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Sam: “You look so young.” Just like me, right, guys?
Céline: Oui c’est ça. That’s it.
Sam: You don’t sound like you mean it, though.
Céline: Bonjour Sam.
Sam: Well, hello.
Céline: Bonjour Sylvain.
Sylvain : Bonjour Céline. Yeah, there is morning like this.
Sam: Yeah, yeah. Sounds like you guys are really excited and so am I. So, what’s today’s lesson about?
Céline: Well, if you remember well, in our last week’s lesson we were at “Chez Marcel”. Today, still “Chez Marcel”, our visitor spots a young, good looking woman who’s sipping her expresso. Be surprised how these two click and present themselves, revealing their age.
Sam: So, what are we focusing on?
Sylvain : The focus of this lesson is the number by ten.
Sam: Numbers by ten. Fantastic! So, the conversation is between?
Céline: A man and a woman.
Sam: Let’s go!
Sylvain : Let’s go!
Sylvain : Vous semblez jeune!
Céline: Merci, j’ai 30 ans!
Sylvain : Vous semblez avoir 20 ans! J’ai 40 ans.
Céline: Ouah, vous semblez vieux!
Sam: One more time, slowly.
Sylvain: Encore une fois, lentement.
Sylvain : Vous semblez jeune!
Céline: Merci, j’ai 30 ans!
Sylvain : Vous semblez avoir 20 ans! J’ai 40 ans.
Céline: Ouah, vous semblez vieux!
Sam: One more time, with the English.
Sylvain: Encore une fois, avec l’anglais.
Sylvain : Vous semblez jeune!
Sam: “You seem young.”
Céline: Merci, j’ai 30 ans!
Sam: “Thank you. I’m 30 years old.”
Sylvain : Vous semblez avoir 20 ans! J’ai 40 ans.
Sam: “You seem to be 20. I’m 40 years old.”
Céline: Ouah, vous semblez vieux!
Sam: “Wow, you seem old.”
Sam: So, guys, in France, is it okay to ask someone their age, especially women?
Céline: Of course not. It’s really impolite. You should never, never ask a French woman about her age.
Sylvain : You can ask. But you will ask one time and not two. She will never speak to you again, as a friend.
Sam: I understand. So, Céline, if you’re in the same situation, would you tell your age?
Céline: I don’t think so.
Sylvain : She will lie.
Céline: Non, n’importe quoi!
Sylvain : Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Céline: Nonsense, I never lie.
Sylvain : Sorry.
Sam: So, quel âge as-tu Céline?
Céline: Quoi?
Sam: How old are you, Céline?
Céline: I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Sam: Oh, okay.
Céline: Yeah, it’s changing every year.
Sylvain : Yes, centuries old.
Sam: 22 again.
Céline: Exactement. Exactly. I mean, who cares? That’s true, who cares? Let’s take a look at the vocab for this lesson.
Sam: Okay.
Sylvain : Let’s see.
Sam: The first item is?
Céline: Sembler.
Sam: “To seem.”
Céline: Sembler. Sembler.
Sam: Next?
Sylvain : Jeune.
Sam: “Young.”
Sylvain : Jeune. Jeune.
Sam: Next.
Céline: Vieux.
Sam: “Old.”
Céline: Vieux. Vieux.
Sam: Next?
Sylvain : Ans.
Sam: “Years” as in age.
Sylvain : Ans. Ans.
Sam: Now, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the items of this lesson.
Céline: So, the first word we’ll look at is…
Sylvain : Sam, do you think I seem young?
Sam: That’s a tricky question. If I say yes, you’ll tell me I meant you’re not mature. If I say no, you’d reply back that what I’m saying is that you’re an old, creepy person. So, I won’t say anything.
Sylvain : Nice choice.
Céline: Okay, guys, but the first word is “sembler”.
Sam: “To seem.”
Céline: Oui merci! In the dialogue, “sembler” is conjugated. Okay, “vous semblez jeune”.
Sam: “You seem young.”
Céline: Yes, the compliment made by the tourist to the young woman in the café.
Sam: Yes. And notice in that compliment they use the “vous” form, because they didn’t know one another.
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sylvain : But she replies “Vous semblez vieux.”
Sam: “You seem old.” Wow.
Céline: I think she’s not nice.
Sylvain : Not nice.
Céline: Oh, I’m sorry.
Sam: Or maybe just too honest.
Sylvain : That’s right.
Céline: Peut-être… Ok. The next word is “jeune”.
Sylvain : Jeune.
Sam: Which means “young”.
Céline: You can use this one to flatter a woman.
Sylvain : Céline is waiting for something.
Céline: Yeah, I think – I’m waiting for something. I mean, you got, Sam, you have the word “sembler” and then you have “jeune”, what would you say?
Sam: Oh, that was a hint.
Sylvain : You’re a long, Sam.
Sam: So, since Céline and I know one another, maybe I can use the “tu” form.
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sylvain : Nice.
Sam: Céline, tu sembles jeune.
Céline: Merci beaucoup Sam.
Sam: C’est une blague.
Céline: Oh, it’s a joke. N’importe quoi.
Sylvain : N’importe quoi. The next word is “merci”.
Sam: “Thank you.”
Céline: So, we already know this word, right?
Sam: Yeah.
Céline: “Merci” or you can also say “Merci beaucoup”.
Sam: “Thanks a lot.”
Sylvain : And the reply to “merci beaucoup”, is “de rien”.
Sam: “You’re welcome.”
Céline: Ou “avec plaisir”.
Sylvain : Avec plaisir.
Sam: “With pleasure.”
Céline: Tout à fait. After “merci” you can hear the woman stating her age. J’ai 30 ans.
Sam: “I’m 30 years old.” Or some people in English say, “I’m 30.” I know “ans” is years in my native language.
Sylvain : Either at the singular or the plural form, this word has the same pronunciation. It is a masculine noun.
Céline: For example, in the conversation, we find also the age of the man.
Sam: I know, when he says “J’ai 40 ans”.
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sylvain : Is 40 old, you think?
Sam: No, it’s the age of reason. Or maybe middle age crisis.
Céline: Anyway, let’s have a closer look at the following information.
Sam: Something with 20 years?
Céline: Yes. Vous semblez avoir 20 ans.
Sam: “You seem to be 20 years old.” Our male characters are Don Juan, a seductor with many lines he can use to pick up the ladies.
Céline: We have here the word “sembler” meaning “to seem”. It is used three times in the conversation. First in…
Sylvain : First in “vous semblez jeune”.
Sam: “You seem young.”
Céline: Then in “vous semblez avoir 20 ans”.
Sam: “You seem to be 20.”
Céline: And third?
Sylvain : Vous semblez vieux.
Sam: “You seem old.”
Céline: But, you know, there’s also another way in French to say “you seem” - “vous faites jeune”, meaning literally “you make young.”
Sylvain : Vous avez l’air d’avoir 20 ans.
Céline: Oui, vous avez l’air d’avoir 20 ans.
Sam: “You seem to be 20.”
Céline: Tout à fait.
Sam: And is there one more item we can use?
Céline: Yes. Vous ne faites pas votre âge.
Sam: Which literally means “you don’t make your age”. But, in English, it may be translated as more “You don’t seem your age”.
Céline: D’accord.
Sam: Okay, let’s go back to “you seem old”. That’s not really a compliment, is it?
Céline: Yes, you shouldn’t use this.
Sylvain : Yes, absolutely forbidden. “You look like mature”, something like this.
Céline: Tout à fait. “Vieux” has a…
Sam: A negative connotation?
Céline: A negative connotation, yeah. I don’t know why. But, rather, you should use “jeune”.
Sam: “Young”.
Céline: Yeah, it’s the opposite of “vieux”.
Sam: I understand.
Céline: So, why don’t we check the grammar now?
Sam: Okay.
Sylvain : Let’s go to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Sam: Onto our grammar now. So, let’s just recap. “Vieux” is “old”, “jeune” is “young”. Vous semblez avoir 20 ans. “You seem to be 20.”
Céline: Yeah, let me help. J’ai 30 ans.
Sam: “I’m 30.”
Céline: J’ai 40 ans.
Sam: “I’m 40.”
Sylvain : You two just put your finger onto today’s grammar point.
Céline: Yeah, sorry for the ones who aren’t 20, 30, 40 or 90 even. You will get to learn all the numbers between 10 to 100 next newbie lesson.
Sam: Oh, fantastic. I feel better now. So, how can a person tell his or her age?
Sylvain : First major difference between French and English is the verb. In French, the verb “to have” is used to tell someone’s age.
Sam: So, you say “I have”.
Sylvain : Yes.
Sam: That was a surprise for me when I first learned it.
Céline: Oh yeah, I’m sure. When I first learned English, it was a problem for me, too. So the two full sentences in the dialogue are “J’ai 30 ans”.
Sam: “I’m 30.”
Céline: J’ai 40 ans.
Sam: “I’m 40.” What about 50?
Sylvain : That will be “cinquante”.
Sam: So: J’ai 50 ans.
Céline: But, you’re not 50.
Sam: No! But it’s a good one to teach my age sensitive cousin, even if he’s a young 40 year old.
Céline: Oh, okay. You want to tease him.
Sam: Of course.
Sylvain : If you’re 60, you say: J’ai 60 ans.
Sam: If I remember, the next decade would be 70.
Céline: Oui. Soixante-dix.
Sylvain : Soixante-dix.
Sam: So, I would say: J’ai 70 ans.
Céline: Tout à fait Sam, and we have 80. Sylvain?
Sylvain : J’ai 80 ans. J’ai 80 ans.
Sam: How about 90?
Céline: J’ai 90 ans.
Sam: And finally, if anyone reaches the century mark? They would say…
Sylvain : J’ai 100 ans.
Céline: C’est magnifique.
Sylvain: C’est merveilleux.
Céline: It’s beautiful.
Sam: It’s fantastic, yes. So, let’s recap the numbers with age very quickly. I’ll give the English and Céline or Sylvain will give the French.
Sylvain : Okay.
Sam: I’m 10 years old.
Céline: J’ai 10 ans.
Sam: I’m 20 years old.
Sylvain : J’ai 20 ans.
Sam: I’m 30 years old.
Céline: J’ai 30 ans.
Sam: I’m 40 years old.
Sylvain : J’ai 40 ans.
Sam: I’m 50 years old.
Céline: J’ai 50 ans.
Sam: I’m 60 years old.
Sylvain : J’ai 60 ans.
Sam: I’m 70 years old.
Céline: J’ai 70 ans.
Sam: I’m 80 years old.
Sylvain : J’ai 80 ans.
Sam: I’m 90 years old.
Céline: J’ai 90 ans.
Sam: I’m 100 years old.
Sylvain : J’ai 100 ans.
Sam: Thanks for the help, guys.
Céline: Tu sembles jeune, Sylvain.
Sam: “You look young, Sylvain .”
Sylvain : Pour 100 ans, oui.
Sam: “For 100, yes.”
Céline: Tu es bien conservé.
Sam: “You took really good care of yourself.”
Sylvain : Creams.


Sam: So, maybe age and numbers can be a bit of a sensitive topic, so we’ll stop there for today. Until the next time…
Céline: A bientôt Sam, à bientôt Sylvain!
Sylvain : A bientôt!
Sam: A bientôt!


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