Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Jason Hello everyone. Welcome to Upper Beginner Season 1, Lesson 9! C’est Jason. Jason here!
Ingrid: Bonjour à tous, Ingrid here!
Jason: Welcome to our Upper Beginner series! In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to use French pronominal verbs, which are specific verbs in French that are used to talk about oneself.
Ingrid: Yes
Jason, this lesson deals with one of the main unique features of the French language. Pronominal verbs are widely used and you’ll see it’s mandatory to know how they work.
Jason: Yes and I’m sure listeners have already heard many pronominal verbs without even knowing what they were! But not to worry, this is not so difficult!
Ingrid: No, you’ll see that once you’ve understood the system, it’s very simple!
Jason: So Ingrid, what is in today’s conversation?
Ingrid: Our dialog will be between Sophie who is a young mother, and her son Martin, who is around 6 years old. The scene takes place in their apartment and they will speak informal French.
Jason: Okay, so let’s listen to this conversation and listeners please, try to pay attention to each verb!
Jason:
Dialogue
Sophie: Julien, tu te brosses les dents d’accord ?
Julien: Oui... je vais me les brosser dans 5 minutes, promis!
Sophie: Et tu te douches aussi bien-sûr !
Julien: Oui et je me lave même les cheveux.
Sophie: Et tu te les sèches au moins ?
Julien: Oui et juste après, je me couche! Tu vois, je suis un enfant très sage!
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Sophie: Julien, tu te brosses les dents d’accord ?
Julien: Oui... je vais me les brosser dans 5 minutes, promis!
Sophie: Et tu te douches aussi bien-sûr !
Julien: Oui et je me lave même les cheveux.
Sophie: Et tu te les sèches au moins ?
Julien: Oui et juste après, je me couche! Tu vois, je suis un enfant très sage!
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Sophie: Julien, tu te brosses les dents d’accord ?
Jason: Julien, you brush your teeth tonight, all right?
Julien: Oui... je vais me les brosser dans 5 minutes, promis!
Jason: Yes... I'm going to do it in five minutes, I promise!
Sophie: Et tu te douches aussi bien-sûr !
Jason: And you'll also take a shower, of course...
Julien: Oui et je me lave même les cheveux.
Jason: Yes, and I will even wash my hair today!
Sophie: Et tu te les sèches au moins ?
Jason: And will you dry it at least?
Julien: Oui et juste après, je me couche! Tu vois, je suis un enfant très sage!
Jason: Yes, and right after I'm going to bed! You see, I am a really nice boy!
Post Conversation Banter
Jason: Such an obedient and clean little boy!Ingrid: Yes, you know it’s not easy to make children brush their teeth and go to bed at night!
Jason: But, it’s a real pleasure to take a shower in France!
Ingrid: Yes, really? And why especially in France?
Jason: Because you have Marseille soap in France!
Ingrid: I see! So you are a fan of savons de Marseille, which is the oldest traditional soap in France. It was created in 14th century in the city of Marseille in south of France and since then, it’s always been very popular.
Jason: Yes I love it because it’s natural and very convenient.
Ingrid: You’re right! The Savon de Marseille can be both used to wash your skin but also for linen, depending on its concentration.
Jason: And there are many different fragrances so you can have a large variety of them!
Ingrid: Yes, and the best place to buy savons de Marseille is definitively in a Provençal traditional market, in the south of France. There producers present all their products and it is a pleasure to choose and smell all these fragrances!
Jason: I guess it’s very nice indeed! But in fact Ingrid, what is so unique about this soap?
Ingrid: In fact, the production of savon de Marseille follows very strict rules; they have to contain at least 72% of Olive oil and also plant’s essential oils such as lavender or verbena.
Jason: Yes so actually be careful of many Marseille soap imitations that are not always so traditional!Ingrid: Yes you can recognize real Marseille soap thanks to 2 tips: the name of the French soap factory has to be stamped and the same goes for the percentage of olive oil contained, which normally should be more than 72%.
Vocabulary and Phrases
Jason: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Ingrid: sécher [natural native speed]
Jason: to dry
Ingrid: sécher [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: sécher [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: promise / promis [natural native speed]
Jason: promised
Ingrid: promise / promis [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: promise / promis [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: bien sûr [natural native speed]
Jason: of course
Ingrid: bien sûr [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: bien sûr [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: juste [natural native speed]
Jason: just
Ingrid: juste [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: juste [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: se brosser les dents [natural native speed]
Jason: to brush one's teeth
Ingrid: se brosser les dents [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: se brosser les dents [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: se doucher [natural native speed]
Jason: to take a shower
Ingrid: se doucher [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: se doucher [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: se laver les cheveux [natural native speed]
Jason: to wash one's hair
Ingrid: se laver les cheveux [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: se laver les cheveux [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: au moins [natural native speed]
Jason: at least
Ingrid: au moins [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: au moins [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: se coucher [natural native speed]
Jason: to go to bed
Ingrid: se coucher [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: se coucher [natural native speed]: Next:
Ingrid: sage [natural native speed]
Jason: nice; wise
Ingrid: sage [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ingrid: sage [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 verb is?
Ingrid: “se laver les dents” which means “to brush one’s teeth.” This is our first pronominal verb.
Jason: Could you say it again slowly for our listeners?
Ingrid: (Slowly) « Se laver les dents »
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) « Se laver les dents »
Jason: Great! So Ingrid, can you give use examples with this verb?
Ingrid: You have the “Il faut se laver les dents au moins deux fois par jour” that means “You have to brush your teeth at least twice a day ”.
Jason: Okay, next verb?
Ingrid: “Se doucher” that means “to have a shower”. This is also a pronominal verb.
Jason: Could you say it again slowly for our listeners?
Ingrid: (Slowly) « Se doucher»
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) « Se doucher »
Jason: Okay that sounds great. What is the next verb?
Ingrid: It is “se laver les cheveux” that means “to wash one’s hair” this is exactly the same construction as “se brosser les dents” but this time it’s when you wash your hair.
Jason: Can you repeat this expression please?
Ingrid: (Slowly) « Se laver les cheveux »
Jason: And now at natural speed
Ingrid: (Natural speed) « Se laver les cheveux »
Jason: Next is an expression, what is it?
Ingrid: It is “au moins.” That is the translation for “at least”. You can use it like in English, that’s to say to express a minimum, just as in “Elle a au moins 30 ans” which means “She is at least 30 years old”. It was also the case in our dialog “Et tu te les sèches au moins ?” that means “And will you dry it at least?”
Jason: But are there are other use for this expression?
Ingrid: Yes, there are. For example you can say “Au moins il ne pleut pas” that would mean “At least it is not raining!” to express satisfaction or a relief.
Jason: Okay, and the next verb?
Ingrid: It is “se coucher” which is “to go to bed”. In French we use a pronominal verb to say so.
Jason: Could you tell us a bit more about this verb Ingrid?
Ingrid: Yes the verb “se coucher” both means “to go to bed” as in “je vais me coucher dans 5 minutes” which means “I’m going to bed in 5 minutes”, but it also means “to lie down”, for example if you feel bad and you need some rest you can say “Je vais me coucher sur le canapé quelques instants” which is “I’ll lie down on the sofa for a little while”.
Jason: It is good to know that! And what is our last word?
Ingrid: It is “sage,” which is “nice” when talking about a child or a pet, for example “Qu’est qu’il est sage!” that is the exclamation for “Such a nice kid!”
Jason: I’m sure you know another expression with this word? For example, how would you say “He’s good as gold” in French?
Ingrid: You would say “Il est sage comme une image” literally “He is good as a picture” meaning “he is immobile like a picture”.
Jason: That’s funny! And is there another meaning for “sage”?
Ingrid: Yes there is a variation, for example if you use it to talk about an adult or about something serious, “sage” will mean “wise” just as in “Un homme sage” that is “ A wise man”. Or “Une sage decision” that is “a wise decision”.

Lesson focus

Jason: So our grammar in this lesson will be: how to use the French pronominal verbs that are used to talk about oneself, about an action made by the subject itself.
Ingrid: Yes Jason, contrary to English, you’ll see that some verbs in French need a reflexive pronoun before them. These verbs allow you to talk about an action that the subject is doing itself, as in “Je me brosse les dents”. In this sentence, both subject “je” and reflexive pronouns “me” are referring to “me” so you can translate it as “I brush my own teeth”.
Jason: Can you give us another example?
Ingrid: Of course, for example in the 2nd person singular this becomes “Tu te brosses les dents” which literally means “You are brushing your own teeth”. In fact pronominal verbs really insist on “your own” things. Here both the subject “tu” and the reflexive pronouns are referring to “you”.
Jason: Got it! And how do you recognize a pronominal verb from a normal one?
Ingrid: This is very simple, if a verb has a reflexive pronoun before it then it is a pronominal one. At the infinitive form, the reflexive is always “se” as in “se brosser” or “se laver”.Jason: But you say for infinitive form, does it mean the reflexives change when the verb is conjugated?
Ingrid: You are totally right and this is the difficulty! For each person, the reflexive has to agree with the subject pronoun. So for example, in “Je me brosse les dents”, you hear that “se” becomes “me.” This is because we use the first person singular pronoun “je”.
Jason: And I guess this is the same for each person, you will have to use the appropriate reflexive?
Ingrid: Yes you will. So we just saw that for 1st person singular subject “Je” the reflexive was “me” but for 2nd person singular “tu”, the reflexive becomes “te”.
Jason: Can you give us an example from the dialog?
Ingrid: You had “Et tu te douches aussi bien-sûr », here you can hear « Tu te douches » so you see the change.
Jason: What about the 3rd person?Ingrid: For the 3rd person either for “il”, “elle” or “on,” the reflexive pronoun is “se”, the same as the one for infinitive form: easy to remember!
Jason: Yes indeed! So for example how would you say “He is washing his own teeth”?
Ingrid: It is “Il se brosse les dents” you can hear the reflexive « se » here.
Jason: Can you tell us the same sentence for all plural persons?
Ingrid: 2nd person plural will be “Nous nous lavons les dents”, 2nd person plural, also used for polite form in French, will be “Vous vous lavez les dents”. And finally for 3rd person plural pronouns like “Ils” or “elles” it will be “Ils se lavent les dents”.
Jason: So here again the reflexive is “se” just as for infinitive and the 3rd person singular form.Ingrid: You’re right “se” is used for 3 forms in total: infinitive form, 3rd person singular and 3rd person plural.
Jason: So we covered all persons for the pronominal verb “se brosser”, good job we’ve done here Ingrid!
Ingrid: Yes and remember it is always the same reflexives that are used for every pronominal verb, so once you’ve learnt them it’s okay! For example now you can also say “Tut e sèches les cheveux” that means “You are drying your own hair”
Jason: So yes now you are able to use every pronominal verbs! And please have a look at the lesson notes where many more examples are waiting to be read!
Ingrid: Great Jason, so listeners stay tuned and see you for the next lesson! A bientôt!
Jason: Yes everyone! See you soon, à bientôt!

8 Comments

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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:10 PM
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Bonjour Chris,

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean, could you rephrase please?


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Chris
Friday at 08:41 AM
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Quel si quelqu'un laver l'autres cheveux ou voiture, par example?

Frenchpod101.com Verified
Saturday at 04:40 PM
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Bonjour Eljon et merci pour votre commentaire !


Unfortunately It's not that easy. Not all verbs are reflexive. With "penser" you have to write "je pense à moi même".

Pronominal verbs often express reflexive actions, that is, the subject performs the action on itself. If the subject performs the action on someone else, the verb is not reflexive. Here is a list of common reflexive verbs:


s'asseoir, to sit (down)

s'appeler, to be called

s'arrêter, to stop

se brosser, to brush

se coucher, to go to bed

s'habiller, to get dressed

se laver, to wash

se lever, to get up

se promener, to take a walk

se réveiller, to wake up


Bon week-end!

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Eljon
Sunday at 04:32 PM
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Hello,


Is it possible to convert any verb into a pronominal verb? Say, the verb 'parler'.


"Je me parle tous les jours." How about 'penser'? "Je me pense" I think of myself.


Thanks in advance!


Jon

Frenchpod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:04 PM
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Bonjour Heather and thank you for commenting !


When we talk about an event that is very close in time, or almost certain to happen, we use the near future with "aller".

Dans six mois, je vais avoir un bébé. > I'll have a baby in six months.

You can translate "je vais + action" as "I'm going to".

"Je vais aller prendre une douche" = I'm going to take a shower

Hope it's clear !

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com

Heather
Monday at 10:28 PM
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In the text, when a person says he is going to do something, e.g. I am going to brush my teeth, why doesn't the speaker use a form of the verb "alller" in every case?

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:50 AM
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Bonjour Michael Gibbs,


Merci pour votre commentaire !

Vous pouvez utiliser les deux expressions ! Les deux sont correctes.


Bonne journée,

Marie Alice

Team frenchPod101.com

Michael Gibbs
Saturday at 03:59 AM
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Bonjour! Est-ce que "se laver les dents" veut dire vraiment "to brush your teeth"? J'ai pensé c'etais "se brosser les dents." C'est tous les deux? Le leçon utilise "se laver les dents" à 7:30.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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