Vocabulary (Review)

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: Hello everyone! This is Virginie!
Eric: Hello! Eric here! Where Shall We Go to Dinner in France?
Virginie: Today we're going to talk about the pronoun “on” and the verb “aller” to go.
Eric: Very basic, important things to know. So I think in our script, Rob has spent some time in Toulouse and is about to go back to Paris. So the dialogue is taking place on his last night with Sarah.
Virginie: Yes, it's pretty sad to leave Sarah.
Eric: He probably is.
Virginie: But you'll see, she might be not that sad actually. We'll see.
Eric: Really?
Virginie: Yeah. Let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Rob: Tu vas bientôt à Paris?
Sarah: Non, je vais bientôt à Avignon*.
Rob: Quand?
Sarah:En juin.
Rob: Oh, d’accord.
Sarah: Bon. Où on va ce soir?
Rob: On va au restaurant indien?
Sarah: Resto indien, d’accord!
*Avignon is a town in South Western France.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
Rob: Tu vas bientôt à Paris?
Eric: Are you going to Paris soon?
Sarah: Non, je vais bientôt à Avignon*.
Virginie: No, I am going to Avignon soon.
Rob: Quand?
Eric: When?
Sarah: En juin.
Virginie: In June.
Rob: Oh, d’accord.
Eric: Oh, okay.
Sarah: Bon. Où on va ce soir?
Virginie: Well. Where do we go tonight?
Rob: On va au restaurant indien?
Eric: Shall we go to the Indian restaurant?
Sarah: Resto indien, d’accord!
Virginie: Indian restaurant? Good idea!
*Avignon is a town in South Western France.
Eric: Well, so Rob really wants Sarah to come to Paris it seems.
Virginie: Yes but she is a busy, you know. She's an actress.
Eric: This actress woman, it's very hard. Where is Avignon.
Virginie: Avignon is in Southeast of France.
Eric: What it's like? Have you been there?
Virginie: It's very medieval and a lot of white stones. It's beautiful and most importantly, there is a great theatre festival every year in the summer.
Eric: Well, that I've heard about. I've heard that there's some recent theatre festival.
Virginie: Yeah, it's international and it's very famous. It's called “Le festival D'avignon “
Eric: So when did this theatre festival begin?
Virginie: Well, it started in '47 and it was started by Jean Vilar. Jean Vilar was a theatre director at that time and he wanted theatre to be happening outside of Paris. And he was also a great idea to show productions from small companies, from the provance and not only from the capital. And it was also to show contemporary theatre.
Eric: And you just said an interesting word. You said provance.
Virginie: Yes, provance.
Eric: And that is pretty much the rest of the country in France, outside of Paris.
Virginie: It's everything that's not Paris. Yes.
Eric: Interesting. So what else is Avignon famous for?
Virginie: Well, if you go to the theatre festival, you will probably see the Palais des Papes.
Eric: The Pope's Palace?
Virginie: The Pope's Palace, yeah. It's called this way because several pope's lived in this official place.
Eric: I think they were trying to establish a separate church from Rome or something.
Virginie: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's right. And you will see if you go to the festival actually because some plays are staged in the Palais des Papes.
Eric: Wow.
Virginie: So it's very beautiful. Quite expensive but still it's worth it.
Eric: That sounds pretty amazing. So what's some of the vocabulary for this lesson?
Virginie: Aller [natural native speed].
Eric: To go.
Virginie: Aller [slowly - broken down by syllable], aller [natural native speed].
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Bientôt [natural native speed].
Eric: Soon.
Virginie: Bientôt [slowly - broken down by syllable], bientôt [natural native speed].
Eric: Then.
Virginie: Quand [natural native speed],
Eric: When.
Virginie: Quand [slowly - broken down by syllable], quand [natural native speed].
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: En [natural native speed].
Eric: In or to.
Virginie: En [slowly - broken down by syllable], en [natural native speed].
Eric: Next
Virginie: Juin [natural native speed].
Eric: June
Virginie: Juin [slowly - broken down by syllable], juin [natural native speed].
Eric: The next one.
Virginie: Bon [natural native speed].
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Bon [slowly - broken down by syllable], bon [natural native speed]. On [natural native speed].
Eric: We or one.
Virginie: On [slowly - broken down by syllable], on [natural native speed].
Eric: Okay.
Virginie: Ce soir [natural native speed].
Eric: Tonight.
Virginie: Ce soir, ce soir.
Eric: Next
Virginie: Indien.
Eric: Masculine.
Virginie: Indienne. [natural native speed]
Eric: Feminine. Indian.
Virginie Indien, Indien [slowly - broken down by syllable], indien, Indienne [natural native speed].
Eric: And finally?
Virginie: Un restaurant/un resto (short) [natural native speed].
Eric: A restaurant.
Virginie: Un restaurant/un resto (short) [slowly - broken down by syllable], un restaurant/un resto (short) [natural native speed]
Virginie: All right. So let's start with our first word here it's ""un restaurant.""
Eric: Same as in English, ""restaurant.""
Virginie: In the dialogue, Rob says, ""On va au restaurant indien?"" So Indian restaurant, ""restaurant indien."" And what does Sarah answer?
Eric: Resto indien, d’accord!
Virginie: Yeah. So you can note here that it's not exactly the same word. ""restaurant"" is ""restaurant"" and ""resto"" is the short word for ""restaurant.""
Eric: It's a little slang, ""resto.""
Virginie: I mean, it's not really slang. It's casual but I mean, it's everyone, every single person says ""resto"" and you can say it to pretty much anyone. It's not vulgar.
Eric: There's another way of asking somebody if you'd like to go to a restaurant, you could say, “Se faire un resto” ""Un se faire un resto.""
Virginie: Right. The expression is ""se- faire- un- resto."" So literally ""to make oneself a restaurant.""
Eric: But we would say it in English, ""to go to a restaurant.""
Virginie: Yeah. To go to the restaurant. ""Se faire un resto,"" and as Eric said it's ""Un se faire un resto?"" Shall we go to the restaurant?
Eric: You could also, if you're eating a specific type of food, you can say, ""un se faire un italia.""
Virginie: Yeah, or “se faire un chinois.” ""Shall we go to the Chinese restaurant?"" So what else do we have in the dialogue?
Eric: Well, we also have the month of June, which is actually kind of a tricky pronunciation.
Virginie: Yes. It's ""Ju-in"" but even in France, a lot of people say, ""Juin"" instead of ""Ju-in."" But you can say in both. It's fine. ""Juin"" or ""Ju-in."" It's a little hard to say but it only takes practice.
Eric: Well, as with all the months, you can also say, ""Le mois de juin.""
Virginie: Yes, ""Le mois de juin,"" which is literally, the month of June. And if you want to say you do something in June, you will say ""un Juin.""
Eric: So, ""Qu'est ce que tu fais en Juin."" What are you doing in June?
Virginie: Since we're talking about summer months, why don't we tell our listeners all of the other summer months?
Eric: Okay. Juin, June. Juillet, July. Then…
Virginie: Août, August and Septembre.
Eric: September.
Virginie: Right. So again, it's Juin, Juillet, Août, Septembre. This is very good if you want to take a vacation in France. This way, you will know the name of the month you're visiting.
Eric: And you'll know that you are definitely there in the right season.
Virginie: Yeah, exactly. What is our next word?
Eric: The word ""bientot"" which is ""soon.""
Virginie: In the dialogue, Rob is very curious about what Sarah is going to be doing in the months to come. So he's asking, ""Tu vas bientot a paris?""
Eric: Are you going soon to Paris?
Virginie: And she answers, no, ""Je vais bientot a Avignon."" He was hoping she would visit him in Paris, yes, definitely.
Eric: Yeah, unfortunately.
Virginie: Yeah. So she says, ""Je vais bientot a Avignon."" I'm going soon to Avignon. What you need to know about bientot is that you can be place it at the beginning of the sentence and right after the verb, either way. No problem.
Eric: And you can also say a way of saying goodbye, which is, ""See you soon,"" ""a bientot.""
Virginie: Exactly, yeah.
Eric: See you soon! ""A bientot!""
Virginie: Yeah, just put ""a"" right before ""bientot"" and that's ""see you soon!""
Eric: Okay. So why don't we move on to our grammar point?

Lesson focus

Virginie: Today, we're going to talk about the pronoun ""on.""
Eric: Okay. This is an important one.
Virginie: Yes. It means ""we."" It's the same as ""nous"" in French.
Eric: It also has a few other meanings but we're going to get there later.
Virginie: Yes, let's just see how it works when it means, ""we.""
Eric: For example, ""On va au restaurant."" ""We go to the restaurant?""
Virginie: That's what Rob says in the dialogue, ""On va au restaurant."" Here, Rob is talking about himself and he's including Sarah. So it's ""no."" It's ""we,"" and you can say, ""on.""
Eric: Exactly. Obviously, you can also use the word, ""nous"" but this is more formal.
Virginie: It is actually.
Eric: It's more like purist would say.
Virginie: It is very formal. It became very, very formal over time. I don't want to refer to my grandma all the time but still she's one of the last ones to say, ""nous,"" along with foreigners. Foreign people usually say, ""nous"" because they learn proper French, you know.
Eric: As foreigners we always speak better.
Virginie: Yeah. You speak better French than us. We'll just say, ""on"" which is ""on"" but that's just the way we talk.
Eric: But it does sound more natural in French.
Virginie: Yeah, definitely and you can use it with anyone you want in any situation. Not a problem. Now let's see how ""on"" is conjugated.
Eric: ""On"" is conjugated like ""il” ou “elle.”
Virginie: Yes. So it's the third singular person. So that's why in the dialogue, we have, ""on va au restaurant."" ""Va"" is the third person singular for the verb aller. So it could be, ""il va"" (he) and ""elle va, on va."" It will be always the same conjugation.
Eric: But of course, if it was ""nous"", it would be very different. It would “nous allons” and then it's totally different.
Virginie: So remember don't hesitate to say ""on"" to French people. They will love it. Could we give just a few sentences maybe with ""on"" in them?
Eric: Surely.
Virginie: Let's take the verb “Habiter”
Eric: You could say for example, “Où habiter à New York”. We live in New York.
Virginia: Or you can say ”On travaille à Paris”
Eric: We work in Paris. Another expression you'll hear very commonly is “On y va?” which is ""let's go.""
Virginie: Yeah.
Eric: Literally, ""we go there.""
Virginie: Now that we've seen ""on"" let's just talk a little bit about the verb ""aller"" and the preposition that's right after, which is usually ""a"" with an accent on it. So where is the verb ""aller"" in our dialogue?
Eric: Sarah says, ""Je vais bientôt à Avignon.""
Virginie: I'm going to Avignon soon. She uses the verb ""aller,"" ""to go."" Just watch out because even if ""aller"" ends with ""er"" it doesn't make it a regular verb. It's an irregular verb and you will have all the conjugation in the lesson notes. So please refer to the lesson notes to get all the conjugation for the verb ""aller."" Now if you want to say, ""I go somewhere,"" you will have to use that little preposition…
Eric: ""à."" Je vais à la plage. ""I'm going to the beach.""
Virginie: That's with the feminine word “la plage.”
Eric: But if it was a masculine word, it would take “au” So it will be for example, “Je vais au cinéma.”
Virginie: Just like in the dialogue, ""On va au restaurant.”,"" it's ""A-U.” au."" Then if you have a word that starts with a vowel, no matter whether it's feminine or masculine…
Eric: It's going to be ""l'apostrophe.
Virginie: So you will say “Je vais à”
Eric: ...l'hôtel”
Virginie: So a quick recap here would be feminine. “Je vais à la plage.”
Eric: Masculine, gender. “Je vais au restaurant.”
Virginie: And words starting with a vowel, “Je vais à l'hôtel”
Eric: And obviously, ""hôtel"" starts with an ""h"" but ""h"" is always treated as if it doesn't exist.


Virginie: Okay. Well, I think we're good again. Check the lesson notes. It will be really helpful.
Eric: Thank you very much for listening.
Virginie: Thank you. And you guys have a great day.
Eric: A bientot!
Virginie: A bientot! Au revoir!
Eric: See you soon!


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?