Dialogue - Formal French

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Dialogue - Informal French

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Vocabulary

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enchanté(e) nice to meet you, pleased to meet you
suis am (conjugated form of être)
je / j' I
s'il vous plaît please (formal)
je m'appelle My name is
appelez-moi Call me (formal singular or plural form)
Mademoiselle Miss

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is Giving Your Name in French
Bonjour, je m'appelle Robert Martin.
"Hello, my name is Robert Martin."


Appelez-moi (call me) is a direct request for someone to call you by a certain name or nickname. Both statements, appelez-moi (call me) and je m'appelle, (my name is) are the conjugated forms of the verb s'appeler.

As we saw in Newbie Lesson #1, this is a pronominal verb. Please notice the -s' in the infinitive form of the verb s'appeler. The -'s indicates that the information given (in this case, a name) is reflected back to the subject.

Reflexive Pronouns
Je m'appelle vs. s'appelle


Use

We use pronominal verbs with a reflexive pronoun that corresponds to the same grammatical person as the subject.

  1. Je m'appelle
  2. Elle s'appelle

In each example, both personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns (-m' and -s') are in the same grammatical person. In example 1, the personal pronoun Je and object pronoun -m' are in the first person singular form. In example 2, both are in the third person singular form.

Form

 Singular Form

 Person

 Personal Pronouns  Reflexive Pronouns

 First Person

 Je  me / m'*

 Second Person

 Tu te / t'*

 Third Person

 Il, Elle se / s'*

 Plural Form

 Person

 Personal Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns

 First Person

 Nous nous

 Second Person

 Vous vous

 Third Person

 Ils, Elles se / s'*

* We only use the contracted form of the reflexive pronoun (m', t', or s') in front of verbs starting with a vowel.

Cultural Insights

Maintenance Festival


South Eastern France celebrates the Maintenance Festival in the region of Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur. This region shares its limits with Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. The Rhone Delta River is part of the region's identity and creates a peculiar area known as La Camargue, which is rich in traditions and customs. The maintenance festival, initiated by Frédéric Mistral, occurs yearly throughout the region and especially in Saintes Maries de la Mer, which is located in the heart of La Camargue. As its name indicates, they started this celebration to maintain the region's traditions, honor horses and bulls, and more specifically to honor the provençal dialect and traditional costumes. During the celebration, you can watch a parade where gardians (cowboys) and Arlesian women wear traditional costumes. They walk in procession to the sound of galoubets (flute) and tambourins (drums).

Other festivities, such as the abrivado and the roussataïo, offer the traditional Camargue horse breeders the opportunity to present their brood mares by taking them through the village. Finally, in the afternoon, a big Camargue bull-run takes place in the arenas to honor the manades (livestock) and their best-known bulls.

Grammar

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Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.

s’appeler - 2
To be named: Beginner
Introduced
s'appeler - 1
To Be Called: Newbie
Used

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Céline: Bonjour, je suis Céline.
Sam: Sam here! Beginner Series, Lesson 1. Bonjour à tous. Hi, my name is Sam and I'm joined here by Céline. Bonjour, Céline.
Céline: Bonjour.
Sam: Where is Sylvain?
Céline: I don't know. Maybe a hangover?
Sam: Yes for sure. You know, Sylvain. How do you say hangover in French?
Céline: Gueule de bois. Well, we should chill on that.
Sam: Okay, maybe you're right. Hey guys, thanks for joining us here. This is the first lesson of the beginner series, which focuses on the basics for anyone starting French.
Céline: Or for people who want to brush up on what they learned before.
Sam: So please join us for this lesson at FrenchPod101.com.
Céline: Yeah, Sam. But how does FrenchPod101 work?
Sam: That's a good question. Well, once you listen to the podcast, you can get the PDF with the script and notes about the vocabulary and grammar from FrenchPod101.com.
Céline: Thanks, Sam. You know, we French people are not the best at using brand new technologies.
Sam: Technology?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Why?
Céline: I don't know exactly, but we are not good at that.
Sam: Wow, for once you criticized a French and not the Americans. Unbelievable. Hey listeners, this is a golden moment.
Céline: Come on, Sam. You know I'm feeling the stars and stripes. Who wrote this? Ah, I have to have a talk with the scriptwriter.
Sam: Didn't you write it?
Céline: No, I didn't. Of course not.
Sam: Okay. Anyway, I guess you guys have the hang of it by now. But listeners, don't forget, go to the learning center. We have many quizzes so you can check your understanding of the phrases and grammar.
Céline: Okay, I'm impatient. So let's get into the lesson.

Lesson focus

Sam: Sounds good to me. Today, we have two conversations. The first one is formal and the other is informal. As we recorded the conversations when Sylvain was sober, Sylvain will be Robert and Céline will be Émilie. Let's start. C’est parti!
Céline: C’est parti!

Lesson conversation

Robert Martin: Bonjour, je m'appelle Robert Martin.
Émilie: Bonjour, je suis Émilie.
Robert Martin: Enchanté, Émilie.
Émilie: Enchantée, Monsieur Martin.
Robert Martin: S'il vous plaît, appelez-moi Robert.
Sam: One more time slowly.
Céline: Ok c’est parti. Plus lentement.
Robert Martin: Bonjour, je m'appelle Robert Martin.
Émilie: Bonjour, je suis Émilie.
Robert Martin: Enchanté, Émilie.
Émilie: Enchantée, Monsieur Martin.
Robert Martin: S'il vous plaît, appelez-moi Robert.
Sam: One more time with the English.
Robert Martin: Bonjour, je m'appelle Robert Martin.
Sylvain: Hello, my name is Robert Martin.
Émilie: Bonjour, je suis Émilie.
Céline: Hello, I’m Émilie.
Robert Martin: Enchanté, Émilie.
Sylvain: That's a pleasure, Émilie.
Émilie: Enchantée, Monsieur Martin.
Céline: Nice to meet you too, Mr. Martin.
Robert Martin: S'il vous plaît, appelez-moi Robert.
Sylvain: Please, call me Robert.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Céline: I like sober Sylvain. Sam, did you now that Martin was also a first name, un prénom?
Sam: Well, actually in English, we have Martin as a first name. But I think we say Martin, like Martin Scorsese.
Céline: Oh yes, how could I forget?
Sam: In France, do you have middle names?
Céline: Oh not really. We have many first names actually.
Sam: Do you have more than one first name?
Céline: Yes, I have two others, but I won't tell you.
Sam: Why?
Céline: We never use them, but the custom in France is to give the name of the grandparents or godfather or godmother.
Sam: Okay, and do you have some unusual first names in France?
Céline: Of course, and I think some people don't think about their children's future by giving them super names like “culotte” or “planète”.
Sam: Culotte?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: That means undergarments, right?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Underwear.
Céline: Yes, exactement. Oui, voila.
Sam: Drawers, as they would say on the East Coast.
Céline: But now in France, people tend to give old names like Charles.
Sam: Charles.
Céline: Charles in French.
Sam: Okay, okay.
Céline: Yeah, my two brothers' names are Antoine et Edward.
Sam: Antoine and Edward?
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: Oh, okay. My grandfather's name is Edward.
Céline: Ah oui?
VOCAB LIST
Sam: Yeah. Now, we'll look at the vocabulary and phrases for this lesson. First.
Céline: Je m'appelle [natural native speed].
Sam: My name is.
Céline: Je m'appelle [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Je m'appelle [natural native speed].
Sam: Next.
Céline: Je / j' [natural native speed].
Sam: I.
Céline: Je / j' [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Je / j' [natural native speed].
Sam: Next.
Céline: Suis [natural native speed].
Sam: Am, as in I am.
Céline: Suis [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Suis [natural native speed].
Sam: Next.
Céline: Enchanté(e) [natural native speed].
Sam: Nice to meet you.
Céline: Enchanté(e) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Enchanté(e) [natural native speed].
Sam: Next.
Céline: S'il vous plaît [natural native speed].
Sam: The formal version of please or if you please.
Céline: S'il vous plaît [slowly - broken down by syllable]. S'il vous plaît [natural native speed].
Sam: Next.
Céline: Appelez-moi [natural native speed].
Sam: Call me. The vous form of call me or the plural form of call me.
Céline: Appelez-moi [slowly - broken down by syllable]. Appelez-moi [natural native speed].
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Sam: Now, we'll take a look at the vocabulary and phrases for this lesson. First.
Céline: Je m'appelle.
Sam: Can you give us an example of je m'appelle?
Céline: Je m'appelle Carla. My name is Carla. Je m'appelle comes from the reflexive verbs s'appeler to indicate names.
Sam: Ah, so s'appeler literally means to be named.
Céline: Yes, we’ll talk about this grammar point later. So the next word is je suis. Can you try, Sam?
Sam: Je suis Nicolas Sarkozy.
Céline: You want to be the French President?
Sam: Why not? I want to be famous.
Céline: Oh, as he is in la presse people.
Sam: What is la presse people?
Céline: It's an expression we use in France for the media covering only celebrities with a lot of pictures, gossip magazines.
Sam: Like those magazines when you go to the supermarket, the checkout counter.
Céline: Maybe.
Sam: Oh definitely, they're entertaining.
Céline: Yes.
Sam: But the phrase je suis indicates names as je m'appelle. So what's the difference?
Céline: Well, as we said earlier, je m'appelle is to be named while je suis is I am.
Sam: For example, Je suis okay.
Céline: I'm okay.
Sam: Yeah.
Céline: Yeah, exactement.
Sam: Oh okay, okay. Next, we have a phrase.
Céline: S'il vous plait.
Sam: If you please or in English, I think we just say please.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: That's an important one, s'il vous plait. Oh, one thing, with s'il vous plait, would you use it at the beginning or the end? For example, if you're asking for something.
Céline: Hmm… Un café s'il vous plait. At the end.
Sam: Okay. So for example, if I want to use s'il vous plait -- hmm, what a good example. For example, my brain is not working this morning. Puis-je avoir un peu de l’eau, s'il vous plaît.
Céline: Yes, but it's “puis-je avoir un peu d’eau”.
Sam: Un peu d’eau?
Céline: Ou “un verre d’eau”. A glass of water is better. S'il vous plaît.
Sam: What about a cup of water?
Céline: No, it's a glass of water.
Sam: But if you get the water in a paper cup, it's a cup.
Céline: In France, we don't serve water in a…
Sam: Oh, I'm sorry. Désolé, Madame.
Céline: Ah, mademoiselle.
Sam: Madamoiselle. I'm sorry.
Céline: Okay, that's better. So another example with s'il vous plait?
Sam: For example, if I'm at party, I can say this, Carla, voulez-vous danser avec moi, s'il vous plait? Would you like to dance with me, please?
Céline: Do you think that was Sarkozy's pick-up line?
Sam: Sarkozy's pick-up line? Maybe. Nicolas, le séducteur. Nicolas, the seductor.
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Probably. I bet he's a smooth character, yeah? But he's married now.
Céline: Yes, with Carla.
Sam: She's very beautiful.
Céline: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so let's go back to s'il vous plait. S'il vous plait is the formal please and s'il te plait is the informal please, s'il te plait.
Sam: S'il te plait?
Céline: Um-hmm.
Sam: S'il te plait?
Céline: S'il te plait.
Sam: S'il.
Céline: S'il.
Sam: Te.
Céline: Te.
Sam: Te.
Céline: Plait. S'il te plait.
Sam: S'il te plait. Okay. So what's next?
Céline: Appelez-moi. It means call me.
Sam: Appelez-moi Sam le charmeur, Sam the charmer.
Céline: With your American accent, I'm sure girls are at your feet.
Sam: Really? With French women, I definitely have to go to France.
Céline: Yeah, sure. So basically, to ask people to use my first name or my nickname, I would say appelez-moi.
Sam: What's your nickname in French?
Céline: My nickname?
Sam: Maybe, yeah your nickname.
Céline: I won't tell you.
Sam: Why?
Céline: Because. Do you have a nickname Sam?
Sam: Maybe.
Céline: Don't play games. Just tell me.
Sam: Next time. Okay, mademoiselle.
Céline: Okay.
Sam: You weren't so cooperative today. You wouldn't give me your nickname.
Céline: But who cares? I think listeners are more interested in grammar point.
Sam: You might be right.
Céline: Okay, so let's go.
Sam: Okay. Let's look at our grammar point. I believe Céline, you mentioned something about s'appeler earlier.
Céline: Tout à fait. Exactly. S'appeler, to be named, is a type of verb quite particular. It is called a reflexive verb, un verbe pronominal, in French. Its particularity is that the information given is reflected back to the subject.
Sam: With a reflexive verb, the subject performs an action on itself.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: For example, je m'appelle Sam, I call myself Sam. If it's someone else, the pronoun will change.
Céline: Is your brain on fire?
Sam: Yes, why?
Céline: I don't know. This is a hard grammar point, I think.
Sam: Let's give this some examples. I'm convinced they'll understand 100% after they hear several example.
Céline: Je m’habille.
Sam: I dress myself.
Céline: Exactement. Je m'appelle.
Sam: I call myself.
Céline: Tu t'appelles.
Sam: You call yourself.
Céline: Il s'appelle.
Sam: He calls himself.
Céline: Elle s'appelle.
Sam: She calls herself.
Céline: Ça s'appelle.
Sam: It calls itself. I have a question, what if you want to say, "The robot calls itself." How do you say that in French?
Céline: Okay, in that case, Il s'appelle.
Sam: What if the robot is feminine? I'm sorry, what if the robot is a woman?
Céline: Elle s'appelle. Il s'appelle Astroboy.
Sam: Oh, he calls himself Astroboy.
Céline: Exactement. Usually, we use it with food for example.
Sam: For example?
Céline: Ça s'appelle un soufflé. But it's a little bit hard, so you can just say “c’est un soufflé”.
Sam: It’s a soufflé. That sounds easy.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: That's a good way to do it, fun and easy.
Céline: That's French, fun and easy.
Sam: I thought that was American.
Céline: Okay, I can say, because listeners, they are going to hate me. So okay.
Sam: Wow, that was an informative lesson. That does it for today.
Céline: So, don't forget to review the reflexive verbs with their meanings and forms in the grammar point from the PDF and the grammar bank in the learning center at FrenchPod101.com.
Sam: If you have any doubts or questions, don't hesitate to leave us a comment in the forum on today's lesson or anytime.
Céline: D'accord. And thank you very much for all your comments.
Sam: Merci beaucoup.
Céline: Merci, au revoir.
Sam: Au revoir. Bye-bye.
Céline: Bye-bye.