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Dialogue Edit

Culture · Education in France Edit

Vocabulary · School and students Edit

l'école (f)   /ekɔl/ school
l'élève (m)   /e.lɛv/ pupil
l'étudiant (m)
l'étudiante (f)
  /etydjɑ̃/
  /etydjɑ̃t/
student
le collège (classes 6-4)   /kɔ.lɛʒ/ jr. high school (grades 6-9)
le collégien
la collégienne
  /kɔ.le.ʒjɛ̃/
  /kɔ.le.ʒjɛn/
jr. high school student
le lycée (classes 3-terminale)   /li.se/ high school (grades 10-12)
le lycéen
la lycéenne
  /li.se.ɛ̃/
  /li.se.ɛn/
high school student
l'université (f)
la fac(ulté)
  /y.ni.vɛʁ.si.te/
  /fak/
  /fa.kyl.te/
university
l'enseignement supérieur higher education
graduate school

Grammar · Present perfect with regular verbs Edit

The passé composépresent perfect is a compound tense, and is therefore composed of an auxiliary verb and a past participle. With most verbs, that auxiliary verb is avoir.

MeaningEdit

In English, verbs conjugated in the passé composé literally mean have/has ____ed. While there is a simple past tense in French, it is almost always only used in formal writing, so verbs conjugated in the passé composé can also be used to mean the English simple tense.

For example, the passé composé forms of parlerto speak , [avoir] parlé, literally mean has/have spoken, but also means spoke.

Basic formationEdit

To conjugate a verb in the passé composé, the helping verb, usually avoir, is conjugated in the present indicative and the past participle is then added.

Auxiliary verb - avoirEdit

Conjugate avoir in the present indicative.

j'ai I have nous avons we have
tu as you have vous avez you have
il a he has ils ont they have
elle a she has elles ont they have

Past participleEdit

  • -er verbs: replace -er with é
  • -ir verbs: replace -ir with i
  • -re verbs: replace -re with u
  • irregular verbs: varied; must be memorized
Formation of the past participle
Verb Group Infinitive Stem Past Participle
-er verbs jouer jou joué
-ir verbs finir fin fini
-re verbs répondre répond répondu

Avoir + past participleEdit

J'ai joué I have played Nous avons joué We have played
Tu as joué You have played Vous avez joué You have played
Il a joué He has played Ils ont joué They have played
Elle a joué She has played Elles ont joué They have played

Please also note:

Fem. Subject or Person (Elles, Elle, Nous, On etc.)- Add another e with no aigu or grave to end of word- if a female person is partaking in the group.

Plural Subject (On, Nous, Tu, Vous etc.)- Add another "s" to end of word.

Finally, some verbs are irregular for the past participle, such as aller (to go), instead of using avoir to form the past participle, they will use être (to be) to form the past participle.

Always check the verb's irregularities before using to form past participle. Some "past participle" irregulars are regular verbs when forming other tenses.

ExamplesEdit

Vocabulary · At school · À l'écoleEdit

le professeur[1]
la prof
  /pʁɔ.fɛ.sœʁ/
  /pʁɔf/
teacher, professor
la bourse   /buʁs/ scholarship
le diplôme (professionnel)   /di.plom/ diploma
le bac(calauréat)   /bak/
  /bakalɔʀea/
high school exit exam
la bibliothèque   /bi.bli.jɔ.tɛk/ library
la note   /nɔt/ grade, mark (as on a test)
les cours   /kuʁ/ classes or courses
la classe   /klas/ grade (e.g. 6th Grade)
en cours de [...] in [...] class
Pendant les cours
le tableau   /ta.blɔ/ chalkboard
la craie   /kʁɛ/ chalk
le pupitre   /pypitʁ/ school desk
l'examen (m)   /ɛɡzamɛ̃/ exam, test
les devoirs   /dǝ.vwaʁ/ homework
la classe   /klas/ class
la cantine   /kɑ̃.tin/ cafeteria
la récréation
la cour
  /ʁe.kʁe.a.sjɔ̃/
  /kuʁ/
recess
courtyard
Describing teachers and students
intelligent(e)   /ɛ̃teliʒɑ̃/
  /ɛ̃teliʒɑ̃t/
intelligent
strict(e)   /stʁikt/ strict

^ The word professeur is considered masculine at all times, even if the teacher is female. The only case when "professeur" can be preceded by feminine determinant is either when contracting it in colloquial language "la prof", or when adding a few words before : "madame/mademoiselle la/le professeur".

Vocabulary · Actions Edit

passer un examen to take a test
étudier   /e.ty.dje/ to study Il étudie nuit et jour. He studied night and day.
écrire   /e.kʁiʁ/ to write
lever (la main) to raise (your hand)
poser (une question) to ask (a question)
répondre (à)   /re.pɔ̃dʁ/ to answer, to reply (to) Il a répondu à toutes les questions. He answered all of the questions.
parler   /paʁle/ to speak Ils ont parlé plusieurs heures avant d'aller se coucher. They talked for several hours before bedtime.
écouter   /ekute/ to listen (to) J’écoute la radio. I listen to the radio.
entendre   /ɑ̃.tɑ̃dʁ/ to hear (of) Elle entend des voix. She hears voices.
regarder   /ʁǝ.ɡaʁ.de/ to watch
déjeuner   /de.ʒœ.ne/ to (eat) lunch Déjeunez- vous á onze heure? You (formal) eat lunch at eleven O'clock?

In French, you do not "own" body parts. While in English, you would say my hand or your hand, the definite article is almost always used in French:

la mainmy hand
la jambemy leg
le brasmy arm

To and of are part of the verbs écouter and entendre respectively. It is not necessary to add a preposition to the verb. Other verbs, such as répondre (à), meaning to respond (to), are almost always followed by a preposition.

Supplementary examples Edit

C’est un auteur que j’ai peu étudié. He is an author that I have little studied.
On ne devient pas savant sans étudier. You do not become learned without studying.
Ce pianiste étudie plusieurs heures par jour. This pianist exercises several hours a day.
Il étudie l’écriture sainte. He studies scripture.
Elle parle couramment le français. She speaks French fluently.
Ne parlez pas si haut. Do not talk so loud.
Écoutez, j’ai quelque chose à vous dire. Listen, I have something to say to you.
J'ai entendu plusieurs fois ce chanteur à la Scala. I heard this singer several times at La Scala.
Tu dois répondre aux questions que je te pose. You must answer the questions I ask you.
Il répond à toutes les lettres qu’il reçoit. He responds to all the letters that he receives.

Supplementary usage notes · Entendre Edit

Grammar · To write and to read · Écrire et lireEdit

ÉcrireEdit

Écrire is an irregular French verb, meaning to write. It varies from other -re verbs in the plural conjugation, by adding a v. Its past particple, écrit, is also irregular.

écrire   /e.kʁiʁ/ to write
j'écris /e.kʁi/ I write
tu écris /e.kʁi/ you write
il écrit   /e.kʁi/ he writes
nous écrivons /e.kʁi.vɔ̃/) we write
vous écrivez /e.kʁi.ve/ you write
ils écrivent /e.kʁiv/ they write
écrit   /e.kʁi/ written

The verb coécrireto co-write /ko.e.kʁiʁ/ is conjugated the same way. The nouns écriture /e.kʁi.tyʁ/, meaning writing or handwriting, and écrivain /e.kʁi.vɛ̃/, meaning writer, are derived from écrire.

LireEdit

Lire is an irregular French verb, meaning to read. Its plural conjugation adds an s, and its past participle is lu.

lire   /liʁ/ to read
je lis   /'li/ I read
tu lis   /'li/ you read
il lit   /'li/ he reads
nous lisons /li.zɔ̃/ we read
vous lisez /li.ze/ you read
ils lisent /liz/ they read
lu /ly/ read

The verbs élireto elect /e.liʁ/ and relireto reread /ʁǝ.liʁ/ are conjugated the same way. The adjective lisible /lizibl/, meaning readable or legible, is derived from lire.

ExamplesEdit

Mon père écrit des poèmes pour ma mère. My father writes poems for my mother.
As-tu écrit ce slogan sur le mur ? Have you written that slogan on the wall?
Il a une mauvaise écriture. He has bad handwriting.
Jean lit très souvent. John reads very often.
Il faut lire et relire les auteurs de l’antiquité. You must read and reread the authors of antiquity.
On a relu le projet de loi. We have reviewed the bill.
Sa écriture n’est pas belle, mais elle est lisible. His writing is not beautiful, but it is readable.

Supplementary vocabulary · School supplies · Les fournitures scolairesEdit

la craie   /kʁɛ/ chalk J'ai écrit au tableau avec de la craie. I wrote on the blackboard with chalk.
le tableau   /ta.blɔ/ the board
le stylo (stylo à bille)   /stil.o/ (ballpoint) pen
le crayon   /kʀɛ.jɔ̃/ pencil
la calculatrice   /kal.ky.la.tʁis/ calculator
le livre   /livʁ/ book une livre is a pound
le bouquin   /bu.kɛ̃/ book colloquial; also rabbit J'ai commencé un nouveau bouquin hier. I started a new book yesterday.
le cahier   /ka.je/ notebook
le papier
la feuille de papier
  /pa.pje/ paper
sheet of paper
le bloc-notes   /blɔk.nɔt/ notepad
le sac à dos   /sak.a.dɔ/ backpack
la gomme   Fr-gomme.ogg eraser
la règle   /ʁɛɡl/ ruler
le feutre   /føtʁ/ marker
le cartable backpack

Supplementary vocabulary · School subjects · Les matières d'enseignementEdit

l'informatique (f)   /ɛ̃.fɔʁ.ma.tik/ computer science
la littérature   /li.te.ʁa.tyʁ/ literature
la musique   /myzik/ music
les langues
l'anglais   /ɑ̃.ɡlɛ/ English
le français   /fʁɑ̃.sɛ/ French Il parle très bien français. He speaks French very well.
l'espagnol (m)   /ɛs.pa.ɲɔl/ Spanish
l'allemand (m)   /al.mɑ̃/ German L’allemand est une langue germanique.
Mon stagiaire parle un allemand impeccable.
German is a Germanic language.
My trainee speaks perfect German.
le russe   /ʁys/ Russian
l'italien (m)   /i.ta.ljɛ̃/ Italian
les sciences naturelles
la biologie   /bjɔ.lo.ʒi/ biology
la chimie   /ʃi.mi/ chemistry
la physique   /fi.zik/ physics Ses matières préférées sont la chimie et la physique. His preferred subjects are chemistry and physics.
les mathématiques
l'algèbre (f)   /al.ʒɛbʁ/ algebra
le calcul   /kal.kyl/ calculus
la géométrie   /ʒe.ɔ.me.tʁi/ geometry
les sciences sociales
l'économie (f)   /e.kɔ.nɔ.mi/ economics
la géographie   /ʒe.ɔ.ɡʁa.fi/ geography
l'histoire (f)   /is.twaʁ/ history

Supplementary vocabulary · Classes/grades Edit

The way that grades are numbered in France is opposite the way they are in the US. Whereas American grade numbers increase as you approach your senior year, they descend in France.

Classe Terminale 12th Grade Age 17-18
1ère (la première classe) 11th Grade Age 16-17
2ème (la deuxième classe) 10th Grade Age 15-16
3ème (la troisième classe) 9th Grade Age 14-15
4ème (la quatrième classe) 8th Grade Age 13-14
5ème (la cinquième classe) 7th Grade Age 12-13
6ème (la sixième classe) 6th Grade Age 11-12
CM2 (CM = cours moyen) 5th Grade Age 10-11
CM1 4th Grade Age 9-10
CE2 (CE = cours élémentaire) 3rd Grade Age 8-9
CE1 2nd Grade Age 7-8
CP1 (CP = cours préparatoire) 1st Grade Age 6-7

Text Edit

Exercises Edit

ExercisePresent perfect translation

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Translate each phrase.

I finished. (finir) J'ai fini.
I have listened. (écouter) J'ai écouté.
We played. (jouer) Nous avons joué.
Jacques has waited. (attendre) Jacques a attendu.
We finished. (finir) Nous avons fini.
He studied. (étudier) Il a étudié.
They watched. (regarder) Ils ont regardé.
We studied. (étudier) Nous avons étudié.
They listened. (écouter) Ils ont écouté.
ExercisePresent perfect

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Rewrite each phrase in the present perfect.

Je regarde J'ai regardé
Vous jouez Vous avez joué
Elle écoute Elle a écouté
Elles finissent Elles ont fini
Ils regardent Ils ont regardé
Nous entendons Nous avons entendu
Elle joue Elle a joué
Je finis J'ai fini