French For Beginners
par Olivier Malet

 

Chapter Nineteen

 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28

 

 

 

EXERCISE

Now listen to the following sentences and decide if they are singular or plural, circle the sentence you hear. Then translate orally in English.

  1. Il arrive demain - Ils arrivent demain They're arriving tomorrow
  2. Elle écoute bien - Elles écoutent bien She listens well
  3. Il habite à Paris - Ils habitent à Paris They live in Paris
  4. Elle aime ça - Elles aiment ça She likes that
  5. Il arrive aujourd’hui - Ils arrivent aujourd’hui They arrive today
  6. Il arrête maintenant - Ils arrêtent maintenant He stops now
  7. Il entre ici - Ils entrent ici He enters here
  8. Elle arrive ici - Elles arrivent ici She arrives here
  9. Elle entre maintenant - Elles entrent maintenant They are coming in now
  10. Elle arrête aujourd’hui - Elles arrêtent aujourd’hui She stops today

THE PERSONAL PRONOUN ‘ON’  

‘ON’ is like the English personal pronoun ‘ONE’. It is rarely used in English. We’d rather use ‘People’ or the impersonal pronoun ‘you’ (e.g., To succeed you need to work)

In France, (one speaks) / people speak French - En France, on parle français.

At school, (one writes) / you write a lot - À l’école, on écrit beaucoup.

In France, (one eats) / people eat well - En France, on mange bien

On, therefore has an impersonal meaning but it is also used as a substitute for the personal pronoun ‘Nous’ :

- Vous partez quand? When are you leaving?

- Nous partons demain = On part demain. We leave tomorrow.

THE NEGATION & THE UNSTABLE ‘E’

We’ve seen both the negative form for a verb & the unstable ‘e’. The rule of pronunciation of the unstable ‘e’ goes as follow. If the syllable preceding an unstable ‘e’ ends with a vowel sound the unstable ‘e’ is not pronounced.

The following personnal pronouns end with a vowel sound: Je, Tu, On, Nous, Vous

Therefore if they are followed by ‘ne’ the ‘e’ of ‘ne’ is not pronounced, you pronounce all these personal pronouns as if they were ending with the consonant ‘n’

> Écoutez & répétez:

  • Je parle français - Je ne parle pas français I don’t speak French
  • Tu travailles beaucoup - Tu ne travailles pas beaucoup You don’t work a lot
  • On part aujourd’hui - On ne part pas aujourd’hui We don’t leave today
  • Nous lisons beaucoup - Nous ne lisons pas beaucoup We don’t read a lot
  • Vous conduisez bien - Vous ne conduisez pas bien You don’t drive well

 

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