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Lesson Transcript

Salut, je m'appelle Ingrid. Hi everybody! I’m Ingrid.
Welcome to FrenchPod101.com’s “Le français en 3 minutes”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn French.
In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in French. Do you remember them?
In this lesson we’re going to learn a very useful phrase: “Do you speak English?”
If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver. And because you’re asking it in French, you can be sure that everyone will understand what you’re saying, even if their answer is no.
Here's the informal way to say it.
Est-ce que tu parles anglais?
[slowly] Est-ce que tu parles anglais?
In French, verbs change depending on the pronoun that is used. Please notice the word “tu” in this middle of the sentence. Remember that this is the informal way to say “you?” The next word is the verb, parler, which means to speak. Because it is referring to “tu,” it is conjugated to tu parles.
Est-ce que is an interrogative form to introduce the question. It is similar to the English word "Do" here. And you probably recognize “anglais” to be “English.”
Est-ce que tu parles anglais?
To learn how to properly conjugate -er verbs, like parler, please look at our Absolute Beginner series on FrenchPod101.com. You can find very detailed grammar lessons and resources there!
We’re now going to make this sentence formal. First, we need to use the formal version of “you,” which is Vous. If we change the word for “you,” we will conjugate parler differently. It becomes parlez. Everything else stays the same:
Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
[slowly] Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
Adding excusez-moi , "excuse-me", the sentence becomes even more polite:
Excusez-moi, est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
[slowly] Excusez-moi, est-ce que vous parlez anglais?
The responses you will receive could be one of these three:
Ouì. "Yes."
[slowly] Oui.
Un peu. "A little."
[slowly] un peu.
Non, je ne parle pas anglais. "No, I don’t speak English."
[slowly] Non, je ne parle pas anglais.
Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say ne before the verb, parle, and pas after it. Notice also that the verb, parle is slightly different than parlez. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about je, French for "I," Thus “I do not speak” is:
Je ne parle pas.
Now it’s time for Ingrid’s Insights.
For those of you who are not only English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. French people study other European languages at school, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute anglais with…
Italien for Italian.
Russe for Russian.
Espagnol for Spanish.
Allemand for German.
In this lesson we mentioned the expression excusez-moi. But did you know that this could also be used as an apology? In the next lesson we will learn this and other ways to apologize in French. It’s never too late to show your good manners with French people!
I'll see you in our next Le français en 3 minutes lesson.
À bientôt!