-yuh

allemand/e

ahl-mawn/d

Spain

l'Espagne

leh-spawn-yuh

espagnol/e

es-pan-yohl

Belgium

la Belgique

bell-zheek

belge

belzh

Netherlands

les Pays-Bas

pay-ee-bah

hollandais/e

oh-lawn-day/dehz

China

la Chine

sheen

chinois/e

sheen-wah/wez

Great Britain

la Grande-Bretagne

grahnd bruh-tawn-yuh

britannique

bree-tahn-eek

England

l'Angleterre

lawn-gluh-tair

anglais/e

an-glay/ez

Russia

la Russie

roo-see

russe

rewss

Poland

la Pologne

poh-lohn-yuh

polonais/e

poh-lon-ay/ez

Canada

le Canada

kah-nah-dah

canadien/ne

kah-nah-dee-awn/enn

Mexico

le Mexique

meks-eek

mexicain/e

mek-see-kahn/enn

Japan

le Japon

zhap-ohn

japonais/e

zhah-poh-nay/nez

Portugal

le Portugal

pore-tew-gahl

portugais/e

por-tew-gay/gez

Brazil

le Brésil

bray-zeel

brésilien/ne

bray-zeel-ee-awn/enn

United States

les États-Unis

ay-tah-zew-nee

américain/e

ah-may-ree-kahn/kenn

Sweden

la Suède

soo-ed

suèdois/e

soo-ed-wah/wez

Norway

la Norvège

nor-vehzh

norvègien/ne

nor-vehzh-ee-awn/enn

Finland

la Finlande

feen-lahnd

finlandais/e

feen-lan-day/dez

Denmark

le Danemark

dahn-mark

danois/e

dahn-wah/wez

Greece

la Grèce

grehs

grec/grecque

grek

Austria

l'Autriche

loh-treesh

autrichien/ne

oh-trees-ee-awn/enn

Australia

l'Australie

loh-strah-lee

australien/ne

oh-strahl-ee-awn/enn

Africa

l'Afrique

lah-freek

africain/e

ah-free-kahn/kenn

India

l'Inde

lahnd

indien/ne

ahn-dee-ahn/enn

Ireland

l'Irlande

leer-lawnd

irlandais/e

eer-lahn-day/dez

Note: When the nationalities are used as adjectives, they must agree with the subject of the verb (masculine vs. feminine, and singular vs. plural.) The extra ending shown above is added to signify a feminine subject. To make them plural, just add an -s (unless it already ends in an -s, then add nothing.) The masculine forms of the nationalities are also used to signify the language. And the definite article is not used before a language when it follows the verb parler (to speak.)

25. Negative Sentences

To make sentences negative, simply put ne and pas around the verb. In spoken French, however, the ne is frequently omitted, but it cannot be omitted in written French. And when you are replying "yes" to a negative question, you use si and not oui.

Je suis du Canada. I am from Canada. Je ne suis pas du Mexique. I am not from Mexico. Je suis française. I am French (feminine.) Je ne suis pas suisse. I am not Swiss. (masculine or feminine)

Il est australien. He is Australian. Elle n'est pas danoise. She is not Danish. Elles sont des Etats-Unis. They are from the United States. Ils ne sont pas du Portugal. They are not from Portugal. Je parle chinois et japonais. I speak Chinese and Japanese. Je ne parle pas suèdois. I don't speak Swedish. Vous n'êtes pas du Brésil? You aren't from Brazil? Si, nous sommes du Brésil. Yes, we are from Brazil.

26. To / In and From places, cities, and countries

Places

Cities

Countries

Masc.

au

du

à

de

au

du

Fem.

à la

de la

à

de

en

de

Vowel

à l'

de l'

à

d'

en

d'

Plural

aux

des

aux

des

aux

des

If the name of a country, continent, island, state or province ends with an e, the gender is feminine. If it ends in anything else, it is masculine. The exceptions are le Cambodge, le Maine, le Mexique, le Zaïre and le Mozambique. Some cities have an article as well, such as La Nouvelle-Orléans (New Orleans).

Prepositions with American States

To / In

From

Feminine

en

de

Islands

à

de / d'

Masc. w/ Vowel

en / dans l'

d' / de l'

Masc. w/ Consonant

dans le

du

Californie, Caroline du Nord / Sud, Floride, Géorgie, Louisiane, Pennsylvanie, and Virginie are the feminine states. The exception to the masculine beginning with a consonant rule is Texas: in / to Texas is au Texas.

27. To Come and to Go

Venir-to come (vuh-neer)

Aller-to go (ah-lay)

viens

vee-ahn

venons

vuh-nohn

vais

vay

allons

ah-lohn

viens

vee-ahn

venez

vuh-nay

vas

vah

allez ah-lay

vient

vee-ahn

viennent

vee-enn

va

vah

vont

vohn

Other verbs that are conjugated like venir: tenir - to hold, devenir - to become, obtenir - to get, revenir - to come back.

Je viens des Etats-Unis. I come from the United States. Il tient un crayon. He's holding a pencil. Nous allons en Espagne. We're going to Spain. Tu ne vas pas au Brésil cet été. You're not going to Brazil this summer.

Aller + an infinitive means "going to do something." Ils vont aller en Angleterre. They are going to go to England. Elle va parler russe. She's going to speak Russian. Je vais devenir professeur. I'm going to become a professor.

Aller is also used idiomatically when talking about health. Comment vas-tu? How are you? Je vais bien. I'm fine.

Venir de + an infinitive means "to have just done something." Il vient d'aller à la Finlande. He just went to Finland. Vous venez de manger une pomme. You just ate an apple.

28. Conjugating Regular Verbs in the Present Indicative Tense

Verbs in French end in -er, -re, or -ir. The verb before it is conjugated is called the infinitive. Removing the last two letters leaves you with the stem (aimer is the infinitive, aim- is the stem.) The present indicative tense indicates an ongoing action, general state, or habitual activity. Besides the simple present tense (I write, I run, I see); there are two other forms of the present tense in English: the progressive (I am writing, I am running, etc.) and the emphatic (I do write, I do run, etc.) However, these three English present tenses are all translated by the present indicative tense in French.

To conjugate verbs in the present tense, use the stem and add the following endings.

-er

-re

1st -ir

2nd -ir*

-e

-ons

-s

-ons

-is

-issons

-s

-ons

-es

-ez

-s

-ez

-is

-issez

-s

-ez

-e

-ent

-

-ent

-it

-issent

-t

-ent

Sample Regular Verbs

aimer -to like, love

vendre - to sell

j'aime

zhem

aimons

em-ohn

vends

vawn

vendons

vawn-dohn

aimes

em

aimez

em-ay

vends

vawn

vendez

vawn-day

aime

em

aiment

em

vend

vawn

vendent

vawn

finir - to finish

partir - to leave

finis

fee-nee

finissons

fee-nee-sohn

pars

pahr

partons

pahr-tohn

finis

fee-nee

finissez

fee-nee-say

pars

pahr

partez

pahr-tay

finit

fee-nee

finissent

fee-neess

part

pahr

partent

pahrt

Regular verbs

-er

-re

aimer

em-ay

to like, love

vendre

vawn-druh

to sell

chanter

shahn-tay

to sing

attendre

ah-tawn-druh

to wait for

chercher

share-shay

to look for

entendre

awn-tawn-druh

to listen

commencer

koh-mawn-say

to begin

perdre

pair-druh

to lose

donner

dohn-nay

to give

répondre (à)

ray-pohn-druh (ah)

to answer

étudier

ay-too-dee-ay

to study

descendre

deh-sawn-druh

to go down

fermer

fehr-may

to close

1st -ir

habiter

ah-bee-tay

to live

bâtir

bah-teer

to build

jouer

zhoo-ay

to play

finir

fee-neer

to finish

manger

mawn-zhay

to eat

choisir

shwa-zeer

to choose

montrer

mohn-tray

to show

punir

poo-neer

to punish

parler

par-lay

to speak

remplir

rawn-pleer

to fill

penser

pawn-say

to think

obéir (à)

oh-bay-eer (ah)

to obey

travailler

trah-vy-yay

to work

réussir

ray-oo-seer

to succeed

trouver

troo-vay

to find

guérir

gay-reer

to cure, heal

Note: If a verb is followed by à (like répondre) you have to use the à and any contractions after the conjugated verb. Ex: Je réponds au téléphone.

* The 2nd -ir verbs are considered irregular sometimes because there are only a few verbs which follow that pattern. Other verbs like partir are sortir (to go out), dormir (to sleep), mentir (to lie), sentir (to smell, feel) and servir (to serve.)

29. Pronominal (Reflexive) Verbs

These verbs are conjugated like normal verbs, but they require an extra pronoun before the verb. Most indicate a reflexive action but some are idiomatic and can't be translated literally. The pronouns are:

me

nous

te

vous

se

se

Some Pronominal Verbs

s'amuser

to have fun

se reposer

to rest

se lever

to get up

se souvenir de

to remember

se laver

to wash (oneself)

s'entendre bien

to get along well

se dépêcher

to hurry

se coucher

to go to bed

se peigner

to comb

se brosser

to brush

s'habiller

to get dressed

se maquiller

to put on makeup

se marier

to get married

se casser

to break (arm, leg, etc.)

Note: When used in the infinitive, such as after another verb, the reflexive pronoun agrees with the subject of the sentence. Je vais me coucher maintenant. I'm going to go to bed.

Sample Irregular Pronominal Verb

s'asseoir - to sit down

je m'assieds

mah-see-ay

nous nous asseyons

noo-zah-say-ohn

tu t'assieds

tah-see-ay

vous vous asseyez

vous-zah-say-yay

il s'assied

sah-see-ay

ils s'asseyent

sah-say-ee

30. Irregularities in Regular Verbs

1. Verbs that end in -ger and -cer: The nous form of manger isn't mangons, but mangeons. The e has to stay so the g can retain the soft sound. The nous form of commencer isn't commencons, but commençons. The c must have the accent (called a cedilla) under it to make the c sound soft.

manger-to eat

commencer-to begin

mange

mawnzh

mangeons

mawn-zhohn

commence

koh-mawnz

commençons

koh-mawn-sohn

manges

mawnzh

mangez

mawn-zhay

commences

koh-mawnz

commencez

koh-mawn-say

mange

mawnzh

mangent

mawnzh

commence

koh-mawnz

commencent

koh-mawnz

2. Verbs that add or change to an accent grave: Some verbs add or change to an accent grave (è) in all the forms except the nous and vous.

acheter-to buy

espérer-to hope

j'achète

zhah-shet

achetons

ahsh-tohn

j'espère

zhess-pehr

espérons

ess-pay-rohn

achètes

ah-shet

achetez

ahsh-tay

espères

ess-pehr

espérez

ess-pay-ray

achète

ah-shet

achètent

ah-shet

espère

ess-pehr

espèrent

ess-pehr

3. Verbs that are conjugated as -er verbs: Some -ir verbs are conjugated with -er endings. For example: offrir-to offer, give, ouvrir-to open, couvrir-to cover, découvrir-to discover and souffrir-to suffer.

offrir-to offer

j'offre

zhaw-fruh

offrons

aw-frohn

offres

aw-fruh

offrez

aw-fray

offre

aw-fruh

offrent

aw-fruh

4. Verbs that end in -yer: Change the y to an i in all forms except the nous and vous. Examples: envoyer-to send (awn-vwah-yay), nettoyer-to clean (nuh-twah-yay), essayer-to try (ess-ah-yay)

envoyer-to send

j'envoie

zhawn-vwah

envoyons

awn-vwah-yohn

envoies

awn-vwah

envoyez

awn-vwah-yay

envoie

awn-vwah

envoient

awn-vwah

5. Verbs that double the consonant: Some verbs, such as appeler-to call (ahp-lay), and jeter-to throw (zheh-tay) double the consonant in all forms except the nous and vous.

appeler-to call

j'appelle

zhah-pell

appelons

ahp-lohn

appelles

ah-pell

appelez

ahp-lay

appelle

ah-pell

appellent

ah-pell

31. The Past Indefinite Tense or Passé Composé You have learned the present indicative so far, which expresses what happens, is happening, or does happen now; but if you want to say something happened, or has happened, you have to use the passé composé. The passé composé is used for actions that happened only once, a specified number of times or during a specified period of time, and as a result or consequence of another action. All you need to learn are the past participles of the verbs.

Regular Verbs: Formation of the Past Participle

-er

-re

-u

-ir

-i

Then conjugate avoir and add the past participle:

J'ai aimé le concert.

I liked the concert.

Tu as habité ici?

You lived here?

Il a répondu au téléphone.

He answered (or has answered) the telephone.

Nous avons fini le projet.

We finished (or have finished) the project.

Elles ont rempli les tasses.

They filled (or have filled) the cups.

To make it negative, put the ne and pas around the conjugated form of avoir.

Je n'ai pas aimé le concert.

I didn't like the concert.

Il n'a pas répondu.

He didn't answer (or hasn't answered) .

Elles n'ont pas rempli les tasses.

They didn't fill (or haven't filled) the glasses.

32. Irregular Past Participles

avoir

to have

eu (ew)

had

ouvrir

to open

ouvert (oo-vehr)

opened

connaître

to know

connu

known

offrir

to offer

offert

offered

croire

to believe

cru

believed

pouvoir

to be able to

pu

was

able to

devoir

to have to

had to

prendre

to take

pris (pree)

taken

dire

to tell

dit

said

apprendre

to learn

appris

learned

écrire

to write

écrit

written

comprendre

to understand

compris

understood

être

to be

été

been

surprendre

to surprise

surpris

surprised

faire

to do, make

fait

made

recevoir

to receive

reçu (reh-sew)

received

lire

to read

lu

read

rire

to laugh

ri

laughed

mettre

to put

mis (me)

put

savoir

to know

su

known

permettre

to permit

permis

permitted

voir

to see

vu

seen

promettre

to promise

promis

promised

vouloir

to want

voulu (voo-lew)

wanted

33. Etre Verbs

Sixteen "house" verbs and all pronominal verbs are conjugated with être, and they must agree in gender and number with the subject. The house verbs are:

aller-to go

sortir-to go out

venir-to come

mourir-to die

arriver-to arrive

partir-to leave

devenir-to become

monter-to go up

entrer-to enter

tomber-to fall

revenir-to come back

rester-to stay

rentrer-to return home

naître-to be born

passer-to go by (pass)

descendre-to go down

Most have regular past participles, except venir-venu, devenir-devenu, revenir-revenu, mourir-mort, and naître-né. And five of these verbs, monter, descendre, sortir, rentrer, and passer can sometimes be conjugated with avoir if they are used with a direct object. Elle a rentré le livre à la bibliothèque. She returned the book to the library.

Conjugation of an être verb

Je suis resté(e)

Nous sommes resté(e)s

Tu es resté(e)

Vous êtes resté(e)(s)

Il est resté

Ils sont restés

Elle est restée

Elles sont restées

You add the e for feminine and s for plural. Vous can have any of the endings.

Conjugation of a Pronominal Verb

Je me suis amusé(e)

Nous nous sommes amusé(e)s

Tu t'es amusé(e)

Vous vous êtes amusé(e)(s)

Il s'est amusé

Ils se sont amusés

Elle s'est amusée

Elles se sont amusées

There are only two cases with pronominal verbs where the past participle does not agree: 1. When the pronominal verb is followed by a direct object. Compare: Elles se sont lavées, but elles se sont lavé les mains. 2. With verbs where the reflexive pronoun is an indirect object, such as se parler, se demander, se dire, s'écrire, se sourire, and se téléphoner. Ils se sont téléphoné.

34. Food and Meals / La Nourriture et Les Repas

Breakfast

le petit déjeuner

puh-tee day-zhew-nay

Lunch

le déjeuner

day-zhew-nay

Dinner

le dîner

dee-nay

Cup

la tasse

tahss

Slice

la tranche

trawnsh

Bowl

le bol

bohl

Glass

le verre

verr

Salt and Pepper

le sel et le poivre

luh sell ay luh pwahv-ruh

Fork

la fourchette

foor-shett

Spoon

la cuillère

kwee-yehr

Knife

le couteau

koo-toh

Plate

l'assiette (f)

ah-syett

Napkin

la serviette

ser-vyett

Ice cream

la glace

glahss

Juice

le jus

zhew

Fruit

le fruit

fwee

Cheese

le fromage

froh-mawzh

Chicken

le poulet

poo-lay

Egg

l'oeuf (m)

luff

Cake

le gâteau

gah-toh

Pie

la tarte

tart

Milk

le lait

leh

Coffee

le café

kah-fay

Butter

le beurre

burr

Water

l'eau

loh

Ham

le jambon

zham-bohn

Fish

le poisson

pwah-sohn

Tea

le thé

tay

Salad

la salade

sah-lahd

Jam

la confiture

kon-fee-chur

Meat

la viande

vee-awnd

French fries

les frites (f)

freet

Beer

la bière

bee-ehr

Wine

le vin

vahn

Sugar

le sucre

soo-kruh

Soup

le potage

poh-tawzh

35. Fruits, Vegetables and Meat

fruit

un fruit

fwee

corn

le maïs

mah-eez

apple

une pomme

pohm

cucumber

un concombre

cohn-cohn-bruh

apricot

un abricot

ah-bree-koh

eggplant

une aubergine

oh-behr-zheen

banana

une banane

bah-nahn

lettuce

la laitue

leh-tew

blueberry

une myrtille

meer-tee

mushroom

un champignon

shahm-pee-nyohn

cherry

une cerise

suh-reez

onion

un oignon

wawn-yohn

coconut

une noix de coco

nwah duh koh-koh

peas

les pois

pwah

date

une date

daht

pepper

un piment

pee-mawn

fig

une figue

feeg

potato

une pomme de terre

pohm duh tehr

grape

un raisin

reh-zahn

pumpkin

une citrouille

see-troo-ee

grapefruit

un pamplemousse

pahm-pluh-moos

rice

le riz

reez

lemon

un citron

see-trohn

spinach

des épinards

ay-pee-nar

lime

un limon

lee-mohn

squash

une courge

koorzh

melon

un melon

mel-ohn

tomato

une tomate

to-maht

olive

une olive

oh-leev

turnip

un navet

nah-vay

orange

une orange

oh-ranzh

zucchini

des courgettes

koor-zhett

peach

une pêche

pesh

meat

une viande

vee-awnd

pear

une poire

pwahr

bacon

du lard, du bacon

lar, bah-kohn

pineapple

un ananas

ah-nah-nah

beef

le bifteck

beef-teck

plum

une prune

prewn

chicken

un poulet

poo-lay

prune

un pruneau

proo-noh

duck

un canard

kah-nar

raisin

un raisin sec

reh-zahn sek

goat

une chèvre

shev-ruh

raspberry

une framboise

frwahm-bwahz

ham

le jambon

zhahm-bohn

strawberry

une fraise

frez

lamb

l'agneau

awn-yoh

watermelon

une pastèque

pah-stek

liver

le foie

fwah

vegetable

une légume

leh-goom

meatballs

des boulettes de viande

boo-lett duh vee-awnd

artichoke

un artichaut

ar-tee-sho

pork chop

une côtelette de porc

kote-lett duh pork

asparagus

des asperges

ahs-pehrzh

rabbit

un lapin

lah-pahn

beet

une betterave

bett-rahv

T-bone steak

une côte de boeuf

kote duh buf

broccoli

le brocoli

broh-coh-lee

sausage

la saucisse

so-seess

cabbage

un chou

shoo

turkey

une dinde

dahnd

carrot

une carotte

cah-roht

veal

le veau

voh

cauliflower

un chou-fleur

shoo-flir

venison

un chevreuil

shuv-ruh-ee

celery

un céléri

say-lay-ree

36. To Take, Eat or Drink

Prendre-to take, eat or drink (prawn-druh)

Boire-to drink (bwahr)

prends

prawn

prenons

pruh-nohn

bois

bwah

buvons

bew-vohn

prends

prawn

prenez

pru-nay

bois

bwah

buvez

bew-vay

prend

prawn

prennent

prenn

boit

bwah

boivent

bwahv

Other verbs that are conjugated like prendre: apprendre - to learn, comprendre - to understand and surprendre - to surprise.

Note: When you want to say "I am having wine," the French translation is "Je prends du vin." You must use de and le, la, l', or les and the proper contractions (called partitives) because in French you must also express some. So "je prends de la bière" literally means "I am having some beer" even though in English we would usually only say I am having beer.

Manger is a regular verb meaning "to eat," but manger is used in a general sense, such as Je mange le poulet tous les samedis. I eat chicken every Saturday. Boire is literally the verb to drink and is also used in a general sense only. Je bois du vin tout le temps. I drink wine all the time.

37. Quantities

assez de

enough (of)

un morceau de

a piece of

une douzaine de

a dozen of

une assiette de

a plate of

un peu de

a little (bit) of

un paquet de

a packet of

beaucoup de

a lot of

une tasse de

a cup of

un panier de

a basket of

une boîte de

a box of

une tranche de

a slice of

une poignée de

a handful of

une bouteille de

a bottle of

trop de

too much, many

plus de

more

un kilo de

a kilo of

un verre de

a glass of

un bouquet de

a bunch of

Note: With quantities and negatives, you never use partitives. The construction is always de or d' + noun.

Je voudrais prendre du fromage, mais pas de fruit. I would like to have some cheese, but no fruit. Il prend de la viande. He is eating some meat. Nous prenons du riz et du brocoli. We are having some rice and broccoli. Il y a trop de lait dans la tasse. There is too much milk in the cup. Je voudrais un morceau de tarte. I would like one piece of pie. Est-ce que je peux prendre un verre de vin? May I have a glass of wine? Je prends du vin. I'm drinking some wine. Je ne prends pas de vin. I am not drinking any wine.

38. Commands

Use the vous, tu and nous forms for commands.

Vous form

Polite and Plural

Same as verb form

Restez!

Stay!

Tu form

Familiar

Same as verb form, but drop -s for -er verbs

Regarde!

Watch!

Nous form

Let's...

Same as verb form

Allons!

Let's go!

Note: With using pronominal verbs as commands, the pronoun is placed after the verb connected by a hyphen. Tu te dépêches becomes Dépêche-toi! And in negative commands, the pronoun precedes the verb, as in Ne nous reposons pas.

Irregular Command Forms

être (be)

avoir (have)

savoir (know)

tu

sois

swah

tu

aie

ay

tu

sache

sahsh

nous

soyons

swah-yohn

nous

ayons

ay-yohn

nous

sachons

sah-shohn

vous

soyez

swah-yay

vous

ayez

ay-yay

vous

sachez

sah-shay

Ne sois pas méchant à ta soeur! Don't be mean to your sister! N'ayez pas peur! Don't be afraid! Sachez les mots pour l'examen demain! Know the words for the exam tomorrow!

39. More Negatives

ne...plus

no longer

ne...jamais

never

ne...rien

nothing

ne...aucun(e)

not a single one

ne...que

only

ne...personne

nobody

ne...ni...ni

neither...nor

ne...nulle part

nowhere

The negatives are used exactly like ne...pas; but que in ne...que is placed directly before the noun it limits. Rien and personne may be used as subjects: Personne n'est ici. Aucun(e) by definition is singular, so the verb and nouns must also be changed to the singular. With ni...ni, all articles are dropped except definite articles. Je n'ai ni caméra ni caméscope, but Je n'aime ni les chats ni les chiens.

Il n'aime plus travailler. He no longer likes to work. (Or: He doesn't like to work anymore) Nous ne voulons faire des achats que lundi. We want to go shopping only on Monday. Elle ne déteste personne. She hates no one. (Or: She doesn't hate anyone.)

Negatives with Passé Composé 1. Ne...pas, ne...plus, ne...jamais, and ne...rien Ne comes before auxiliary verb, and the other part is between auxiliary and past participle. Nous n'avons rien fait. We did nothing. Vous ne vous êtes pas ennuyés. You were not bored.

2. Ne...personne, ne...aucun, ne...ni...ni, ne...nulle part, and ne... que Ne comes before the auxiliary verb, but the other part is after the past participle. Il n'a écouté personne. He listened to no one. Il n'a fait aucune faute. He made not a single mistake.

* Use of ne ... pas de: In negative sentences, the partitives and indefinite articles become de before the noun (unless the verb is être, then nothing changes.) Partitive: Je prends du pain et du beurre. I'm having some bread and butter. Negative: Je ne prends pas de pain ou de beurre. I am not having any bread or butter. Indefinite: J'ai un chien. I have a dog. Negative: Je n'ai pas de chien. I don't have a dog. Verb is être: C'est une chatte brune. It's a brown cat. Negative: Ce n'est pas une chatte brune. It's not a brown cat.

40. Holiday Phrases

Merry Christmas

Joyeux Noël

zhoy-uh no-ell

Happy New Year

Bonne Année

bun ah-nay

Happy Thanksgiving

Bonne Action de grâces

bun ak-see-ohn de grahss

Happy Easter

Joyeuses Pâques

zhoy-uhss pawk

Happy Halloween

Bonne Halloween

bun ah-loh-ween

Happy Valentine's Day

Bonne Saint-Valentin

bun sahnt-val-awn-tahn

Happy Birthday

Bon Anniversaire

bohn ahn-nee-vair-sair

The French National Anthem: La Marseillaise

by Claude-Joseph Rouget de L'isle

Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé. Contre nous, de la tyrannie, L'étendard sanglant est levé, l'étendard sanglant est levé. Entendez-vous dans les campagnes Mugir ces farouches soldats. Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras égorger vos fils, vos compagnes. Aux armes citoyens! Formez vos bataillons, Marchons, marchons! Qu'un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons.

Amour sacré de la Patrie, Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs. Liberté, liberté chérie, Combats avec tes défenseurs; Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire Accoure à tes mâles accents; Que tes ennemis expirants Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire! Aux armes citoyens! Formez vos bataillons, Marchons, marchons! Qu'un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons.

Ye sons of France, awake to glory, Hark, hark, what myriads bid you rise: Your children, wives and grandsires hoary, Behold their tears and hear their cries, see their tears and hear their cries! Shall hateful tyrants mischief breeding with hireling hosts, a ruffian band Affright and desolate the land, while peace and liberty lie bleeding? To arms, to arms, ye brave! Th'avenging sword unsheathe! March on! March on! All hearts resolved on victory or death.

O sacred love of france, undying, Th'avenging arm uphold and guide Thy defenders, death defying, Fight with Freedom on their side. Soon thy sons shall be victorious When the banner high is raised; And thy dying enemies, amazed, Shall behold thy triumph, great and glorious. To arms, to arms, ye brave! Th'avenging sword unsheathe! March on! March on! All hearts resolved on victory or death.

Translation by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1st verse) and Mary Elizabeth Shaw (2nd verse) (This is not a literal translation.)

The Canadian National Anthem: O Canada

O Canada, terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux. Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, Il sait porter la croix. Ton histoire est une épopée Des plus brillants exploits. Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, We stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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