French › Level two lessons › Shopping · Faire des courses

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Grammar · Object pronouns [edit]

Direct objects[edit]

While the subject of a sentence initiates an action (the verb), the direct object is the one that is affected by the action. A direct object pronoun is used to refer to the direct object of a previous sentence:

Pierre voit le cambrioleur. Pierre sees the burglar.
Pierre le voit. Pierre sees him.

The following table shows the various types of direct object pronouns:

French me, m' te, t' le, l' la, l' nous vous les
English me1 you1 him, it her, it us1 you1 them

Notes:

  • 1 me, te, nous, and vous are also used as indirect objects to mean to me, to you, to us, and to you respectively.
  • The pronoun form with an apostrophe is used before a vowel.
  • The direct object pronoun for nous and vous is the same as the subject.
  • When the direct object comes before a verb in a perfect tense, a tense that uses a past participle, the direct object must agree in gender and plurality with the past participle. For example, in the phrase Je les ai eus, or I had them, the past participle would be spelled eus if the direct object, les, was referring to a masculine object, and eues if les is referring to a feminine object.

Indirect objects[edit]

An indirect object is an object that would be asked for with To whom...? or From whom...?. It is called indirect because it occurs usually together with a direct object which is affected directly by the action:

Il donne du pain à Pierre. He gives some bread to Pierre.
Il lui donne du pain. He gives bread to him.

The following table shows the various types of indirect object pronouns:

French me, m' te, t' lui nous vous leur
English to me1 to you1 to him, to her to us1 to you1 to them

Notes:

  • 1 me, te, nous, and vous are also used as direct objects to mean me, you, us, and you respectively.
  • The pronoun form with an apostrophe is used before a vowel.
  • The indirect object pronoun for nous and vous is the same as the subject.
  • The indirect object pronouns do not agree with the past participle like the direct object pronouns do. When me, te, nous, and vous are used in a perfect tense, the writer must decide whether they are used as direct or indirect object pronouns. This is done by looking at the verb and seeing what type of action is being performed.

The bread is given by the man (direct). Pierre gets the given bread (indirect).

Dialogue · At the bakery · À la boulangerie[edit]

Bernard (le boulanger) Bonjour madame.
good morning miss.
Camille (la cliente) Bonjour monsieur.
good morning sir.
Bernard (le boulanger) Que voulez-vous ? or Que désirez-vous ?
What would you like?
Camille (la cliente) Je voudrais acheter une baguette, s'il vous plaît.
I would like to buy a baguette, please.
Bernard (le boulanger) C'est tout ? or Est-ce que c'est tout ?
(Is) that all?
Camille (la cliente) Non, je voudrais deux croissants aussi.
No, I would like two croissants also.
Bernard (le boulanger) Très bien - ça fait deux euros, s'il vous plaît.
Very well - that makes two euros, please.
Camille (la cliente) Merci beaucoup.
Thanks a lot.

Vocabulary [edit]

Que voulez-vous ?, Que désirez-vous ? What would you like?
Je voudrais… I would like…
C'est tout ? or Est-ce que c'est tout ? (Is) that all?
Ça fait deux euros. That will be two euros.
acheter to buy

Vocabulary · Going shopping [edit]

faire des courses
faire du shopping
to go shopping
faire le marché to go grocery shopping
faire du lèche-vitrine to go window shopping
porter About this sound Fr-porter.ogg to wear, to carry
demander About this sound /dǝ.mɑ̃.de/ to ask (for)
demander le prix to ask for the price
payer About this sound /pe.je/ to pay
vendre About this sound /vɑ̃dʁ(ə)/ to sell
acheter About this sound /aʃte/ to buy
acheté About this sound /aʃəte/ have bought
Buying goods
le(la) vendeur(euse) About this sound Fr-vendeur.ogg
About this sound Fr-vendeuse.ogg
salesperson
(plus/moins) cher(ère) About this sound /ʃɛʁ/ (more/less) expensive
la vitrine About this sound /vit.ʁin/ display window
le prix About this sound /pʁi/ price
la caisse About this sound /kɛs/ cash register
checkout counter
coûter About this sound /ku.te/ to cost
C’est combien ?
Combien ça coûte ?
How much is it? lit: It's how much?
lit:How much it/that costs?
Combien coûte [nom] ? How much does [noun] cost? lit: How much costs [noun]?

Grammar · -e…er verbs [edit]

-e…er are regular -er verbs, but also are stem changing. The stem change applies to all forms except nous and vous. The stem change involves adding a grave accent ( ` ) over the e in the stem.

Formation[edit]

acheter Listen /aʃte/ ahsh-tay to buy
j'achète /a.ʃɛt/ (ah-sheht) I buy
tu achètes /a.ʃɛt/ (ah-sheht) you buy
il achète /a.ʃɛt/ (ah-sheht) he buys
nous achetons /a.ʃ(.ə)tɔ̃/ (ahsh-toh(n)) we buy
vous achetez /a.ʃ(.ə)te/ (ahsh-tay) you buy
ils achètent /a.ʃɛt/ (ah-sheht) they buy
acheté /aʃ(.ə).te/ ah-shuh-tay, Fr-acheter.ogg bought


Supplementary vocabulary · Other -e…er verbs [edit]

peser About this sound /pǝ.ze/ to weigh Je pèse 80 kilos. I weigh 80 kilos.
mener About this sound [[Media:Fr-mener.ogg|]] to lead, to take charge Le bus va nous mener au château. The bus will lead us to the castle.
emmener About this sound /ɑ̃məne/ to take off, take away or out
amener About this sound [[Media:Fr-amener.ogg|]] to bring (a person) Elle m'a amené en voiture à la gare. She gave me a lift to the station.
ramener About this sound /ʁamne/ to take back, bring back, restore
lever About this sound [[Media:Fr-lever.ogg|]] to raise, to lift
soulever About this sound /sul(ə)ve/ to raise

Supplementary examples [edit]

Il faut peser les abricots. You must weigh the apricots.
Louis va mener ce cours. Louis will lead this lesson.
L'équipe bleue mène 2 à 0. The blue team is leading 2-0.

Dialogue · At the market · Au marché[edit]

Marie (la cliente) Bonjour monsieur.
good morning sir.
Clément (le marchand) Bonjour madame.
good morning
miss.
Marie (la cliente) Qu'est-ce que vous avez à vendre ?
What do you have to sell?
Clément (le marchand) J'ai un grand choix de fruits et légumes.
I have a large range of fruits and vegetables.
Marie (la cliente) Très bien. Est-ce que vous avez des cerises ?
Very well. Do you have cherries?
Clément (le marchand) Oui… elles coûtent deux euros le kilo.
Yes… they cost two euros per kilo.
Marie (la cliente) Bon, je voudrais trois kilos, s'il vous plaît.
Good, I would like three kilos, please.
Clément (le marchand) Très bien, madame. Alors, pour trois kilos il faut payer six euros, s'il vous plaît.
Very well, miss. Then, for three kilos you need to pay six euros, please.

Vocabulary [edit]

Qu'est-ce que vous avez... ? What do you have?
Un grand choix A large range
Des cerises Some cherries
Elles coûtent deux euros le kilo They (feminine) cost two euros per kilo
Il faut It is necessary to, one must, you need to
vendre About this sound /vɑ̃dʁ(ə)/ to sell
payer About this sound /pe.je/ to pay

Vocabulary · Stores · Les magasins[edit]

le magasin About this sound /ma.ɡa.zɛ̃/ shop, store
le centre commercial mall, shopping centre
le grand magasin department store
le rayon About this sound /ʁɛ.jɔ̃/ department
la boutique About this sound /butik/ small store
la pharmacie About this sound /faʁ.ma.si/ pharmacy, chemist
le marché About this sound /maʁ.ʃe/ outdoor market
Foods stores
le supermarché supermarket
l'hypermarché (m) hypermarket, big supermarket
la boucherie About this sound Fr-boucherie.ogg butcher shop 1
la boulangerie
le dépôt de pain
About this sound /bu.lɑ̃ʒ.ʁi/ bakery
a place that sells bread 2
la charcuterie About this sound /ʃaʁkytəˈʁi/ delicatessen3
la crémerie dairy store
la pâtisserie About this sound Fr-pâtisserie.ogg pastry shop, pâtisserie
la poissonnerie About this sound /pwa.sɔn.ʁi/ seafood store, fishmonger
l'épicerie (f) grocery4
  1. French butchers do not sell pork, pork products, nor horsemeat. For these products, go to a charcuterie. However, a lot of boucheries are also charcuteries, and are called boucherie-charcuterie
  2. In France, bakeries only sell fresh bread; e.g. the bread is baked on site. Places where they sell bread that is not fresh are called dépôt de pain.
  3. 'Charcuteries' sell things besides pork products, including pâté, salami, cold meats, salads, quiches and pizzas.
  4. An alternative to an 'épicerie' is an alimentation générale (a general foodstore).

Grammar · -yer verbs [edit]

-yer verbs are irregular -er verbs. When y is part of the last syllable, it changes to i in order to keep the ay sound. In the present indicative of -yer verbs, this affects all forms except nous and vous. Some -yer verbs, such as payer, may optionally retain the y.

Formation[edit]

In the present indicative, payerto pay is conjugated as follows:

payer Listen /pe.je/ to pay
je paye (ou paie) Listen /pɛj/ I pay
tu payes (ou paies) /pɛj/ you pay
il paye (ou paie) Listen /pɛj/ he pays
nous payons /pe.jɔ̃/ we pay
vous payez /pe.je/ you pay
ils payent (ou paient) /pɛj/ they pay
payé /pe.je/ paid

Supplementary vocabulary · Other -yer verbs [edit]

appuyer About this sound /a.pɥi.je/ to press, to push, to rest (on)
employer About this sound [[Media:Fr-employer.ogg|]] to employ
ennuyer About this sound Fr-ennuyer.ogg to bore
essayer de About this sound /e.se.je/ to try J'ai essayé d'apprendre les mots. I tried to learn the words.
essuyer About this sound [esɥi'je] to wipe
nettoyer About this sound /ne.twa.je/ to clean
noyer About this sound Fr-noyer.ogg to drown, to water down J'ai noyé mon chien dans le fleuve. I drowned my dog in the river.
tutoyer About this sound /ty.twa.je/ to address using tu

Supplementary examples [edit]

Il va me payer 3 euros. He is going to pay me 3 euros.
Payez la cassière. Pay the cashier.
J'ai payé une amende. I paid a fine.
Il faut noyer le vin avec de l'eau. You must water down the wine.

Grammar · Irregular past participles [edit]

Many of the verbs you have learned so far have irregular past participles.

  • avoir: euhad /y/
  • croire: crubelieved /kʁy/
  • être: étébeen /e.te/
  • faire: faitdone /fɛ/
  • prendre: pristaken /pʁi/
  • voir: vuseen /vy/

Examples[edit]

J’ai vu ce film. I’ve seen this film.
Il a été blessé dans l'accident. He was injured in the accident.
Elle a fait du shopping ce matin. She went shopping this morning.
Ils ont pris une photo de la maison. They have taken a photo of the house.

Supplementary vocabulary · Clothing · Les vêtements[edit]

les vêtements habillés (dress clothes)
la chemise About this sound /ʃǝ.miz/ button down shirt
la cravate About this sound /kʁa.vat/ tie
le pantalon About this sound /pɑ̃.ta.lɔ̃/ pants
le costume
le complet
About this sound Fr-costume.ogg
About this sound /kɔ̃.plɛ/
suit
le manteau About this sound /mɑ̃to/ coat
le tailleur About this sound /ta.jœʁ/ woman's suit
la robe About this sound /ʁɔb/ dress
le chemisier blouse
la jupe About this sound /ʒyp/ skirt
les vêtements sport (casual clothes)
la casquette About this sound /kas.kɛt/ cap
le tee-shirt About this sound Fr-tee-shirt.ogg t-shirt
le pull(-over) About this sound /pyl/ a pullover, a sweater Il fait froid; je vais mettre mon pull. It's cold; I'm going to wear my sweater.
le sweat-shirt About this sound Fr-sweat-shirt.ogg sweatshirt
le blouson About this sound Fr-blouson.ogg jacket
le jean jeans
les chaussettes
les bas
les bas-culottes
les bas-culottes diaphanes
About this sound /ʃɔ.sɛt/
About this sound /bɑ/

socks
stockings
pantyhose
sheer pantyhose
les chaussures
les chaussures About this sound /ʃɔ.syʁ/ shoes
la paire de chaussures pair of shoes
les baskets About this sound /bas.kɛt/ basketball shoes, trainers
les sandales About this sound /sɑ̃dal/ sandals

Text [edit]

Exercises [edit]