Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Virginie:Bonjour, everyone! Hello, this is Virginie! And I'm here with Eric.
Eric: Hello! And welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 15 - How Many Times Do I Have to Ask You This Question in French?
Virginie: Welcome to the Absolute Beginner S1 at FrenchPOD101.com, where we study modern French in a fun, educational format!
Eric: So, brush up on the French that you started learning long ago, or start learning today.
Virginie: And thanks for being here with us for this lesson. So Eric, what are we looking today?
Eric: Sarah is going back to her place in Toulouse and Rob is picking her up at the hotel to help with her bags. Wow, what a gentleman.
Virginie: Yes, he's really a sweet gentleman. Now, what is important in our conversation today is that Sarah is in the bathroom and Rob is in the bedroom. So she can't hear him very well and that's why she is asking him to repeat.
Eric: Let's have a listen.

Lesson conversation

Rob: Est-ce que tu as le billet de train?
Sarah: Comment?
Rob: Tu as le billet de train?
Sarah: Quoi?
Rob: As-tu le billet de train?
(Sarah sort de la salle de bain.)
Sarah: Ahh! Oui.
Rob: Tu es en retard, vite!
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Rob: Est-ce que tu as le billet de train?
Eric: Do you have the train ticket?
Sarah: Comment?
Virginie: What was that?
Rob: Tu as le billet de train?
Eric: Do you have your train ticket?
Sarah: Quoi?
Virginie: What?
Rob: As-tu le billet de train?
Eric: Do you have your train ticket?
(Sarah sort de la salle de bain.)
(Sarah gets out of the bathroom.)
Sarah: Ahh! Oui.
Virginie: Oh! Yes, I do.
Rob: Tu es en retard, vite!
Eric: You are late, quick!
Virginie: So Sarah is going to take the train.
Eric: So it looks like maybe she's doing the voyage you did Virginie from Paris to Toulouse.
Virginie: Yes. I used to do that all the time when I was studying in Paris. True.
Eric: Did you take the really quick trains, the TGV?
Virginie: Oh yes, I used to take the TGV. Not all the time but between Paris and Toulouse, yeah, you can take the TGV.
Eric: What does TGV stand for?
Virginie: It's Train à Grande Vitesse.
Eric: So literally trains of great speed.
Virginie: Yes.
Eric: What were they like?
Virginie: Well, they were very comfortable. A little more expensive than the regular train.
Eric: But you get there faster.
Virginie: Yes, exactly. And the really interesting thing is that you can pick when you make your reservation online, you can pick whether you're going to be in a quiet car or whether you're going to be in a energetic car.
Eric: Wow! So what's the difference?
Virginie: Well, the quiet car, cell phones are not allowed, kids are not allowed and in the energetic car, they have kids, they have cell phones or you can music and everything. It's more like for young people.
Eric: It's like a real party car.
Virginie: Yeah, exactly.
Eric: Amazing.
Virginie: It's really funny.
Eric: Well, it's sort of practical though because I guess if you want to have a long sleep, if you want to have a long nap on the train. It's better to have the…
Virginie: The option.
Eric: Right.
Virginie: Definitely. Also what is great about the French railway system is that it gets you everywhere.
Eric: I was actually looking at the website also. They have a lot of specials in August, don't they? If you happen to be in France, you can go away on vacation.
Virginie: Oh yeah. You should definitely check the websites.
Eric: Beat out 20 year olds, you can go from Paris to Marseilles or somewhere else.
Virginie: Yeah, that's great. Summer vacation on the train.
Eric: That's how Virginie passes her vacations.
Virginie: All right.
Eric: So let's have a look at some of the vocabulary.
Virginie: Un billet de train.
Eric: A train ticket
Virginie: Un billet de train, un billet de train.
Eric: Then?
Virginie: Comment?
Eric: What? What was that?
Virginie: Comment? Comment?
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Quoi?
Eric: What?
Virginie: Quoi? Quoi?
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: En retard.
Eric: Late.
Virginie: En retard, en retard.
Eric: All right.
Virginie: Vite.
Eric: Quickly, fast.
Virginie: Vite, vite.
Eric: And so the first word we're going to be looking at is…
Virginie: Billet de train.
Eric: Which is train ticket.
Virginie: Billet is ""ticket"" and train is ""train.""
Eric: Excellent. What about the little ""de"" in between them.
Virginie: Yes, oui. Yes, I forgot. It's very important. The little ""de"" links the two nouns, billet and train.
Eric: So what we say in English ""train ticket,"" they're saying like, ""ticket of the train.""
Virginie: Yes and that's what ""de"" stands for, it's ""of.""
Eric: So train is the compliment of the noun, right?
Virginie: Yeah, the complement of the noun, so here, ""train"" specifies what kind of ticket it is.
Eric: For example, if want to say ""a plane ticket,"" what do we say?
Virginie: We would say ""un billet d'avion.""
Eric: And also note that the ""e"" dropped here, so which have a d' because avion begins with an a.
Virginie: Exactly. So once again it's ""un billet d'avion.""
Eric: Let's move on to the words ""comment and quoi.""
Virginie: As we said before Sarah can't hear Rob so she's asking him to repeat what he said. And she uses first, ""comment?""
Eric: And in this case ""comment"" doesn't mean ""how"" it means ""what.""
Virginie: Yeah, or ""what was that?"" And then she says, ""quoi.""
Eric: Which also means ""what?""
Virginie: These are two ways to ask someone to repeat and just say, ""What was that?""
Eric: Right. But ""comment"" is a little bit more polite.
Virginie: Yes. You don't want to say ""quoi"" too much. ""Quoi"" is really like, ""quoi"" like you're, ""what"" you're in a bad mood or something. ""Comment"" is more polite.
Eric: Okay. So let's take a look at some grammar.

Lesson focus

Virginie: Our focus today is the three types of closed questions.
Eric: Closed question. Now what is a closed question?
Virginie: It's a question to which you answer with either yes or no. Oui or no, that's it.
Eric: Okay. So let's see what happens in our dialogue.
Virginie: Oui. Rob wants to know if Sarah has her train ticket with her.
Eric: Yeah. He asked three times. He REALLY wants to know.
Virginie: Yes. So each time he repeats his questions, he uses a different way of asking it.
Eric: So his first question is…
Virginie: Est-ce que tu as le billet de train?
Eric: And let's break this down.
Virginie: Est-ce que.
Eric: And that indicates this is a question being posed.
Virginie: Que as.
Eric: You have.
Virginie: Le billet de train.
Eric: The train ticket. Est-ce que tu as le billet de train?
Virginie: Est-ce que, the little thing at the beginning of the question is literally ""is that?""
Eric: You can put this in front of most statements and turn them into a question.
Virginie: Now, our question starts with ""est-ce que,"" and then it's followed by the subject and the verb. And this is going to be how to build your question.
Eric: Exactly. Great. So now what about the second way of asking a question.
Virginie: So Rob then says, ""Tu as le billet de train.""
Eric: And that again means, ""Do you have the train ticket?""
Virginie: Well, you have seen this type of question in previous lessons but let's talk about it a little more.
Eric: For example, remember, Sarah asked Rob, ""Vous etes etduiant?""
Virginie: Yeah. And that was back when they first met in the museum. ""Vous etes etduiant?"" ""Are you a student?"" That's exactly the same type of question.
Eric: This is one of the most common type of closed questions.
Virginie: Yes, and again, the structure is first, the subject.
Eric: Here it's, ""tu,"" ""you.""
Virginie: Yes, and then the verb.
Eric: Here it's, ""as,"" ""have.""
Virginie: And then the complement.
Eric: Le billet de train.
Virginie: So literally, it will be, ""You have the train ticket?""
Eric: Tu as le billet de train.
Virginie: But even after the second question…
Eric: Sarah still can't hear Rob.
Virginie: Yes. So Rob repeats his question again.
Eric: And this is our third and last type of closed question.
Virginie: Yep.
Eric: Rob says ""as-tu le billet de train?
Virginie: Yes. And that's almost the same as the second type of question, only the verb and the subject are reversed.
Eric: Right. So instead of ""tu as,"" we're saying, ""as-tu.""
Virginie: Obviously, you can't see it, but these two words ""as"" and ""tu"" have a dash between them.
Eric: Right. And this is just a little more formal way of posing a question.
Virginie: Yes. People in France don't speak this way anymore. I think we have pointed that out in the previous lesson.
Eric: Remember Virginie our grammar.
Virginie: I guess the most common type of question in French is subject-verb-complement. ""Tu as le billet de train.""
Eric: Very casual and simple to say.
Virginie: Exactly. Tu as etes etduiant, et cetera, et cetera. So Eric, I think we're done for today.


Virginie: But before we go, we want to ask you guys something.
Eric: Yeah, if you have anything you'd like to share, maybe comments or questions, please feel free to post in our forum.
Virginie: Yes, that will be nice. We have a lot of different sections, French culture, French language, tips on trip to France.
Eric: Which is probably the best category if you happen to be going to France if you're lucky enough.
Virginie: That's true.
Eric: And we hope to hear from you. Thank you.


French Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Do you prefer traveling by train, plane or car? I used to hitchhike, but I'm too old for that now!

Wednesday at 10:00 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


For train I just can't maake out what you are saying. I hear the t in train but after the t, I hope you don't mind me asking; how is the rest of the wordi pronounced?? Does it sound like twa or twoir like in - how you say night in french?? :roll:

Wednesday at 11:25 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Rita,

The audio for "train" is pretty clear in the vocab list ("un billet de train") and it will help you get familiar with it.

However, it IS a hard word to pronounce. The sound "r" in French is pronounced in the back of the throat, it doesn't sound like "w". English speakers tend to pronounce it like "w", since it doesn't exist in English.

Then, in order to pronounce the last sound, made up by the letters "ain", you need to say the "a" as in "cat", but using your nose (the first times you can pinch your nose while saying "a", in order to get familiar with the sound)...

Hope that helps!


Thursday at 12:48 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

i like lean french langage help me please

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:06 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi moussa,

You are at the right place! :)

Wednesday at 10:33 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bonjour FrenchPod101 !

Malheureusement, je n'aime pas vraiment voyager par la voiture en angleterre parce qu'il y a

simplement trop des autres voitures :angry:

Alors, je préfére voyager en avion, particulièrement avec ma famille quand on part en vacances :sunglasses:

(Unfortunately, I do not really like traveling by car in England because there are simply too much other cars.

So I prefer to travel by air, especially with my family when going on holiday.)



FrenchPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 12:39 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bonjour Gary,

Merci pour votre commentaire !

Bravo pour votre texte !

Une petite correction : Malheureusement, je n’aime pas vraiment voyager avec une voiture en Angleterre parce qu’il y a simplement trop de voitures.

Bonne continuation !

Marie Alice


Jane de Vries
Friday at 09:26 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Tip: Put the volume on really loud then you can go around the house and do your chores,etc. while listening to the auditory part of the program. i don't have a PC or a smart phone YET, just a regular computer.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:29 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Jane de Vries,

Thank you for the tip ! :smile:

Very useful :smile:


Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Yasmin Anderson-Smith
Saturday at 10:41 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Great to learn the three ways to ask a question in French. Tres bien.:smile:

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 10:09 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Bonjour Yasmin,

Merci pour votre commentaire ! Thank you for your comment !

Nous sommes content de lire ça ! We are glad to read that !

A bientôt

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com