Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Jason: Hello everyone. Welcome to Upper Beginner Season 1, Lesson 11! C’est Jason. Jason here!
Ingrid: Bonjour à tous, Ingrid here!
Jason: In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to compare things and people easily, thanks to specific expressions in French.
Ingrid: Yes Jason, by learning the usage of the expressions “plus que” and “moins que” that are equivalents of “more and less than”. You will also learn superlatives such as “le plus” and “le moins”, equivalents of “the most” and “the least”.
Jason: After this lesson, you will be able to say things are “more or less than” and “the most or the least” and finally “the best” and “the worst”.
Ingrid: Yes and you will see that contrary to what you might think, comparing things is easier in French than in English!
Jason: Really? That’s good news! And what about our conversation?
Ingrid: Our dialog will be quite childlike, as it will take place in a playground. You will see that children are sometimes really cruel to each other!
Jason: And who are the characters in this conversation?
Ingrid: Maxime and Julien who are two kids of around 7 years old. Maxime is quite cruel and is teasing his friend Julien. Of course, they will speak informal French.
Jason: Okay so let’s listen to the conversation!
Dialogue
Maxime: Je suis plus grand que toi! Tu es le plus petit de la classe! Na na nère!
Julien: Je suis peut-être plus petit que toi, mais je suis plus intelligent et plus beau que toi!
Maxime : Ah oui ? Et bien tu te trompes, c’est moi le préféré des filles !
Julien : Non au contraire, toutes les filles disent que tu es le plus moche, le plus méchant et le moins intéressant de la classe... Alors qu'est ce que tu préfères?
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Maxime: Je suis plus grand que toi! Tu es le plus petit de la classe! Na na nère!
Julien: Je suis peut-être plus petit que toi, mais je suis plus intelligent et plus beau que toi!
Maxime : Ah oui ? Et bien tu te trompes, c’est moi le préféré des filles !
Julien : Non au contraire, toutes les filles disent que tu es le plus moche, le plus méchant et le moins intéressant de la classe... Alors qu'est ce que tu préfères?
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Maxime: Je suis plus grand que toi! Tu es le plus petit de la classe! Na na nère!
Jason: I'm taller than you! You are the smallest of the class, haha!
Julien: Je suis peut-être plus petit que toi, mais je suis plus intelligent et plus beau que toi!
Jason: I may be smaller than you, but I'm smarter and more handsome than you!
Maxime : Ah oui ? Et bien tu te trompes, c’est moi le préféré des filles !
Jason: Really? But guess what, you are wrong! I'm the boy that girls prefer!
Julien : Non au contraire, toutes les filles disent que tu es le plus moche, le plus méchant et le moins intéressant de la classe... Alors qu'est ce que tu préfères?
Jason: On the contrary, all girls are saying that you are the ugliest, the nastiest, and the least interesting of the class... So what do you prefer?
Post Conversation Banter
Ingrid: Does it bring you back to your childhood memories?
Jason: Yes that’s true! Good and also less pleasant memories are coming back to me! But school was funny after all!
Ingrid: So if you'd like to go back to your school memories and improve your French at the same time I can recommend the Petit Nicolas, which is a series of books telling the story of a 7-year-old boy's adventures during the 50s in France.
Jason: Really? And is this literary character very famous in France nowadays too?
Ingrid: Yes it is still very popular among young readers because Petit Nicolas is dealing with universal kids' preoccupations such as school, girls, and parents.
Jason: And what is the unique thing about these novels?
Ingrid: In fact all books are illustrated by a famous French illustrator called Sempé and his drawings are very funny.
Jason: And who are the other characters of this book?
Ingrid: You have Alceste who is Nicolas’ best friend but my favorite character is definitively Clotaire, he is the mascot of the class and he is incredibly clumsy!
Jason: This novel sounds really funny! I think I will definitely have a look at it!
Vocabulary and Phrases
Jason: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Ingrid: méchant [natural native speed]
Jason: nasty
Ingrid: méchant [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: méchant [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: grand [natural native speed]
Jason: big, tall
Ingrid: grand [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: grand [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: plus [natural native speed]
Jason: more (comparison form -er)
Ingrid: plus [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: plus [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: le plus grand [natural native speed]
Jason: the tallest
Ingrid: le plus grand [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: le plus grand [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: Na na nère ! [natural native speed]
Jason: Ha Ha!
Ingrid: Na na nère ! [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: Na na nère ! [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: plus petit que [natural native speed]
Jason: smaller than
Ingrid: plus petit que [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: plus petit que [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: Tu te trompes [natural native speed]
Jason: You are wrong; You've made a mistake
Ingrid: Tu te trompes [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: Tu te trompes [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: le préféré [natural native speed]
Jason: the favorite
Ingrid: le préféré [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: le préféré [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: au contraire [natural native speed]
Jason: on the contrary
Ingrid: au contraire [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: au contraire [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: le plus moche [natural native speed]
Jason: the ugliest
Ingrid: le plus moche [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: le plus moche [natural native speed]
Vocabulary and Phrase Usage
Jason: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Ingrid: The first word/phrase we’ll look at is....
Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jason: The first expression is?
Ingrid: It is “le plus grand” which means “the tallest”
Jason: Could you say it again slowly for our listeners?
Ingrid: (Slowly) « Le plus grand »
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) « Le plus grand»
Jason: : Can you give us some examples that use this expression?
Ingrid: In our conversation we had “Je suis plus grand que toi?” which means “I’m taller than you” This is an expression for comparison that we will see in the grammar section ahead.
Jason: Okay, the next expression is quite funny, what is it?
Ingrid: “Na na nère” that can be translated as “Haha” in an ironic tone. This is used to make fun of someone but be careful because only kids use it or adults when they really want to sound like kids.
Jason: Okay so please don’t use it with colleagues or in formal situations! This is a really specific expression you can use to imitate kids! So what about next expression?
Ingrid: It is “plus petit que” which means “smaller than”
Jason: Can you repeat this expression please?
Ingrid: (Slowly) « plus petit que»
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) « plus petit que »
Jason: Can you us an example please?
Ingrid: Yes so for example you can say “Il est plus petit que moi” which means “He is smaller than me”. In our dialog we had “Je suis peut-être plus petit que toi” which is “I’m maybe smaller than you”. This is an expression for comparison.
Jason: Interesting! And what is next expression?
Ingrid: Next is the casual expression “Tu te trompes” which means “You are wrong” and also “You have made a mistake”. It is made of the pronominal verb “se tromper” which is used to say you are not on the right track or that what you say is wrong.
Jason: Could you give us other examples with this verb?
Ingrid: For example if you want to say she went to a wrong address you can say “Elle s’est trompée d’adresse” or if you want to talk about your own mistake you can say “Je me suis trompé” which means “I was wrong” or “I made a mistake”.
Jason: Great, so what is next?
Ingrid: Next is the ready-made expression “le or la préféré(e)” which means “the favorite one”. For example, the most popular boy in a class among girls will say “Je suis le garcon préféré des filles” that is “I’m the favorite boy of the class”.
Jason: And when else can you use it?
Ingrid: You can use it when talking about a family as in “Elle a toujours été la préférée de papa” which means “She has always been papa’s favorite” but be careful as here it implies a certain feeling of jealousy!
Jason: Yes I see, so you could sound angry when saying this. And what is the last interesting expression in the dialog?
Ingrid: Last is “le plus moche” which is a superlative form meaning “He is the ugliest”. You are going to learn how to use this form just now within the grammar point section.

Lesson focus

Jason: So our grammar in this lesson is how to make comparisons in French and also how to use superlatives.
Ingrid: Yes, thanks to expressions such as “plus que”, “moins que” or “le plus” and “le moins”, you will be able to compare things and people using “more than”, “less than” or “the most”, “the less”.
Jason: Great so what is our first point?
Ingrid: The first expression is “Il est plus grand que moi” which means “he is taller than me”. Here you have the basic pattern to express “more than” in French. While in English we add an –er at the end of short adjectives in this case, in French we don’t care about adjective length.
Jason: So what do you have to do to say “Taller than” in French?
Ingrid: You just have to follow this pattern
Jason: So yes if we break down this sentence it is
Ingrid: Yes so once again at normal speed, it is “Il est plus grand que moi”, “he is taller than me”
Jason: So this is quite simple, as it is always the same pattern no matter how long is the adjective.
Ingrid: That’s right and it is exactly the same pattern for “less than.” You just replace “plus” with “moins”, as in “Je suis moins grand que toi” that is “I am less tall than you”.
Jason: Okay so exactly the same system, you just replace “plus que” by “moins que”.
Ingrid: Yes! so you can also say “Il est moins sympa que son ami” that means “He is less pleasant than his friend.”
Jason: Right! Okay so now let’s take a look at superlative patterns in French. What is the big rule?
Ingrid: To say in French “the tallest” or “the smallest,” it’s very simple. You just have to say “Le plus grand” or “Le plus petit”. The complete pattern is “le plus' + the adjective”.
Jason: So what if you want to say “He is the tallest of the class”?
Ingrid: You will say “Il est le plus grand de la classe”. It’s always « Le plus » + adjective.
Jason: And what about the contrary, if you want to say “He is the least tall of the class”?
Ingrid: In this case, you just replace “Le plus” by “Le moins” and then it becomes “Il est le moins grand de la classe” which means “he is the least tall of the class”.
Jason: But you know, in English we would rather say “the smallest” than “the least tall” as it sounds less natural.
Ingrid: You’re right, but in French, “le plus petit” or “le moins grand” both sound natural and correct.
Jason: So in fact is it simpler than English after all?
Ingrid: Yes it is, because the general rule is quite simple. But you have to be careful about one exception concerning the adjectives “bon” and “bien” which both means “good” or “nice” in English.
For example, if you want to say “He is better than me at tennis” you will use the word “meilleur” instead of the usual pattern “plus bon que” because it won’t sound correct.
Jason: So what would be the translation for “He is better than me”?
Ingrid: You would say “Il est meilleur que moi”. This is the same for the sentence "I wear nicer clothes than him” you will say “Je suis mieux habillé que lui » here you use the word “mieux” to say “better”. In fact “bon” becomes “meilleur” and “bien” becomes “mieux” in comparative forms.
Jason: Okay, and what about the translation of “worse than” in French?
Ingrid: In this case, you will say “pire que” for example “Il est pire que son père” which means “He is worse than his father”.
Jason: Great so now you know how to compare many things in French, and that will be more than useful!
Ingrid: Yes it will be “plus qu’utile” in French! So listeners, see you very soon for next lesson, à bientôt!
Jason: Yes see you everyone, à bientôt!

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Nikolai
Thursday at 01:43 PM
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For the positive superlative le plus ("the most"), you will have to say Julien est le plus beau de la classe, which means "Maxime is the most handsome boy of the class."



I didn't know that Julien translates into English as Maxim. Na na nère!