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1. Some Basic Phrases [ mp3 - 2.

94 MB ]

Bonjour Bonsoir Bonne nuit


/bɔ̃ʒuʀ/ /bɔ̃swaʀ/ /bɔn nɥi/
Hello / Good day Good evening Good night

Salut Au revoir S'il vous plaît


/saly/ /ɔʀ(ə)vwaʀ/ /sil vu plɛ/
Hi / Bye Goodbye Please

De rien. / Je vous en Bienvenu(e)


Merci (beaucoup)
prie. /bjɛ̃vəny/
/mɛʀsi boku/
/də ʀjɛ̃/ /ʒəvu zɑ̃ pri/ Welcome (also You're
Thank you (very much)
You're welcome. welcome in Quebec)

A tout à l'heure / A plus


A bientôt A demain
tard
/a bjɛ̃to/ /a dəmɛ̃/
/a tu ta lœʀ/ /a ply taʀ/
See you soon See you tomorrow
See you later

Désolé(e)! Pardon ! Allons-y!


/dezɔle/ /paʀdɔ̃/ /alɔ̃ zi/
Sorry! Excuse me! Let's go!

Très bien / mal / pas


Comment allez-vous ? Ça va ?
mal
/kɔmɑ̃ tale vu/ /sa va/
/tʀɛ bjɛ̃/ /mal/ /pa mal/
How are you? (formal) How are you? (informal)
Very good / bad / not bad

Je vais bien Ça va. Oui / non


/ʒə ve bjɛ̃/ /sa va/ /wi/ /nɔ̃/
I'm fine. I'm fine. (informal) Yes / no

Tu t'appelles
Comment vous appelez-
comment ? Je m'appelle...
vous ?
/ty tapɛl kɔmɑ̃/ /ʒə mapɛl/
/kɔmɑ̃ vu zaple vu/
What's your name? My name is...
What's your name? (formal)
(informal)

Monsieur, Madame,
Enchanté(e) Mademoiselle Mesdames et Messieurs
/ɑ̃ʃɑ̃te/ /məsjø/ /madam/ /medam/ /mesjø/
Nice to meet you. /madwazɛl/ Ladies and gentlemen
Mister, Misses, Miss

Vous êtes d'où ? Tu es d'où ?


Je suis de...
/vu zɛt du/ /ty ɛ du/
/ʒə sɥi də/
Where are you from? Where are you from?
I am from...
(formal) (informal)

Où habitez-vous ? Tu habites où ? J'habite à...


/u abite vu/ /ty abit u/ /ʒabit a/
Where do you live?
Where do you live? (formal) I live in...
(informal)

Tu as quel âge ?
Quel âge avez-vous ? J'ai ____ ans.
/ty ɑ kɛl ɑʒ/
/kɛl ɑʒ ave vu/ /ʒe __ ɑ̃/
How old are you?
How old are you? (formal) I am ____ years old.
(informal)

Parlez-vous français ? Tu parles anglais ?


Je (ne) parle (pas)...
/paʀle vu frɑ̃sɛ/ /ty paʀl ɑ̃glɛ/
/ʒə (nə) paʀl pa/
Do you speak French? Do you speak English?
I (don't) speak...
(formal) (informal)

Comprenez-vous? / Tu
Je (ne) comprends
comprends? Je (ne) sais (pas)
(pas)
/kɔ̃pʀəne vu/ /ty kɔ̃pʀɑ̃/ /ʒə(n) sɛ (pa)/
/ʒə nə kɔ̃pʀɑ̃ (pa)/
Do you understand? (formal I (don't) know
I (don't) understand
/ informal)

Pouvez-vous m'aider ? /
Tu peux m'aider ?
Bien sûr. Comment?
/puve vu mede/ /ty pø
/bjɛ̃ syʀ/ /kɔmɑ̃/
mede/
Of course. What? Pardon?
Can you help me? (formal /
informal)

Où est ... / Où sont ... ? Il y a ... / Il y avait...


Voici / Voilà
/u ɛ/ /u sɔ̃/ /il i a/ /il i avɛ/
/vwasi/ /vwala/
Where is ... / Where are There is / are... / There
Here is... / Here it is.
... ? was / were...

Comment dit-on ____ en


Qu'est-ce que c'est que
français ? Qu'est-ce qu'il y a ?
ça ?
/kɔmɑ̃ di tɔ̃ __ ɑ̃ fʀɑ̃sɛ/ /kɛs kil i a/
/kɛs kə sɛ kə sa/
How do you say ____ in What's the matter?
What is that?
French?

Qu'est-ce qui se
Ça ne fait rien. Je n'ai aucune idée.
passe ?
/sa nə fɛ ʀjɛ̃/ /ʒə ne okyn ide/
/kɛs ki sə pas/
It doesn't matter. I have no idea.
What's happening?

Je suis fatigué(e) /
J'ai faim / J'ai soif. J'ai chaud / J'ai froid.
malade.
/ʒe fɛ̃/ /ʒe swaf/ /ʒe ʃo/ /ʒe fʀwɑ/
/ʒə sɥi fatiɡe/
I'm hungry / I'm thirsty. I'm hot / I'm cold.
I'm tired / sick.

Je m'ennuie. Ça m'est égal. / Je Ne vous en faites pas. /


/ʒə mɑ̃nɥi/ m'en fiche. Ne t'en fais pas.
I'm bored. /sa mɛ teɡal/ /ʒə mɑ̃ fiʃ/ /nə vu ɑ̃ fɛt pa/ /nə tɑ̃ fɛ
I don't care. pa/
Don't worry (formal /
informal)

Ce n'est pas grave.


J'ai oublié. Je dois y aller.
/sə nɛ pa gʀav/
/ʒe ublije/ /ʒə dwa i ale/
It's no problem. / It's
I forgot. I must go.
alright.

A vos souhaits ! / A tes


souhaits ! Félicitations ! Bonne chance !
/a vo swɛ/ /a te swɛ/ /felisitasjɔ̃/ /bɔn ʃɑ̃s/
Bless you! (formal / Congratulations! Good luck!
informal)

C'est à vous ! / C'est à Taisez-vous ! / Tais-


Je vous aime / Je t'aime
toi ! toi !
/ʒə vu zɛm/ /ʒə tɛm/
/sɛ ta vu/ /sɛ ta twɑ/ /tɛze vu/ /tɛ twɑ/
I love you (formal & plural
It's your turn! (formal / Shut up! / Be quiet!
/ informal)
informal) (formal / informal)

Tenez / Tiens Quoi de neuf ? / Ça


Pas grand chose.
/təne/ /tjɛ̃/ boume ?
/pa gʀɑ̃ ʃoz/
Hey / Here (formal / /kwɑ də nœf/ /sa bum/
Not a whole lot.
informal) What's new? / What's up?

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 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.

2. Pronunciation [ mp3 - 4.22 MB ]

French Vowels
Phonetic General
IPA Sample words
spelling spellings
[i] ee vie, midi, lit, riz i, y
ee rue, jus, tissu,
[y] u
rounded usine
[e] ay blé, nez, é, et, final
cahier, pied er and ez
ay jeu, yeux,
[ø] eu
rounded queue, bleu
lait, aile, balai, e, è, ê, ai,
[ɛ] eh
reine ei, ais
eh sœur, œuf,
[œ] œu, eu
rounded fleur, beurre
chat, ami,
[a] ah a, à, â
papa, salade
bas, âne, grâce,
[ɑ] ah longer a, â
château
loup, cou,
[u] oo ou
caillou, outil
eau, dos,
[o] oh o, ô
escargot, hôtel
sol, pomme,
[ɔ] aw o
cloche, horloge
fenêtre, genou,
[ə] uh e
cheval, cerise

[ɑ] is disappearing in modern French, being replaced by [a]. Vowels that do not
exist in English are marked in blue.

French semi-vowels
Phonetic Sample General
IPA
spelling words spelling
fois, oui,
[w] w oi, ou
Louis
[ɥ] ew-ee lui, suisse ui
oreille,
[j] yuh ill, y
Mireille
French nasal vowels
Phonetic spelling Sample words General spelling
awn gant, banc, dent en, em, an, am, aon, aen
in, im, yn, ym, ain, aim, ein, eim, un, um, en, eng, oin, oing, oint, ien, ye
ahn pain, vin, linge
éen
uhn brun, lundi, parfum un
ohn rond, ongle, front on, om

[œ̃] is being replaced with [ɛ̃] 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, archéologie
ti + vowel (except é) see démocratie, nation
c + e, i, y; or ç s cent, ceinture, maçon
c + a, o, u k caillou, car, cube
g + e, i, y zh genou, gingembre
g + a, o, u g gomme, ganglion
th t maths, thème, thym
j zh jambe, jus, jeune
qu, final q k que, quoi, grecque
h silent haricot, herbe, hasard
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 (très, plus, bien)
• after est

It is optional after pas, trop fort, and the forms of être, 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 /ʀapidmɑ̃/ /ɑ̃tmɑ̃/ /sovtaʒ/


• sous l(e) bureau, chez l(e) docteur /sul byʀo/ /ʃel dɔktœʀ/
• il y a d(e)... , pas d(e)... , plus d(e)... /yad/ /pad/ / plyd/
• je n(e), de n(e) /ʒən/ /dən/
• j(e) te, c(e) que /ʃt/ /skə/ (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 [ mp3 - 538 KB ]

a /a/ j /ʒi/ s /ɛs/


b /be/ k /ka/ t /te/
c /se/ l /ɛl/ u /y/
d /de/ m /ɛm/ v /ve/
e /ə/ n /ɛn/ w /dubləve/
f /ɛf/ o /o/ x /iks/
g /ʒɜ/ p /pe/ y /igrɛk/
h /aʃ/ q /ky/ z /zɛd/
i /i/ r /ɛʀ/

4. Nouns, Articles and Demonstrative Adjectives [ mp3 - 373 KB ]

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

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

Definite Articles (The)


Masculine Feminine Before Vowel Plural
le lit la pomme l'oiseau les gants
/lə li/ /la pɔm/ /lwazo/ /le ɡɑ̃/
the bed the apple the bird the gloves
Indefinite Articles (A, An, Some)
Masculine Feminine Plural
un lit une pomme des gants
/œ̃ li/ / yn pɔm/ /de ɡɑ̃/
a bed an apple some gloves
Demonstrative Adjectives (This, That, These, Those)
Masc. Masc, Before Vowel Fem. Plural
ce lit cet oiseau cette pomme ces gants
/sə li/ /sɛ twazo/ /sɛt pɔm/ /se ɡɑ̃/
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 -là to the end of the noun for that and
those. For example, ce lit-ci is this bed, while ce lit-là is that bed.

5. Useful Words and General Vocabulary [ mp3 - 1.11 MB ]

It's / That's c'est /sɛ/ There is/are il y a /il i a/


There
voilà /vwala/ Here is/are voici /vwasi/
is/are
and et /e/ always toujours /tuʒuʀ/
but mais /mɛ/ often souvent /suvɑ̃/
now maintenant /mɛ̃tnɑ̃/ sometimes quelquefois /kɛlkəfwa/
especially surtout /syʀtu/ usually d'habitude /dabityd/
except sauf /sof/ also, too aussi /osi/
of course bien sûr /bjɛ̃ syʀ/ again encore /ɑ̃kɔʀ/
comme /kɔm si, kɔm
so so late en retard /ɑ̃ʀətaʀ/
ci, comme ça sa/
not bad pas mal /pa mal/ almost presque /pʀɛsk/
book le livre /lə livʀ/ friend (fem) une amie /y nami/
friend
pencil le crayon /lə kʀɛjɔ̃/ un ami /œ ̃ nami/
(masc)
pen le stylo /lə stilo/ woman une femme /yn fam/
paper le papier /lə papje/ man un homme /œ̃ nɔm/
dog le chien /lə ʃjɛ̃/ girl une fille /yn fij/
cat le chat /lə ʃa/ boy un garçon /œ̃ gaʀsɔ̃/
money l'argent (m) /laʀʒɑ̃/ job / work le travail /lə tʀavaj/

Note: 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 pèze, le pognon, des
sous and for job/work: le boulot.

6. Subject Pronouns [ mp3 - 204 KB ]

Subject Pronouns
je /ʒə/ I nous /nu/ We
tu /ty/ You (informal) vous /vu/ You (formal and plural)
il /il/ He
ils /il/ They (masc.)
elle /ɛl/ She
elles /ɛl/ They (fem.)
on /ɔ̃/ One

Note: Il and elle can also mean it when they replace a noun (il replaces masculine
nouns, and elle replaces feminine nouns) instead of a person's name. Ils and elles
can replace plural nouns as well in the same way. Notice there are two ways to say
you. Tu is used when speaking to children, animals, or close friends and 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 and To Have [ mp3 - 1.83 MB ]

Present tense of être /ɛtʀ/ - to be


nous
I am je suis /ʒə sɥi/ We are /nu sɔm/
sommes
You are tu es /ty ɛ/ You are vous êtes /vu zɛt/
He is il est /il ɛ/
They are ils sont /il sɔ̃/
She is elle est /ɛl ɛ/
They are elles sont /ɛl sɔ̃/
One is on est /ɔ̃ nɛ/
Past tense of être - to be
nous /nu
I was j'étais /ʒetɛ/ We were
étions zetjɔ̃/
tu vous /vu
You were /tu etɛ/ You were
étais étiez zetje/
il était
ils /il
He was elle /il etɛ/
They were étaient zetɛ/
She was était /ɛl etɛ/
They were elles /ɛl
One was on /ɔ̃ netɛ/
étaient zetɛ/
était

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

Future Tense of être - to be


je /ʒə We nous
I will be /nu səʀɔ̃/
serai səʀe/ will be serons
You will tu /ty You will
vous serez /vu səʀe/
be seras səʀa/ be
He will il sera /il səʀa/ They ils seront /il səʀɔ̃/
be
elle
She will will be
sera /ɛl səʀa/
be They will elles seront /ɛl səʀɔ̃/
on /ɔ səʀa/
One will be
sera
be
Present tense of avoir /avwaʀ/ - to have
nous
I have j'ai /ʒe/ We have /nu zavɔ̃/
avons
You have tu as /ty ɑ/ You have vous avez /vu zave/
He has il a /il ɑ/
They have ils ont /il zɔ̃/
She has elle a /ɛl ɑ/
They have elles ont /ɛl zɔ̃/
One has on a /ɔ nɑ/
Past tense of avoir - to have
nous
I had j'avais /ʒavɛ/ We had /nu zavjɔ̃/
avions
tu vous
You had /ty avɛ/ You had /vu zavje/
avais aviez
il avait
ils
He had elle /il avɛ/
avaient /il zavɛ/
She had avait /ɛl avɛ/ They had
elles /ɛl zavɛ/
One had on /ɔ navɛ/
avaient
avait
Future tense of avoir - to have
We nous /nu
I will have j'aurai /ʒoʀe/
will have aurons zoʀɔ̃/
You will tu /ty You will vous /vu
have auras oʀɑ/ have aurez zoʀe/
He will have
il aura /il oʀa/ They /il
She will ils auront
elle /ɛl oʀa/ will have zoʀɔ̃/
have elles
aura /ɔ They will /ɛl
One will auront
on aura noʀa/ have zoʀɔ̃/
have

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

Common Expressions with avoir and être [ mp3 - 1.33 MB ]


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

être de /ɛtʀ də
avoir chaud /avwaʀ ʃo/ to be hot to be back
retour ʀətuʀ/
être en /ɛtʀ ɑ̃
avoir froid /avwaʀ fʀwa/ to be cold to be late
retard ʀətaʀ/
être en /ɛtʀ ɑ̃
avoir peur /avwaʀ pœʀ/ to be afraid to be early
avance navɑ̃s/
to be in
avoir raison /avwaʀ ʀɛzɔ̃/ to be right être d'accord /ɛtʀ dakɔʀ/
agreement
être sur le /ɛtʀ syʀ lə
avoir tort /avwaʀ tɔʀ/ to be wrong to be about to
point de pwɛ̃ də/
être en train /ɛtʀ ɑ̃ tʀɛ̃ to be in the
avoir faim /avwaʀ fɛ̃/ to be hungry
de də/ act of
être /ɛtʀ
avoir soif /avwaʀ swaf/ to be thirsty to have a cold
enrhumée ɑ̃ʀyme/
avoir /avwaʀ nous + être /ɛtʀ œ̃
to be sleepy to be (a day)
sommeil sɔmɛj/ (un jour) ʒuʀ/
to be
avoir honte /avwaʀ ʽɔ̃t/
ashamed
avoir besoin /avwaʀ bəzwɛ̃
to need
de də/
/avwaʀ ɛʀ to look like,
avoir l'air de
də/ seem
avoir
/avwaʀ
l'intention to intend to
ɛ̃tɑ̃sjɔ̃/
de
avoir envie /avwaʀ ɑ̃vi
to feel like
de də/
avoir de la /avwaʀ də la
to be lucky
chance ʃɑ̃s/
roid. I'm cold. Je suis en retard! I'm late!
vais raison. You were right. Tu étais en avance. You were early.
ra sommeil ce soir. He will be tired tonight. Elle sera d'accord. She will agree.
a de la chance ! She's lucky! Nous sommes lundi. It is Monday.
s aurons faim plus tard. We will be hungry later. Vous étiez enrhumé. You had a cold.
s aviez tort. You were wrong. Ils seront en train d'étudier. They will be (in the act of) studyin
nt chaud. They are hot. Elles étaient sur le point de partir. They were about to leave.
avaient peur hier. They were afraid yesterday. On est de retour. We/you/they/the people are back.

8. Question Words [ mp3 - 183 KB ]

Who Qui /ki/


What Quoi /kwa/
Why Pourquoi /puʀkwa/
When Quand /kɑ̃/
Where Où /u/
How Comment /kɔmɑ̃/
How much / many Combien /kɔ̃bjɛ̃/
Which / what Quel(le) /kɛl/

9. Numbers / Les numéros [ mp3 - 1.06 MB ]


Zero Zéro /zeʀo/
One Un /œ̃/
Two Deux /dø/
Three Trois /tʀwɑ/
Four Quatre /katʀ/
Five Cinq /sɛ̃k/
Six Six /sis/
Seven Sept /sɛt/
Eight Huit /ʽɥit/
Nine Neuf /nœf/
Ten Dix /dis/
Eleven Onze /ɔ̃z/
Twelve Douze /duz/
Thirteen Treize /tʀɛz/
Fourteen Quatorze /katɔʀz/
Fifteen Quinze /kɛ̃z/
Sixteen Seize /sɛz/
Seventeen Dix-sept /disɛt/
Eighteen Dix-huit /dizɥit/
Nineteen Dix-neuf /diznœf/
Twenty Vingt /vɛ̃/
Twenty-one Vingt et un /vɛ̃t e œ̃/
Twenty-two Vingt-deux /vɛ̃ dø/
Twenty-three Vingt-trois /vɛ̃ tʀwɑ/
Thirty Trente /tʀɑ̃t/
Thirty-one Trente et un /tʀɑ̃t e œ̃/
Thirty-two Trente-deux /tʀɑ̃t dø/
Forty Quarante /kaʀɑ̃t/
Fifty Cinquante /sɛ̃kɑ̃t/
Sixty Soixante /swasɑ̃t/
Seventy Soixante-dix /swasɑ̃tdis/
(Belgium & Switzerland) Septante /sɛptɑ̃t/
Seventy-one Soixante et onze /swasɑ̃t e ɔ̃z/
Seventy-two Soixante-douze /swasɑ̃t duz/
Eighty Quatre-vingts /katʀəvɛ̃/
(Belgium & Switzerland) Octante /ɔktɑ̃t/
Eighty-one Quatre-vingt-un /katʀəvɛ̃ tœ̃/
Eighty-two Quatre-vingt-deux /katʀəvɛ̃ dø/
Ninety Quatre-vingt-dix /katʀəvɛ̃ dis/
(Belgium & Switzerland) Nonante /nɔnɑ̃t/
Ninety-one Quatre-vingt-onze /katʀəvɛ̃ ɔ̃z/
Ninety-two Quatre-vingt-douze /katʀəvɛ̃ duz/
One Hundred Cent /sɑ̃/
One Hundred One Cent un /sɑ̃ œ̃/
Two Hundred Deux cents /dø sɑ̃/
Two Hundred One Deux cent un /dø sɑ̃ œ̃/
Thousand Mille /mil/
Two Thousand Deux mille /dø mil/
Million Un million /œ̃ miljɔ̃/
Billion Un milliard /œ̃ miljaʀ/

Note: French switches the use of commas and periods. 1,00 would be 1.00 in
English. Belgian and Swiss French use septante, octante and nonante in place of the
standard French words for 70, 80, and 90 (though some parts of Switzerland use
huitante instead of octante). 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 for cell phones. They are written
two digits at a time, and pronounced thus: 01 36 55 89 28 = zéro un, trente-six,
cinquante-cinq, quatre-vingt-neuf, vingt-huit.

Ordinal Numbers [ mp3 - 356 KB ]

first premier / première


second deuxième / second
third troisième
fourth quatrième
fifth cinquième
sixth sixième
seventh septième
eighth huitième
ninth neuvième
tenth dixième
eleventh onzième
twelfth douzième
twentieth vingtième
twenty-first vingt et unième
thirtieth trentième

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

10. Days of the Week / Les jours de la semaine [ mp3 - 481 KB ]

Monday lundi /lœ̃di/


Tuesday mardi /maʀdi/
Wednesday mercredi /mɛʀkʀədi/
Thursday jeudi /ʒødi/
Friday vendredi /vɑ̃dʀədi/
Saturday samedi /samdi/
Sunday dimanche /dimɑ̃ʃ/
day le jour /lə ʒuʀ/
week la semaine /la s(ə)mɛn/
today aujourd'hui /oʒuʀdɥi/
yesterday hier /jɛʀ/
tomorrow demain /dəmɛ̃/
next prochain / prochaine /pʀɔʃɛ̃/ /pʀɔʃɛn/
last dernier / dernière /dɛʀnje/ /dɛʀnjɛʀ/
day before yesterday avant-hier /avɑ̃tjɛʀ/
day after tomorrow après-demain /apʀɛdmɛ̃/
the following day le lendemain /lə lɑ̃dəmɛ̃/
the day before la veille /la vɛj/

Note: 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.

11. Months of the Year / Les mois de l'année [ mp3 - 383 KB ]

January janvier /ʒɑ̃vje/


February février /fevʀije/
March mars /maʀs/
April avril /avʀil/
May mai /mɛ/
June juin /ʒɥɛ̃/
July juillet /ʒɥijɛ/
August août /u(t)/
September septembre /sɛptɑ̃bʀ/
October octobre /ɔktɔbʀ/
November novembre /nɔvɑ̃bʀ/
December décembre /desɑ̃bʀ/
month le mois /lə mwa/
year l'an / l'année /lɑ̃/ /lane/
decade la décennie /deseni/
century le siècle /lə sjɛkl/
millennium le millénaire /milenɛʀ/
Note: To express in a certain month, such as in May, use en before the month as in
"en mai." With dates, the ordinal numbers are not used, except for the first of the
month: le premier mai but le deux juin. Also note that months are all masculine
and not capitalized in French (same as days of the week).

12. Seasons / Les saisons [ mp3 - 157 KB ]

/ɑ̃
Summer l'été /lete/ in the summer en été
nete/
en /ɑ̃
Fall l'automne /lotɔn/ in the fall
automne notɔn/
/ɑ̃
Winter l'hiver /livɛʀ/ in the winter en hiver
nivɛʀ/
le /lə au /o
Spring in the spring
printemps pʀɛ̃tɑ̃/ printemps prɛ̃tɑ̃/

13. Directions / Les directions [ mp3 - 254 KB ]

à
on the left /a ɡoʃ/
gauche
on the /a
à droite
right dʀwɑt/
straight tout /tu
ahead droit dʀwɑ/

North le nord /lə nɔʀ/ Northeast le nord-est /lə nɔʀ(d)ɛst/


South le sud /lə syd/ Northwest le nord-ouest /lə nɔʀ(d)wɛst/
East l'est /lɛst/ Southeast le sud-est /sydɛst/
West l'ouest /lwɛst/ Southwest le sud-ouest /sydwɛst/

14. Colors and Shapes / Les couleurs et les formes [ mp3 - 814 KB ]

Red rouge /ʀuʒ/ square le carré /kaʀe/


Orange orange /ɔʀɑ̃ʒ/ circle le cercle /sɛʀkl/
Yellow jaune /ʒon/ triangle le triangle /tʀijɑ̃gl/
Green vert / verte /vɛʀ/ /vɛʀt/ rectangle le rectangle /ʀɛktɑ̃gl/
Blue bleu / bleue /blø/ oval l'ovale /ɔval/
violet /
Purple /vjɔlɛ/ /vjɔlɛt/ cube le cube /kyb/
violette
blanc /
White /blɑ̃/ /blɑ̃ʃ/ sphere la sphère /sfɛʀ/
blanche
Brown brun / brune /bʀœ̃/ /bʀyn/ cylinder le cylindre /silɛ̃dʀ/
marron /maʀɔ̃/
Black noir / noire /nwaʀ/ cone le cône /kon/
Pink rose /ʀoz/ octagon l'octogone /ɔktogɔn/
Gold doré / dorée /dɔʀe/ box la boîte /bwat/
argenté /
Silver /aʀʒɑ̃te/ light clair / claire /klɛʀ/
argentée
foncé /
Gray gris / grise /ɡʀi/ /ɡʀiz/ dark /fɔ̃se/
foncée

Note: 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 foncé 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 [ mp3 - 757 KB ]

What's the weather like? Quel temps fait-il ? /kɛl tɑ̃ fɛ til/
It's nice Il fait bon /il fɛ bɔ̃/
bad Il fait mauvais /il fɛ mɔve/
cool Il fait frais /il fɛ fʀɛ/
cold Il fait froid /il fɛ fʀwɑ/
warm, hot Il fait chaud /il fɛ ʃo/
cloudy Il fait nuageux /il fɛ nyaʒø/
beautiful Il fait beau /il fɛ bo/
mild Il fait doux /il fɛ du/
stormy Il fait orageux /il fɛ ɔʀaʒø/
sunny Il fait soleil /il fɛ sɔlɛj/
humid Il fait humide /il fɛ ymid/
muggy Il fait lourd /il fɛ luʀ/
windy Il fait du vent /il fɛ dy vɑ̃/
foggy Il fait du brouillard /il fɛ dy bʀujaʀ/
snowing Il neige /il nɛʒ/
raining Il pleut /il plø/
freezing Il gèle /il ʒɛl/
hailing Il grêle /il gʀɛl/
It is ____ degrees. Il fait ____ degrés. /il fɛ __ dəgʀe/

Note: Il pleut des cordes /il plø de koʀd/ is a common expression meaning it's
pouring. Il caille /il kaj/ or ça caille /sa kaj/ is slang for it's freezing. And
remember that France uses Celcius degrees.

16. Time / Le temps qui passe [ mp3 - 529 KB ]


What time is it? Quelle heure est-il ? /kɛl œʀ ɛ til/
It is... Il est... /il ɛ/
one o'clock une heure /yn œʀ/
two o'clock deux heures /dø zœʀ/
noon midi /midi/
midnight minuit /minɥi/
a quarter after three trois heures et quart /tʀwɑ zœʀ e kaʀ/
one o'clock sharp une heure précise /yn œʀ pʀesiz/
four o'clock sharp quatre heures précises /katʀœʀ pʀesiz/
twelve thirty midi (minuit) et demi /midi (minɥi) e dəmi/
six thirty six heures et demie /si zœʀ e dəmi/
a quarter to seven sept heures moins le quart /sɛt œʀ mwɛ̃ lə kaʀ/
five twenty cinq heures vingt /sɛ̃k œʀ vɛ̃/
ten fifty onze heures moins dix /ɔ̃z œʀ mwɛ̃ dis/
in the morning/AM du matin /dy matɛ̃/
in the afternoon/PM de l'après-midi /də lapʀɛmidi/
in the evening/PM du soir /dy swaʀ/

Note: 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 précise (exactly, sharp).

17. Family and Animals / La famille et les animaux [ mp3 - 2.01 MB ]

la
Family /famij/ Girl la fille /fij/
famille
des
Relatives /paʀɑ̃/ Boy le garçon /gaʀsɔ̃/
parents
les
Parents /paʀɑ̃/ Niece la nièce /njɛs/
parents
les
/gʀɑ̃paʀɑ̃
Grandparents grands- Nephew le neveu /n(ə)vø/
/
parents
la mère
/mɛʀ/ les petits- /p(ə)tizɑ̃fɑ̃
Mom / Grandchildren
/mɑmɑ̃/ enfants /
maman
Stepmother/Mother-in- la belle- la petite-
/bɛlmɛʀ/ Granddaughter /p(ə)tit fij/
Law mère fille
le père / /pɛʀ/ le petit-
Dad Grandson /p(ə)tifis/
papa /papa/ fils
des
Stepfather/Father-in- le beau- Distant /paʀɑ̃
/bopɛʀ/ parents
Law père Relatives elwaɲe/
éloignés
Daughter la fille /fij/ Single célibataire /selibatɛʀ/
Son le fils /fis/ Married marié(e) /maʀje/
Sister la sœur /sœʀ/ Separated séparé(e) /sepaʀe/
la demi- /dəmi
Half/Step Sister Divorced divorcé(e) /divɔʀse/
sœur sœʀ/
la belle- Widower / veuf / /vœf/
Sister-in-Law /bɛlsœʀ/
sœur Widow veuve /vœv/
Stepdaughter/Daughter- la belle-
/bɛl fij/
in-Law fille
le chien
Brother le frère /fʀɛʀ/ Dog / la /ʃjɛ̃/ /ʃjɛn/
chienne
le demi- /dəmi le chat /
Half/Step Brother Cat /ʃa/ /ʃat/
frère fʀɛʀ/ la chatte
le beau-
Brother-in-Law /bo fʀɛʀ/ Puppy le chiot /ʃjo/
frère
le beau-
Stepson/Son-in-Law /bo fis/ Kitten le chaton /ʃatɔ̃/
fils
les
Twins (m) /ʒymo/ Pig le cochon /kɔʃɔ̃/
jumeaux
les
Twins (f) /ʒymɛl/ Rooster le coq /kɔk/
jumelles
Uncle l'oncle /ɔ̃kl/ Rabbit le lapin /lapɛ̃/
Aunt la tante /tɑ̃t/ Cow la vache /vaʃ/
la
Grandmother grand- /gʀɑ̃mɛʀ/ Horse le cheval /ʃ(ə)val/
mère
le
Grandfather grand- /gʀɑ̃pɛʀ/ Duck le canard /kanaʀ/
père
la
Cousin (f) /kuzin/ Goat la chèvre /ʃɛvʀ/
cousine
Cousin (m) le cousin /kuzɛ̃/ Goose l'oie /wa/
la
Wife /fam/ Sheep le mouton /mutɔ̃/
femme
Husband le mari /maʀi/ Lamb l'agneau /aɲo/
la
Woman /fam/ Donkey l'âne /ɑn/
femme
Man l'homme /ɔm/ Mouse la souris /suʀi/

Note: Le gendre /ʒɑ̃dʀ/ is another word for son-in-law.

Slang words for people and pets:

The entire
toute la smala /tut la smala/ Sister la frangine /fʀɑ̃ʒin/
family
/meme/
Grandma mémé / mamie Brother le frangin /fʀɑ̃ʒɛ̃/
/mami/
Grandpa pépé / papi /pepe/ /papi/ Son le fiston /fistɔ̃/
Children des gosses /gɔs/ Aunt tata / tatie /tata/ /tati/
un gamin / une /gamɛ̃/
Kid Uncle tonton /tɔ̃tɔ̃/
gamine /gamin/
le cabot / /kabo/
Woman une nana /nana/ Dog
clébard /klebaʀ/
un mec / type / /mɛk/ /tip/
Man Cat le minou /minu/
gars /gaʀ/

18. To Know People and Places [ mp3 - 843 KB ]

savoir-to know facts (sahv-


connaître-to know people (koh-net-truh)
wahr)
koh-nezz-
connais koh-neh connaissons sais say savons sah-vohn
ohn
connais koh-neh connaissez koh-nezz-ay sais say savez sav-ay
connaît koh-neh connaissent koh-ness sait say savent sahv

Note: Connaître 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 frère. I know your brother.


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

Connaître 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 [ mp3 - 637 KB ]

To make a noun plural, you usually add an -s (which is not


pronounced). Sing. Plural
But there are some exceptions:
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 horse(s) le cheval les chevaux
it to -aux.
Some nouns ending in -ou add an -x instead of
knee(s) le genou les genoux
-s.

Exceptions: festival, carnaval, bal, pneu, bleu, landau, détail, 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 irregular
exceptions: un œil (eye) - des yeux (eyes); le ciel (sky) - les cieux (skies); and
un jeune homme (a young man) - des jeunes gens (young men).

20. Possessive Adjectives [ mp3 - 654 KB ]

Masc. Fem. Plural


My mon (mohn) ma (mah) mes (may)
Your ton ta tes
His/Her/Its son sa ses
Our notre (noh-truh) notre nos (noh)
Your votre votre vos
Their leur (luhr) leur leurs (luhr)

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

C'est ma mère et mon père. This is my mother and my father.


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