Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Céline: Bonjour! Je m’appelle Céline.
Sylvain: Et moi, Sylvain.
Sam: Sam here. “Are you?” I’m Sam and I’m joined here by my friends...
Sylvain: Sylvain.
Céline: Et Céline. Alors comment ça va Sam?
Sam: Je vais bien et toi?
Céline: Ça va.
Sam: C’est bon.
Céline: C’est très bon.
Sylvain: Et moi pas mal.
Céline: Fantastique ! So today we’ll have two dialogues. One dialogue will be the bonus.
Sylvain: Aurélie is talking on her cell phone.
Sam: Ok. Let’s start, eh?
Céline: Ok.
Sam: C’est parti!
Céline: Allô? Oh, maman!
Sylvain: Est-ce que tu es avec ton père?
Céline: Pardon?
Sylvain: Tu es avec ton père?
Céline: Oui, il est là.
Sam: One more time, slowly.
Céline: Encore une fois, lentement.
Céline: Allô? Oh, maman!
Sylvain: Est-ce que tu es avec ton père?
Céline: Pardon?
Sylvain: Tu es avec ton père?
Céline: Oui, il est là.
Sam: One more time, with the English.
Céline: Encore une fois, avec l’anglais.
Céline: Allô? Oh, maman!
Sam: Hello? Oh, mom!
Sylvain: Est-ce que tu es avec ton père?
Sam: Are you with your father?
Céline: Pardon?
Sam: Excuse me?
Sylvain: Tu es avec ton père?
Sam: Are you with your father?
Céline: Oui, il est là.
Sam: Yes, he is here.
Céline: Sam, do you know the expression in French, which is “le téléphone arabe”?
Sam: No.
Céline: The Arabic phone. Ok, Sylvain, can you explain us?
Sylvain: I think it’s a kid game. You say something to the ear of a person that have to repeat it to another person and you form a chain.
Sam: Oh! It’s called telephone. It’s called telephone.
Céline: Ok, but in French it’s called “le téléphone arabe.”
Sam: Really? Why “arabe”?
Céline: Ben je ne sais pas pourquoi.
Sylvain: Bonne question.
Céline: Yes, let’s check the net.
Sylvain: Anyway, at the beginning there was a sentence like “I love pizza” and the last person who...
Sam: You have to pass the message around.
Sylvain: Usually the message is completely transformed and changed.
Céline: Yeah, so, I mean, “I love pizza.” “I love Peter.” So it’s a different.
Sam: You know, some people have a tendency not to have a regular phone but just a cell phone to save money. So that way when they move, they don’t have to pay the charges for transferring the phone line. Or if you run up an exorbitantly high bill, you can avoid it.
Sylvain: Good idea!
Céline: Yeah, good idea, Sam!
Sam: Oh, you guys are laughing. Have you done that? Have you ever moved and not paid your telephone bill.
Sylvain: No.
Céline: No, never.
Sam: Never?
Céline: Have you?
Sam: Me neither. No, no.
Céline: Yeah, if you say that, it’s because you did.
Sam: No, no. I pay my telephone bill.
Sylvain: There is a more easier way to phone, by the internet. You know, with programs.
Sam: Ah, yeah.
Sylvain: We cannot tell the name.
Céline: Yeah, and then you can get cheap communications.
Sam: Cheap rates, yeah.
Céline: Cheap rates.
Sam: And it’s easy.
Céline: But it’s not a cell phone. Ha-ha.
Sam: You can still carry it with you. If you have a small laptop.
Sylvain: Your computer.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: Let’s move on to vocabulary. That’s fantastique.
Sylvain: Fantastique!
Sam: Fantastique. Our first item is...
Sylvain: Allô?
Sam: Hello. Only used on the telephone.
Sylvain: Allô? Allô?
Sam: Next.
Céline: Est-ce que?
Sam: Is it that?
Céline: Est-ce que? Est-ce que?
Sam: Next.
Sylvain: Avec.
Sam: With.
Sylvain: Avec. Avec.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Ton.
Sam: Your (informal)
Céline: Ton. Ton.
Sam: Next.
Sylvain: Votre.
Sam: Your (formal)
Sylvain: Votre. Votre.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Père.
Sam: Father or dad.
Céline: Père. Père.
Sam: And the last item is...
Sylvain: Là.
Sam: There.
Sylvain: Là. Là.
Sylvain: Let’s look at the usage for some of these items. First one is “allô”.
Sam: It is only used when picking up the phone to greet your...
Céline: Interlocuteur.
Sam: Interlocuteur? Ok.
Sylvain: There isn’t any literal translation in English. The best match will be “Hello”.
Céline: Or sometimes you can just say “Oui?”.
Sylvain: Oui. Oui.
Sam: Interesting. The next phrase is “est-ce que”.
Sylvain: “Est-ce que” is a grammatical structure. This one translates to “Is it that?”
Sam: For example?
Sylvain: Est-ce que tu vas au cinéma ce soir?
Sam: Is it that you’re going to the cinema to night?
Céline: Another example: Est-ce que tu fumes? “Do you smoke?” Or literally, “Is it that you smoke?”
Sylvain: Non, pas de nicotine. No, no nicotine. I am addicted to my dose of caffeine.
Sam: Ok. That’s a nice way to avoid having a hard time. A nice dose of caffeine. American coffee!
Sylvain: No!
Céline: So “est-ce que” is only used in yes/no questions. The next word is “ton”.
Sylvain: Not to confuse with fish tuna. “Thon”.
Sam: Not to be confused with tuna fish?
Céline: Oui.
Sylvain: Yeah. In French, “thon” is “tuna fish”.
Sam: Like a ton?
Céline: Yeah, or an ugly lady. No.
Sylvain: That’s the truth. We say “un thon”.
Céline: Un thon.
Sylvain: For an ugly lady.
Sam: Like a tuna?
Céline: Yeah. No. It’s not like a tuna. Bigger. Bigger tuna.
Sylvain: “Ton” without an “h” is used to express possession.
Céline: Yes, is it a possessive adjective referring to the pronoun “tu”.
Sam: You can review them in Newbie Lesson 11, by the way.
Céline: There is also “votre”.
Sylvain: Yes. It is equivalent of “ton” but used formally.
Sam: Par exemple:
Sylvain: Votre montre est belle.
Sam: Your watch is beautiful. Oh! Merci beaucoup, Sylvain! C’est pas très cher.
Sylvain: It’s an example.
Sam: Oh. Oh, thank you. So you don’t think my watch is beautiful.
Sylvain: I think your watch is beautiful. As an antique.
Céline: Ok, let’s see another example guys.
Sylvain: Let’s say you want to make sure that your lovely half doesn’t forget the wallet.
Céline: What is that? A Dutch treat?
Sylvain: Yes!
Céline: Oh mon Dieu! So what would you ask?
Sylvain: Tu as ton portefeuille?
Sam: Do you have your wallet?
Céline: And girls would say, “non mais j’espère que toi tu as le tien”.
Sam: No, but I hope you have yours.
Sylvain: Par contre, on the other hand, if you leave without it in a restaurant, you will hear “vous avez laissé votre portefeuille”.
Sam: You left your wallet!
Céline: Oui! Bravo. So let’s review quickly the possessives. “Mon” plus masculine.
Sylvain: “Ton” plus masculine.
Céline: “Ma” plus feminine.
Sylvain: “Ta” plus feminine.

Lesson focus

Céline: So, maintenant écoutez. Listen to today’s grammar point.
Sylvain: Now we are going to explain this weird structure that’s known as “est-ce que”.
Sam: It’s similar to “qu’est-ce”, but remember “qu’est-ce” means “what is it/that” while “est-ce que” means “is it that.”
Sylvain: “Est-ce que” tips off yes/no questions. They’re referred in French as “questions fermées” or closed questions.
Sam: Ah. How are they formed?
Céline: First you put the structure, “est-ce que,” followed by the subject and verb.
Sylvain: Let me illustrate. Est-ce que tu prends un café avec du lait?
Sam: Do you have your coffee with milk? Back to his addiction again.
Céline: Uh-huh. I guess he didn’t have a chance to get one today.
Sylvain: Well, no. I spilled it and had to change. But let’s concentrate on “est-ce que” instead of my coffee misadventure. And let’s our listener know that “est-ce que” can be omitted. So “Est-ce que tu prends ton café avec du lait? ” will become “Tu prends ton café avec du lait?”.
Céline: This formulation is identical to affirmative statements.
Sam: Oh, interesting. So when you say “Tu prends ton café avec du lait?”, if the intonation goes up, it’s a question. If you keep it flat, it’s an affirmative statement.
Sylvain: To example now?
Sam: An example? How about I ask you guys in French, and then I’ll ask again in English, and you answer in French and answer in English. Est-ce que tu prends ton café avec du sucre?
Sylvain: Euh oui, je prends mon café avec du sucre.
Sam: So I asked, “Do you have sugar with your coffee?” and Sylvain said, “Yes, I have my coffee with sugar.” Or if you’re American, you have the sugar with the coffee.
Sylvain: Nice one, nice one.
Céline: And in France, you’ll have Cognac with your coffee.
Sam: Cognac?
Céline: Oui. Est-ce que tu prends ton café avec du Cognac?
Sylvain: Every morning.
Sam: Qu’est-ce que c’est? Cognac?
Céline: Cognac? You don’t know?
Sylvain: You know Whiskey?
Sam: Oh! Cognac!
Céline: Oh. Cognac.
Sam: Yeah, it’s the Delaware accent. Cognac. I thought that sounded familiar.
Céline: Have you tried it?
Sylvain: In the morning?
Sam: No. C’est dégueulasse n’est-ce pas?
Céline: Oh!
Sylvain: Nice usage!
Céline: Nice usage, yeah, of the word.
Sylvain: Nice usage.
Céline: But no, no, no. Attention au Cognac, cela fait partie du patrimoine français. Attention, attention.
Sam: That’s a good place to stop.
Céline: Oui. Est-ce que Sylvain tu as quelques commentaires?
Sylvain: Non.
Sam: Do you have any commentary?
Sylvain: No. About cognac? Let’s drink it before two.


Sam: Au revoir!
Sylvain: À bientôt.
Céline: Au revoir!


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Dialog (informal)