Aller – to go

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Aller means to go.

je vais – I’m going, I do go, I go
tu vas – you’re going, you do go, you go
il va – he is going, he does go, he goes
elle va – she is going, she does go, she goes

nous allons – we are going, we do go, we go
vous allez – you are going, you do go, you go
ils vont – they are going, they do go, they go
elles vont – they are going, they do go, they go

Je vais au parc. I’m going to the park.
Fred va à la plage. Fred is going to the beach.
Nous allons à l’école. We are going to the school.

Aller can also be used with other verbs – to state that one is going to do something

Nous allons chanter. We’re going to sing.
Je vais nager – I’m going to swim.
Est-ce que tu vas étudier? – Are you going to study?

Gender Info

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

For those who are interested in the whys and hows of gender assignment in the French language, I have put together a quick lesson for after class Tuesday night (April 19). It’s not required, but it’s interesting and kind of fun.

Irregular IR Verbs

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

sortir- to go out
partir – to leave
dormir – to sleep
s’endormir – to fall asleep
servir – to serve
mentir – to lie
se sentir – to feel
sentir – to smell

Sortir – to go out, or to get something out

je sors nous sortons
tu sors vous sortez
il sort ils sortent

 We are going out at 9 a.m. – Nous sortons à 9h.
I’m going out with Sophie and George – Je sors avec Sophie et George.
She’s getting her suitcase from the overhead compartment – Elle sort sa valise du compartiment.

Partir – to leave

je pars nous partons
tu pars vous partez
il part ils partent

They are leaving today. Ils partent aujourd’hui.
3,2,1, Go! Trois, deux, un, Partez!

Servir – to serve

je sers nous servons
tu sers vous servez
il sert ils servent

The waiter is serving the meal. Le serveur sert le repas.

Dormir – to sleep

je dors nous dormons
tu dors vous dormez
il dort ils dorment


Yer Verbs

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

These verbs are regular ‘er’ verbs, except that for the je, tu, il, and ils forms in present tense, one changes the ‘y’ to an ‘i’.

payer – to pay (for)
envoyer – to send
nettoyer – to clean
essayer (de) – to try (to)
essuyer – to wipe
balayer – to sweep
renvoyer – to send back, to fire
appuyer – to push
employer – to use, to employ
ennuyer – to annoy, to bore
aboyer – to bark
se noyer – to drown

To conjugate these verbs;
a. drop the er
b. add the ending to match the subject
c. for the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the ‘y’ to ‘i’


je paie nous payons
tu paies vous payez
Il paie ils paient



j’essuie nous essuyons
tu essuies vous essuyez
il essuie ils essuient

Je paie à la caisse. I’m paying at the cashier
Sophie essuie le comptoir – Sophie’s wiping the counter
Nous nettoyons notre chambre – We’re cleaning our room

Porter vs. Mener

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pizza à emporter – take-out pizza

Porter means to carry.  Mener means to lead.  One uses forms of  porter when talking about taking or bringing things.  One uses forms of mener when talking about taking or bringing people.  The prefix ‘a’ indicates bringing toward, the prefix ’em’ indicates taking away. 

apporter – to bring
emporter – to take
porter – to carry

amener – to bring
emmener – to take
se promener – to walk
mener – to lead


March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

When one is doing a command, one is directing another person to do something. The audience is either one person (tu), a group of people (vous) , an unknown audience (as in written instructions such as a recipe), or ourselves (let’s do _____). For each of these audiences, we conjugate the verb according to the audience.

1. for a basic command to another person, conjugate the verb for “tu”. For regular ‘er’ verbs, and for aller, drop the ‘s’. *the only irregular verbs are savoir, être, and avoir – the conjugations for them are listed at the very bottom of the page*

listen – écoute
pay attention – fais attention
eat your dinner – mange ton dîner
wait – attends

2. for a basic command for vous, conjugate the verb for ‘vous’. There are no changes for ‘er’ verbs nor for aller.
listen – écoutez
do your homework – faites vos devoirs
wait – attendez

3. when the audience is unknown, as in instructions, leave the verb in the infinitive form
prepare a sauce with lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper – préparer une sauce avec le jus de citron, l’huile, du sel, et du poivre
peel and chop the onion – peler et hacher l’oignon

4. Let’s ________!
let’s dance – dansons
let’s go – allons-y
let’s eat – mangeons

pronoun être avoir savoir vouloir
tu sois aie sache  
nous soyons ayons sachons  
vous soyez ayez sachez veuillez

Chapter 3 Vocabulary

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

les courses et les distractions
to attend (a show) – assister à un spectacle
to deposit money – déposer de l’argent
to borrow a book – emprunter un livre
to go shop – faire les magasins
to window shop – faire les vitrines
to eat with friends – manger avec des amis
to forget – oublier
to take photos – prendre des photos
to go out – sortir * (way irregular)
to see a play – voir une pièce d théâtre
a painting – un tableau

pour indiquer le chemin
(prepositions are listed under prepositions post)
stuck, squeezed into – coincé
to go straight ahead – aller tout droit
to turn (to the left, to the right) – tourner (à gauche, à droite)
to cross – traverser
a bridge – un pont

pour se déplacer en ville: les transports
a bus stop – un arrêt d’autobus
heavy traffic – la circulation intense
a traffic jam – une embouteillage
a traffic signal – un feu de signalisation
a crowd (of people) – une foule (de gens)
rush hour – les heures de pointe
the subway – le métro
the station platform – le quai
the side of the platform – la voie
public transportation – les transports (m) en commun
a train car – un wagon

to get out of a taxi – descendre d’un taxi
to get on a bus – monter dans un autobus
to obey the rules – obéir aux règles
to wear a helmet – porter un casque
to take a train – prendre un train
to go by car – rouler en voiture
to go fast – rouler vite
to park in a no parking zone – stationner dans une zone interdite
to use a city map – utiliser un plan

se promener en ville
to go by foot – aller à pied
to be patient – avoir de la patience
to stroll – se balader
to go someplace – se déplacer
to obey a flashing sign – obéir au signal lumineux
to think of *- penser à
to think of (have an opinion of) – penser de
to look both ways – regarder dans les deux sens
to risk – risquer

pour faire des achats
I’ll take (two) of them – j’en prends (deux)
which one? – lequel? laquelle?
full of options – plein(e) d’options
to cost – coûter
to ask (for) – demander
to save money – faire des économies
a choice – un choix
mineral water – l’eau minérale
the euro – l’euro
a flower – une fleur
a daisy – une marguerite
a brand – une marque
a medication – un médicament
a style – un modèle
a cell phone – un portable
the price – le prix
a foreign product – un produit étranger
a detective novel – un roman policier
a novel – un roman
a stamp – un timbre
a salesman – un vendeur
a saleslady – une vendeuse
the wine – le vin

each time – à chaque fois
at the time of – au moment de
in the early morning – au petit matin
from time to time – de temps en temps
while – pendant que
all the time – tout le temps

mots et expressions utiles
it’s convenient – c’est commode
okay, agreed – d’accord
in style – à la mode
a gourmet dinner – un dîner gastronomique
it is necessary – il faut
no parking – stationnement interdit
everyone together, all together – tous ensemble

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