Vocabulary (Review)

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Sam: Today I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline.
Sam: And?
Alex: Alexandre.
Sam: Okay, guys. What’s the focus of today’s lesson?
Alex: The focus of this lesson is to talk about yourself, to describe yourself.
Céline: This conversation takes place at FrenchPod101.com’s office.
Sam: The conversation is between Alex and Céline!
Alex: Since we are friends, we will talk in informal French.
Sam: Let’s start.
Céline: Je suis un homme. Je suis Français. Qui suis-je?
Alex: Sylvain?
Céline: Non! Je suis petit.
Alex: Christophe?
Céline: Non, je suis empereur!
Alex: Ah Napoléon!
Céline: Ouiiiii!
Sam: Now, one more time, slowly.
Céline: Je suis un homme. Je suis Français. Qui suis-je?
Alex: Sylvain?
Céline: Non! Je suis petit.
Alex: Christophe?
Céline: Non, je suis empereur!
Alex: Ah Napoléon!
Céline: Ouiiiii!
Sam: Now, one more time, with the English.
Céline: Je suis un homme. Je suis Français. Qui suis-je?
Sam: “I’m a man. I’m French. Who am I?”
Alex: Sylvain?
Sam: “Sylvain?”
Céline: Non! Je suis petit.
Sam: “No, I’m small.”
Alex: Christophe?
Sam: “Christophe?”
Céline: Non, je suis empereur!
Sam: “Now, I’m an emperor.”
Alex: Ah Napoléon!
Sam: “Ah, Napoleon!”
Céline: Ouiiiii!
Sam: “Yes.”
Sam: Was Napoleon really that small?
Alex: Well, I think quite small. He was about 1 meter and 67 centimeters, right?
Céline: Yeah, but you think that’s small at that time? I don’t know, maybe it’s a legend, but some people say he had a complex with his height.
Sam: I heard the same thing.
Alex: Yeah, but look at today’s president. Sarkozy, he’s small, too!
Céline: Do you know his height?
Alex: No, but I know he’s wearing high heels.
Céline: No, because his wife is tall.
Sam: Okay. She’s a singer, isn’t she?
Céline: Yeah, she’s a singer.
Alex: And top model. She was a top model before.
Céline: Yeah.
Sam: What does she look like?
Céline: She’s tall. 1.75? I don’t know exactly.
Sam: What do French look like? Do French people tend to be quite tall or medium height or short?
Céline: It depends. In northern France they are taller than in south, because their origins are from North and northern people are taller than southern people. In southern France they look more like North Africans, Spanish, Italians?
Sam: How about you Alex? How tall are you?
Alex: 1.75. I’m not sure if it’s tall or medium height.
Céline: Okay, why don’t we check the vocab, because I think nobody cares about your height.
Alex: Okay, let’s go.
Sam: Okay, let’s see what the vocab looks like.
Sam: The first item is?
Céline: Etre.
Sam: “To be”.
Céline: Etre. Etre.
Sam: Next
Céline: Homme.
Sam: “Man”.
Céline: Homme. Homme.
Sam: Next.
Alex: Français.
Sam: “French” - masculine.
Alex: Français. Français.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Qui.
Sam: “Who”.
Céline: Qui. Qui.
Sam: Next.
Alex: Non.
Sam: “No”.
Alex: Non. Non.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Petit.
Sam: “Small”.
Céline: Petit. Petit.
Sam: Next.
Alex: Empereur.
Sam: “Emperor”.
Alex: Empereur. Empereur.
Sam: Lastly?
Alex: Je suis.
Sam: “I am”.
Alex: Je suis. Je suis.
Sam: Now, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of these items from this lesson. The first item is?
Céline: Etre, the verb “to be”. We talked about this verb a lot during our past lessons and we will more as this verb is one of the most used in the French language.
Alex: In our dialogue, it’s conjugated in the first person singular. “Je suis” which is “I am”, more exactly “je suis un homme”, which is “I’m a man.”
Céline: For me it’s, of course, a bit different. I would say: Je suis une femme. “I’m a woman.” See how the article is different? “Un” for masculine, “une” for feminine.
Alex: For example: Un homme.
Sam: “A man.”
Céline: Une femme.
Sam: “A woman.”
Céline: Next is “Qui suis-je?”, “who am I?” I think we never ask ourselves that question, right?
Sam: “Who am I?” Maybe not. So, how would you say “Who are you?” in French?
Alex: You would say “Qui es-tu?” this is the informal question, using “tu”.
Céline: The formal question is “Qui êtes-vous?”
Sam: “Who are you?”
Céline: Be careful of your intonation when you ask the question. It might be offensive. Qui êtes-vous?
Alex: So, Céline, qui es-tu?
Céline: Je suis une femme française.
Sam: “I’m a French woman.” What a lovely sentence, sounds poetic.
Alex: C’est vrai. That’s true.
Céline: Et toi Alex? Qui es-tu?
Alex: Je suis un homme français. “I’m a French man.”
Céline: Sounds less poetic, right? Well, did you notice the difference between his spelling and mine? Can you say “I’m French” again, Alex?
Alex: Of course. Je suis Français. “I’m French.”
Céline: Je suis Française. “I’m French.”
Sam: That’s the feminine-masculine rule again, right? How about me? Qui suis-je?
Céline: Tu es Américain. You’re American from North America. Isn’t that ethnocentrique?
Sam: Maybe.
Alex: Okay, next we have: petit.
Céline: “Petit” is an adjective meaning “small”, “little” or “short”. This is the masculine form. It can describe a person or an object. For person, it generally refers to the height as in:
Alex: Sarkozy est petit.
Sam: “Sarkozy is short.”
Céline: Or define an object as in: le monde est petit.
Sam: “The world is small.”
Céline: You usually say when you meet someone you didn’t expect to meet. Like a surprise. For example, if I bump into Alex on a nudist beach I would say “Alex, le monde est petit!”
Sam: “The world is small.”
Alex: It also has other meaning, when it is used as a compound as in petit-déjeuner.
Sam: “Breakfast.”
Céline: Petit ami.
Sam: “Boyfriend.”
Alex: Petit noir.
Sam: “Coffee.”
Céline: In these cases, there’s no relation with height, just an expression. So, how about the feminine for “short”, Alex?
Alex: Ah oui, the feminine for short is “petite”, for example:
Céline: Je suis petite.
Sam: “I’m short.”
Alex: You just add an “e”.
Céline: Petit, petite.
Sam: Oh, I got it. Hey, how do you ask in French “How tall are you?”
Alex: Combien tu mesures? Combien tu mesures?
Sam: So that means “How tall are you?” I understand.
Alex: Céline, combien tu mesures?
Céline: Je mesure un mètre soixante. Je mesure un mètre soixante.
Sam: “I’m 160 centimeters.” Or “1 meter, 60 centimeters.”
Céline: Oui.
Sam: So “petit” with masculine nouns and “petite” with feminine nouns, it’s so easy, isn’t it?
Céline: Yes, it is.
Alex: Yes, so now, why don’t we have a closer look at today’s grammar point?

Lesson focus

Sam: Good idea. What’s today’s grammar topic?
Céline: Today, we’re going to learn how to use the verb “to be”, être, when describing yourself.
Alex: So, we will focus on “je suis”, “I am”, used when talking about your physical appearance, nationality and job.
Céline: Therefore, to talk about your physical appearance, use the verb “to be” and add the adjective.
Alex: Par exemple: je suis grand. “I’m tall.”
Céline: Je suis grande. “I’m tall.”
Sam: The second one is the feminine form. Remember guys, when it’s the feminine, we need to add the “e”.
Alex: Je suis athlétique.
Sam: “I’m athletic.”
Céline: I think you’re slim. Mince.
Alex: Okay, je suis mince et grand.
Sam: “I’m slim and tall.” And if I want to say “I’m medium height”?
Céline: Je suis de taille moyenne.
Sam: So, Céline and Alex can you guys describe yourselves, because our listeners can’t see you.
Céline: D’accord! Je suis petite, je suis mince, je suis châtain clair.
Sam: “I’m small, I’m slim and I have brown hair.”
Alex: Je suis de taille moyenne, je suis athlétique et je suis blond.
Sam: “I’m medium height, I’m athletic and I’m blond.”
Céline: Your turn, Sam.
Sam: Okay, je suis grand, je suis athlétique et je suis brun. “I’m tall, I’m athletic and I’m dark.”
Céline: You’re both athletic, I’m a looking French woman here.
Alex: Yes, you are. Talking about French here is the second point of our grammar. “I am” plus nationality. Je suis Français.
Sam: “I’m French.” - masculine form.
Céline: Je suis Française.
Sam: “I’m French.” - feminine form.
Céline: It’s so easy, same pattern, “je suis” plus nationality. The only problem is to know your nationality in French. Let’s see some examples. One time English, one time masculine and one time feminine.
Sam: “I am Australian.”
Alex: Je suis Australien.
Céline: Je suis Australienne.
Sam: “I’m Spanish.”
Alex: Je suis Espagnol.
Céline: Je suis Espagnole.
Sam: “I am American.”
Alex: Je suis Ricain.
Sam: What?
Céline: Yes, it’s the slang for “American”. American is “Américain”, but in France we say “Ricain” but don’t worry “Américain”, “Ricain” it’s not derogatory.
Sam: How about “I’m British”?
Céline: I am “roast beef”. You don’t laugh at my jokes?
Alex: This time we’ll laugh.
Céline: It’s: Je suis Anglais. Je suis Anglaise.
Alex: Yes. And the British calls us “frogs”. Anyhow, to ask the question about origin in French –
Céline: - is “D’où êtes-vous?” or “D’où vous êtes?” or “Vous êtes d’où?”
Sam: “Where are you from?” Three different ways to ask the same thing. So, we have one last point with the verb “I am”, right?
Céline: Oui. The last grammar point is “je suis” plus occupation or job. In the dialogue, it’s about emperor. Strange job, it’s more like a status. So first, let me ask you Alex: Que fais-tu? “What do you do?”
Alex: Je suis go-go dancer.
Sam: “I’m a go-go dancer.” What? You’re a go-go dancer?
Alex: You didn’t know that, huh?
Sam: I certainly didn’t.
Céline: I did.
Alex: You should come to my show.
Céline: Oh oui!
Sam: Céline, the question was quite informal, right because you used “tu”?
Céline: Yes. Que fais-tu?
Sam: “What do you do” - informal.
Alex: For the formal, it would be “que faites-vous”?
Céline: Je suis ingénieur.
Sam: “I’m an engineer.”
Alex: “Ingénieur” is feminine and masculine. It’s the same.
Sam: But, you’re lucky this time. Are there any rules for jobs in terms of feminine and masculine?
Céline: Yes, there are. Let’s see just a few examples. For words ending by “eur”, the feminine is “euse”.
Alex: For example: Je suis danseur.
Sam: “I’m a dancer.”
Céline: Je suis danseuse.
Sam: “I’m a dancer.”
Céline: For words ending with “teur”, the feminine is “trice”.
Alex: For example: Je suis animateur.
Sam: “I’m a host.”
Céline: Je suis animatrice.
Sam: “I’m a host.”
Céline: For words ending in “ien”, the feminine is “ienne”.
Alex: Je suis pharmacien.
Sam: “I’m a pharmacist.”
Céline: Je suis pharmacienne.
Sam: “I’m a pharmacist.”
Céline: Some jobs are the same at the feminine or the masculine, like “ingénieur”.
Sam: “Engineer”.
Céline: Professeur.
Sam: “Teacher”.


Céline: But, for more jobs please check the grammar of this lesson, on the PDF.
Sam: So, until the next time!
Céline: A bientôt, merci!
Alex: Au revoir, merci à tous!
Sam: Bye-Bye!


French Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?