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Lesson Transcript

Sam: And I’m joined here by?
Céline: Céline. Hello.
Sam: Welcome back to Frenchpod101.com, Céline.
Céline: Merci!
Sam: So, we have a lovely lesson today. What’s it about?
Céline: Today, we’re going to express the restriction in French. The conversation takes place at the movie theater, watching “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” with some friends.
Sam: And the conversation is between?
Céline: Sophie and Nicolas, and they’re brother and sister.
Sam: So, I guess they’ll be using casual French, right?
Céline: Exactement.
Sam: Ok, so shall we start?
Céline: Yes.
Sam: Let’s start.
Woman: Nicolas, je n’entends que toi!
Woman: Et moi, je ne vois que toi!
Woman: Je n’écoute que toi!
Woman: Alors, tu n’as qu’à partir!
Sam: Hey, Céline. What’s “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis”?
Céline: “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis”? it’s a movie. A French comedy.
Sam: It was a really popular comedy…
Céline: It was really, really popular. You should watch it.
Sam: Is it funny?
Céline: It’s really funny, yes.
Sam: Ok. I’ll take your word for it.
Céline: Ok.
Sam: So, I’ve got another question for you.
Céline: Ok.
Sam: We had some brothers and sisters in this dialogue here. What’s the general relationship between brothers and sisters in France?
Céline: It depends on the family, but I think that most of the families they’re really close. Brothers and sisters, yes. I’m really close to my brothers and sisters.
Sam: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Céline: Deux frères...
Sam: Two brothers.
Céline: … et deux soeurs.
Sam: Two sisters. Wow, big family.
Céline: Oui.
Sam: I’ve got one sister.
Céline: Une soeur.
Sam: Ok. Since we talked about some family ties there, let’s jump into the vocabulary. The first item is?
Céline: Entendre.
Sam: “To hear”
Céline: Entendre. Entendre.
Sam: Next “you”.
Céline: Toi. Toi.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Voir.
Sam: “To see”
Céline: Voir. Voir.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Ecouter.
Sam: “To listen”
Céline: Ecouter. Ecouter.
Sam: Next?
Céline: Partir.
Sam: “To leave”
Céline: Partir. Partir.
Sam: Now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the items from this lesson.
Céline: So, the first word is “entendre”.
Sam: “To hear”
Céline: In the dialogue, Sophie’s complaining about Nicolas. Je n’entends que toi.
Sam: “I only hear you.”
Céline: So, this is a verb from the 3rd group. Here, the meaning is “to hear”, as you said, but “entendre” has different meanings in French. For example, with my brother I always tell him to study English, but “il ne veut rien entendre”.
Sam: “He doesn’t want to listen.”
Céline: Yes, he doesn’t pay attention to what I’m saying. As well, another example with “entendre”: Je fais comme je l’entends.
Sam: “I do as I want.”
Céline: Je fais comme je l’entends. Also in some cases, “entendre” stand for “to understand”. Ce mot s’entend de plusieurs façons.
Sam: “This word can be understood in several ways.” Kind of difficult.
Céline: Oui. Ok, so why don’t we see the other word which is closer to this one? Ecouter.
Sam: “To listen”. That’s a verb from the 1st group.
Céline: Tout à fait. J’écoute la chanson de Brel.
Sam: “I’m listening to a Brel song.”
Céline: Yes, in general you can say “J’écoute de la musique”.
Sam: “I’m listening to music.”
Céline: So, basically, Sam, “entendre” and “écouter” have the same meaning as “to hear” and “to listen”. “Entendre” is a passive action, “écouter” is volitional. Je t’entends mais je ne t’écoute pas.
Sam: “I’m hearing you but I’m not listening to you.” Nice.
Céline: Yes. As always. Next is another verb: partir.
Sam: “To leave”
Céline: In our dialogue, Nicolas strongly suggests his sister to leave by saying “tu n’as qu’à partir”.
Sam: “Just leave.” That’s a strong suggestion.
Céline: Yes. You use “partir” every time you want to go anywhere, as in: Je pars à Paris demain .
Sam: “I’m leaving for Paris tomorrow.”
Céline: Je pars bientôt.
Sam: “I’m leaving soon.” But, in our dialogue, “partir” is not conjugated, right?
Céline: Right. But, as in: Je dois partir.
Sam: “I have to leave.”
Céline: Here, see, “je dois partir”, “partir” is not conjugated. It’s like in English.
Sam: I see.
Céline: Finally, we have “toi”.
Sam: “You” I always have troubles with “toi”.
Céline: Yes, I know, it’s difficult. So, we’ve already seen “toi” in many lessons. But let’s talk about it one more time. When you want to use “you” in French, just think about who the subject is. “Tu” is always subject of the verb. “Toi” is always object of the verb.
Sam: Ok.
Céline: So, for example: Je ne vois que toi.
Sam: “I just see you.”
Céline: Here, “you” - “toi”, is the object of the verb. You’re not doing the action. But, if I say: Tu ne vois que moi.
Sam: “You only see me.”
Céline: Here, we use “tu” because “you” is the subject of the verb.
Sam: Ok, I got it. So, to wrap up, we have “tu” and “toi”. If you want to say “you” using “tu”, that means the person’s doing an action. If you’re only a referencing the person, you use “toi”.
Céline: I see you’re listening to me. Tu m’écoutes.
Sam: At least for today.
Céline: So, question, Sam?
Sam: Ok.
Céline: How would you say “I have a present for you.” in French?
Sam: Ok. J’ai un cadeau pour toi.
Céline: Oh, yes? You have a present for me?

Lesson focus

Sam: No, not really. That was just practice. But, anyway, let’s get on to some French grammar. How about that?
Céline: That’s my present.
Sam: Of course.
Céline: Well, I was expecting something else, but ok. Today we will be talking about restrictions in French using “ne que” or “ne qu’”.
Sam: So, show restrictions in our dialogue.
Céline: Je n’entends que toi.
Sam: “I’m only hearing you.” But one note about this. In French, the Present Tense and Present Progressive are a bit ambiguous. So, as English speakers we would say “I’m only hearing you.” or “I only hear you.” And I think they have the same feeling. So, Céline, what’s the next phrase?
Céline: Je ne vois que toi.
Sam: “I just see you.”
Céline: Je n’écoute que toi.
Sam: “I only listen to you.” So, listeners, notice I translated that using the Present Tense or the Indicative Tense. “I only listen to you.”, “I’m only listening to you.” Basically the same meaning there. Right, Céline?
Céline: Tout à fait Sam. So, to describe a restricted situation or fact about yourself, use “je” + “ne” or “n’” + verb + “que” or “qu’” + complement. So, you have to use an apostrophe with verbs starting with a vowel and use “qu’” when the following word starts with a vowel. For example: Je n’aime que toi.
Sam: “I only love you.”
Céline: Je ne veux être qu’avec toi.
Sam: “I only want to be with you.” Wow. Are you in love?
Céline: Non, those are examples and can be quite useful for romantic dinner or date. So, let me try useful examples. Je ne mange que des légumes.
Sam: “I only eat vegetables.”
Céline: See the construction of the sentence? Very easy. “Je ne” + “manger” conjugated + “que”. And then, the complement “des légumes”.
Sam: How about “I only speak English?”
Céline: Je ne parle qu’anglais.
Sam: “Qu’” because the word after starts with a vowel.
Céline: Yes, always.
Sam: “I only have 100 euros.”
Céline: Je n’ai que 100€. It’s very easy. C’est très facile. So, now let’s talk about another grammar point in our dialogue. The strong suggestion.
Sam: When do we hear that?
Céline: Tu n’as qu’à partir. Nicolas suggests her sister to leave, as she’s been complaining about him.
Sam: “You just leave.”
Céline: “Tu” + n’ + “avoir” “to have” conjugated + “qu’à” + Infinitive verb. Use n’ with verbs starting with a vowel. Use qu’ when the following word is starting with a vowel.
Sam: I see. So, but if I’m tired and sleepy?
Céline: I would tell you “tu n’as qu’à dormir”.
Sam: “You just sleep.”
Céline: So, one point. Be careful of the intonation when you say this. It could be very, very aggressive. In other situations, “tu n’as qu’à” expresses something you have to do regarding a situation. For example, if you want to listen to Frenchpod lessons, on the way to work, I would say “tu n’as qu’à télécharger les leçons sur ton iPod”.
Sam: “You just download the lessons on the iPod.” Great. “Tu n’as qu’à” can be used for giving strong advice.
Céline: Yes, a very strong advice.
Sam: And, I think that’s the end of today’s lesson, right?
Céline: Oui. Tu as faim? – “Are you hungry?”
Sam: Oui, toujours. – “Always”
Céline: On a qu’à aller manger des crêpes.
Sam: “We should just go eat some crepes.” That’s advice for us. And very good advice. So, shall we go?
Céline: Allez.


Sam: Ok. So, until to the next time, listeners. Until next time.
Céline: A bientôt!
Sam: Salut!