Simply French for Beginners - shop role play

Role play – going into a shop.

Greet the shopkeeper

Say you would like a traditional baguette and 4 croissants please.

Ask how much is a “pain au chocolat”?

Ask for 3 of these.

Ask if the shop keeper sells butter and strawberry jam.

If they do, ask how much the butter costs. And the jam?

Buy them both.

Ask how much the total is?

Ask if they have green olives? And black olives?

Ask for a kilo of green olives and half a kilo of black olives.

Ask for 4 thick slices of ham.

Ask how much are the apples, per kilo?

Ask for 2 kilos of apples.

Say that’s everything. Ask how much is it all that together?

Count out the amount from your hand in euro coins and cents.

Say thank you and say goodbye.



How much is = combien côute…

Size = la taille

Slice = la tranche

Thick = épais(se)

A thick slice = une tranche épaisse

Thin = mince

A thin slice = une tranche mince

Each = chacun

Simply French for Beginners - easy future tense

We had a quick attempt at the simplest way of using the future tense.

In English we can say "I am going to..." to provide a sense of the future, as well as "I will" or "I shall".

In French the easiset way to do this is to say « I am going to … » and then add the verb to say what you are going to do (I am going to sing, I am going to go, etc.)


So first you need to know the verb “to go = aller”

Je vais = I go (or I am going...)

Tu vas = you go (singular, informal) (or you are going...)

Il/Elle va = he/she goes (or he/she is going...)

Nous allons = we go (or we are going...)

Vous allez = you go (plural, formal) (or you are going...)

Ils/ells vont = they go (or they are going...)


So to do two examples:

1. Present tense:

Le lundi matin, à dix heures, je joue au tennis = Monday morning at 10am I play tennis

1. Future tense:

Le lundi matin, à dix heures, je vais jouer au tennis = Monday morning at 10am I am going to play tennis


2. Present tense:

Le vendredi soir, à sept heures je finis de lire mon livre Friday evening at 7pm I finish reading my book

2. Future tense:

Le vendredi soir, à sept heures je vais finir de lire mon livre Friday evening at 7pm I am going to finish reading my book

Simply French - conversation practising verbs and times of day

we asked each other what Martin and Céline were doing during the week, practising verbs and times of the day.

So the question was:Que faites-vous le lundi matin (le mardi soir, le samedi pendant l’après-midi, etc.) ?

La semaine de martin

Example answers for Martin:- Le lundi matin, à dix heures, je joue au tennis – OR – À dix heures le lundi matin, je joue au tennis = on monday morning at 10am I play tennis

- Le vendredi soir, à sept heures je finis de lire mon livre – OR - À sept heures le vendredi soir, je finis de lire mon livre = on friday evening at 7pm I finish reading my book


1. Vocabulary La semaine de Martin:jouer au tennis = to play tennislibre temps = free timechanter dans une chorale = to sing in a choirvisiter mes parents = to visit my parentsfaire les études = to study (literally “to make the studies”)réparer la voiture = to repair the caracheter un cadeau d’anniversaire pour ma femme = to buy a birthday present for my wifeprendre une douche = to take a showerfinir de lire mon livre = to finish reading my book (literally “to finish to read my book”)


la semaine de Celine

2. Vocabulary la semaine de Céline:

travailler au bureau = to work in the officefaire un leçon de piano = to have a piano lesson (literally “to make/do a piano lesson)voyager a l’Hotel = to travel to the hotelcommencer au conférence = to start at the conferencepartir le conference et retourner a l’hotel = to leave the conference and to return to the hotelassister au conference = to attend the conference (literally “to assist at the conference” – the French “assist at” meetings, they don’t attend meetings)avoir les vacances d’un jour = to have a day’s holidaynettoyer chez moi = to clean my homerester chez moi = to stay at (my) homeLibre temps = free timerandonner avec mon chien = to go hiking with my dog (not walking, hiking)avec collègues = with colleaguespréparer le diner = to prepare dinner



Simply French for Beginners - describing hobbies

Décrivez vos loisirs, qu’est que vous faites les soirs? = Describe your hobbies, what do you do in the evenings?


In the evenings I am very busy = Les soirs, je suis très occupé


Answer for each day of the week, using a different verb. As an exercise, answer first for yourself (using je forms of the verbs, I do something...) then for someone else (using elle or il forms, she or he) also for we (nous) and they (ils or elles).

  • On Mondays, I ….
  • On Tuesdays, I ….
  • On Wednesdays, I…
  • On Thursdays, I…
  • On Fridays, I…
  • On Saturdays, I…
  • On Sundays, I…


A quick practise of the days of the week, plus you could use "le weekend" 

  • lundi
  • mardi
  • mercredi
  • jeudi
  • vendredi
  • samedi
  • dimanche


To help with some ideas, we shared the vocabulary below.

To dance = danser

To sing in a choir = chanter dans une chorale

To visit my sister = visiter ma sœur

To play tennis, football = jouer au tennis, foot, 

To prefer to stay at home = préférer à rester chez-moi

To go to my favourite bar = aller à mon bar favori

To go to church = aller à l’église

To learn French = apprendre le français


Some of the sentences you made and we discussed are shown below:

  • tous les jours, pendant le matin et le soir, je fais une promenade avec le chien
  • les weekends, je vais à mon bar favori
  • chaque lundi soir je chante dans la chorale à « The Yoga Station »
  • mon père est très vieux, les samedis il visite chez-nous


A reminder of the verb aller = to go

Je vais = I go

Tu vas = you go

Il/elle va = he/she goes

Nous allons = we go

Vous allez = you go (plural or formal)

Ils/ells vont = they go

Simply French for Beginners - introducing "ir" verbs

Introducing "ir" verbs.

These verbs are not quite as easy as “er” verbs. The regular verbs follow the same kind of pattern, in so much as they drop the “ir” to create a stem and then add some new endings on to the stem.


However there are some less regular verbs that change the stem for some forms (e.g. je, tu, il, elle for example). No magic bullet I am afraid - the easiest way to get through this is to keep seeing them, repeating them and eventually learning them.


Regular “ir” verbs: Example - choisir = to choose

First drop the “ir” from “choisir” to get “chois” (pronounced “shwaz”) – this is the stem.


Add the new endings:

Je choisis (pronounced “shwa-zee”)

Tu choisis (pronounced “shwa-zee”)

Il / elle choisit (pronounced “shwa-zee”)

Nous choisissons (pronounced “shwa-zee-sson”)

Vous choisissez (pronounced “shwa-zee-ssay”)

Ils / ells choisissent (pronounced “shwa-zeess”)


Verbs following the same pattern include:

• finir = to finish (je finis, il finit, nous finissons, etc)

• accomplir = to accomplish (j'accomplis, elle accomplit, vous accomplissez, etc)

• remplir = to fill (& to fill in) (je remplis, il remplit, ils remplissent, etc)

(And loads of other verbs I am afraid you will probably never use….)


Not so regular, but very common “ir” verbs that are stem-changing: Example - venir = to come

Je viens (pronounced “vee-an”)

Tu viens

Il / elle vient

Nous venons (pronounced “vern-on”)

Vous venez (pronounced “vern-ay”)

Ils / elles viennent (pronounced “vee-enn”)


Verbs following the same pattern include:

• tenir = to hold (je tiens, etc)

• obtenir = to obtain (j'obtiens, etc)

• devenir = to become (je deviens, etc)

• parvenir = to manage to (je parviens, etc)


Not so regular, but also very common, stem changing in a different way: Example - partir = to leave

Je pars

Tu pars

Il / elle part

Nous partons

Vous partez

Ils / elles partent


Similar endings to partir but using different stems include sortir = to go out and dormir = to sleep


Je sors

Tu sors

Il / elle sort

Nous sortons

Vous sortez

Ils / elles sortent


Je dors

Tu dors

Il / elle dort

Nous dormons

Vous dormez

Ils / elles dorment

Simply French for Beginners - regular "er" verbs revision

Here are some notes from 13/12/17. Revision usingsome of the "er" verbs we used previously.


1. Manger = to eat

2. Quitter = to leave

3. Voyager = to travel

4. Arrive = to arrive

5. Commencer = to start

6. Préparer = to prepare


Vocabulaire:À quelle heure ….. ? = at what time… ? 

Au travail = to/at work

Le bureau = the office

Chez moi = home (my home) / (chez vous = your home) / (chez elle = her home)


Working in pairs, we each asked our partner the following questions (using the vous form of the verb, you...). Partner replies (using the je form of the verb, I....). We then reported our findings to the group, describing what the partner said (using the elle form of the verb, she....).


Remember to invert the verb for the question (example - a quelle heure arrivez-vous au tavail?)


So the questions go like this….

At what time do you eat breakfast

At what time do you leave home

At what time do you arrive at work


At what time do you start work

At what time do you eat lunch

At what time do you leave the office


At what time do you travel home

At what time do you arrive home

At what time do you prepare diner


For some extra revision conjugate the new verbs below: 

- oublier = to forget 

- abandonner = to abandon

- laisser = to leave

- tomber = to fall


Simply French for Beginners - describing people

At the last session we were describing people using 3 different verbs:


first verb we used was être = “to be” e.g. I am tall, he is friendly


Je suis = I am Vous êtes = you are eIle est/il est = she is / he is


“To be” descriptions – I am… She is... You are…


Note the adjective adopts the same gender (masc./fem.) as the thing it is describing, and is also singular or plural like the thing(s) it is describing.

Beautiful = belle

Elegant = elégant (masc.) elégante (fem.)

Fat = gros(se)

Friendly = amical(e)

Handsome = beau

Nice = sympa (short for sympathique)

Old = vieil (masc.) vieille (fem.)

Pretty = joli(e)

Short = court(e)

Slender = svelte

Small = petit(e)

Tall = grand(e)

Thin = mince

Young = jeun(e)


Quite = assez (quite tall = assez grand(e), etc.)

Très = very (très petit(e) = very small/short)


2nd verb describing people, “To have” = avoir


I have = j'aishe has = elle a you have = vous avez


Eyes = les yeux :

Blue eyes = les yeux bleus 

Green eyes = les yeux verts

Brown eyes = les yeux marrons


Hair = les cheveux

Brown hair = les cheveux marrons

blond hair = les cheveux blonds

black hair = les cheveux noirs

(gris = grey / roux = ginger/red, etc.


(light brown hair = les cheveux marons clairsdark brown hair = les cheveux marons foncés, etc.)


Short hair = les cheveux courtslong hair = les cheveux longs


(wavy = ondulés/ straight = lisses /curly = bouclés / tidy = bien rangé / untidy – en désordre / etc.)


so short wavy hair could be translated as les cheveux courts et ondulés (literally, short and wavy hair)


3rd verb describing people, « To wear » = porter

(good news -porter is a regular er verb):


I wear = je porteshe wears = elle portehe wears = il porte


Clothes = les vêtements

Boots = les bottes (f)

Braces = les accolades (f)

Hair band = un bandeau de cheveux

Jacket = un veston

Pullover/jumper = un pull

Shirt = une chemise

Shoes = les chausseurs (f)

Shorts = les shorts (m)

Skirt = une jupe

Slippers = les pantoufles (f)

Socks = les chausettes (f)

Spectacles = les lunettes (f)

Sunglasses = les lunettes de soleil (f)

T shirt = le T-shirt

Trousers = un pantalon

Vest = une veste


Patterns:Striped = rayé(e)

With stripes = avec rayures

Plain = simple (note that Simple also equals "simple")

Checked = à carreaux (literally, squared)

Patterned = à motifs



Red = rouge (for hair = roux)

Yellow = jaune

Green = vert(e)

White = blanc(he)

Black = noir(e)

Brown = brun (for hair = maron)

Pink = rose

Orange = orange

Purple = violet(te)

Blue = bleu(e)


So a short, striped, red skirt could be translated as "une jupe rouge, courte et rayée". However Google also translates it as "une courte jupe rouge à rayures". It is quite common to put adjectives for size in front of the noun (une courte jupe) rather than afterwards (une jupe courte). Both would be understood. Better still, don't be too fussy and just say a red skirt (haha)

Simply French for Beginners - spotting the verbs exercise

Exercise, spotting the verbs.

Deux femmes parlent, elles mangent un dîner tranquille à un hôtel.

Patricia :          Oui, j’aime cette ville. J’aime les magasins, les gens, l’ambiance, tous.

Valérie :            Moi aussi. Chaque fois je retourne, je pense c’est plus magnifique. Regardes-tu Les bars, les restaus, je trouve les soirs sont particulièrement intéressants. Ecoutes-tu la musique ? Tout le monde danse dans les rues ce soir ! Aimes-tu les soirs ici ?

P :                     Haha, oui, bien sûr. Chaque soir nous trouvons un nouveau bar ou bistro, et il y en a beaucoup, beaucoup en plus à visiter. Nous pouvons danser, boire le bon vin, il y a beaucoup à faire.

V :                     Penses-tu, nous pouvons visiter tous les bars pendant un soir ?

P :                     Vraiment, Pense-tu c’est trop ?

V :                     Hmm, peut-être. Mais, nous partons demain !

P :                     Eh bien, nous pouvons l’essayer !

P :                     …Si nous terminons bientôt et sortons de bonne heure !

V :                     Quelquefois je crois tu es folle ! Moi aussi. Viens ! L’essayons !


1. Put a ring around each verb you can see.

1.       2. How many times are each of the verbs below used, in any form?

Venir                     To come                               Essayer  To try   

Manger                To eat                                    Être        To be    

Terminer              To finish (something)            Penser    To think               

Pouvoir                To be able to                         Croire     To believe          

Partir                    To leave                                Visiter     To visit 

Sortir                    To go out                              Danser    To dance             

Ecouter                To listen                                Boire       To drink               

Trouver                To find                                   Faire       To do / to make               

Aimer                   To like / to love                     Parler      To talk / to speak            

Retourner            To return                               Regarder To watch           


2.     3. How many times are each version of the verbs used, e.g. I, you, we etc.

Je                                            Vous     

Tu                                           Ils           

Il                                              Elles      

Elle                                         Infinitive (the full verb)


Simply French for Beginners - listening exercise, er verbs and telling the time

Listening exercise, telling the time (and er verbs!).

A:            Bonjour Monsieur Lenoir. Comment ça va ?

B :           Ça va bien merci, Monsieur Leblanc. Et vous ?

A :           Bien aussi, merci.

B :           Mssr Leblanc, est-ce que votre fils travaille aujourd’hui ?

A :           Oui, il commence au travail à sept heures et demi.

B :           Vraiment ? C’est de bonne heure !

A :           Oui, et il travaille tout le jour. Il mange le déjeuner à douze heures et demi et il recommence au travail à deux heures précise. Il termine après sept heures le soir.

B :           Hmm, où est son bureau ?

A :           À Paris.

B :           À Paris ? C’est loin. Est-ce qu’il voyage à Paris chaque matin ?

A :           Oui, il voyage par autobus. L’autobus part à six heures et demi, et comme d’habitude il arrive au bureau à sept heures et quart.

B :           Hmm, Est-ce qu’il retourne chez-vous chaque soir ?

A :           Oui, bien sûr.

B :           À quelle heure?

A :           Ça dépend; si la circulation est calme, il arrive chez-nous environs huit heures moins le quart.

B :           Hmm, C’est un long jour.

A :           Oui. Alors il prépare son diner et il regarde la télévision. Et chaque matin, ça recommence encore !

B :           Pauvre garçon !



  • What does Mr Lenoir ask about Mr Leblanc’s son?
  • When does Mr Leblanc’s son start work in the morning? When does he have lunch?
  • When does he restart work? When does he finish work for the day?
  • Where is his office, and how does he get there?
  • At what time does he leave in the morning and when does he arrive at work?
  •  At what time does he return home in the evening and what does he do?
Simply French for Beginners - 12 "er" verbs, exercise - describing our day

12 Regular “er” verbs.

1.       Manger = to eat

2.       Quitter = to leave

3.       Voyager = to travel

4.       Arrive = to arrive

5.       Commencer = to start

6.       Travailler = to work

7.       Retourner = to return

8.       Recommencer = to restart

9.       Continuer = to continue

10.   Terminer = to finish (something)

11.   Préparer = to prepare

12.   Regarder = to watch



À quelle heure ….. ? = at what time… ? (literally « at which hour »)

Au travail = to work or at work

Tout le matin = all morning

Pour le déjeuner = for lunch

Le bureau = the office (au bureau = at the office or to the office)

Chez moi = home (my home) (chez vous = your home) (chez nous = our home)


So the day goes like this….

7:00 Eat breakfast / 7:30 Leave the house / 8:00 Travel to work / 8:30 Arrive at work


9:00 Start work / Work all morning / 12:00 Leave work for lunch / 12:30 Eat lunch


1pm Return to work / 1:30pm Continue at work / 5pm Finish at work / 5:30pm Leave the office


6pm Travel home / 6:30pm Arrive home / 7pm Prepare diner / 8:00pm Eat diner / 8:30pm Watch TV


So the questions you are answering are:

 what time do you… / continue / leave / etc.


 er verbs

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