Lesson 2: How old are you ?

Learn how to tell your age in French, ask and compare your age with others and speak about other members of your family. You will learn more about the conjugation and the use of the French Present Simple Tense ( Le présent de l’indicatif ), as well as the French comparatives and superlatives.

1. Dialogue: Quel âge as-tu ?

Quel âge as-tu ?
– J’ai 25 ans. Et toi?
Moi, j’ai 3 ans de moins que toi.
Alors, tu as 22 ans.
C’est exact. Je suis plus jeune que toi.
– Tu veux dire que je suis vieux ?
Bien sûr que non ! 25 ans c’est le meilleur âge !
– Et quel âge a ta sœur ?
Elle a 15 ans. Je suis plus âgé qu’elle.
– Oui, ça fait 10 ans de différence entre vous deux.

simple french lessons, audio diaologue in a café

2. Notes

Notes on French grammar, vocabulary, phonetics and language in general.

Dialogue Vocabulary
Additional Vocabulary


3. Exercise: Translate into French

Click for more information about this exercise
1. How old are you ?
2. I'm 25 years old.
3. I'm 3 years younger than you. (lit. I have 3 years less than you).
4. Then, you are 22 years old.
5. That's right. (That's correct.)
6. I'm younger than you.
7. You want to say that I'm old ? (You mean I'm old ?)
8. Of course not !
9. 25 is the best age !
25 ans !
10. And how old is your sister ?
Et ?
11. She is 15 years old.
12. I'm older than her.
Je .
13. There is (lit. It makes) 10 years of difference between you two.

4. Homework

  1. Read the dialogue aloud 3 times. Do it slowly, be careful with your pronunciation. You need to feel your facial and tongue muscles work. This will do miracles to your pronunciation and will make your speech more automatic and fluent.
  2. Write about your age. Compare yourself to your siblings. If you are the only child, compare yourself to your parents or cousins (les cousins).
  3. Get 100% of correct answers in the translation exercise.

Lesson 3: Nice to Meet You !

simple-french lessons

Learn what to say in French when you meet people for the first time and how to introduce other people. Look up the words and do the interactive exercise at the end check your knowledge of the vocabulary from the dialogue.

1. Dialogue

Nice to Meet You !

Alberto, un garçon italien, va à l’Université il a cours de français. Sur son chemin il rencontre Marc, un ami français.

Marc: Salut Alberto !
Alberto: Salut Marc ! Comment ça va ?
Marc: Ça va bien. Et toi ?
Alberto: Moi aussi, merci.
Marc: est-ce que tu vas ?
Alberto: Je vais à la fac. J’ai un cours de français dans une demi heure.
Marc: Alberto, je te présente Marie. C’est une amie.
Alberto: Enchanté Marie !
Marie: Salut Alberto !

2. Notes




3. Exercises

Explanation of the exercise

Translate the following sentences

1. How is it going ?
2. How are you ?
3. Fine, and you ?
a) It goes well, ...
b) I'm (going/doing) well, ...
4. I’m going to the uni.
Je .
5. (Let me) introduce you to Marie.
6. Nice to meet you !
7. He has got his French lesson at the University.
Il à l’Université.
8. Where are you going ?



4. Homework

  1. Read the dialogue out loud several times (3-5  times). The same goes for the pronunciation exercise.
  2. Using what you have learnt in lessons 1 and 2, write a short dialogue between Marie and Alberto. Write the possible questions that Marie could ask Alberto and make up the answers for Marie too (her age, nationality, where she is going).


Lesson 5: What do you do for a living ?

Learn how to ask somebody for his / her profession. Learn different profession names in French, how to ask polite questions and what the possessive adjectives are. You will also see the difference between “tu” and “vous“, or how to politely address to other people.

1. Dialogue: What do you do for a living ?

Qu’est-ce que vous faites dans la vie ?

Qu’est-ce que vous faites dans la vie Monsieur  ?
– Je suis professeur d’histoire.
Et vous Madame, que faites-vous dans la vie ?
– Je suis médecin. Je travaille dans un hôpital.
Qu’est-ce que votre voisin fait dans la vie, Monsieur ?
– Mon voisin ? Je crois qu’il est pompier.
Que fait votre fille dans la vie ?
– Ma fille est vétérinaire.
Et toi, qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie?
– Je travaille dans un salon de coiffure. Je suis coiffeur.

 2. Notes


Additional Grammar

 3. Exercises

Type in the French translation of the sentence in English. If you are stuck or need a suggestion, look closely into the dialogue above. Some detail might have escaped your attention.
  The punctuation marks have already been added there for you. Don't add the punctuation mark ( " . ", " ? ", " ! ") at the end of the sentence as it won't validate your answer ! Sometimes you may be asked to add a comma ( " , ") inside a sentence.
  For the French characters, if you don't know how to type them on your keyboard, please use the virtual keyboard provided below the exercise. The French characters are necessary for the sentences to be correctly completed. Otherwise, your sentence won't be validated.
  Please, remember: this kind of exercise, that is reading the lesson first and then trying to retrieve it from your memory and / or helping yourself by looking back into the lesson is EXTRAORDINARILY efficient. You will be surprised how fast you will learn and how quickly you will actually build your own sentences.

1. What do you do for a living, sir?
Qu’est-ce que , Monsieur ?
2. What does your neighbour do for a living ?
a) ? (polite)
b) ? (friendly)
3. She is a doctor.
4. I’m a firefighter and she’s a veterinary.
Je .
5. I work at school.
6.I’m a professor of French
7. Where do you work ? (friendly)
a. ? (inversion)
b. ? (est-ce que)

4. Homework

  1. Write in French what kind of work you do and where (in what place) you work. Record your work.
  2. Choose 5 people from your surroundings and write what their professions are and where they work.

Lesson 4: Talk about Yourself

Learn how to briefly talk about yourself in French. Learn how say what your name and age are, where you live (city and country), what you do for a living, what you like doing, where you work and what languages you speak. Audio text with interactive exercises to improve your learning.

Read the text below and listen to the audio for pronunciation. Next, do the reading comprehension exercise and answer the questions at the end. For any problems with comprehension, take a look into the Notes section.

1. Text: Talk About Yourself in French

Bonjour. Je m’appelle Marie.
Jai 27 ans et jhabite à Nantes, en France.
Jai toujours vécu dans cette ville.
Je suis professeur de français et je travaille à l’Université.
J’aime apprendre les langues étrangères.
Je parle anglais et espagnol.
J’aime également sortir avec des amis et voyager.
Je suis déjà allée* en Allemagne, en Pologne, en Espagne,  en Angleterre et en Irlande.
Et toi, quels pays as-tu visités ?

2. Notes


3. Exercises

Reading Comprehension: 

Explanation of the exercise
1. I live in Paris.
2. We have already been to Ireland.
Nous .
3. I lived in Germany.
4. I am an English teacher.
Je .
5. I work at school.
6. I like to speak French.
7. I have learned to speak French.

4. Homework

  1. Write about yourself following the structure of the dialogue in this lesson. You need to include:
    1. what your name is and how old you are
    2. where you live (city, country)
    3. what kind of work you do and where you work
    4. what you like doing
    5. what foreign languages you speak
    6. what countries you have visited
  2. Or answer the following questions. Record the answers, upload them to SoundCloud and post them in the comments below or on my Facebook page:
    1. Quel est ton prénom ?
    2. Quel âge as-tu ?
    3. Que fais-tu dans la vie ? (Où travailles-tu ?)
    4. Qu’est-ce que tu aimes faire ?
    5. Quelles langues étrangères parles-tu ?
    6. Quels pays étrangers as-tu visités ?
  3. Learn by heart the answers you have created.

French “R” Sound Pronunciation Practice

distinctive sound of the French language. It gives satisfaction to those who can pronounce it effortlessly and nightmares to those who can't. 

Even if your speach is fluent, that is you understand and you speak without efforts, there might still be some slight differences in the way you pronounce certain French sounds.

Normally, anyone knowing that you are a foreigner won't point those out, but it is indispensable if you want your French to be impeccable. You will also avoid some sarcastic remarks from time to time.

Here is the first of a list of 3 groups of French sounds that give you away as a foreigner and the ways how to improve them. In this post we will harness the French "R" [ɛʀ]. 

If you are really determined to master the French "R" sound, check out my ebook Master the French R Sound 

Master the French R in Sentences
Click the Image

How to produce the French "R" sound ? 

Uvula (french-linguistics.co.uk)

It is a sound that is produced in your throat.

What you should do is to gurgle as if you were cleaning your throat, or trying to scratch your itching pallet with the compressed air coming from your lungs.

The French "R" sound is what the specialist call a uvular fricative.

You need to have the feeling that the back of your pallet is working slightly and your tongue should stay motionless.

It is very close to the sound of snoring on exhalation (when you breath out). You can try this out.

It is very easy to inhale the air and make the palet vibrate. It is slightly more difficult to do the same on exhalation, but this is where you will find your French "R".    

Of course, this is only an approximation ! Your gurgled "R" will sound a bit artificial and forced at the beginning.

To pronounce the French "R" correctly, you will have to practice it a bit to make it smooth

You should not worry too much about pronouncing it correctly, as in the real speech you don't pay that much attention to one particular sound.

That is also the secret of mastering this particular sound. Many learners of French commit the mistake, quite naturally, to push it a bit too far.

They overdo it and it makes them sound weird. This kind of behaviour is quite normal.

That's why some of the learners give the whole thing up and either pronounce the "r" as the would in their native language (à l'américaine (the English style) ou à la russe (the Spanish style) , or they keep overdoing it. The solution lies, as usual, in between.  

The types of "R"

You also need to know that the French "R" does not always sound the same way. Sometimes it is more or less audible. It may depend on such things like:

  • the speaker,
  • the speed of speech,
  • the place of the sound in relation to other syllables in the sentence,
  • stress that the speaker puts on that particular sound or others
  • or other things that I am not clever enough to enumerate …

But you don't need to analyse all that in your speech, it is just good to know. With a bit of practice you will come to the same conclusion.

You might hear some of the French People make a trilling "R" with their uvula (like the one you can hear in the songs of Charles Aznavour or George Brassens).

This is not the reference however and most of the French people don't speak like that.

How to practice the French "R" ?

In order to have an impeccable French "R" pronunciation, you must speak French and listen to a lot of French all the time ! Yeah, right….

That would take ages and would cost you a lot of frustration along the way !

In order to improve a particular aspect of something, you need to make a conscious and concentrated effort over a given period of time to accelerate its improvement. 

In our case, you need to focus on that particular aspect of the French pronunciation (that is the French R sound), exhaust your muscles (yes, your mouth and throat have muscles too !), by repeating the sound in exercises, exaggerating it even, and then smooth it out in speech.

Exercise 1

Do you remember that gurgling  and snoring I told you about ? You take it and you repeat it continuously with all of the French vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u). You start slowly.

With some practice you can make it faster so you can produce that uvular fricative "r" sound effortlessly.

  • ra ra ra
  • re re re
  • ré ré ré
  • ri ri ri 
  • ro ro ro
  • ru ru ru 

Exercise 2

With nasal vowels as with an, in, un, on.

In this exercise not only will you practice your French R sound but you will also practice the other distinctive French sounds, that is the nasal vowels like an [ã], in [ɛ̃], and on [õ]

  • an [ã] : grand, franc, ranger
  • in [ɛ̃] : brin, fringues, ringard
  • on [õ] : rond, front, gronder

Try to do that exercise whenever you have time (in a car, in the elevator, in your shower, etc). Once a day for a minute for one week would be perfect.

Exercise 3

The other trick is to practice with words. The ones below will really muscle your vocal apparatus. Some of them can be really hard.

They will not only make you work your French "R", but also some other important sounds associated with o, e, é, er, an, u. 

  • rajouter, râler, racorder
  • regarder, recevoir, redire
  • répéter, réussir, récupérer
  • rire, ricaner, riche
  • robert, robinet, romantique 
  • rural, rustique, russe

Get all of the audio files for the exercises for 1 € only !

Buy the ebook: "Master the French R Sound"

Do you want to take your French pronunciation to a higher, native like level ? Here is how !

Master the French R eBook

Example page French R


The best advice I can give you as a conclusion is to work hard your exercises, exaggerate the sounds while practicing them and not to worry too much about it in the actual speech.

In fact, forget it is there and that it doesn't sound very "RRR" like the real French "r".

If you concentrate too much on pronouncing the French "R" correctly, not only will it sound strange but it will also wear you out, make your speech less fluent and natural and you will feel quickly exhausted.

That's right, speaking a foreign language is kind of a strain for your brain (though beneficial and giving lots of satisfaction) so you'd better take it easy concentrate of the fun part.

Should you have any suggestions concerning how to pronounce and improve the French "R", share it with me in the comments !