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French Language




garçon/homme uses "un"
fille/femme uses "une"

"un" and "une" both mean "a" in English, but "un" is for masculine nouns and "une" is for feminine nouns. i.e: "un crayon et une voiture" ("a pen and a car")

In French objects are all assigned a gender. Pizzas, oranges, and pommes are all feminine nouns, so "une pizza," "une orange," and "une pomme." Some masculine nouns include livre (book), stylo (pen), and vélo (bike), "un livre," "un stylo," and "un vélo."


Article Masculine Feminine Plural Example
Definite le/l' la/l' les le chat — the cat
Indefinite un une des une femme — a woman
Partitive du/de l' de la/de l' de l'eau — (some) water

"La" or "le" means "the", while "un" or "une" means "a" or "an". Saying "the woman" is entirely different from saying "a woman".

It is critical to understand that articles must agree with their nouns in both gender and number. For instance, "le femme" is incorrect. It must be "la femme" because "la" is feminine and singular, just like "femme".


  • So, adjectives go directly after the noun they're supposed to describe? Like "pomme rouge" (red apple). Will it go a bit more in depth with how sentences are structured in later lessons?

  • In my high school class, we learned about the exceptions to this rule. Certain adjectives are placed before the noun, some which you can memorize with the acronym "BANGS": beauty, age, number, goodness, and size.

  • it can be either after of before. For a COLOR, the rule is that is always AFTER the qualified nouns. You can emphasize an adjective by changing its place. Une fille jolie, une jolie fille. (= a pretty girl)


Adjective "calme" is similar in feminine and masculine, both in singular (calme) and plural (calmes).

Calme is masculine and since you can't add an "e" to it, it has already one, it's also feminine. Un homme calme/une femme calme.


You should always hear and say "je suis-Z-un...", the liaison is very welcome. "Un anana s" is masculine and with an -s ending, even in singular.


In French, a "liaison" is when a normally silent consonant at the end of a word is pronounced at the beginning of the word that follows it.

Cautious: consonants in liaisons sometimes change pronunciation. For example, an S is pronounced like a Z when it is in a liaison.

The liaisons are definitely made with "es".






    The masculine singular form already has an ending -e. fyi, there are hundreds of adjectives with an ending -e in masculine: here are a few: vide, fade, dupe, rare, âcre, apre, pire, sage, sage, fixe,pauvre, large, calme, arabe, tiède, raide, acide, aride, avide, beige, belge, rouge, riche, moche, sale, ovale, noble, frêle, drôle, ample, digne, terne, jaune, avare, sobre, obèse, dense, lisse, leste, juste, vague, brave ETC.


    "Le" and "la" become just " l' " if they're followed by a vowel sound. This is an example of elision, which is the removal of a vowel sound in order to prevent consecutive vowel sounds and make pronunciation easier. Elisions are mandatory—for instance, "je aime" is incorrect. It must be "j'aime".

    These other one-syllable words can also elide:
    je, me, te, se, de, ce, ne, and que.
    "Tu" can also be elided in casual speech, but not in writing (including on Duolingo).

    "j'" is only used in front of words that start with a vowel.



    • 'H' IN FRENCH

    The letter H is always mute (silent) in French, but when H starts a word, it can act as a consonant (aspirate) or vowel (non-aspirate). For example, the H in homme acts as a vowel. This means that 'the man' must be written as "l'homme".

    Conversely, an aspirate H doesn't participate in elisions or liaisons (which you'll learn about soon). It's usually found at the beginning of loanwords from German or other languages. For instance, 'the hero' is "le héros". Pay attention to this when learning new vocabulary.


    In a contraction, two words combine to form one shortened word. For instance, the partitive article "du" is a contraction of the preposition "de" with "le".

    du pain — (some) bread However, since "du" can create vowel conflicts, when it would appear in front of a vowel sound, it takes the elided "de l'" form instead. This is also the case for "de la".

    de l'ananas [masc.] — (some) pineapple de l'eau [fem.] — (some) water

    "t'es" is the contraction of "tu es" and is usually only used in oral conversations or familiar written discussions, it can't be used as easily as "you're" (for "you are") in English, especially for formal discussions. When in doubt, use "tu es".



    • "EST" AND "ES"

    "Es" and "est" go with different conjugations. "Es" goes with the "tu" (you, informal) conjugation, so it's "tu es...." "Est" goes with the "il/elle" (il means either 'it' or 'he', elle is 'she') so it's "Il/elle est..." In this case, "La robe" is "elle", so you use "est"
    Basically es=are and est=is.

    The difference between "es" and "est": "es" is used for the second person singular ("tu/vous") and "est" is used for the third person singular ("il/elle/on"). See the link above.

    "Es" is for the second person "Tu". "Est" is for the third person "il/elle/on"

    If the following word starts in a vowel then "es" is pronounced 'e'.

    es = tu es. it could be for a boy or a girl.
    est= il est/ elle est. for a boy or a girl.


    In French, you have to put a space both before and after all two- (or more) part punctuation marks and symbols, including : ; « » ! ? % $ #

    • EATING

    I je Je mange. — I eat.
    You (singular) tu/vous Tu manges. — You eat.
    He/It il Il mange. — He eats.
    She/It elle Elle mange. — She eats.


    Source username: 
    - Swisidniak - Conjugations of "Boire" - to drink

    Je bois - I drink

    Tu bois - You drink

    Il/elle/on boit - He/she/one drinks

    Vous buvez - Y'all drink

    Nous buvons - We drink

    Ils/Elles boivent - They drink

    And just to make it confusing "le bois" as a noun means "wood"




    Tu - You Je - I

    I am = Je suis You are = Tu es He is = Il est She is = Elle est We are = Nous sommes


    "tu" is informal whereas "vous" is formal. In conversation when you are speaking to elders you should use "vous" but it is appropriate to use "tu" to your peers.

    The English sentence "You are a man" can be translated with 2 different sentences: "Tu es un homme." (informal) and "Vous êtes un homme." (formal).

    "mec" and "gars" are familiar synonyms for "homme" but can't be used unless the English version uses their familiar counterparts like "dude" and "guy".

    The formal "Vous" can be used for different reasons such as: displaying respect (for elders or persons of authority), displaying politeness (towards adult strangers, most people use "tu" with children and teenagers), showing distance and avoid familiarity/intimacy, etc, etc... Also see: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/ss/subjectpronouns.htm#step3

    "Vous" is used both for the plural form of 'you' and the formal 'you' (for example when you're talking to someone you just met).


    The circumflex accent (^) is used when the sound on the letter "e" is changed. Most of the time you'll see "é" "è" and "ê" (and sometimes "ë"). All of them are pronounced as the end of "lait" except for "é", which is pronounced as the end of "café".




    Masculine Endings:

    -age, for ex: barrage (in English: dam)
    -b, for ex: plomb (in English: lead)
    -ble, for ex: comptable (in English: accountant)
    -c, for ex: porc (in English: pork)
    -cle, for ex: oncle (in English: uncle)
    -d, for ex: pied (in English: foot)
    -de, for ex: hybride (in English: hybrid)
    -é, for ex: carré (in English: square)
    -eau, for ex: manteau (in English: coat)
    -ège, for ex: piège (in English: trap)
    -et, for ex: poulet (in English: chicken)
    -eur, for ex: professeur (in English: teacher)
    -f, for ex: cerf (in English: stag)
    -i, for ex: pari (in English: bet)
    -ing, for ex: planning (in English: planning)
    -isme, for ex: capitalisme (in English: capitalism)
    -k, for ex: tank (in English: tank)
    -l, for ex: fusil (in English: rifle)
    -m, for ex: prénom (in English: first name)
    -me, for ex: synonyme (in English: synonym)
    -ment, for ex: paiement (in English: payment)
    -n, for ex: garçon (in English: boy)
    -o, for ex: zoo (in English: zoo)
    -oir, for ex: couloir (in English: lobby)
    -one, for ex: cyclone (in English: cyclone)
    -ou, for ex: hibou (in English: owl)
    -p, for ex: loup (in English: wolf)
    -r, for ex: char (in English: tank)
    -s, for ex: tapis (in English: carpet)
    -ste, for ex: cycliste (in English: cycler)
    -t, for ex: yacht (in English: yacht)
    -tre, for ex: lustre (in English: ceiling light)
    -u, for ex: aperçu (in English: outline)
    -x, for ex: choix (in English: choice)

    Feminine Endings:

    -ace, for ex: face (in English: face)
    -ade, for ex: limonade (in English: limonade)
    -ale, for ex: cathédrale (in English: cathedral)
    -ance, for ex: romance (in English: romance)
    -be, for ex: syllabe (in English: syllable)
    -ce, for ex: force (in English: strength)
    -e, for ex: robe (in English: dress)
    -ée, for ex: soirée (in English: evening/party)
    -esse, for ex: maîtresse (in English: schoolteacher)
    -eur, for ex: chaleur (in English: heat)
    -fe, for ex: carafe (in English: carafe)
    -ie, for ex: poulie (in English: pulley)
    -ière, for ex: fermière (in English: farmer)
    -ine, for ex: piscine (in English: swimming pool)
    -ion, for ex: éducation (in English: education)
    -ique, for ex: logique (in English: logic)
    -ire, for ex: baignoire (in English: bathtub)
    -ise, for ex: franchise (in English: franchise agreement) 
    -ite, for ex: bronchite (in English: bronchitis)
    -lle, for ex: fille (in English: girl)
    -mme, for ex: femme (in English: woman)
    -nde, for ex: seconde (in English: second)
    -nne, for ex: nonne (in English: nun)
    -ole, for ex: auréole (in English: halo)
    -se, for ex: course (in English: race)
    -sion, for ex: pression (in English: pressure)
    -son, for ex: maison (in English: house)
    -té, for ex: acidité (in English: acidity)
    -tié, for ex: amitié (in English: friendship)
    -tion, for ex: partition (in English: score)
    -ue, for ex: grue (in English: crane)
    -ule, for ex: particule (in English: particle)
    -ure, for ex: voiture (in English: car)

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