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Sam: And today I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline.
Sam: And?
Alex: Alexandre.
Sam: Welcome back, guys. Are you ready for another great lesson?
Céline: Of course we are.
Alex: Bien sûr!
Sam: But first, where does this conversation take place?
Céline: This conversation takes place in a café in France.
Alex: And the focus of this lesson is expressing the negation in French.
Sam: Okay, so shall we start?
Alex: Oui on y va!
Sam: Let’s go.
Céline: Je ne râle jamais.
Alex: Ah oui?
Céline: Je ne bois jamais.
Alex: Heu, d’eau?
Céline: Je ne fume jamais!
Alex: De cigarettes roulées!
Sam: Now, once more, slowly.
Céline: Je ne râle jamais.
Alex: Ah oui?
Céline: Je ne bois jamais.
Alex: Heu, d’eau?
Céline: Je ne fume jamais!
Alex: De cigarettes roulées!
Sam: Now, once more with the English.
Céline: Je ne râle jamais.
Sam: “I never complain.”
Alex: Ah oui?
Sam: “Oh, yeah?”
Céline: Je ne bois jamais.
Sam: “I never drink.”
Alex: Heu, d’eau?
Sam: “Uh, water?”
Céline: Je ne fume jamais!
Sam: “I never smoke.”
Alex: De cigarettes roulées!
Sam: “Hand roll cigarettes.”
Sam: Hey, tell me about some things that the French never do.
Alex: They never speak English.
Sam: So, for a visit, is it difficult to communicate with French people?
Alex: I think a lot of French people do understand English but sometimes they just don’t want to speak it. That’s all.
Céline: If you go to France, don’t expect to speak English. I mean you should try a little French, at least.
Sam: I agree.
Céline: Okay, today is my day.
Sam: But what about, do the French speak English if they come to America, for example?
Alex: They have to, in this case.
Céline: So you just try to speak French and then you can switch in English if you don’t understand and, yeah, usually they can switch easily.
Sam: What if you have a little bit of a strange accent in French, is that okay?
Céline: It’s really okay. It’s no problem.
Sam: Okay. What else don’t they do?
Céline: They don’t pronounce the “h”.
Sam: Why?
Céline: Have you noticed that?
Sam: Why not?
Céline: Because it’s French language. We never pronounce the “h”.
Alex: We don’t have the “h”. For example, we say “Ello, ow do you do?” Things like that.
Céline: I am “appy” today.
Sam: So, the “h” is silent.
Céline: Silent, yeah.
Alex: Exactement.
Sam: How do you say “horse”?
Céline: In real French?
Alex: “orse”.
Sam: I thought that was a bear.
Céline: Yeah, also we say “I cut my air.” We have problems with the English.
Sam: Then you’ll choke.
Céline: Pardon?
Sam: If you cut your air.
Céline: Yeah.
Alex: Nice, nice.
Céline: Ah no. Something that they never do, they never wear perfume without taking a shower.
Sam: I knew that.
Céline: But, many people think that French people are dirty, right?
Sam: Well, I think that’s a bit of an old stereotype. Maybe some people don’t acknowledge about France or the French, so they hear 1 or 2 many negative comments and they think that’s how things are.
Céline: Yes, that’s what I do with America.
Sam: Oh, I noticed. Now, let’s take a look at the vocabulary and phrases from this lesson.
Sam: The first item is?
Alex: Râler.
Sam: “Complain”.
Alex: Râler. Râler.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Boire.
Sam: “To drink”.
Céline: Boire. Boire.
Sam: Next.
Alex: Eau.
Sam: “Water”.
Alex: Eau. Eau.
Sam: Next.
Alex: Cigarettes roulées.
Sam: “Hand rolled cigarettes”.
Alex: Cigarettes roulées. Cigarettes roulées.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Jamais.
Sam: “Never”.
Céline: Jamais. Jamais.
Sam: Now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of these items from today’s lesson.
Céline: The first word we’ll look at is:
Alex: Râler. “to complain”. “Râler” is a familiar verb. The formal one would be “protester” which means “to protest”.
Sam: So, if you want to say “I complain”?
Céline: Je râle.
Sam: “I complain against the strike.”
Céline: Je râle contre la grève.
Sam: “I complain, so I strike.”
Alex: Je râle, donc je fais la grève.
Sam: That’s the French’s favorite past time, huh.
Céline: Well Sam, yes, maybe. But, in our dialogue the woman never complains. Je ne râle jamais.
Alex: Yes, but the man says “Ah oui?” which means “Ah, yes?” He’s surprised about what she says, right?
Céline: Yes. “Ah oui?” could be the equivalent of “Ah bon?”, “Oh, really?”, but in the case it’s a bit mocking.
Alex: For example: Je ne mens jamais.
Sam: “I never lie.”
Céline: Ah oui?
Sam: “Ah, yes?”
Céline: Et moi je ne bois jamais.
Sam: “And me, I never drink.”
Alex: Ah oui? Céline, mentir c’est mal. Lying is bad.
Céline: I’m not lying, that’s the example taken from the dialogue. So, one important point with the verb “boire”, “to drink”, if you say “je ne bois jamais” it always refers to alcohol. So, “je ne bois jamais” is “I never drink alcohol.” Another example, “Je ne bois jamais de Coca”.
Sam: “I never drink Coca-Cola.”
Alex: Nous ne buvons jamais de thé vert.
Sam: “We never drink green tea.”
Céline: But green tea is good for you and very popular in France and with the verb “boire” you should pay attention to the compliment as in “je bois de l’eau”.
Sam: “I drink some water.”
Céline: Je ne bois jamais d’eau.
Sam: “I never drink water.”
Alex: Je bois du Coca.
Sam: “I drink coke.”
Céline: Je ne bois jamais de Coca.
Sam: “I never drink coke.” I guess that would be today’s grammar point. I think our next word though is “to smoke”.
Céline: Fumer.
Sam: Are French heavy smokers?
Alex: Well, I don’t think so. Not as much as other European countries, because cigarettes are really expensive in France, around five euros and 30 cents per pack.
Céline: And with the new regulation about not smoking in public places, French people really don’t like that. You know, Sam, in France people used to go to the café in the morning and enjoy their “petit noir”, which is the French coffee, with a cigarette and to gossip about the news. Now, nobody goes to the bar anymore. So, everybody complains. Tout le monde râle.
Sam: Everybody complains? Wow.
Alex: Although cigarettes are expensive, some people smoke “les cigarettes roulées”, which is “hand rolled cigarette”. It’s cheaper than the pack, but still expensive, around four euros and 90 cents per packet. So, the tobacconists complain about it. Ils râlent.
Céline: Alex, tu fumes? “Alex, do you smoke?”
Alex: Non, je ne fume jamais. “No, I never smoke.” Et toi Céline, do you smoke? Est-ce que tu fumes?
Céline: Non, je ne fume pas. I don't smoke.
Sam: The healthy French. Ah, gotta love it.
Céline: Et toi Sam, est-ce que tu fumes?
Sam: No, I don’t smoke. Je ne fume pas.
Céline: Healthy American, as well?
Sam: Except for the food.
Céline: No comment.
Sam: I guess we are all healthy so let me put down this hamburger and we’ll get to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Céline: Today’s grammar point is the negation with “ne jamais”.
Sam: “Never”.
Alex: If you remember well, in our last lesson we talked about the negation with “ne pas”. Remember the sandwich?
Sam: Sure I do.
Alex: So, with “ne jamais” it’s the same pattern. “Ne” plus verb plus “jamais”.
Sam: Some examples?
Céline: Je ne fume jamais.
Sam: “I never smoke.”
Alex: It’s easy. The negative is formed with two particles. “Ne” and “jamais”. Take the simple phrase “je fume” and add “ne” in front of the verb and add “jamais” after the verb. You’ll end up with: Je ne fume jamais.
Sam: “I never smoke.”
Céline: Another example: if you want to give more detail, about what you would never do, you would say : Je ne fume jamais de cigares.
Sam: “I never smoke cigars.” What if I don’t eat a special thing like pork, for example?
Céline: Well, you can still say: Je ne mange pas de porc.
Sam: “I don’t eat pork.”
Alex: Or “Je ne mange jamais de porc.”
Sam: “I never eat pork.”
Alex: So here –
Sam: What if you’re vegetarian and you never eat meat?
Céline: Je ne mange jamais de viande.
Sam: “I never eat meat.”
Céline: Meat is “viande”, in French.
Alex: So, here we have negation with “ne jamais” plus thing.
Céline: So, in “je ne mange jamais de viande”. “de” or “d” apostrophe are used when talking about uncountable things or talked in general context.
Alex: Let’s see first, with a statement. Je regarde des films américains.
Sam: “I watch American movies.”
Alex: The negation is: Je ne regarde jamais de films américains.
Sam: “I never watch American movies.” Well, let’s recap. “Ne” plus verb conjugation plus “jamais” to express the negation and in English it means “never”.
Alex: C’est ça! That’s it. With all the negations, the pattern is “ne” plus verb plus “jamais” plus “de” or “d” apostrophe, if the word starts with a vowel or “h” plus complément d’objet direct.
Sam: Does that work with all the negation adverbs?
Céline: Tout à fait! Yes, all of them. “Ne pas”, “not”, “ne plus”, “not anymore”, “ne jamais”, “never” and many more.
Sam: Wow, that’s it for today. But, hey listeners! Remember you can check the grammar bank. And, let’s have a nice lunch at Mac Do, right?
Céline: Sorry, Sam, je ne mange jamais d’hamburgers.
Sam: You never eat hamburgers? I feel sorry for you.
Céline: Well, I’m not. Je ne suis pas désolée.
Alex: Oh please guys, stop!
Sam: Hey Alex, why don’t you come to Mac Do for some hamburgers?
Alex: Okay, I will go. I eat about everything.
Sam: Okay.
Céline: Traître.
Sam: What, a traitor?
Alex: Me?
Sam: No, he just loves hamburgers.
Alex: I’m very open minded, that’s all. Je suis ouvert d’esprit.
Sam: Maybe elle est jalouse. “She’s jealous.”
Céline: I’m not jealous.
Sam: I think so.


Céline: Okay, that’s it for today?
Sam: Until the next time!
Alex: A la prochaine, au revoir!
Sam: Bye-bye.
Céline: A bientôt!


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