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BONJOUR!

- INTRODUCTORY FRENCH

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French is a Romance language, descended from Latin and closely related to Portuguese,
Spanish, Italian, and Romanian. It is the native tongue of over 87 million people and has an
additional 68 million non-native speakers.

French speaking communities are present in 56 countries and territories. Most native
speakers of the language live in France, the rest live essentially in Canada, particularly the
province of Quebec, with minorities in the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, and Western
Canada, as well as Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, and the U.S. state of
Louisiana

Letters and Examples

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Rules for Pronunciation

1. Stress in French words always falls on the last pronounced syllable

2. The final letter "e" is normally not pronounced, the preceding consonant is pronounced.

3. Final consonants are usually silent, except of "c", "f" and "l" which are generally pronounced.
As in English, in plural most French words add an "s", however, the last "s" in a word is not
pronounced. Example: enfant and its plural form enfants are pronounced the same way. There
are exceptions like fils, gaz, ouest, sud, autobus and others. See also liaison rules when some final
consonants become sounded.

4. "ç" is always pronounced as /s/ (Garçon, leçon, façon)

5. Letter "h" is never pronounced

6. Liaison rules: when a French word ends with a consonant and the next begins with a vowel or a
silent "h" the final consonant joins the following vowel to form a complete syllable. The
pronunciation in this situation can be different: consonants "s" and "x" are pronounced as /z/
(les‿enfants, deux‿enfants), "f" is pronounced as /v/, "d" as /t/.

7. Elision rules: French letters "a" and "e" in the words le, la, ce, je, me, te, se, de, ne, que is
dropped when the word that follows them begins with a vowel or silent "h". (l'enfant)

8. Nasal sounds. They are indicated by vowel + "n" or "m", where vowel becomes nasal and "n" or
"m" is not pronounced. Please note that only when used alone (such as in words un, en, ton) or
followed by a consonant (except another "n" or "m"), vowels together with "n" or "m" will form a
nasal sound. If a consonant is followed by a vowel, both vowel and consonant will be
pronounced (une)

9. There are six masculine French adjectives and three feminine possessive adjectives that change
their form if they precede a word beginning with a vowel or silent "h".

beau - bel (beautiful) (un beau garçon - un bel homme)


ce - cet (this, that) (ce garçon - cet enfant)
fou - fol (mad) (un fou rire - un fol espoir, un fol appel)
mou - mol (soft) (un mou matelas - un mol oreiller)
nouveau - nouvel (new) (le Nouveau Monde - le Nouvel An)
vieux - vieil (old) (un vieux camarade - un vieil ami)
French feminine possessive adjectives
ma, ta, sa (my, your, her) change to the masculine form
mon, ton, son (ma maison - mon école; ta vie - ton expérience; sa vie - son œuvre)

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Basic Greetings in French

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Let us learn the French Numbers

Things of note about numbers:

• For 70-79, it builds upon "soixante" but past that it builds upon a combination of terms
for 80-99

• Only the first (21,31,41,51,etc) have "et un"; but past this it is simply both words
consecutively (vingt-six, trente-trois, etc)

• For 100-199, it looks much like this list already save that "cent" is added before the rest
of the number; this continues up to 1000 and onward.

• Many speakers of French outside of France refer to the numbers 70 to 99 in the same
pattern as the other numbers. For instance, in Switzerland and Belgium, seventy is
"septante," 71 is "septante et un," 72 "septante deux," and so on. Ninety is "nonante". In
Switzerland, Eighty is "huitante" or "octante".

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Write these numbers in French

54 149 675 1004 2669 14567

77 345 774 1111 4789 23878

93 546 989 1546 7830 58930

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Conversation between Dominique and Pat
Discussion entre
Dominique et Pat

Dominique Bonjour. Hello.

Pat Bonjour. Hello.

Dominique Comment ça va ? How's it going?

Pat Ça va très bien, merci. Et vous ? It's going very well, thank you. And you?

Dominique Ça va, merci. Comment vous appelez-vous ? Yes, it's going ok, thank you. What's your
name?

Pat Je m'appelle Pat, et vous ? Comment vous appelez- My name is Pat, and you? What is your name?
vous ?

Dominique Je m'appelle Dominique. My name is Dominique.

Pat Enchanté(e), Dominique. Nice to meet you, Dominique.

Dominique Enchanté(e), Pat. Nice to meet you, Pat.

Pat Et vous venez d'où, Dominique? And where are you from, Dominique?

Dominique Je viens de France. Je suis français(e). I am from France. I am French.

Pat Ah, vous êtes français(e). Je viens des États-Unis. Je Oh, you're French. I am from the United
suis américain(e). States. I am American.

Dominique Ah, vous êtes américain(e). Vous venez d'où Oh, you're American. Where are you from
exactement ? exactly?

Pat Je viens de Boston. Je suis étudiant(e). I'm from Boston. I am a student.

Dominique Ah, vous êtes étudiant(e). Moi, je suis professeur, Oh, you're a student. Me, I'm a teacher, an
professeur d'anglais. English teacher.

Pat Ah, vous êtes professeur d'anglais ? Oh, you're an English teacher?

Vous parlez anglais ? You speak English?

Dominique Oui. Et vous parlez français ? Yes. And you speak French?

Pat Oui. Un petit peu. Yes. a little bit.

Dominique OK. Je vais chez moi maintenant. OK. I am going home now.

Pat OK. Moi aussi. Au revoir. Bonne journée. OK. Me too. Good-bye. Have a nice day.

Dominique Au revoir. Bonne journée. Good-bye. Have a nice day.

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French Verb Conjugation
Conjugation refers to the five possible inflections of a verb: Person, Number, Mood, Tense, and Voice. Once you've
made a choice from each of these five, you have a conjugation or inflection. For example:

Verb - parler
Person - first person
Number - singular
Mood - indicative
Tense - present
Voice - active
= je parle

Verb - aller
Person - third person
Number - plural
Mood - subjunctive
Tense - present
Voice - active
= qu'ils aillent

When conjugating a French verb, the first things to figure out are the tense and mood, which work hand-in-hand. All
moods have at least two tenses (present and past) out of the possible 8 (only the indicative has all 8). The verb
timeline lists moods horizontally and tenses vertically.

The indicative is the most common mood and is normally not stated. When you talk about the passé composé, the
imperfect, or the present tense, for example, you mean "of the indicative mood." It's only with other moods like
subjunctive and conditional that the mood is stated explicitly.

All moods have a present tense, which is again not made explicit except in the indicative and participle (parentheses
indicate what normally goes unsaid):
 present (indicative)
 (present) conditional
 (present) subjunctive
 (present) imperative
 (present) infinitive
 present participle
So for example, the imperfect (indicative) and the imperfect subjunctive are two different moods of the same tense. On
the other hand, the (present) conditional and the past conditional are two different tenses of the same mood.

The verb timeline can help you understand this, because it lines up moods and tenses so that you can see how they all
fit together. X axis + Y axis = verb form and basis of individual conjugations.

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French Verbs :
Être is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation and literally means "to be." Être is
also used in some idiomatic expressions and as an auxiliary verb for compound tenses and the passive voice.

Top 10 French Verbs


ÊTRE - TO BE

AVOIR - TO HAVE

FAIRE - TO DO, MAKE

DIRE - TO SAY, TELL

ALLER - TO GO

VOIR - TO SEE

SAVOIR - TO KNOW

POUVOIR - TO BE ABLE

FALLOIR - TO BE NECESSARY

VOULOIR - TO WANT

To Be

Être means "to be" in many senses that this verb is used in English.

1. It is used with adjectives, nouns, and adverbs to describe a temporary or permanent state of being:

Il est beau - He is handsome

Je suis à Paris - I'm in Paris

Nous sommes français - We're French

Il est là-bas - He's over there

2. Être is used to describe someone's profession; however, note that the indefinite article is not used in this
construction in French:

Mon père est avocat - My father is a lawyer

Je suis étudiant - I'm a student

3. Être can be used with the preposition à plus a stressed pronoun to indicate possession:

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Ce livre est à moi
This is my book.

- À qui est cet argent ? - C'est à Paul.


- Whose money is this? - It's Paul's.

4. Expressions with être

Notes

There are a number of English "to be" expressions which are translated in French by avoir (to have):

avoir froid - to be cold


avoir raison - to be right
avoir xx ans - to be xx years old

When talking about the weather, French uses the verb faire (to do/make) rather than être:

Quel temps fait-il ? - How's the weather?


Il fait beau - It's nice out
Il fait du vent - It's windy
more expressions with faire

Être as an Auxiliary Verb

1. Être is the auxiliary for some verbs in the compound tenses:

Je suis allé en France - I went to France

Nous étions déjà sortis - We had already left

Il serait venu si... - He would have come if...

2. Être is used to form the passive voice

La voiture est lavée - The car is washed

Il est respecté de tout le monde - He is respected by everyone

Conjugations

Present tense

je suis
tu es
il est
nous sommes
vous êtes
ils sont

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Conjugations for Être

Present Perfect
je suis j' ai été
tu es tu as été
il/elle est il/elle a été
nous sommes nous avons été
vous êtes vous avez été
ils/elles sont ils/elles ont été

Imperfect Pluperfect
j' étais j' avais été
tu étais tu avais été
il/elle était il/elle avait été
nous étions nous avions été
vous étiez vous aviez été
ils/elles étaient ils/elles avaient été
Future Future-perfect
je serai j' aurai été
tu seras tu auras été
il/elle sera il/elle aura été
nous serons nous aurons été
vous serez vous aurez été
ils/elles seront ils/elles auront été
Conditional Conditional perfect
je serais j' aurais été
tu serais tu aurais été
il/elle serait il/elle aurait été
nous serions nous aurions été
vous seriez vous auriez été
ils/elles seraient ils/elles auraient été

Present subjunctive Perfect subjunctive


je sois j' aie été
tu sois tu aies été
il/elle soit il/elle ait été
nous soyons nous ayons été
vous soyez vous ayez été
ils/elles soient ils/elles aient été

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