Lesson 10: What do you like doing in your free time ?

Simple French Lesson 10 on how to say what your hobbies are and what you like doing. Learn how to ask questions and how to answer using “I / You like”.

1. Dialogue : “Qu’est ce que tu aimes faire ?”

Antoine: Qu’est-ce que tu aimes faire Marie ?
Marie: Tu veux dire pendant mon temps libre ?
Antoine: Exactement. Quel est ton passe temps favori ?
Marie: J’aime lire et regarder des films.
Antoine: Quel genre de livres aimes-tu ?
Marie: J’aime les livres d’aventure et de la littérature populaire. Pour les films, j’adore les vieux films français. Et toi, Antoine ?
Antoine: Moi, j’aime la musique. Ecouter, jouer et chanter, ce sont mes passions !

2. Notes

Grammar

! This lesson uses Simple Present Tense (Le présent). It also focuses on the use of the adjective quel

The verb aimer

aimer: to love, to be fond of, to like, to enjoy
J’aime les voitures allemandes.

Tu aimes faire du sport.

Il / Elle aime sortir avec des amis.

Nous aimons la cuisine espagnole.

Vous aimez le café ?

Ils / Elles aiment voyager.

  • Negative sentence:
    • Je n’aime pas le café. ne (or n’ if a vowel comes after it) + verb + pas
    • You need to use definite article (le / la / les) when you want to say that you like or don’t like something in particular.
    • ! Je taime ! = I love you ! but J’adore Paris ! = I love Paris !
    • ! Je t’aime bien = I like you.
    • J’aime bien cette couleur. = I (somewhat / kind of) like this colour.    
Vocabulary
French English
aimer to like / to be fond of
dire to say
pendant during / while / in
un passe temps a hobby
lire to read
regarder to look / to watch
quel / quelle which / what
(un) genre type / sort / kind
adorer to really like
écouter to listen to
jouer to play (in instrument or a game (sport / video)
chanter to sing
une passion a passion
Useful expressions

Some Useful Expressions:

  • Qu’est ce que tu veux dire ? What do you mean ?
  • Je suis fou / folle de toi / de basket / de joie  !  I’m crazy about you / basketball /  I’m mad with joy !
Additional Vocabulary

Some  examples of hobbies: 

French English
écouter de la musique to listen to music
l’équitation / monter à cheval horse riding
le cyclisme cycling / bicycling
surfer sur le net to go web surfing / web browsing
jouer de la guitare to play the guitar
le basket basketball
jouer au foot to play football
sortir to go out
parler avec des amis to talk with friends
courir / faire du jogging to run / to go jogging
aller à la pêche / pêcher to go fishing / to fish
jardinage / jardiner gardening / to do some gardening
nager / faire de la natation to swim
cuisiner / faire de la cuisine to cook

3. Exercises

Translate the following sentences:

1. What do you like doing ?
Qu'est-ce que ?
2. What do you mean ?
Qu' ?
3. I love Paris !
!
4. We like Spanish food.
Nous .
5. They (feminine) don't like travelling.
Elles .
6. I somewhat like this car.
cette voiture.

4. Homework

  1. Write what you like doing. Choose 1 or 2 activities that you like, 1 that you like so-so and 1 you don’t like. Do this in the first person singular ( Je ….) and the second person singular (Tu …)
  2. Learn the dialogue by heart. You may replace the activities you like with the ones of your choice.

The cover image by Vincent Anderlucci.

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
Paris-Louvre-Luc-Mercelis-Flickr

2. Notes

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

Dialogue Vocabulary
French English
de moins que less than
alors so, then
exact correct, right
jeune young
(être) plus jeune que (to be) younger than
vouloir (Tu veux …) to want
dire to say
Bien sûr of course
(être) le meilleur the best
une sœur a sister
(être) plus âgé que older than
faire (ça fait …) to make, to do
Additional Vocabulary
French English
1. Groupes d’âge 1. Age groups:
les personnes agées the elderly / the seniors.

Eg. Beaucoup de personnes agées vivent seules.

les adultes the adults
les adolescents the teenagers
les enfants the children
2. Membres de la famille 2. Family members
le père father

Mon père est brun.

la mère mother

Ma mère est infirmière.

un frère brother

Eg. J’ai deux frères.

une sœur sister

Eg. Je n’ai pas de sœur.

un fils son

Eg. J’ai un fils et une fille.

une fille daughter

Eg. Bénédicte est ma fille.

un mari husband

Eg. Voici Jean-Claude, mon mari.

une femme wife

Eg. Je vous présente Hélène, ma femme.

Grammar

A. Etre / Avoir: Le Présent de l’indicatif ( Present Tense)

être ( to be ) avoir ( to have )
  • je suis français.
  • tu es vieux
  • il / elle / on est jeune
  • nous sommes désolés
  • vous êtes en retard
  • ils sont beaux
  • elles sont belles
  • j’ai un ami
  • tu as une jolie voiture
  • il / elle / on a plein d’amis
  • nous avons des livres intéressants
  • vous avez votre passeport
  • ils ont deux enfants

B. être plus que (+) / être moins que (-)

Je suis plus jeune que toi. I am younger than you.
On est moins riche que les autres. We are less rich than the others.

Je suis plus agé qu‘elle. In French, there can’t be two vowels next to each other. That’s why the two words “que” and “elle” become one word in a way. It is pronounced as one word.

C. avoir …. de moins que

J’ai trois ans de moins que toi. I am 3 years younger than you.

D. être le plus … (the most … )

25 ans c’est le meilleur âge ! 25 is the best age ! 
Je suis le plus jeune. I’m the youngest.
Elle est la plus agée. She is the oldest

3. Exercise: Translate into French

Click for more information about this exercise
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. 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

Vocabulary

French English
aller to go.

Eg. Il va à l’Université. He goes / is on his way to the University.

where*

*(see the questions words in French below)

(un) cours course / classes / lessons.

Eg. des cours de français. French lessons.

(un) chemin way / path / track.

Eg. J’ai perdu mon chemin. I’ve lost my way.

rencontrer to meet
(un/une) ami a friend.
salut Hello / Hi.
bien well.

Eg. Tu parles bien français. You speak French well.

la fac the uni. (informal way of saying “the University” in French. It is the short for “la faculté”)
présenter quelqu’un (à quelqu’un) to introduce somebody to somebody.

Eg. Je te présente Anne. Let me introduce you to Anne.

C’est This is / It is.

Ce (it) + est (to be).

Enchanté(e) The word literally means “enchanted” but is used as the English Nice to meet you.

  • Enchanté (boy)
  • Enchantée (girl)

The pronunciation stays the same.

A. Asking how somebody is:

Informal (Friendly) Formal (Polite)
  • Comment ça va ?
  • Ca va ?
  • Comment vas-tu ?
  • Tu vas bien ?
  • Quoi de neuf (Used when you haven’t seen someone for some time)
  • Vous allez bien ?
  • Comment allez-vous (Madame, Monsieur) ?
  • Comment ça va Monsieur / Madame ?
Grammar

Le présent ( Present Tense )
aller = to go. Conjugaison du verb (Verb conjugation)

Personal pronoun verb example
je vais à la plage.
tu vas à la maison.
il / elle / on va faire des courses.
nous allons en cours.
vous allez bien ?
ils / elles vont bien ensemble.

The basic Question Words in French:

French English
Qui ? Who ?
Quoi ? / Que ? What ?
? Where ?
Quand ? When ?
Pourquoi ? Why ?
Comment ? How ?

Phonetics

/ɛ̃/ italien bien, chien 
/y/ salut, une, d
/œ/ heure, beurre, sœu

Don’t forget about the liaison in French ! Almost always you need to make a liaison when a consonant (d, t, s, z, x, f, n) is followed by a vowel (e, i, o, u)

Je vais_à la fac 

Je vais_à la fac 

metro-paris-stephen-h-flickr


3. Exercises

Explanation of the exercise

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.

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.
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

Grammar

Asking questions: Est-ce que / Qu’est-ce que / Que …

Qu’est-ce que vous faites dans la vie ? = What do you do for a living ? / What is your occupation ? / What do you do ? (Formal and polite  expression)
que = what (very common word in French). It can have several meanings.
 tutoiement:
using tu: informal, used only between young people or friends. 

Examples:

Qu’est-ce que tu fais ? What are you doing ? 

Comment vas tu ? How are you doing ?
 vouvoiement:
using vous: formal and polite. Used with people you don’t know or to whom you need / want to refer with respect.

Examples

– Que faites-vous dans la vie ?

– Où habitez-vous ? Where do you live ? 

est-ce que : a very common way of asking questions in French.

Qu’est-ce que …. =  What do you …. (Que + est = Qu’est (e != e))

no inversion of the subject and verb in questions with est-ce que. 

Examples:
Qu’est que tu fais ? Whare are you doing (right now)
Qu’est ce que tu fais dans la vie ? What do you do for a living ? 
est-ce que tu travailles ? Where do you work ? 
est-ce que tu habites ? Where do you live ? 

Inversion: 

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

It is a very formal way of asking questions in French.

Conjugation: faire | travailler

Faire ( to do ) Travailler ( to work )
je fais
tu fais
il fait / elle fait / on fait
nous faisons
vous faites
ils / elles font
je travaille
tu travailles
il /elle / on travaille
nous travaillons
vous travaillez
ils / elles travaillent

Additional Grammar

Possessive adjectives (adjectifs possessifs): my, your (polite and friendly forms)

I’m speaking about my neighbour(s):

  • mon voisin: my neighbour
  • ma voisine: my (female) neighbour
  • mes voisins: my neighbours (the “s” in voisins is not pronounced !)

I’m speaking about your neighbour(s):

  • ton voisin:  your neighbour
  • ta voisine: your (female) neighbour
  • tes voisins: your neigbours

I’m speaking about your neigbour(s) (polite)

  • votre voisin: your neighbour  
  • vos voisins: your neighbours


 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

Vocabulary
French English
habiter à to live, to dwell
travailler to work
aimer to like
apprendre to learn
parler to speak
les langues étrangères foreign languages
sortir to go out
aller to go
quel (quels / quelle / quelles) which, what
visiter to visit, to go to

habiter à Nantes / à Paris / à Rome
travailler à l‘hôpital / à la radio / au centre commercial
Jai vécu: I have lived / I lived …
aimer apprendre / manger / voyager / rencontrer

Grammar

Le présent et le passé (Le passé composé )

A. Simple Present Tense:

 – Le présent : current actions and situations, habits, general truths

Examples:

  • Je m’appelle Marie.
  • J’habite à Nantes.
  • Je parle espagnol.
  • Je suis professeur.

Conjugation example:

The most common French verb group is the the “-er” group, that all the verb that end on “er”. Examples: parler, habiter, aimer, s’appeler.

All of them conjugate the same way, by adding the appropriate suffixes to the stem (its base)  of the verb.  -e, -es,-e, -ons, -ez, -ent

habiter : to live in, to dwell
j’habite en France

tu habites à Paris

il / elle / on habite près de chez moi.

nous habitons ensemble

vous habitez loin

ils / elles habitent à côté.

B. Past Tense

 – Le passé composé: completed actions in the past.

être / avoir + verb (past participle).

Whether you need to use être or avoir depends on the verb.

Eg. avoir + vivre

  • Je vis à Nantes. I live in Nantes.
  • J’ai vécu à Nantes. I lived / have lived in Nantes.

Eg. être + aller

  • Je vais à Berlin. I go to Berlin.
  • Je suis allé à Berlin. I have been to Berlin.
  • Je vais à l’école. I go to school.
  • Je suis allé à l’école. I went to school / I have been to school.

! I have been to Spain = Je suis allé en Espagne = J’ai visité Espagne. 

! Je suis allé= you add the “e” at the end of the “allé” when you “Je” refers to a girl. It exists and is visible only in writing.

Le passé composé conjugation

avoir + vivre être + aller
J’ai vécu à Madrid

Tu as vécu en Espagne

Il / elle / on a vécu séparement

Nous avons vécu dans une maison

Vous avez vécu à Moscou

Ils / elles ont vécu en couple

Je suis allé à Paris

Tu es allé au travail

Il / elle / on est allé(e) se laver les mains

Nous sommes allés à l’église

Vous êtes allé(s)* vous promener

Ils / elles sont allés en vacances

The “s” in this sentence should appear if “Vous” refers to more than one person. If it is “vous” as in the polite and formal way of addressing someone, the “s” is dropped.  

3. Exercises

Reading Comprehension: 

Explanation of the exercise
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. 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.