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  LANGUAGES  FRENCH  FRENCH VOCABULARY FOR SHOPPING

FRENCH VOCABULARY FOR SHOPPING


RELATED BOOK

French For Dummies Audio Set

By Zoe Erotopoulos

Develop a French shopping vocabulary to gain a new cultural experience when traveling.
Whether you’re shopping for clothes, food, or souvenirs, you can use the following phrases in
any French-speaking country to help you nd just the right thing.

The following phrases will be useful no matter what kind of shopping you plan on doing.

J’aime celui-là. (I like that one.)

Merci, je ne fais que regarder. (No thank you, I’m just looking.)

Il n’arrive pas à se décider à ce qu’il va acheter. (He can’t decide what to buy.)

Combien? (How much?)

Payons à la caisse. (Let’s pay at the cash register.)


In most French-speaking countries, it is customary to greet the store clerk with a polite
Bonjour when entering a store. It’s considered rude not to do so.

The following words can be used in a variety of shopping situations.

argent (ahr-zhahn) [m] (money)

caisse (kehs) [f] (the cash register)

carte de crédit (kahr-tuh duh cray-dee) [f] (credit card)

cher (shehr) (expensive)

grand (grahNd) (big; tall; large)

large (lahrzh) (large)

marchand (mahr-shan) [m] (vendor)

petit (puh-teet) (small; short)

porte–monnaie (pohrt-moh-neh) [m] (wallet)


sac (sahk) [m] (bag)

The rst step to a successful shopping expedition is to know where to shop. In most French-
speaking countries, there are open-air street markets (called marché) where you can buy
anything from fruits and vegetables to antiques and collectibles. But if you need to go to a
speci c kind of store, the following terms can help.

boucherie (boo-shree) [f] (butcher shop)

boulangerie (boo-lahn-zhree) [f] (bakery)

épicerie (ay-pees-ree) [f] (grocery store; general store)

pâtisserie (pah-tees-ree) [f] (pastry shop)

supermarché (sew-pehr-mahr-shay) [m] (supermarket)

SHOPPING FOR FOOD


In most French-speaking countries, people go grocery shopping every day to take advantage
of the freshest produce and meats. Shopping for food can sound more exciting if you say:

Je dois faire les provisions. (I have to go grocery shopping.)

Il nous faut du lait, des oeufs, et du pain. (We need milk, eggs, and bread.)

Will these items be on your grocery list?

banane (ba-naN) [f] (banana)


boeuf (buhf) [m] (beef)

bière (byehr) [f] (beer)

eau (lo) [f] (water)

fromage (fro-mazh) [m] (cheese)

fruits (lay frwee) [m] (fruit)

glace (glahs) [f] (ice cream)

légumes (lay-gewm) [m] (vegetables)

pain (pan) [m] (bread)

poisson (pwa-sohn) [m] ( sh)

pomme (pohm) [f] (apple)

pommes de terre (pohm duh tehr) [f] (potatoes)

porc (pohr) [m] (pork)

poulet (poo-leh) [m] (chicken)


tomate (to-maht) [f] (tomato)

viande (vyahnd) [f] (meat)

vin (van) [m] (wine)

SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES


The French are known for their sense of style. So much so that many people travel to France
just to shop for clothes. Clothing stores are generally called magasin (mah-gah-zan [m]) and
department stores are called grand magasin (grahN mah-gah-zanN [m]).

Here are some phrases to help you shop for clothing in French-speaking countries.

Ces montres sont chères. (These watches are expensive.)

Je voudrais acheter ces chaussures. (I would like to purchase these shoes.)

Combien coûte cette chemise? (How much is this shirt?)

Je cherche une jupe rouge. (I’m looking for a red skirt.)

Est-ce que ce pantalon est en solde? (Are these pants on sale?)

Puis-je retourner cet article? (May I return this item?)

Puis-je payer comptant ou par carte de crédit? (Can I pay cash or credit?)

Put these items of clothing in your suitcase:

chapeau (shap-oh) [m] (hat)

chemise (ewn shuh-meez) [f] (shirt)


chemisier (shuh-mee-zyay) [m] (blouse)

costume de bains (kohs-tewm duh ban) [m] (bathing suit)

cravate (krah-vaht) [f] (tie)

imperméable (an-pehr-may-ahbl) [m] (raincoat)

jean (dzheen) [m] (jeans)

jupe (zhewp) [f] (skirt)

manteau (mahN-to) [m] (coat)

pantalon (pahN-tah-lohN) [m] (slacks)

pull (pewl) [m] (sweater)

robe (rohb) [f] (dress)

slip (sleep) [m] (underpants)

sweat (sweet) [m] (sweatshirt)

veste (vehst) [f] (jacket)


baskets (bahs-keht) [f] (sneakers)

pointure (pwan-tewr) [f] (shoe size)

bottes (boht) [f] (boots)

Which of these colors appear most in your clothes closet?

blanc (blahn) (white)

bleu (bluh) [m] (blue)

jaune (zhon) (yellow)

marron (mah-rohN) (brown)

noir (nwahr) [m] (black)

orange (or-ahnzh) [f] (orange)

rouge (roozh) (red)

vert (vehr) (green)


  LANGUAGES  FRENCH  FRENCH VERBS FOR DUMMIES CHEAT SHEET

CHEAT SHEET

FRENCH VERBS FOR DUMMIES CHEAT


SHEET
If you’re studying French, you need to get a handle on French verbs. Luckily, there’s a
pattern to conjugating regular French verbs into the simple and compound
tenses, so once you know how to conjugate one, you know hundreds! Learn how to
give commands, directions, or requests by studying the imperative conjugations of
French verbs. You can also check out these ve frequently mixed-up verbs.

CONJUGATING THE SIMPLE TENSES OF REGULAR FRENCH VERBS

If the in nitive of a regular French verb ends in –er, -ir, or –re, you can follow a xed
pattern in conjugating the verb. If you learn to conjugate one verb in each of the
groups, you will know how to conjugate hundreds of others. The following chart has
the conjugation of the ve simple tenses of three common regular verbs: parler (to
speak), nir (to nish), and vendre (to sell). Just take the appropriate stem for each
tense and add the required ending.

Regular -er Verb Endings

Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles

Present (parl) -e -es -e -ons -ez -ent

Imperfect (parl) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient

Future (parler) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont

Conditional (parler) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient


Subjunctive (parl) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent

Regular -ir Verb Endings

Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles

Present ( ni) -s -s -t -ssons -ssez -ssent

Imperfect ( niss) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient

Future ( nir) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont

Conditional ( nir) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient

Subjunctive ( niss) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent

Regular -re Verb Endings

Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles

Present (vend) -s -s (nothing) -ons -ez -ent

Imperfect (vend) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient

Future (vendr) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont

Conditional (vendr) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient

Subjunctive (vend) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent

CONJUGATING COMPOUND TENSES WITH REGULAR FRENCH


VERBS
To conjugate French compound tenses, you need an auxiliary verb, usually avoir (to
have) or être (to be), plus the past participle of the desired verb. The following
example shows French compound tenses conjugated with the past participles of
parler (to speak) with avoir as the auxiliary and arriver (to arrive) with être as the
auxiliary.

Creating Compound Tenses with the Auxiliary Avoir (Parler)

Tense je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles

Passé ai parlé as parlé a parlé avons avez ont parlé


Composé parlé parlé

Pluperfect avais avais avait avions aviez avaient


parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé

Future aurai auras aura aurons aurez auront


Perfect parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé

Past aurais aurais aurait aurions auriez auraient


Conditional parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé parlé

Past aie parlé aies parlé ait parlé ayons ayez aient parlé
Subjunctive parlé parlé

Creating Compound Tenses with the Auxiliary Être (Arriver)

Tense je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles

Passé suis es arrivé est arrivé sommes êtes arrivé sont


Composé arrivé (e) (e) (e) arrivés (es) (e)(s) (es) arrivés (es)

Pluperfect étais étais était étions étiez arrivé étaient


arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivés (es) (e) (s) (es) arrivés (es)

Future serai seras sera serons serez arrivé seront


Perfect arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivés (es) (e) (s) (es) arrivés (es)

Past serais serais serait serions seriez arrivé seraient


Conditional arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivés (es) (e) (s) (es) arrivés (es)

Past sois sois soit soyons soyez arrivé soient


Subjunctive arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivé (e) arrivés (es) (e) (s) (es) arrivés (es)
IMPERATIVE FORMS OF FRENCH VERBS

In French, the imperative mood expresses an order, request, or directive and is


created with regular verbs by using the verb directly and eliminating the subject
pronoun. The imperative uses the present tense of most verbs and the conjugations
of three subject pronouns: tu (when speaking to someone familiar), vous (when
speaking to someone unfamiliar, older, a group, or a superior), and nous (when
including yourself in the group). Regular –er, -ir, and –re verbs follow the same
pattern in commands as shown in the following example, along with an example of a
command using a pronominal verb and pronoun.

Parler (to speak) Finir (to nish) Vendre (to sell) Se laver (to wash)

Parle! Finis! Vends! Lave-toi!

Parlons! Finissons! Vendons! Lavons-nous!

Parlez! Finissez! Vendez! Lavez-vous!


  LANGUAGES  FRENCH  HOW TO SPEAK FRENCH: COMMON FRENCH EXPRESSIONS

HOW TO SPEAK FRENCH: COMMON FRENCH


EXPRESSIONS
When learning to speak French, master a few common expressions to build your conversation
skills. Almost everyone who speaks French uses the following list of phrases: These
expressions are so very French that you may even pass as a native of France when you use
them.

ÇA M’A FAIT TRÈS PLAISIR! OR C’ÉTAIT GÉNIAL!


(sah mah feh treh pleh-zeer) or (say-teh zhay-nyahl)

(I really liked that!) or (That was fantastic!) Here are two ways to express your excitement and
really get it across, too. You can also speak for your partner (whose French is nonexistent) by
just changing the pronoun: Ça lui a fait très plaisir! (sah lwee ah feh treh pleh-zeer!) (He/She
really liked that!)

PASSEZ-MOI UN COUP DE FIL!


(pah-say mwa aN koot feel)

(Give me a call.) You could say of course: Appelez-moi! (ah-puh-lay mwah) or Téléphonez-
moi! (tay-lay-foh-nay mwah), but that wouldn’t sound as sophisticated!

Some possible variations are:

Passez-nous un coup de l! (pah-say noo aN koot feel) (Give us a call!)

Je vais vous/lui/leur passer un coup de l. (zhuh veh voo/lwee/luhr pah-say aN koot feel)
(I am going to call you/him/her/them.)

ON Y VA! OR ALLONS-Y!
(oh nee vah!) or (ah-lohN zee!)

(Let’s go [there]!) You can also send someone o somewhere with the latter one: You can say
Allez-y! (ah-lay-zee) (Go ahead!) or Vas-y! (vah-zee) for the familiar form if you want to get a
little insistent about it.

JE N’EN SAIS RIEN.


(zhuh nahn seh ree-ahn)

(I don’t know anything about it.) In casual speech, you can also say (and this is what you hear
most of the time) J’en sais rien (jahn seh ree-ahn). Technically this phrase is grammatically
incorrect, but then so is “I know nothing” instead of “I don’t know anything.”

MAIS JE RÊVE!
(meh zhuh rehv)

(Oh, I don’t believe it!) Literally this means: “But I am dreaming!” and is an expression that has
become incredibly popular in recent years, probably because it works on every level of
excitement. You can use it with any personal pronoun of your choice. For example, you could
say to your friend Mais tu rêves! (meh tew rehv) (You must be crazy!) if he/she comes up with
some unrealistic idea, plan, or wish, or Mais ils/elles rêvent! (meh eel/ehl rehv) when you are
talking about several people.

QUEL AMOUR DE PETIT GARÇON!


(kehl ah-moor duh ptee gahr-sohn)

(What an adorable little boy!) Or you could just say, pointing to a little kid, a pet, or a toy: Quel
amour! (kehl ah-moor) and everyone around you will be so impressed not only with your
beautiful French but also with your object of admiration!

VOUS N’AVEZ PAS LE DROIT.


(voo nah-vay pah luh drwah)

(You don’t have the right.) This phrase simply means: “It is forbidden,” but says it ever so much
more elegantly. Again, you can vary the personal pronouns, and also tenses, if you like.

TU CHERCHES MIDI À 14H.


(tew shehrsh mee-dee ah kah-tohrz uhr)

This has to be the best one of all. Try to translate this and what you come up with is: “You are
looking for noon at 2 p.m.” You’re not sure what that is supposed to mean? Well, it is a tough
one, but it’s such a neat phrase and heavily used, so here it is: You are saying that so-and-so is
making things more di cult than necessary, that he or she is sort of o the mark and has lost
perspective: Il/Elle cherche midi à 14h. You can also practice saying, Il ne faut pas
chercher midi à 14h (eel nuh foh pah shehrsh-shay) (You shouldn’t get so obsessive about it!)

JE VEUX ACHETER UNE BRICOLE


(zhuh vuh ash-tay ewn bree-kohl)

(I want to buy a little something, a doodad.) It’s the word bricole that makes you sound so “in.”
It actually derives from the verb bricoler (bree-koh-lay) which means to do odd jobs.

PRENONS UN POT!
(pruh-nohn aN po)

(Let’s take a pot)? No, that can’t be it, or can it? Well, if you stretch your imagination a bit, it
means: “Let’s have a drink!” (Not a whole pot full maybe, but . . .)