Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Jason: Hello everyone. Welcome to Upper Beginner Season 1, Lesson 21, To Drink or To Drive in France! C’est Jason. Jason here!
Ingrid: Bonjour à tous, Ingrid here!
Jason: In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to use the verb “pouvoir”.
Ingrid: Yes Jason, you will be able to say what you can do or may do.
Jason: So what about our conversation?
Ingrid: Our dialog will take place outside of a nightclub. The two characters want to drive home, but they drank a little too much… As they are friends, they will use informal French.
Jason: Okay so let’s listen to the conversation!
Dialogue
[à l'extérieur d'une discothèque]
[à l'extérieur d'une discothèque]
(1 time natural native speed)
Vanessa: Nous avons un peu trop bu ce soir non? Est-ce que tu peux conduire?
Tristan: Mais oui! Je n'ai bu que 3 verres, je peux conduire!
Vanessa: Non tu ne peux pas conduire si tu as bu plus de 2 verres!
Tristan: Bon...bon, on peut prendre un taxi alors! Sinon, on peut marcher jusqu'à la maison!
Vanessa: Ah non sûrement pas! Regarde, voici un taxi!
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Vanessa: Nous avons un peu trop bu ce soir non? Est-ce que tu peux conduire?
Tristan: Mais oui! Je n'ai bu que 3 verres, je peux conduire!
Vanessa: Non tu ne peux pas conduire si tu as bu plus de 2 verres!
Tristan: Bon...bon, on peut prendre un taxi alors! Sinon, on peut marcher jusqu'à la maison!
Vanessa: Ah non sûrement pas! Regarde, voici un taxi!
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
[à l'extérieur d'une discothèque]
Jason[outside of a nightclub]
Vanessa: Nous avons un peu trop bu ce soir non? Est-ce que tu peux conduire?
Jason: We've drunk a bit too much tonight, no? Are you able to drive?
Tristan: Mais oui! Je n'ai bu que 3 verres, je peux conduire!
Jason: Of course! I just drank three glasses; I can drive!
Vanessa: Non tu ne peux pas conduire si tu as bu plus de 2 verres!
Jason: No, you can't if you drank more than two glasses!
Tristan: Bon...bon, on peut prendre un taxi alors! Sinon, on peut marcher jusqu'à la maison!
Jason: Well...okay, so we can take a taxi. Otherwise, we can walk home.
Vanessa: Ah non sûrement pas! Regarde, voici un taxi!
Jason: Certainly not! Look, here is a taxi.
Post Conversation Banter
Ingrid: So, Jason, have you ever driven when you were drunk?
Jason: Never! It is too dangerous. Is it forbidden in France?
Ingrid: Of course! The limit is two drinks. More than that and you cannot drive.
Jason: and are there lots of accident despite this law?
Ingrid: Way too many. Traffic accidents because of alcohol accounts for 30%. It especially affects young people.
Jason: Are there some solutions?
Ingrid: Lots of advertising campaign have been broadcasted. The most famous one is “boire ou conduire, il faut choisir”
Jason: “boire ou conduire, il faut choisir”, it means «drink or drive, you have to choose», isn’t it?
Ingrid: Exactly. So listeners, remember this if you go to a nightclub in France or in another country.
Jason: I will! But If I don’t drive, I’ll also try this amazing French wine you have in your country.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Jason: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Ingrid: un peu [natural native speed]
Jason: a bit
Ingrid: un peu [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: un peu [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: trop [natural native speed]
Jason: too
Ingrid: trop [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: trop [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: boire [natural native speed]
Jason: to drink
Ingrid: boire [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: boire [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: pouvoir [natural native speed]
Jason: can
Ingrid: pouvoir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: pouvoir [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: conduire [natural native speed]
Jason: drive
Ingrid: conduire [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: conduire [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: sinon [natural native speed]
Jason: otherwise
Ingrid: sinon [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: sinon [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: marcher [natural native speed]
Jason: to work, to walk
Ingrid: marcher [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: marcher [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: prendre [natural native speed]
Jason: take
Ingrid: prendre [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: prendre [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: un taxi [natural native speed]
Jason: a taxi
Ingrid: un taxi [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: un taxi [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: voici [natural native speed]
Jason: here is, this is
Ingrid: voici [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: voici [natural native speed]
: Next:
Ingrid: que deux verres [natural native speed]
Jason: just two glasses
Ingrid: que deux verres [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: que deux verres [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 interesting words and phrases in this lesson.
Jason: The first expression is?
Ingrid: It is “un peu trop” that means “a bit too” or “a bit too much” depending on if you put or don't add an adjective after it.
Jason: Can you give us some examples?
Ingrid: For example if someone asks you “Did you drink too much?” you will answer “Oui, un peu trop” that means “Yes, a bit too much”.
Jason: Can you repeat it slowly please?
Ingrid: (slowly) «Oui, un peu trop»
Jason: And now in natural speed?
Ingrid: (Natural speed) «Oui, un peu trop»
Jason: So what if you put an adjective after this expression?
Ingrid: For example you can say «Je suis un peu trop fatigué pour jouer au tennis » that means «I am a bit too tired to play tennis»
Jason: Great and what is our next expression?
Ingrid: Next is “prendre un taxi” which means “to take a taxi”. In fact, it’s exactly the literal translation of the English expression. You can also use it for all types of vehicles; you can say “Je prends le bus” for the bus or “Je prends l’avion” for the plane.
Jason: This is very convenient indeed, so the next expression is?
Ingrid: It is “Que deux verres” that we can translate as “just two glasses”.
Jason: Can you break this expression down please?
Ingrid: (Slowly) «Que deux verres »
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) «Que deux verres »
Jason: So “que” means “just” or “only.” isn't that’s right?
Ingrid: Exactly, “que” expresses in this case a restriction and can be translated as “just”. But be careful, you will have to use it in a negative sentence. As in “Je n’ai mangé que deux chocolats” that means “I have just eaten two chocolates”.
Jason: Interesting! And what is next expression?
Ingrid: Next is the word “voici”
Jason: What is it used for ?
Ingrid: “Voici” is used to present or to show something. It’s an equivalent of “here it is”
Jason: But there is no verb.
Ingrid: Exactly. Whereas English speakers say “Here is Denis”, French would say “Voici Denis”
Jason: do you have another example?
Ingrid: Sure, with the synonym of “voici” which is “Voilà”
Jason: “Voici” and “voilà”
Ingrid: absolutely. “here I am” can be translated by “me voici” or “me voilà”. It is exactly the same and both use the same pattern.
Jason: Ok, now let’s see the grammar

Lesson focus

Jason: So this lesson's grammar will be: how to express a capacity or a possibility
Ingrid: Yes, using the equivalent in French of “can” or “may”
Jason: there is only one expression?
Ingrid: Yes, if you want to, you can use only the verb “pouvoir”.
Jason: ok so if I want to say that I’m able to do something?
Ingrid: If you are able to do something, if you can do it you’ll use “pouvoir”. The verb after pouvoir is always in the infinitive. You will have to follow this pattern:
Subject + verb “pouvoir” + Verb in the infinitive + the complement
Jason: What’s the French for “I can lift this box”
Ingrid: Subject is “je” plus the verb “pouvoir” in the first person, which is “peux” plus lift this box “soulever cette boite”, “soulever” is in the infinitive.
“I can do this exercise” is “je peux soulever cette boite”
Jason: Ok, can we have an example with the verb "read" as in “I can read”
Ingrid: Be careful, it will be different. Instead of “pouvoir”, you will use “savoir”
Jason: Why?
Ingrid: in French, we use a different verb to express knowledge. Reading, or writing, or swimming for example need to be learnt. In English you use “can” whereas in French, you will use “savoir” and not “pouvoir”, with the same pattern. After “savoir”, the verb is also in the infinitive.
Jason: Okay so the French for ‘I can read” or “He can write” is “je sais lire” and “Il sait écrire”
Ingrid: perfect! “Pouvoir” can also be used in a question when you speak to a salesman or a waiter in order to be more polite. Be careful, there is an exception in the conjugation of “pouvoir” for a question: it is not “peux-je?” but “puis-je?”
Jason: Do you have an example?
Ingrid: Can I have some bread please? // Puis-je avoir du pain s’il vous plait?
Jason: are there other uses of pouvoir?
Ingrid: Yes, it can be used to express permission: “I can smoke here”, implying “it is allowed to smoke here”… The French is “Je peux fumer ici”
Jason: is it the same for the question “can I go there?”
Ingrid: Yes it is, because you’re asking someone to give his permission. So you will use pouvoir: Est-ce que je peux y aller? can I go there?
Jason: Are there other uses?
Ingrid: yes. “Pouvoir” can express a possibility. In this case, it is the equivalent of “may”.
“It may snow tomorrow is Il peut neiger demain.
Jason: and the last one?
Ingrid, “Pouvoir” can be used for a choice: “You can come at 10 or 11” is “tu peux arriver à 10h ou 11h”
Jason: Ok so you can find “pouvoir” almost everywhere…
Ingrid: Indeed, but take care of the subtle differences. So listeners, have a look at the lesson notes for more explanations. A bientôt!
Jason: A bientôt ! bye bye everyone!

6 Comments

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FrenchPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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FrenchPod101.comVerified
Friday at 10:34 pm
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Bonjour Gloria et merci pour votre commentaire ! :smile:


Je suis contente de savoir que nos exercices vous plaisent et vous aident ! :thumbsup:


Continuez comme ça !

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Gloria
Sunday at 2:21 pm
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J'aime bien le Vocabulary Usage et la Grammar dans cette leçon. Ils me aident beaucoup.


(I like the Vocabulary Usage and the Grammar in this lesson. They help me a lot.)

FrenchPod101.comVerified
Monday at 4:05 pm
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Bonjour Tim!


You're right, thank you for poiting it out!

We will correct it very soon.


Mistake is "faute" in French. You can say "erreur" too.


Thank you again!


Mélanie

Team FrenchPod101.com

Tim Wilsbach
Sunday at 1:47 am
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Pardon the typos. use=une and sais=sait. Also, I don't know the French word for mistake.

Tim Wilsbach
Sunday at 1:39 am
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Je pense que il y a use mistake dans les notes des cours. Il sais écrire means 'He can write" N'est ce pas? Il dit "He can read" maintenant. (TRANSLATION: I think there is a mistake in the lesson notes. "Il sais écrire" means "He can write", right? It says 'he can read" now).