Lesson 10 : Grammar, the past and vocabulary

Lesson 10 : Grammar, the past and vocabulary

 

In the grammar part of the lesson 10, I’ll explain the French expression “il y a” which is very used in this language. Then we’ll begin to learn  past tense and we finally see time vocabulary. Are you ready? Let’s go!

 

GRAMMAR : IL Y A ….

 

1. the French expression il y a  means “there is” or “there are”

It is one of the most important expressions in the French language. It’s usually followed by an indefinite article + noun, a number + noun, or an indefinite pronoun.

Il y a des gens là-bas. There are some people over there.

Il y a un chien dans le jardin. There’s a dog in the garden.

Il y a 2 choses à faire. There are 2 things to do.


2. Il y a can also be followed by a period of time to mean “ago” 

J’ai vu mes parents il y a trois semaines. I saw my parents three weeks ago.

Il y a 5 ans que nous avons quitté la France. We left France two years ago.


3. Ask a question with il y a using “est-ce que” or an inversion

Like we learnt in the previous lesson

Ask a question starting with “est-ce que”:

Est-ce quil y a un chien méchant ? Is there a vicious dog?

Est-ce quil y a des enfants dans le jardin ? Are there any kids in the garden?

Ask a question with an inversion :

How to process with an inversion:

1. first,  put y at the beginning of your interrogative sentence.

2. invert il and a

3. place -t- between il and a :

Y a-t-il un chien dans le jardin ? Is there a dog in the garden?

Y a-t-il des enfants ?
Are there any kids?

Of course, you can use il y a with the interrogative words we learnt in lesson 9:

Pourquoi est-ce qu’il y a un chien sur mon lit ? Why is there a dog in my bed?

Combien d’enfants y a-t-il dans le jardin ? How many kids are in the garden?

 

CONJUGATION : PAST TENSE

The 4 most common past tenses in French are :

  1. Passé composé
  2. passé simple
  3. imparfait
  4. plus-que-parfait

Let’s start today with the passé composé
 The “passé composé”
It is a compound tense which means it has 2 parts.

  1. The first is the auxiliary verb : avoir or être (verbs you should know very well)
  2. the second is the past participle.

To find the past participle, you have to determine the stem of the infinitive. To do so, drop the -er, -ir, -oir or -re, as usual. Then, add an ending as shown in the following tab :

 

Example verb Ending removed Ending added Past participle
Jouer -          Er -          é joué
Finir -          ir -          i fini
Vouloir -          oir -          u voulu
Attendre -          re -          u Attendu

 

The verbs avoir, être, and faire have irregular past participles.

avoir : eu
être : été
faire : fait
Most verbs form the passé composé with avoir, however there are a small number of verbs that are always conjugated with être. The most common are :

verb example translation
aller Je suis allé au cinéma. I went to the cinema.
venir Il est venu me voir. He came to me.
arriver Tu es arrive hier. You arrived yesterday
Partir Tu es parti ce matin You left this morning
rester Tu es resté là You stayed there
retourner Tu es retourné chez toi You returned to your place
tomber Je suis tombé I fell
naitre Je suis né en 1979 I was born in 1979
mourir Il est mort l’an dernier He died last year
Passer Je suis passé devant chez toi I happened in front of your house
monter Je suis montée chez toi I climbed to your place
descendre Je suis descend du bus I got out the bus
sortir Tu es sortie dans la rue You went out in the street
entrer Il est entré en souriant He came in with a smile
rentrer Je suis rentrée de vacances I came back from holidays

 

Thoses verbs  can be easily remebered by the Acronym MRS. RD VANDERTRAMP:
• M : monté
• R : resté
• S : sorti
• R : revenu
• D : devenu
• V: venu
• A : arrivé
• N : né
• D : descendu
• E : entré
• R : rentré
• T : tombé
• R : retourné
• A : allé
• M : mort
• P : parti

 

VOCABULARY : TIME

In French, “il est” is used to express the time; though it would literally translate as “he is”, it is actually, in this case, equivalent to “it is” (unpersonal “il”). Unlike in English, it is always important to use “heures” (“hours”) when referring to the time. In English, it is OK to say, “It’s nine,” but this wouldn’t make sense in French.
Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?


Il est une heure. It is one o’clock.
Il est deux heures. It is two o’clock.
Il est huit heures. It is eight o’clock.

Il est midi. It is noon.

Il est minuit. It is midnight.

Il est six heures cinq. It is five past six.
Il est cinq heures et quart. It is a quarter past five.
Il est trois heures quinze. It is three fifteen.
Il est sept heures et demie. It is half past seven.
Il est sept heures trente. It is seven thirty.
Il est deux heures moins vingt It is twenty to three
Il est quatre heures quarante. It is four forty.

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Lesson 9 : Interrogative phrases, conjugation of third group verb and vocabulary

Lesson 9 : Interrogative phrases, conjugation of the third group and how to speak about the weather

 

In the grammar part of lesson 9 we’ll see the interrogative phrases and how to convert a declarative sentence into an interrogative one. Then you’ll know everything about the question : who, when and where. We’ll continue to learn a new type of third group verbs and we’ll finish by speaking about the weather. Are you ready?

 

Première partie : grammaire/First part : Grammar

How we convert a declarative sentence into an interrogative sentence?

Only 3 methodes:

 1. By using Est-ce-que

Which is very commonly used.

Tu participes à cette fête. You take part in this party.

Est-ce que tu participes à cette fête ? Do you take part in this party ?

Paul aime la musique. Paul is fond of painting.

Est-ce que Paul aime la musique? Is Paul fond of painting?

 

2. By reverting the subject and the verb

Tu participes à cette fête

Participes-tu à cette fête ? Do you take part in this party?

Be carful: a dash must be included between the verb and the subject and notice that in French there is a space between the last word and the question mark

Paul aime la musique.

Paul aime-t-il la peinture ?

Be careful: You can’t say : “Aime Paul la peinture ?”  Replace the firstname by the corresponding pronoun by keeping the firstname at the beginning of the phrase.

3. By changing your voice tone

The last one is the easier! Just add a question mark and change your voice tone. The hardest thing is to find the right French tone…No problem with text!

Tu participes à cette fête.

Tu participes à cette fête ?

Paul aime la musique.

Paul aime la musique ?

 

Now, let see how to ask all the questions to want … It’s very easy because it’s just like in English !

Interrogative word + Verb + Subject + …

Who : Qui

Qui est cette femme ? Who is that woman?

Why : Pourquoi

Pourquoi aimes-tu marcher ? Why do you like walking?

Where : où

vas tu chaque samedi ? Where do you go every saturday?

When : Quand

Quand es-tu allé chez le dentiste pour la dernière fois ? When did you go to the dentist for the last time?

 

Seconde partie : Conjugaison /Second part : conjugation

 

Let’s continue with another type of third group verb : The “ouvrir” forme. Yhe infinitive is on “IR” like a verb of the second group but it’s present conjugation is like the first group verb… I know even for French people, that’s not funny at all.

Ouvrir (to open)

J’ouvre

Tu ouvres

Il, elle, on ouvre

Nous ouvrons

Vous ouvrez

Ils, elles ouvrent

Other verbs like OUVRIR :

Offrir to offer

Souffrir to suffer

Couvrir to cover

Découvrir to discover

 Entrouvrir to open a little

 Rouvrir to open again

 

Troisième partie : vocabulaire/Third part: vocabulary

What’s the weather like?

The best to have something to say in any kind of situation. In France, speaking about the weather is the subject number one!

What’s the weather like? Quel temps fait-il ?
It’s nice Il fait bon
It’s bad Il fait mauvais
It’s cool Il fait frais
It’s cold Il fait froid
It’s warm, hot Il fait chaud
It’s cloudy Il fait nuageux
It’s beautiful Il fait beau
It’s mild Il fait doux
It’s stormy Il fait orageux
sunny Il fait soleil
It’s humid Il fait humide
It’s muggy Il fait lourd
It’s windy Il fait du vent
It’s foggy Il fait du brouillard
It’s snowing Il neige
It’s raining Il pleut
It’s freezing Il gèle
It’s hailing Il grêle
It is ____ degrees. Il fait ____ degrés.
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Places and Festivals to Enjoy in French Riviera

The French Riviera is the hottest and luxurious destination in the world.  Stretched along the Mediterranean coastline, French Riviera offers the pleasure all around the year. It’s the hottest spot for rich and famous people. They come here to party and enjoy a relaxed holiday. This place presents world-class cuisines, hot and golden beaches, villas and resorts, and shopping. Also known as Cote d’Azur, French Riviera it is situated in Alp Mountains and has a lot of beautiful places to enjoy. Here are some of the places that you should visit.

  • Cannes: This busy city is well renowned for hosting Cannes Film Festival. Some of the spots here are St Marguerite Island, St Honorat Island, and Museums. Here you got to enjoy the tropical beaches in the Mediterranean climate.
  • Nice: An ideal place to enjoy your honeymoon with sand beaches, sunset, restaurants, and bars.
  • Marseille: One of the oldest and largest cities of South France, it gives to the feel of heritage and cultural life. Here the climate is well blessed by God. The summer season starts earlier than anywhere else and you get to see 300 days of summer. Enjoy the tropical beaches in this favourable climate.
  • St. Tropez: One of the hottest destinations of the famous people who come here to relax. This place is well known for glamour and beautiful climate to go with.
  • Vence: Located in the east of the French Riviera, this place is famous for its rich vegetation along the Alps mountains. It is one of the preferred locations of artisans. It is well-known for its spring water, which you can collect from any of the fountains here.

French Riviera is also famous for the allure of famous festivals which are held here. Some of the world’s prestigious festivals are:

  • Cannes Film Festival: The world renowned festival annually held in May attracts directors, actors, producers, and film industry people from all over the world. It is estimated that this festival is attended by around 30,000 stars each year. Although it is invitation-only festival, some of the showings are open for public, for example on Directors Fortnight.
  • Jazz á Juan Festival: It is one of the oldest running jazz festivals. This festival is held each year in July in Juan-les-Pins. Apart from admission fees festivals, some of the free concerts are held by jazz musicians.
  • Nice Carnival: It is one of the largest carnival festivals of the world. It is celebrated in Nice in February every year. Giant parades accompanied by around 1,000 musicians and dancers from around the world entertain day and night during the carnival.
  • Nice Jazz Festival: Held in July every year in Nice, it is recognized as “the first jazz festival of international significance.” The festival was earlier held in Cimiez and from year 2011 it is being held in Place Masséna. It’s a 5-day festival visited by a great number of people.

If you are planning to have a tremendous and luxurious vacation, French Riviera is a must place to visit. Whether you are fond of natural beauty, glamour world, ancient sculptures, or music, French Riviera has everything to offer. But you have to play your visit well in advance, especially if you plan to take part in any of the festivals.

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Discovering Art Gems at the Louvre

The Musee du Louvre, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – call it by any name and still there is no place to beat this display of the world’s best art. The Musee du Louvre as the French call it has many distinctions to its credit. The most visited art museum in the world, one of the largest art museums of the world, one of the most famous landmarks of Paris; the distinctions are many.

But no matter what, Louvre is really tempting for all art lovers no matter where they come from.

Location and History

The Louvre ‑ which means a framed opening in French ‑ is a looming façade on the right bank of the River Seine. It houses over 35,000 objects of art from prehistory to the 19th century over an area of 60,600 square feet. The Louvre art museum is located in the Louvre Palace, once a fortress, originally built in the 12th century. In the 18th century the National Assembly decided that the Palace should be converted to accommodate an art museum and thus one of the finest tributes to art and artists was born.

But before we enter this magnificent tribute to man’s love for the beautiful, let’s take a closer look at the imposing façade.

The Pyramid

Just as you walk in to the spacious courtyard of this ‘E’ shaped palace without the middle line, you come across the astounding beauty of the glass pyramid. The creation of the Chinese architect Ieoh Ming Pi, the Pyramid as it is known, is an imposing glass structure. Constructed with 800 separate pieces of glass, this modern version of the ancient Egyptian stone megalith is assembled on 95 tons of aluminum structure. It was inaugurated in 1989 and stands as a proud testimony of man’s eternal fascination for beauty.

The modern style of the design was initially not well received by art lovers around the world as it contrasted sharply with the classical style of the museum. But, with the passage of time it has come to be accepted as an ingenious way of blending the modern with the classical.

Now, let’s take a walk inside the museum to ogle at its amazing displays.

The Egyptian Antiquities

The Louvre Museum has one of the most expansive ranges of collections of Egyptian art and artifacts in the world ranging over an extensive period of Egyptian history. The time period of the displays begins with the Nile civilization in the 4000 BC and moves to the 4th century. Housed in 20 different rooms of the museum, the displays span from Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Coptic Art, Roman, Ptolemaic and Byzantine periods. The entry to the Egyptian wing is guarded by the 2000 BC Large Sphinx sculpture.

The other major areas covered include Roman, Etruscan, Greek, Russian and Oriental and Islamic Art.

The Paintings

We have to begin with none other than the Mona Lisa. Though the museum houses one of the largest collections of permanent displays of arts and paintings in the world, the Louvre is synonymous with the Mona Lisa. This fact was reiterated with the publishing of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. A major portion of this best seller is picturised in the Louvre with the Mona Lisa as its focus.

This bewitching beauty by Italian Maestro Leonardo da Vinci is one of the major attractions of the Louvre. But it is just one of the nearly 7,500 works of art or Objects d’Art   that are displayed in three spacious rooms of the palace. The other major attractions include the statue of Venus di Milo, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo and the Nike of Samothrake as well as paintings by Raphael.

Most of the displays span over a period of BC to 1848. A majority of the paintings and Objects d’Art belong to French masters. Nearly 1,200 are the works of Northern European artists. The Louvre collection of arts was sourced from the private collection of Francis I and Louis XIV.

In this article it is impossible to cover all 35,000 of art objects, yet you have an idea now of what to expect when you visit the Louvre next time you come to Paris.

You can book your tickets for Louvre right now online or you can take an online Louvre tour right now.

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Experience the “Garden of France” Loire Valley!

Loire Valley is a charming and captivating region filled with rolling green knolls, beautiful flowers, and wonderful vineyards, sprinkled with over a thousand chateaux.

Loire Valley was quintessential for writers and poets over the centuries and has presented some of the best artistry within France.   There is so much to see and take in.  This location is ideal for any traveler who is looking for a vacation, holiday or day trip filled with allure, romance, adventure, history and art.

Experiencing the Loire Valley is becoming engulfed in its rich and deep history, amazing architecture, and sprawling towns!

Chambord

The Chambord is vast.  In fact it is the largest castle within Loire Valley.  The Renaissance structure which was designed and built by François I is encircled by a huge hunting preserve and park.  Horse drawn carriages will take you through the estate to marvel at its impeccable grounds, gorgeous furnishings and magnificent architecture.  You can also take in the Chambord via air balloon which is accessible on site. 

Orleans

Orleans is known as the vinegar hub of France, and once, the second largest city of the region.

If you visit during May, there is a celebration honoring Joan of Arc, who released Orleans from the British in 1429.  You can also the visit the home in which Joan of Arc used to stage her uprising.

The city features castles of Sully-sur-Loire and Chamerolles, all worth a visit.  In addition, the town highlights Hotel Groslot, a beautiful stone and brick mansion of the Renaissance period, which operated as the Town Hall, and the Cathedral of St-Croix, designed with Gothic influence.

Blois
This world renowned castle is most known and connected, for many centuries, with France’s Kings.  If you are still enhancing your French repertoire, on Wednesday, enjoy an English speaking show at the castle.

Other amazing sites to take in include:  Chaumont-sur Loire which, from mid June through mid October, covers the very well-known International Festival of Parks and Gardens; and the Châteaux of Beauregard.

Chartres
Known by Rodin as the Acropolis of France, the celebrated and famous Cathedral of Chartres is an incredible throw back to the architecture of the medieval period.

While in Chartres, check out the castles of Maintenon and Anet, and visit an assortment of long forgotten musical instruments, sculptures, and stunning stained glass features.

Delightful footbridges, gabled homes, and enchanting medieval cobbled stoned streets in Old Town, all lay at the base of Cathedral of Chartres.

Amboise/Chenonceaux
Amboise is an attractive town which features appealing white stone homes which date back to the 15th century.

Venture to Cbs Lucé.  Here is where you’ll find the former dwelling of Leonardo da Vinci.   Just miles away from Cbs Lucé, you’ll encounter the Ladies Castle, also known as the Château of Chenonceau.  This lovely castle features a popular viewing terrace, designed by the Queens of France.

From there, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking sites including the Cher River.

Bourges
The center of France can be found in Bourges.  This town encompasses very old rampart battlements, Renaissance and medieval architecture, and the extraordinary gothic Cathedral of St-Etienne which sits atop a mountainThis beautiful house of worship overlooks the entire hilltop. 

Other must sees include: Noirlac Abbey, the world renowned white wines of Sancerre, the château o’ Meillant, and in Nohant, the George Sand’s House.

During summer months, Bourges spotlights the Illuminated Nights.  This event features certain structures which magically come of life using light and music!

Tours
Connecting the Cher Rivers and the Loire, the town of Tour is a great way to explore the Loire Valley. Throughout the Middle Ages, Tours was one of the illustrious pilgrimage locations of Europe.

In this age, you’ll explore and discover neo-classical and Renaissance styled mansions which surround the celebrated Plumereau Square. 

You’ll find world renowned wine regions such as:  Chinon, Bourgueil and Vouvray.  Visit the Cathedral of St-Gatien, and the Châteaux of Azay-IeRideau.

Other must sees are: the Villandry, bordered by Renaissance themed gardens; and rumored to be the actual Sleeping Beauty castle, the Ussé; visit Langeais and Loches, in addition to the grand town of Chinon.

 

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Top 5 Places to Visit While in France

France is most delightedly and globally known.  It is also one of the most intriguing, stunning and picturesque regions you’ll ever experience.

While there are many wonderful destinations and cities to investigate and encounter, some of the must-sees of France will make your trip a worth-while adventure never to be forgotten!

Paris, France

Paris is a beautiful destination which will engage your senses of nostalgia, romance and grandeur.  Some of the must-sees include:

  • The Eiffel Tower – Climb atop this internationally recognized monument which encompasses the city.  Encounter the 1665 steps which elevate you to the top of Paris – magnifique!
  • Notre Dame – Transcending Notre Dame Cathédral and its surrounding island home.
  • Palais de Justice – Well known throughout the French Révolution.
  • Conciergerie – Where Marie Antoinette was held captive.
  • Saint Chapelle – A Church, which is architecturally stunning, with its beautiful stained glass.
  • Palais de Justice – Very nearby Paris, made  famous during the French Revolution.
  • The Louvre – As seen in the film, The Da Vinci  Code, released by Columbia Pictures in 2006,  this museum contains one of the most significant and extraordinary paintings of all   time – the Mona Lisa.
  • Adventure for the family –  Disneyland, just over ½ hour out of Paris.
  • Champs Elysées – This portion of Paris is    known for its romantic setting which            includes some of the most fashionable  streets, ideal for shopping, strolling and       taking in the epic Arc de Triomphe.
  • Seine River cruises are also a very popular    attraction.

The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)

Located along the southeast corner of France, The French Riviera extends along the Mediterranean seaside, and is the home to the Cannes International Film Festival.  

It is also a region which serves as a playground for the rich and famous, housing multi-million dollar yachts and expensive cafes.

Visit breathtaking St. Tropez which is the essence of the Riviera, and the Principality of Monaco.

Don’t forget to take a side trip to Nice, the capital of the Riviera, which is home to the incredible Matisse Museum. 

There are numerous charming and scenic seaside resorts including:  Fréjus, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cap-d’Ail, Sainte Maxime, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Raphaël and Juan-les-Pins.

The French Alps

Journey to the regal French Alps and unearth the renowned ski resorts of France.  Choose from a variety of top notch resorts which all interconnect its lifts: Trois Vallées, Val Thorens, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Méribel, and La Tania.

Frequently referred to as the “Rooftop of Europe,” fix your eyes on the legendary Mont Blanc, the highest mountain within the Alps.  

Other noteworthy towns which are sure to excite a traveler include:  Annecy, Grenoble, Chambéry, Albertville, Chamonix, and Annecy.

Notably, the French Alps are just as prevalent in the summer months as it is throughout the winter months.

Once the snow melts, take in the incredibly crisp and fresh mountainous air; engage in activities including: mountain climbing, walking and biking.

Lyon

Lyon is a little known city that should be on every traveler’s must-see list while in France.  This attractive city is home to many Roman inspired monuments, notably the Amphitheatre des Tres Gaules.

The heavenly and mouth-watering cuisine, history and impeccable shopping are worth a day trip.  The city is also known for its nightlife, casinos and clubs.  

The Loire Valley

This area of France embodies 15th to 18th century French aristocracy, and some of the most stunning and magnificent castles anywhere in the world, sit here.

Many of the most well known chateaux include:  Villandry, Angers, Chenonceau, Chinon, Saumur, and Chambord.

This valley is well known as the “Garden of France”, so be sure to soak up its luscious grounds and unforgettable scenery.

It’s highly recommended that you take some time to tour the castles.

If you are there during the summer months, you will be treated to outdoor theatre, dance, music and fireworks.

One of the more pronounced pieces of architecture resides in the town of Chartres.  The 13th century cathedral is considered to be one of Europe’s finest buildings derived from Gothic influence.

In fact, the cathedral has been reserved as a worldwide cultural heritage location, by the United Nations.

The Loire Valley which is also home to the major wines in the region is reasonably priced, boasting delectable treats and amazing food.

Lose yourself in France!  The wine, the culture, the romance, the cuisine, the decadence… A trip that is sure to leave you with wanting more!

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France as a Travel Destination

France

Did you know that the Statue of Liberty located in New York, USA, is actually French?  In fact, France constructed the 151 ft. tall monument, and gifted it to the United States on October 28, 1886.

How about the bikini?  Yes!  Louis Réard, who was a French engineer, invented the modern bikini in 1946.  

The History of France

Prior to taking on the name France, the country was named Gaul.  Gaul was taken over by the Romans, and assumed its culture and language.

In the region of 400 AD, a Germanic group of people known as the Franks traveled to Gaul and made their home.  The term “Franks” is where France’s name originated from. 

France experienced massive defeats during World War I.  Though the country was taken over by the Nazis throughout World War II, the region ultimately freed itself in 1941, with assistance from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

France has some of the most iconic structures in the world, such as the Eiffel Tower.  The country is a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), and was ranked 20th on the Human Development Index, which is to say, France’s quality of living.

Climate of France

Depending upon the area in which you’re visiting, you’ll experience a few different climate variations in France:  Continental, Mediterranean and Oceanic.

While visiting central and eastern France such as Centre and Franche-Comté, be prepared for balmy and tepid summers and very cold winters, with plenty of rainfall and snow particularly in the higher elevations.

The south of France, perhaps the most prominent region, entails mild weather patterns, which is to say, you’ll feel chilly but calm winters, partial rainfall and hot summers.

If you are in the western part of the region such as Paris, you will experience calm, cool, breezy summers and very mild winters with plenty of rain.

Along the northern coastal regions and mountainous quarters, heavy rainfall is to be expected. 

Visa Requirements for France

If you are not a citizen of France, you will be required to attain a valid visa to enter French territory.  If you feel you are exempt from this rule, contact your local embassy so that you can obtain specific instructions and paperwork.

If you are visiting France for 90 days or less and are from the Schengen area, you will need to submit an application for a short-stay visa, also referred to as a “Schengen visa.”

If you are visiting France for more than 90 days and are from the Schengen area, you will need to submit an application for a long-stay visa, also referred to as a “Schengen visa.”

If you are not from the Schengen area, and depending upon your stay as outlined above, you will need to apply for a long or short stay visa.

When submitting your short or long stay visa application, you must submit it to the French consulate.

You will also need your passport which should be valid for at least 3 months from the time you enter France.

Be sure to contact the French consulate to receive additional instructions on submitting your application and if they will require specific documentation such as:  possible insurance, proof as to the purpose of your trip, etc.

What Type of Currency is Accepted in France?

The national currency of France is the Euro.  If you need to exchange currency, most banks, large stores, airports, exchange offices near major tourist sites and train stations will accommodate you.

It’s best to look for larger banks or exchange offices that are located in the center of town or financial district.  Hotels are also an option if you are exchanging a small amount of currency.  The exchange rate will vary based on where you are exchanging your currency.

If you need to exchange your Traveler’s Checks, it is best to do so at an exchange office or bank as not many businesses recognize them.

Another option is to purchase Traveler’s Checks.  You can purchase them from any major bank in France.  It’s a much safer and secure way to travel.

Visa is accepted at most French establishments with MasterCard close behind.  Keep in mind, shops, markets and restaurants will not accept credit card payments if the purchase is under 15 or 20 Euros.

Also, ATM machines may not be readily available so it’s best to utilize your Visa, Master Card, Traveler’s Checks in French Francs or Euro.

The Language

The language of France is French.  If you are traveling to any foreign country in which you are not familiar with, it’s always recommended that you learn a few simple words and phrases to open the lines of communication.

Travel to France

You are able to access France by air or ship.  Although, economically speaking, flying will most likely be the better bargain.

Once in France, you will have access to taxis, buses and a superb rail system.

While there are over 40 airports in France, the two main Paris international airports are:  Orly and Charles de Gaulle.

Places to Visit While in France

  • Paris – The Eiffel Tower and The Louvre (Musée du Louvre)
  • Palace of Versailles – Residence of the King and his court during 17th century France
  • Saint-Tropez along the French Rivera – Sunbathing and pleasant weather
  • Lyon – Outstanding museums, art galleries, wonderful shopping and exuberant night life
  • St. Paul de Vence in Province – Charming hilltops, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and art galleries
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Lesson 8: Possesive & Demonstrative adjectives, starting with the third group verbs

In the grammar part of lesson 8,  we will learn in details possesive ant demonstrative adjectives. Then we will start the conjugation of the third group verbs which is the more difficult one, including for the French people. But don’t worry, we’ll proceed step by step.

 

Première partie : grammaire/First part : Grammar

 

Demonstrative adjectives

As in English, demonstrative adjective is used to indicate someone or something. But in French, it must agree in gender and in number with the noun it modify.

J’aime ce professeur. I like this/that teacher

Cette histoire est intéressante. This/that story is interesting.

Cet éléphant est très vieux. This/that elephant is very old.

Cette élection est truquée. This election is rigged.

As you can see in the belowing example, for one singular form in English, we find 3 different forms in French.

Ce is for the masculine noun. It can be removed by the definite article you know : LE

Cet is for the masculine noun beginning by a voyel. It can be removed by the definite article: L’

Cette is used for the feminine noun (beginning by a voyel or not)

Don’t worry, it’s easier for the plural : just one form for masculine and feminine nouns as in English.

Ces enfants ne mangent pas assez. These/Those children don’t eat enough.

 

In English, you have This or That to make a difference and be explicite with the demonstrative adjectives.

In French, you can mark this difference too but your listener can usually understand by the context which you mean, but if you want to stress one or the other, you can use the suffixes -ci (meaning here) or -là (meaning there).

Ce livre-ci est intéressant. This book is interesting.

Cette rose-là est magnifique. That rose is magnificent.

Ces enfants-ci sont plus sages que ces enfants-là. These children are wiser than those children.

But keep in mind, we use those forms in French only if the context is not clear or to compare two different people or things. But we’ll this in a future lesson, not now.

 

Possesive adjectives

 

Here is a great tab to sum up the different form of possesive adjectives in French

 

Singular                                                                                                   Plural

English             Masculine             Feminine            Before vowel
My                           Mon                       Ma                      Mon                     Mes
Your (tu form)        Ton                        Ta                       Ton                      Tes
His,her,its                Son                         Sa                        Son                     Ses
Our                          Notre                    Notre                   Notre                  Nos
Your (vous form)   Votre                    Votre                   Votre                   Vos
their                           leur                      leur                      leur                    Leurs

 

Now, you have to notice 2 points:

1. An important difference between French and English is that in French it is the gender of the noun that determines which form to use, not the gender of the subject.

A man would say ma voiture (my car) when talking about a car, and a woman would also say ma voiture : the car is femine in French.

 It doesn’t matter whether the owner of the car is male or female

Likewise, both men and women would say mon vélo (my bike) because vélo is masculine.

 

2. If you want describ 2 or more singular nouns in French, use a possessive adjective in front of each one:

Son père et sa mère His father and mother.

Votre fils et votre fille. Your daughter and son

 

Notice that to describ 2 or more plural nouns, you have the choice :

Ses frères et ses soeurs  OR Ses frères et soeurs. His brothers and sisters.

Tes neveux et tes nièces OR Tes neveux et nièces. Your nephews and nieces.

 

Seconde partie : Conjugaison /Second part : conjugation

The third group verbs are irregular. But don’t panic, we’ll learn them step by step.

Third group verbs 

You studied the second group verbs ending by -ir. It’s not the same here. Be careful.

1. The “partir” form

Partir (to leave)

Je pars

Tu pars

Il,elle, on part

Nous partons

Vous partez

Ils, elles partent

 

The others verbs like PARTIR:

sentir (to smell)
consentir (to grant)
pressentir (to have a premonition about something)
ressentir (to feel)
mentir (to lie)
démentir (to deny)
départir (to desist)
repartir (to leave again)
se repentir (to repent)
sortir (to go out)
ressortir (to go out again)

 

2. The “prendre” form

Prendre (to take)

Je prends

Tu prends

Il, elle, on prend

Nous prenons

Vous prenez

Ils, elles prennent

The other verbs like PRENDRE
apprendre (to learn)
comprendre (to understand)
détendre (to relax)
désapprendre (to unlearn)
entreprendre (to undertake, to begin)
s’éprendre (to become passionate)
se méprendre (to misunderstand)
réapprendre (to learn again)
reprendre (to resume, to continue)
surprendre (to surprise)

We’ll continue with others forms in the next lesson.

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Lesson 7: Build a sentence A&N, conjugation of the second group and vocabulary

 

Now, in each lesson we study 3 points. In the grammar part of lesson 7,  we will learn in details how to build a sentence: affirmative or negative. Then we will see the conjugation of the second group verbs and we will finish the lesson with vocalury as usual.

 

Première partie : grammaire/First part : Grammar

 

Building sentences

It’s exactly the same way as in English for the affirmative form :

Subject + Verb + Complement

Alain mange une pomme    Alan eats an apple

Le soleil brille dans le ciel    The sun shines in the sky

Le chat chasse la souris  The cat hunts the mouse

All the affirmative sentences are built on this template.

Building a negative sentence

The French use nepas to make negative sentences.

Alain ne mange pas de pomme.  Alan doesn’t eat an apple

Le soleil ne brille pas dans le ciel. The sun doesn’t shine in the sky

Le chat ne chasse pas la souris. The cat doesn’t hunt the mouse.

As you can see the negative form nepas is around the French verb. Ne is always before the verb and pas is always after it.

Important: if the verbs begins by a voyel, you have to use n’ instead of ne

Je n’aime pas danser. I don’t like dancing.

It also exists two other forms for builiding negative sentences in order to translate never and anymore you just have to replace “pas” by another word. And this point is not very difficult.

  • Use jamais instead of “pas” to say never : Je ne serai jamais cosmonaute! I will never be a cosmonaut!
  • Use plus instead of “pas” to say anymore : Je ne suis plus au bureau. I am not at the office anymore. Reverting to the above paragraph, don’t forget to use n’ instead of nebefore a verb beginning by a voyel.Je n’aimerai jamais les épinards. I will never like sphinaches.Je n’aime plus danser. I don’t like dancing anymore. 


    Conjugation of the second group verbs

 

We have already studied the conjugation of the first group verbs. The conjugation of the second group is a bit more difficult. But it still regular and there is no variations in its conjugation: don’t worry!

All the verbs oh this group are finishing by IR and you just have replace this end by the good termination for each person.

Here is the verb FINIR (to end)

Présent

Je finis

Tu finis

Il, elle, on finit

Nous finissons

Vous finissez

Ils, elles finissent

You only have to memorise the ends: is – is – it – issons – issez- issent

Few verbs of the second group:

Grandir (to grow up)

Choisir (to choose)

Agir (to act)

Nourrir (to feed)

Réfléchir (to think, to ponder)

Réunir (to gather, to combine) 

Exercise: conjugate the verb choisir and the verb réfléchir

Je choisis - Tu choisis - Il choisit - Nous choisissons - Vous choisissez - Ils choisissent
Je réfléchis - Tu réfléchis - Il réfléchit - Nous réfléchissons - Vous réfléchissez - Ils réfléchissent

Troisième partie : vocabulaire/Third part: vocabulary

 

Les couleurs - colors

In the lesson 6 we saw in details the adjectives. Here is a great tabs to resume the different color and how to use them correctly.

As you will see in the tab, two colors adjectives doesn’t change : marron and orange

Masculin singulier Masculin pluriel Féminin singulier Féminin pluriel
Black  noir  noirs  noire noires 
White  blanc  blancs  blanche blanches 
 Red  rouge  rouges  rouge rouges 
 Blue  bleu  bleus  bleue bleues
 Green  vert  verts  verte  vertes
 Yellow  jaune  jaunes  jaune jaunes 
 Orange  orange  orange  orange  orange
 Pink  rose  roses  rose roses 
 Purple  violet  violets  violette  violettes
 Grey  gris gris  grise  grises
 Brown  marron  marron  marron  marron

 

Describ human and animal parts

Do you know well the french color?

1. Pink

  • a) violet
  • b) jaune
  • c) rose
  • d) bleu

2. Green
  • a) vert
  • b) bleu
  • c) rouge
  • d) jaune
3. Purple
  • a) noir
  • b) rose
  • c) orange
  • d) violet
4. White
  • a) violet
  • b) noir
  • c) blanc
  • d) rose
1c, 2a, 3d, 4c.


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Lesson 6: 3 in 1 Grammar, Conjugation, Vocabulary

In this lesson, we will study three points: on about grammar with the adjectives, one about conjugation with the verbs of the first group and one about vocabulary

Première partie : Grammaire

L’adjectif qualificatif Adjectives

L’adjectif est un mot qui qualifie un nom en lui apportant un element de description, il apporte un détail supplémentaire :forme, couleur, taille etc. An adjective is a word that qualifies and modifies a name by describing it in some way, it gives an additional detail: shape, color, size  etc.

Il y a deux choses importantes à savoir au sujet des adjectifs français. There are two important things to know about French adjectives

  1. 1. L’adjectif s’accorde en genre et en nombre avec le nom qu’il qualifie.  French adjective change to agree in gender and number with the nouns that it qualifies

 

Ainsi on trouve quatre possibilités d’accord pour l’adjectif, exemple avec l’adjectif petit So, there are four different agreement for the adjectives, example with petit (small)

  1. Masculin singulier : un garçon petit
  2. Féminin singulier : une fille petite
  3. Masculin pluriel : des garçons petits
  4. Féminin pluriel : des filles petites

Important : Mais si un seul adjectif qualifie plusieurs noms de genre différent, la règle de grammaire française est que le masculin l’emporte toujours, sans exception. If only one adjective qualifies several nouns with different genders, the French grammar rule is : the masculine is always the winner, with no exception.

Exemple : Le garçon et la fille sont petits

La plume et le stylo sont verts

  1. 2. L’adjectif suit le nom qu’il qualifie. Mais cette règle de grammaire français est moins exclusive à cause de l’influence de la langue anglaise, les adjectifs se placent parfois devant le nom. The adjective follow the noun that it qualifies. But this rules is not so exclusive anymore because of the influence of the English language on the French one.

Exemple : Un cheval blanc

Un garçon beau/ Un beau garçon

La plupart des adjectifs français sont réguliers et suivent le modèle décrit au point 1. Mais il y a des adjectifs irréguliers. Most French adjectives are regular, but there are a number of irregular adjectives

Par exemple, les adjectives qui se termine avec un N ou un L s’accordent au féminin le plus souvent par doublement de la consone finale et en ajoutant un E.For example, adjectives that end in a vowel plus N or L usually become feminine by doubling the consonant before adding E.

Exemple : Bon > Bonne

Personnel > Personnelle

 

Certains adjectif ont des formes irrégulières et vous devrez les apprendre au fur et mesure, mais voici un tableau pour vous les montrer. Some adjectives have an irregular form, and that will be an ongoing learning for you, but here is a tab to show you some of them

 

Masculin singulier Devant le H Feminin singulier Masculin pluriel Feminin pluriel
beau pretty bel belle beaux belles
Nouveau new nouvel nouvelle nouveaux nouvelles
Fou crazy fol folle fous folles
Mou soft mol molle mous molles
Vieux old vieil vieille vieux vieilles

 

Les adjectifs qualificatifs sont surtout utilisés de deux manières : épithète ou attribut du sujet. On parle d’épithète quand l’adjectif est placé directement à côté du nom qu’il qualifie.

Exemple : Une rue longue a long street

Des enfants gentils nice kids

Et on parle d’attribut du sujet quand il est mis en relation avec le nom qu’il qualifie par un verbe.

Exemple : Le garçon était petit mais rapide the boy was small but fast

Let’s do some exercise about the adjectives to check your knowledge about them !

 

Trouver l’adjectif correct

  1. 1. Le garcon (the tall boy)
    1. grande
    2. grand
    3. grands
    4. grandes

 

  1. 2. Les ….. enfants (the pretty kids)
    1. beau
    2. bel
    3. beaux
    4. belles

 

  1. La table (the antique table)
    1. ancienne
    2. anciene
    3. ancien
    4. anciens

 

  1. 4. Elle est (she is happy)
    1. heureuxe
    2. heureux
    3. heureuse
    4. heureusse

 

  1. 5. Une femme (a crazy woman)
    1. fou
    2. fol
    3. folle
    4. fousse

 

  1. 6. Un homme ( a nice man)
    1. gentil
    2. gentile
    3. gentils
    4. gentiles

 

  1. 7. Une personne (an interesting person)
    1. Interessants
    2. Interessantte
    3. Interessante
    4. Interessant

 

  1. Des informations  (true informations)
    1. Vrai
    2. Vraix
    3. Vraie
    4. Vraies

Réponses: 1b, 2c, 3a, 4c, 5c, 6a, 7c, 8d.

 

Deuxième partie : conjugaison

Les trois groupes de verbes français

Les verbes des deux premiers groupe sont réguliers et se conjuguent tous de la même manière, mais les verbes du troisième groupe sont plus compliqués.

 

Groupe

 

Infinitif Informations
 

Premier 1er

 

 

er

Verbe régulier, facile à conjuguer

 

Ex : aimer, manger (to love, to eat)

 

 

Deuxième 2ème

 

 

ir

Verbe régulier, facile à conjuguer

 

Ex : finir (to end)

 

 

 

 

Troisième 3ème

 

 

 

 

ir

oir

indre

ettre

re

 

Verbe irrégulier, difficile à conjuguer

 

Exemples :

Partir (to leave)

Savoir (to know)

Peindre (to paint)

Mettre (to put)

Prendre (to take)

 

 

 

Conjugaison des verbes du premier groupe conjugation of the first group verbs

Présent


Manger

Je mange

Tu manges

Il,elle, on mange

Nous mangeons

Vous mangez

Ils, elles mangent

Aimer

J’aime

Tu aimes

Il, elle on aime

Nous aimons

Vous aimez

Ils, elles aiment

 

 

Troisième partie : vocabulaire

Vocabulaire sur le thème de la nourriture Vocabulary about the food

la nourriture     food

avoir faim     to be hungry

manger     to eat

 

le repas     meal

le petit-déjeuner     breakfast

le déjeuner     lunch

le dîner     dinner

le goûter     snack

déjeuner     to have breakfast or lunch

dîner     to have dinner

la cuisine     kitchen, cooking

la salle à manger     dining room

le restaurant     restaurant

le hors d’œuvre, l’entrée*     appetizer

la soupe, le potage     soup

le plat principal     main course

la salade     salad

le dessert     dessert

 

le croissant   croissant

la farine   flour

les frites   (US) fries, (UK) chips

l’huile d’olive (fem)   olive oil

la mayonnaise   mayonnaise

la moutarde   mustard

un œuf, des œufs   egg, eggs

le pain   bread

le pain grillé   toast

les pâtes   pasta

le poivre   pepper

le riz   rice

la sauce   sauce, dressing, gravy

la confiture   jam

le sel   salt

le sucre   sugar

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