We'll start off our French studies with some simple French words.
If you'd rather learn these words as part of a dialog, you can go on to the next lesson.
Try and memorize these words. You can practice using the online quiz (which is like interactive flash cards) or the game.
|bon (m.) / bonne (f.)||good|
|un jour||a day|
|bonjour||good day / hello|
|c'est||this is / that is|
|beau (m.) / belle (f.)||beautiful|
|une maison||a house|
|il y a||there is / there are|
|un chat||a cat|
|le (m.) / la (f.)||the|
|une table||a table|
|un chien||a dog|
|un pupitre||a desk|
|je vais||I go / I'm going|
|mon (m.) / ma (f.)||my|
|un hôtel||a hotel|
|c'est||this is / that is|
Each French noun can either be masculine or feminine. You can tell in the above list by seeing whether the noun is preceded by un for masculine or une for feminine. For example "un jour" is masculine.
Adjectives have two forms each. Each one has a masculine form and a feminine form, though sometimes they are the same. For example, in the above list where it says "bon (m.) / bonne (f.)", this indicates that "bon" should be used with masculine nouns, whereas should be used with feminine nouns. So, it would be "un bon jour" for "a good day", but "une bonne maison" for "a good house".
Adjectives in French generally follow the noun, for example "un chat orange" for "an orange cat". However, certain adjectives such as bon are used before the noun.
Adjectives also have a plural form, which is usually formed by simply adding s to the end of the masculine or feminine form, for example, "bonnes maisons" for "good houses".
Similarly, words such as "le (m.) / la (f.)" for "the" and "mon (m.) / ma (f.)" for "my" also have a masculine and feminine form, matching the noun they are describing.
Note that the gender should match the gender of the noun possessed, not the possessor. This is different from English. For example in English, a boy's father is "his father", but a girl's father is "her father". In French, "my father" would always be "mon père" because "père" is masculine; it doesn't matter whether it is a boy's or a girl's father. Similarly "my mother" would always be "ma mère" even if a boy is speaking.
For the plural forms of both le and posessives like mon, there is no distinction between masculine and feminine, so "le" and "la" both become "les", and "mon" and "ma" both becomes "mes". For example, "mes chiens et mes écoles" for "my dogs and my schools", and "les chats et les tables" for "the cats and the tables".
"à" before "le" contracts to become "au". So it would be "à la maison" for "to the house", but "au hôtel" for "to the hotel". There are other contractions, which will be covered later.
"C'est" is also a contraction of "ce" "est" meaning "this is", "that is", or "it is". Note the correspondence with English is not exact, so "c'est" can be used in other situations where we wouldn't necessarily use "this/that/it is" in English.
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