Lesson Transcript

Hey, guys! It's Pierre from France. Welcome back for more videos on French learning. Today's lesson will be about 10 casual questions that French people can ask you and you should know how to answer those questions. That's important because usually when you meet French people, there are always some questions that they will ask you in a certain way that you don't learn in textbook.
So without further ado, let's get started with something quite easy like “What's your name?” Usually, you learn at school that you said Comment t'appelle tu? But usually, French people don't say that and they say - Tu t'appelles comment or comment tu t'appelles? So this is for what's your name - Tu t'appelles comment? Comment tu t'appelles? “What’s your name?” The answer is like what you learned at school, what you learned in textbook - Je m'appelle Pierre. So here, you can see that we don't do the inversion and that we can put comment here or here. If you didn't watch the video on casual French, you should watch it. This is explained there. So this one is quite easy like it doesn't really count.
Let's move on to the next one. This one doesn't really count because it's really easy, but this one is also quite easy, “How are you?” like “How do you do you?”. It's like - Comment vas-tu? Usually you learned that in textbook - Comment vas-tu? But usually, French people don't say that. They say - ça va, with a question tone. Ça va or even ça va bien? Ça va? So here as you can see, there is this kind of question tone or you can say, comment ça va or even tu vas bien? Like question, tu vas bien? For all those three questions, you can answer ça va or ça va bien or even je vais bien.
So here, bien, you can just say ça va. It’s not like something that you have to say, but here, you have to say bien. You cannot just say je vais. So for example, you can hear that in French - Ça va? Ça va. So first person - Ça va? The answer is - Ça va? Ça va? Ça va? So here, it’s like “How do you do? How do you do?”, but it's quite common in French to hear - Ça va? Ça va? So here, if you hear that, don't be surprised and just answer - ça va or ça va bien? Again, this one is quite easy. This is not something quite personal, but then let's move on to more personal questions.
So here is one of the main questions that you can hear. It's like “Where are you from?” Tu viens d'où? Even more accurate - Tu viens de quelle ville? “Which city..” or “Which country” quel pays, Tu viens de quel pays? Tu viens de quelle ville? So which city - Tu viens de quelle ville? Which country, Tu viens de quel pays? More generic, Tu viens d'où? “Where are you from?” Où is like “where”.
So here, you can answer with - je viens, like the typical answer for either of those questions is like je viens and then you can add the city or the country. But here in French, it's a bit tricky. As you may probably know, nouns in French have a gender like feminine or masculine. It's the same for countries and cities. Cities, it's always feminine like “Paris, London” Paris, Londres. It’s always feminine. But countries, you have to remember if it's masculine, feminine or not, like sometimes it's even plural like “United States” États Unis. So this is kind of tricky and you need to learn your country. So please check for your country, but if you're one of those countries, you have the example here like États Unis, it’s plural. So with plural, for this answer, you have to say des, Je viens des États Unis. This is like the d' here and this is like the plural form.
If the word is feminine so for every city, it’s quite easy, but also for some country like France or Belgium, you have to say de, je viens de Londres, je viens de France, je viens de Belgique, je viens d'Allemagne like Germany. It’s feminine as well and you have to say de, but here, because Germany starts with an A in French, Allemagne, you have to do the contraction so, je viens d'Allemagne. So here, many countries are feminine, most of the countries are feminine in French. But there are some that are masculine. This is the case for Japan and when the word is masculine, you have to say du which is the contraction of de and le. Le is the masculine word in French. So here, it's like de le so it becomes du, du Japon, je viens du Japon. If you come from Morocco, you have to say - Je viens du Maroc because Morocco is masculine.
So this is what you can answer; specific questions, more general questions and always the same answer and please, you have to check for your country. If you’re from England, je viens d'Angleterre, same as Germany. Angleterre is something feminine. So here, je viens d'Angleterre with the contraction of the de.
So let's move on to the next one. It's still about locations, but now it's where you live - Où est-ce que tu habites? This is quite common and maybe you've learned that on textbook. I think, I would probably use one of those two sentences if I have to ask a question to someone - Où est-ce que tu habites? or T'habites où? or even Tu habites où? Here, as you can see there is this unusual contraction. When you learn French, you don't learn this kind of contraction because, in the video I made, casual French, I'm explaining the rule for that, but I'm going to briefly say it again. So here, tu like tu habites, in a casual way, you can just do a contraction if there is a vowel sound here. So t'habites like vowel, habites, so you can say - T'habites où? Où est-ce que tu habites? T'habites où? So one of those two questions, you can hear that and if you hear one of these, you’ll have two answers with one of those questions.
So here again, there is a gender for countries and cities. So city is still always feminine, but you have to remember. So here, this is important to remember that you have aux, à, au. So here with plural so États Unis which is plural, you have to say aux, silent X, aux. If it’s feminine, you have to say à so like London or any other city, you have to say - J'habite à Londres. So here, this is kind of easy. Don't forget the accent on the à. It’s not the verb avoir “to have”. It's a preposition so not a verb. Be careful with that. To distinguish with the verb, you add the accent. Here, au japon, it’s like for all masculine words. Please note that this is the same pronunciation for aux and au, but here since there is a vowel here, you have to do the liaison. Again, there is a video on liaison that is important and you can check if you don't know the rules. So here, aux États Unis. So I’m going to say some other examples so if you're from England and you live in England, you say - J'habite en Angleterre. So here, it’s another case. This is feminine and for cities, it’s always à, but for en, when you have to use en, it’s when you have a country which is feminine. For example - J'habite en France, J'habite en Allemagne, “I live in France” or “I live in Germany”. So be careful. This is only for a city. With countries, it's en so j'habite en France. So only for city the à. Here, it’s like feminine, but for country so be careful because for a city, it's always à, but for country, it’s en when it’s feminine. So be careful with that, it's really important, en France.
But maybe you don't want to be as accurate or maybe you live in France now and you're living in the same city than a friend and this friend wants to know where you live because he wants to visit you so you can say like if you live close to the station for example, you can say, j'habite près de la gare, like “close to the station”. If you live close to a university because you are an exchange student or an international student, you can say, j'habite près de de l'université like “university”. It’s the same in English, except that here, it's an é with an accent, j'habite près de de l'université like “close to the university”. So this is quite common question and this is some sort of answer. Here, more general here and here, more specific like “Where in the city are you living?”.
So now we've seen some classic questions. I'm going to explain some other questions which are kind of important. Those two are quite easy like “How old are?” Quel âge tu? Usually, you learn that Quel âge tu? “How old are you?”, but usually, we don't say that in French. We say Tu quel âge? or T'as que l'âge? Here again, casual French so contraction between the tu and the as because here, this is a vowel. This is the same than here, contraction, T'as que l'âge? This is quite common question. So here, the answer is the same in the polite way - j'ai vingt ans, if you are 20, like you say j'ai vingt ans. Here, another question which can be useful if you're living in France and you have French friends and some relationships with French people, you may have a phone number that you want to share with people or people want you to share your phone number. So here - C'est quoi ton numéro? means like “What is your phone number?” C'est quoi ton numéro? This is kind of casual with friends. You will learn that quite a lot and the answer is - c'est le, for example. But remember that in French, when you say phone numbers, you always say like two by two. So here, it’s like So I put the dots here, but usually, you don't write when you write your number, but it's a way to explain that you just take them two by two okay? So c'est quoi ton numéro? C'est le 06.08….extra, extra. So this is kind of common.
Maybe you’ve noticed, I forgot this one, this one is kind of special. If you speak like as a non-native French speaker, sometimes, you will not be understood and the person will ask, “Oh, what did you say?”, something like that and he would say in French comment or quoi? Quoi is ruder than comment. Comment means like, oh, I didn't understand. I want you to repeat, though this is a kind of specific question. This is like a casual question and the answer to this question is just repeat or rephrase your sentence. So comment, quoi and please note that it's not because some French people asked you to repeat like with the comment or quoi, that it means that you’re like not good at French. It's like even for French people sometimes, we ask this. So don't be worried about that. Comment so you just repeat. So for example, I said je viens des États Unis. I said this sentence quite fast so you didn't understand and you want me to repeat so you say comment or if you want to be clearer, you can just say, “Can you repeat please?”. So in French - Est-ce que tu peux répéter? So this is a question equivalent to comment or quoi. So if you hear that, don't be surprised and just try to repeat or rephrase your sentence. So that's all for that.
Let's move on to some more specific questions and different formulations. So here, concerning your birthday, this is a question that you can be asked. So here, this is the first way to say it like - T'es né quand? So here again, contraction between tu and es because there is a vowel, a casual contraction, né like “born” and quand “when”. You can also add the the quand here like quand t'es né, but it's more common to say t'es né quand? It means like “When are you born?” So t'es né quand? This is quite a classic question. Or if they want specific like your birthday in particular, they might say - C'est quand ton anniversaire? “When is your birthday?” C'est quand ton anniversaire? Again, casual way. Maybe you’ve learned in your textbooks - Quand est votre anniversaire? anniversaire, but here, it’s the more casual way to say that.
The answer for that is like for any questions, you can answer any sentences so you can say - Je suis ne le 10 Janvier 1990. I forgot to put the le here which is very important. Je suis ne le 10 Janvier 1990, or you can say just like, take this c'est again and say - C'est le 10 Janvier 1990. Even if they ask you c'est quand ton anniversaire, you can still answer with je suis ne le 10 Janvier 1990 or maybe it would be more common to say c'est le 10 Janvier 1990.
So here, some classic answers, but be careful if you hear those questions and not what you've learned in your textbooks. The last three ones are kind of long questions, but French people often ask those questions so be prepared for that.
So here, three ways to ask the same question. I'm not going to say it in English. First, I'm going to read them. So ça fait combien de temps que tu apprends le Français? Can you understand the meaning? Here, I didn't write the translation in English because it's a good practice for you to try to translate before I'm giving you the translation. So here, the question is… Okay,maybe you've found the meaning of that, but let's move on to the next one.
T'apprends le Français depuis combien de temps? So this one like same meaning or here - T'as commencé quand à apprendre le français? I forgot the question mark just here, but it's roughly the same meaning. If you translate this one, you have to say like it would be something like “For how long have you been learning French?” Ça fait combien de temps que tu apprends le Français? Or you can even do the contraction here, t'apprends le Français, like I did the contraction here, but you can also just say tu. It's the same than here, T'as quel âge / Tu as quel âge.
So here, those two sentences are exactly the same translation like, “For how long have you been learning French?” Just two casual ways to say it, two different casual ways. The last one is a bit different. It's like “When did you start learning French?” in a casual way. T'as commencé quand à apprendre le français?
So here, it’s roughly the same meaning. So here, the answer would be like one of those two sentences like for any of those questions, you can answer one of those two sentences - Ça fait deux ans. So here, you can see that there is a ça fait and the same than here even though you can answer for any of those questions. Here, you can see that it's kind of the same pattern. It's quite difficult to translate in English, but the meaning is, here, “I have been learning French for 2 years.”, deux ans, ça fait deux ans. It’s like kind of short way to say that, ça fait. Here, it’s like the verb faire which is like “to do”. This is quite common in French to say ça fait for amounts or distance or time. You can say ça fait. If you want to say the price of something, you can say ça fait deux euros, “it costs 2 euros”, but in French, you can say just ça fait, ça fait deux euros. Here again, it's like ça fait deux ans which is what you see here in the question, “For how long have you been learning French?” Ça fait deux ans. Ça fait combien de temps que tu apprends le Français? Ça fait deux ans, deux ans.
But if you want to do something with like when you started, you want to use the verb start in French which is commencé, you can say - J'ai commencé il ya deux ans. So here, il ya, it’s like “ago”. So here, “two years ago”. So in French, the “ago” is before the time. So here - J'ai commencé il ya deux ans. “I've started two years ago.” Il ya deux ans, il ya trois ans, il ya trois heures like “three hours ago”, but if you started French three hours ago, that's good, but it's not that long so you will probably not answer that question with this. So j'ai commencé il ya deux ans.
So this is kind of common way to answer those questions and personally when I meet someone, I'm always wondering when they started learning the language they learned. So that's really common question that you will probably hear if you go to France.
Here is something also related to your French learning. It's like “How did you learn French?”. The next one is a bit like the previous one, but it's focusing on your French learning, but here, it's not when but it’s how. People sometimes are curious and they want to know how you’ve learned French. So here are two questions that you can hear.
It's like - T'as appris comment le Français? Here again, you can see that there is this contraction - T'as appris comment le Français? T'as / Tu as. So here, if I ask you guys, t'as appris comment le Français, you can answer like - J'ai appris à l'universitē. Your answer is like - J'ai appris à l'universitē. Universitē, you remember, we've seen that before. It's like in English, university. Universitē with the accent. J'ai appris à l'universitē. So you've learned that University French.
But another question that can be asked is - T'as appris où le Français? Où. So here, you can see that we can ask with comment or où, but it's roughly the same meaning like “how” and “where”. You can say that in French, but it's, yeah, roughly the same meaning because comment is like, “Oh, I’ve learned at university.”, which is like I was working at university. This is the answer for where but it's also the answer for how because when you say, j'ai appris à l'universitē, it underpins that you've learned with the teacher so it was your kind of method.
But another question, another answer that you can ask like maybe you, like you are watching those videos and you're learning by yourself without using a teacher. So here - J'ai appris tout seul. Tout seul “by myself / alone”. J'ai appris tout seul. So this is a question like “Where did you learn French?” T'as appris où le Français? You can say, “No where. I've just learned by myself.” So you can just say - J'ai appris tout seul.
So here, even if it’s où, you can say j'ai appris tout seul. It’s not something really weird if you do that in French. T'as appris comment le Français? Again, you can say - J'ai appris tout seul. Comment, tout seul. So here, again, the comment would be more related to tout seul and the où would be more related to à l'universitē. But if you guys don't do the disambiguation like if you answer with the other ones, it's perfectly okay.
So again two questions related to French learning.
The last one is related to your trip in France like if you go to France and you meet some people, they might ask you if it's your first time in France or if you've ever been in France before, questions like that.
So the way they can ask you that is - C'est la première fois que tu viens en France? The polite way to say that would be - Excuse c'est la première fois que tu viens en France? So this is kind of polite or also casual, but this one is more casual - C'est la première fois que tu viens en France?
So here, if I ask you c'est la première fois que tu viens en France like we are in France like I meet you and I ask you - C'est la première fois que tu viens en France? If it's your first time, you can say, “Oh yeah, it's my first time.” so you just say - Oui, c'est la première fois. But if it's not your first time, you can say, “Oh no, it's not my first time.”, it's like my second time, so you can say - Non c'est la deuxième fois, première, deuxième fois. So non c'est la deuxième fois, deuxième fois. I’m going to write deuxième because maybe you want to know how to say that, deuxième. So here, you can say that.
Another question which is kind of the same meaning but there is a subtlelity because it's the opposite. It's like when they ask you - T'es déjà venu en France avant? Like here again, contraction, tu es, t'es, t'es déjà venu en France avant? “Have you ever been to France before?” Avant “before”, “ever” déjà. “Have you ever been to France before?” Have you ever been? So t'es déjà venu en France avant?. Your answer can be, “Oh no, I've never been to France.” Non, je ne suis jamais venu en France avant. The opposite of déjà is jamais, déjà, jamais, venu en France avant, non, je ne suis jamais venu en France avant.
Or you can answer if you’ve been to France before, you’d been in France before, you can say - Je suis déjà venu il y a 2 ans, for example. So here again, you see that il y a 2 ans “2 years ago”. Je suis déjà venu il y a 2 ans.
Okay, so you've seen that French people can ask you questions in many ways. So you've seen some classic questions. Don't forget that the contraction is really important then don't do the inversion here, tu viens, viens tu.
Here, questions that French people can ask you and sometimes you hear those questions a lot and instead of just being confused, it’s better to be used to that and just to answer those questions because you will know how to answer that so now you will be confident enough to answer the questions and that’s really good for your determination because if you go to France and you live in France as an international student or stuff like that like I did, you will hear those questions and if you can directly answer those questions without thinking about that, that's really good for your mind because you say okay I can speak with native people and answer questions really easily. So this is kind of good for your self confidence. So please read those sentences again and try to be confident with that. You can just read those questions out loud and make your own response, your own answers with your own birthday like when did you start learning French or how did you learn French?
So this was only a small amount of sentences but I hope it would be good for you. So that's all for today. Well, if you like this video, you can click on the like button or leave a comment on the comment section down below. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can click on the subscribe button and with that, you will not miss our contents. If you want some more resources on French learning, you can go on our website, FrenchPod101.com. You will see a lot of contents for your French learning and improve your way to speak and read French. That's all for today. It was Pierre and see you on our next video.