Simply French for Beginners - crossword 1

This is a simple crossword where the clues are in English, so you have to think of the answer and then translate it into French to find the right French word. Dont worry about apostophes or accents, an "e" is an "e" whether it has an accent in one word or not and if an answer is two words, with an apostrophe, such as "l'adapteur" it will be written "LADAPTEUR". There are one or two words we may not have done, and one or two words you think we haven't but we have (hahaha). Hopefully the link opens, and the file is an excel file.


Be careful to get the across and down clues in the right places as the is usually a matching number (i.e. 4 across and a 4 down are in differet places)



Simply French for Beginners - quiz for revision

On 13th June we ran a quiz revising many words and phrases we have used already. Below, are the questions. Later in the post are the answers written alongside them. This is so you could read the first list and parctise the questions without seeing the answers, if you so wished.

There are 6 categories, each having ten questions. Each of the questions in English has to be written down in French. Because our group focuses on spoken French more than written French, we were not too concerned with the spelling, or the gender of nouns (le or la?). We had two teams play against each other for fun.

Quiz questions / Categories :

A.      Shops and buildings:

1.       Butcher shop

2.       Baker shop

3.       Hairdresser’s salon

4.       Church

5.       Car park

6.       Museum

7.       Swimming pool

8.       School

9.       Bike hire

10.   Shop


B.      Directions:

1.       Cross the square

2.       At the corner

3.       Traffic lights

4.       Roundabout

5.       Between the bank and the restaurant

6.       Turn left

7.       Go straight ahead

8.       Take the first Right

9.       Take the second Left

10.   Next to the cathedral


C.      Common questions and requests:

1.       I would like…

2.       Where is the …?

3.       Can I have…?

4.       Do you have…?

5.       How can I get to …?

6.       What time is it?

7.       How much is that?

8.       What do you want, Madame?

9.       Is that everything?

10.   Have you got…?


D.      Colours:

1.       red

2.       blue

3.       green

4.       yellow

5.       black

6.       brown

7.       scarlet

8.       purple

9.       white

10.   grey


E.       Relatives:

1.       husband

2.       wife

3.       mother

4.       father

5.       brother

6.       sister

7.       son

8.       daughter

9.       aunt

10.   uncle


F.       At the Train station or Airport:

1.       Boarding card

2.       Ticket

3.       Platform

4.       Station

5.       Airport

6.       Single ticket

7.       Return ticket

8.       Flight

9.       Suitcase

10.   Aeroplane


 And now for the answers section below. 

You will see the same question with the answer after it. Sometimes the phrase I have shown as the answer is just one possible answer to the question, as sometimes you can say the same thing in different ways. for example, "puis-j'avoir = can I have" and so does "est-ce que je puis avoir"... (In an exam they might want you to faithfully translate it, but in out group we are focussing on simply getting the measing across with what we know).


Quiz answers / Categories :

G.     Shops and buildings

11.   Butcher shop = la boucherie

12.   Baker shop = la boulangerie

13.   Hairdresser’s salon = le salon de coiffure

14.   Church = l’église

15.   Car park = le parking

16.   Museum = le musée

17.   Swimming pool = la piscine

18.   School = l’école

19.   Bike hire = la location de vélos

20.   Shop = le magasin


H.      Directions:

11.   Cross the square = traversez la place

12.   At the corner = au coin

13.   Traffic lights = les feus

14.   Roundabout = le rond-point

15.   Between the bank and the restaurant = entre la banque et le restaurant

16.   Turn left = tournez à gauche

17.   Go straight ahead = allez tout droit

18.   Take the first Right = prenez le premier à droit

19.   Take the second Left = prenez la deuxième à gauche

20.   Next to the cathedral = à côte de la cathedrale


I.        Common questions and requests

11.   I would like… = je voudrais

12.   Where is the …? = où est le ( or la or les )

13.   Can I have…? = est-ce que je puis avoir… ?

14.   Do you have…? = est-ce que vous avoir …? / avez-vous … ?

15.   How can I get to …? = pour aller à …?

16.   What time is it? = quelle heure est-t-il?

17.   How much is that? = c’est combien?

18.   What do you want, Madame? = qu’est-ce que vous voulez, Madame?

19.   Is that everything? = c’est tout?

20.   Have you got…? = avez vous …?


J.        Colours

11.   Red = rouge

12.   Blue = blue

13.   Green = vert

14.   Yellow = jaune

15.   Black = noir

16.   Brown = brun or marron

17.   Scarlet = écarlette

18.   Purple = voilet

19.   White = blanc

20.   Grey = gris


K.      Relatives

11.   Husband = mari

12.   Wife = femme

13.   Mother = mère or maman

14.   Father = père or papa

15.   Brother = frère

16.   Sister = sœur

17.   Son = fils

18.   Daughter = fille

19.   Aunt = tante

20.   Uncle = oncle


L.       At the Train station or Airport

11.   Boarding card = la carte d’embarquement

12.   Ticket = le billet

13.   Platform = le quai

14.   Station = le gare

15.   Airport = un aéroport

16.   Single ticket = un allé simple

17.   Return ticket = un allé retour

18.   Flight = le vol

19.   Suitcase = la valise

20.   Aeroplane = un avion

Simply French for Beginners - numbers practise with playing cards

In our 13th June 2018 session we used ordinary playing cards to practise our knowledge of numbers.


  1. we ignored the suits for this game, only using the numbers;
  2. the dealer places one card on the table for a player, they have to say the number in  French e.g. 5 = cinq);
  3. They are then dealt a second card and they have to say this one in French and then add it to the first (e.g. 4 = quatre, so 4 et 5, c'est 9);
  4. Then they have to view the cards as "tens" and "units", so in the above, cards 4 and 5 together reads as 45, so they have to say 45 in French;
  5. Finally they are dealt a third card and they have to read this as hundreds, tens and units, so if card 7 was placed alongside 4 and 5, it reads as 745, and the player has to say 745 in French. We even added thousands by adding a 4th card...
  6. Then you move to the next player and repeat.
  7. to make the maths easier the picture cards dropped their "tens" value to only their "units" value - therefore: Jack which normally is 11, drops the ten and becomes 1; queen is normally 12 so drops the ten and becomes 2; King is normally 13 becomes 3, Ace becomes 1.


Some general French vocabulary for playing cards.

 Picture card names:

  • Le valet = the jack
  • La dame = the queen
  • Le roi = the king
  • L’as = the ace (pronounced “ass”)


  • Diamonds = Carreau
  • Clubs = Trèfle
  • Spades = Pique
  • Hearts = Cœur
  • So, Le deux de carreau = the 2 of diamonds
  • Le six de pique = the 6 of spades
  • Le roi de trèfle = the king of clubs
  • La dame de cœur = the queen of hearts









Simply French for Beginners - role play, finding out information at tourist sites

On the 30th May we practised giving and receiving directions. We then had to ask some questions when we arrived at the destination, e.g. the bank, the bike hire place, etc.

Role plays, directions, then questions for each destination.

1. Role play directions to the Bank.

  • Ask where the bank is because you want to exchange some currency, pounds to Euros.
  • When you are there, say you want to change £ to Euros. Ask what the rate is. (le taux de change = rate of exchange. The answer may be something like 1 virgule 15 - virgule = comma - because in France they do not have a decimal point, they have a decimal comma).
  • Say you want to change £50 and ask how many Euros you will receive.
  • You might hear something like "ça coûte deux euros = that costs two euros" because there is a charge to change the money.

2. Role play directions to the museum.

  • Ask where the museum is.
  • When you are there, as it is already afternoon, ask what time they are open until. (note - it is easier to ask when they close!)
  • Ask how much it is to enter, for adults and children.
  • Ask if they have a guide brochure in English and how much it is. (une brochure, un guide de muse)

3. Role play directions to the bicycle hire shop. (La location des vélos)

  • Ask where it is.
  • When you are there, say you would like 4 bikes, 2 for adults and 2 for children. (louer = to hire)
  • You would like them for tomorrow afternoon, from 2 until 5pm.
  • Ask how much it is to hire the bicycles. Ask do you need insurance. (l’assurance)
  • Ask if they supply helmets for both adults and children along with the bikes. (les casques de vélo)
  • Ask if the owner knows any nice bicycle routes nearby. (les itinéraires cyclable)

4. Role play directions to the swimming pool.

  • Ask if there is a water park or a swimming pool in the town. (un parc aquatique / une piscine)
  • Ask if they have any water slides there. (les toboggans)
  • Ask where it is.
  • Ask what time it opens and closes.
  • Ask how much it costs to swim there, adults and children.

Real Life examples.

And now here are some examples in French copied from French web sites, showing some of the specific vocabulary you might be presented with on signs or notices. These are the types of things that you might find useful to revise before you get to the place you want to go to ... e.g. how to ask if they rent out bike helmets!

La Tapisserie de Bayeux

  • Attention ! Les musées de Bayeux ne proposent pas de vente en ligne des billets d'entrées. Ils sont en vente UNIQUEMENT en billetterie sur place.(basically this says you can't buy entry tickets online, only at the ticket office).
  • Plein tarif 9,50€ / Tarif réduit 7,50€ (full price, reduced price)Tarif scolaires / étudiants 5€ / Gratuit pour les - de 10 ans(school children and student prices, kids less than 10 have free entry)
  • Audioguide inclus dans le tarif d'entrée
  • Pour des raisons de sécurité tout bagage ou sac volumineux sera refusé (large bags refused for security reasons)
  • Éxposition = ehibition- Premier étage, deuxième étage, etc. = first, second floor, etc

Aqualand Cap d’Agde

  • Les parcs aquatiques (waterpark) 
  • Une grande piscine à vague (waves) 
  • Les rivières lente et rapide (lazy river, rapid river)
  • Les toboggans plus vertigineux pour un max d’adrénaline = very high slides/flumes 
  • Une piscine à bulle = a pool with bubbles- 9 toboggans aquatiques géants, classés en trois couleurs selon leur niveau de difficulté = 9 giant flumes classified in 3 colours according to their level of difficulty
  • Il n’y a pas de taille minimum pour les piscines, la rivière lente et le toboggan «Anaconda » = there is no minimum size to use the pool, lazy river or the Anaconda flume 
  • Pour aller glisser sur « The Wave » l’enfant doit mesurer plus d’1m10 = to use the Wave children must be taller than 1m 10cm
  • Pour accéder au « Surf Racer» les visiteurs doivent mesurer plus d’1m20 = to access the Surf Racer visitors must be taller than 1m 20cm

La location des vélos. (bike hire station)

  • Un cadre en aluminium, aluminium frame
  • Disponibles en tailles adulte et enfant = available in adult and children sizes
  • Livraison et récupération GRATUITE sur votre lieu de vacances = delivered and collected from your place of holiday (e.g. hotel, camp site, etc.)



  • Casques, antivols et boîte à outils INCLUS avec chaque location = helmets, anti theft devices, toolboxes included with each hire



  • Une assurance responsabilité civile tous risques = civil risk insurance
  • Des vélos fabriqués spécifiquement pour les hommes, les femmes ou les enfants avec un choix de tailles = male, female and child specific bikes available in a choice of sizes
  • Des sièges enfants (Child seats), des vélos enfant « Tag-a-long » (tandem enfant/vélo suiveur) et des remorques pour enfants sont disponibles pour les enfants et bébés à partir de trois mois (for babies older than 3 months, literally = babies who have left three months)
  • Un choix d’accessoires qui comprend: les paniers, les sacoches et les portes-vélos = choice of accessories


    - note "panier" is French for basket! Sacoches = paniers for the sides of the bike! Portes-vélos = bike rack for the car

Simply French for Beginners - working with numbers (Monopoly)

Well, on the 16th of May we had a go at Monopoly in French, with some twists. The main reason was to work hard on our numbers. (and didn't we work hard!).

The money and properties were mainly handed out at the start and players moved around the board landing on each other's properties, then asking for and paying rent. There were also 4 properties left for players to buy if they landed on them.

It's not as easy as it sounds - here's the "twist" - when a player landed on their property, landlords had to take the £ rent figure from the monopoly card and add on the smaller number of the two dice rolled by the player to get the final rent due. So, we had French numbers and French arithmetic in the same game!

Later we switched to using the rent figure shown on the card for the property with one house built, and our first example was £178! In French numbers this translates to one hundred and sixty-eighteen (cent soixante dix-huit) so it immediately illustrated the complexity presented by French numbering to English speakers.

Even for numbers below 60, which were the main numbers we used, we learned that it can be complicated to add and subtract numbers in French (subtracting for giving change) and for Water Works and Electricty company we even had to multiply the number on the dice by 4, then add on the smaller dice number!

In the spur of the moment we all had moments where we were flustered. That's normal; however the more you practise your numbers the less this happens.

You could of course play the whole game without the short cuts, but we didnt have time so that's why I handed out the properties from the start. The idea of changing the rent by adding the dice number was to stop the repeats (i.e. after four people land on The Strand the landlord easily remembers the rent in French - this way the rent always changes).


Some of the vocabulary we used for Monopoly.

-Les dés = the dice

-Lancez les dés = roll the dice (literally = « launch the dice »)

-Déplacez 10 carrés = move 10 squares (a formal instruction to someone)

-Sept et cinq, c'est douze = seven and five, that's twelve

-Quattre multiplié par cinq, c'est vingt = four multiplied by five, that's twenty

-Acheter = to buy    /    J’achète = I buy    /    Je l’achète = I buy it

-Je voudrais acheter ça = I would like to buy that (=the most simple way to express it)

-Est-ce que je peux acheter ça ? = can I buy that ?

-Puis-je l’achète ? = can I buy it ?

-Non c’est à moi = no it is mine (lierally, « no, it is to me » or « no it is at me »)

-(You might also hear, “c’est le mien” which also means “it is mine”)

-Allez à la prison = go to jail/prison

-Le Coffre = the chest (as in community chest – also used for the overhead luggage compartment in a plane)

-La chance = luck

-Le parking gratuit = free parking

-L’impôt sur le revenue = income tax

-La super-taxe = super tax

Simply French for Beginners - French Cluedo, practising directions

Something a little different - practising directions in French and some verbs and simple sentences, playing Cluedo, in French.

Change some of the room names to make it more relevant (la chambre, la salle de bain, and le bureau, replacing the ballroom, billiard room and study).

Do not use dice, instead player one has to give directions in French to player two, and they have to move player one's character on the board.

You can use the phrases below, and count the number of squares you want to move (in French of course), direct to turn right or left, etc.


Possible phrases when giving and taking directions.

  • Je voudrais aller ….. = I would like to go….
  • Passez … = pass …. (as in, ….pass the dining room…)
  • Traversez à … = cross to ….
  • Tournez à … = turn to …. (as in turn to the right)
  • Allez tout droit (x number) carrés = go straight ahead (x number of) squares
  • Arrêtez = stop
  • Entrez = enter
  • Sortez = go out of
  • Je voudrai sortir … = I would like to go out of … (e.g. the dining room)
  • Je voudrais partir … = I would like to leave … (e.g. the dining room)
  • Vers = towards
  • Allez vers…. = go towards ….
  • Traversez vers … = cross towards …
  • Tournez vers … = turn towards ….


Possible phrases when making accusations.

  • Je voudrais dire…. = I would like to say….
  • Je pense… = I think…
  • C’était … = it was …
  • …avec … = …with …
  • …dans … = …in…
  • (example : Je pense c’était Madame Écarlete avec la clé anglaise dans le jardin d’hiver = I think it was Miss Scarlet with the spanner in the conservatory)


To ask a player to comment on the accusation:

  • Je demande à …(name) = I am asking …..(name)
  • Je voudrais demander à … = I would like to ask …


The reply is one of the below:

  • Je peux aider = I can help
  • Je ne peux pas aider
  • Je peux vous aider = I can help you
  • Je ne peux pas vous aider = I cannot help you


The weapons :

  • La corde = the rope
  • Le pistolet = the pistol
  • Le poignard = the dagge
  • La pipe de plomb = the lead pipe
  • La clé anglaise = the spanner (literally the English key)
  • le bougeoir = the candlestick


The suspects:

  • Colonel Moutard
  • Madame Écarlete
  • Professeur Prune
  • Reverend Vert
  • Madame Blanc
  • Madame Paon (peacock)



Simply French for Beginners - food shopping vocabulary


Avez-vous… ? = have you … ?

Je voudrais = I would like

Je le prends = I take it (i.e. I will have it)

C’est tout = that’s all    /    (can be asked by the shopkeeper, “c’est tout?”)

C’est fini / j’ai fini = I have finished

C’est combien = how much is that?

Est-ce que je peux payer par carte de crédit ? = can I pay by credit card ?


Point to what you want:

Celui-ci = this one    /    Celui-là = that one

Là bas = at the back    /    En avant (de) = in front (of)

A côté de = next to, beside

Le premier, le deuxième, le troisième, etc = the first, second, third, etc.


Specific :

Une tranche = a slice

Épais/épaisse = thick    /    Mince = thin

Assez mince = quite thin    /    Assez épais/épaisse = quite thick

Plus mince = thinner (more thin)   /   Plus épais/épaisse = thicker (more thick)

(Une) taille = size    /    Grand(e)/ moyen(e) / petit(e) / miniscule = large / medium / small / tiny

Trop de = too much of    /    Moins de = less of

Un peu moins = a little less    /    Un peu en plus = a little more

Un morceau = a piece (small ish)

Chaque = each (chaqu’un = each one)    /    Tous les deux = both

Un demi(e) = half


Some helpful additional food vocabulary:

Le saucisse/le saucisson = sausage

Le Jambon cru = cured ham

Le Porc = pork

Une bavette de  Bœuf = a cut of beef (a specific cut of beef)

Un gigot d’agneau = a leg of lamb

Le rognon = kidney

Le lapin = rabbit

Le canard = duck

Un poulet = chicken

Une darne de saumon  = a salmon steak

La morue = cod

Le huître = oyster

La crevette = prawn

Entier / Demi-écremé / Écremé = full fat / semi-skimmed (2% fat) / skimmed (all used for MILK)

La carotte = carrot

Les haricots verts = green beans

La Tomate = orange (no I am joking = tomato)

Le champignon = mushroom


La framboise = raspberry

La prune = plum !

Le citron = lemon

Le citron vert = lime

L’ananas (masc.) = pineapple

La fraise = strawberry

Les raisins verts/blancs = green/white grapes

Les raisins rouges noirs= reg/black grapes

Les olives noirs ou verts = green / black olives

Les noisettes = nuts (fem.)

La Pomme = apple

L’artichaut (masc.) = artichoke

Le concombre = cucumber

Le houmous = hummus

La Roquette = rocket leaves


La farine = flour

Le sucre = sugar

Le pain  = bread

Les pâtes = pasta !

Le beurre = butter

Les chips = crisps

Le fromage = cheese

Le miel  = honey

Le blé = wheat




Simply French for Beginners - common uses of avoir = to have, unusual in English

Common French uses of avoir = to have that are unusual in English.

Avoir XX ans = to be XX years old

Il y a = there is (literally there it has)

Il y en a XX = there are XX of them (literally there it has XX of them)

Qu’est-ce qu’il y a? = What is it ? (more like, what has happened, what is wrong ?)


The following are all examples where we say « to be » something and the French language says « to have » something:

Avoir de la chance = to be lucky (not "to have a chance")

Avoir du retard = to be late

Avoir peur = to be afraid

Avoir froid/chaud = to be cold/hot (this is not “to have a cold”, which is = avoir un rhume)

Avoir raison = to be right (not "to have a reason", which is "avoir un raison" notice the "un" in the sentence)

Avoir faim/soif = to be hungry/thirsty


Some other common uses of avoir:

Avoir besoin = to need

Avoir l’air de = to seem (literally, to have the air of…)

Avoir envie de = to want, to fancy (e.g. j’ai envie d’une tasse du café = I want a cup of coffee)

Simply French for Beginners - connecting verbs in the same sentence (modal verbs)

Connecting or joining verbs together in the same sentence, present tense.

Common examples:

I want to go => has two verbs, to want, and to go.

I can see = > to be able to (do something), to see

I must look for = > to have to (do something), to look for


Firstly – Vouloir = to want

Je veux

tu veux

il/elle veut

Nous voulons

Vous voulez

Ils/elles veulent



1. Je veux  partir maintenant = I want to leave now. (je veux, and partir are connected)

2. Elle veut savoir l’heure = She wants to know the time. (elle veut, and savoir are connected, etc.)

3. Je veux ouvrir la boîte, mais c’est cassée = I want to open the box, but it is broken.

4. He wants to go out this week = Il veut sortir cette semaine.

5. I do not want to make a mistake = je ne veux pas faire une erreur.

6. We want to leave before midnight = nous voulons partir avant minuit.

7. Of course, he wants to know your reply = bine sûr, il veut savoir votre nom.

8. I think you want to go to the concert, don’t you? = je pense que vous voulez aller au concert, n’est-ce pas?


Conditional tense of vouloir changes "I want" to "I would like"

(conditional means, I want, depending on certain conditions - in other words, I would like): 

je voudrais = I would like

tu voudrais

il/elle voudrait

nous voudrions = we would like

vous voudriez = you would like

ils/elles voudraient


Next – Pouvoir = to be able to (e.g. I am able to or I can).

Je peux (sometimes they use je puis)

tu peux

il/elle peut

Nous pouvons

vous pouvez

ils/elles peuvent



1. Tu ne peux pas fumer ici = You can't smoke here. (tu peux or rather, tu ne peux pas,and fumer are connected)

2. Les policiers ne peuvent pas l’attraper = The policemen cannot catch him. 

3. I can open the box, but now it is broken = Je peux ouvrir la bôite, mais maintenant c’est cassée.

4. He can go out every evening = Il peut sortir chaque soir.

5. Since (now) I am an adult, I can drink alcohol = Depuis je suis adulte, je peux boire de l’alcool.

6. We can go to the concert this evening = Nous pouvons aller au concert ce soir.

7. He can speak French if makes an effort = Il peut parler français s’il fait un effort.

8. We can sing a joyful song = Nous pouvons chanter une chanson joyeuse


Finally – Devoir = to have to (e.g I have to or I must)

Je dois

tu dois

il/elle doit

Nous devons

vous devez

ils/elles doivent



1. Vous devez arrêter le moteur maintenant = You must stop the engine now. (vous devez and arrêter are connected)

2. Il doit être au moins minuit = It must be at least midnight.

3. He must put the suitcase here = il doit mettre la valise ici.

4. We must wear our new clothes = nous devons porter notre nouveaux vêtements.

5. We have to be in Paris for a meeting on Saturday = nous devons être à Paris pour une reunion le Samedi. 

6. They must do their homework = ils doivent faire leurs devoirs.

7. You must listen well, or you are not going to understand = vous devez écouter bien, ou vous n’allez pas comprendre.

8. Surely you have to take an umbrella? = sûrement vous devez prendre une parapluie ?

Simply French for Beginners - warm up revision

Simply French recap session – warm up exercise:

My name is ….. = je m’appele

I live in Whitley Bay = j’habite à Whitley Bay

I would like …. = je voudrais

I would like to introduce Mr(s)….. = je voudrais presenter ….

Have you any butter please? = avez-vous du beurre, s’il vous plait?

Excuse me, where is the bank? = excusez-moi, oú est la banque?

Is it far from here? = c’est loin d’ici?

Where is the nearest restaurant? = oú est le restaurant plus proche?

How much is that? = c’est combine?

The hospital is behind the cathedral = l’hôpital est à derrière la cathedrale

I live next to the swimming pool = j’habite à côte de la Piscine

When is breakfast served? = à quelle heure servez-vous le petit-déjeuner ?

Can I have the bill please? = l’addition s’il vous plait?

Can I see the menu please? = est-ce que je peux voir la carte s’il vous plait?

Do you have any vegetarian meals? = est-ce que vous avez des repas végétariens ?

Please take a seat, madam = installez-vous, madame, s’il vous plait

Is the flight delayed? No, it is on time. = est-ce que le vol est en retard? Non, c’est à l’heure

The toilets are at the back, next to the kitchen = Les toilettes sone la bas, presque la cuisine

From which platform does the train to Lyon leave? = de quell quai part le train pour Lyon?

Can I have a second class return ticket to Marseille please? = Je voudrai un aller retour deuxième classe pour Marseille, s’il vous plait.

I have a problem in my bedroom, the electricity is not working = j’ai un problème dans ma chambre, l’électricité ne marche pas


The bus station is quite far from here, perhaps 20 minutes’ walk? = le routier est assez loin d’ici, peut-être vingt minutes à pied

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