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Céline: “French verb Avoir: Well, you are no French beauty queen yourself!”
Sam: Today, I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline. Bonjour Sam.
Sam: Bonjour, ça va?
Céline: Ca va bien merci.
Sam: That’s great. So, are you ready for another exciting lesson today?
Céline: Of course I am.
Sam: Okay, so what’s the backdrop for today’s lesson?
Céline: The focus of this lesson is to describe yourself with the verb “to have,” avoir.
Sam: This conversation takes place at the…
Céline: ...recording studio!
Sam: Oh, okay. I got you. Are the speakers friends?
Céline: Of course, because it’s Alex and myself.
Sam: Okay, great. I guess you’ll be using casual French, right?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Okay, shall we start?
Céline: Of course!
Sam: But first.
Céline: Ah, yes.
Sam: For our basic and premium members. If you have a 3G phone, you can see the lesson notes in your favorite browser on your phone. Stop by FrenchPod101.com to find out more. Now, let’s start today’s lesson.
Woman: J’ai les yeux verts. Qui suis-je?
Céline: Christophe?
Woman: Non! J’ai les cheveux longs.
Céline: Angèle?
Woman: Non, j’ai une mini-jupe!
Céline: Ah, c’est moi!
Sam: Now, one more time, slowly.
Woman: J’ai les yeux verts. Qui suis-je?
Céline: Christophe?
Woman: Non! J’ai les cheveux longs.
Céline: Angèle?
Woman: Non, j’ai une mini-jupe!
Céline: Ah, c’est moi!
Sam: Now one more time, with the English.
Woman: J’ai les yeux verts. Qui suis-je?
Male: “I have green eyes, who am I?”
Céline: Christophe?
Male: “Hm, Christophe?”
Woman: Non! J’ai les cheveux longs.
Male: “No, I have long hair.”
Céline: Angèle?
Male: “Angèle?”
Woman: Non, j’ai une mini-jupe!
Male: “No, I have a miniskirt.”
Céline: Ah, c’est moi!
Male: “It’s me.”
Sam: So, Céline, you never wear mini-skirts, do you?
Céline: Yes, I do. But, not at the studio.
Sam: Okay. So, tell me about fashion in France. Are the French really fashion conscious?
Céline: Of course we are. I mean, everybody knows that. You know, Paris is the capital of fashion.
Sam: Yeah, I know about Louis Vuitton.
Céline: Yes, of course. We have any other brands that people don’t know, but really good.
Sam: For example?
Céline: “Comme Des Cerises”.
Sam: “Comme Des Cerises”? What about – I know “Le Coq Sportif”.
Céline: Ah oui exactement. This is a sports brand. So, in France, basically, women they just – you know, you have a feeling that they just got up and they didn’t care about what to put on, but everything is really…
Sam: This is a method to the madness.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: I understand. So, especially young people, are they brand conscious or it doesn’t matter as long as it looks good?
Céline: Young people, yes, they are. The point is we can mix everything. We can mix a Chanel dress with...
Sam: Gucci accessories?
Céline: We can wear like really nice jeans with cheap t-shirts.
Sam: Sounds good.
Céline: And a really nice bag. Bag is really important.
Sam: What about shoes? Shoes have to go with the bag, right?
Céline: Of course, yeah. With a scarf, whatever.
Sam: And the accessories.
Céline: And accessories, yes.
Sam: And cosmetics.
Céline: Et cosmétiques, bien sûr.
Sam: Okay, how about the guys?
Céline: The guys now in France, they just like – we call them “bohème”.
Sam: What does “bohème” mean?
Céline: Like bohemian? They don’t brush their hair, they wear like dirty shoes.
Sam: Oh, kind of an unkempt look.
Céline: Unkempt look, but it’s always conscious.
Sam: It’s like their kind of fashion movement.
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: Interesting.
Céline: And we call it “bobo”.
Sam: Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary and phrases from this lesson.
Sam: The first item is?
Céline: Yeux.
Sam: “Eyes”.
Céline: Yeux. Yeux.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Vert.
Sam: “Green”.
Céline: Vert. Vert.
Sam: Next.
Céline: J’ai.
Sam: “I have”.
Céline: J’ai. J’ai.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Long.
Sam: “Long”.
Céline: Long. Long.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Cheveux.
Sam: “Hair”.
Céline: Cheveux. Cheveux.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Mini-jupe.
Sam: “Miniskirt”.
Céline: Mini-jupe. Mini-jupe.
Sam: Now, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Céline: Good idea. The first word we’ll look at is “vert”.
Sam: “Green”.
Céline: Yes, green. It’s an adjective designing a color as in English. It agrees with the gender and number with the noun. Its feminine form is “verte”. In the dialogue, Alex is talking about my eyes, which are green. Eyes being masculine and plural. “I have green eyes”, would be: J’ai les yeux verts.
Sam: Can you give us an example with the feminine?
Céline: J’aime les pommes vertes. J’aime les pommes vertes.
Sam: “I like green apples.”
Céline: We have some expressions in French using the word “vert”, “green”, and we also have a superstition with this color. Actors, comedians and singers shouldn’t wear green on stage during the performance, it’s bad luck.
Sam: Oh, really?
Céline: Yes. It’s said that Molière was wearing green clothes on stage before his death.
Sam: So no green clothing on French TV?
Céline: Apparently, not. I was talking about expressions in French using the word “green”, “vert”, while here’s one: Avoir le feu vert.
Sam: “To have the green light.” You mean green traffic light?
Céline: “J’ai le feu vert” means I have “carte blanche”, I can do whatever I want, you know “carte blanche” is also French.
Sam: “White card”?
Céline: Yes. Exactly.
Sam: So, coming back to eyes, how do you say “I have brown eyes”?
Céline: J’ai les yeux marrons.
Sam: “I have blue eyes”?
Céline: J’ai les yeux bleus.
Sam: “I have black eyes”?
Céline: J’ai les yeux noirs. C’est sexy les yeux noirs.
Sam: Black eyes are sexy?
Céline: Yes. So, for the word eyes, pay attention. One eye, in French is “un oeil”. Un oeil.
Sam: “One eye”?
Céline: Des yeux.
Sam: “Eyes”.
Céline: Yes. So, next, let’s see the word “cheveux”, “hair”. In the dialogue, Alex mentions my long hair. Mes cheveux longs.
Sam: I think “mes cheveux” is always plural in French. You can say “un cheveu” but it means only one hair. So that would be a bit strange, I think.
Céline: Yeah. For example, Sam, if you want to say “I have a dark hair”, in French, you would say: J’ai les cheveux bruns.
Sam: J’ai les cheveux bruns.
Céline: Oui.
Sam: How about “I have blonde hair”?
Céline: J’ai les cheveux blonds.
Sam: How about “I have red hair”?
Céline: J’ai les cheveux roux.
Sam: Interesting. Are there any variations?
Céline: Sure, we have “blond clair”.
Sam: Light blonde.
Céline: Châtain foncé.
Sam: “Dark brown”.
Céline: Et:“J’ai les cheveux poivre et sel”.
Sam: “Salt and pepper”?
Céline: Oui!
Sam: “I have salt and pepper hair”?
Céline: Yes. So, I have another remark; to talk about your hair, you can also use the verb “to be” as in: Je suis blond.
Sam: “I’m blonde”?
Céline: Actually, for me is: Je suis blonde.
Sam: Because you’re a lady. It has to agree in gender and number.
Céline: Tout à fait. So, next word is “mini-jupe”.
Sam: “Miniskirt” I love that one.
Céline: Yes, that’s a good invention. But you know, it’s not French. Courrèges, you know Courrèges?
Sam: Of course, a famous designer.
Céline: Yeah, he presented the “mini-jupe” in “haute-couture” collection, but originally the miniskirt comes from the British, Mary Kent or Mary Quant?
Sam: I think Mary Quant or maybe Mary Ken.
Céline: Yeah. Let’s ask our friends, the British.
Sam: Okay. J’aime les Anglais. I love the British.
Céline: And do you love French grammar?
Sam: Of course, and that leads us into today’s grammar point.

Lesson focus

Céline: So, Sam. Today’s grammar point is to describe yourself with the verb “to have”, “avoir”. So, here’s the construction. “J’ai” plus definite article “les” plus noun.
Sam: Sounds easy. For example?
Céline: So, we’ve seen some examples before, but let’s say them again. J’ai les yeux verts. “J’ai” plus “les yeux” plus “verts”.
Sam: “I have green eyes.”
Céline: J’ai les yeux marrons.
Sam: “I have brown eyes.”
Céline: Yes. Remember Sam, “marron”, “vert”, “bleu” are adjectives that agree with gender and number. So to talk about your eyes, always use the plural.
Sam: Okay, how about hair next?
Céline: J’ai les cheveux longs.
Sam: “I have long hair.”
Céline: Yeah, same pattern. “J’ai” plus definite article “les” plus noun. For example: J’ai les cheveux mi-longs.
Sam: “I have medium length hair.”
Céline: J’ai les cheveux courts.
Sam: “I have short hair.” And, if you want to say “I have short brown hair”?
Céline: “J’ai les cheveux châtains courts.”, “J’ai les cheveux châtains et courts.” or “J’ai les cheveux courts et châtains.” It’s up to you.
Sam: How about red hair?
Céline: I told you about that. You don’t remember? Roux. J’ai les cheveux roux. Or, as I mentioned before, you can use the verb “être” to talk about your hair. Je suis rousse.
Sam: “I’m a redhead.” How about describing yourself using words?
Céline: Of course. J’ai les yeux verts, j’ai les cheveux courts et châtains. “I have green eyes, I have brown and short hair.”
Sam: Thanks for that.
Céline: Now, it’s your turn, Sam.
Sam: Okay. Let’s start with eyes. J’ai les yeux noirs, j’ai les cheveux courts et noirs. “I have black eyes, I have short and black hair.”
Céline: Yeah, actually you have really, really short hair. Maybe in French that would be: J’ai les cheveux rasés.
Sam: Like a close haircut? So you mean I have a number two haircut.
Céline: Yeah. Numéro 2.
Sam: Oh, I got you. But, let’s also mention that the verb “to have” can also be used about things that you have. For example “j’ai” indefinite article and noun.
Céline: Yes, as in: J’ai une robe.
Sam: “I have a dress.”
Céline: J’ai un pantalon.
Sam: “I have pants.” Good.
Céline: J’ai des chaussures.
Sam: “I have shoes.” Remember, when talking about accessories or clothes, which are only at the plural form, is “pants”, “shorts”, “glasses”, “earrings”, use “des”, for examples of clothing and accessories and their gender, check the grammar links for this lesson in the learning center. It’s awesome!


Céline: It’s “fantastique”. I think it’s the end of today’s lesson.
Sam: Yes, it was a very short lesson. But anyway, let’s end there and let’s thank our listeners once again.
Céline: Merci beaucoup!
Sam: Bye-bye!


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