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Lesson Transcript

Sam: And I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline.
Sam: Tell us about today’s lesson.
Céline: So, today’s lesson we are at Alexandra’s dinner party and she serves some wine to Philippe, but she doesn’t seem to be the perfect waitress.
Sam: Oh, no! Where does this conversation take place?
Céline: At Alexandra’s place.
Sam: And I think it’s between Alexandra and Philippe, again?
Céline: Yes, but the focus of this lesson is to talk about obligations and mandatory instructions.
Sam: Okay. So shall we start?
Céline: Let’s start.
Woman: Oh non… les tâches de vin. Il faut faire attention!
Woman: Pardon… il faut du sel!
Woman: Non! Il faut être adroit.
Sam: Do you know anyone who’s really clumsy?
Céline: Me.
Sam: Really?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: I don’t think so.
Céline: Ah bon? Oh.
Sam: Why would you say you’re clumsy?
Céline: Because, I’m not “adroite”.
Sam: “Agile”? Or...
Céline: Yeah, I’m not.
Sam: So, in English we have an expression called – something about having two left feet. Do you have a similar expression in French?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: What’s that?
Céline: Etre gauche.
Sam: “To be left”?
Céline: Yes, “To be left.” For example: Je suis gauche.
Sam: “You’re left.”
Céline: Yeah, I’m left.
Sam: Not right?
Céline: I’m left.
Sam: It was a joke. Left, not right.
Céline: I know. So, why don’t we check the vocabulary for today’s lesson?
Sam: Sounds good.
Sam: The first item is?
Céline: Non.
Sam: “No”.
Céline: Non. Non.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Les tâches.
Sam: “Stains”.
Céline: Les tâches. Les tâches.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Il faut.
Sam: “It’s necessary that”.
Céline: Il faut. Il faut.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Attention.
Sam: “Attention”.
Céline: Attention. Attention.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Faire attention.
Sam: “To pay attention”.
Céline: Faire attention. Faire attention.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Sel.
Sam: “Salt”.
Céline: Sel. Sel.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Adroit.
Sam: “Dexterous” or “agile”.
Céline: Adroit. Adroit.
Sam: Now, let’s have a quick look at the usage for these items from this lesson.
Céline: The first item is “les tâches”.
Sam: “Stains”, no good.
Céline: Yeah, no good. “Tâche” is a feminine noun. Une tâche. Apparently in the dialogue, Alexandra stained Philippe’s pants, maybe.
Sam: He doesn’t seem too happy, either.
Céline: Yes. He’s not nice actually. Philippe est une tâche.
Sam: “Philippe’s a stain”?
Céline: Non. Philippe is a jerk. “Une tâche” in French it’s “a jerk”. A nice expression, right?
Sam: Sure is.
Céline: But anyway, it’s easy to remove a red wine stain. You should use white one or salt. Du sel.
Sam: Some salt, really?
Céline: Yes. Du sel.
Sam: Do French people like salty food?
Céline: Well, not really. But, some of us like le sucré-salé.
Sam: “Sweet and sour”? How do you say “salty” in French?
Céline: Salé. C’est trop salé. “It’s too salty.” Sam, have you ever tried the “sel de Guérande”? Salt from Guérande or “Fleur de Sel”?
Sam: No, is it good?
Céline: Oui, très bon! Really good. You just sprinkle it on food just before serving. C’est délicieux. “It’s delicious.” Mais il faut faire attention.
Sam: “It’s necessary to be careful”? We have to be careful?
Céline: Oui. Faire attention. Also, to pay attention. Fais attention à ce que je dis Sam.
Sam: “Pay attention to what I’m saying”?
Céline: Oui, and lastly we have the word “adroit”.
Sam: “Dexterous, skillful, agile”?
Céline: Yeah. In our situation, it’s the feminine form. Adroite. Seems like Alexandra is not adroite. But you know, “adroit” can also mean “intelligent” or “inventive” like in: Céline a un esprit adroit.
Sam: “Céline is smart?” Wow.
Céline: Sylvain est adroit au tir à l’arc.
Sam: “Sylvain is skillful at archery”. And how about Sylvain is not skillful?
Céline: Sylvain est maladroit. You just add “mal” to “adroit”, “maladroit”, or in casual French, like we said, you can say “gauche” meaning “left.” Sylvain est gauche.
Sam: “Sylvain is not agile”. Interesting. Now let’s have a look at the grammar form this lesson.

Lesson focus

Céline: Today we will learn how to tell obligations or what is necessary to do. Like in “Il faut faire attention”. “Il faut être adroit.” The grammar construction is very easy. “Il faut” plus verb at infinitive plus complement, as in: Il faut manger des légumes.
Sam: “It’s necessary to eat vegetables.”
Céline: So, “faut” is from the verb “falloir”, it’s an impersonal verb, so, it does not conjugate for different subjects. We use “il”, when it’s followed by a noun “falloir” means “to need”. The structure can be broken down as follow: “Il faut” plus “du” or “de l’” or de la” or “des”, for example: Il faut du sucre.
Sam: “Sugar is necessary.”
Céline: So, use “du”, with a masculine noun, like wine. Il faut du vin.
Sam: “Wine is necessary.”
Céline: Use “de l’” with a noun starting with a vowel. Like: Il faut de l’amour dans un couple.
Sam: “In a couple we need love.” Or “In a couple, love is necessary.”
Céline: Use “de la” plus feminine noun as in: Il faut de la patience.
Sam: “We need patience.”
Céline: And finally, “des” plus plural nouns like: Il faut des projets ambitieux.
Sam: “We need ambitious projects.” I agree with that.
Céline: Want to listen to some more examples?
Sam: Sure.
Céline: Il faut lire en français.
Sam: “It’s necessary to read in French.”
Céline: If you want to learn French.
Sam: Of course.
Céline: Il faut être courtois.
Sam: “It’s necessary to be courteous.”
Céline: Il faut comprendre le français.
Sam: “It’s necessary to understand French.”
Céline: It’s very necessary, don’t you think?
Sam: Of course I do.
Céline: Il faut respecter les consignes.
Sam: “It’s necessary to respect the regulations.”
Céline: Do you respect them?
Sam: Always.
Céline: Menteur. “Liar.”
Sam: Maybe.
Céline: Anyway. To travel in France and Europe, il faut des euros.
Sam: “Euros are necessary.”
Céline: So Sam, did you understand the use of “il faut”?


Sam: Of course. And maybe it’s necessary that we end today’s lesson.
Céline: I think it’s necessary.
Sam: Unfortunately, it is. See you next time, au revoir.
Céline: Au revoir!