Knowing the names of countries in French is essential for a beginner. Not only will it allow you to speak about yourself properly, but also it will let you understand your speaker when they introduce themselves.
In France, especially in big cities like Paris, Mareseille or Nice you will come across people of different origins and nationalities. It will be easier for you to understand them if you know the names of the countries they are coming from.
What you need to know about the names of countries in French is that they normally come with a definite article (masculine or feminine). However, they are often dropped, depending on the context and the sentences in which they are used.
It this lesson you will learn or consolidate, if you have gone through the 1st and 2nd part of my French Lessons for Beginners, the conjugation and use of the two most important verbs in the French language: Etre and Avoir.
1. French Verbs: Etre / Avoir
Here are some of the advantages of learning etre (to be) and avoir (to have) from the beginning.
They are two the most important verbs in almost any language, but they are particularly useful in learning Romance Languages
Thanks to them you will be able to express all the basic things concerning yourself
Etre and avoir are essential in constructing most of the grammatical structures of the French language (past, future, conditional, perfect, subjunctive)
Two irregular verbs, which means theyconjugate differently from other verbs
In both verbs, the second ( tu ) and the third( il/elle ) person singular are pronounced in the same way (although they are written in a different way)
Learn how to introduce yourself in French, tell your name, your age and where you are from. You will also see how to ask simple questions in French, basic French conjugation, the verb to be (être), to have (avoir), to be called (s'appeler) and you will discover names of different nationalities in French. You will also have your first lesson on French phonetics: how to correctly pronounce je, j'ai, tu and d'où.
1. Dialogue : Je m’appelle … .
Comment t’appelles-tu ? – Je m’appelle José. Es-tu espagnol ? – Oui, je suis espagnol. Je viens de Barcelone. Quel âge as-tu ? – J’ai21 ans. Et toi ? Moi, je m’appelle Julien, j’ai 25 ans et je suis français. Je viens deBordeaux.
Comments on French grammar, vocabulary, phonetics.
Grammar: Basic Conjugation
A. Basic words of French:
être, avoir, venir, s'appeler (more about the conjugation of the 2 most important verbs in this article)
Congratulations! You have just discovered three very basic albeit important and frequent French verbs and one reflexive verb: a very common type of verb in Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, among others). s’appeler = to be called
Je m'appelle Jean. | Tu t'appelles Tom. | Elle s'appelle Anna. | Il s'appelle Julien.
être = to be
Je suis espagnol. | Tu es français. | Elle / Il est de Paris. ( She / He is from Paris)
avoir = to have
J’aisuis 21 ans. (Je + ai = J'ai). | Tu as une voiture. | Il / Elle a un passeport français.
venir = to come. venir de = to come fromvenir à = to come to
Je viens de Londres (London). Tu viens de Chine. Elle vient d'Allemagne (Germany) D'où viens-tu ? Where do you come from ? (où: where)
Grammar: Asking Questions
Asking Questions in French
Very formal and very polite way of asking questions.
It consists in inverting the subject and the verb.
1. Je suis espagnol. Es-tu espagnol ? (Are you Spanish ?)*
2. Il est américain. Est-il américain ? '(Are you American ?)
3. Il s'appelle Marc. Comment s'appelle–t–il ? ( s'appelle-il e-i)
2. Est-ce que
A very popular way of asking questions in French. Used in everyday speech as well as in formal situations.
It consists in adding est-ce que before any affirmative statement.
Tu es français.Est-ce quetu es français ?
Vous avez rendez-vous. Est-ce que vous avez rendez-vous ?
The easiest one and the most popular in spoken French is raising intonation.
Tu es anglais ? ↗
Tu parles français ? ↗
Tu viens de Bordeaux ? ↗
to be called / to have as a name …
to come from
Nationalities ( Les nationalités )
The names of nationalities in French are written insmall letters, unlike in the English language !
Je /ə/ , / J’ai /ɛ/
Tu /y/ , d’où /u/
3. Exercise: Translate into French
Click to show the 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 markshave 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 sentencewon'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 EXTRAORDINARILYefficient. You will be surprised how fast you will learn and how quickly you will actually build your own sentences.
Read the dialogue aloud 3 times. Do it slowly, be careful with your pronunciation. You need to feel your facial and tonguemuscles work. This will do miracles to your pronunciation and will make your speech more automatic and fluent.
Basing yourself on the dialogue from this lesson, answer the following questions (your name, age, origin). Look up in a dictionary the words you don't know. Recordyour answers, upload to SoundCloud and drop you answer in the comment section !