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Lesson Transcript

Jason: The French Train Won’t Wait For Us! C’est Jason. Jason here!
Ingrid: Bonjour à tous, Ingrid here!
Jason: In this lesson, we're going to have a review of the basic uses of the verbs “être” and “avoir”- to be and to have. After this lesson, you will be able to answer to questions starting with "Where?”, to talk about time, but also to use the verb “avoir” to say that you have something.
It will also be a review of present tense conjugation, as it is the tense you will use the most in everyday life.
Ingrid: Yes, so this is a really important lesson to have because it will review your basics!
Jason: And where does our conversation take place today?
Ingrid: Our dialog will take place in Karine’s and Lisa’s apartment.
Jason: Karine and Lisa are two good friends sharing the same apartment. In French, we say that they are “col-ocataires”, that’s to say “flatmate”.
Ingrid: Yes, and it’s now very common in Paris as rents are quite high! So As Karine and Lisa are friends, this conversation will be in informal French.
Okay, so let's listen to the conversation.
1st time: natural native speed:
(In Karine and Lisa’s apartment)
Lisa : Karine, es-tu prête?
Karine : Non je suis sous la douche.
Lisa : Notre train est à 9h, nous sommes déjà en retard !
Karine : C'est vrai, je me dépêche!
Lisa : Karine, est-ce que tu as les billets de train?
Karine : Oui, je les ai dans mon sac.
(1 time slowly)
Lisa : Karine, es-tu prête?
Karine : Non je suis sous la douche.
Lisa : Notre train est à 9h, nous sommes déjà en retard !
Karine : C'est vrai, je me dépêche!
Lisa : Karine, est-ce que tu as les billets de train?
Karine : Oui, je les ai dans mon sac.
(1 time natural native speed with the translation)
Lisa : Karine, es-tu prête?
Karine, are you ready?
Karine : Non je suis sous la douche.
No, I’m in the shower.
Lisa : Notre train est à 9h, nous sommes déjà en retard !
Our train is at 9 o’clock, we are already late!
Karine : C'est vrai, je me dépêche!
You’re right, I will hurry!
Lisa : Karine, est-ce que tu as les billets de train?
Karine, do you have train tickets?
Karine : Oui, je les ai dans mon sac.
Yes, I have them in my bag.
Jason: You have to hurry because the train never waits for you, right! While on the subject of trains Ingrid, I heard they were really nice in France, is it true?
Ingrid: They are…. Most of the time!
Jason: What do you mean by “most of the time”?
Ingrid: More and more trains in France are late now! And sometimes, delays are really important!
Jason: Really? This affects the train’s reputation, doesn’t it?
Ingrid: Yes the “S.N.C.F”, which has been the French train company for many decades, is trying to make efforts, but believe me, many French people are angry about this company because of constant delays.
Jason: So what happens in this case? Do you get your money back?
Ingrid: No! And most of the time, they can’t justify clearly the reason for the delays. Some passengers have even lost their jobs because they were too late to an important appointment! That’s why some people decided to sue the SNCF! And guess what?
Jason: They won their court cases?!
Ingrid: Yes they did! (both laugh)
Okay, so now, let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first expression we shall see is:
Être prêt [natural native speed]
Meaning “to be ready”
Être prêt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Être prêt [natural native speed]
Être sous la douche [natural native speed]
Meaning “to be in the shower”
Être sous la douche [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Être sous la douche [natural native speed]
Être en retard [natural native speed]
Meaning “to be late”
Être en retard [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Être en retard [natural native speed]
Se dépêcher [natural native speed]
Meaning “to hurry”
Se dépêcher [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Se dépêcher [natural native speed]
Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jason: The first phrase we’ll look at is “Es-tu prête?” which means “Are you ready?”.
As Lisa and Karine have to take a train, Lisa is asking if her friend Karine is ready, so she asks her “Es-tu prête?”
Ingrid: Yes, this is the usual way to ask someone if he or she is ready to leave. It’s a question you can also use when you are encouraging someone to hurry because it implies you want to leave quickly.
Jason: Yeah, that’s true! Usually you choose this expression with friends and family because it would be a bit too direct to ask it to someone you don’t know very well.
Ingrid: A good point.
Jason: Okay, so what if I'm talking to a guy?
Ingrid: Well, as “prêt” is a regular adjective, you have to make it agree with the masculine form, in this case you'd say. "Es-tu prêt?"
Jason: Definitely a nice way to let someone know in a subtle way that you are ready to go. Listeners, repeat after Ingrid. What do you say when you're talking to a boy?
Ingrid: Es-tu prêt? (pause)
Jason: And now a girl?
Ingrid: Es-tu prête?
Jason: Okay, I'm ready! Let's move on to next expression.
Ingrid: Yes, next one is “Je suis sous la douche”, what does it mean?
Jason: It means you are in the shower. Please can you say it again once slowly please?
Ingrid: (slowly) Je suis sous la douche
Jason: And one more time at natural speed?
Ingrid: (natural speed) “Je suis sous la douche”
Be careful, you can only use the sentence “Je suis sous la douche” when you are having a shower at the moment. Imagine someone is knocking at the bathroom’s door while you are having a shower, you can say “Désolée, je suis sous la douche” which means “Sorry, I’m in the shower”.
Jason: Yes, and can you explain how this expression is built to our listeners?
Ingrid: First, you have the 1st person singular of the verb “être”, “Je suis” which means “I am”.
Then, you have to specify a preposition in order to introduce where you are, that’s why we use the word “sous” that literally means “under”, but in this case it means “in the shower”.
Jason: Great, so it is always the same construction whatever the subject?
Ingrid: Yes, you just have to change the conjugation of the verb, for example if you want to say “Il est sous la douche”, you have to use the 3rd person which will be “Il est sous la douche”.
Jason: That’s really convenient! And please have a look to lesson notes to get the detailed “être” verb conjugation table for present tense.
So, next expression is “être en retard” which means “to be late”. Can you repeat it slowly please?
Ingrid: (slowly) “être en retard”
Jason: This is an expression you can use to apologize when you are late. Imagine you are late at work, listen and repeat “Je suis désolée d’être en retard” which means “I’m sorry to be late”. Isn’t it really useful?
Ingrid: Sure is, especially when you are always late like me! This expression is also built with the verb “être” and it literally means “to be in delay”. Here , we also have a preposition, “en” between the verb and the noun. But “en retard” is a ready-made expression that you can’t really break down, so it works as a block “en retard”.
Jason: And can you also use it for each person?
Ingrid: Of course ! “Tu es en retard”, “nous sommes en retard”, “ils sont en retard”...
Jason: So now, let’s see the next verb that I also know very well “se dépêcher” which means?
Ingrid: It means “to hurry”
Jason: Could you say it slowly?
Ingrid: (slowly) “Se dépêcher”.
Jason: And again at natural speed.
Ingrid: (natural speed) “Se dépêcher”.
Jason: Okay, so next word is “un billet” which means “a ticket”, for example “a train ticket”.
Ingrid: Yes and it can also be used to designate “a cinema ticket” or “a concert ticket”.
So now, let’s begin this lesson’s grammar point, related to verbs “être” and “avoir”.

Lesson focus

Jason: So this lesson is dedicated to reviewing the basic “Être” and “Avoir” uses in the present tense.
Ingrid: That’s right. First, we had the verb “être” in the sentence “Je suis sous la douche”. The aim is to express where you are, so in this case, we use the present tense of the “être” verb.
Jason: Could you give us some other examples to locate someone or something?
Ingrid: For example “Je suis à Paris aujourd’hui” or “Nous sommes à la plage”.
Jason: Could you repeat them slowly?
Ingrid: (Slowly) “Je suis à Paris aujourd’hui”, “Nous sommes à la plage”.
Jason: Again, it’s the same pattern “être+ preposition+place name”. And do not forget the preposition to link the verb and the noun!
Ingrid: Our next grammar point is in the sentence “Notre train est à 9h” which means “Our train is at 9 o’clock”. Here also we use the verb “être” but this time, it’s to talk about timetable. It’s always constructed with the preposition “à”, which introduces the hour.
Jason: So for example you can use it to talk about your schedule?
Ingrid: Yes, for example you can say “Mon avion est à 17h” to say that your plane is leaving at 5pm.
Jason: Be careful, here you can only use the verb “être” in the 3rd person singular. “Notre train est à 9h” is the 3rd person singular, is that right?
Ingrid: Yes, as in English, the 3rd person singular is the one to talk about schedule. For example “Le diner est à 8 heures” which means “Dinner is at 8 o’clock”.
Jason: Finally, we’ll have a look at the “avoir” verb. This verb is the one to use to talk about your belongings isn’t it?
Ingrid: That’s right, you can also use it simply to say that you have something, as in the sentence “Do you have train tickets?” “As-tu les billets de train?” Here the construction is very simple: it’s verb “avoir ”+ direct object .
Jason: And Karine’s answer is “Oui je les ai dans mon sac” which means “I have them in my bag”, always the same pattern “avoir” + direct object, generally a noun.
Ingrid: Yes, so if you want to say you have or that somebody has something, you can simply use this pattern : “Avoir”+something. It works for almost everything so it’s really convenient.
Jason: And does it work with all persons? Can you give us other sentence examples with this pattern?
Ingrid: Yes it does! For example, you can say “Il a un nouveau vélo” which means “He has a new bike” or if you are talking to somebody else “Vous avez un joli sac” which is “You have a nice bag” in a formal way.
Jason: Can you repeat the last one slowly please?
Ingrid: (Slowly) “Vous avez un joli sac”
Jason: You will find the “avoir” verb conjugation timetable in lesson notes, so please have a look!
Ingrid: That’s true! And you will also find several examples with every “être” and “avoir” expression we’ve just seen!


Ingrid: So, a bientôt!
Jason: Yes, see you next time! A bientôt!
Sample Sentences
1 Tu dois te dépêcher si tu veux être à l’heure! | 3909
2 "You have to hurry if you want to be on time!" | 3909_e
3 Je suis toujours en retard au travail. | 3908
4 "I’m always late for work." | 3908_e
5 Je reste sous la douche 20 min chaque jour. | 3907
6 "I spend 20 minutes in the shower everyday." | 3907_e
7 Je suis prête pour sortir ce soir. | 3906
8 "I am ready to go out tonight." | 3906_e