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1. Basic Phrases./ les expressions de base


Bonjour
/bu/
Hello / Good day / Good morning

Bonsoir
/bswa/
Good evening

Bonne nuit
/bn ni/
Good night (only said when going to
bed)

Salut
/saly/
Hi / Bye

Au revoir
/()vwa/
Goodbye

S'il vous plat / S'il te plat


/sil vu pl/
Please (formal / informal)

Merci (beaucoup)
/msi boku/
Thank you (very much)

De rien.
/d j/
You're welcome.

Je vous en prie.
/vu z pri/
You're welcome. (formal) / Go
ahead.

Bienvenu(e)
/bjvny/
Welcome (also You're welcome in
Quebec)

Allons-y!
/al zi/
Let's go!

A tout l'heure
/a tu ta l/
See you in a little while

A plus tard
/a ply ta/
See you later

A bientt
/a bjto/
See you soon

A demain
/a dm/
See you tomorrow

Je suis dsol(e)
/dezle/
I'm sorry

Pardon !
/pad/
Excuse me! (pushing through a
crowd) / Sorry! (stepped on
someone's foot)

Excusez-moi !
/ekskyze mwa/
Excuse me! (getting someone's
attention) / I'm sorry! (more formal
apology)

Comment allez-vous ?
/km tale vu/
How are you? (formal)

Je vais bien
/ ve bj/
I'm fine.

Trs bien / mal / pas mal


/t bj/ /mal/ /pa mal/
Very good / bad / not bad

a va ?
/sa va/
How are you? (informal)

a va.
Oui / non
/sa va/
/wi/ /n/
I'm fine. (informal response to a
Yes / no
va ?)

Comment vous appelez-vous ?


/km vu zaple vu/
What's your name? (formal)

Tu t'appelles comment ?
/ty tapl km/
What's your name? (informal)

Je m'appelle...
/ mapl/
My name is...

Enchant(e)
/te/
Nice to meet you.

Monsieur, Madame,
Mademoiselle
/msj/ /madam/ /madwazl/
Mister, Misses, Miss

Mesdames et Messieurs
/medam/ /mesj/
Ladies and gentlemen

Vous tes d'o ? / Vous venez d'o ?


/vu zt du/ /vu vne du/
Where are you from? (formal)

Tu es d'o ? / Tu viens d'o ?


/ty du/ /ty vj du/
Where are you from? (informal)

Je suis de... / Je viens de...


/ si d/ / vj d/
I am from...

O habitez-vous ?
/u abite vu/
Where do you live? (formal)

Tu habites o ?
/ty abit u/
Where do you live? (informal)

J'habite ...
/abit a/
I live in...

Quel ge avez-vous ?
/kl ave vu/
How old are you? (formal)

Tu as quel ge ?
/ty kl /
How old are you? (informal)

J'ai ____ ans.


/e __ /
I am ____ years old.

Parlez-vous franais ? / Tu parles


anglais ?

Je parle allemand.
/ pal alm//

Je ne parle pas espagnol.


/ n pal pa spal/

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/pale vu frs/ /ty pal gl/
Do you speak French? (formal) / Do you
speak English? (informal)

I speak German.

I don't speak Spanish.

Comprenez-vous? / Tu comprends?
/kpne vu/ /ty kp/
Do you understand? (formal / informal)

Je comprends
/ kp/
I understand

Je ne comprends pas
/ n kp pa/
I don't understand

Pouvez-vous m'aider ? / Tu peux


m'aider ?
/puve vu mede/ /ty p mede/
Can you help me? (formal / informal)

Bien sr.
/bj sy/
Of course.

Comment ?
/km/
What? Pardon?

Tenez / Tiens
/tne/ /tj/
Hey / Here (formal / informal)

Je sais
/ s/
I know

Je ne sais pas
/n s pa/
I don't know

O est ... / O sont ... ?


/u / /u s/
Where is ... / Where are ... ?

Voici / Voil
/vwasi/ /vwala/
Here is/are... / There it is.

Il y a ... / Il y avait...
/il i a/ /il i av/
There is / are... / There was / were...

Comment dit-on ____ en franais ?


/km di t __ fs/
How do you say ____ in French?

Qu'est-ce que c'est que a ?


/ks k s k sa/
What is that?

Qu'est-ce qu'il y a ?
/ks kil i a/
What's the matter?

a ne fait rien.
/sa n f j/
It doesn't matter.

Qu'est-ce qui se passe ?


/ks ki s pas/
What's happening?

Je n'ai aucune ide.


/ ne okyn ide/
I have no idea.

Je suis fatigu(e) / Je suis malade.


/ si fatie/ / si malad/
I'm tired / I'm sick.

J'ai faim / J'ai soif.


/e f/ /e swaf/
I'm hungry / I'm thirsty.

J'ai chaud / J'ai froid.


/e o/ /e fw/
I'm hot / I'm cold.

Je m'ennuie.
/ mni/
I'm bored.

a m'est gal. / Je m'en fiche.


/sa m teal/ / m fi/
It's the same to me / I don't care.
(informal)

Ne vous en faites pas. / Ne t'en fais


pas.
/n vu ft pa/ /n t f pa/
Don't worry (formal / informal)

Ce n'est pas grave.


/s n pa gav/
It's no problem. / It's alright.

J'ai oubli.
/e ublije/
I forgot.

Je dois y aller.
/ dwa i ale/
I must go.

A vos souhaits ! / A tes souhaits !


/a vo sw/ /a te sw/
Bless you! (formal / informal)

Flicitations !
/felisitasj/
Congratulations!

Bonne chance !
/bn s/
Good luck!

C'est vous ! / C'est toi !


/s ta vu/ /s ta tw/
It's your turn! (formal / informal)

Taisez-vous ! / Tais-toi !
/tze vu/ /t tw/
Shut up! / Be quiet! (formal /
informal)

Je vous aime / Je t'aime


/ vu zm/ / tm/
I love you (formal & plural /
informal)

Tu me manques.
/ty m mk/
I miss you. (informal)

Quoi de neuf ?
/kw d nf/
What's new?

Pas grand-chose.
/pa g oz/
Not a whole lot.

Notice that French has informal and formal ways of saying things. This is because there is more than one meaning to
"you" in French (as well as in many other languages.) The informal you is used when talking to close friends,
relatives, animals or children. The formal you is used when talking to someone you just met, do not know well, or
someone for whom you would like to show respect (a professor, for example.) There is also a plural you, used when
speaking to more than one person. Also notice that some words take an extra e, shown in parentheses. If the word
refers to a woman or is spoken by a woman, then the e is added in spelling; but in most cases, it does not change the

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pronunciation. To make verbs negative, French adds ne before the verb and pas after it. However, the ne is frequently
dropped in spoken French, although it must appear in written French.
Informal French expressions and slang vocabulary at the Informal French tutorial
2. Pronunciation / la prononciation For a more in-depth look at French pronunciation, try to the French Phonetics
tutorial.
French Vowels
Phonetic
General
IPA
Sample words
spelling
spellings
[i] Ee
vie, midi, lit, riz
i, y
[y] ee rounded rue, jus, tissu, usine
U
, et, final er
[e] Ay
bl, nez, cahier, pied
and ez
[] ay rounded jeu, yeux, queue, bleu Eu
[] Eh
lait, aile, balai, reine
e, , , ai, ei, ais
[] eh rounded sur, uf, fleur, beurre u, eu
[a] Ah
chat, ami, papa, salade a, ,
bas, ne, grce,
[] ah longer
a,
chteau
[u] Oo
loup, cou, caillou, outil Ou
eau, dos, escargot,
[o] Oh
o,
hotel
sol, pomme, cloche,
[] Aw
O
horloge
fentre, genou, cheval,
[] Uh
E
cerise
[] is disappearing in modern French, being replaced by [a]. Vowels that do not exist in English are marked in blue.
French semi-vowels
Phonetic
IPA
spelling
[w]
w
[]
ew-ee
[j]
yuh
Phonetic spelling Sample words
Awn
gant, banc, dent

Sample words

General spelling

fois, oui, Louis oi, ou


lui, Suisse
Ui
oreille, Mireille ill, y
IPA
General spelling
[a]
en, em, an, am, aon, aen
in, im, yn, ym, ain, aim, ein, eim, un, um,
[]
ahn
pain, vin, linge
en, eng, oin, oing, oint, ien, yen, en
[] uhn
brun, lundi, parfum
Un
[o]
ohn
rond, ongle, front
on, om
[] is being replaced with [] in modern French
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.
French Consonants
ex + vowel
egz
examen, exercice
ex + consonant
eks
exceptionnel, expression
ch (Latin origin)
sh
architecte, archives
ch (Greek origin)
k
orchestre, archologie
ti + vowel (except )
see
dmocratie, nation
c + e, i, y; or
s
cent, ceinture, maon
c + a, o, u
k
caillou, car, cube

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g + e, i, y
zh
genou, gingembre
g + a, o, u
g
gomme, ganglion
th
t
maths, thme, thym
j
zh
jambe, jus, jeune
qu, final q
k
que, quoi, grecque
h
silent
haricot, herbe, hazard
vowel + s + vowel
z
rose, falaise, casino
x + vowel
z
six ans, beaux arts
final x
s
six, dix, soixante (these 3 only!)
There are a lot of silent letters in French, and you usually do not pronounce the final consonant, unless that final
consonant is C, R, F or L (except verbs that end in -r).
Liaison: French slurs 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. S and x are pronounced as z;
d as t; and f as v in these liaisons. Liaison is always made in the following cases:
after a determiner: un ami, des amis
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 (trs, plus, bien)
after est
It is optional after pas, trop fort, and the forms of tre, but it is never made after et.
Silent e: 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 /apidm/ /tm/ /sovta/
sous l(e) bureau, chez l(e) docteur /sul byo/ /el dkto/
il y a d(e)... , pas d(e)... , plus d(e)... /yad/ /pad/ / plyd/
je n(e), de n(e) /n/ /dn/
j(e) te, c(e) que /t/ /sk/ (note the change of the pronunciation of the j as well)
Stress & Intonation: Stress on syllables is not as heavily pronounced as in English and it generally falls on the last
syllable of the word. Intonation usually only rises for yes/no questions, and all other times, it goes down at the end of
the sentence.

3. Alphabet / l'alphabet
a
/a/

/i/

/s/

/be/

/ka/

/te/

/se/

/l/

/y/

/de/

/m/

/ve/

//

/n/

/dublve/

/f/

/o/

/iks/

//

/pe/

/igrk/

/a/

/ky/

/zd/

/i/

//

4. Nouns, Articles & Demonstratives / les noms, les articles & les demonstratifs
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,
-t, 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.

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Definite Articles (The)
Masculine

Feminine

Before Vowel

Plural

le lit
/l li/
the bed

la pomme
/la pm/
the apple

l'oiseau
/lwazo/
the bird

les gants
/le /
the gloves

Indefinite Articles (A, An, Some)


Masculine

Feminine

Plural

un lit
/// li/
a bed

une pomme
/ yn pm/
an apple

des gants
/de /
some gloves

Demonstrative Adjectives (This, That, These, Those)


Masc.

Masc, Before Vowel

Fem.

Plural

ce lit
cet oiseau
cette pomme
ces gants
/s li/
/s twazo/
/st pm/
/se /
this/that bed
this/that bird
this/that apple
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 -l to the end of the noun for that and those. For example, ce lit-ci is this bed, while ce lit-l is that bed.
5. Useful Words / les mots utiles
It's / That's
c'est
There is/are
Voil
and
Et
but
Mais
now
Maintenant
especially
Surtout
except
Sauf
of course
bien sr
so so
comme ci, comme a
not bad
pas mal
book
le livre
pencil
le crayon
pen
le stylo
paper
le papier
dog
le chien
cat
le chat
money
l'argent (m)

/s/
/vwala/
/e/
/m/
/mtn/
/sytu/
/sof/
/bj sy/
/km si, km sa/
/pa mal/
/l liv/
/l kj/
/l stilo/
/l papje/
/l j/
/l a/
/la/

There is/are
Here is/are
always
often
sometimes
usually
also, too
again
late
almost
friend (fem)
friend (masc)
woman
man
girl
boy
job / work

il y a
voici
toujours
souvent
quelquefois
d'habitude
aussi
encore
en retard
presque
une amie
un ami
une femme
un homme
une fille
un garon
le travail

/il i a/
/vwasi/
/tuu/
/suv/
/klkfwa/
/dabityd/
/osi/
/k/
/ta/
/psk/
/y nami/
// nami/
/yn fam/
// nm/
/yn fij/
// gas/
/l tavaj/

The expression il y a is reduced to y a in everyday speech. When il y a is followed by a number, it means ago. Il y a
cinq minutes means five minutes ago. Some common slang words for money include: le fric, le pze, le pognon, des
sous and for job/work: le boulot.
6. Subject Pronouns / les pronoms sujets
Subject Pronouns
je

//

nous

/nu/

We

tu

/ty/

You (informal)

vous

/vu/

You (formal and plural)

il
/il/
He
ils
/il/
They (masc.)
elle
/l/
She
elles
/l/
They (fem.)
on
//
One
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

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to say you. Tu is used when speaking to children, animals, or close friends and relatives. 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.
Tutoyer and vouvoyer are two verbs that have no direct translation into English. Tutoyer means to use tu or be
informal with someone, while vouvoyer means to use vous or be formal with someone.
7. To Be & To Have / Etre & avoir
Present tense of tre /t/ - to be
I am

je suis

/ si/

We are

nous sommes

/nu sm/

You are

tu es

/ty /

You are

vous tes

/vu zt/

He is
She is
One is

il est
elle est
on est

/il /
/l /
/ n/

They are
They are

ils sont
elles sont

/il s/
/l s/

Past tense of tre - to be


I was

j'tais

/et/

We were

nous tions

/nu zetj/

You were

tu tais

/tu et/

You were

vous tiez

/vu zetje/

He was
She was
One was

il tait
elle tait
on tait

/il et/
/l et/
/ net/

They were
They were

ils taient
elles taient

/il zet/
/l zet/

Je and any verb form that starts with a vowel (or silent h) combine together for ease of pronunciation.
Future Tense of tre - to be
I will be

je serai

/ se/

We will be

nous serons

/nu s/

You will be

tu seras

/ty sa/

You will be

vous serez

/vu se/

He will be
She will be
One will be

il sera
elle sera
on sera

/il sa/
/l sa/
/ sa/

They will be
They will be

ils seront
elles seront

/il s/
/l s/

Present tense of avoir /avwa/ - to have


I have

j'ai

/e/

We have

nous avons

/nu zav/

You have

tu as

/ty /

You have

vous avez

/vu zave/

He has
She has
One has

il a
elle a
on a

/il /
/l /
/ n/

They have
They have

ils ont
elles ont

/il z/
/l z/

Past tense of avoir - to have


I had

j'avais

/av/

We had

nous avions

/nu zavj/

You had

tu avais

/ty av/

You had

vous aviez

/vu zavje/

He had
She had
One had

il avait
elle avait
on avait

/il av/
/l av/
/ nav/

They had

ils avaient
elles avaient

/il zav/
/l zav/

Future tense of avoir - to have


I will have

j'aurai

/oe/

We will have

nous aurons

/nu zo/

You will have

tu auras

/ty o/

You will have

vous aurez

/vu zoe/

He will have
She will have
One will have

il aura
elle aura
on aura

/il oa/
/l oa/
/ noa/

They will have


They will have

ils auront
elles auront

/il zo/
/l zo/

In spoken French, the tu forms of verbs that begin with a vowel contract with the pronoun: tu es = t'es /t/, tu as =
t'as /t/, etc. In addition, it is very common to use on (plus 3rd person singular conjugation) to mean we instead of
nous.

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Common Expressions with avoir and Etre
Avoir and tre are used in many common and idiomatic expressions that should be memorized:
avoir chaud
/avwa o/
to be hot
tre de retour
/t d tu/ to be back
avoir froid
/avwa fwa/
to be cold
tre en retard
/t ta/
to be late
avoir peur
/avwa p/
to be afraid
tre en avance
/t navs/
to be early
avoir raison
/avwa z/
to be right
tre d'accord
/t dak/
to be in agreement
/t sy l pw
avoir tort
/avwa t/
to be wrong
tre sur le point de
to be about to
d/
avoir faim
/avwa f/
to be hungry
tre en train de
/t t d/
to be in the act of
avoir soif
/avwa swaf/
to be thirsty
tre enrhume
/t yme/
to have a cold
nous + tre (un
avoir sommeil
/avwa smj/
to be sleepy
/t // u/
to be (a day)
jour)
avoir honte
/avwa t/
to be ashamed
avoir besoin de
/avwa bzw d/ to need
avoir l'air de
/avwa d/
to look like, seem
avoir l'intention
/avwa tsj/
to intend to
de
avoir envie de
/avwa vi d/
to feel like
avoir de la chance /avwa d la s/ to be lucky
J'ai froid. I'm cold.
Je suis en retard! I'm late!
Tu avais raison. You were right.
Tu tais en avance. You were early.
Il aura sommeil ce soir. He will be tired
Elle sera d'accord. She will agree.
tonight.
Nous sommes lundi. It is Monday.
Elle a de la chance ! She's lucky!
Vous tiez enrhum. You had a cold.
Nous aurons faim plus tard. We will be
Ils seront en train d'tudier. They will be (in the act of)
hungry later.
studying.
Vous aviez tort. You were wrong.
Elles taient sur le point de partir. They were about to
Ils ont chaud. They are hot.
leave.
Elles avaient peur hier. They were afraid
On est de retour. We/you/they/the people are back.
yesterday.
8. Question Words / les interrogatifs
Who
What
Why
When
Where
How
How much / many
Which / what
9. cardinal Numbers / Les nombres cardinaux
Zero
One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Nine

Qui
Quoi
Pourquoi
Quand
O
Comment
Combien
Quel(le)

Zro
Un
Deux
Trois
Quatre
Cinq
Six
Sept
Huit
Neuf

/ki/
/kwa/
/pukwa/
/k/
/u/
/km/
/kbj/
/kl/

/zeo/
/// /
/d/
/tw/
/kat/
/sk/
/sis/
/st/
/it/
/nf/

8
Ten
Eleven
Twelve
Thirteen
Fourteen
Fifteen
Sixteen
Seventeen
Eighteen
Nineteen
Twenty
Twenty-one
Twenty-two
Twenty-three
Thirty
Thirty-one
Thirty-two
Forty
Fifty
Sixty
Seventy
(Belgium & Switzerland)
Seventy-one
Seventy-two
Eighty
(Belgium & Switzerland)
Eighty-one
Eighty-two
Ninety
(Belgium & Switzerland)
Ninety-one
Ninety-two
One Hundred
One Hundred One
Two Hundred
Two Hundred One
Thousand
Two Thousand
Million
Billion

Dix
Onze
Douze
Treize
Quatorze
Quinze
Seize
Dix-sept
Dix-huit
Dix-neuf
Vingt
Vingt et un
Vingt-deux
Vingt-trois
Trente
Trente et un
Trente-deux
Quarante
Cinquante
Soixante
Soixante-dix
Septante
Soixante et onze
Soixante-douze
Quatre-vingts
Octante
Quatre-vingt-un
Quatre-vingt-deux
Quatre-vingt-dix
Nonante
Quatre-vingt-onze
Quatre-vingt-douze
Cent
Cent un
Deux cents
Deux cent un
Mille
Deux mille
Un million
Un milliard

/dis/
/z/
/duz/
/tz/
/katz/
/kz/
/sz/
/dist/
/dizit/
/diznf/
/v/
/vt e // /
/v d/
/v tw/
/tt/
/tt e // ///
/tt d/
/kat/
/skt/
/swast/
/swastdis/
/sptt/
/swast e z/
/swast duz/
/katv/
/ktt/
/katv t/ /
/katv d/
/katv dis/
/nnt/
/katv z/
/katv duz/
/s/
/s t/// /
/d s/
/d s t// /
/mil/
/d mil/
/o milj/
/o milja/

French switches the use of commas and periods. 1,00 would be 1.00 in English. Belgian and Swiss French use
septante and nonante in place of the standard French words for 70 and 90 (though some parts of Switzerland use
huitante for 80 and octante is barely used anymore). Also, when the numbers 5, 6, 8, and 10 are used before a word
beginning with a consonant, their final consonants are not pronounced. Phone numbers in France are ten digits,
beginning with 01, 02, 03, 04, or 05 depending on the geographical region, or 06 and 07 for cell phones. They are
written two digits at a time, and pronounced thus: 01 36 55 89 28 = zro un, trente-six, cinquante-cinq, quatre-vingtneuf, vingt-huit.
Ordinal Numbers / Les nombres ordinaux
first

premier / premire

9
second
deuxime / second
third
Troisime
fourth
Quatrime
fifth
Cinquime
sixth
Sixime
seventh
Septime
eighth
Huitime
ninth
Neuvime
tenth
Dixime
eleventh
Onzime
twelfth
Douzime
twentieth
Vingtime
twenty-first
vingt et unime
thirtieth
Trentime
The majority of numbers become ordinals by adding -ime. But if a number ends in an e, you must drop it before
adding the -ime. After a q, you must add a u before the -ime. And an f becomes a v before the -ime.
10. Days of the Week / Les jours de la semaine
Monday
lundi
/l/di/
Tuesday
mardi
/madi/
Wednesday
mercredi
/mkdi/
Thursday
jeudi
/di/
Friday
vendredi
/vddi/
Saturday
samedi
/samdi/
Sunday
dimanche
/dim/
day
le jour
/l u/
week
la semaine
/la s()mn/
today
aujourd'hui
/oudi/
yesterday
hier
/j/
tomorrow
demain
/dm/
next
prochain / prochaine
/p/ /pn/
last
dernier / dernire
/dnje/ /dnj/
day before yesterday
avant-hier
/avtj/
day after tomorrow
aprs-demain
/apdm/
the following day
le lendemain
/l ldm/
the day before
la veille
/la vj/
Articles are not used before days, except to express something that happens habitually on a certain day, such as le
lundi = on Mondays. Days of the week are all masculine in gender and they are not capitalized in writing.
Listen to the l'heure & la date : l'emploi du temps mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French
Listening Resources.
11. Months of the Year / Les mois de l'annEe
January
Janvier
February
Fvrier
March
Mars
April
Avril
May
Mai
June
Juin
July
Juillet
August
Aot
September
Septembre

/vje/
/fevije/
/mas/
/avil/
/m/
//
/ij/
/u(t)/
/sptb/

10
October
Octobre
/ktb/
November
Novembre
/nvb/
December
Dcembre
/desb/
Month
le mois
/l mwa/
Year
l'an / l'anne
/l/ /lane/
Decade
la dcennie
/deseni/
Century
le sicle
/l sjkl/
Millennium
le millnaire
/milen/
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 months are
all masculine and not capitalized in French (same as days of the week).
12. Seasons / Les saisons
Summer
l't
Fall
l'automne
Winter
l'hiver
Spring
le printemps

/lete/
/lotn/
/liv/
/l pt/

13. Directions / Les directions


on the left
on the right
straight ahead
North
South
East
West

le nord
le sud
l'est
l'ouest

in the summer
in the fall
in the winter
in the spring

gauche
droite
tout droit

/l n/
/l syd/
/lst/
/lwst/

Northeast
Northwest
Southeast
Southwest

14. Colors & Shapes / Les couleurs & les formes


Red
Rouge
/u/

en t
en automne
en hiver
au printemps

/ nete/
/ notn/
/ niv/
/o prt/

/a go/
/a dwt/
/tu dw/
le nord-est
le nord-ouest
le sud-est
le sud-ouest

/l n(d)st/
/l n(d)wst/
/sydst/
/sydwst/

square

le carr

/kae/

Orange Orange

//

circle

le cercle

/skl/

Yellow Jaune

/on/

triangle

le triangle

/tijgl/

Green

vert / verte

/v/ /vt/

rectangle

le rectangle

/ktgl/

Blue

bleu / bleue

/bl/

oval

l'ovale

/val/

Purple

violet / violette

/vjl/ /vjlt/

cube

le cube

/kyb/

White

blanc / blanche

/bl/ /bl/

sphere

la sphre

/sf/

Brown

brun / brune
marron

/bo/ /byn/
/ma/

cylinder

le cylindre

/sild/

Black

noir / noire

/nwa/

cone

le cne

/kon/

Pink

Rose

/oz/

octagon

l'octogone

/ktogn/

Gold

dor / dore

/de/

box

la bote

/bwat/

Silver

argent / argente

/ate/

light

clair / claire

/kl/

Gray
gris / grise
/gi/ /giz/
dark
fonc / fonce /fse/
Some adjectives of color do not change to agree with gender or number, such as adjectives that also exist as nouns:
orange, marron, rose; and compound adjectives: bleu clair, noir fonc remain masculine even if they describe a
feminine noun. Remember to place the color adjective after the noun.
15. Weather / Le temps qu'il fait
What's the weather like?
Quel temps fait-il ?
/kl t f til/
It's nice
Il fait bon
/il f b/
Bad
Il fait mauvais
/il f mve/
Cool
Il fait frais
/il f f/

11
Cold
Il fait froid
/il f fw/
warm, hot
Il fait chaud
/il f o/
Cloudy
Il fait nuageux
/il f nya/
Beautiful
Il fait beau
/il f bo/
Mild
Il fait doux
/il f du/
Stormy
Il fait orageux
/il f a/
Sunny
Il fait soleil
/il f slj/
Humid
Il fait humide
/il f ymid/
Muggy
Il fait lourd
/il f lu/
Windy
Il fait du vent
/il f dy v/
Foggy
Il fait du brouillard
/il f dy buja/
Snowing
Il neige
/il n/
Raining
Il pleut
/il pl/
Freezing
Il gle
/il l/
Hailing
Il grle
/il gl/
It is ____ degrees.
Il fait ____ degrs.
/il f __ dge/
Il pleut des cordes /il pl de kod/ is a common expression meaning it's pouring. Il caille /il kaj/ or a caille /sa kaj/
is slang for it's freezing. And remember that France uses Celcius degrees. Listen to the le climat: le temps dans les
Alpes mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French Listening Resources.
16. Time / Le temps qui passe
What time is it?
Quelle heure est-il ?
/kl til/
It is...
Il est...
/il /
one o'clock
une heure
/yn /
two o'clock
deux heures
/d z/
Noon
midi
/midi/
midnight
minuit
/mini/
a quarter after three
trois heures et quart
/tw z e ka/
one o'clock sharp
une heure prcise
/yn pesiz/
four o'clock sharp
quatre heures prcises
/kat pesiz/
twelve thirty
midi (minuit) et demi
/midi (mini) e dmi/
six thirty
six heures et demie
/si z e dmi/
a quarter to seven
sept heures moins le quart
/st mw l ka/
five twenty
cinq heures vingt
/sk v/
ten fifty
onze heures moins dix
/z mw dis/
in the morning/AM
du matin
/dy mat/
in the afternoon/PM
de l'aprs-midi
/d lapmidi/
in the evening/PM
du soir
/dy swa/
Official French time is expressed as military time (24 hour clock.) You can only use regular numbers, and not demi,
quart, etc. when reporting time with the 24 hour system. For example, if it is 18h30, you must say dix-huit heures
trente. The word pile /pil/ is also a more informal way of saying prcise (exactly, sharp). Listen to the l'heure & la
date : l'emploi du temps mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French Listening Resources.
17. Family & Animals / La famille & les animaux
Family
la famille
Relatives
des parents
Parents
les parents
Grandparents
les grands-parents
Mom
la mre / maman
Stepmother/Mother-in-Law
la belle-mre
Dad
le pre / papa

/famij/
/pa/
/pa/
/gpa/
/m/ /mm/
/blm/
/p/ /papa/

12
Stepfather/Father-in-Law
Daughter
Son
Sister
Half/Step Sister
Sister-in-Law
Stepdaughter/Daughter-in-Law
Brother
Half/Step Brother
Brother-in-Law
Stepson/Son-in-Law
Twins (m)
Twins (f)
Uncle
Aunt
Grandmother
Grandfather
Cousin (f)
Cousin (m)
Wife
Husband
Woman
Man
Child (m) / (f)
Girl
Boy
Niece
Nephew
Grandchildren
Granddaughter
Grandson
Godfather
Godmother
Godson
Goddaughter
Distant Relatives
Single
Married
Separated
Divorced
Widower
Widow
Dog
Cat
Puppy
Kitten
Pig
Rooster
Rabbit

le beau-pre
la fille
le fils
la sur
la demi-sur
la belle-sur
la belle-fille
le frre
le demi-frre
le beau-frre
le beau-fils
les jumeaux
les jumelles
l'oncle
la tante
la grand-mre
le grand-pre
la cousine
le cousin
la femme
le mari
la femme
l'homme
un enfant / une enfant
la fille
le garon
la nice
le neveu
les petits-enfants
la petite-fille
le petit-fils
le parrain
la marraine
le filleul
la filleule
des parents loigns
clibataire
mari(e)
spar(e)
divorc(e)
veuf
veuve
le chien / la chienne (m) / (f)
le chat / la chatte (m) / (f)
le chiot
le chaton
le cochon
le coq
le lapin

/bop/
/fij/
/fis/
/s/
/dmi s/
/bls/
/bl fij/
/f/
/dmi f/
/bo f/
/bo fis/
/ymo/
/yml/
/kl/
/tt/
/gm/
/gp/
/kuzin/
/kuz/
/fam/
/mai/
/fam/
/m/
/f/
/fij/
/gas/
/njs/
/n()v/
/p()tizf/
/p()tit fij/
/p()tifis/
/pa/
/man/
/fijl/
/fijl/
/pa elwae/
/selibat/
/maje/
/sepae/
/divse/
/vf/
/vv/
/j/ /jn/
/a/ /at/
/jo/
/at/
/k/
/kk/
/lap/

13
Cow
la vache
Horse
le cheval
Duck
le canard
Goat
la chvre
Goose
l'oie
Sheep
le mouton
Lamb
l'agneau
Donkey
l'ne
Mouse
la souris
Le gendre /d/ is another word for son-in-law.

/va/
/()val/
/kana/
/v/
/wa/
/mut/
/ao/
/n/
/sui/

Listen to the la famille : ma famille mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French Listening
Resources.
Slang words for people and pets:
The entire family toute la smala
/tut la smala/
Sister
la frangine
/fin/
Grandma
mm / mamie
/meme/ /mami/
Brother le frangin
/f/
Grandpa
pp / papi
/pepe/ /papi/
Son
le fiston
/fist/
Children
des gosses
/gs/
Aunt
tata / tatie
/tata/ /tati/
Kid
un gamin / une gamine
/gam/ /gamin/
Uncle
tonton
/tt/
Woman
une nana
/nana/
Dog
le cabot / clbard /kabo/ /kleba/
Man
un mec / type / gars
/mk/ /tip/ /ga/ Cat
le minou
/minu/
Listen to the animaux : chien ou chat ? mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French Listening
Resources.
18. To Know People & Places / connaitre & savoir
connatre-to know people /knt/

savoir-to know facts /savwa/

connais

/kn/

connaissons

/kns/

sais

/s/

savons

/sav/

connais

/kn/

connaissez

/knse/

sais

/s/

savez

/save/

connat
/kn/
connaissent
/kns/
sait
/s/ savent
/sav/
Connatre is used when you know (are familiar with) people, places, food, movies, books, etc. and savoir is used when
you know facts. When savoir is followed by an infinitive it means to know how.
There is another form of savoir commonly used in the expressions que je sache that I know (of) and pas que je sache
not that I know (of).
Je connais ton frre. I know your brother.
Je sais que ton frre s'appelle Jean. I know that your brother is named John.
Connaissez-vous Grenoble ? Do you know (Are you familiar with) Grenoble? / Have you ever been to Grenoble?
Oui, nous connaissons Grenoble. Yes, we know (are familiar with) Grenoble. / Yes, we've been to Grenoble.
Tu sais o Grenoble se trouve. You know where Grenoble is located.
Ils savent nager. They know how to swim.
Connatre can be translated several ways into English:
Tu connais le film, Les Enfants ? Have you seen the film, Les Enfants?
Tu connais Lyon ? Have you ever been to Lyon?
Tu connais la tartiflette ? Have you ever eaten tartiflette?
19. Formation of Plural Nouns / la formation des noms pluriels
To make a noun plural, you usually add an -s (which is not pronounced).
But there are some exceptions:

Sing.

Plural

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

bus(es)

le bus

les bus

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

boat(s)

le bateau

les bateaux

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

horse(s)

le cheval

les chevaux

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


knee(s)
le genou
les genoux
Exceptions: festival, carnaval, bal, pneu, bleu, landau, dtail, chandail all add -s. There are only seven nouns
ending in -ou that add -x instead of -s: bijou, caillou, chou, genou, pou, joujou, hibou. There are, of course, some

14
irregular exceptions: un il (eye) - des yeux (eyes); le ciel (sky) - les cieux (skies); and un jeune homme (a young
man) - des jeunes gens (young men).
Notice that the only time the pronunciation will change in the plural form is for masculine nouns that change -al or -ail
to -aux and for the irregular forms. All other nouns are pronounced the same in the singular and the plural - it is
only the article that changes pronunciation (le, la, l' to les).
20. Possessive Adjectives / les adjectifs possessifs
Masc.

Fem.

Plural

My

mon /m/

ma /ma/

mes /m/

Your

ton /t/

ta /ta/

tes /t/

His/Her/Its

son /s/

sa /sa/

ses /s/

Our

notre /nt/

notre /nt/

nos /no/

Your

votre /vt/

votre /vt/

vos /vo/

Their
leur /l/
leur /l/
leurs /l/
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. Remember that adjectives agree with the noun in gender and number, not the possessor! Sa mre can mean
his mother or her mother even though sa is the feminine form, because it agrees with mre and not the possessor (his
or her).
C'est ma mre et mon pre. This is my mother and my father.
Ce sont vos petits-enfants ? These are your grandchildren?
Mes parents sont divorcs. My parents are divorced.
Sa grand-mre est veuve. His grandmother is a widow.
Notre frre est mari, mais notre sur est clibataire. 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 nerlandaises. Their cousins are Dutch

French II Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar


21. To Do or Make / Faire
Faire - to do, make /f/
Present tense

Past tense (imperfect)

Future tense

fais

/f/

faisons

/fz/

faisais

/fz/

faisions

/fzj/

ferai

/f/

ferons

/f/

fais

/f/

faites

/ft/

faisais

/fz/

faisiez

/fzje/

feras

/fa/

ferez

/fe/

fait

/f/

font

/f/

faisait

/fz/

faisaient

/fz/

fera

/fa/

feront

/f/

Another past tense (pass compos) uses the present tense forms of avoir plus the past participle of faire: fait. J'ai
fait translates as I did/madewhereas je faisais translates as I was doing/making, I used to do/make (continuous
action in the past).
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 mnage - 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 un voyage - to take a trip
faire les courses - to go (grocery) shopping
faire des achats - to go shopping
faire de l'exercice - to exercise

15
faire attention - to pay attention
faire la queue - to stand in line
22. Work & School / Le Travail & L'Ecole
Masculine

Feminine

actor / actress

l'acteur

/akt/

l'actrice

/aktis/

singer

le chanteur

/t/

la chanteuse

/tz/

architect

l'architecte

/aitkt/

l'architecte

/aitkt/

accountant

le comptable

/ktabl/

la comptable

/ktabl/

judge

le juge

/y/

la juge

/y/

business person

l'homme d'affaires

/m daf/

la femme d'affaires

/fam daf/

baker

le boulanger

/bule/

la boulangre

/bul/

hair dresser

le coiffeur

/kwaf/

la coiffeuse

/kwafz/

computer programmer

le programmeur

/pgam/

la programmeuse

/pgamz/

secretary

le secrtaire

/sket/

la secrtaire

/sket/

electrician

l'lectricien

/elktisj/

l'lectricienne

/elktisjn/

mechanic

le mcanicien

/mekanisj/

la mcanicienne

/mekanisjn/

cook

le cuisinier

/kizinje/

la cuisinire

/kizinj/

salesperson

le vendeur

/vd/

la vendeuse

/vdz/

fire fighter

le pompier

/ppje/

la pompier

/ppje/

plumber

le plombier

/plbje/

la plombier

/plbje/

librarian

le bibliothcaire

/biblijtek/

la bibliothcaire

/biblijtek/

police officer

l'agent de police

/a d plis/

l'agent de police

/a d plis/

reporter

le journaliste

/unalist/

la journaliste

/unalist/

blue-collar worker

l'ouvrier

/uvije/

l'ouvrire

/uvij/

banker

le banquier

/bkje/

la banquire

/bkj/

lawyer

l'avocat

/avka/

l'avocate

/avkat/

postal worker

le facteur

/fakt/

la factrice

/faktis/

carpenter

le charpentier

/aptje/

la charpentire

/aptj/

engineer

l'ingnieur

/enj/

l'ingnieure

/enj/

doctor

le mdecin

/mds/

la mdecin

/mds/

nurse

l'infirmier

/fimje/

l'infirmire

/fimj/

16
pharmacist

le pharmacien

/famasj/

la pharmacienne

/famasjn/

psychologist

le psychologue

/psiklg/

la psychologue

/psiklg/

dentist

le dentiste

/dtist/

la dentiste

/dtist/

veterinarian

le vtrinaire

/vetein/

la vtrinaire

/vetein/

taxi driver

le chauffeur de taxi

/of d taksi/

la chauffeur de taxi

/of d taksi/

writer

l'crivain

/ekiv/

l'crivaine

/ekivn/

teacher (primary school)

l'instituteur

/stityt/

l'institutrice

/stitytis/

teacher / professor

le professeur

/pfes/

la professeur

/pfes/

student

l'tudiant

/etydj/

l'tudiante

/etydjt/

intern

le stagiaire

/staj/

la stagiaire

/staj/

retired person

le retrait

/tete/

la retraite

/tete/

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.
School Subjects / Les Matieres
Math

les mathmatiques

/matematik/

Geography

la gographie

/egafi/

Algebra

l'algbre

/alb/

Physics

la physique

/fizik/

Calculus

le calcul

/kalkyl/

Biology

la biologie

/bjli/

Geometry

la gomtrie

/emeti/

Chemistry

la chimie

/imi/

Business/Trade

le commerce

/kms/

Zoology

la zoologie

/zli/

Accounting

la comptabilit

/ktabilite/

Botany

la botanique

/btanik/

Economics

les sciences
conomiques

/sj
zeknmik/

Art

les arts-plastiques

/a plastik/

Foreign
Languages

les langues vivantes

/lg vivt/

Music

la musique

/myzik/

Linguistics

la linguistique

/lgistik/

Dance

la danse

/ds/

Literature

la littrature

/liteaty/

Drawing

le dessin

/des/

Philosophy

la philosophie

/filzfi/

Painting

la peinture

/pty/

Psychology

la psychologie

/psikli/

Computer
Science

l'informatique

/fmatik/

Political Science

les sciences
politiques

/sjs plitik/

Technology

la technologie

/tknli/

History

l'histoire (f)

/istwa/

Physical
Education

l'ducation
physique (f)

/edykasj
fizik/

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

17
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 tudiant. I am a student (masc.)
O est-ce que vous faites vos tudes ? Where do you study?
Je vais l'universit de Michigan. I go to the university of Michigan.
Je fais mes tudes l'universit de Toronto. I study at the University of Toronto.
Qu'est-ce que vous tudiez ? What do you study?
Quelles matires tudiez-vous ? What subjects do you study?
J'tudie les langues trangres et la linguistique. I study foreign languages and linguistics.
Je fais des mathmatiques. I study/do math.
Ma spcialisation est la biologie. My major is biology.
Slang words/abbreviations for school:
dictionary

un dico

/diko/

student

un potache

/pota/

paper / essay

une disserte

/dist/

Book

un bouquin

/buk/

college / faculty

la fac

/fak/

to work

bosser

/bse/

quiz

une interro

/t/

to understand

piger

/pie/

to have detention

tre coll(e)
avoir une colle

/kle/
/kol/

to skip (a class)

scher (un cours)

/see/

Listen to the le travail : carrossier / vendeur mp3s and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercises from
French Listening Resources.

23. Prepositions & Contractions


at / to / in

/a/

During

pendant

/pd/

from / of /
about

De

/d/

since / for

depuis

/dpi/

at the house
of

Chez

/e/

Among

parmi

/pami/

in

dans / en

/d/ //

Between

entre

/t/

for

Pour

/pu/

Around

autour de

/otud/

by / through

Par

/pa/

Against

contre

/kt/

in front of

devant

/dv/

Toward

vers / envers

/v/ /nv/

behind

derrire

/dj/

through /
across

travers

/atav/

before

avant

/av/

With

avec

/avk/

after

aprs

/ap/

Without

sans

/s/

up

en haut

/no/

Inside

dedans /
l'intrieur

/dd/ /altej/

down

en bas

/ba/

Outside

dehors /
l'extrieur

/d/ /alkstej/

18
on

sur

/sy/

outside of

hors de / en
dehors de

/d/ /ndd/

over / above

au-dessus de

/odsyd/

because of

cause de

/akozd/

under /
below

sous / audessous de

/su/
/odsud/

according to

selon / d'aprs

/sl/ /dap/

across from

en face de

/fasd/

approximately

environ

/vi/

near

prs de

/pd/

in spite of

malgr

/malge/

far from

loin de

/lwd/

as for

quant

/kta/

You can also use dessus and dessous as adverbs to mean over it / on top of it and beneath it / underneath
it, respectively. They are not followed by nouns or pronouns, unlike prepositions.
Prepositional Contractions
+ le = au

/o/

at / to / in the

+ les
= aux

/o/

at / to / in the (pl.)

de + le = du

/dy/

of / from / about the

de + les
= des

/de/

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; 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 sur. 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 trs 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 et les nationalits
Africa

l'Afrique (f)

/afik/

Hebrew (lang.)

hbreu

/eb/

African

africain/e

/afik/ /n/

Italy

l'Italie (f)

/itali/

Albania

l'Albanie (f)

/albani/

Italian

italien/ne

/italj/ /n/

Albanian

albanais/e

/alban/ /z/

Japan

le Japon

/ap/

Algeria

l'Algrie (f)

/alei/

Japanese

japonais/e

/apn/ /z/

Algerian

algrien/ne

/alej/ /n/

Korea

la Core

/ke/

America

l'Amrique (f)

/ameik/

Korean

coren/ne

/ke/ /n/

American

amricain/e

/ameik/ /n/

Latvia

la Lettonie

/letni/

19
Argentina

l'Argentine (f)

/a tin/

Latvian

letton/ne

/let/ /n/

Argentine

argentin/e

/a t/ /in/

Lithuania

la Lituanie

/litani/

Asia

l'Asie (f)

/azi/

Lithuanian

lituanien/ne

/litanj/ /n/

Asian

asiatique

/azjatik/

Luxembourg

le Luxembourg

/lyksbu/

Australia

l'Australie (f)

/ostali/

Luxembourger

luxembourgeois/e

/
lyksbuwa/ /
az/

Australian

australien/ne

/ostalj/ / n/

Macedonia

la Macdoine

/masedwan/

Austria

l'Autriche (f)

/oti/

Macedonian

macdonien/ne

/masednj/
/n/

Austrian

autrichien/ne

/otij/ /n/

Malta

Malte (f)

/malt/

Belgium

la Belgique

/blik/

Maltese

maltais/e

/malt/ /z/

Belgian

belge

/bl/

Morocco

le Maroc

/mak/

Bosnia

la Bosnie

/bsni/

Moroccan

marocain/e

/mak/ /n/

Bosnian

bosniaque

/bsniak/

Netherlands

les Pays-Bas

/peib/

Brazil

le Brsil

/bezil/

Dutch

nerlandais/e

/neld/ /z/

Brazilian

brsilien/ne

/bezilj/ / n/

Dutch (person)

hollandais/e

/'l d/ /z/

Bulgaria

la Bulgarie

/bylgai/

New Zealand

la NouvelleZlande

/nuvlzeld/

Bulgarian

bulgare

/bylga/

New Zealander

no-zlandais/e

/neozeld/ /z/

Cambodia

le Cambodge

/kbd/

Norway

la Norvge

/nv/

Cambodian

cambodgien/ne

/kbdj/
/n/

Norwegian

norvgien/ne

/nvej/ /n/

Canada

le Canada

/kanada/

Poland

la Pologne

/pl/

Canadian

canadien/ne

/kanadj/ /n/

Polish

polonais/e

/pln/ /z/

China

la Chine

/in/

Portugal

le Portugal

/ptygal/

Chinese

chinois/e

/inwa/ /az/

Portuguese

portugais/e

/ptyg/ /z/

Croatia

la Croatie

/kasi/

Quebec

le Qubc

/kebk/

Croatian

croate

/kat/

Quebecker

qubcois/e

/kebekwa/ /az/

Czech
Republic

la Rpublique
Tchque

/epyblik tk/

Romania

la Roumanie

/umani/

Czech

tchque

/tk/

Romanian

roumain/e

/um/ /n/

Denmark

le Danemark

/danmak/

Russia

la Russie

/ ysi/

20
Danish

danois/e

/danwa/ /az/

Russian

russe

/ ys/

Egypt

l'Egypte (f)

/eipt/

Scotland

l'Ecosse

/eks/

Egyptian

gyptien/e

/eipsj/ /n/

Scottish

cossais/e

/eks/ /z/

England

l'Angleterre (f)

/glt/

Senegal

le Sngal

/senegal/

English

anglais/e

/gl/ /z/

Senegalese

sngalais/e

/senegal/ /z/

Estonia

l'Estonie

/stni/

Serbia

la Serbie

/sbi/

Estonian

estonien/ne

/stonj/ / n/

Serbian

serbe

/sb/

Europe

l'Europe (f)

/p/

Slovakia

la Slovaquie

/slvaki/

European

europen/ne

/pe/ /n/

Slovak

slovaque

/slvak/

Finland

la Finlande

/fld/

Slovenia

la Slovnie

/slveni/

Finnish

finnois/e

/finwa/ /az/

Slovene

slovne

/slvn/

France

la France

/fs/

Spain

l'Espagne (f)

/spa/

French

franais/e

/fs/ /z/

Spanish

espagnol/e

/spal/

Germany

l'Allemagne (f)

/alma/

Sweden

la Sude

/sd/

German

allemand/e

/alm/ /d/

Swedish

sudois/e

/sedwa/ /az/

Great
Britain

la GrandeBretagne

/gdbta/

Switzerland

la Suisse

/sis/

British

britannique

/bitanik/

Swiss

suisse

/sis/

Greece

la Grce

/gs/

Taiwan

Tawan

/tajwan/

Greek

grec / grecque

/gk/

Taiwanese

tawanais/e

/tajwan/ /z/

Hungary

la Hongrie

/'gi/

Tunisia

la Tunisie

/tynizi/

Hungarian

hongrois/e

/'gwa/ /az/

Tunisian

tunisien/ne

/tynizj/ /n/

Iceland

l'Islande

/isld/

Turkey

la Turquie

/tyki/

Icelandic

islandais/e

/isld/ /z/

Turk

turc / turcque

/tyk/

India

l'Inde

/d/

Ukraine

l'Ukraine

/ykn/

Indian

indien/ne

/dj/ /n/

Ukrainian

ukrainien/ne

/yknj/ /n/

Indonesia

l'Indonsie (f)

/dnezi/

United
Kingdom

la Royaume-Uni

/wajomyni/

Indonesian

indonsien/ne

/dnezj/ / n/

United States

les Etats-Unis

/etazyni/

Ireland

l'Irlande (f)

/ild/

Vietnam

le Vietnam

/vitnam/

Irishman

irlandais/e

/ild/ /z/

Vietnamese

vietnamien/ne

/vjtnamj/ / n/

21
Israel

Isral

/isael/

Wales

le Pays-de-Galles

/peidgal/

Israeli

isralien/ne

/isaelj/ / n/

Welsh

gallois/e

/galw/ /z/

The masculine forms of the nationalities are also used for the language. Adjectives of nationalities and languages
are not capitalized in written French. The definite article is not used before a language when it follows the verb
parler (to speak): Je parle anglais. Notice that French also useshollandais when referring to Dutch people and
sometimes the Dutch language, but this is not exactly correct (just as it is not correct to use Holland when referring
to the Netherlands in English). Also notice that you do not use the definite article with Isral or Malte.
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 (though in Quebec, it is perfectly fine to just use oui).
Je suis du Canada. I am from Canada.
Je ne suis pas du Mexique. I am not from Mexico.
Je suis franaise. 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 sudois. I don't speak Swedish.
Vous n'tes pas du Brsil ? You aren't from Brazil?
Si, nous sommes du Brsil. Yes, we are from Brazil.

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


Places

Cities

Countries

Masc.

Au

du

de

au

du

Fem.

la

de la

de

en

de

Vowel

l'

de l'

d'

en

d'

Plural

Aux

des

aux

des

aux

des

If the name of a country ends in-e, the gender is feminine. If it ends in anything else, it is masculine. All continents
are feminine. The country exceptions are le Cambodge, le Mexique, le Zare, le Zimbabwe, and le Mozambique.
Some cities have an article as well, such as La Nouvelle-Orlans (New Orleans).
Je vais la boulangerie. I'm going to the bakery.
Il vient de Londres. He comes from London.
On va en France demain. We're going to France tomorrow.
Tu viens du Mexique ? You come from Mexico?
Prepositions with Regions, Provinces & States
To / In

From

Feminine

En

De

Islands

de / d'

Masc. w/ Vowel

en / dans l'

d' / de l'

Masc. w/ Consonant

au / dans le

Du

22
In general, if a region, province or state ends in -e, it is feminine. Californie, Caroline du Nord / Sud, Floride,
Gorgie, Louisiane, Pennsylvanie, and Virginie are the feminine American states; while Maine is masculine. For
French rgions or dpartements that begin with Haut(e), the h is an aspirate h, and therefore, there is no elision with
preceding words, i.e. de Haut-Rhin, la Haute-Normandie, etc.
Elles habitent en Californie. They live in California.
Il est de Haute-Savoie. He is from Haute-Savoie.
Ce fromage vient du Nord. This cheese comes from Nord.
Je veux voyager dans le Texas. I want to travel in Texas.

27. To Come & to Go / Venir & Aller


Venir-to come /vni/
Present

Past (Imperfect)

Future

vien
s

/
vj
/

venons

/
vn
/

vena
is

/
vn
/

venions

/
vnj
/

viendr
ai

/
vijnd
/

viendro
ns

/
vijnd
/

vien
s

/
vj
/

venez

/
vne
/

vena
is

/
vn
/

Veniez

/
vnje
/

viendr
as

/
vijnd
a/

viendre
z

/
vijnde
/

vien
t

/
vj
/

vienne
nt

/
vijn
/

vena
it

/
vn
/

Venaie
nt

/
vn/

viendr
a

/
vijnd
a/

viendro
nt

/
vijnd
/

Aller-to go /ale/
Present

Past (Imperfect)

Future

vais

/v/

allons

/al/

j'allais

/al/

Allions

/alij/

j'irai

/i/

irons

/i/

vas

/va/

allez

/ale/

allais

/al/

Allies

/alije/

iras

/ia/

irez

/ie/

va

/va/

vont

/v/

allait

/al/

allaient

/al/

ira

/ia/

iront

/i/

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 Brsil cet t. 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 en Finlande. He just went to Finland.
Vous venez de manger une pomme. You just ate an apple.

23

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

aimer - to like, love

vendre - to sell

aime

/em/

aimons

/em/

vends

/v/

vendons

/vd/

aimes

/em/

aimez

/eme/

vends

/v/

vendez

/vde/

aime

/em/

aiment

/em/

vend

/v//

vendent

/vd/

finir - to finish

partir - to leave

finis

/fini/

finissons

/finis/

pars

/pa/

partons

/pat/

finis

/fini/

finissez

/finise/

pars

/pa/

partez

/pate/

finit

/fini/

finissent

/finis/

part

/pa/

partent

/pat/

Notice how several conjugations are pronounced the same. This is why you must use the subject pronouns in
French.
-er

-re

aimer

/eme/

to like, love

vendre

/vd/

to sell

chanter

/te/

to sing

attendre

/atd/

to wait for

chercher

/e/

to look for

entendre

/td/

to hear

commencer

/kmse/

to begin

perdre

/pd/

to lose

donner

/dne/

to give

rpondre ()

/epd/

to answer

tudier

/etydje/

to study

descendre

/dsd/

to go down

fermer

/fme/

to close

1st ir

habiter

/abite/

to live

btir

/bti/

to build

24
jouer

/we/

to play

finir

/fini/

to finish

manger

/me/

to eat

choisir

/wazi/

to choose

montrer

/mte/

to show

punir

/pyni/

to punish

parler

/pale/

to speak

remplir

/pli/

to fill

penser

/pse/

to think

obir ()

/bei/

to obey

travailler

/tavaje/

to work

russir

/eysi/

to succeed

trouver

/tuve/

to find

gurir

/gei/

to cure, heal

If a verb is followed by (like rpondre) you have to use the and any contractions after the conjugated
verb. Ex: Je rponds au tlphone. I answer the phone.
* The 2nd -ir verbs are considered irregular sometimes because there are only a few verbs which follow that
pattern. Other verbs like partir aresortir /sti/ (to go out), dormir /dmi/ (to sleep), mentir /mti/ (to
lie), sentir /sti/ (to smell, feel) and servir /svi/ (to serve.)
You can also download a list of the 681 most common verbs in French (available in PDF format.)
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

/m/

nous

/nu/

Te

/t/

vous

/vu/

Se

/s/

Se

/s/

Some Pronominal Verbs


s'amuser

/samyze/

to have fun

se brosser

/sbse/

to brush

se lever

/slve/

to get up

se maquiller

/smakije/

to put on makeup

se laver

/slave/

to wash (oneself)

se casser

/skase/

to break (arm, leg, etc.)

se dpcher

/sdepee/

to hurry

se rveiller

/seveje/

to wake up

se peigner

/spee/

to comb

se raser

/sze/

to shave

s'habiller

/sabije/

to get dressed

s'ennuyer

/snije/

to get bored

se marier

/smaje/

to get married

se promener

/spmne/

to take a walk

se reposer

/spoze/

to rest

s'intresser

/steese a/

to be interested in

se souvenir de

/ssuvni d/

to remember

s'entraner

/stene/

to train/practice

s'entendre bien

/stdbj/

to get along well

se dtendre

/sdetd/

to relax

se coucher

/skue/

to go to bed

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.
Tu veux t'asseoir ? Do you want to sit down?

25
Sample Irregular Pronominal Verb
s'asseoir - to sit down /saswa/
je m'assieds

/masj/

nous nous asseyons

/nunuzasej/

tu t'assieds

/tytasj/

vous vous asseyez

/vuvusaseje/

il s'assied

/ilsasj/

ils s'asseyent

/ilsasej/

Listen to the la routine quotidienne: ma journe mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from
French Listening Resources.

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 commenons. The c must
have the accent (called a cedilla) under it to make the c sound soft.
manger-to eat /me/

commencer-to begin /kmse/

mange

/m/

mangeons

/m/

commence

/kms/

commenons

/kms/

manges

/m/

mangez

/me/

commences

/kms/

commencez

/kmse/

mange

/m/

mangent

/m/

commence

/kms/

commencent

/kms/

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

esprer-to hope /spee/

j'achte

/at/

achetons

/at/

j'espre

/sp/

esprons

/spe/

achtes

/at/

achetez

/ate/

espres

/sp/

esprez

/spee/

achte

/at/

achtent

/at/

espre

/sp/

esprent

/sp/

3. Verbs that are conjugated as -er verbs : Some -ir verbs are conjugated with -er endings. Examples: ouvrir-to
open /uvi/, couvrir-to cover /kuvi/, dcouvrir-to discover /dekuvi / and souffrir-to suffer /sufi/
offrir-to offer /fi/
j'offre

/f/

offrons

/f/

offres

/f/

offrez

/fe/

offre

/f/

offrent

/f/

4. Verbs that end in -yer: Change the y to an i in all forms except the nous and vous. Examples: nettoyer-to
clean /netwaje/, payer-to pay /peje/, and essayer-to try /eseje/
envoyer-to send /vwaje/
j'envoie

/vwa/

envoyons

/vwaj/

envoies

/vwa/

envoyez

/vwaje/

26
envoie

/vwa/

envoient

/vwa/

5. Verbs that double the consonant : Some verbs, including jeter-to throw /te/, double the consonant in all forms
except the nous and vous.
appeler-to call /aple/
j'appelle

/apl/

appelons

/apl/

appelles

/apl/

appelez

/aple/

appelle

/apl/

appellent

/apl/

31. Present Perfect Tense or Passe Compose


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 use the pass compos. The pass compos 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 aim le concert.

I liked the concert.

Tu as habit ici ?

You lived here?

Il a rpondu au
tlphone.

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 aim le concert.

I didn't like the concert.

Il n'a pas rpondu.

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

/y/

had

connatre

to know

connu

/kny/

known

croire

to believe

cru

/ky/

believed

devoir

to have to

/dy/

had to

27
dire

to tell

dit

/di/

said

crire

to write

crit

/eki/

written

tre

to be

/ete/

been

faire

to do, make

fait

/f/

made

lire

to read

lu

/ly/

read

mettre

to put

mis

/mi/

put

permettre

to permit

permis

/pmi/

permitted

promettre

to promise

promis

/pmi/

promised

ouvrir

to open

ouvert

/uv/

opened

offrir

to offer

offert

/f/

offered

pouvoir

to be able to

pu

/py/

was able to

prendre

to take

pris

/pi/

taken

apprendre

to learn

appris

/api/

learned

comprendre

to understand

compris

/kpi/

understood

surprendre

to surprise

surpris

/sypi/

surprised

recevoir

to receive

reu

/sy/

received

rire

to laugh

ri

/i/

laughed

savoir

to know

su

/sy/

known

voir

to see

vu

/vy/

seen

vouloir

to want

voulu

/vuly/

wanted

33. Etre Verbs


Seventeen so-called "house" verbs and all pronominal verbs are conjugated with tre, and they must agree in
gender and number with the subject. Irregular past participles are highlighted.
to go

aller

all / alle

to go by / pass

passer

pass / passe

to arrive

arriver

arriv / arrive

to return
home

rentrer

rentr / rentre

to go
down

descendre

descendu / descendue

to stay

rester

rest / reste

to become

devenir

devenu / devenue

to return

retourner

retourn /
retourne

to enter

entrer

entr / entre

to come back

revenir

revenu / revenue

to go up

monter

mont / monte

to go out

sortir

sorti / sortie

28
to die

mourir

mort / morte

to fall

tomber

tomb / tombe

to be born

natre

n / ne

to come

venir

venu / venue

to leave

partir

parti / partie

A mnemonic device to remember these 17 verbs is DR & MRS P VANDERTRAMP. Each letter in the name
corresponds to the first letter of the verbs. Five of these verbs (monter, descendre, sortir, rentrer, and passer) are
conjugated with avoir if they are used with a direct object.
Je suis sortie. I went out.
J'ai sorti la poubelle. I took the trash out.
Conjugation of an tre verb
Je suis rest(e)

Nous sommes rest(e)s

Tu es rest(e)

Vous tes rest(e)(s)

Il est rest

Ils sont rests

Elle est reste

Elles sont restes

Add e for feminine and s for plural. Sometimes adding an -e causes the pronunciation to change, i.e. the preceding
consonant that is silent in the masculine form is pronounced in the feminine form: Il est mort /m/ vs. Elle
est morte /mt/ To form the negative, place ne...pas around the auxiliary verb: Je ne suis pas rest.
Conjugation of a Pronominal Verb
Je me suis amus(e)

Nous nous sommes amus(e)s

Tu t'es amus(e)

Vous vous tes amus(e)(s)

Il s'est amus

Ils se sont amuss

Elle s'est amuse

Elles se sont amuses

To form the negative of pronominal verbs, place ne before the reflexive pronoun, and pas after the auxiliary verb:
Je ne me suis pas amus.
There are only two cases with pronominal verbs where the past participle does not agree with the subject:
1. When the pronominal verb is followed by a direct object.
Compare: Elles se sont laves, but: elles se sont lav les mains.
2. With verbs where the reflexive pronoun is an indirect object, such as se parler, se demander, se dire, s'crire,
se sourire, and se tlphoner.
Ils se sont tlphon.
34. Food and Meals / La Nourriture et Les Repas
Breakfast

le petit djeuner

/pti dene/

Egg

l'uf (m)

/f/

Lunch

le djeuner

/dene/

Cake

le gteau

/gto/

Dinner

le dner

/dine/

Pie

la tarte

/tat/

Cup

la tasse

/ts/

Milk

le lait

/l/

Slice

la tranche

/t/

Coffee

le caf

/kafe/

Bowl

le bol

/bl/

Butter

le beurre

/b/

29
Glass

le verre

/v/

Water

l'eau (f)

/o/

Salt and
Pepper

le sel et le poivre

/sl/ /pwav/

Ham

le jambon

/b/

Fork

la fourchette

/fut/

Fish

le poisson

/pwas/

Spoon

la cuillre

/kij/

Tea

le th

/te/

Knife

le couteau

/kuto/

Salad

la salade

/salad/

Plate

l'assiette (f)

/asjt/

Jam

la confiture

/kfity/

Napkin

la serviette

/svjt/

Meat

la viande

/vjd/

Ice cream

la glace

/glas/

French fries

les frites (f)

/fit/

Juice

le jus

/y/

Beer

la bire

/bj/

Fruit

le fruit

/fi/

Wine

le vin

/v/

Cheese

le fromage

/fma/

Sugar

le sucre

/syk/

Chicken

le poulet

/pul/

Soup

le potage

/pta/

Cereal

des crales

/seeal/

Ketchup

le ketchup

/ktp/

Oil

l'huile (f)

/il/

Mustard

la moutarde

/mutad/

Vinegar

le vinaigre

/ving/

Mayonnaise

la mayonnaise

/majnz/

Yogurt

le yaourt

/jaut/

Pasta

des ptes

/pt/

In France, it is common to use djeuner to mean to have breakfast as well as to have lunch. In Canada, Belgium,
and Switzerland, the meals are le djeuner, le dner, and le souper. The plural of un uf is des ufs, but fs is not
pronounced: /f/ vs. //. Food is generally divided into two categories: sucr (sweet/sugary)
and sal (savoury/salty). Le pain /p/ is the general word for bread; if you want to specify white bread, use le pain
de mie /p d mi/ . Because the French eat dinner so late in the evening (8 pm), young children have l'heure de
goter (snack time) after school. Le yaourt refers to fruit yogurts and sweet puddings and they are eaten as
desserts in France. La glace is also a common dessert, and you can find several parfums /paf// (flavors). The
word for scoops (of ice cream) is boules /bul/. Many restaurants now offer take out food options, which is called
emporter (to take away). The opposite is sur place.
Listen to the les repas : le petit djeuner mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French
Listening Resources.
35. Fruits, Vegetables and Meat
fruit

un fruit

/fi/

corn

le mas

/mais/

apple

une pomme

/pm/

cucumber

un concombre

/kkb/

apricot

un abricot

/abiko/

eggplant

une aubergine

/obin/

banana

une banane

/banan/

lettuce

la laitue

/lty/

blueberry

une myrtille

/mitij/

mushroom

un champignon

/pi/

cherry

une cerise

/siz/

onion

un oignon

//

30
coconut

une noix de coco

/nwadkoko/

peas

les pois

/pwa/

date

une datte

/dat/

pepper

un piment

/pim/

fig

une figue

/fig/

potato

une pomme de terre

/pmdt/

grape

un raisin

/z/

pumpkin

une citrouille

/situj/

grapefruit

un pamplemousse

/pplmus/

rice

le riz

/i/

lemon

un citron

/sit/

spinach

des pinards

/epina/

lime

un citron vert

/sit v/

squash

une courge

/ku/

melon

un melon

/ml/

tomato

une tomate

/tmat/

olive

une olive

/liv/

turnip

un navet

/nav/

orange

une orange

//

zucchini

des courgettes

/kut/

peach

une pche

/p/

meat

la viande

/vjd/

pear

une poire

/pwa/

bacon

du lard, du bacon

/la/ /bekn/

pineapple

un ananas

/ananas/

beef

le buf

/bf/

plum

une prune

/pyn/

chicken

le poulet

/pul/

prune

un pruneau

/pyno/

duck

le canard

/kana/

raisin

un raisin sec

/z sk/

goat

la chvre

/v/

raspberry

une framboise

/fbwaz/

ham

le jambon

/b/

strawberry

une fraise

/fz/

lamb

l'agneau (m)

/ao/

watermelon

une pastque

/pastk/

liver

le foie

/fwa/

vegetable

un lgume

/legym/

meatballs

des boulettes de
viande

/bultdvjd/

artichoke

un artichaut

/atio/

pork chop

une ctelette de porc

/kotltdp/

asparagus

des asperges

/asp/

rabbit

le lapin

/lap/

beet

une betterave

/btav/

hamburger

le steak hach

/stkae/

broccoli

le brocoli

/bkli/

sausage

la saucisse

/sosis/

cabbage

un chou

/u/

dried sausage

le saucisson

/sosis/

carrot

une carotte

/kat/

turkey

la dinde

/dd/

cauliflower

un chou-fleur

/ufl/

veal

le veau

/vo/

celery

un cleri

/sli/

venison

le chevreuil

/vj/

Lettuce can also be referred to as la salade verte.

31
36. To Take, Eat or Drink
Prendre - to take, eat or drink /pd/

Boire - to drink /bwa/

prends

/p/

prenons

/prn/

bois

/bwa/

buvons

/buv/

prends

/p/

prenez

/prne/

bois

/bwa/

buvez

/buve/

prend

/p/

prennent

/pn/

boit

/bwa/

boivent

/bwav/

Other verbs that are conjugated like prendre: apprendre /apd/ - to learn, comprendre /kpd/ - to
understand and surprendre /sypd/ - to surprise
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 propercontractions (called partitives) because in French you must always express some. So "je
prends de la bire" literally means "I am having somebeer" 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 du 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 bote de

a box of

une tranche de

a slice of

une poigne 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

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 des brocolis. 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 !

Look/Watch!

Nous form

Let's...

Same as verb form

Allons-y !

Let's go!

When using pronominal verbs as commands, the pronoun is placed after the verb connected by a hyphen. Tu te
dpches becomes Dpche-toi ! And in negative commands, the pronoun precedes the verb, as in Ne nous
reposons pas.
Irregular Command Forms

32
tre (be)

avoir (have)

savoir (know)

tu

sois

/swa/

tu

aie

//

tu

sache

/sa/

nous

soyons

/swaj/

nous

ayons

/aj/

nous

sachons

/sa/

vous

soyez

/swaje/

vous

ayez

/aje/

vous

sachez

/sae/

Ne sois pas mchant avec ta sur ! Don't be mean to your sister!


N'ayez pas peur ! Don't be afraid!
Sachez que j'apprcie votre aide. Know that I appreciate your help.
39. More Negatives
ne...plus

/n...ply/

no longer

ne...jamais

/n...am/

never

ne...rien

/n...j/

nothing

ne...aucun(e)

/n...ok// /yn/

not a single one

ne...que

/n...k/

only

ne...personne

/n...psn/

nobody

ne...ni...ni

/n...ni...ni/

neither...nor

ne...nulle part

/n...nyl pa/

nowhere

The 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 camra ni camscope, 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 dteste personne. She hates no one. (Or: She doesn't hate anyone.)
Negatives with Pass Compos
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 tes pas ennuys. 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 cout 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 tre, 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 tre: 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

33

erry Christmas

Joyeux Nol

ppy New Year

Bonne Anne

ppy Thanksgiving

Joyeux Thanksgiving

ppy Thanksgiving (Canada)

Bonne Action de grces

ppy Easter

Joyeuses Pques

ppy Halloween

Bonne fte d'Halloween

ppy Valentine's Day

Joyeuse Saint-Valentin

ppy Birthday

Bon Anniversaire
Joyeux Anniversaire

ppy Saint Day

Bonne Fte

ppy Holidays

Joyeuses Ftes

ristmas Eve or New Year's Eve

le Rveillon

w Year's Eve

la Saint-Sylvestre

If someone is named after a saint, you can wish them bonne fte on that saint's feast day. In Quebec, bonne fte is
used for Happy Birthday.
Listen to the les ftes : Nol en France mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercises from French
Listening Resources.
The French National Anthem: La Marseillaise
by Claude-Joseph Rouget de L'Isle
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arriv.
Contre nous, de la tyrannie,
L'tendard sanglant est lev,
l'tendard sanglant est lev.
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces farouches soldats.
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
gorger vos fils, vos compagnes.
Aux armes citoyens! Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons !
Qu'un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons.
Amour sacr de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs.
Libert, libert chrie,
Combats avec tes dfenseurs;
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure tes mles 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

34
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 aeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.
Car ton bras sait porter l'pe,
Il sait porter la croix.
Ton histoire est une pope
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempe,
Protgera 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.
The Belgian National Anthem: La Brabannone
Noble Belgique, jamais terre chrie,
toi nos curs, toi nos bras,
Par le sang pur rpandu pour toi, Patrie!
Nous le jurons d'un seul cri: tu vivras!
Tu vivras toujours grande et belle
Et ton invincible unit
Aura pour devise immortelle
Le Roi, la Loi, la Libert!
Le Roi, la Loi, la Libert!
La Libert!
Noble Belgium, forever beloved land,
Thine our hearts, thine our arms,
By the pure blood shed for you Fatherland!
We swear it in a single shout: thou shalt live!
Thou shalt live, ever great and beautiful
And thy invincible unity
Shall have for everlasting motto:
The King, the Law, Liberty!
The King, the Law, Liberty!
Liberty!
The Swiss National Anthem: Cantique suisse

35
by Charles Chatelanat
Sur nos monts, quand le soleil
Annonce un brillant rveil,
Et prdit d'un plus beau jour le retour,
Les beauts de la patrie
Parlent l'me attendrie;
Au ciel montent plus joyeux
Les accents d'un cur pieux,
Les accents mus d'un cur pieux.
Lorsqu'un doux rayon du soir
Joue encore dans le bois noir,
Le cur se sent plus heureux prs de Dieu.
Loin des vains bruits de la plaine,
L'me en paix est plus sereine,
Au ciel montent plus joyeux
Les accents d'un cur pieux,
Les accents mus d'un cur pieux.
Lorsque dans la sombre nuit
La foudre clate avec bruit,
Notre cur pressent encore le Dieu fort;
Dans l'orage et la dtresse
Il est notre forteresse;
Offrons-lui des coeurs pieux:
Dieu nous bnira des cieux,
Dieu nous bnira du haut des cieux.
Des grands monts vient le secours;
Suisse, espre en Dieu toujours!
Garde la foi des aeux, Vis comme eux!
Sur l'autel de la patrie
Mets tes biens, ton cur, ta vie!
C'est le trsor prcieux
Que Dieu bnira des cieux,
Que Dieu bnira du haut des cieux
French III Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

41. Imperfect Tense


This past tense corresponds to "was, were or used to." This tense is used for repeated, continuous, or ongoing
actions; as well as for verbs that describe background and circumstances, such as weather, time, and physical,
mental, and emotional states. (Use the pass compos for actions that happened once and are done.) Verbs that
express mental and emotional states that are descriptive in nature are generally used in the imperfect more than the
pass compos. These verbs are: aimer, avoir, croire, dtester, esprer, tre, penser, and prfrer.
To form the stem, use the nous form of the present tense and drop the -ons. Then add these endings:
-ais

//

-ions

/j/

-ais

//

-iez

/je/

-ait

//

-aient

//

The only exception is tre for which you must use the stem t-, but still the same endings. Verb stems that end in -c
must use a cedilla () under the c to make it soft. Verb stems ending in -g keep the e before all forms except nous
and vous.
tre
tais

/et/

tions

/etj/

tais

/et/

tiez

/etje/

36
tait

/et/

taient

commencer

/et/
manger

commenais

/kms/

commencions

/kmsj/

mangeais

/m/

mangions

/mj/

commenais

/kms/

commenciez

/kmsje/

mangeais

/m/

mangiez

/mje/

commenait

/kms/

commenaient

/kms/

mangeait

/m/

mangeaient

/m/

Avoir, Devoir, Pouvoir, Savoir, and Vouloir


These verbs change meanings, according to whether they are used in the imperfect or the pass compos.
Imperfect

Pass Compos

avoir

j'avais

I had

j'ai eu

I got, received

devoir

je devais

I was supposed to

j'ai d

I must have, I had to (and did)

pouvoir

je pouvais

I was capable

j'ai pu
je n'ai pas pu

I was able to (and did), succeeded


I couldn't, failed

savoir

je savais

I knew

j'ai su

I found out, discovered

vouloir

je voulais

I wanted to

j'ai voulu
je n'ai pas voulu

I tried, decided, insisted


I refused

The imperfect tense is also used with these constructions:


tre en train de + infinitive = to be in the middle of doing something
J'tais en train d'tudier quand vous tes arrivs.

I was (in the process of ) studying when you


arrived.

tre sur le point de + infinitive = to be just about to do something


J'tais sur le point de vous rappeler.

I was just about to call you back.

aller + infinitive = going to do something


J'allais sortir quand le tlphone a sonn.

I was going to leave when the phone rang.

venir de + infinitive = to have just done something


Je venais de manger, alors je n'avais plus faim.

I had just eaten, so I wasn't hungry anymore.

42. Places / Les Endroits


school

l'cole (f)

/ekl/

university

l'universit (f)

/ynivsite/

bathroom

les toilettes (f)

/twalt/

bank

la banque

/bk/

locker

le casier

/kzje/

train station

la gare

/ga/

drinking fountain

la fontaine

/ftn/

airport

l'aroport (m)

/aep/

store

le magasin

/magaz/

telephone

le tlphone

/telefn/

library

la biblio(thque)

/biblijtk/

apartment

l'appartement (m)

/apatm/

37
office

le bureau

/byo/

hotel

l'htel (m)

/otl/

stadium

le stade

/stad/

village

le village

/vila/

cafe

le caf

/kafe/

factory

l'usine (f)

/yzin/

cafeteria

la caftria

/kafeteja/

garden

le jardin

/ad/

movie theater

le cinma

/sinema/

castle

le chteau

/ato/

church

l'glise (f)

/egliz/

cathedral

la cathdrale

/katedal/

museum

le muse

/myze/

zoo

le zoo

/zo/

pool

la piscine

/pisin/

bakery

la boulangerie

/buli/

countryside

la campagne

/kpa/

monument

le monument

/mnym/

beach

la plage

/pla/

pharmacy

la pharmacie

/famasi/

theater

le thtre

/tet/

butcher shop

la boucherie

/bui/

park

le parc

/pak/

candy store

la confiserie

/kfizi/

restaurant

le restaurant

/st/

police station

la gendarmerie

/dam()i/

hospital

l'hpital (m)

/pital/

town hall

la mairie

/mi/

post office

la poste

/pst/

square

la place

/plas/

home

la maison

/mz/

bookstore

la librairie

/libi/

city

la ville

/vil/

grocery store

l'picerie (f)

/episi/

supermarket

le supermarch

/sypmae/

pastry shop

la ptisserie

/ptisi/

delicatessen

la charcuterie

/akyti/

fish market

la poissonnerie

/pwasni/

Nowadays, la mdiathque /medjatk/ is replacing bibliothque because most libraries also have DVDs and CDs to
lend, not just books. You may also hear la cantine /ktin/ to refer to the cafeteria in a school.
Listen to the les magasins : la boulangerie mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from
French Listening Resources.
43. Transportation
by bike

en vlo (m)

/ velo/

by bus

en bus (m)

/ bus/

by moped

en scooter (m)

/ skut/

by car

en voiture (f)

/ vwaty/

by motorcycle

en moto (f)

/ moto/

by subway

en mtro (m)

/ meto/

on foot

pied (m)

/a pje/

38
by plane

en avion (m)

/ navj/

by train

en train (m)

/ t/

by boat

en bateau (m)

/ bato/

Instead of using a specific verb of movement (drive, fly, walk) before a location, French actually uses a more
general verb + the location + the manner of movement.
I walk to school. = Je vais l'cole pied. (I go to school on foot.)
I'm flying to New York. = Je vais New York en avion. (I go to New York by plane.)
Common slang words for car/automobile are une bagnole /bal/ or une caisse /ks/. In Quebec, it's un char /a/.
44. To Want & To Be Able To
vouloir /vulwa/ -to want and pouvoir /puvwa/ - to be able to, can
Present

Imperfect

Future

veu
x

/
v/

voulons

/vul/

voulais

/vul/

voulions

/vulj/

voudra
i

/
vud/

voudron
s

/
vud/

veu
x

/
v/

voulez

/vule/

voulais

/vul/

vouliez

/vulje/

voudra
s

/
vuda/

voudrez

/
vude/

veut

/
v/

veulent

/vl/

voulait

/vul/

voulaient

/vul/

voudra

/
vuda/

voudron
t

/
vud/

peu
x

/
p/

pouvon
s

/
puv/

pouvai
s

/
puv/

pouvions

/
puvj/

pourrai

/pu/

pourron
s

/pu/

peu
x

/
p/

pouvez

/
puve/

pouvai
s

/
puv/

pouviez

/
puvje/

pourra
s

/pua/

pourrez

/pue/

peut

/
p/

peuvent

/pv/

pouvai
t

/
puv/

pouvaien
t

/puv/

pourra

/pua/

pourron
t

/pu/

Voulez-vous? can mean Do you want? or Will you? The past participles are voulu and pu and both are conjugated
with avoir. The conditional forms of vouloir are used in the expression "would like" i.e. I'd like = je voudrais, you'd
like = tu voudrais, he'd/she'd like = il/elle voudrait, we'd like = nous voudrions, you'd like = vous voudriez,
they'd like = ils/elles voudraient.
You do not need to use pouvoir after verbs that involve the senses, such as voir (to see) and entendre (to hear). Je
ne vois pas / Je n'entends pas can mean I don't see or I can't see / I don't hear or I can't hear depending on the
context.
45. The House and Yard / La maison et le jardin
House

la maison

/mz/

Yard

le jardin

/ad/

Apartment

l'appartement (m)

/apatm/

Shrub

l'arbuste (m)

/abyst/

Bedroom

la chambre

/b/

Lawn/grass

le gazon / la pelouse

/gaz/ /p()luz/

Hallway

le couloir

/kulwa/

Bush

le buisson

/bis/

Kitchen

la cuisine

/kizin/

Tree

l'arbre (m)

/ab/

Storeroom

le dbarras

/debaa/

Lawn mower

la tondeuse gazon

/tdzagaz/

39
Stairs

l'escalier (m)

/skalje/

Hose

le tuyau d'arrosage

/tijodaoza/

Floor

l'tage (m)

/eta/

Watering can

l'arrosoir (m)

/aoza/

Living Room

le living / le salon

/livi/ /sal/

Rake

le rteau

/to/

Closet

la penderie

/pdi/

Hoe

la bche

/b/

Room

la pice

/pjs/

Clippers

le cisaille

/sizj/

Ground Floor

le rez-de-chausse

/dose/

Shovel

la pelle

/pl/

Dining Room

la salle manger

/salame/

Sprinkler

l'arroseur (m)

/aoz/

Bathroom

la salle de bains

/saldb/

Lock (door)

la serrure

/sey/

Terrace, patio

la terrasse

/tas/

Lock (bolt)

le verrou

/vu/

Attic

le grenier

/gnje/

Padlock

le cadenas

/kadna/

Chimney

la chemine

/()mine/

Hinges

la charnire

/anj/

Roof

le toit

/tw/

Key

la cl

/kle/

Garage

le garage

/gaa/

Keychain

le porte-cl

/ptkle/

Driveway

l'alle (f)

/ale/

Keyhole

le trou de la serrure

sey/

Sidewalk

le trottoir

/ttwa/

Doorknob

la poigne de porte

/pwaedpt/

Porch

le porche

/p/

Tile roofing

les tuiles (f)

/til/

Basement

le sous-sol

/susl/

Clapboard/Shingle

les bardeaux (m)

/bado/

Cellar

la cave

/kav/

Slate roofing

l'ardoise (f)

/adwaz/

You may also see the words la loggia /ldja/ (small room off a large room - sometimes like a pantry) and la
veranda /veda/ (enclosed porch/balcony), as well as les toilettes /twalt/ (a separate room just for the toilet), for
parts of a house or apartment.
Listen to the le logement : dcrire son appartement mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise
from French Listening Resources.
46. Furniture and Appliances / Les meubles et l'Electromenager
Furniture

les meubles

/mbl/

Appliances

l'lectromnager

/elktomenae/

Shelf

l'tagre (f)

/eta/

Thermostat

le thermostat

/tmsta/

Desk

le bureau

/byo/

Air
Conditioner

le climatiseur

/klimatiz/

Chair

la chaise

/z/

Fan

le ventilateur

/vtilat/

Dresser

la commode

/kmd/

Rocking chair

le fauteuil bascule

/fotjabaskyl/

Curtain

le rideau

/ido/

Stool

le tabouret

/tabu/

Curtain rod

la tringle

/tgl/

Cushion

le coussin

/kus/

40
Shutters

les volets (m)

/vl/

Carpet

la moquette

/mkt/

Blinds

les stores (m)

/st/

Mixer /
Beater

le batteur lectrique

/batelktik/

Window

la fentre

/fnt/

Blender

le mixeur

/miks/

Bed

le lit / le plumard

/li/ /plyma/

Can opener

l'ouvre-botes (m)

/uvbwat/

Door

la porte

/pt/

Toaster

le grille-pain

/gijp/

Closet

le placard

/plaka/

Coffee maker

la caftire

/kaftj/

Rug

le tapis

/tapi/

Coffee press

le moulin caf

/mul na kafe/

Lamp

la lampe

/lp/

Kettle

la bouilloire

/bujwa/

Nightstand

la table de nuit

/tabldni/

Sheet

le drap

/da/

Answering
machine

le rpondeur

/epd/

Blanket

la couverture

/kuvty/

Stereo

la chane hi fi

/n i fi/

Mattress

le matelas

/matla/

Television

la tl(vision)

/televizj/

Bunkbeds

les lits superposs


(m)

/lisyppoze/

VCR

le magntoscope

/maetskp/

Lightswitch

l'interrupteur (m)

/teypt/

Remote
Control

la tlcommande

/telekmd/

Lampshade

l'abat-jour (m)

/abau/

Computer

l'ordinateur (m)

/dinat/

Faucet

le robinet

/bin/

Radio

la radio

/adjo/

Drain/Piping

la canalisation

/kanalizasj/

Fridge

le frigo

/figo/

Towel bar

le porte-serviettes

/ptsvjt/

Refrigerator

le rfrigrateur

/efieat/

Laundry
room

la buanderie

/bdi/

Freezer

le conglateur

/kelat/

Bleach

la javel

/avl/

(Coffee)
Table

la table (basse)

/tabl bas/

Laundry
basket

le panier linge

/panje a l/

Sink

l'vier (m)

/evje/

Clothespin

la pince linge

/ps a l/

Bathtub

la baignoire

/bwa/

Washing
Machine

la machine laver /
le lave-linge

/mainalave/
/lavl/

Stove

la cuisinire

/kizinj/

Clothes Dryer

le sche-linge

/sl/

Oven

le four

/fu/

Iron

le fer repasser

/fapase/

Dishwasher

le lave-vaisselle

/lavvsl/

Ironing board

la planche
repasser

/plapase/

Microwave

le four micro-

/fuamikod/

Hanger

le cintre

/st/

41
ondes
Shower

la douche

/du/

Vacuum

l'aspirateur (m)

/aspiat/

Pillow

l'oreiller

/je/

Broom

le balai

/bal/

Mirror

le miroir

/miwa/

Dustpan

la pelle

/pl/

Ceiling

le plafond

/plaf/

Mop

la serpillire

/spij/

Floor

le plancher

/ple/

Garbage

les ordures (f)

/dy/

Armchair

le fauteuil

/fotj/

Garbage bag

le sac poubelle

/sakpubl/

Clock

la pendule

/pdyl/

Garbage can

la poubelle

/publ/

Bedspread

le couvre-lit

/kuvli/

Flyswatter

la tapette mouche

/taptamu/

Vase

le vase

/vz/

Clothes Dryer

le schoir

/sewa/

Bathroom
sink

le lavabo

/lavabo/

Hair Dryer

le sche-cheveux

/seav/

Futon couch

le clic-clac

/klik klak/

Couch/Sofa

le canap / le sofa

/kanape/ /sfa/

DVD Player

le lecteur de DVD

/lktddevede/

Monte le son. / Baisse le son. Turn up the volume. / Turn down the volume.
Allume la lumire. / Eteinds la tl. Turn on the light. / Turn off the television.
47. Comparatives & Superlatives
Comparatives
aussi (adj or adv) que

as (adj or adv) as

moins (adj or adv) que

less (adj or adv) than

plus (adj or adv) que

more (adj or adv) than

plus de (noun) que

more (noun) than

autant de (noun) que

as many (noun) as

moins de (noun) que

less (noun) than

Sample Sentences
She is taller than Colette.

Elle est plus grande que Colette.

I am smarter than you.

Je suis plus intelligente que toi.

Peter runs less quickly than me.

Pierre court moins rapidement


que moi.

The kitchen is as big as the living


room.

La cuisine est aussi grande que le


salon.

I have more books than she.

J'ai plus de livres qu'elle.

42
We have as many cars as he.

Nous avons autant


de voitures que lui.

Verbs can also be compared with plus/aussi/moins (+ que):


Il travaille moins qu'elle. He works less than she.
Ils dorment plus. They sleep more.
Superlatives
Simply add le, la or les before the comparative if you are using an adjective. With adverbs, always use le. After a
superlative, de is used to mean in. If the adjective follows the noun, the superlative follows the noun also,
surrounding the adjective.
Sample Sentences
It's the biggest city in the world.

C'est la plus grande ville du


monde.

She is the most beautiful woman in


this room.

Elle est la plus belle femme de


cette salle.

This neighborhood is the least


expensive in Paris.

Ce quartier est le moins cher de


Paris.

It's the most dreaded punishment


in the world.

C'est la punition la plus


redoutable du monde.

She works the most courageously


of everyone.

Elle travaille le plus


courageusement de tous.

In French, sometimes you don't use any articles, as compared to English:


Plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
48. Irregular Forms
Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

bon

good

meilleur/e

better

le/la meilleur/e

best

mauvais

bad

pire

worse

le/la pire

worst

petit

small

moindre

less

le/la moindre

least

Adverb

Comparative

Superlative

bien

well

mieux

better

le mieux

best

beaucoup

much

plus

more

le plus

most

mal

badly

pis

worse

le pis

worst

peu

little

moins

less

le moins

least

Only use the irregular forms of mauvais in the abstract sense. If the idea is concrete, you may use plus/moins
mauvais and le/la mauvais.
49. Clothing / Les vetements
pajamas

le pyjama

boxer shorts

le caleon

43
jewelry

le bijou

briefs

le slip

necklace

le collier

panties

la culotte

jeans

le jean

tuxedo

le smoking

pants

le pantalon

bowtie

le nud papillon

sweater

le pull

vest/cardigan

le gilet

turtleneck

le col roul

flip flops

les tongs

raincoat

l'impermable (m)

sleeve

la manche

blouse

le chemisier

pocket

la poche

bra

le soutien-gorge

decorative scarf

la foulard

slip

le jupon

man's suit

le costume

coat

le manteau

woman's suit

le tailleur

tennis shoes

des tennis (m)

slippers

des pantoufles (f)

swimsuit

le maillot de bain

jacket

le blouson

shorts

le short

underwear

les sous-vtements

bracelet

le bracelet

gloves

les gants (m)

charm

le porte-bonheur

mittens

les moufles (f)

t-shirt

le tee-shirt

belt

la ceinture

hat

le chapeau

cap

la casquette

ring

la bague

skirt

la jupe

chain

la chanette

dress

la robe

earrings

les boucles d'oreilles (f)

sandal

la sandale

pin

l'pingle (f)

boots

des bottes (f)

sock

la chaussette

blazer/coat

la veste

shoe

la chaussure

scarf

l'charpe (f)

man's shirt

la chemise

tie

la cravate

hooded jacket

l'anorak

slipper shoes

des chaussons

sneakers

des baskets

high heels

des escarpins

track suit

le jogging

long shorts

le bermuda

size (clothes)

la taille

size (shoes)

la pointure

44
Les bas (stockings) and les collants (tights) are popular in France. Chaussures talons hauts are high-heeled
shoes, while chaussures talons plats are flat shoes. Chaussures de ville are dress shoes. A slang word
for clothes is les fringues.
50. To Wear
Mettre /mt/ - to put, to put on, wear
Present

Imperfect

Future

met
s

/
m/

metton
s

/
mt/

mettai
s

/
mt/

mettions

/
mtj/

mettrai

/
mt/

mettron
s

/
mt/

met
s

/
m/

mettez

/
mte/

mettai
s

/
mt/

mettiez

/
mtje/

mettra
s

/
mta/

mettrez

/
mte/

met

/
m/

mettent

/mt/

mettait

/
mt/

mettaien
t

/mt/

mettra

/
mta/

mettront

/
mt/

Other verbs that are conjugated like mettre: promettre - to promise and permettre - to permit. The past participle
of mettre is mis and it is conjugated with avoir.
Porter is actually the verb to wear, but the French use mettre also.
Il / Elle te va bien.

It looks good on you. (informal)

Il / Elle vous va bien.

It looks good on you. (formal)

Ils / Elles te vont bien.

They look good on you. (informal)

Ils / Elles vous vont bien.

They look good on you. (formal)

51. Future Tenses: Simple and Anterior


The futur simple expresses an action that will take place [will + infinitive]. The futur antrieur expresses an action
that will have taken place before another future action [will have + past participle]. The future tense is used just
like it is in English, however, in French, the future is always used after quand or lorsque (when), ds
que or aussitt que (as soon as) and tant que (as long as.)
To form the future tense, use the infinitive and add these endings that resemble those of avoir. However, you drop
the -e from -re verbs.

parler

-ai

//

-ons

-as

/a/

-ez

/e/

-a

/a/

-ont

//

choisir

perdre

parlerai

parlerons

choisirai

choisirons

perdrai

perdrons

parleras

parlerez

choisiras

choisirez

perdras

perdrez

parlera

parleront

choisira

choisiront

perdra

perdront

And of course, there are exceptions. Here are the irregular stems for the future tense (these will also be used in the
conditional tense):
Irregular Stems
aller

ir-

pleuvoir

pleuvr-

45
avoir

aur-

pouvoir

pourr-

courir

courr-

recevoir

recevr-

devoir

devr-

savoir

saur-

envoyer

enverr-

tenir

tiendr-

tre

ser-

valoir

vaudr-

faire

fer-

venir

viendr-

falloir

faudr-

voir

verr-

mourir

mourr-

vouloir

voudr-

tre

aller

serai

serons

j'irai

irons

seras

serez

iras

irez

sera

seront

ira

iront

Other exceptions: For appeler and jeter, double the consonant. For nettoyer and payer, change the y to i. For
acheter, add an accent grave. For prfrer, the accents all remain the same.
jeter

payer

acheter

prfrer

jetterai

jetterons

paierai

paierons

achterai

achterons

prfrerai

prfrerons

jetteras

jetterez

paieras

paierez

achteras

achterez

prfreras

prfrerez

jettera

jetteront

paiera

paieront

achtera

achteront

prfrera

prfreront

To form the futur antrieur (will have + past participle), use the future of either avoir or tre (whichever the main
verb takes) and the past participle of the main verb.
Quand ils reviendront, ils auront chang. When they come back, they will have changed.
Ds qu'ils seront revenus, ils voudront repartir. As soon as they have returned, they will want to leave again.
52. Preceding & Plural Adjectives
Masculine

Feminine

Adjective

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

beautiful

beau (bel)

beaux

belle

belles

good

bon

bons

bonne

bonnes

dear

cher

chers

chre

chres

crazy

fou (fol)

foux

folle

folles

nice

gentil

gentils

gentille

gentilles

big

grand

grands

grande

grandes

46
large

gros

gros

grosse

grosses

young

jeune

jeunes

jeune

jeunes

pretty

joli

jolis

jolie

jolies

long

long

longs

longue

longues

bad

mauvais

mauvais

mauvaise

mauvaises

better, best

meilleur

meilleurs

meilleure

meilleures

soft

mou (mol)

moux

molle

molles

new

nouveau (nouvel)

nouveaux

nouvelle

nouvelles

little

petit

petits

petite

petites

old

vieux (vieil)

vieux

vieille

vieilles

The masculine singular and plural are pronounced the same, as are the feminine singular and plural. These are the
most common adjectives that go before the noun. An acronym to remember which ones go before the noun is
BRAGS: Beauty, Resemblance (mme and autre), Age/Order (premier and dernier), Goodness, and Size. All other
adjectives, except numbers, go after the noun. The five words in parentheses (bel, fol, mol, nouvel, and vieil) are
used before masculine singular words beginning with a vowel or a silent h.
A few adjectives can be used before or after the noun, and the meaning changes accordingly. When used before the
noun, they take a figurative meaning; and when used after, they take a literal meaning.
Before plural adjectives preceding plural nouns , you use de instead of des to mean some. Ex: Some old
monuments. De vieux monuments.
53. Adjectives: Formation of Feminine
Almost all adjectives must agree in number and gender with the noun they modify. Most adjectives are given in the
masculine form, so to change to the feminine forms, follow these rules:
Masculine

Feminine

Adjective

brun

brune

brown

fatigu

fatigue

tired

If it already ends in -e, add nothing

jeune

jeune

young

-x changes to -se

gnreux

gnreuse

generous

Exceptions:

faux

fausse

false

roux

rousse

red (hair)

doux

douce

sweet, soft

-il, -el, and -eil change to


-ille, -elle, and -eille

naturel

naturelle

natural

-et changes to -te

inquiet

inquite

worried

Exceptions:

muet

muette

silent

coquet

coquette

stylish

Add -e

47
-en and -on change to
-enne and -onne

Italien

Italienne

Italian

-er changes to -re

cher

chre

dear, expensive

-f changes to -ve

actif

active

active

-c changes to -che

blanc

blanche

white

Exceptions:

public

publique

public

grec

grecque

Greek

-g changes to -gue

long

longue

long

-eur changes to -euse if adjective


is derived from verb

menteur

menteuse

liar

-eur changes to -rice if adjective


is not same as verb

crateur

cratrice

creator

-eur changes to -eure with


adjectives of comparison

infrieur

infrieure

inferior

And a few completely irregular ones:

pais

paisse

thick

favori

favorite

favorite

frais

frache

fresh, cool

54. Forming Plurals: Adjectives


To form the feminine plural, just add an -s, unless it already ends in an s, then add nothing. To form the masculine
plural, just add an -s, except in these cases: -al becomes -aux (exceptions: banal - banals; final - finals); and if it
ends in an x or s already, add nothing.
Masculine Singular

Masculine Plural

national

national

nationaux

general

gnral

gnraux

Feminine Singular

Feminine Plural

national

nationale

nationales

general

gnrale

gnrales

And of course there are more exceptions... some adjectives are invariable and do not have feminine or plural forms.
Compound adjectives, such as bleu clair (light blue) and vert fonc (dark green), adjectives that are also nouns,
such as or (gold), argent (silver), marron (chestnut), and the words chic (stylish), bon march or meilleur
march (inexpensive) never change.
55. More Adjectives
short (length)

court/e

different

diffrent/e

boring

ennuyeux/euse

loud, noisy

bruyant/e

situated

situ/e

crazy

fou/folle

48
elegant

lgant/e

big

gros/se

interesting

intressant/e

tight, narrow

troit/e

curious

curieux/euse

sensitive

sensible

several

plusieurs

nervous

nerveux/euse

athletic

sportif/sportive

pointed

pointu/e

only

seul/e

stubborn

ttu/e

bright

vif/vive

amusing

amusant/e

shy

timide

cute

mignon/ne

touching

mouvant/e

hard-working

travailleur/euse

perfect

parfait/e

funny

drle, marrant/e

optimistic

optimiste

ready

prt/e

heavy

lourd/e

pessimistic

pessimiste

sad

triste

careful

prudent/e

tolerant

tolrant/e

clever

malin/maligne

dirty

sale

pretentious

prtentieux/euse

lazy

paresseux/euse

tired

fatigu/e

ambitious

ambitieux/se

generous

gnreux/euse

angry

fch/e

pleasant

agrable

famous

clbre

annoyed

irrit/e

enthusiastic

enthousiaste

decorated

dcor/e

old

g/e

honest

honnte

Remember the first word is the masculine and the second is the feminine. The addition of an e for the feminine
form allows the last consonant to be voiced. These adjectives go after the noun.
Normally, the verb rendre means to give something that you owe to someone, such as On rend ses devoirs au
professeur. It can also be used in the sense of to represent. But rendre + adjective means to make someone or
something + adjective.
Tu me rends si heureuse ! You make me so happy!
Le fait qu'il ne possde pas de voiture le rend triste. The fact that he doesn't have a car makes him sad.
Some common slang adjectives that are used constantly in everyday speech:
chouette

great, good

minable

mediocre

con / conne

stupid, dumb

moche

ugly, unpleasant

dbile

idiotic

sensass

sensational

dgueu(lasse)

disgusting, bad

super

marvellous

extra

extraordinary

sympa

nice, pleasant

gnial

very interesting

tarte

inane

impec

perfect

tocard

ridiculous, deplorable

The intensifiers vachement and drlement are also used often, meaning very or really.
Il est vachement sympa. = He is really nice.
Elle est drlement triste. = She is very sad.
Listen to the le caractre : une jeune fille trs heureuse mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank)
exercise from French Listening Resources.

49
56. Problem Verbs
Some verbs in French present problems because they have several translations in English. Other verbs can have
several translations in French, but fewer meanings in English.
visiter - to visit places
rendre visite - to visit people
apporter - to bring things to some place
emporter - to take things from some place
amener - to bring someone to some place
emmener - to take someone from some place
apprendre quelque chose - to learn something
apprendre quelque chose quelqu'un - to teach someone something
rencontrer - to meet
faire la connaissance de - to meet someone for the first time
retrouver - to meet (for an appointment)
partir - to leave (from or for a place)
quitter - to leave (a person or place)
sortir - to go out
s'en aller - to go away
laisser - to leave something behind
retourner - to go back (to where speaker is not)
revenir - to come back (to where speaker currently is)
rentrer - to come or go home
rendre - to return or give something back
faire - to make
fabriquer - to produce
obliger - to make someone do something
rendre - to make someone + adjective
After some verbs, the word ne is required, but this does not imply negation: craindre, redoter, empcher
Je crains qu'il ne fasse trop froid. I'm afraid that it's too cold.
And a few verbs only require ne and not pas in the negative, but this is elevated or literary language: cesser,
oser, pouvoir, savoir
Je ne peux vivre sans toi. I cannot live without you.
57. C'est / Il est + Adjective + A / de + Infinitive
C'est + adjective + + infinitive is used when the idea has already been mentioned; while il est + adjective + de +
infinitive is used when the idea has not yet been mentioned. Also, the c'est construction is used when you do not
use a direct object after the infinitive of the transitive verb, and the il est construction is used when you do.
Est-ce qu'on peut apprendre le chinois en un an ? Can you learn Chinese in one year?
Non, c'est impossible apprendre en un an ! No, it's impossible to learn in one year! (The idea, Chinese, has
already been mentioned, and there is no direct object.)
OR:
Non, il est impossible d'apprendre le chinois en un an ! (This sentence contains the direct object after the
infinitive.)
Il est facile d'apprendre l'italien. It is easy to learn Italian. (The idea has not already been mentioned, and the
direct object is used.)
Adjectives that express a certain emotion require de before the infinitive: content, dsol, furieux, heureux,
triste
Je suis contente de vous voir. I am happy to see you.
Other adjectives require before the infinitive: agrable, pnible, terrible, amusant, intressant, ennuyeux,
lger, lourd, lent, rapide, premier, dernier, prt, seul
Il est prt partir. He is ready to leave.
A longer list of adjectives that require or de before an infinitive can be found at 91. on French V.
In addition, when quelque chose is followed by an adjective, de is inserted between the two.
quelque chose d'intressant = something interesting
58. Sports & Instruments
Soccer

le football

Softball

le softball

50
Hockey

le hockey

Golf

le golf

Football

le football amricain

Bicycling

le vlo

Basketball

le basket

Surfing

le surf

Baseball

le base-ball

Dirt/Motor biking

le bicross

Horse-back riding

l'quitation; du cheval

French horn

le cor d'harmonie

Tennis

le tennis

violin

le violon

Skiing

le ski

guitar

la guitare

Volleyball

le volley

drum

le tambour

Wrestling

la lutte / le catch

tuba

le tuba

Jogging

le jogging

flute

la flte

Ice-skating

le patin glace

trombone

le trombone

Swimming

la natation

clarinet

la clarinette

Track and Field

l'athltisme

cello

le violoncelle

Bowling

le bowling

harp

la harpe

La lutte is regular wrestling (the real Greco-Roman sport), while le catch is professional/fake wrestling.
Faire de + a sport means to play. Jouer + a sport also means to play, as does jouer de + an instrument.
Tu fais du foot. You play soccer.
J'aime jouer au tennis. I like to play tennis.
Je peux jouer de la guitare. I can play the guitar.
Nous jouons de la clarinette. We play the clarinet.
Il veut jouer du tuba. He wants to play the tuba.
Listen to the les sports: la ptanque mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French
Listening Resources.
59. Nature
air

l'air (m)

frost

la gele

rose

la rose

archipelago

l'archipel (m)

grass

l'herbe (f)

sand

le sable

bank

la rive

gulf

le golfe

sea

la mer

bay

la baie

hail

la grle

shadow

l'ombre (f)

barn

la grange

hay

le foin

sky

le ciel

beach

la plage

high tide

la mare haute

snow

la neige

branch

la branche

hill

la colline

soil

la terre

bridge

le pont

ice

la glace

south

le sud

bud

le bouton

island

I'le (f)

spring
(water)

la source

bush

le buisson

isthmus

l'isthme

star

l'toile (f)

51
cape

le cap

jungle

la jungle

stem

la tige

cave

la caverne

lake

le lac

storm

l'orage (m) / la
tempte

city

la ville

leaf

la feuille

strait

le dtroit

climate

le climat

light

la lumire

stream

le ruisseau

cloud

le nuage

lightning

l'clair (m)

street

la rue

coast

la cte

lily

le lis

sun

le soleil

comet

la comte

low tide

la mare basse

sunflower

le tournesol

constellation

la
constellation

meadow

le pr

thaw

la fonte

country

le pays

moon

la lune

thunder

le tonnerre

country(side)

la campagne

mountain

la montagne

tornado

la tornade

current

le courant

mountain
range

la chane de
montagnes

tree

l'arbre (m)

daffodil

la jonquille

mouth (river)

l'embouchure (f)

trunk

le tronc

daisy

la marguerite

mud

la vase

tulip

la tulipe

darkness

l'obscurit (f)

nature

la nature

valley

la valle

desert

le dsert

north

le nord

view

la vue

dew

la rose

peninsula

la pninsule

water

l'eau (f)

dust

la poussire

plain

la plaine

fresh water

l'eau douce

earth

la terre

planet

la plante

salt water

l'eau sale

east

l'est (m)

plant

la plante

watering
can

l'arrosoir (m)

farm

la ferme

pond

l'tang (m)

waterfall

la cascade

field

le champ

pot (for
plants)

le pot de fleurs

wave

la vague / l'onde
(f)

flower

la fleur

rain

la pluie

weather

le temps

foam

l'cume (f)

rainbow

l'arc-en-ciel (m)

west

l'ouest (m)

fog

le brouillard

river

le fleuve

wind

le vent

foliage

le feuillage

rock

le rocher

world

le monde

forest

la fort

root

la racine

60. To Live
vivre - to live, be alive (vee-vruh)

52
Present

Imperfect

Future

vis

vivons

vivais

vivions

vivrai

vivrons

vis

vivez

vivais

viviez

vivras

vivrez

vit

vivent

vivait

vivaient

vivra

vivront

The past participle of vivre is vcu and it is conjugated with avoir. Habiter is another verb that means to live, but it
means to live in a place. Vivre is used to mean the state of being alive. A subjunctive form of vivre, vive, is often
used in exclamations.
Vive la France ! Long live France!
French IV Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

61. Personal Pronouns


Subject

Direct Object

Indirect Object

Disjunctives

je

me

me

me

to me

moi

me

tu

you

te

you

te

to you

toi

you

il

he

le

him

lui

to him

lui

him

elle

she

la

her

lui

to her

elle

her

nous

we

nous

us

nous

to us

nous

us

vous

you

vous

you

vous

to you

vous

you

ils

they

les

them

leur

to them

eux

them

elles

they

les

them

leur

to them

elles

them

You have already learned the subject pronouns. They go before the conjugated verb forms. The Direct and Indirect
Object pronouns go beforethe verb even though in English they go after it. They also go after the ne in a negative
sentence and right before the verb. The disjunctive always go after prepositions, or can be used alone for emphasis.
Sample Sentences:
J'achte des pantalons.

I buy some pants.

Je les achte.

I buy them.

Je vous donne la bote.

I give the box to you.

Je vous la donne.

I give it to you.

Aprs toi.

After you. (familiar)

Nous allons avec elle.

We go with her.

Il ne la quitte pas.

He doesn't leave her.

Il la quitte.

He leaves her.

Je t'aime. or Je vous aime.

I love you.

53
Elle ne l'aime pas.

She doesn't love him.

When you have more than one pronoun; me, te, nous, or vous come first, then le, la, or les, then lui or leur. Me,
te, le, and la contract to m', t', andl' when they precede a vowel, the same way je does. In commands, the pronouns
go after the verb, connected with a hyphen. And the pronoun order changes a little too: Le, la, or les come first;
then moi, toi, (Me and te become moi and toi in commands) nous, or vous; then lui, or leur.
If you have pronouns, they go before the complete verb in regular sentences; but after the ne and before the form
of avoir in negative sentences.
Nous lui avons parl.

We spoke to him/her.

Vous en avez cout trois.

You've listened to three of them.

Je t'ai demand du pain.

I asked you for some bread.

Il ne l'a pas aim.

He didn't like it/her/him.

Tu n'y as pas habit.

You didn't live there.

Je ne vous ai pas parl.

I didn't speak (or haven't spoken) to you.

Nous ne l'avons pas fini.

We didn't finish (or haven't finished) it.

In the pass compos with avoir, direct object pronouns only must agree in gender and number with the past
participle.
Je les ai aims.

I liked them.

Il l'a regarde.

He watched her.

Elles nous ont cout(e)s.

They listened to us.

Add an e if the pronoun is feminine, and an s if it is plural. The l' could mean him or her, so you might not need to
put the extra e on the past participle. The same for nous and vous. They must have an s because they are plural, but
it is unclear as to whether they are masculine or feminine.
62. Parts of the Body / Les parties du corps
Standard French

Slang

head

la tte

la caboche / le crne

hair

les cheveux

les tifs

face

la figure / le visage / la face

forehead

le front

cheek

la joue

ear

l'oreille

les esgourdes

eye/s

l'il / les yeux

les mirettes

beard

la barbe

la barbouse

mustache

la moustache

mouth

la bouche

lip

la lvre

la gueule / la bote

54
nose

le nez

tongue

la langue

tooth

la dent

neck

le cou

eyebrows

les sourcils

eyelashes

les cils

chin

le menton

throat

la gorge

skin

la peau

blood

le sang

bone

l'os

shoulder

l'paule

chest

la poitrine

waist

la taille

belly button

le nombril

back

le dos

heart

le cur

lungs

les poumons

brain

le cerveau

liver

le foie

kidney

le rein

bladder

la vessie

rib

la cte

arm

le bras

elbow

le coude

wrist

le poignet

fist

le poing

hand

la main

fingers

les doigts

stomach / belly

l'estomac / le ventre

le blair / le pif

les crocs

le buffet / le bide

55
butt

les fesses

body

le corps

hip

la hanche

leg

la jambe

knee

le genou

foot

le pied

toes

les orteils

ankle

la cheville

thigh

la cuisse

shin

le tibia

calf

le mollet

thumb

le pouce

nails

les ongles

tattoo

le tatouage

piercing

le piercing

blond

blond/e

brunette

brun/e

red-head

roux/rousse

light brown

chtain

les miches

le penard / les arpions

To say something hurts or that you have an ache, you can use avoir mal (body part):
J'ai mal la tte. I have a headache.
J'ai mal l'estomac. I have a stomach ache.
Elle a mal au bras. Her arm hurts.
Tu as mal au genou? Your knee hurts?
Il a mal aux orteils. His toes hurt.
However, if someone is causing you pain, use faire mal (to hurt) plus the indirect pronoun.
Tu me fais mal. You're hurting me.
Ne lui faites pas mal. Don't hurt him / her.
When describing hair color or eye color, you use blonds, chtain, bruns, roux for hair; and bleus, verts,
marron, noirs for eyes. Notice that chtain and marron do not agree in gender or number.
Elle a les cheveux roux. Elle est rousse. She has red hair. She is a red-head.
Il a les yeux marron. He has brown eyes.
Combien msures-tu ? / Combien fais-tu ? How tall are you?
Combien pses-tu ? How much do you weigh?
Je fais 1m60. I am 1 m 60 cm.
Je pse 50 kilos. I weigh 50 kilos.
Listen to the l'apparence physique : un copain moi mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise
from French Listening Resources.

56
63. Asking Questions
1) Invert the subject and verb form and add a hyphen. Instead of Vous parlez anglais? use Parlez-vous
anglais? But if you invert il, elle, or on, you must put a t between the verb form (if it ends in a vowel) and the
subject for ease of pronunciation. Parle-il anglais? is incorrect and must become Parle-t-il anglais? And je is
usually only inverted with pouvoir or devoir. However, if je is inverted with pouvoir, you don't use peux, butpuis.
Puis-je ? (pweezh) is Can I?
2) Add n'est-ce pas ? (ness pah) to the end of the sentence. It is equivalent to isn't it, don't you, aren't we, won't
you, etc.
3) If the question requires a yes or no answer, put Est-ce que (ess kuh) at the beginning. It contracts to Est-ce
qu' before a word beginning with a vowel, such as elle, il or on. You can also use interrogative words (quand,
comment, o, etc.) at the beginning of the sentence and then add est-ce que.
4) With interrogative words, you can also use inversion: Quand tes parents partent-ils en vacances ? Or you can
use an interrogative with est-ce que and normal word order: Pourquoi est-ce que vous tes ici ?
5) Quel / Quelle / Quels / Quelles (which, what) agrees with the noun it modifies. It precedes the noun or the verb
tre, it may follow a preposition, and it can be used with inversion or with est-ce que. Quelle est la date ? A
quelle heure partez-vous ? Quels bagages est-ce que vous prenez ? Notice that the forms of quel can also be
used in exclamatory sentences. Quel beau jour ! / Quelle belle journe ! What a beautiful day!
6) With negative questions, negative expressions remain in their usual place (i.e. around the verb, or verb and
subject if inverted). Tu netravailles pas ? Est-ce que tu ne travailles pas ? Ne travailles-tu pas ? Pourquoi n'astu pas travaill ?
Asking Questions with the Pass Compos
Only the auxiliary verb (avoir or tre) and the subject pronoun are inverted. The past participle follows.
A-t-il t surpris ? Was he surprised?
T'es-tu amus ? Did you have fun?
64. Interrogative Pronouns
To ask about people:
Long Form

Short Form

Translation

Subject

Qui est-ce qui


Qui est-ce qui est venu?

Qui
Qui est venu?

Who came?

Direct Object

Qui est-ce que


Qui est-ce que tu as vu?

Qui
Qui as-tu vu?

Whom did you see?

Object of
Preposition

Preposition + qui est-ce que


A qui est-ce que tu as parl?

Preposition + qui
A qui as-tu parl?

Whom did you speak


to?

Long Form

Short Form

Translation

Subject

Qu'est-ce qui
Qu'est-ce qui est arriv?

No short form

What happened?

Direct Object

Qu'est-ce que
Qu'est-ce que tu as fait?

Que
Qu'as-tu fait?

What did you do?

Object of
Preposition

Preposition + quoi est-ce


que
De quoi est-ce que tu as
parl?

Preposition + quoi
De quoi as-tu
parl?

What did you talk


about?

To ask about things:

Use of Inversion when Subject is Noun:


a. With qui and quoi, inversion pattern is regular.
Qui Marie a-t-elle vu? Whom did Marie see?
De quoi Marc a-t-il besoin? What does Marc need?

57

b. With que, the noun subject must be inverted directly.


Que veut Jean? What does Jean want?
Que font les autres? What are the others doing?
c. However, if the sentence contains more than a subject and verb, or if the verb is in a compound tense (such as
the pass compos), the short form is not used.
Qu'est-ce que Luc veut faire aujourd'hui? What does Luc want to do today?
Qu'est-ce que les autres ont fait? What did the others do?
Verb Agreement:
a. Interrogative pronouns are usually masculine singular.
Les voitures font du bruit. Qu'est-ce qui fait du bruit? Cars make noise. What makes noise?
Les enfants sont arrivs. Qui est arriv? The children arrived. Who arrived?
b. Exception: when qui is followed by a conjugated form of tre, the verbs agrees with the noun that follows.
Qui taient Les Trois Mousquetaires? Who were the three Musketeers?
Qu'est-ce que (or qui) vs. Quel:
a. Qu'est-ce que c'est que is used to ask for a definition, and quel asks for specific information.
Qu'est-ce que c'est que le camembert? What is "camembert"?
Quel est le problme? What is the problem?
b. When followed by a conjugated form of tre, quel is used if tre is followed by a noun and qu'est-ce qui is used if
tre is followed by anything other than a noun.
Quelle est la date? What is the date?
Qu'est-ce qui est bon? What is good?
Written vs. Spoken French with Questions
In spoken French, inversion and the use of est-ce que are usually dropped, but they must be used in written French.
Additionally, some forms are contracted or the word order may differ. It's also very common to use qui c'est qui in
place of qui or qui est-ce qui.
Written forms

Spoken forms

Translation

Parlez-vous franais ?
Est-ce que vous parlez franais ?

Vous parlez franais ?

Do you speak French?

Comment l'avez-vous appris ?


Comment est-ce que vous l'avez
appris ?

Vous l'avez appris comment ?

How did you learn it?

Quand es-tu arriv ?


Quand est-ce que tu es arriv ?

Quand t'es arriv ?


T 'es arriv quand ?

When did you arrive?

De quoi parlent-ils ?
De quoi est-ce qu'ils parlent ?

De quoi ils parlent ?


Ils parlent de quoi ?

What are they talking


about?

Pourquoi me regardes-tu ?
Pourquoi est-ce que tu me regardes ?

Pourquoi tu me regardes ?

Why are you looking at


me?

Qui t'a dit a ?


Qui est-ce qui t'a dit a ?

Qui c'est qui t'a dit a?

Who told you that?

65. Forms of Lequel


Lequel is a pronoun that replaces the adjective quel and the noun it modifies. It expresses Which one? as a
question, but which in a statement (usually preceded by a preposition).
Adjective
Singular

Pronoun
Plural

Singular

Plural

58
Masculine

Quel livre lis-tu?

Quels livres lis-tu?

Lequel lis-tu?

Lesquels lis-tu?

Feminine

Quelle page listu?

Quelles pages listu?

Laquelle listu?

Lesquelles listu?

Lequel contracts with and de in the plural and masculine singular forms:

Masculine

Feminine

Singular

Plural

+ lequel = auquel

+ lesquels = auxquels

de + lequel = duquel

de + lesquels = desquels

+ laquelle = laquelle

+ lesquelles = auxquelles

de + laquelle = de laquelle

de + lesquelles = desquelles

Voil le portrait sans retouche de l'homme auquel j'appartiens. - That's the unaltered portrait of the man to which I
belong. [Edith Piaf - La Vie en Rose]
Et des amours desquelles nous parlons. - And the loves about which we talk. [by Jean-Denis Bredin]
You can also use another preposition + form of lequel to translate preposition + which: on which, to which, in
which, etc.
La table sur laquelle j'ai mis la bouteille est l-bas. - The table on which I put the bottle is over there.
Le btiment dans lequel j'habite est trs vieux. - The building in which I live is very old.
66. Relative Pronouns
Relative pronouns join sentences together. These words signal a relative clause which explains the noun, called the
antecedent. If the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause (a verb immediately follows), use qui. If the
relative pronoun is the direct object of the clause (subject + verb follows), use que. If the verb of the dependent
clause requires the preposition de, use dont to replace it. Also use dont to mean whose. Qui, que, and dont can all
mean that or who, depending on the sentence. If the antecedent is a place or time, use o to mean where or when.
When there is no specific antecedent, ce is added as an artificial one before que, qui or dont; but it can refer to only
things, not people. Ce qui, ce que and ce dont generally mean what.
Je mange des choses qui sont bonnes.

I eat things that are good.

qui is subject

Je mange des choses que j'aime.

I eat things that I like.

que is object

C'est ce que je disais.

That's what I said.

no antecedent

La femme dont le mari est mort...

The woman whose husband is


dead...

whose

Voici ce dont j'ai besoin.

Here is what I need.

avoir besoin is followed by


de

C'est un restaurant o on sert du


poisson.

It's a restaurant where they serve


fish.

restaurant is a place

Dont can also be translated as including or of which. Sept morts, dont 6 civils, dans l'attentat. Seven dead,
including six civilians, in the attack.
After verbs of declaration or opinion (dire, affirmer, prtendre, jurer, dclarer, reconnatre, avouer, penser,
croire), you do not need to use a relative pronoun or to repeat the subject. As long as the subject is the same in both
clauses, you can replace que + subject + conjugated verb with the infinitive.
Je pense que je peux le faire. = Je pense pouvoir le faire. I think that I can do it.
Elle dit qu'elle le connais. = Elle dit le connatre. She says that she knows him.
Vous avouez que vous avez menti. = Vous avouez avoir menti. You admit that you lied.
67. Demonstrative Pronouns

59
Demonstrative pronouns translate to the one(s), or that/those when replacing a noun. There are four forms, but they
are not often used alone. De, qui, que, dont and -ci or -l usually follow them.
Masc.

Fem.

Singular

celui

celle

Plural

ceux

celles

Donnez-moi mon billet et celui de Guillaume. Give me my ticket and William's. (or: the one of William)
Il porte ses propres livres et ceux de sa sur. He is carrying his own books and his sister's. (or: those of his sister)
Quelles fleurs aimes-tu, celles-ci ou celles-l? Which flowers do you like, these (ones) or those (ones)?
Ceux qui travaillent dur russissent. Those who work hard succeed.
C'est celui dont je parle. That's the one I'm talking about.
The indefinite demonstrative pronouns ceci (this), cela (that) and a (this/that) refer to indefinite things or ideas.
J'aime a. I like that.
Prenez ceci. Take this.
68. To Read, To Say / Tell, & To Laugh
lire-to read

dire-to say/tell

rire-to laugh

lis

lisons

dis

disons

ris

rions

lis

lisez

dis

dites

ris

riez

lit

lisent

dit

disent

rit

rient

The past participles are: lu, dit and ri, and all three are conjugated with avoir.
69. Disjunctive Pronouns
1. As mentioned above, disjunctives are mostly used after prepositions and can only replace people, not things.
However, if the preposition is , there are two possible rules:
+ person = indirect pronoun
+ person + = disjunctive pronoun, in these cases:
se fier

to trust

s'habituer

to get used to

s'intresser

to be interested in

penser

to think about

rver

to dream about

2. They can also be used alone, to emphasize a subject, with tre (to belong to) or in compound subjects.
Moi, j'ai faim. Me, I am hungry.
Ses amis et lui, ils aiment manger. His friends and he, they like to eat.
Ce livre est moi ! That book is mine!
3. They can be added to -mme to mean -self.
elle-mme = herself
4. They are also used with ne...que.
Ce n'est que lui. It's only him.
70. Y & En
Y and en are both pronouns that go before the verb. Y (ee) means it or there. En (awn) means some or some (of
them), or of it. They replace prepositional phrases. In French, the phrases will begin with (or any contraction of
it), en, sur, sous, chez, devant, derrire, dans, etc. for y; andde (or any contraction of it) or a number for en.
They cannot replace people unless the person is introduced with an indefinite article, partitive, number or quantity.

60
Sometimes y and en have no direct translation in English. Remember that they go before the verb, except in a
command, in which they follow the verb and are connected with a hyphen. The -er verbs also add the -s they lost
when forming the you (familiar) command.
Sample Sentences
Do you want some apples?

Voulez-vous des pommes?

Do you want some?

En voulez-vous?

I have three sisters.

J'ai trois surs.

I have three (of them).

J'en ai trois.

It is in the drawer

Il est dans le tiroir.

It is there.

Il y est.

I am going to Detroit.

Je vais Dtroit.

I am going there.

J'y vais.

I am going to go to Atlanta.

Je vais aller Atlanta.

I am going to go there.

Je vais y aller.

Answer the telephone!

Rpondez au tlphone !

Answer it! (formal)

Rpondez-y !

Stay there! (familiar)

Restes-y !

Don't stay there! (familiar)

N'y reste pas.

Y and en can also replace a phrase or clause, especially with verbs that require or de after them:
I think a lot about these stories.

Je rflchis beaucoup ces histoires.

I think about them a lot.

J'y rflchis beaucoup.

He obeyed the rules.

Il a obi aux rgles.

He obeyed them.

Il y a obi.

We don't need this book.

On n'a pas besoin de ce livre.

We don't need it.

On n'en a pas besoin.

She's using the computer.

Elle se sert de l'ordinateur.

She's using it.

Elle s'en sert.

Notice y and en don't go after the verb in negative commands. Treat them like pronouns. Ne or Je plus y or en all
contract to N'y, J'y, N'en, andJ'en. When you have a conjugated verb plus an infinitive (vais and aller), the y or en
go in between the two verbs.
71. To See, To Believe, & To Write

61
Verbs take a direct object if they do not need a preposition to connect it to the noun. Verbs that take indirect objects
use prepositions after the verb. Voir-to see (vwahr) and croire-to believe (krwahr) take a direct and crire-to
write (ay-kreer) takes an indirect.
voir-to see

croire-to believe

crire-to write

vois (vwah
)

voyons (vwahyohn)

crois (krwah
)

croyons (krwahyohn)

cris (aykree)

crivons (ay-kreevohn)

vois

voyez (vwah-yay)

crois

croyez (krwah-yay)

cris

crivez (ay-kreevay)

voit

voient (vwah)

croit

croient (krwah)

crit

crivent (ay-kreev)

The past participles are: vu, cru, and crit.


You can sometimes tell if a verb takes a direct or indirect object by using the verbs in English. We say "I see her"
or "She believes him" or "He writes to them." In French, it would be "Je la vois" (direct), "Elle le croit" (direct)
and "Il leur crit." (indirect) But don't always count on English to help you out. Tlphoner () and obir () both
take indirect objects in French but you can't tell that in English. In this case, you can tell by the that follows the
infinitive.
Writing Vocabulary
writing

l'criture (f)

question mark

le point
d'interrogation

"at" sign
(@)

l'arobase (f)

punctuation

la ponctuation

exclamation
point

le point
d'exclamation

asterisk

l'astrisque
(m)

period

le point

quotation
marks

les guillemets (m)

brackets

le crochet

comma

la virgule

parentheses

la parenthse

slash

la barre

colon

les deux points


(m)

apostrophe

l'apostrophe (f)

uppercase

majuscule

semi-colon

le point-virgule

hyphen

le trait d'union

lowercase

minuscule

When typing in French, you must leave an extra space before a punctuation mark that has two components, such as
a colon, semi-colon, question mark, exclamation point, etc.
72. Animals
ant

la fourmi

giraffe

la girafe

pig

le cochon

antelope

l'antilope

goat

la chvre

pigeon

le pigeon

antenna

l'antenne

goose

l'oie (f)

pike

le brochet

bat

la chauve-souris

gorilla

le gorille

pony

le poney

beak

le bec

grasshopper

la sauterelle

puppy

le chiot

bear

l'ours (m)

hamster

le hamster

rabbit

le lapin

bee

l'abeille (f)

hare

le livre

raccoon

le raton laveur

bird

l'oiseau (m)

hen

la poule

rat

le rat

blackbird

le merle

herring

la hareng

rooster

le coq

bull

le taureau

hoof

le sabot

salmon

le saumon

62
butterfly

le papillon

horn

la corne

scale

l'caille (f)

calf

le veau

horse

le cheval

scorpion

le scorpion

cat

le chat

hummingbird

le colibri

sea gull

la mouette

caterpillar

la chenille

iguana

l'iguane

seal

le phoque

cheetah

le gupard

insect

l'insecte (m)

shark

le requin

chicken

le poulet

jellyfish

la mduse

sheep

le mouton

chimpanzee

le chimpanz

kitten

le chaton

shrimp

la crevette

claw

la griffe

ladybug

la coccinelle

slug

la limace

cockroach

le cafard

lamb

l'agneau (m)

snail

l'escargot (m)

cod

la morue

lark

l'alouette (f)

snake

le serpent

cocoon

le cocon

lion

le lion

sparrow

le moineau

cow

la vache

lizard

le lzard

spider

l'araigne (f)

crab

le crabe

lobster (spiny)

la langouste

squid

le calamar

crayfish

l'crevisse (f)

louse

le pou

squirrel

l'cureuil (m)

crocodile

le crocodile

mackerel

le maquereau

starfish

l'toile de mer

crow

le corbeau

mole

la taupe

swallow

l'hirondelle (f)

deer

le cerf

monkey

le singe

swan

le cygne

dog

le chien

mosquito

le moustique

tadpole

le ttard

donkey

l'ne (m)

moth

le papillon de nuit

tail

la queue

dragonfly

la libellule

mouse

la souris

tiger

le tigre

duck

le canard

mule

le mulet

toad

le crapaud

eagle

l'aigle (m)

mussel

la moule

trout

la truite

eel

l'anguille (f)

nest

le nid

tuna

le thon

elephant

l'lphant (m)

nightingale

le rossignol

turkey

le dindon

feather

la plume

octopus

la pieuvre

turtle

la tortue

fin

la nageoire

ostrich

l'autruche

wasp

la gupe

fish

le poisson

owl

le hibou

weasel

la belette

flea

la puce

ox

le buf

whale

la baleine

fly

la mouche

oyster

l'hutre (f)

wing

l'aile (f)

fox

le renard

parrot

le perroquet

wolf

le loup

63
frog

la grenouille

partridge

la perdrix

worm

le ver

gill

la branchie

penguin

le pingouin

zebra

le zbre

sit

assis

to bark

aboyer

lie down

couche-toi

to growl

grogner

shake

donne la patte

to pant

haleter

dog/cat food

les croquettes

to whine/whimper

gmir

leash

la laisse

to drool

baver

collar

le collier

to meow

miauler

to take/let dog out

sortir le chien

to scratch

griffer

to climb on

grimper sur

to pounce on

se jeter sur

73. Plaire & Manquer


plaire-to please, enjoy

manquer-to miss, be lacking

plais

plaisons

manque

manquons

plais

plaisez

manques

manquez

plat

plaisent

manque

manquent

The past participle of plaire is plu. To say that someone likes something, you have to switch the subject and object
around, so that literally it translates to "something or someone pleases." As a reflexive verb, se plaire means to
enjoy being somewhere. Faire plaisir can also be used to mean "to delight or to like."
Cette chienne plat Dominique. Dominique likes this dog. (Literally: This dog is pleasing to Dominique.)
a t'a plu? Did you like it?
Ils se plaisent Londres. They enjoy being in London.
Cela me fait plaisir de vous revoir. I am happy to see you again.
Manquer has several meanings: to miss, to lack, or to regret the absence (miss). The last meaning uses inverted
word order just like plaire. Manquer means "to fail to do."
Elle a manqu le train. She missed the train.
Vous manquez de courage. You lack courage.
Tu me manques. I miss you. (Literally: You are missing to me)
Ils ont manqu aux devoirs. They failed to do the homework.
74. Pluperfect (Past Perfect)
This compound tense is used for flashbacks or anything that had happened before the time of the narration. It's
formed with the imperfect tense of avoir or tre and the past participle of the main verb. This tense is comparable
to the pass compos.
Imperfect of avoir or tre
avais

avions

tais

tions

avais

aviez

tais

tiez

avait

avaient

tait

taient

+ past participle

Je n'avais pas fini mon travail quand il est arriv. I had not finished my work when he arrived.
Vous aviez faim parce que vous n'aviez pas du tout mang. You were hungry because you hadn't eaten at all.

64
Nous avions manqu le rendez-vous parce que le bus tait en retard. We had missed the meeting because the
bus was late.
75. Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns refer to no one or nothing in particular, such as someone or something.
someone/body

quelqu'un

each

chacun(e)

something

quelque chose (de + adjective)

not one, none

aucun(e)

some

quelques-uns / quelques-unes

anything

n'importe quoi

somewhere

quelque part

anyone

n'importe qui

several

plusieurs

anywhere

n'importe o

some...others

certains...d'autres

any time

n'importe quand

another

un(e) autre

nowhere

nulle part

Do not confuse chacun with chaque (each, every). Chacun is a pronoun and replaces a noun, while chaque is an
adjective that describes a noun.
76. Subjunctive Mood
If a sentence expresses a subjective statement of opinion, the subjunctive mood is used rather than the indicative.
The subjunctive is used in dependent clauses introduced by the word que. The main clause must express personal
opinions or feelings and have a different subject from the dependent clause. If the two subjects are the same, the
infinitive is used.
Je doute que Marc soit l. I doubt that Marc is here. (shows judgment and opinion)
Je veux venir. NOT: Je veux que je vienne. (use infinitive, same subject)
To form the subjunctive, use the ils/elles form of the present indicative tense. This is also the form for the ils/elles
form of the subjunctive. For je, tu, il/elle, drop the -ent and add -e, -es, and -e. Nous and vous use the imperfect
forms.

-e

-ions

-es

-iez

-e

-ent

Conjugations in the Subjunctive


avoir

tre

faire

aller

aie

ayons

sois

soyons

fasse

fassions

aille

allions

aies

ayez

sois

soyez

fasses

fassiez

ailles

alliez

ait

aient

soit

soient

fasse

fassent

aille

aillent

vouloir

pouvoir

savoir

pleuvoir

veuille

voulions

puisse

puissions

sache

sachions

veuilles

vouliez

puisses

puissiez

saches

sachiez

veuille

veuillent

puisse

puissent

sache

sachent

pleuve

65

These verbs and conjunctions are followed by the subjunctive:


Verbs

Verbal Expressions

Conjunctions

douter

il faut que

avant que

suggrer

il vaut mieux que

pour / afin que

vouloir

il est important que

jusqu' ce que

proposer

il se peut que

moins que

avoir peur

il est possible que

bien que / quoique

regretter

il est temps que

sans que

craindre

c'est dommage que

en attendant que

tre content(e)/triste/dsol(e)/surpris(e), etc.


penser/croire/trouver
(negative and interrogative forms only)
Je veux que tu viennes avec moi. I want you to come with me.
Il est content que nous soyons l. He's happy that we are here.
Est-ce que vous pensez qu'elle puisse le faire ? Do you think that she can do it?
Il faut que je fasse la vaisselle. I have to do the dishes.
Elle sera l jusqu' ce que vous partiez. She will be there until you leave.
However, douter, jusqu' ce que, moins que, and bien que / quoique use the subjunctive whether there is a
change in subject or not. And when using avant before an infinitive, the construction is avant de + infinitive.
Note, also, that the subjunctive is not used with esprer or il est probable, although the subjunctive may be used
with these words in other Romance languages.
The word ne is used after certain conjunctions (most notably avant que and moins que) that take the
subjunctive, but this does not make the phrase negative:
Finissez le travail avant que la classe ne se termine. Finish the work before class ends.
77. Falloir & Valoir
Falloir (to be necessary) and valoir (to be worth) are two very common impersonal verbs used in several phrases
and situations. Their conjugations are:
imperfect

il fallait

il valait

present perfect

il a fallu

il a valu

present

il faut

il vaut

future

il faudra

il vaudra

conditional

il faudrait

il vaudrait

Falloir can be translated as must, have to, be required to, etc. It can be followed directly by an infinitive, or a
subject and the subjunctive mood.
Il faut rester la maison aujourd'hui. You must stay at home today.
Il faut pas le faire ! You must not do it!
Il faut qu'il parte 8h. He must leave at 8.
In addition to worth, valoir mieux is used in translating "it's better."
a ne vaut pas la peine. It's not worth it.
Il vaut mieux en rire quen pleurer. It's better to laugh about it than cry.
78. Adverbs

66
bien

well

quelquefois

sometimes

mieux

better

toujours

always

mal

badly

vite

quickly

peu

little

donc

therefore

dj

already

encore

yet

bientt

soon

quelque part

somewhere

ici

here

maintenant

now

there

tt

early

dedans

inside

tard

late

dehors

outside

peut-tre

maybe

souvent

often

jamais

(n)ever

d'habitude

usually

nulle part

nowhere

To form an adverb, simply take the feminine form of an adjective and add -ment to the end. If the masculine form
ends in -e, you just add the -ment to that. Adjectives ending in -ent or -ant take the endings -emment and -amment.
Masculine

Feminine

Adverb

naturel

naturelle

naturellement

heureux

heureuse

heureusement

lent

lente

lentement

facile

facile

facilement

probable

probable

probablement

intelligent

intelligente

intelligemment

brillant

brillante

brillamment

rcent

rcente

rcemment

Some adverbs such as actuellement (currently, now) and ventuellement (possibly, perhaps) can be deceiving.
A Few Irregular Adverbs
vrai

vraiment

gentil

gentiment

profond

profondment

bref

brivement

prcis

prcisment

Adverbs are placed right after the verb in a simple tense. Adverbs of opinion and time usually go at the beginning
or end of the sentence. Whenpeut-tre and sans doute begin a sentence or clause, they are usually followed
by que. With the pass compos, most adverbs are placedbetween the auxiliary verb and past participle. In

67
negative sentences, pas precedes the adverb, except with peut-tre, sans doute, srement, andprobablement.
Adverbs of time and place generally follow the past participle.
79. Tools & Hobbies
tools

les outils

chisel

le ciseau

toolbox

la bote outils

measuring tape

le mtre

hammer

le marteau

chainsaw

la trononneuse

screwdriver

le tournevis

file

la lime

nail

le clou

do-it-yourself

le bricolage

screw

la vis

handicrafts

l'artisanat

wrench

la cl

embroidery

la broderie

adjustable wrench

la cl molette

cross-stitch

le point de croix

bolt

le boulon

needlework

la couture

nut

l'crou (m)

needle

l'aiguille (f)

pliers

les pinces (f)

thread

le fil

saw

la scie

painting

peindre

blade

la lame

jewelry making

faire des bijoux

handle

le manche

gardening

le jardinage

anvil

l'enclume (f)

knitting

le tricot

clamp / vise

l'tau (m)

photography

la photographie

shovel

la pelle

woodworking

la menuiserie

pick axe

la pioche

pottery

la poterie

drill

la perceuse

drawing

le dessin

drill bit

la mche

cooking

la cuisine

Other expressions related to hobbies/leisure time:


bavarder - to chat
bronzer - to tan
faire la grasse matine - to sleep in late
faire la sieste - to take a nap
faire une pause - to take a break
faire une promenade - to take a walk
faire un tour - to go out for a while
prendre un bain de soleil - to sunbathe
prendre un verre - to go out for a drink
se dtendre - to relax
se reposer - to rest
80. False Cognates

68
Les faux-amis or false cognates are a common pitfall among language students. The following are some common
words that you may be deceived by:
Abus is used to mean excess or overindulgence, and usually not abuse.
Disposer means to arrange or to have available, not to dispose of.
Une injure is an insult, not an injury.
Actuel and actuellement mean current and currently.
Avertissement is a warning, not an advertisement.
Une recette is a recipe, not a receipt.
Fournitures refers to supplies, not furniture.
Original means new or innovative.
Humeur means mood, not humor.
Formel is used to mean strict, not formal.
Djeuner du matin
Jacques Prvert
Il a mis le caf
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de caf
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le caf au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourn
Il a bu le caf au lait
Et il a repos la tasse
Sans me parler
Il a allum
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fume
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder
Il s'est lev
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tte
Il a mis
Son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tte dans ma main
Et j'ai pleur.
Translated by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from Paroles by Prvert

Breakfast
Jacques Prvert
He put the coffee
In the cup
He put the milk
In the cup of coffee
He put the sugar
In the caf au lait
With the coffee spoon
He stirred
He drank the caf au lait
And he set down the cup
Without a word to me
He lit
A cigarette
He made smoke-rings
With the smoke
He put the ashes
In the ashtray
Without a word to me
Without a look at me
He got up
He put
His hat upon his head
He put
his raincoat on
Because it was raining
And he left
In the rain
Without a word
And I, I took
My head in my hand
And I cried.

69
Le Corbeau et le Renard
Jean de la Fontaine
Matre corbeau, sur un arbre perch,
Tenait en son bec un fromage,
Matre renard, par l'odeur allch,
Lui tint peu prs ce langage:
<<Eh bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau.
Que vous tes joli ! que vous me semblez beau !
Sans mentir, si votre ramage
Se rapporte votre plumage,
Vous tes le phnix des htes de ces bois.>>
A ces mots, le corbeau ne se sent pas de joie;
Et pour montrer sa belle voix,
Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie.
Le renard s'en saisit, et dit: <<Mon bon monsieur,
Apprenez que tout flatteur
Vit aux dpens de celui qui l'coute.
Cette leon vaut bien un fromage sans doute.>>
Le corbeau, honteux et confus,
Jura, mais un peu tard, qu'on ne l'y prendrait plus.

The Crow and the Fox


Jean de la Fontaine
Master Crow perched on a tree,
Was holding a cheese in his beak.
Master Fox attracted by the smell
Said something like this:
"Well, Hello Mister Crow!
How beautiful you are! how nice you seem to me!
Really, if your voice
Is like your plumage,
You are the phoenix of all the inhabitants of these woods."
At these words, the Crow is overjoyed.
And in order to show off his beautiful voice,
He opens his beak wide, lets his prey fall
The Fox grabs it, and says: "My good man,
Learn that every flatterer
Lives at the expense of the one who listens to him.
This lesson, without doubt, is well worth a cheese."
The Crow, ashamed and embarrassed,
Swore, but a little late, that he would not be taken again.

French V Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

81. Colloquial Expressions


Il faut + infinitive (it is necessary, one must)
Il faut tourner gauche. It is necessary to turn left.
Il faut faire les devoirs. One must do homework.
Il lui faut aller l'cole. He must go to school.
Il faut + noun (need)
Il faut du fromage. You need some cheese.
Il faut un jeton. You need a token.
Il me faut un stylo. I need a pen.
Il reste (there remains)
Il reste une chambre. There is one room left.
Il n'en reste plus. There are no more left.
Il me reste trois jours. I have three days left.
Notice that il faut and il reste can both take an object pronoun to indicate a person.
Il vaut mieux + infinitive (it is better)
Il vaut mieux prendre le bus. It is better to take the bus.
Il vaut mieux apprendre les langues que la politique. It's better to learn languages than politics.
Il s'agit de (it's a question of, it's a matter of, it's about)
De quoi s'agit-il ? What's is about?
Il ne s'agit pas de a ! That's not the point!
Il s'agit de ton avenir. It's a matter of your future.
Avoir beau (although, despite the fact, however much)
J'ai beau tudier cette langue, je ne la parle pas. Although I study this language, I don't speak it.
Il a beau faire froid, nous sortirons. Although is it cold, we will go out.
Avoir l'air + adjective (to seem/look)
a a l'air dlicieux. That looks delicious.
Vous avez l'air fatigu. You seem tired.
a n'a pas l'air d'aller. Things don't look so good.
a vous dit ? / a vous dirait de... ? (Would you like to? / How would you feel about...? / Does that interest you? /
Does that ring a bell?)
a vous dirait de regarder un film ce soir ? Are you interested in watching a movie tonight? / Would you like to
watch a movie tonight?
Non, a me dit rien. No, that doesn't interest me. / No, I don't want to.
a te dit quelque chose ? Does that ring a bell? / Does that remind you of anything?

70
Non, a me dit rien. No, that doesn't ring a bell. / That doesn't remind me of anything.
a ne me dit pas grande chose. That does nothing for me.
a parle de quoi / qui ? (What / Who is it about?)
a parle de quoi, le livre que tu cris ? What's the book about that you're writing?
a y est ! ( There! That's it ! It's done!)
a a t (How did it go? / It went well.)
Ton examen, a a t ? How did your exam go?
Oui, a a t. It went well.
On dirait... [a ressemble ] (It seems / it looks like / it tastes like / it smells like / it feels like / it sounds like)
On dirait un chat. It looks like a cat.
pas terrible (terrible actually means terrific in this phrase)
C'est pas terrible, ce film. This movie is not very good.
pas mal de (a lot of, lots of, tons of - synonym of beaucoup)
J'ai pas mal de trucs faire aujourd'hui. I have lots of things to do today.
82. Conjunctions & Connecting Words
auparavant

before

de mme

similarly

par exemple

for example

d'abord

first

en/de plus

moreover /
furthermore

pour / afin de

in order to

ensuite / puis

then

d'ailleurs

besides

par contre / en
revanche

on the
contrary

plus tard

later

plutt

rather

d'autre part

on the other
hand

aprs

after

surtout

especially

au moins

at least

alors

so

quand mme

anyway

malgr / en dpit
de

in spite of

ainsi

thus

au fait

by the way

sauf

except

donc

therefore

en fait

actually

cependant /
pourtant

however /
yet

finalement /
enfin

finally

c'est--dire

that is to say

mme si

even if

quand / lorsque

when

en d'autres
termes

in other words

par consquent

consequently

aussitt / ds
que

as soon as

c'est pour a
que

that's why

comme si

as though

tant que

as long as

parce que

because

nanmoins

nevertheless

depuis

since

car

for / because

soit... soit

either... or

bien que

although

puisque /
comme

since

en conclusion

in
conclusion

alors / tandis
que

while /
whereas

cause de

because of

en bref

in brief / in
short

The word soit has several meanings. It is also the third person singular form of tre in the present subjunctive. Je
veux qu'il soit l. I want him to be here. It can also be used to mean i.e. or that is when introducing a clause. Le

71
contenu du CD est bilingue, soit franais et anglais. The contents of the CD are bilingual, i.e. French and
English.
83. Forms of Tout
As an adjective, tout precedes and agrees with the noun.
masc. sing.

tout le train

the whole train

fem. sing.

toute la journe

the whole day

masc. pl.

tous les enfants

all the kids

fem. pl.

toutes les mres

all the moms

As a pronoun, tout can be used alone; it then means everything and is invariable.
Tout va bien. Everything's fine.
Je ne peux pas tout faire. I can't do everything.
It can also reinforce the subject. (The s of tous is pronounced when tous is a pronoun.)
Ils sont tous l. They are all here.
Tout can also be used with direct object pronouns. The forms of tout follow the verb in a simple tense and go
between the auxiliary and past participle in a compound tense.
Je les ai toutes. I have them all.
Je ne les ai pas tous eu. I didn't have them all.
Idiomatic Expressions with Tout
en tout cas

in any case

tout le monde

everyone

tout de suite

right away

de toute faon

anyway

tout fait

completely

toutes sortes de

all kinds of

pas du tout

not at all

malgr tout

in spite of it all

tout l'heure

in a little while

84. Babies & Children


baby

le bb

carousel

le mange

fetus

le ftus

toys

les jouets (m)

diaper

la couche

ball

le ballon

safety pin

l'pingle nourrice (f)

marbles

les billes (f)

rattle

le hochet

doll

la poupe

pacifier

la ttine

stuffed animals

les peluches (f)

bottle

le biberon

teddybear

le nounours

72
carriage

le landau

blocks

les cubes (m)

stroller

la poussette

top

la toupie

high chair

la chaise haute

puppet

la marionnette

bib

le bavoir

kite

le cerf-volant

crib

le lit de bb

balloon

le ballon

cradle

le berceau

rollerblades

les rollers (m)

kids

les gosses (m)

rollerskates

le patin roulettes

slide

le toboggan

wagon

le petit chariot

seesaw

la balanoire bascule

maze

le labyrinthe

swing

la balanoire

hopscotch

la marelle

A doudou refers to a favorite stuffed animal.


85. Primary & Secondary School
school

l'cole (f)

pencil

le crayon

teacher (m)

l'enseignant

mechanical
pencil

le porte-mine

teacher (f)

l'enseignante

pen

le stylo

elem. teacher (m)

l'instituteur

eraser

la gomme

elem. teacher (f)

l'institutrice

ink

l'encre (f)

secondary
teacher

le professeur

ink jar

l'encrier (f)

chalkboard

le tableau

pencil sharpener

le taille-crayons

chalk

la craie

glue

la colle

desk

le pupitre

scissors

les ciseaux (m)

student

l'lve

ruler

la rgle

university
student

l'tudiant(e)

highlighter

le surligneur

book

le livre

crayons

les crayons de couleur


(m)

backpack

le sac dos

marker

le marqueur

schoolbag

le cartable

piece of paper

la feuille

locker

le casier

spiral notebook

le carnet de notes
spirale

globe

le globe terrestre

folder

la chemise

73
diploma

le diplme

notebook

le cahier

school supplies

les fournitures
scolaires

binder

le classeur

pencil case

la trousse

notepad

le bloc-notes

Students of all ages use a trousse in France. They're not just for elementary students!
86. Passive Voice
As in English, the passive voice in French is composed of a tense of the verb to be and a past participle. However,
only a direct object in French can become the subject of the passive form. The active form, le chat mange la
souris is made passive thus: La souris est mange par le chat.The cat eats the mouse becomes the mouse is eaten
by the cat. The subject in the active sentence (le chat) becomes the object of the passive. The direct object of the
active sentence (la souris) becomes the subject of the passive sentence preceded by "par." The verb of the active
sentence is changed into a past participle (mange becomes mange, notice the agreement!) preceded by a form
of tre.
Elle est porte par Jean. She is carried by John.
Elles ont t inspires par Van Gogh. They were inspired by Van Gogh.
Il avait t tu par les soldats franais. He had been killed by French soldiers.
Notice how pronominal verbs change from active to passive:
Active: Je me suis rveille. I woke up.
Passive: J'ai t rveille par quelque chose. I was awakened by something.
Passive is Not Possible
If a verb takes an indirect object, it cannot be transformed into the passive voice in French. In this case, on is
used in the active construction, as long as the agent is not specified and the action is performed by a human being
(i.e. no natural forces, such as weather).
On a donn un cadeau ma mre. My mother was given a present. [Someone gave a present to my mother.]
On lui a dit de retrouver le conservateur au muse. He was told to meet the curator at the museum. [Someone told
him to meet the curator at the museum.]
Alternatives to the Passive
In addition to using on as the subject of an active construction to replace the passive, you can also use the
pronominal constructions: se voir[to see oneself], s'entendre [to hear oneself], se faire [to get oneself] and se
laisser [to let oneself] + infinitive. These verbs can be used when the agent is specified, unlike the active
construction with on.
Je me suis vu promettre une augmentation. I have been promised a raise.
Elle s'est entendu dire qu'il allait mourir. She was told that he was going to die.
Jean s'est fait arrter. John got arrested.
Ils se sont laiss tomber malade. They let themselves get sick.
You can also use a pronominal verb to translate the passive, as long as the agent is not specified. However, this
does not work for all verbs.
a s'crit comment? How is that written?
a ne se dit plus. That is not said anymore.
Use tre + infinitive to translate must + English passive:
Ce monument est voir ! This monument must be seen!
Ce rapport est refaire. This report must be redone.
87. Depuis, il y a, & pendant in past contexts
1. To express an action that has been going on, depuis (or il y a ... que) is used with the present tense.
Depuis quand avez-vous votre ordinateur ?
Depuis combien de temps avez-vous votre ordinateur ?
How long have you had your computer ?

Je l'ai depuis deux ans.


a fait deux ans que je l'ai.
Il y a deux ans que je l'ai.
I've had it for two years.

Je conduis depuis longtemps.

I have been driving for a long time.

2. But to express an action that had been going on for some time when something else happened, depuis is used
with the imperfect.
Nous conduisions depuis deux heures,

We had been driving for two hours

74
quand j'ai propos de prendre le volant.

when I volunteered to drive.

3. To express an action that you have not done for some time, use depuis with the pass compos.
Je n'ai pas conduit depuis mon mariage.

I haven't driven since I've been married.

4. To express an action that was done for a period of time, pendant is used, usually with the pass compos. But
for an action that was completed some time ago, use il y a, also with the pass compos.
J'ai lou une voiture pendant deux semaines.

I rented a car for two weeks.

J'ai appris conduire il y a deux ans.

I learned to drive two years ago.

88. Post Office & Bank


post office

la poste

bank

la banque

letter

la lettre

teller

le caissier / la caissire

postcard

la carte postale

bill

le billet

stamp

le timbre

check

le chque

phone booth

la cabine tlphonique

checkbook

le chquier

mailbox

la bote lettres

ATM

le guichet automatique

mail slot

la fente

key

la cl

address

l'adresse

lock

la serrure

return address

l'expditeur

filing cabinet

le classeur

label

l'tiquette

safety deposit box

le coffre

packing tape

le ruban adhsif

notepad

le bloc-notes

package

le paquet

credit card

la carte de crdit

postmark

le cachet de la poste

security camera

la camra de surveillance

rubber band

l'lastique

security guard

le gardien

ink pad

le tampon encreur

drive-thru window

le drive-in

string

la ficelle

safe

le coffre-fort

89. To Receive
Recevoir-to receive
reois

recevons

reois

recevez

reoit

reoivent

The past participle of recevoir is reu.


90. Verbs + a or de + infinitives or nouns
Some verbs require or de before an infinitive:

75
Verb + + infinitive

Verb + de + infinitive

aider

to help

accepter de

to accept

conseiller de

to advise

s'amuser

to have fun

arrter de

to stop

convenir de

to agree upon

apprendre

to learn

avoir envie de

to feel like

craindre de

to fear

arriver

to manage

avoir honte de

to be ashamed

dsesprer de

to despair

chercher

to look for

avoir peur de

to be afraid

dissuader de

to dissuade

commencer

to begin

avoir raison de

to be right

entreprendre de

to undertake

consister

to consist

avoir tort de

to be wrong

envisager de

to contemplate

continuer

to continue

choisir de

to choose

s'tonner de

to astonish

donner

to give

dcider de

to decide

se garder de

to keep oneself

encourager

to encourage

dfendre de

to forbid

ngliger de

to neglect

enseigner

to teach

demander de

to ask

persuader de

to persuade

s'exercer

to practice/learn

se dpcher de

to hurry up

prier de

to beg

s'habituer

to get used to

dire de

to say

recommander de

to recommend

hsiter

to hesitate

empcher de

to prevent

reprocher de

to reproach

insister

to insist

essayer de

to try

inviter

to invite

tre heureux de

to be happy

renoncer

to give up

tre oblig de

to be required

russir

to succeed

viter de

to avoid

songer

to consider

s'excuser de

to apologize

s'appliquer

to apply to

finir de

to finish

s'attacher

to become attached

interdire de

to forbid

se dcider

to decide

menacer de

to threaten

s'employer

to use

oublier de

to forget

inciter

to incite

permettre de

to permit

s'obstiner

to insist

promettre de

to promise

parvenir

to succeed

refuser de

to refuse

persister

to persist in

regretter de

to regret

pousser

to push

remercier de

to thank

provoquer

to provoke

rver de

to dream

76
se risquer

to risk

risquer de

to risk

veiller

to look after

venir de

to have just

viser

to aim

cesser de

to stop

Venir de + infinitive means "to have just" + past participle in English. Je viens de manger. I just ate.
Some verbs require or de before nouns:

rb + + noun

Verb + de + noun

er

to suit

s'apercevoir de

to notice

sister

to attend

s'approcher de

to approach

mander

to ask (someone)

avoir besoin de

to need

re

to tell (someone)

changer de

to change

nvenir

to suit

dpendre de

to depend on

uer

to play (sport/game)

douter de

to doubt

ire

to harm

hriter de

to inherit

ir

to obey

jouer de

to play (instrument)

nser

to think of

jouir de

to enjoy

aire

to please

manquer de

to lack

noncer

to give up

se mfier de

to distrust

pondre

to answer

penser de

to think/have an opinion about

sister

to resist

remercier de

to thank for

ssembler

to resemble

rire de

to laugh at

nger

to consider

se servir de

to use

rvivre

to survive

se souvenir de

to remember

phoner

to phone

vivre de

to live on

And some verbs require no prepositions in French, while others use different prepositions from English:
No prepositions in French

Different prepositions from


English

approuver

to approve of

entrer dans

to enter

attendre

to wait for

consister en

to consist of

chercher

to look for

se fcher
contre

to get angry
with

demander

to ask for

77
couter

to listen to

esprer

to hope for

payer

to pay for

rappeler

to remind of

regarder

to look at

sentir

to smell
of/like

viser

to aim at

Tu me rappelle mon pre. You remind me of my father.


a sent la pluie. It smells like rain.
91. Adjectives + a or de + infinitives
Adjective + + infinitive

Adjective + de + infinitive

accessible

accessible

accus de

accused

agrable

pleasant

assur de

assure/insured

amusant

fun

capable de

capable

antrieur

previous/earlier

certain de

certain

attach

attached

charg de

charged/loaded

conforme

standard

connu de

known

contraire

contrary

conscient de

conscious

dernier

last

content de

content/satisfied

ennuyeux

boring

dnud de

naked/bare

tranger

foreign

dsireux de

desirous

expos

exposed

dsol de

sorry

favorable

favorable

diffrent de

different

infrieur

inferior/lower

digne de

fit/worthy

intressant

interesting

exempt de

exempt

lger

light

furieux de

furious

lent

slow

heureux de

happy

lourd

heavy

honteux de

ashamed

oppos

opposite

impatient de

impatient

pnible

difficult

plein de

full

78
premier

first

priv de

private

prt

ready

proche de

close/near

rapide

fast

rempli de

full

semblable

similar

soucieux de

worried

seul

only

sr de

sure

suprieur

superior/higher

triste de

sad

terrible

terrible

vide de

empty

utile

useful

92. To Follow
Suivre-to follow
suis

suivons

suis

suivez

suit

suivent

The past participle of suivre is suivi. Suivre can also be used with school subjects to mean "to take a course."
Suivez le guide ! Follow the guide!
Suivez les instructions. Follow the instructions.
Je suis un cours de maths. I'm taking a math class.
93. Faire Causative
Faire + an infinitive is called the faire causative. It translates to "have something done by someone or cause
something to be done by someone," or "to cause someone to do something."
Je rpare la voiture. I'm fixing the car.
Je fais rparer la voiture. I'm having the car fixed.
Il peint son appartement. He's painting his apartment.
Il fait peindre son appartement. He's having his apartment painted.
Le bb mange. The baby is eating.
Elle fait manger le bb. She's feeding the baby.
When replacing the object with a pronoun, the pronoun precedes faire. And in past tenses, the past participle
remains invariable.
Je la fais rparer. I'm having it fixed.
Il leur a fait apprendre les verbes. He had them learn the verbs.
Il les leur a fait apprendre. He had them learn them.
Se faire + infinitive is usually translated as "to get" + (oneself) + verb.
Tu vas te faire tuer. You're going to get yourself killed.
Il va se faire casser la gueule. He's going to break his neck.
Se faire soigner sans se faire arrter. Get treated/looked after without getting arrested.
vitez de vous faire piquer. Avoid getting stung.
94. Direct & Indirect Discourse
Direct discourse relates exactly what someone has said or written, using quotation marks and the original wording.
Indirect discourse relates indirectly, without quotation marks, what someone has said or written. It works the same
way in French as it does in English.
Direct Discourse

Indirect Discourse

79
Main verb is present

Il me dit: <<Je pars en vacances


et ma famille a lou une villa.>>

Il me dit qu'il part en vacances et


que sa famille a lou une villa.

Main verb in past

Il m'a dit: <<Je pars en vacances


et ma famille a lou une villa.>>

Il m'a dit qu'il partait en vacances et


que sa famille avait lou une villa.

Note that if the main verb is in the present tense, no tense changes occur when using indirect discourse. However,
if the main verb is in a past tense, the following tense changes occur:
Present Imperfect
Pass Compos Pluperfect
The Imperfect and Pluperfect do not change. Remember to use que to introduce each dependent clause, and adjust
personal pronouns and possessive adjectives.
In questions, the following (rather uncomplicated) changes occur:
1. Yes/no questions = si + declarative sentence
Je t'ai demand si tu avais faim.
2. O, quand, comment, etc. = interrogative word + declarative sentence
Il m'a demand quelle heure j'allais revenir.
3. Interrogative pronouns are a little trickier:
qui est-ce qui
qui est-ce que

qui

Il m'a demand qui tait rest.


Elle m'a demand qui j'avais vu.

qu'est-ce qui

ce qui

Ils m'ont demand ce qui s'tait pass.

qu'est-ce que

ce que

Elles m'ont demand ce que j'avais dit.

95. Computers & Internet


computer

l'ordinateur

scanner

le scanner

disk

la disquette

laptop

le portable

document

le document

internet

l'internet

CD-ROM

le cdrom

internet user

l'internaute

monitor

l'cran

online

en-ligne

keyboard

le clavier

link

le lien

mouse

la souris

bookmark

le signet

printer

l'imprimante

e-mail

le courriel / le mail

memo

la note de service

password

le mot de passe

fax machine

le tlcopieur

search engine

le moteur de recherche

photocopier

la photocopieuse

chat room

la salle de tchatche

typewriter

la machine crire

bulletin board

le forum

software

le logiciel

homepage

la page d'accueil

file

le dossier

website

le site

cabinet

le placard

web browser

le navigateur

memory card

la carte mmoire

cable

le cble

80
flashdrive

la cl USB

DSL

l'ADSL

external HD

le disque dur externe

to sign on / off

se connecter / dconnecter

attachment

la pice jointe

to scroll up / down

drouler le texte

to attach

joindre

to download

tlcharger

French uses portable to refer to a laptop computer and a cell phone.


96. Ne Expletif
Sometimes ne must be inserted in a phrase even when it is not expressing the negative. (However, do not confuse
the use of ne expltif with the verbs that can exist in the negative with only using ne and not pas in formal, written
language: cesser, daigner, oser, pouvoir, savoir).
It is used 1) after certain conunctions: avant que, moins que; 2) after expressions and verbs of fear: de crainte
que, de peur que, craindre que, avoir peur que, redouter que, trembler que, empcher que, viter que; 3)
before a verb that follows a comparison of inequality: plus, moins, autre; and 4) after adverbs of doubt and
negation used in the negative to express a positive idea.
Je sors ce soir moins qu'il ne pleuve. I'll go out this evening unless it rains.
Il craint que tu ne sois fatigu aprs le voyage. He's afraid that you'll be tired after the trip.
Nous sommes plus forts qu'elle ne pense. We are stronger than she thinks.
Je ne doute pas que vous ne fassiez des progrs. I don't doubt that you are making progress.
97. Conditional Tenses: Present & Past
The present conditional tense corresponds to "would." It is used after the imperfect in a conditional sentence. Most
conditionals sentences begin with si (if). However, do not confuse the conditional would with the would that
expresses a repeated action in the past. If would meansused to, then the imperfect tense is used. Another use of the
conditional is in news reports to indicate that the information is not confirmed.
Si j'tais (imperfect) dans une autre famille, est-ce que je serais (conditional) plus heureuse ? If I were in
another family, would I be happier?
Quand nous tions (imperfect) en vacances, nous dormions (imperfect) jusqu' midi. When we were on
vacation, we would (used to) sleep until noon.
Un otage tranger serait mort en route pour l'hpital. A foreign hostage (probably) died on the way to the
hospital.
To form the conditional, use the infinitive and add the imperfect endings (but remember to drop the -e on -re verbs).
You use the same irregular stems and exceptions for the conditional that are used for the future tense.
-ais

-ions

-ais

-iez

-ait

-aient

The past conditional is formed by using the conditional of avoir or tre and a past participle. It corresponds to
"would have" and is used in hypothetical sentences.
Il n'aurait jamais dit a ! He would have never said that!
If... sentences: When si (if) is used in sentences of condition, the verb tenses change. These pretty much
correspond to English usage.
1. Si + present tense + present, imperative, or future
Si je suis fatigue, je me repose. If I'm tired, I rest.
Repose-toi si tu es fatigu. Rest if you're tired.
Si je suis fatigu demain, je me reposerai. If I am tired tomorrow, I will rest.
2. Si + imperfect + present conditional
Si j'tais riche, je pourrais acheter un chteau. If I were rich, I would buy a castle.
Il deviendrait roi s'il avait plus de courage. He would become king if he had more courage.
3. Si + pluperfect + past conditional
Si j'avais su, j'aurais compris. If I had known, I would have understood.
It is possible to have past conditional with the imperfect, and it is also possible to have present conditional with
pluperfect. However, you can never have the future or conditional tenses directly following si. They must be in the
other clause.

81
Translating Would, Could, Should
In general, you use the conditional tense of a verb to express would + infinitive, such as je dirais - I would say.
Again, make sure to use the imperfect of the verb if you're referring to repeated actions in the past (i.e. used to).
You can also use the conditional of pouvoir to mean could, as long as the meaning is something that is yet to
happen. Il pourrait m'aider. He could help me. Otherwise, you use the imperfect or pass compos to mean could
if you're referring to the past of can (i.e. was/were not able to). Elle ne pouvait pas s'arrter de rire. She couldn't
stop laughing. Should is usually translated by using the conditional of devoir. Tu ne devrais pas dire a. You
shouldn't say that. For would have, could have and should have, you use the past conditional of the verb, past
conditional of pouvoir + infinitive, and past conditional of devoir + infinitive, respectively. Just remember that
would and would have are not followed by infinitives in French.
would

conditional of verb

il dirait

he would say

could

conditional of pouvoir + infinitive

il pourrait dire

he could say

should

conditional of devoir + infinitive

il devrait dire

he should say

would have

past conditional of verb

il aurait dit

he would have said

could have

past conditional of pouvoir + infinitive

il aurait pu dire

he could have said

should have

past conditional of devoir + infinitive

il aurait d dire

he should have said

"You shouldn't have" or "that wasn't necessary" when someone gives you a gift is il ne fallait pas.
Listen to the le conditionnel : si tu gagnais au loto mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise
from French Listening Resources.
98. Parts of a Car & At the Gas Station
horn

le klaxon

directional signal

le clignotant

hood

le capot

license plate

la plaque d'immatriculation

brake

le frein

brake light (on car)

le stop

steering wheel

le volant

car

la voiture

windshield wipers

les essuie-glaces

window

la vitre

dashboard

le tableau de bord

door

la portire

accelerator

l'acclrateur

gas tank

le rservoir

headlights

les phares

wheel

la roue

windshield

le pare-brise

tire

le pneu

motor

le moteur

bumper

le pare-chocs

trunk

le coffre

fender

l'aile

body (of car)

la carrosserie

door handle

la poigne de portire

driver's license

le permis de conduire

air conditioning

la climatisation

gasoline

l'essence

heater

le chauffage

traffic lights

les feux

battery

la batterie

82
oil

l'huile

gas cap

le bouchon de rservoir d'essence

hubcap

l'enjoliveur

gas pump

la pompe essence

air hose

la pompe air

The most common types of cars in France are Peugeot, Clio, Renault, and Fiat, and the majority are manual drive.
Automatic cars in Europe are generally reserved for handicapped people. The driving age in France is 18, and
young drivers who have just gotten their licenses have a red A sticker on their car.
99. To Drive
Conduire-to drive
conduis

conduisons

conduis

conduisez

conduit

conduisent

The past participle of conduire is conduit. Other verbs conjugated like conduire are: traduire - to
translate, produire - to produce, and construire - to construct.
100. Travelling & At the Airport
suitcase

la valise

clothes

les vtements

passport

le passeport

diary

le journal

traveler's checks

les chques de voyage

dictionary

le dictionnaire

flight

le vol

baggage

les bagages

Euro

l'euro

bill

le billet

coin

la pice

change

la monnaie

cent

le centime

arrival

l'arrive

departure

le dpart

Where is/are...

O est / O sont...

currency exchange

le bureau de change

83
passport check

le contrle des passeports

customs

la douane

entrance

l'entre

lost and found

les objets trouvs

information

les renseignements

exit

la sortie

taxi stand

les taxis

restroom

les toilettes

When asking Where is/are..., O est is the singular form and O sont is the plural form, even if it's singular in
English. Where is the entrance?would be O est l'entre ? and Where is the lost and found? would be O sont les
objets trouvs ?
Directional Words
right there

juste l

zhoost lah

across from

en face de

awn fawz duh

here

ici

ee-see

between

entre

awn-truh

over there

l-bas

lah bah

next to

ct de

ah koh-tay duh

to the right of

droite de

ah dwaht duh

near

prs de

preh duh

to the left of

gauche de

ah gohsh duh

far (from)

loin de

lwahn duh

straight ahead

tout droit

too dwah

at the end of

au fond de

oh fohn duh

in front of

devant

duh-vawn

at the top of

en haut de

awn oh duh

behind

derrire

dare-ee-air

French VI Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

101. Camping
camping

le camping

axe

la hache

shelter

l'abri (m)

stump

la souche

tent

la tente

canteen

le bidon

spike

la sardine

hammock

le hamac

sleeping bag

le sac de couchage

backpack

le sac dos

flashlight

la lampe torche

path

le chemin / le sentier

lantern

la lanterne

bench

le banc

torch

le flambeau

rock

le rocher

84
compass

la boussole

stone

la pierre

map

la carte

pebble

le caillou

binoculars

les jumelles (f)

canoe

le cano

campfire

le feu de camp

oar

la pagaie

102. Special Uses of Devoir


Devoir is one of the trickiest verbs to translate and use in French. The following is a list of the different meanings
of devoir used in various tenses.
Present Tense

must, have to
probably

Je dois tudier.
Il doit tre malade.

I must (have to) study.


He's probably sick.

Pass Compos

had to (and did),


must have

Il a d partir.

He had to leave.

Imperfect

was supposed to,


used to have to

Elle devait chanter ce soir.

She was supposed to sing tonight.

Future

will have to

Tu devras payer l'argent.

You will have to pay money.

Conditional

should

Vous devriez manger les fruits.

You should eat fruits.

Past Conditional

should have

Ils auraient d jouer.

They should have played.

In the present tense, you can also express I am supposed to with Je suis cens + infinitive. To express you don't
have to instead of you must not, use vous ntes pas oblig de instead of vous ne devez pas or il ne faut pas.
103. Cosmetics & Toiletries
toothbrush

la brosse
dents

hair spray

la laque

blush

le blush

toothpaste

le dentifrice

hair dryer

le sche-cheveux

foundation

le fond de teint

dental floss

le fil dentaire

nail
polish

le vernis
ongles

eye liner

l'eye liner

hair brush

la brosse

mascara

le mascara

eye
shadow

l'ombre paupires

comb

le peigne

lipstick

le rouge lvres

bubble
bath

le bain moussant

shampoo

le shampooing

powder

la poudre

shower gel

le gel douche

curling iron

le fer friser

soap

le savon

deodorant

le dodorant

shaving
cream

la crme
raser

makeup

le maquillage

lotion

la lotion / la crme

razor

le rasoir

perfume

le parfum

pads

les serviettes
hyginiques

mousse

la mousse

cologne

l'eau de Cologne

tampons

les tampons

85
104. Medicine & Hospital
AIDS

le sida

food poisoning

l'intoxication alimentaire (f)

ambulance

l'ambulance (f)

hospital

l'hpital (m)

anesthetic

l'ansthsie (f)

infection

l'infection (f)

antidote

l'antidote

intensive care

la ranimation

bandage

le bandage

medecine

la mdecine

band-aid

le pansement

medication

le mdicament

cancer

le cancer

nurse

l'infirmier (m)

cane

la canne

pills

les cachets (m)

capsule

la capsule

pneumonia

la pneumonie

cast

le pltre

poison

le poison

chicken pox

la varicelle

sling

l'charpe (f)

cold

le rhume

stethoscope

le stthoscope

crutches

les bquilles (f)

stretcher

la civire

cure

le remde

surgeon

le chirurgien

diabetes

le diabte

surgery

la chirurgie

diagnosis

le diagnostic

syringe

la seringue

disease

la maladie

tablet

le comprim

doctor

le mdecin

tumor

la tumeur

first aid kit

la trousse de secours

wheelchair

le fauteuil roulant

flu

la grippe

X-ray

la radio

105. Present Participle


Present participles can be used as adjectives, as verbs, or like a qui clause. When an adjective, it agrees with the
noun it modifies. When it functions as a verb, it is invariable. Preceded by en, (equivalent to while, by, upon or
in), it corresponds to the English -ing gerund form. Used without en, the present participle can act like a qui clause.
To form this participle, drops the -ons ending of the nous form in the present tense and add -ant. (There are only
three irregular present participles: ayant, tant, sachant - having, being, knowing.)
Je me suis cass le poignet en tombant. I broke my wrist by falling.
C'est en forgeant que l'on devient forgeron. Practice makes perfect.
Ce restaurant ne propose pas d'eau ptillante. This restaurant doesn't serve sparkling water.
106. Abbreviations
In everyday speech, it is common to shorten some words:
advertisement

la publicit

la pub

afternoon

l'aprs-midi

l'aprm

86
apartment

l'appartement

l'apparte

car

l'automobile

l'auto

cinema

le cinma

le cin

college

la facult

la fac

demonstration

la manifestation

le manif

dictionary

le dictionnaire

le dico

drink before dinner

l'apritif

l'apro

extraordinary

extraordinaire

extra

friendly

sympathique

sympa

have a good meal

bon apptit

bon app

intellectual

intellectuel

intello

laboratory

le laboratoire

le labo

microphone

le microphone

le micro

owner

le propritaire

le proprio

photography

la photographie

la photo

raincoat

l'impermable

l'imper

slide

la diapositive

la diapo

soccer

le football

le foot

television

la tlvision

la tl

terrific

sensationnel

sensas

usually

d'habitude

d'hab

107. Past Infinitive


The past infinitive is used to express something that has already happened. Verbs such as s'excuser, regretter, and
remercier are often used in this tense. It is formed with the infinitive of the auxiliary verb (avoir or tre) and the
past participle of the main verb. And the past participle can have agreement as well, with either the subject or the
object, depending on the sentence. Whenever aprs is followed by a verb, it is always a past infinitive. And note
that negative expressions precede an infinitive.
Je vous remercie d'tre venus.

I thank you for coming (or having come.)

Excusez-moi d'tre arriv(e) en retard.

Excuse me for arriving (or having arrived) late.

Aprs avoir fini mes tudes, je veux


devenir professeur.

After finishing (or having finished) my studies,


I want to become a teacher.

Elle regrette de ne pas avoir pos de questions.

She regrets not asking (or having asked) any


questions.

87
108. In the Ocean
barnacle

la bernacle

fish hook

le hameon

bubble

la bulle

mask

le masque

wet suit

la combinaison de plonge

scuba diver

le plongeur sous-marin

fishing line

la ligne de pche

sand

le sable

jellyfish

la mduse

treasure chest

le trsor

flipper

la palme

snorkel

le tuba

clam

la palourde

shipwreck

l'pave

wave

la vague

seaweed

les algues

anchor

l'ancre

starfish

l'toile de mer

oxygen tank

le ballon d'oxygne

sea horse

l'hippocampe

seashell

le coquillage

sea urchin

l'oursin

coral

le corail

helm

la barre

crab

le crabe

109. To Die
Mourir-to die
meurs

mourons

meurs

mourez

meurt

meurent

The past participle is mort / morte and it is conjugated with tre. You will most likely use this verb in the past
tense, but it is used in some present tense sayings.
Je meurs de faim ! I'm dying of hunger / I'm starving!
110. In Space
alien

l'extra-terrestre (m)

nebula

la nbuleuse

asteroid

l'astrode (m)

planet

la plante

astronaut

l'astronaute (m)

rings

les anneaux

beaker

le gobelet

robot

le robot / l'automate

comet

la comte

rocket

la fuse interplantaire

constellation

la constellation

satellite

le satellite

control panel

le tableau de bord

solar panel

le panneau solaire

crater

le cratre

solar system

le systme solaire

88
Earth

la terre

space shuttle

la navette spatiale

galaxy

la galaxie

space station

la station spatiale

laboratory

le laboratoire

space suit

le scaphandre de cosmonaute

landing capsule

la capsule d'atterrissage

spaceship

la soucoupe volante

lunar rover

la jeep lunaire

star

l'toile (f)

meteor shower

la pluie de mtores

sun

le soleil

moon

la lune

test tube

l'prouvette (f)

111. Possessive Pronouns


Possessive pronouns replace nouns used with possessive adjectives. They agree in gender and number with noun
they replace as well.
Singular

Plural

Masc.

Fem.

Masc.

Fem.

mine

le mien

la mienne

les miens

les miennes

yours

le tien

la tienne

les tiens

les tiennes

his/hers/its

le sien

la sienne

les siens

les siennes

ours

le ntre

la ntre

les ntres

les ntres

yours

le vtre

la vtre

les vtres

les vtres

theirs

le leur

la leur

les leurs

les leurs

C'est ma pomme. Voil la tienne. That's my apple. Here's yours.


Il a son sac. Elle a le sien. He has his bag. She has hers.
C'est le mien, pas le tien ! That's mine, not yours!
Ils aiment leur voiture. Nous aimons la ntre. They like their car. We like ours.
112. Simple Past Tense
The simple past tense is used in works of literature in place of the pass compos and is very rarely spoken. You
most likely will never need to form this tense, but you should be able to recognize it for reading purposes. Add the
following endings to the stem:
-er

-ir / -re

-ai

-mes

-is

-mes

-as

-tes

-is

-tes

-a

-rent

-it

-irent

Irregular verbs that follow a pattern: Some verbs use their past participle as a stem, and then add endings for the
simple past. In this case, the six endings are -s, -s, -t, -^mes, -^tes, -rent.
avoir

croire

lire

dire

eu
s

em
es

cru
s

crm
es

lus

lmes

di
s

eu

ete

cru

crte

lus

ltes

di

dormir

devoir

recevoir

vivre

dm
es

dor
mis

dorm
mes

d
us

d
mes

re
us

re
mes

vc
us

vc
mes

dte

dor

dormt

dte

re

ret

vc

vct

89
s

eu
t

eure
nt

cru
t

crure
nt

prendre

sortir

pr
is

pr
mes

sor
tis

pr
is

prt
es

pr
it

prir
ent

lut

lurent

mis

es

us

us

es

us

es

di
t

dire
nt

dor
mit

dormir
ent

d
ut

dur
ent

re
ut

reur
ent

vc
ut

vcur
ent

vouloir

mettre

connatre

savoir

pouvoir

sort
mes

voul
us

voul
mes

m
is

m
mes

con
nus

conn
mes

su
s

sm
es

pus

pme
s

sor
tis

sortt
es

voul
us

voult
es

m
is

mte
s

con
nus

connt
es

su
s

ste
s

pus

ptes

sor
tit

sortir
ent

voul
ut

voulur
ent

m
it

mir
ent

con
nut

connu
rent

su
t

sure
nt

put

pure
nt

Other verbs do not use their past participles as stems (but they still take the same endings), so you should memorize
these forms.
tre

faire

crire

venir

voir

conduire

fus

fmes

fis

fmes

criv
is

crivm
es

vins

vnmes

vis

vmes

condui
sis

conduis
mes

fus

ftes

fis

ftes

criv
is

crivte
s

vins

vntes

vis

vtes

condui
sis

conduist
es

fut

furent

fit

firent

criv
it

crivire
nt

vint

vinrent

vit

virent

condui
sit

conduisir
ent

mourir

natre

ouvrir

craindre

battre

mour
us

mour
mes

naqu
is

naqum
es

ouvri
s

ouvrm
es

craign
is

craign
mes

batt
is

battm
es

mour
us

mourte
s

naqu
is

naqute
s

ouvri
s

ouvrte
s

craign
is

craignt
es

batt
is

battte
s

mour
ut

mourur
ent

naqu
it

naquire
nt

ouvri
t

ouvrire
nt

craign
it

craignir
ent

batt
it

battire
nt

113. Make-Believe & Fantasy


archer

l'archer (m)

fairy

la fe

moat

les douves (f)

armor

l'armure

fantasy

la fantaisie

monster

le monstre

arrow

la flche

fork

la fourche

mummy

la momie

ax

la hache

genie

le gnie

pillory

le pilori

bow

l'arc (m)

ghost

le fantme

pirate

le pirate

cackle

ricaner

giant

le gant

prince

le prince

castle

le chteau

grave

la tombe

princess

la princesse

90
cauldron

le chaudron

haunted
house

la maison hante

queen

la reine

caveman

l'homme des
cavernes (m)

headstone

la pierre tombale

scarecrow

l'pouvantail
(m)

cemetery

le cimetire

hobgoblin

le lutin

shield

le bouclier

coffin

le cercueil

humpback

le bossu

spear

la lance

crown

la couronne

jester

le fou

squire

l'cuyer (m)

demon

le dmon

king

le roi

sword

l'pe (f)

devil

le diable

knight

le chevalier

throne

le trne

dragon

le dragon

lamp

la lampe

tower

la tour

drawbridge

le pont-levis

lance

la lance

troubadour

le troubadour

dungeon

le donjon

magic wand

la baguette
magique

unicorn

la licorne

dwarf

le nain

mermaid

la sirne

witch

la sorcire

elf

le lutin

minstrel

le mnestrel

wizard

le sorcier

executioner

le bourreau

moan

gmir

zombie

le mort vivant

114. Religion
altar

l'autel (m)

Judaism

le judasme

angel

l'ange (m)

mass

la messe

baptism

le baptme

minaret

le minaret

bell

la cloche

monastery

le monastre

Bible

la Bible

mosque

la mosque

bishop

l'vque (m)

munk

le moine

bliss

la batitude

Muslim

le musulman

Buddhism

le bouddhisme

nun

la religieuse / bonne sur

candle

le cierge

organ

l'orgue (m)

cathedral

la cathdrale

pillar

le pilier

choir

la chorale

Pope

le pape

Christian

le chrtien

prayer

la prire

Christianity

la chrtient

priest

le prtre

church

l'glise (f)

prophet

le prophte

91
convent

le couvent

Protestant

le protestant

cross

la croix

religion

la religion

dome

la coupole

reverend

le cur

faith

la foi

rosary

le chapelet

fast

le jene

saint

le saint

God

le Dieu

sermon

le sermon

gold ring

l'aurole (f)

sin

le pch

Gospel

l'Evangile (m)

suffering

la souffrance

heaven

le ciel / le paradis

temple

le temple

hell

l'enfer (m)

torture

le supplice

Islam

l'islam (m)

vow

le vu

Jew

le juif / la juive

worship/service

le culte

115. Music & Art


accordion

l'accordon (m)

xylophone

le xylophone

bagpipe

la cornemuse

acteur

l'acteur

band

la bande / le groupe

actress

l'actrice

bass clef

la clef de fa

applaud

les applaudissements (m)

conductor

le chef d'orchestre

art

l'art (m)

conductor's stick

le bton

audience

le public

drum

le tambour

boo

la hue (f)

drumstick

la baguette

bust

le buste

flute

la flte

canvas

la toile

French horn

le cor d'harmonie

director

le metteur en scne

guitar

la guitare

easel

le chevalet

guitar strings

les cordes (f)

film

le film

harp

la harpe (f)

film bob

la bobine

horns

les cors (m)

frame

le cadre

keyboard

le synthtiseur

light

le projecteur

music

la musique

mask

le masque

92
music stand

le pupitre musique

model

le modle

orchestra

l'orchestre (m)

museum

le muse

piano

le piano

paint

la peinture

piano keys

les touches (f)

paintbrush

le pinceau

saxophone

le saxophone

painter

le peintre

sheet music

la partition

painting

le tableau

tambourine

le tambourin

pallette

la palette

treble clef

la clef de sol

pedastel

le pidestal

trombone

le trombone

projector

le projecteur

trumpet

la trompette

screen

l'cran (m)

tuba

le tuba

sculptor

le sculpteur

tuning fork

le diapason

stage

la scne

cello

le violoncelle

star

la vedette, la star

violin

le violon

statue

la statue

violin bow

l'archet (m)

tickets

les billets (m)

viola - l'alto (m)


116. Acquerir - to acquire & resoudre - to resolve
acqurir - to acquire

rsoudre - to resolve

acquiers

acqurons

rsous

rsolvons

acquiers

acqurez

rsous

rsolvez

acquiert

acquirent

rsout

rsolvent

The past participles are acquis and rsolu, and both verbs are conjugated with avoir.
117. Imperfect & Past Subjunctive
The subjunctive in past tenses is not used very often in French in everyday speech, but grammatically, it should be
used if the verb in the main clause is in the past tense. The imperfect subjunctive is formed from the simple past,
while the the past and pluperfect subjunctive forms are composed of two elements: the present subjunctive of avoir
or tre + past participle for the past subjunctive and the imperfect subjunctive of the avoir or tre + past participle
for the pluperfect subjunctive.
Use the il/elle form of the simple past to form the imperfect subjunctive endings. Sometimes, the only difference
between the il/elle forms of the simple past and the imperfect subjunctive is the circumflex for the imperfect
subjunctive.
avoir

tre

couper

finir

lire

tenir

il finit

il lut

il tint

Use the simple past to form the stems


il eut

il fut

Imperfect Subjunctive

il coupa

93
eusse

fusse

coupasse

finisse

lusse

tinsse

eusses

fusses

coupasses

finisses

lusses

tinsses

et

ft

coupt

fint

lt

tnt

eussions

fussions

coupassions

finissions

lussions

tinssions

eussiez

fussiez

coupassiez

finissiez

lussiez

tinssiez

eussent

fussent

coupassent

finissent

lussent

tinssent

118. Translating Phrasal Verbs: English to French


Most English phrasal verbs translate as one verb without any prepositions or adverbs in French. Make sure to pay
attention to the correct meaning of the phrasal verb in English, however, before deciding on the correct French
translation.
add up

additionner

make up

inventer / se rconcilier

back up

soutenir / sauvegarder

make up for

compenser / rattraper

beat up

tabasser

mess
around

faire l'imbcile / s'amuser / toucher

bend down

se baisser

mess up

mettre en dsordre / gcher / bcler

bend over

se pencher

miss out

omettre / sauter

blow out

souffler

miss out on

laisser passer / louper

blow up

gonfler / sauter / faire sauter

mix up

confondre / embrouiller / mlanger

break down

tomber en panne / enfoncer

mouth off

se vanter / parler tort et travers

break in

entrer par effraction

move
forward

avancer

break up

rompre / se terminer

move in

emmnager

breathe in

inspirer

move off

se mettre en route

breathe out

expirer

move out

dmnager

brighten up

s'claircir / se dgager

move over

se pousser

bring back

rapporter / ramener

muddle up

mlanger / embrouiller

bring up

lever / soulever

note down

noter

bump into

rentrer dans / renconter par


hasard

own up

avouer

burst into

clater / fondre (en larmes)

part with

se sparer de

call back

rappeler

pass for

se faire passer pour

call off

annuler

pass on

transmettre

call on

rendre visite

pass out

s'vanouir / distribuer

94
call round

passer

pay back

rembourser

calm down

se calmer

pay for

payer

care about

se soucier de

peel off

dtacher

care for

s'occuper de / aimer

phone back

rappeler

carry on

continuer

pick on

s'en prendre / harceler

catch up

rattraper

pick up

ramasser / chercher / apprendre /


draguer

chase after

courir aprs

pile up

s'entasser / s'empiler / s'accumuler

chase away

chasser

plug in

brancher

check in

se prsenter l'enregistrement / la
rception

point out

montrer / faire remarquer

check out

rgler sa note / regarder

pop in

passer

check over

vrifier / examiner

pull ahead

prendre la tte

cheer up

remonter le moral / retrouver le


moral

pull down

dmolir / baisser

chop down

abattre

pull in

s'arrter

clean up

nettoyer

pull out

arracher / retirer

clear off

dgager / filer

pull over

se ranger / se garer sur la ct

clear out

vider

pull through

s'en sortir

clear up

ranger / s'claircir

pull
together

faire un effort

climb down

descendre

pull up

remonter / s'arrter

climb over

passer par-dessus

pump up

gonfler

climb up

monter

push in

resquiller

cloud over

se couvrir / s'assombrir

put away

ranger

come
around

venir / reprendre connaissance

put back

remettre

come back

revenir

put down

poser

come down

descendre / baisser

put off

remettre plus tard / dissuader /


dgoter / dranger / teindre

come in

entrer

put on

mettre / allumer / prendre / monter /


faire marcher

come off

se dtacher

put out

teindre / tendre / sortir / dranger

95
come out

sortir / partir

put together

monter

come over

venir

put up

riger / monter / mettre / augmenter /


hberger

come to

reprendre connaissance

put up with

supporter

come up

monter / soulever / tre soulev

reach out

tendre la main

come up to

arriver / s'approcher de

read out

lire haute voix

come up
with

proposer / suggrer

read up on

parcourir / lire en entier

cool down

refroidir / refrachir

rely on

compter sur

cross off

rayer

ring back

rappeler

cross out

barrer

ring up

appeler / tlphoner

cross over

traverser

roll up

rouler / retrousser

cry out

pousser un cri

rub out

effacer

cut off

couper

rule out

exclure

cut out

dcouper

run away

s'enfuir

deal with

s'occuper de / traiter de

run out

s'puiser

dig up

dterrer

run over

renverser / craser

do away
with

se dbarasser / supprimer

save up

mettre de l'argent de ct

do up

fermer / attacher / boutonner /


retaper

scare away

faire fuir / effrayer

do without

se passer de

search for

chercher

dress up

se dguiser / s'habiller

see off

dire au revoir

drop by

passer

see to

s'occuper de

drop off

dposer / laisser

send back

renvoyer

end up

finir / se retrouver

send for

appeler / faire venir

face up to

faire face

send off

expulser

fall apart

s'effondrer

set off

partir / se mettre en route / faire partir /


faire exploser / dclencher

fall down

tomber

set out

partir / se mettre en route

fall off

tomber

set up

crer / installer / monter

fall out

tomber / se brouiller

settle down

se calmer / s'installer

96
fall over

tomber / trbucher sur

show off

frimer

fight back

se dfendre

show up

arriver

figure out

comprendre / calculer

shut up

se taire

fill in

remplir / boucher

sit down

s'asseoir

fill out

remplir

slave away

trimer

fill up

remplir

sleep in

faire la grasse matine

find out

se renseigner / dcouvrir

sleep over

passer la nuit chez quelqu'un

finish off

terminer / finir

slip off

filer / s'clipser

flick off

teindre

slow down

ralentir

flick on

allumer

sort out

ranger / rgler / s'occuper de

flip through

feuilleter

speak out

parler en faveur / dfendre

fly away

s'envoler

speed up

aller plus vite

get away

s'chapper / partir / s'en aller

spin around

tourner / se retourner

get back

rentrer / rcuperer / reculer

split up

se sparer

get down

descendre

spread out

se disperser

get in

entrer / monter dans

stand for

vouloir dire / tolrer

get off

descendre (de)

stand out

ressortir

get on

monter dans / s'entendre

stand up

se lever

get out

sortir / descendre

stand up for

dfendre

get up

se lever

start off/out

partir

give in

cder

stay away

ne pas s'approcher

give out

distribuer

stay in

rester chez soi

give up

abandonner / arrter

stay out

ne pas rentrer

go away

partir

stay up

ne pas se coucher

go back

retourner / rentrer

step
forward

avancer

go down

descendre / baisser

stick out

dpasser / tirer

go in

entrer

stretch out

tendre / allonger / s'allonger

go off

exploser / sonner / partir / tourner

sum up

rsumer

go on

continuer / se passer

swell up

enfler / gonfler

97
go out

sortir / s'teindre

switch off

teindre / arrter

go under

couler

switch on

allumer / mettre en marche

go up

monter / augmenter

take after

tenir de

go without

se passer de

take apart

dmonter

grow up

grandir

take aside

prendre part

hand in

rendre

take away

enlever / emporter / emmener

hand out

distribuer

take back

rapporter

hand over

remettre / cder

take down

dmonter / enlever / noter

hang on

attendre

take off

dcoller / enlever

hang out

frquenter / traner

take on

embaucher / prendre

hang up

accrocher / suspendre / raccrocher

take out

sortir / retirer

head for

se diriger vers

take over

remplacer / prendre la relve

hear from

avoir des nouvelles de

take up

se mettre / prendre

hear of

entendre parler de

talk through

expliquer / prvenir

heat up

faire rchauffer / (faire) chauffer

tear down

dmolir

help out

venir en aide

tear out

arracher

hold on

attendre / s'accrocher

tear up

dchirer

hold out

tendre

tell off

gronder

hold up

lever / retarder / attaquer

think about

penser / penser de / rflchir

hurry up

se dpcher

think of

penser de

join in

participer ()

throw away

jeter

jump in

sauter dedans / plonger

throw out

jeter / mettre la porte

keep out

ne pas entrer dans

throw up

vomir

keep up

suivre / continuer

tidy up

ranger

knock down

renverser

tie up

ficeler / attacher

knock out

assommer / liminer

tip off

prvenir / avertir

knock over

renverser

tip over

renverser / se renverser

know about

tre au courant de / s'y connatre


en

toss
away/out

jeter

laugh at

se moquer de

track down

retrouver

98
lean over

se pencher

try on/out

essayer

leave aside

laisser de ct

turn around

se retourner / faire demi-tour / tourner


(dans l'autre sens)

leave out

oublier

turn back

faire demi-tour

let down

laisser tomber

turn down

rejeter / baisser

let in

faire entrer / laisser entrer

turn into

changer en / transformer en / se
transformer en

let off

ne pas punir / faire partir, tirer

turn off

teindre

lie down

s'allonger / se coucher

turn on

allumer

lift off

dcoller

turn over

retourner / se retourner

line up

faire la queue

turn up

mettre plus fort / venir / arriver

lock in

enfermer

wait for

attendre

lock out

enfermer dehors

wake up

rveiller / se rveiller

log in/on

se connecter

walk out

partir

look after

s'occuper de

warm up

rchauffer / faire rchauffer / se


rchauffer / s'chauffer

look at

regarder

wash up

faire la vaisselle (UK) / se laver (US)

look down

baisser les yeux

watch out

faire attention

look down
on

regarder de haut

wear out

user / s'user / puiser

look for

chercher

weigh down

alourdir

look
forward to

attendre avec impatience

well up

avoir les larmes aux yeux

look out

faire attention

wind up

se retrouver / se terminer / remonter

look out for

chercher / s'occuper de

wipe up

essuyer

look round

se retourner / regarder / visiter

work out

trouver / rsoudre / calculer /


comprendre / se passer / faire de
l'exercice

look up

lever les yeux / chercher

wrap up

emballer / envelopper / rcapituler / se


couvrir

look up to

admirer

write back

rpondre

make out

dchiffrer / comprendre /
prtendre

write down

noter

119. Other Translation Difficulties: English to French

99
be getting / going +
adjective

devenir + adjective

let somebody know

faire savoir

do nothing but

ne faire que

let's just hope that

pourvu que

forgive somebody for


[verb]-ing

excuser quelqu'un de +
infinitive

let's [verb] / how about


we [verb]?

Et si on...?

get oneself + past


participle

se faire + infinitive

may / might

il se peut / pourrait
que

how come...?

comment se fait-il que...?

may...

puisse...

however / no matter
(much)

avoir beau

no matter

peu importe

I can't help [verb]-ing

Je ne peux pas m'empcher


de + infinitive

no sooner...

n'avoir pas si tt

I hate/loathe/can't stand
[verb]-ing

J'ai horreur de + infinitive

see to it that

veiller ce que

I miss + [verb]-ing

a me manque de ne pas

so far

jusqu' prsent

I was going to / I had


planned to

J'avais prvu de

The way + subject +


verb

La faon dont +
subject + verb

I wish (regret)

Je regrette de ne pas

There is no + [verb]-ing

Il n'y a pas de moyen


de

I wish + imperfect

si seulement + imperfect

There/it happens to

Il se trouve que

I wish + past perfect

J'aurais aim que +


subjunctive

to sit, stand, lie

tre assis, debout,


allong

I'd rather that

J'aimerais mieux que +


subjunctive

What / How about +


[verb]-ing?

Que dirais tu de +
infinitive ?

In order (not) to

dans le but de (ne pas) +


infinitive

What if?

et si?

It's about time

il serait grand temps

whatever

quel que soit

it's no use / you needn't

il est inutile que

whatever

quoi que

It's typical of him/her

a lui ressemble

whenever

chaque fois

It's usual for

il est d'usage que

wherever

o que + subjunctive

just because... doesn't


mean

le simple fait que... ne veut


pas dire

Whether you like it or


not

Que a te plaise ou
non.

keep on [verb]-ing

ne cesser pas de + infinitive

whoever

quiconque

let (permission)

Que + subjunctive

You just have to +


infinitive

Tu n'as qu' +
infinitive

120. Quebecois French


Differences in vocabulary:

100
Quebec

France

Quebec

France

l'arrt

le stop

achaler / gosser quelqu'un

embter quelqu'un

un breuvage

une boisson

asteure

cette heure

une broue

une bire

avoir les yeux dans la graisse de


binnes

avoir l'air fatigu

des bbelles

des jouets

bienvenu

de rien

un bcyque

une bicyclette

brailler

piquer une crise

des bidoux / du
foin

de l'argent

a adonne bein

a tombe bien

un bleuet

une myrtille

a pas d'allure

a n'a aucun sens

ma blonde

ma petite amie

a pas de tes affaires

a ne te regarde pas

une buanderie

une blanchisserie

clisser une vole

donner une racle

une calotte

une casquette

c'est dispendieux

c'est cher

une canneberge

une airelle

c'est pas fort

c'est pas terrible

un char

une automobile

chauffer

conduire un vhicule

une chicane

une dispute

dbarquer (d'un char)

descendre (d'une voiture)

le djeuner

le petit djeuner

embarquer (dans un char)

monter (dans une voiture)

un dpanneur

un petit magasin

tre tann

en avoir marre

le dner

le djeuner

faire dur

avoir mauvaise mine

la fin de semaine

le week-end

faire la baboune

bouder

un frigidaire

un rfrigrateur

faire son picerie

faire ses courses

la gang

la bande d'amis

il mouille

il pleut

une gunille

un chiffon

jaser

causer / bavarder

la job

le boulot

magasiner

se promener dans les


magasins

une joke

une blague

marquer

inscrire / noter

une lampe de
poche

une lampe-torche

maudit niaiseux !

espce de crtin !

une laveuse

une machine
laver

minoucher

caresser

un melon d'eau

un pastque

pantoute

pas du tout

un minou

un chat

pogner

attraper / tripoter / avoir du


succs

101
le nettoyeur

le pressing

prendre une marche

faire une promenade pied

une patente

une chose

prsentement

maintenant

une piastre/piasse

un dollar

sacrer son camp

ficher le camp

un pitou

un chien

se cler (une pizza / un taxi)

commander / appeler

une scheuse

une machine
scher

tabernacle / tabarnak !

zut !

le souper

le dner

tiguidou

c'est d'accord

la tabagie

le tabac

tu es fin

tu es gentil

une vadrouille

une serpillire

y a du monde la messe

il y a foule

Differences in pronunciation:
1. An affrication of the consonants "t" and "d" before the vowels "u" and "i." For example, "tu es parti" is
pronounced "tsu es partsi."
2. There is a reduction of the pronoun "il" to"y": Y'est malade, Y'a pas le temps; as well as a reduction of "elle" to
"a" ("elle a" becomes "aa"): Aa pas le temps, aa mal au dos.
3. "Chu" is a contraction for "je suis": Chu fatigu, chu en retard.
4. A "t" sound still exists in the expressions: "il fait frette" (froid), "mon litte" (lit), "viens icitte" (ici). And the old
pronunciation for the "oi" sound (as o) is still used sometimes: moi, toi, and verb forms such as bois, boit, vois,
voit,
reoit, etc. are pronounced mo, to, bo, etc.
5. "Tu" is often added after questions: Il en veut-tu ? Tu m'coutes-tu ? Je l'ai-tu ?
6. Many people end their statements with: T'sais ? (a reduction of: tu sais)
7. The verb pogner is a very popular word with several translations: to catch, to get, to grab, to be successful, to
come, to get caught, to take, to be stuck, etc.
Quoss qui't'pogne, toi? What's going on with you?
Arrte de pogner les nerfs. Stop getting worked up.
Some examples of Anglicisms used in Quebec:
Bummer, spinner, slaquer, kiquer, faker, domper, frencher, puncher, backer, rusher, spotter, tripper, checker, avoir un
good time, tre cheap, tre opne, faire son show, etc
French VII Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar (French for Expats)

Confusions
The following are sentences that initially confused me because I was translating them literally into English.
C'est pas du franais. It's not grammatically correct, formal French. [not the French language in general]
La Norvge n'est pas en Europe. Norway is not in the European Union. [not Europe as a continent]
J'ai laiss un petit mot pour toi. I left a little note for you. [not word]
Tu djeunes pas ? You aren't eating breakfast? [not lunch]
Normalement, elle arrive 15h. If everything goes as planned, she will arrive at 3 PM. [not normally or usually]
Tes parents s'ennuient de toi ? Do your parents miss you? [not get bored with]
Tu veux te baigner aujourd'hui ? Do you want to go swimming today? [not take a bath]
J'ai mal aux reins. My lower back hurts. [not kidneys]
On a dj donn manger au chat. We've already fed the cat. [not give to eat]
Elle l'a connu en Italie. She met him in Italy. [not known]
Filling out forms
contact information

les coordonnes

passport

le passeport

last name

nom

visa

le visa

102
first name

prnom

residency card

la carte de sjour

address

adresse

receipt

le rcpiss

birthdate

date de naissance

application

le formulaire / la candidature

place of birth

lieu de naissance

enrollment form

la demande d'inscription

Signed [city] ... date

Fait ... le

to apply (for a job)

postuler

birth certificate

l'acte de naissance

to apply/enroll (in university)

s'inscrire

Remember the date format in France is day/month/year instead of month/day/year and that you generally capitalize
your last name, but not your first name: Jean-Paul BOUCHER.
Asking for clarification or help
Excusez-moi de vous dranger, monsieur/madame, mais j'ai un problme. Sorry for bothering you, mister/miss,
but I have a problem.
Est-ce que je peux vous poser une question ? Can I ask you a question?
Qu'est-ce que vous avez dit ? What did you say?
Pourriez-vous rpter, s'il vous plat ? Can you repeat that, please?
Je n'ai pas entendu ce que vous avez dit. I didn't hear what you said.
Comment est-ce qu'on crit a ? / a s'crit comment ? How is that written?
Comment est-ce qu'on prononce a ? / a se prononce comment ? How is that pronounced?
Qu'est-ce que a veut dire? / a veut dire quoi ? What does that mean?
Food & Eating
cold cuts

la charcuterie

beefstew with carrots

du buf-carottes

raw vegetables

les crudits (f)

beefstew in red wine

du buf
bourguignon

salad (with bacon)

une salade (avec des


lardons)

chicken in red wine

du coq au vin

onion soup

la soupe l'oignon

Steak & French fries

un steak-frites

melted cheese (w/ potatoes &


cold cuts)

la raclette

potatoes au gratin

le gratin dauphinois

cheese, ham & potato


casserole

la tartiflette

ham & cheese quiche

la quiche lorraine

melted cheese (with bread)

la fondue

dumplings (flavored
w/ meat or fish)

les quenelles

grilled ham and cheese

le croque-monsieur

vegetarian

vgtarien/ne

grilled ham & cheese with egg

le croque-madame

vegan

vgtalien/ne

Qu'est-ce que je vous offre ? / Qu'est-ce que je vous sers ? What can I get you?
Quelque chose boire ? Something to drink?
J'ai la dalle ! J'ai les crocs ! Je meurs de faim ! I'm starving!
J'ai trop mang. / J'ai trop bouff. I ate too much.
On the phone / Au tElEphone
All, est-ce que je pourrais parler ... ? Hello, may I speak to...?
C'est de la part de qui ? Who is calling?

103
Qui est l'appareil ? Who is on the phone?
Un instant, s'il vous plat. One moment, please.
Ne quittez pas. Please hold.
Je vous la passe. I'm putting you through to her.
Il ne rpond pas. He is not answering.
Il n'est pas l. He is not here.
Est-ce que vous voulez laisser un message ? Do you want to leave a message?
Pouvez-vous rappeler plus tard ? Can you call back later?
La ligne est occupe. The line is busy.
Vous vous tes tromp(e)(s) de numro. You have the wrong number.
Je me suis tromp(e) de numro. I got the wrong number.
Cell Phone Vocabulary
pay as you go plan

sans engagement

text message

SMS

credit/minutes

le crdit

photo message

MMS

to recharge your account

recharger votre compte

call waiting

le double appel

contract plan

le forfait

caller ID

la prsentation du numro

extra charges

hors forfait

unlimited calls

les appels illimits

payment plan

le plan tarifaire

PIN code

le code PIN / secret

land line

la ligne fixe

SIM card

la carte SIM

voicemail

la messagerie vocale

locked

bloqu

account summary

le suivi conso

to download

tlcharger

empty / no credit

puis

ringtone

la sonnerie

Le suivi conso is short for le suivi de consommation.


Going shopping / Faire les magasins
department store

la grande surface

fitting room

la cabine d'essayage

outlet store

le magasin d'usine

club/loyalty card

la carte de fidelit

second-hand shop

la boutique d'articles d'occasion

heels

des talons

discount store (such as


Aldi)

le magasin hard discount

flip-flops

des tongs

flea market

le march aux puces

tank/halter top

le dbardeur

department

le rayon

underwire bra

le balconnet

to go window-shopping

faire du lche-vitrine

thong

le string

to go grocery shopping

faire les courses

spotted

pois

mini market

la suprette

flowery

fleurs

supermarket (food)

le supermarch

frilly

frous-frous

super store (everything)

l'hypermarch (m)

glittery

paillettes

shopping center

le centre commercial

striped

rayures

104

Est-ce que je peux vous aider ? / Je peux vous renseigner ? / Vous dsirez ? Can I help you?
Non, je regarde seulement. No, I'm just looking.
Je vais rflchir. I'll think about it.
Quelle est votre taille ? Vous faites du combien ? What is your size? What size do you wear?
Quelle est votre pointure ? Vous chaussez du combien ? What is your shoe size? What size shoe do you wear?
a va, la taille ? Cest la bonne taille ? Is the size right?
Cest trop grand. / C'est trop serr. Its too big / too small.
a cote combien ? How much does this cost?
C'est en solde ? Is it on sale?
Quelle escroquerie ! / Quelle arnaque ! What a rip-off!
Avez-vous une carte de fidlit ? Do you have a club card?
Vous rglez comment ? / Vous payez comment ? How are you paying?
En espces/par carte bleue. Cash/with a bank card.
A good way to increase your vocabulary is to look at ads for stores that are available online, such
as Carrefour, Gant, Monoprix, etc.
Listen to the le shopping: les soldes mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from French
Listening Resources.
Going to the doctor / Chez le docteur
allergy

l'allergie (f)

swollen

enfl/e

illness

la maladie

dizziness

le vertige

cold

le rhume

drops

les gouttes (f)

fever

la fivre

pills

les pilules (f)

flu

la grippe

tablet

le cachet

migraine

la migraine

ointment

la pommade

bump

la bosse

bandage

le sparadrap

itching

les dmangeaisons (f)

prescription

l'ordonnance (f)

poisoning

l'intoxication (f)

medicine

les mdicaments (m)

sting / bite

la piqre

vitamins

les vitamines (f)

scratch

l'gratignure (f)

lozenge

la pastille

scar

la cicatrice

sleeping pills

les somnifres (m)

scab

la crote

to skin

s'corcher

blister

l'ampoule (f)

to sprain

se fouler

sprain

la foulure

to crush

s'craser

ear infection

l'otite (f)

to break

se casser

Je voudrais prendre rendez-vous, s'il vous plat. I'd like to make an appointment, please.
O est-ce que vous avez mal ? Where does it hurt?
Est-ce que vous tes allergique quelque chose ? Are you allergic to anything?
Je me suis corch la main en tombant. I skinned my hand by falling.
Je me suis fait mal. I hurt myself.
The French health care system (called la Scurit Sociale) generally reimburses 70% of your health costs
(including dentist and eye doctor visits). If you want to be reimbursed for the other 30%, you have to join

105
a mutuelle and pay a monthly fee. Everyone covered by la Scu receives aCarte Vitale to use at the doctor's
consultation and when filling prescriptions at any pharmacie. If you are a recent immigrant to France and have not
yet received your Carte Vitale, you will receive feuille de soins forms to fill out in order to be reimbursed.
The emergency medical service in France is called SAMU (Service d'aide mdicale d'urgence) and the phone
number is 15. You can dial 17 to reach the police, and 18 to reach the pompiers (firefighters). The general
emergency number used throughout the European Union is 112. In Belgium, you can also dial 100 for emergency
services; in Switzerland, it's 144, and in Canada, it's 911.
Going to the dentist or eye doctor / Chez le dentiste ou l'ophtalmologiste
cavity

la carie

glasses

les lunettes

wisdom tooth

la dent de sagesse

frames

la monture

baby tooth

la dent de lait

glasses case

l'tui de lunettes (m)

gums

la gencive

contact lenses

les lentilles

jaw

la mchoire

cleaning solution

la solution de nettoyage

crown

la couronne

contact case

l'tui de lentilles (m)

filling

le plombage

near-sighted

myope

cleaning

le dtartrage

far-sighted

hypermtrope

root canal

le canal dentaire

clear

net

to pull out, remove (tooth)

arracher

blurry

flou

Getting your eyes checked and then choosing your frames are two different processes in France. You go to
an ophtalmologiste to get your eyes checked and you will receive a prescription for your glasses/contacts. Then
you must go to an opticien in order to choose your frames and turn in your prescriptions. They are not in the same
office like in the US.
At the hair salon / Chez le coiffeur
bangs

la frange

braid

la natte / les tresses

highlights

les mches / le balayage

ponytail

la queue-de-cheval

hair cut

la coupe de cheveux

barette

la barrette

blowdry

le brushing

head band

le serre-tte

curly

boucls

hair clips

les pinces cheveux

wavy

onduls

hairband

l'lastique (m)

frizzy

friss / crpus

hairpin

l'pingle cheveux (f)

straight

raides

buzz cut

la coupe en brosse

dyed

teints

completely shaved head

la boule zro

lightened

dcolors

bald

chauve

layered

dgrad

part

la raie

There is a slight difference between se couper les cheveux (to cut one's hair - by oneself) and se faire couper les
cheveux (to get one's hair cut - by someone else). The same is true of se teindre les cheveux (to dye one's hair - by
oneself) and se faire teindre les cheveux (to get one's hair dyed - by someone else).

106

Opening a bank account / Ouvrir un compte bancaire


savings account

le compte d'pargne

bank / debit card

la carte bancaire / la carte bleue

checking account

le compte-chques

ATM

le distributeur / le guichet (automatique)

deposit

le dpt

check

le chque

direct deposit

le dpt direct

checkbook

le carnet de chques

cash

les espces / du liquide

balance

le bilan

credit card

la carte de crdit

sum, amount

le montant

loan

l'emprunt (m) / le prt

bank statement

le relev de compte

debt

la dette

salary

le traitement

wages

le salaire

raise

l'augmentation de salaire (f)

estimate

le devis

payment

le versement

automatic payment

le prlvement

transfer/deposit

le virement

to deposit

dposer / remettre

to write a check

faire un chque

to withdraw

retirer

to cash a check

encaisser / toucher un chque

to earn

gagner

to pay cash

payer en espces

to spend

dpenser

to save money

faire des conomies

Je voudrais ouvrir un compte. I would like to open an account.


Bordereau de remise de chques. Checks deposited slip.
Post Office / La Poste
accus de rception

acknowledgement of
receipt

imprims

printed matter

avis de rception

notice of receipt

lettre recommande

registered letter

adresse de l'expditeur

return address

mandat cash

money order

adresse de rexpdition

forwarding address

par avion

air mail

colis

parcel / package

port pay

postage paid

destinataire

addressee

retour l'envoyeur

return to sender

expditeur

sender

tarifs postaux

postage rate

envoi en nombre

bulk mail

trier

to sort

Currently, the price of timbres (stamps) is 58 Euro cents to send mail within France, 75 cents within the EU &
Switzerland, and 87 cents to the rest of the world (for a letter or postcard under 20 grams).
Renting an apartment / Louer un appartement

107
housing

le logement

lease

le bail

apartment

l'appartement

bill (telephone, etc.)

la facture

rent

le loyer

insurance

l'assurance (f)

rent receipt

la quittance de loyer

conditions / evaluation of
apt.

l'tat des lieux (m)

utilities / fees

les charges / les frais

taxes

les impts (m)

expenses

les dpenses

furnished

meubl

(rental) charges

les charges (locatives)

building

immeuble

agency fees

les honoraires / frais


d'agence

landlord

le propritaire

private landlord

le particulier

renting

location

security deposit

la caution / le dpt de
garantie

renter

locataire (m) / locatrice (f)

guarantor
needed

le garant exig

renting with roommates

colocation

short-term
rental

location courte

roommate / flatmate /
housemate

colocataire (m) / colocatrice


(f)

Apartments are generally listed as F1/T1, F2/T2, F3/T3, etc. regarding the number of rooms. This number does not
include the kitchen or bathroom, but it does include the living room. If a kitchen is quipe, it will probably have a
refrigerator and burners, but may or may not have an oven. If a kitchen is non-quipe, there will be no appliances
at all. Some apartments do not have ovens, but they might have plaques lectriques / plaquettes (burners, similar
to a stove). A cuisinire is also electric burners without an oven.
J'habite en colocation. I live with roommates.
Je cherche un colocataire pour un appartement avec 2 chambres. I'm looking for a roommate for a 2 bedroom
apartment.
Le bail sera sign ds votre arrive la rsidence. The lease will be signed as soon as you arrive at the dorms.
Les charges sont comprises dans le prix (eau, lctricit, chauffage). Utilities are included in the price (water,
electricity, heat).
You can download a sample contrat de location, tat des lieux, and quittance de loyer at this site.
Cooking & Kitchen Utensils
to chop /
grind

hacher

cooking pot

la marmite

to grate

rper

lid

le couvercle

to peel

peler / plucher

saucepan

la casserole

to pit

dnoyauter

frying pan

la pole

to mix

mlanger

skillet

la sauteuse

to stir

remuer

casserole dish

la cocotte / daubire

to beat

battre

baking sheet

la plaque gteaux

108
to whip

fouetter

cooling rack

la grille de
refroidissement

to sift

tamiser

cake tin

le moule gteaux

to pour

verser

pie tin

la tourtire

to cook

cuire

mixing bowl

le bol mixer / le saladier

to roast

rtir

strainer / colander

la passoire

to fry

frire

peeling knife

l'conome (m)

to steam

cuire l'touffe / faire cuire la


vapeur

slotted spoon /
skimmer

l'cumoire (f)

to boil

bouillir

ladle

la louche

to simmer

mijoter

spatula

la spatule

to melt

fondre

(cheese) grater

la rpe ( fromage)

to stew

cuire en ragot

whisk

le fouet

to broil / grill

griller

rolling pin

le rouleau ptisserie

to moisten

mouiller

can opener

l'ouvre-bote (m)

to soften

faire revenir

aluminum foil

le papier d'aluminium

to sprinkle

saupoudrer

plastic wrap

le film transparent

to drain

goutter

wax paper

le papier cuisson

For verbs that involve cooking methods, you add faire before them when they are transitive verbs (when they take a
direct object). So to cook something is faire cuire, to fry something is faire frire, to boil something is faire
bouillir, etc. If you bake American foods in France, you will most likely need to look for certain ingredients that
are not used very often in French cooking: condensed milk - lait concentr sucr; evaporated milk -lait concentr
non-sucr; baking soda - bicarbonate alimentaire; baking powder - levure chimique and yeast - levure du
boulanger. It is also very common to use le sopalin instead of essui-tout for paper towel.
Christmas Vocabulary
Merry Christmas!

Joyeux Nol !

angel

lange (m)

bell

la cloche / la clochette

bow

le nud

bulb

la boule

candle

la bougie / la chandelle

candy cane

la canne en bonbon

chimney

la chemine

109
Christmas card

la carte de Nol

Christmas carols

les chansons de Nol

Christmas Eve

la veille de Nol

Christmas Eve dinner

le rveillon de Nol

Christmas market

le march de Nol

Christmas tree

le sapin de Nol

decorations

les dcorations

egg nog

le lait de poule

elf

le lutin

fake tree

le sapin artificiel

garland

la guirlande

holly

le houx

lights

la guirlande lectrique / lumineuse

mistletoe

le gui

nativity scene

la crche

North Pole

le ple nord

present

le cadeau

present name tags

les tiquettes

reindeer

le renne

ribbon

le bolduc / le ruban

Santa Claus

le Pre Nol

Santas hat

le bonnet de Nol

Santas sack

la hotte du Pre Nol

Santas workshop

latelier du Pre Nol

sleigh

le traineau

sleigh bell

le grelot

snow

la neige

snowflake

le flocon de neige

snowman

le bonhomme de neige

star

ltoile (f)

110
stocking

la chaussette de Nol

toy

le jouet

wrapping paper

le papier demballage

wreath

la couronne

Yule log

la bche de Nol

Transportation
connection

la correspondance

subway map

le plan de mtro

track

le quai

book of ten tickets

le carnet

platform

la voie

monthly pass

la carte orange

restaurant car

le wagon-restaurant

subway/bus line

la ligne

intersection

le carrefour

bus ticket

le ticket

sedan (4 door)

la berline

van

la camionnette

coupe (2 door)

le coup

minivan

le monospace

station wagon

le break

pick-up truck

le pick-up

convertible

le cabriolet

SUV / large truck

le 4x4 (quatre-quatre)

semi-truck

le camion

trailer

le remorque

Merci d'oblitrer votre ticket. Thank you for validating your ticket.
O est l'arrt de bus le plus proche ? Where is the closest bus stop?
Pour aller au centre-ville ? How do I get downtown?
Vous vous installez ici, madame ? Do you want to sit here, ma'am?
Vous descendez ? Are you getting off here?
Je descends ici. I'm getting off here.
School & Education
school district

l'acadmie (f)

middle school principal

principal

urban district

l'arrondissement (m)

high school principal

proviseur

department / division

le dpartement

exam after middle


school

brevet

region / area

la rgion

exam after high school

baccalaurat

town

la commune

mathematics

mathmatiques

pre-school

l'cole maternelle

economics & sociology

sciences conomique et sociale


(SES)

elementary education

l'cole primaire

living/foreign language

langue vivante (LV)

elementary student

colier/re

physics

physique

111
secondary education

secondaire

chemistry

chimie

middle school

le collge

biology

biologie

middle school
student

collgien/ne

life/earth science

sciences de la vie et de la terre


(SVT)

high school

le lyce

engineering

sciences de l'ingnieur (SI)

high school student

lycen/ne

history/geography

histoire-gographie

higher education

suprieur

philosophy

philosophie

university student

tudiant/e

literature

littrature

university

l'universit / la
facult

research
project/seminar

travaux personnels encadrs


(TPE)

prestigious
universities

les grandes coles

P.E. / Gym

ducation physique et sportive


(EPS)

library

le CDI

report card

le bulletin scolaire

La rentre scolaire a lieu dbut septembre. The return to school takes place at the beginning of September.
Les vacances d't s'appellent les grandes vacances. The summer vacation is called the big vacation.
Il a eu de mauvais rsultats et il a d redoubler. He got bad marks and he had to stay in the same grade.
Cette anne, il passe dans la classe suprieure. This year, he's passing into the next grade.
Si je rate / Si j'choue mon bac, je suis oblig de redoubler ma terminale. If I fail my final exam, I have to do
my last year of school over again.
Ils ont sech les cours aujourd'hui. They skipped classes today.
Tu as eu combien ? What (grade) did you get?
J'ai eu 13, pas mal. I got a 13, not bad.
Note: In French schools, the grades/marks range from 1 to 20 (though 10 is considered passing, so it cannot be
easily changed into percentages); and the grades/years descend instead of increasing: sixime is the first year of
collge, while troisime is the last year. Ecole maternelle is ages 2-6, cole lmentaire is ages 6-11 (CP, CE1, CE2,
CM1, CM2), collge is ages 11-15 (6e, 5e, 4e, 3e), and lyce is ages 15-18 (2nde, 1re, T).
LG = Lyce Gnral

Bac = baccalaurat

LT= Lyce Technique

L = Littraire

LPO= Lyce Polyvalent

ES = conomique et sociale

LGT= Lyce Gnral et Technique

S = scientifique

CLG= Collge

STT = sciences et technologies tertiaires

EE= Ecole Elmentaire

STI = sciences et technologies industrielles

IA= Inspecteur Acadmique

STL = sciences et technologies de laboratoire

IEN= Inspecteur dEducation Nationale

SMS = sciences mdico-sociales

IUFM = Instituts Universitaires de Formation des


Matres

CAP = certificat d'aptitudes professionnelles

CP = Cours prparatoire

BEP = brevet d'tudes professionnelles

CE1 = Cours lmentaire 1re anne

BTS = brevet de technicien suprieur

112
CE2 = Cours lmentaire 2e anne

CPGE = classes prparatoires aux Grandes


Ecoles

CM1 = Cours moyen 1re anne

CDI = centre de documentation et d'information

CM2 = Cours moyen 2e anne

CPE = conseillers principaux d'ducation

T = Terminale

COP = conseiller d'orientation psychologue

Premier degr = maternelle & lmentaire

Second degr = collge & lyce

News
news

les informations / le journal

poverty

la pauvret

news shows

le magazine d'actualits

homeless

les sans-abri

current events

l'actualit (f)

murder

le crime / le meurtre

weather report

la mto

genocide

le gnocide

protest

la protestation

riot

l'meute (m)

demonstration

la manifestation

curfew

le couvre-feu

earthquake

le tremblement de terre

harassment

le harclement (m)

hurricane

l'ouragan (m)

epidemic

l'pidmie (f)

flood

l'inondation (f)

plague

la peste

tsunami

le tsunami / le raz-de-mare

cloning

le clonage

drought

la scheresse

drug addiction

la toxicomanie

burglary

le cambriolage

drug trafficking

le trafic de drogue

assault

l'agression (f)

trial

le procs

crime

le dlit

testimony

le tmoignage

robbery

le vol

evidence

la preuve

military

les militaires (m)

ceasefire

le cessez-le-feu

army

l'arme (f)

gun

le revolver

navy

la marine

rifle

le fusil

air force

les forces ariennes

troops

les troupes (f)

invasion

l'invasion (f)

soldier

le soldat

battle

la bataille

hostage

l'otage (m)

retreat

la retraite

casualty

les pertes (f)

treaty

le trait

winners

les vainqueurs (m)

113
truce

la trve

losers

les vaincus (m)

Politics
prime minister

le premier ministre

citizen

le citoyen

president

le prsident

senator

le snateur

vice president

le vice-prsident

representative

le dput

dictator

le dictateur

mayor

le maire

nationality

la nationalit

law

la loi

community

la communaut

bill

le projet de loi

society

la socit

policy

la politique

government

le gouvernement

proposal

la proposition

election

l'lection (f)

grant

la subvention

referendum

le rfrendum

legislation

la lgislation

vote

le vote

negotiation

la ngociation

environment

l'environnement (m)

regulation

la rglementation

democracy

la dmocratie

democrat

dmocrate

anarchy

l'anarchie (f)

liberal

libral/e

capitalism

le capitalisme

conservative

conservateur/trice

socialism

le socialisme

socialist

socialiste

communism

le communisme

communist

communiste

The current major political parties in France include: Parti Socialiste (PS) and Parti Communiste Franais (PCF) left-wing, Union pour la Dmocratie Franaise (UDF) - centrist, Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) right-wing, and Front National (FN) - far right-wing.
Television
the news

les infos

to be on (TV)

passer

series/program

la srie

to act (in)

jouer

soap opera

le feuilleton

to channel surf

zapper

tv movie

le tlfilm

to turn on the TV

allumer la tl

documentary

le documentaire

to turn off the TV

teindre la tl

channel

la chane

push the button

appuyer sur le bouton

remote control

la tlcommande

turn up the volume

monter le son

subtitles

les sous-titrages

turn down the volume

baisser le son

114
commercials

les publicits (pub)

to plug in

brancher

actor/actress

le/la comdien/ne

to unplug

dbrancher

director

le ralisateur

what's it about?

a parle de quoi ?

comedian

l'humoriste

to be continued

suivre

Programs do not start at the hour or half hour in France, and the majority of "prime time" shows begin at 8:50 pm
(20h50) with more than one episode each week. The nightly new is always on at 8 pm (20h). Commercials are
rarely shown during the programs, but more likely between the shows.
There are a few French channels that you can watch without subscribing to a cable provider: TF1, France 2, France
3, France 5, Arte, M6, and depending on where you live, there are local channels as well as foreign channels of
bordering countries. Canal+ is available at some times, but you must subscribe and pay extra if you want to watch it
at all times. There are of course several other channels: France 4, France , W9, TMC,NRJ, Paris
Premire, Tva, RTL9, AB 1, NT1, etc.
Most American television shows are eventually broadcast in France, though several months later than in the US and
dubbed in French. (You will find that almost every foreign program is dubbed rather than subtitled). Not all
programs or channels support subtitling/closed captioning, but if your TV is equipped with tltexte, you should be
able to read the subtitles in French as well. And a series does not have to be a hit in the US to be broadcast in
France; several shows that were cancelled after one year in the US are still shown here.
A lot of programs have the same names in French (Bones, Heroes, Desperate Housewives, etc.) while others have
French words added (Lost, les disparus). Here are a few programs that are different in French: Baywatch - Alerte
Malibu; Seventh Heaven - 7 la Maison; CSI - Les Experts; Without a Trace - FBI: Ports Disparus; The
Young & the Restless - Les Feux de l'Amour; One Tree Hill - Les Frres Scott; Crossing Jordan -Preuve
l'appui.
And because I watch several shows that involve solving crime, here is some specialized vocabulary that you
probably won't ever use, but you'll need to recognize if you watch crime dramas:
assault

l'agression (f)

prosecutor

le procureur

blackmail

le chantage

rape

le viol

blackmailer

le matre-chanteur

sketch

le portrait-robot

criminal record

le casier judiciaire

stabbed

poignard

defendant

l'accus (m)

strangled

trangl

evidence

la pice conviction

surveillance

la filature

federal case

dlit fdral

suspect

le suspect

gun

le flingue

to arrest

arrter

handcuffs

les menottes (f)

to con/cheat

escroquer

homicide

l'homicide (f)

to harass

harceler

investigation

l'enqute (f)

to press charges

porter plainte

kidnapping

l'enlvement (m)

to report missing

porter disparu

laundering

le blanchiment

to run away

s'enfuir

lead

la piste / l'indice

to shoot

tirer

loaded (gun)

charg

warrant

le mandat

murder

le meurtre

weapon

l'arme (m)

115
paperwork

la paperasse

witness

le tmoin

Soccer
ball

le ballon

pass

une passe

captain

le capitaine

penalty kick

un penalty

captain armband

un brassard de capitaine

player

un joueur

cleats

les crampons

playoffs

le tableau final

coach

l'entraneur / le selectionneur

quarter-finals

les quarts de
finale

coin toss

un tirage pile ou face

red card

carton rouge

corner kick

un corner

referee

l'arbitre

defense

un dfenseur

replacement

le remplaant

fans

les supporters

semi-finals

les demi-finales

final

la finale

shinguards

les protge-tibias

forward

un attaquant

shorts

la culotte

foul/penalty

une faute

shot

un tir

game

un match

slide tackle

un tacle

goal

un but

socks

les chausettes

goal post

les cages

standings

les classements

goalie

un gardien de but

starter player

le titulaire

goalie box

la surface de rparation

team

une quipe

group (in tournaments)

la poule / le groupe

tie game

un match nul

header

une tte

to pass

passer

jersey

un maillot

to score

marquer

kickoff

un coup d'envoi / un
engagement

to shoot

tirer

midfield

un milieu de terrain

to throw in the
ball

faire une touche

net

le filet

tournament

le tournoi

off-sides

hors-jeu

wave

la ola

out of bounds (behind the


goals)

une sortie de but

What's the score?

Quel est le score?

out of bounds (on the sides)

en touche

yellow card

carton jaune

116

Zodiac Signs
signs of the Zodiac

les signes du zodiaque

horoscope

l'horoscope (m)

astrology

l'astrologie (f)

Aries

Blier

Taurus

Taureau

Gemini

Gmeaux

Cancer

Cancer

Leo

Lion

Virgo

Vierge

Libra

Balance

Scorpio

Scorpion

Sagittarius

Sagittaire

Capricorn

Capricorne

Aquarius

Verseau

Pisces

Poisson

Marriage & Civil Unions


couple

le couple

to enter a PACS contract

se pacser

date

le rendez-vous

to get engaged

se fiancer

relationship

la relation

to get married

se marier

civil union

le PACS (Pacte Civile de Solidarit)

to break up / leave

rompre / quitter

engagement

les fianailles (f)

to get divorced

divorcer

wedding

le mariage

to cheat on

tromper

wedding announcement

le faire-part de mariage

to meet

se rencontrer

honeymoon

la lune de miel

to separate

se sparer

Ils sont tombs amoureux l'un de l'autre. They fell in love with each other.
Ils vivent en concubinage / en union libre. They live with each other (without being married).
C'est mon copain / ma copine. This is my boyfriend / girlfriend.
J'ai une grande amiti pour lui. I have a great friendship with him.
Il a de l'affection pour elle. He has affection for her.
Mais elle n'prouve aucun sentiment pour lui. But she has no feelings for him.
On se disputait sans cesse. We fought all the time.
Tu m'en veux ? Are you mad at me?

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Je t'aime bien. / Je t'aime. I like you. / I love you
Si on allait au cinma ce soir ? How about if we go to the movies tonight?
Tu es libre, samedi soir ? Are you free Saturday night?
Je n'ai rien de prvu pour ce week-end. I have no plans for this weekend.
When pulling petals off of a daisy, the French have 5 sayings instead of just He/she loves me; He/she loves me not:
1. Il/Elle m'aime. He/She loves me.
2. Un peu. A little.
3. Beaucoup. A lot.
4. A la folie. Like crazy.
5. Pas du tout. Not at all.
English used in French
There are many, many English words used in French, but some of them have a different meaning than in English.
Sometimes the French pronunciation is radically different from the English pronunciation, so you may only be able
to understand the word in writing but not in speech. Almost all English nouns borrowed into French are masculine,
unless otherwise noted below. I've marked which words are used as adjectives in French, even though the original
English word may be a noun. (Also check out Informal French & Slang as many words borrowed from French are
considered slang.)
agenda

planner / calendar

mail

e-mail

baby-foot

foosball

meeting

rally

barman

bartender

nickel

clean / perfect

basket

basketball

parking

parking lot

baskets

sneakers

people

celebrities

bermudes

bermuda shorts

planning

schedule

black (adj. / noun)

refers to skin color

play-back

lip-synching

body

onesie / body suit

pom-pom girl

cheerleader

bowling

bowling alley

pressing

dry cleaner's

break

station wagon

radio (f)

X-ray

brushing

blowdry

recordman

record holder

caddie

(shopping) cart

relax

lounge chair

camping

campground

relooking

makeover

camping-car

motorhome / camper

rollers

rollerblades

catch

pro wrestling

scotch

tape

clean (adj.)

sober

self (adj.)

self service

clip

music video

shorty

boy shorts

cornflakes

cereal

slip

boxers / briefs / underwear

dancing

dance hall

smoking

tuxedo

dressing

walk-in closet

speed (adj.)

hectic, busy

118
drive

drive-thru

string

thong underwear

entourage

group of friends

sweat

sweatshirt

fashion (adj.)

trendy

tennisman

tennis player

fast-food

fast food restaurant

tongs

flip-flops

flipper

pinball

le top

the best

foot

soccer

trench

trench coat

footing

jogging

tube

hit song

hard discount (adj.)

discount

tuning

tune up

jogging

jogging suit

type

guy

lifting

facelift

volley

volleyball

light (adj.)

diet

zapping

channel surfing

look

style

zen (adj.)

cool / laid-back

lov (adj.)

cuddly / snuggly

Acronyms
Those marked in color are pronounced as a word, rather than each letter individually.
ANAEM

Agence Nationale de l'Accueil des Etrangers et


des Migrations

PC

Parti communiste

ANPE*

Agence nationale pour l'emploi

PDG

prsident-directeur gnral

ASSEDIC*

Association pour l'emploi dans l'industrie et le


commerce

PJ

pices joints

BCBG

bon chic bon genre

PS

Parti socialiste

BD

bande dessine

PTT

Postes, tlgraphes et tlphones

BN

Bibliothque nationale

QG

quartier gnral

BNP

Banque nationale de Paris

RATP

Rgie autonome des transports


parisiens

BP

bote postale

RDC

rez-de-chausse

CAF

Caisse d'allocations familiales

RER

Rseau express rgional

CDD

Contrat dure dtermine

RF

Rpublique franaise

CDI

Contrat dure indtermine

RMI

Revenu minimum d'insertion

CDS

Carte de sjour

RV

rendez-vous

DALF

diplme approfondi de langue franaise

SDF

Sans domicile fixe

DEA

diplme d'tudes approfondies

SIDA

syndrome immunodficitaire acquis

119
DELF

diplme d'tudes en langue franaise

SMIC

Salaire minimum interprofessional de


croissance

DOMTOM

Dpartements d'outre-mer et Territoires


d'outre-mer

SNCF

Socit nationale de chemin de fer

EDF

Electricit de France

SPA

Socit protectrice des animaux

ENA

Ecole Nationale d'Administration

SVP

s'il vous plat

FLQ

Front de la libration du Qubec

TER

Transport express rgional

FNAC

Fdration nationale des achats de cadres

TGB

Trs grande bibliothque

GDF

Gaz de France

TGV

Train grande vitesse

HLM

Habitation loyer modr

TTC

toutes taxes comprises

INSEE

Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes


Economiques

TVA

taxe la valeur ajoute

MGEN

Mutuelle Gnrale de l'Education Nationale

UE

Union europenne

MJC

Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture

UDF

Union pour la dmocratie franaise

MLF

Mouvement pour la libration de la femme

UMP

Union pour un Mouvement Populaire

MRAP

Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amiti


entre les peuples

VF

version franaise

OMI

Office des Migrations Internationales

VO

version originale

ONU

Organisation des Nations Unies

VOST

version originale sous-titre

OTAN

Organisation du trait de l'Atlantique du Nord

VTT

vlo tout terrain

OVNI

Objet volant non identifi

l'cole Polytechnique

PV

procs-verbal

* ANPE and ASSEDIC no longer exist. They were merged together in 2009 to form Ple Emploi.
Regions & Departments of France
Rgions de France mtropolitaine

English Translations

Alsace

Alsace

Aquitaine

Aquitaine

Auvergne

Auvergne

Basse-Normandie

Lower-Normandy

Bretagne

Brittany

Bourgogne

Burgundy

Centre

Center

120
Champagne-Ardenne

Champagne-Ardenne

Corse

Corsica

Franche-Comt

Franche-Comte

Haute-Normandie

Upper-Normandy

Ille-de-France

Paris-Isle-of-France

Languedoc-Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon

Limousin

Limousin

Lorraine

Lorraine

Midi-Pyrnes

Midi-Pyrenees

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

North-Calais

Pays-de-la-Loire

Pays-de-la-Loire

Picardie

Picardy

Poitou-Charentes

Poitou-Charentes

Provence-Alpes-Cte d'Azur

Provence-Alpes-Azur

Rhne-Alpes

Rhone-Alps

Rgions/Dpartements d'outre-mer

Overseas Regions/Departments

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe

Martinique

Martinique

Guyane

French Guiana

La Runion

Reunion

Each rgion is divided into dpartements, except for the overseas regions (they exist as rgions as well as
dpartements.) Each dpartement is assigned a two-digit number that begins the zip code (the numbers somewhat
correspond to alphabetical order). For example, the dpartement of Ain is 01 and the dpartement of Vosges is 88.
DOM-TOM means dpartements d'outre-mer and trritoires d'outre-mer. French territories (also called
collectivities) include Polynsie franaise, Mayotte, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis-et-Futuna, SaintMartin and Saint-Barthlemy. Nouvelle Caldonie has a special status (sui generis) and will vote for
independence from France in the next ten years.
The 96 departments of mainland France, grouped according to their region, are:
Bas-Rhin

Alsace

Haut-Rhin

11 Aude
30 Gard
34 Hrault

Dordogne
Gironde

Aquitaine

48 Lozre
66 Pyrnes-Orientales

Languedoc-Roussillon

121
Landes
Lot-et-Garonne

19 Corrze

Pyrnes-Atlantiques

23 Creuse

Limousin

87 Haute-Vienne

Allier

Auvergne

Cantal

54 Meurthe-et-Moselle

Haute-Loire

55 Meuse

Puy-de-Dme

57 Moselle

Lorraine

88 Vosges
Calvados

Basse-Normandie

Manche

09 Arige

Orne

12 Aveyron

Midi-Pyrnes

31 Haute-Garonne
Cte-d'Or

Bourgogne

32 Gers

Nivre

46 Lot

Sane-et-Loire

65 Hautes-Pyrnes

Yonne

81 Tarn
82 Tarn-et-Garonne

Ctes-d'Armor

Bretagne

Finistre

59 Nord

Ille-et-Vilaine

62 Pas-de-Calais

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Morbihan
44 Loire-Atlantique
Cher

Centre

Pays de la Loire

49 Maine-et-Loire

Eure-et-Loir

53 Mayenne

Indre

72 Sarthe

Indre-et-Loire

85 Vende

Loir-et-Cher
Loiret

02 Aisne
60 Oise

Picardie

122

Ardennes

Champagne-Ardenne

80 Somme

Aube
Marne

16 Charente

Poitou-Charentes

Haute-Marne

17 Charente-Maritime
79 Deux-Svres

Corse-du-Sud

Corse

86 Vienne

Haute-Corse
04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Doubs

Franche-Comt

Provence-AlpesCte d'Azur

05 Hautes-Alpes

Jura

06 Alpes-Maritimes

Haute-Sane

13 Bouches-du-Rhne

Territoire de Belfort

83 Var
84 Vaucluse

Eure

Haute-Normandie

Seine-Maritime

01 Ain

Rhne-Alpes

07 Ardche
Paris

le-de-France

26 Drme

Seine-et-Marne

38 Isre

Yvelines

42 Loire

Essonne

69 Rhne

Hauts-de-Seine

73 Savoie

Seine-Saint-Denis

74 Haute-Savoie

Val-de-Marne

Val-d'Oise
Listen to the la gographie : les DOM-TOMs mp3 and try the cloze (fill-in-the-blank) exercise from
French Listening Resources.
Major Cities & Geographical Features of France
The 50 most populous cities in France (including the DOM-TOMs) are:
City

Department

Region

Paris

Paris

le-de-France

Marseille

Bouches-du-Rhne

Provence-Alpes-Cte d'Azur

123
Lyon

Rhne

Rhne-Alpes

Toulouse

Haute-Garonne

Midi-Pyrnes

Nice

Alpes-Maritimes

Provence-Alpes-Cte dAzur

Nantes

Loire-Atlantique

Pays de la Loire

Strasbourg

Bas-Rhin

Alsace

Montpellier

Hrault

Languedoc-Roussillon

Bordeaux

Gironde

Aquitaine

Lille

Nord

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Rennes

Ille-et-Vilaine

Bretagne

Reims

Marne

Champagne-Ardenne

Le Havre

Seine-Maritime

Haute-Normandie

Saint-tienne

Loire

Rhne-Alpes

Toulon

Var

Provence-Alpes-Cte dAzur

Grenoble

Isre

Rhne-Alpes

Angers

Maine-et-Loire

Pays de la Loire

Dijon

Cte-d'Or

Bourgogne

Brest

Finistre

Bretagne

Nmes

Gard

Languedoc-Roussillon

Le Mans

Sarthe

Pays de la Loire

Aix-en-Provence

Bouches-du-Rhne

Provence-Alpes-Cte dAzur

Clermont-Ferrand

Puy-de-Dme

Auvergne

Saint-Denis

La Runion

La Runion

Tours

Indre-et-Loire

Centre

Limoges

Haute-Vienne

Limousin

Villeurbanne

Rhne

Rhne-Alpes

Amiens

Somme

Picardie

Metz *

Moselle

Lorraine

Besanon

Doubs

Franche-Comt

Perpignan

Pyrnes-Orientales

Languedoc-Roussillon

Orlans

Loiret

Centre

124
Mulhouse

Haut-Rhin

Alsace

Caen

Calvados

Basse-Normandie

Boulogne-Billancourt

Hauts-de-Seine

le-de-France

Rouen

Seine-Maritime

Haute-Normandie

Nancy

Meurthe-et-Moselle

Lorraine

Argenteuil

Val-d'Oise

le-de-France

Montreuil

Seine-Saint-Denis

le-de-France

Saint-Paul

La Runion

La Runion

Roubaix

Nord

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Saint-Denis

Seine-Saint-Denis

le-de-France

Avignon

Vaucluse

Provence-Alpes-Cte dAzur

Tourcoing

Nord

Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Fort-de-France

Martinique

Martinique

Crteil

Val-de-Marne

le-de-France

Poitiers

Vienne

Poitou-Charentes

Nanterre

Hauts-de-Seine

le-de-France

Versailles

Yvelines

le-de-France

Courbevoie

Hauts-de-Seine

le-de-France

People who live in Metz pronounce the city more like mess, whereas most other French people pronounce it metz.
Geographical Features of France:
la Loire

Loire river

la Garonne

Garonne river

le Rhne

Rhne river

la Seine

Seine river

les Alpes (f)

the Alps

le Mont-Blanc

Mont Blanc (highest mountain in W. Europe)

le Jura

the Jura

les Pyrnes (f)

the Pyrenees

le Massif Central

the Massif Central

les Vosges (f)

the Vosges

125
la mer Mditerrane

Mediterranean Sea

l'ocan Atlantique (m)

Atlantic Ocean

la Mer du Nord

North Sea

la Manche

English Channel

le Golfe de Gascogne

Bay of Biscay

Writing Letters
Your name and address should be placed in the top left corner. The receiver's address is placed below yours, on the
right. The city you are in and the date is placed below the addresses, and on the left. (Remember to use French date
formats: le 7 octobre 2008).
Your name
Your address
Zip Code & City
Receiver's Name
Receiver's Address
Zip Code & City
City, le # mois 2009
Madame ou Monsieur,
Common formal endings:
Dans lattente de votre rponse, je vous prie dagrer, Monsieur, lexpression de mes sentiments respectueux.
Veuillez agrer, Madame, Monsieur, lexpression de mes salutations distingues.
Je vous prie de croire, Monsieur, l'assurance de mes sentiments distingus.
Notice that you should not use sentiments with Madame because it's considered rude.
In less formal situations, such as in certain e-mails, you can just use cordialement
Informal French and French Slang Tutorial
Learn to understand colloquial / familiar French, verlan, and swearing in French

This page is designed to teach the real spoken form of French, which is very different from the formal way of
writing, as well as common French slang words. Sentences marked with were taken from a random search online
to give you authentic examples of slang usage. When you click
they will open in a new window. Click
here to skip to the list of all the exercises. Also check out Informal French Videos.

Informal Ways of Speaking


Similar to the reduced forms in English (wanna, gonna, doncha, etc.), there are several informal ways of speaking in
French. You will hear these forms very often, but you do not have to speak this way if you don't want to. However,
you must be able to understand reduced forms in order to understand real spoken French. You may see these forms
in informal written French (such as on blogs or in chat rooms), but you should still write the formal way.
Tu + verb beginning with a vowel
The most common contractions with tu are t'as and t'es, which replace tu as and tu es. You can also contract tu +
other verbs that begin with a vowel, such as t'aimes or t'ouvres, which replace tu aimes and tu ouvres.
T'as fini de manger ? Have you finished eating?
T'es fatigu ou quoi ? Are you tired or what?
T'as beau essayer, t'y arrives pas. No matter how much you try, you won't succeed.
T'as rien compris ! Laisse-moi t'expliquer. You didn't understand! Let me explain it to you.
Unstressed e
The letter e is often dropped between two consonants (e caduc) if it is unstressed, such as in samedi, and also at the
end of short words, such as ce, de, je, le, me, que, se, te. It's also common in future and conditional tenses of verbs:
donnerai = donn'rai; aimerais = aim'rais

126
Il s'lve de bonne heure. He gets up early.
C'est c'que je veux. That's what I want.
Faut que j'parte maintenant. I have to leave now.
Avec ce travail, je ne manqu'rai pas d'argent. With this job, I won't lack money.
Reduced forms: il(s), elle(s), puis, parce que, quelque
The pronouns il and ils reduce to y, while elle and elles reduce to when followed by a consonant. When followed
by a vowel, il and elle reduce to l' whereas ils becomes y z' or just z' and elles becomes 'z'. The word puis is more
commonly pronounced pis, parce que is pronounced pasque, and quelque is pronounced quque.
Y pense qu'elle l'aime, mais c'est pas le cas. He thinks that she loves him, but that's not the case.
On va aller au restaurant, et pis aprs on se fera un cin. We'll go to the restaurant, and then after we'll go to the
movies.
Pourquoi tu dois m'obir ? Pasque je suis ton pre ! Why must you obey me? Because I'm your father!
Y a quque chose la-dessous ! Regarde voir ! There's something down there! Look!
Use on instead of nous
The pronoun on is used much more often to mean we than nous. It always take the third person singular form of the
verb even though it's always plural in English.
On peut y aller ? Tout le monde est l ? Can we go ? Is everybody here ?
C'est pasqu'on est frres que je te fais confiance. It's because we are brothers that I trust you.
Pourrait-on acclrer ? On va pas assez vite ! Could we speed it up? We're not going fast enough!
Drop ne in negatives
Although the ne in negatives should always be written, it is very rarely used in informal speech.
a va pas ! C'est nul ! That doesn't work! That's stupid!
Si tu veux pas voir ce film, lequel veux-tu voir ? If you don't want to see this movie, which one do you want to
see?
Je peux pas m'acheter cette voiture. C'est pas possible. I can't buy myself this car. It's not possible.
Drop -re at end of words
You usually do not pronounce -re at the end of a word, whether it's a verb (mettre) or adjective (notre).
Allez, bientt ! A un de ces quat' ! See you soon one of these days!
C'est pas vot' problme, c'est not' problme. It's not your problem, it's our problem.
Y faut pas t' si bte. You shouldn't be so stupid.
Word order in questions
Word order in questions is less difficult to master in informal spoken French. Inversion and est-ce que are generally
not used, and word order is simply subject - verb - question word OR question word - subject - verb.
Tu fais quoi ? What are you doing?
On va o ? Where are we going?
Il parle de quoi ? What's he talking about?
Pourquoi t'as dit a ? Why did you say that?
Quand elle va arriver ? When is she going to arrive?
Quelle heure il est ? What time is it?
In addition, a frequently follows an interrogative to add emphasis, such as in qui a ? or c'est quoi, a ?
Forget grammatical rules
Sometimes you can forget the grammar rules that you have learned when speaking informally. An example of this is
using to show possession (in grammatically correct French, you should use de).
On est dans la chambre Cyril. We are in Cyril's room.
Another example is using (r)amener to mean to bring things (back) to some place. In grammatically correct
French, you should only use(r)amener with people, and (r)apporter with things.
J'ai ramen les livres la mdiathque. I brought the books back to the library.
Fillers in Speech
Fillers in speech are words that don't add any real meaning to the sentence, except for maybe emphasis. Examples
in English include uh, um, well, I mean, I guess, you know?, so, ok, etc. You should get used to just ignoring these
words when you hear them, so that you can focus on the key words in the sentence.
Quoi is the most common filler that I hear in everyday speech. It can be used to add emphasis to emotions or
thoughts or to show impatience. It is usually said at the very end of the sentence.
Voil is often used with quoi at the end of the sentence.
A la limite is mostly used by young people, and can be translated as I suppose or I mean.
Tu vois ? is the closest approximation for you know?
Bon begins or ends a thought, similar to ok. It also can express anger or impatience, similar to fine! (Ah,
bon ? actually means "really?" and not "good.")
Ben (pronounced liked bain) adds emphasis to questions, statements, commands and yes or no.

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Bon ben is used to wrap up a thought or conversation. Translated as ok or well.
Donc emphasizes a question or command.
Alors emphasizes an interjection and yes or no.
Moi is commonly added to commands involving the senses. The closest translation in English is "just." Regardemoi-a ! Just look at that!
Eh bien means well... at the beginning of a sentence or thought.[not recorded yet]
Hein ? is similar to eh? at the end of a sentence.
Euh... is the filler equivalent to uh or um when you're thinking of what to say next.
Voyons... is similar to let's see.
Interjections
Ae ! / Oue ! / Ouille ! Ouch !
Beurk ! Berk ! Yuck!
Boum ! Boom! Bang!
Chiche ! I dare you! Go ahead!
Chut ! Shush! Be quiet!
Gla gla! Brrrrrrr!
Ho ! / H ! Wow! or Hey!
Hol ! Hey! Whoa!
Hop l ! Got it! There ya go! Whoopsie-daisy!
Merde ! Shit! [not as strong as in English] / Break a leg!
Miam miam ! Yum yum!
Mince ! / Zut ! Darn! Dang it!
Ouf ! Phew!
Oups ! Oops!
Pan ! Bang!
Putain ! [the general all-purpose swear word in French]
Toc, toc ! Knock knock!
Vlan ! Slam!
Youpi ! Yay!
Recognizing French Slang Words
Several suffixes are commonly used to form slang words from regular words. This may help you determine the
meaning of the slang word, which you probably cannot find in a dictionary, by identifying the root word, which you
can find in a dictionary. For example, folle is a regular adjective meaning crazy. Follasse is the slang word derived
from the adjective that means crazy woman.
- aille (r)
- ard
- ars
- asse
- ace
- oche
- os
- osse
- ouille
- ouse
- ouze
- uche
Common Expressions
Je n'en reviens pas - I can't believe it
C'est du gteau ! - It's a piece of cake!
Revenons nos moutons - Let's get back to the subject
a saute aux yeux - That's obvious
C'est dans la poche - It's a sure thing
Quand les poules auront des dents - When pigs fly
a ne tourne pas rond - Something's wrong
C'est pas vrai ! - You're kidding!
Ce n'est pas la mer boire - It's not the end of the world
C'est pas sorcier - It's not rocket science
Je vais jeter un il - I'll take a look
a n'a rien voir avec... - That has nothing to do with...
a vaut le coup - It's worth it
On voit que dalle - You can't see anything
a va tre chaud ! It's going to be tough!
Tu dois me tirer de l ! - You gotta help me out!
'est parti ! Here we go / we're off !
a gaze ? How are things? What's up?
Oh pure ! Oh my goodness!
a fait un bail ! It's been a long time !

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a craint ! / C'est nul ! - That sucks!
Fais voir - Show me / Let me see
Je suis prems ! - I'm first!
Rien que den parler... - Just talking about it...
If you can't remember the name of a thing, you can use ce truc, ce machin, ce bidule or cet engin similarly to the
English thingy, thingamajig, whatchamacallit, etc.
What's-his-name is Monsieur Untel and what's-her-name is Madame Unetelle. You can also use Machin but it has
a more derogative meaning, as if you are saying the person is merely an object.
Common Verbs
balancer - to throw (away)
en baver - to have a hard time
bosser - to work
bouffer - to eat
bourrer - to stuff, cram
bousiller - to break, damage
chialer - to cry
chopper - to get, to catch
dbarquer - to arrive without notice
dgoter - to find, come up with, dig up
encarrer - to enter
engueuler - to tell someone off / chew someone out / give someone hell
pater / scier - to astonish, surprise
tre deux doigts (de faire quelque chose) - to be on the verge (of doing something)
tre la bourre - to be in a hurry
tre mourir d'ennui - to be very boring
faire gaffe - be careful, pay attention
farfouiller - to rummage
filer - to give, hand over
filer l'anglaise - to leave without saying goodbye / to take a French leave
flipper - to go crazy, flip out
fourrer - to cram, stick, shove
foutre - to put, throw / to give / to do
foutre le bordel - to make a mess
gaver - to be sick of
gerber - to puke
gober - to believe naively / to fall for
gonfler - to annoy
louper - to miss
mater / zieuter - to look
papoter - to chatter, gossip
paumer - to lose
piger - to understand
piquer - to steal
planquer - to hide
poireauter - to wait
repcher - to find
rigoler / se marrer - to laugh
roupiller - to sleep
schlinguer - to stink
se planter - to make a mistake
se pointer / radiner - to show up
se tirer / se barrer / se casser - to leave
vadrouiller - to rove around
The verb foutre
This slang verb has several meanings in French: to put, to give, to do, etc. It is conjugated thus: fous - fous - fout foutons - foutez - foutent. The pronominal verb s'en foutre means to not care, while the adjective foutu(e) usually

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means screwed/screwed up. Fiche is a milder verb that is very common too. It is conjugated: fiche - fiches - fiche fichons - fichez - fichent and the past participle is fichu(e).
Je m'en fous / Je m'en fiche. I don't care.
Qu'est-ce qu'il fout l-bas ? What's he doing over there? / What the hell is he doing over there??
J'en ai rien foutre. I don't care. [stronger] / I don't give a damn.
Je m'en fous de tes problmes. I don't care about your problems.
Tu t'en fous de ce que les autres pensent. You don't care about what others think.
On s'en fout de foot ! We don't care about soccer!
Ils s'en foutent des jeunes. They don't care about young people.
Fous-moi la paix ! Leave me alone! / Give me a break!
Fous le camp ! F you!
Va te faire foutre ! Go to hell!
The adjective foutu does not always have a negative connotation, however:
un mec bien foutu a well-built/muscular guy
For more on the verb foutre, read my blog post on Swearing in French and Degrees of Vulgarity .
Common Adjectives
bidon - phoney, fake
chapeau - bravo, hats off!
chelou - shady, suspicious
chiant - annoying
collant - clingy
cradingue / crado - filthy
dbile - pathetic, stupid
dgueulasse - disgusting
djant - oddball
dingue / cingl / timbr / givr / barjo / loufoque - crazy
farfelu - eccentric
fut - cunning, crafty, sly
gnial / chouette - great
godiche - silly, awkward
gratos- free
impec - great, terrific
kif-kif - same difference; it's the same
mal barr / mal foutu - "in dire straits" / screwed
marrant / rigolo - funny
moche - ugly
nickel - very clean
nunuche - silly, stupid
pas terrible - not good
radin - cheap
roublard - devious, cunning
sal - expensive
sympa - nice, likable
vache - mean
zinzin - nuts
Common Intensifiers / Adverbs
carrment - completely
rudement - very, terribly
pas mal de / un paquet de - a lot of
super / mega / hyper - very, ultra
vachement - very, really
foutrement - extremely
Oh la vache ! - Oh wow!
espce de + adjectif - stupid + adjective
adjectif + de chez + adjectif - really, completely + adjective
Ce livre est nul de chez nul. This book majorly sucks.
nom + de malheur - darned + noun
nom + d'enfer - really good + noun

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Verlan
Verlan is a popular form of slang that involves reversing the syllables in regular words.
mre - reum
pre - reup
femme - meuf
mec - keum
fte - teuf
flic - keuf
louche - chelou
cher - reuch
nerv - vnre
boudin - doubin
capote - poteca
toi - ouat
moi - ouam
Health & Body
babines (f) - lips
barbouze (f) - beard
bide / bidon (m) - belly
Mon chat a un bide norme ! My cat has a huge belly!
caillou / ciboulot (m) - head
carcasse (f) - body
couille / roubignole (f) - testicle
esgourdes (f) - ears
gueule (f) / bec (m) - mouth
Ferme ta gueule ! Shut up!
jambons / gigots (m) - thighs
mirettes (f) - eyes
nichons (m) - breasts
palpitant / battant (m) - heart
paluche / pince (f) - hand
panard / ripaton (m) - foot
patte / gambette / guibole / quille (f) - leg
pif / blair (m) - nose
riquiqui (m) - pinkie finger
tifs (m) - hair
tignasse (f) - mop of hair
Jai une tignasse frise qui marrive en bas du dos. I have curly hair that goes all the way down my back.
tronche (f) - face, head
se casser la gueule - to break one's neck
passer sur le billard - to have an operation
avoir la pche / la patate - to be on top of the world, to feel good
avoir mal au cur - to feel nauseated / to feel like vomiting
gerber / dgueuler - to puke
crever / clamser - to die (figuratively), to "croak"
avoir mauvaise / bonne mine - to look bad / good
tre maigre comme un clou - to be really skinny
attraper la crve - to catch a terrible cold
tomber dans les pommes / les vapes - to pass out
requinquer - to perk up
se dbarbouiller - to wash your face
l'article de la mort - at death's door
bien roule - good body
mal fichu - sick
l'hosto [l'hpital] - hospital
Emotions & Personality

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crev / lessiv / nase / mort / cass / vann / HS [hors-service] - really tired, exhausted
avoir le cafard / le blues / le spleen - to be sad, depressed
tre de mauvais poil - to be in a bad mood
en avoir marre / en avoir ras-le-bol / en avoir soup - to be fed up, angry
J'en ai marre de ces pubs ! I'm so sick of these ads!
avoir les boules / les glandes / les nerfs / la haine - to be really angry
raffoler de quelque chose - to be crazy about something
tre accro quelque chose - to be addicted to something
avoir le mal du pays - to be homesick
se barber - to get bored
avoir la trouille / la frousse / le trac - to be scared
fiche la trouille / frousse quelqu'un - to scare somebody
C'est la premire fois qu'une BD me fiche la frousse. That's the first time a comic book scared me.
dconner - to joke / mess around
se planter - to make a mistake / to fall
pter les plombs / pter un cable - to go crazy
perdre la boule / les pdales - to lose one's mind
s'engueuler / bagarrer - to fight, yell
rififi (m) / bagarre (f) - fight
racle / sauce / trempe (f) - scolding
filer une baffe / une claque / une beigne quelqu'un - to slap someone
coller un pain / une mandale / une chataigne / un marron quelqu'un - to punch someone
coquard (m) - black eye
furax - furious, angry
blairer quelqu'un - to not be able to stand someone
ne pas sentir quelqu'un - to not like, not be able to stand someone
casser les pieds quelqu'un / prendre la tte quelqu'un - to annoy someone
tre casse-bonbons / casse-pieds / casse-couilles - to be a pain in the neck/ass
cafter quelqu'un - to tell on someone, to snitch
faire du ptard - to make a fuss
Il fait du ptard quand les choses ne vont pas comme il veut. He makes a fuss when things aren't how he
wants them to be.
rouscailler - to complain
gonfler quelqu'un / emmerder quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves, be a pain
faire chier quelqu'un - to really annoy someone, to piss someone off
a me fait chier de refaire une anne, puis encore deux annes en BTS. That pisses me off to repeat a grade,
and then still have two more years of BTS.
monter sur ses grands chevaux - to get angry
se mettre en ptard - to get crabby, angry
se faire de la bile - to get all worked up
en faire toute une salade - to make a big deal about it
taper sur les nerfs quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves
chambrer / taquiner quelqu'un - to tease, bother someone
Tu te fous de ma gueule ? - Are you kidding me? / Do you think I'm an idiot?
Tu me prends pour qui ? - Who do you think you're dealing with? / Do you think I'm stupid?
Lche-moi les baskets ! - Give me a break! Leave me alone!
Ce sont pas tes oignons ! / T'occupe ! - Mind your own business!
Laisse bton ! - Nevermind! Forget it!
Ta gueule ! / La ferme ! - Shut up!
avoir la cosse / flemme - to be lazy
avoir un poil dans la main - to be really lazy
avoir la bougeotte - to be fidgety
flemmard / feignant - lazy
glander / glandouiller - to waste time, to bum around
Il glande tous les jours chez lui. He does nothing all day at home.
se pavaner - to strut about, show off
frimer - to show off
frimeur (m) - showoff
C'est un mec qui a l'air sympathique ; c'est pas un frimeur ce que je sache ! He seems like a nice guy; he's

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not a showoff as far as I know!
lche-bottes (f) - suckup, brown-noser
rat (m) - loser
dbile / tar - stupid, idiotic
con (m) / conne (f) - idiot
"Casse-toi, pauvre con !" Get lost, stupid idiot! - quote from French president, Nicolas Sarkozy
quiche (f) - stupid person
bourrique (m/f) - a blockhead
avoir l'air vaseux - to seem dazed
bte noire (f) - pet peeve
galre (f) - problem, difficulty
donner un coup de main - to give someone a hand / to help someone
dpanner quelqu'un - to do someone a favor
retirer une pine du pied quelqu'un - to do someone a big favor
pot (m) - luck / drink
bol (m) - luck
J'ai vachement de bol, j'ai pas de gosses et j'ai une voiture. I'm really lucky, I don't have kids and I have a
car.
guigne / dveine / poisse (f) - bad luck
guignard(e)(m/f) - unlucky person
avoir de la veine - to be lucky
branch - with it, hip, cool
peinard / pnard - calm, tranquil
Cette anne, c'est pnard, mais l'anne prochaine, le bac ! This year is calm, but next year is the bac [final
exam]!
zen - cool, calm, laid-back
School
bahut (m) - school (also truck, taxi)
Mon bahut est en grve ! My school is on strike!
bizut (m) - freshman / pledge (to a fraternity/sorority)
bizutage (m) - hazing
bouquin (m) - book
bcher / potasser - to study hard, to cram
cal en - good/smart in
cartonner un examen - to ace an exam
chouchou (m) - teacher's pet
colle (f) - difficult question
coller un lve - to punish a student / give a student detention
Mon fils est coll deux heures par son prof de math. My son got two hours of detention from his math teacher.
tre coll - to have detention
fac (f) - university
piger - to understand, to get (it)
plancher - to be grilled/interrogated by a teacher
potache (m) - student
se faire tendre / coller un examen - to flunk a test
scher un cours - to skip class
Weather & Time
cailler - to freeze
cramer - to burn
flotter - to rain
flotte (f) - water
froid de canard - really cold weather
temps de chien - lousy weather
tomber des cordes - to rain heavily, to pour
il pleut comme vache qui pisse - it's pouring / it's really coming down
sauce (f) - shower
se peler les miches - to freeze one's ass off

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Je suis frileuse et je me ple les miches t comme hiver. I'm always cold and I freeze my ass off in summer
like in winter.
entre chien et loup - at dusk, sunset
il y a des lustres - a long time ago
pige (f) - year
un de ces quat' - one of these days
Talking & Chatting
avoir de la tchatche - to talk a lot
avoir un mot sur le bout de la langue - to have a word on the tip of your tongue
baratin (m) - nonsense
baratiner - to sweet talk
bavarder / causer - to chat
Elle aime causer et tout le monde la connat. She likes to chat and everyone knows her.
blaze (m) - name
casser les oreilles quelqu'un - to talk someone's ear off
chanter comme une casserole - to sing really badly
charabia (m) - gibberish
charrier - to exaggerate
dgoiser - to talk a lot, rattle on
djanter - to talk nonsense, to go crazy
donner un coup de fil - to call, telephone
et patati et patata - blah blah blah
jacter - to speak, chatter
parler une langue comme une vache espagnole - to speak a language really badly
passer du coq l'ne - to quickly change the subject
quand on parle du loup - speak of the devil
ragots - rumors, gossip, the "dirt"
Si quelqu'un dit des ragots sur moi, alors je m'en fous. If someone spreads rumors about me, I don't care.
rouspter - to complain, moan
tchatcher - to chat
tuyau (m) / astuce (f) - tip, piece of advice
Eating & Drinking
avoir la dalle - to be starving
J'ai la dalle et je sais pas quoi faire manger. I'm starving and I don't know what to make to eat.
avoir la gueule de bois - to have a hangover
avoir les crocs - to be very hungry
avoir un petit creux - to be a little hungry
arroser - to drink to celebrate something
barbaque / bidoche (f) - bad meat
Berk ! - Yuck!
blonde (f) - ale
boire un verre / un coup / un pot - to have a drink
bouffe / boustifaille (f) - food
bouffer - to eat
boui-boui (m) - dive, bad restaurant
bourr / pt / rond / saoul / dfonc / plein - drunk
a fouette - that stinks (said of cheese)
casser la crote - to have a snack
On a cass la crote avec une vue magnifique depuis le nord au sud du Mont-Blanc. We had a snack with a
magnificent view from the north to south of Mont Blanc.
chaud - tipsy, buzzed
chopine (f) - bottle of wine
dgueulasse - disgusting
gav - stuffed (ate too much)
se goinfrer / s'empiffrer / se taper - to pig out
gueuleton (m) - feast, huge spread of food
Miam ! - Yum!
pter - to fart (also: to burst, blow up, snap)

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picole (f) - alcohol, booze
picoler - to drink alcohol
picoleur, picoleuse - drinker
pinard (m) - cheap wine
pochtron / poivrot (m) - drunkard
prendre une cuite - to get wasted/plastered
pression (f) - draft beer
rgaler - to treat, pay
repu - full (of food)
roter - to burp
tituber - to stumble (drunkenly)
Il titubait et hurlait dans les couloirs, compltement bourr. He was stumbling and yelling in the hall,
completely drunk.
tourne (f) - round of drinks
trinquer - to toast, to drink to [this can also mean to be devastated, to suffer: Dans un divorce, ce sont toujours
les enfants qui trinquent. In a divorce, it's always the children who suffer.]
People & Animals
beauf (m) - brother-in-law / lower-class Frenchman
belle-doche (f) - mother-in-law
canaille (f) - rascal, scoundrel
copain / copine (m/f) - friend, pal
fiston (m) - son
frangin (m) - brother
frangine (f) - sister
gamin/e (m/f) - kid, brat
gars (m) - boy
gosse (m/f) - kid [be careful: this means testicles in Quebecois French!]
loulou / loulotte - boyfriend / girlfriend
mec / keum / type (m) - guy
meuf [Verlan for femme] - wife
mme (m/f) - kid, brat
moutards / lardons / marmots / morveux (m) - kids
nana / gonzesse (f) - girl, chick
pote (m) - buddy, mate
racaille (f) - scum
reum [Verlan for mre] - mother
reup [Verlan for pre] - father
ricain(e) - American
vieux (m) - parents
voyou / gouape - punk, hooligan
clbard (m) - mutt, hound
piaf (m) - bird
Places & Transportation
piaule / crche (f) - bedroom
pieu / plumard / pageot (m) - bed
crcher - to crash, to live
pioncer / roupiller - to sleep
truc / machin (m) - a thing, thingamajig
bordel (m) / bazar (m) / galre (f) - mess
C'est quoi ce bordel ? What is all this mess?
bagnole / caisse (f) - car
baraque (f) - shed, stand, house
bled perdu (m) - nowheresville, in the boonies
Je viens du fin fond de la Bretagne dans un bled perdu o il n'y a rien faire. I come from the boonies at
the far end of Brittany, where there's nothing to do.
coin (m) - place in general
se taper 10 bornes pied - to walk 10 kilometers
borne (f) - kilometer

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Work & Money


arnaquer - to rip off, cheat
arnaqueur (m) - con artist
balle (f) - franc (many French people still think in francs instead of euros)
BCBG [bon chic bon genre] - posh, stylish, preppy
bo-bo [Bourgeois Bohme] - person with good job and Bohemian lifestyle
bote (f) - company
bosser / taffer - to work
boulot (m) - work, job
bourge (n) - bourgeois, middle class
claquer - to blow money
clodo / clochard (m) - bum, homeless person
douloureuse (f) - bill (that you know is going to be high)
tre plein aux as - to have a lot of money
fric / pognon / bl / des sous / pze / l'oseille (m) - money
fauch / sec / raide / dans la dche - broke
faux jeton (m) - two-sided, hypocritical (politician)
flic / keuf / poulet (m) - cop
grippe-sou (f) - penny pincher
gyneco [gyncologue] - gynecologist
kin [kinsithrapeute] - physiotherapist
mettre au clou - to hock, pawn
prolo (m) - working class
proprio [propritaire] - landlord, landlady
psy [psychologue] - psychologist
radin - cheap
reuch - expensive
richard (m) - very wealthy man
rmiste (m) - someone who earns the jobseeker's allowance (RMI)
sal - expensive (a bill)
se faire arnaquer - to get ripped off
smicard (m) - someone who earns minimum wage (SMIC)
taffe (m) - job, work
thune (f) - money / coin
toubib (m) - doctor
turbin (m) - job, daily grind
a cote la peau des fesses ! / a douille ! - That's really expensive!
Love & Dating
amourettes (f) - passing love affairs
avoir le bguin pour / craquer pour / en pincer pour / flasher sur quelqu'un - to have a crush on someone
avoir le coup de foudre - to be in love at first sight
avoir un cur d'artichaut - to be fickle (in love)
brancher quelqu'un - to try to seduce someone
bombe (f) - attractive woman
boudin / thon / pou (m) - ugly person [these are mean words!]
canon (m) - hot, very attractive person
capote (f) / chapeau / gant (m) - condom
choper / emballer / embarquer quelqu'un - to succesfully seduce / pick up someone
draguer / flirter - to flirt
en cloque - pregnant / "knocked up"
se faire jeter / se prendre une veste - to get denied, turned down
gars / mec / type / bonhomme / keum - guy, man
jules - boyfriend, lover
kiffer - to like
lov - cuddly, snuggly
larguer / plaquer - to leave, dump (a person)
mater quelqu'un - to check out (someone)
moche - ugly

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nana / nnette / minette / gonzesse / meuf - woman, girl, chick
se remettre de quelqu'un - to get over someone
rencard (m) - date
rouler un patin / une pelle quelqu'un - to French kiss someone
poser un lapin quelqu'un - to stand someone up (for a date)
tripoter / peloter - to grope, fondle
Fashion & Shopping
baskets (m) - tennis shoes / sneakers
bermuda (m) - knee-length shorts
body (m) - bodysuit/onesie for a baby
costard (m) - suit
fringues (f) - clothing
futal (m) - pants
godasse (f) - shoe
jogging / survt / training (m) - jogging suit
pbroc / ppin / chamberlain (m) - umbrella
pompe (f) - shoe
shorty (m) - "boy short" underwear for women
string (m) - thong underwear
sweat (m) - sweatshirt
brushing (m) - blowdry
fringu / sap - dressed
lifting (m) - face lift
rabais - discount
relooking (m) - makeover
ringard - old fashioned, out of style
Entertainment & Technology
clope / sche (f) - cigarette
came (f) - drugs
dfonc - high
bote (f) - nightclub, bar
court-jus (m) - short circuit
boum / teuf (f) - party
resto (m) - restaurant
se faire un resto - to go out to eat
s'clater - to have fun
se marrer - to laugh
mater la tloche - to watch TV
se faire un cin / se faire une toile - to go to the movies
cinoche (m) - movie theather
faire un tabac - to be a hit, success (a film, a song, etc.)
tube (f) - hit song
play-back (m) - lip-synching
zapping (m) - channel surfing
buter - to bump off, kill
taule / calche (f) - jail, slammer
maton (m) - prison guard
se faire la belle / se carapater - to run away, escape
cavale (f) - escape (from prison)
ptard (m) - gun / joint
potin (m) - gossip
people / pipol (m) - celebrities
casting (m) - audition
book (m) - portfolio (for a model, actor, etc.)
Baby Talk
faire dodo - to go beddy-bye
avoir un bobo - to have a booboo

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faire pipi - to go peepee
faire caca - to go poopoo
mamie / mm - grandma
pappy / pp - grandpa
tata / tatie - aunt
tonton - uncle
doudou (m) - favorite stuffed animal / blankie
joujoux (m) - toys
nounours (m) - teddy bear
toto (m) - car
lolo (m) - milk
minet (m) - kitty
toutou (m) - doggy
dada (f) - horsie
Proper Names
A la tienne, Etienne ! Cheers!
a glisse, Alice ! It's slippery!
Tu parles, Charles ! You bet!
Tranquille, Emile ! Calm down!
Idioms & Proverbs
C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron. Practice makes perfect.
Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait. If the young knew, if the old could.
Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. To understand is to forgive.
Vouloir, c'est pouvoir. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Un de perdu, dix de retrouvs. There's other fish in the sea.
L'habit ne fait pas le moine. Clothes doesn't make the man.
Animals
avoir d'autres chats fouetter - to have better things to do; other fish to fry
avoir un chat dans la gorge - to have a frog in your throat
doux comme un agneau - soft/gentle like a lamb
un froid de canard - very cold
appeler un chat un chat - to call a spade a spade
s'entendre comme chien et chat - to get along like cats and dogs
un mal de chien - difficulties
une vie de chien - difficult life
passer du coq l'ne - to change subjects quickly
avoir une mmoire d'lphant - to have a good memory
avoir une faim de loup - to be starving
marcher pas de loup - to walk silently
revenir ses moutons - to get back to the subject
avoir la chair de poule - to have goosebumps
quand les poules auront les dents - when pigs fly
une peau de vache - a mean person
une langue de vipre - a person who often speaks badly of others
chercher la petite bte - to nitpick, split hairs
avoir le cafard - to be down, depressed
entre chien et loup - at dusk, sundown
avaler des couleuvres - to swallow one's pride
la brebis galeuse de la famille - black sheep of the family
le bouc missaire / le dindon de la farce - scapegoat
avoir une araigne au plafond - to have bats in the belfry
tre heureux comme un poisson dans l'eau - to be as happy as a clam at high tide
il y a anguille sous la roche - I smell a rat
il faut mnager la chvre et le chou - you have to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
jetter quelqu'un dans la fosse aux lions - to throw someone to the wolves
se jeter dans la gueule du loup - to put one's hand in the lion's mouth
courir deux livres la fois - to ride two horses at the same time

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mettre la charue avant les bufs - to put the cart before the horse
ce n'est pas un vieux singe qu'on apprend faire des grimaces - you can't teach an old dog new tricks
tre hardi comme un coq sur son fumier - to be a showoff
avoir une fivre de cheval - to have a high fever
Body Parts
se creuser la tte - to think really hard
se croire sorti de la cuisse de Jupiter - to think oneself is better than everyone else
se mettre le doigt dans l'il - to make a mistake
rester bouche cousue - to not say anything; keep a secret
avoir le coeur sur la main - to wear one's heart on one's sleeve
avoir un cheveu sur la langue - to lisp
ne pas avoir la langue dans sa poche - to be talkative
avoir la langue bien pendue - to know how to answer/talk
faire la tte - to pout
garder la tte froide - to keep one's calm
ne pas avoir froid aux yeux - to not be scared
avoir/mettre l'eau la bouche - to want/drool over something
rester bouche be - to be speechless
ne rien faire de ses dix doigts - to be lazy
avoir l'estomac dans les talons - to be hungry
prendre ses jambes son cou - to leave quickly
ne pas lever le nez - to concentrate on something
l'il - without paying, for free
faire la sourde oreille - to not listen/hear
tre bte comme ses pieds - to be stupid
mettre les pieds dans le plat - to say/do something stupid
coter les yeux de la tte - to cost an arm and a leg
se payer la tte de quelqu-'un - to pull someone's leg
donner sa langue au chat - to give up
avoir les dents longues - to be ambitious
avoir le bras long - to have influence, connections
tre au bout de la langue - to be at the tip of your tongue
avoir un poil dans la main - to be lazy, to avoid work
casser les pieds quelqu'un - to get on someone's nerves
manger sur le pouce - to grab a bite to eat
enlever une pine du pied quelqu'un - to help someone out
dormir sur les deux oreilles - to sleep soundly
prendre la lune avec les dents - to try to do the impossible
rebattre les oreilles - to repeat the same story over and over
Numbers
en moins de deux - very quickly
chercher midi quatorze heures - to make things complicated
comme deux et deux font quatre - sure, certain
les deux font la paire - both are the same
jamais deux sans trois - something that's happened twice, will happen a third time
ni une ni deux - without hesitating, very fast
quatre quatre - quickly
dire des quatre vrits quelqu'un - to say what you think of someone
se mettre en quatre - to give oneself a hard task
un de ces quatre - one of these days
tre tir quatre pingles - to be dressed well
tourner sept fois sa langue dans sa bouche - to take time to think before speaking
voir trente-six chandelles - to see stars
faire les cent pas - to pace back and forth, come and go
faire les quatre cents coups - to have a hectic and chaotic life; to sow one's wild oats
se mettre sur son trente et un - to be dressed to kill
Colors

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blanc bonnet et bonnet blanc - the same thing
tre blanc comme un linge - to be white from fear
passer une nuit blanche - to spend a sleepless night
donner carte blanche quelqu'un - to let someone do what they want
tre un cordon bleu - to be a good cook
tre fleur bleu - to be sentimental
avoir une peur bleue - to be scared stiff
tre la bete noire - to be the person that no one likes
avoir des ides noires - to be sad
voir la vie en rose - to see the good side of things, to be optimistic
donner le feu vert - to give the green light to someone
se mettre au vert - to rest in the countryside
devenir pourpre - to get red with embarassment
Food
appuyer sur le champignon - to go very fast, accelerate
tre haut comme trois pommes - to be small
ne pas tre dans son assiette - to not feel yourself
sucrer les fraises - to be senile, crazy
tomber dans les pommes - to faint, pass out
couper la poire en deux - to meet halfway
jeter de l'huile sur le feu - to add fuel to the fire
tondre des ufs - to be cheap, a skinflint
pdaler dans la semoule - to become insane, senile
c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait dborder la vase - it's the straw that broke the camel's back
mettre du beurre dans les pinards - to help financially
casser du sucre sur son dos - to spread lies about someone, talk about someone behind his/her back
tre dans le ptrin - to be in a jam
Other
tre dans ses petits souliers - to not feel comfortable
avoir des oursins dans la poche - to be stingy, cheap
faire d'une pierre deux coups - to kill two birds with one stone
ne pas tre de la dernire pluie - to not be born yesterday
pendre la crmaillre - to have a house-warming party
vendre la mche - to let the cat out of the bag, to tell a secret
n'y voir que du feu - to be taken in / to be had
ne pas y aller avec le dos de la cuillire - to not be subtle about something
faire un chque en bois - to write a bad check
manger les pissenlits par la racine - to push up daisies, to be dead and buried
tourner autour du pot - to beat around the bush
se mettre table - to confess, come clean
mettre des btons dans les roues de quelqu'un - to throw a monkey wrench in someone's business
reprendre ses billes - to renege on a deal
un coup d'pe dans l'eau - a wasted effort
tre au four et au moulin - to be in two places at once
faire le pont - to take a long weekend
tirer les plans sur la comte - to count one's chickens before they have hatched
ce n'est pas la mer boire - it's not as bad as all that
c'est au bout du monde - it's halfway around the world
ce n'est pas le Prou - it's nothing to write home about / it's no great fortune
tirer le diable par la queue - to barely get by, have a hard time
il ne faut pas dshabiller Pierre pour payer Paul - you shouldn't rob Paul to pay Peter
parler quelqu'un brle-pourpoint - to ask someone point-blank
raconter des histoires dormir debout - to tell tall tales
prendre la poudre d'escampette - to leave quickly
tirer son pingle du jeu - to get out of a difficult situation
mener en bateau - to lead someone on, to lie