French › Level one lessons › Recreation · Récréation

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By the end of this lesson, you should understand:
Aimez-vous ce film ? Oui, je l'aime.
Nous jouons aux cartes.

and possibly understand:

Je lui donne le livre.
Il adore jouer aux jeux vidéo.

Dialogue [edit]

Grammar · Regular -er verbs · Les verbes en -er[edit]


Most French verbs fall into the category of -er verbs. To conjugate, drop the -er to find the stem or root. Add endings to the root based on the subject and tense.

jouerto play /ʒwe/
Pronoun Ending Verb Pronunciation
je -e joue About this sound /ʒu/
tu -es joues About this sound /ʒu/
il/elle -e joue About this sound /ʒu/
nous -ons jouons About this sound /ʒwɔ̃/
vous -ez jouez About this sound /ʒu.e/
ils/elles -ent jouent About this sound /ʒu/

Pronunciation, elision and liaison[edit]

The -e, -es, and -ent endings all have the same silent pronunciation. The -er and -ez endings are pronounced About this sound /e/ , and the -ons ending is pronounced About this sound /ɔ̃/ .

In all conjugations, je changes to j ' when followed by a vowel or silent h:

J'aime…I like…
J'habite…I live…

In all plural forms, the s at the end of each subject pronoun, normally unpronounced, becomes a z sound and the n of on becomes pronounced when followed by a vowel.

Conjugation examples[edit]

Infinitive Stem Present indicative conjugation
First person Second person Third person
aimer aim J' aime Tu aimes Il aime Singular
Nous aimons Vous aimez Ils aiment Plural
parler parl Je parle Tu parles Il parle Singular
Nous parlons Vous parlez Ils parlent Plural
habiter habit J' habite Tu habites Il habite Singular
Nous habitons Vous habitez Ils habitent Plural
écouter écout J' écoute Tu écoutes Il écoute Singular
Nous écoutons Vous écoutez Ils écoutent Plural

Supplementary vocabulary · Common -er verbs [edit]

aimer About this sound /ɛ.me/ to like J’aime beaucoup ce tableau. I love this painting.
arriver About this sound /a.ʁ to arrive, to happen
chercher About this sound /ʃɛʁʃe/ to look for Je cherche du boulot. I'm looking for some work.
demander About this sound /dǝ.mɑ̃.de/ to ask (for)
donner About this sound /dɔ.ne/ to give
écouter About this sound /ekute/ to listen to J’écoute la radio. I'm listening to the radio.
entrer About this sound /ɑ̃t.ʁe/ to enter Il entre dans la salle. He's entering the room.
parler About this sound /paʁle/ to speak, to talk Zoé parle couramment le français. Zoé speaks French fluently.
passer About this sound / to pass, to spend (time)
porter About this sound /pɔʁ.te/ to carry, to wear Quentin porte un sac de blé. Quentin is carrying a bag of wheat.
regarder About this sound /ʁǝ.ɡaʁ.de/ to watch
sembler About this sound /sɑ̃.ble/ to seem, to resemble
trouver About this sound /tʁ to find, to surprise

Vocabulary · Places [edit]

la bibliothèque About this sound /bi.bli.jɔ.tɛk/ library caution: a librairie is a bookshop On est à la bibliothèque publique. We are at the public library.
le parc About this sound /paʁk/ park
la piscine About this sound /pi.sin/ swimming pool
la plage About this sound /plaʒ/ beach
le restaurant About this sound /ʁɛʁɑ̃/ restaurant On dîne au restaurant français. We are dining at the French restaurant.
la salle de concert concert hall
le cinéma
la salle de cinéma
About this sound / cinema
le casino
la maison de jeu
About this sound / casino Les jeux de casino sont des bons exemples de jeu de hasard. Casino games are good examples of games of chance.
la salle de jeux About this sound /sal.də.ʒø/ game room, playroom Le casino a six salles de jeu. The casino has six game rooms.
le stade About this sound /stad/ stadium
le théâtre About this sound /te.atʁ/ theater

Grammar · Direct object pronouns le, la, and les [edit]

The direct object pronoun le (Listen /lə/), meaning it or him, replaces masculine singular direct objects:

Je donne le livre au prof. (I'm giving the book to the teacher.)
Je le donne au prof. (I'm giving it to the teacher.)

La (Listen /la/), meaning it or her, replaces feminine singular direct objects:

Je donne la calculatrice au prof. (I'm giving the calculator to the teacher.)
Je la donne au prof. (I'm giving it to the teacher.)

Les (Listen /le/), meaning them, replaces plural direct objects:

Je donne les livres au prof. (I'm giving the books to the teacher.)
Je les donne au prof. (I'm giving them to the teacher.)

Le and la become l' before a vowel:

Aimez-vous le concert ? Oui, je l'aime. (Do you like the concert? Yes, I like it.)

Le, la, and les can replace either people or things:

Aimez-vous le film ? Oui, je l'aime. (Do you like the film? Yes, I like it.)
Aimez-vous l'acteur ? Oui, je l'aime. (Do you like the actor? Yes, I like him.)


masculine singular direct object le Listen /lə/ (luh) it, him
feminine singular direct object la Listen /la/ (lah) it, her
singular direct object, before a vowel l' /l/ it, him, her
plural direct object les Listen /le/ (lay) them


Vocabulary · Sports, games, and instruments [edit]

The verb jouer /ʒwe/ is a regular -er verb meaning to play. It can be used to refer to sports, games, and instruments.

When referring to sports or games, jouer à … is used; recall that au /o/ replaces à le, and aux /o/ replaces à les:

Je joue au baseball.I'm playing baseball.
Nous jouons aux cartes.We are playing cards.

When referring to instruments, jouer de … is used; recall that du /dy/ replaces de le, and des /dɛ/ replaces de les:

Je joue du piano.I'm playing the piano.

Supplementary vocabulary · Sports [edit]

le baseball About this sound /bɛz.bol/ baseball
le basket About this sound /bas.kɛt/ basketball
le football About this sound /fut.bol/ football/soccer Il est un bon joueur de football. He is a good football player.
le football américain About this sound /fut.bolʁi.kɛ̃/ American football
le golf About this sound /gɔlf/ golf
le tennis About this sound /te.nis/ tennis
le volley About this sound /vɔː.le/ volleyball

Supplementary vocabulary · Games · Les jeux[edit]

le jeu (les jeux) About this sound /ʒø/ game Nous avons plein de jeux pour les enfants. We have many games for the children.
le jeu de hasard game of chance Poker est un jeu de hasard.
Il joue aux jeux de hasard.
Poker is a game of chance.
He plays games of chance.
le jeu vidéo About this sound /ʒø vi.deo/ video game Ce jeu vidéo est très difficile. This video game is very difficult.
le jeu de société About this sound /ʒø də sɔ.sje.te/ board game
le jeu de rôle role-playing game
les cartes About this sound /kaʁt/ cards
les dames About this sound [daːm] checkers/draughts
les échecs About this sound /e.ʃɛk/ chess Le jeu d’échecs a des règles complexes. The game of chess has complex rules.
les dés About this sound /de/ dice

Supplementary vocabulary · Instruments [edit]

la clarinette About this sound /kla.ʁi.nɛt/ clarinet Le son de cette clarinette est agréable. The sound of this clarinet is nice.
le piano About this sound /pja.nɔ/ piano Elle joue du piano depuis l’âge de trois ans. She plays the piano since the age of three.
la guitare About this sound /ɡi.taʁ/ guitar
le violon About this sound /vjɔ.lɔ̃/ violin On danse au son du violon. We are dancing to the sound of the violin.
la batterie About this sound /batʀi/ drums singular in French

Supplementary grammar · Indirect object pronouns lui and leur [edit]

The indirect object pronoun lui /lɥi/ means to him or to her:

Je lui donne le livre.I'm giving the book to him/her.
Je lui donne un coup de main.I'm giving a hand to him/her.

Likewise, the indirect object pronoun leur /lœʁ/ means to them:

Je leur donne le livre.I'm giving the book to them.
Je leur donne un coup de main.I'm giving a hand to them.

Lui replaces à [person]:

Je parle à Jean.I'm speaking to Jean.
Je lui parle.I'm speaking to him.

Likewise, leur replaces à [people]:

Je parle à Jean et Marie.I'm speaking to Jean and Marie.
Je leur parle.I'm speaking to them.

Lui and leur usually only refer to people; they will sometimes also be used in reference to things.


Supplementary grammar · Conjugated verb + infinitive [edit]

Like in English, some verbs can be followed by infinitives. Three -er verbs used in this manner are aimer, adorer, and détester:

Nous aimons jouer aux cartes.We like to play cards
Je déteste jouer au golf.I hate playing golf.
Il adore jouer aux jeux vidéo.He loves to play video games.


Supplementary grammar · To have fun · S'amuser[edit]

The verb s'amuser means to have fun in English. It is a type of pronominal verb (a verb that includes a pronoun as part of it) called a reflexive verb, which means that the action of the verb is reflected back onto the subject. Literally translated, the verb means To amuse oneself.


Infinitive Stem Present indicative conjugation
First person Second person Third person
s'amuser amus Je m' amuse Tu t' amuses Il s' amuse Singular
Nous nous amusons Vous vous amusez Ils s' amusent Plural


Je m'amuse avec mes amis.I enjoy with my friends.

Dialogue [edit]

Exercises [edit]

ExerciseFill in the blank using jouer

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Fill in each blank with the correct form of jouer.

nous ______ nous jouons
elle ______ elle joue
tu ______ tu joues
il ______ il joue
elles ______ elles jouent
vous ______ vous jouez
je ______ je joue
ils ______ ils jouent

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Translate from French to English.

le théâtre theater
le parc park
la piscine swimming pool
la salle de jeux game room, playroom
le restaurant restaurant
le stade stadium
le cinéma
la salle de cinéma
la plage beach
le casino
la maison de jeu
la salle de concert concert hall
la bibliothèque library

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Translate from English to French.

restaurant le restaurant
game room, playroom la salle de jeux
theater le théâtre
concert hall la salle de concert
swimming pool la piscine
cinema le cinéma
la salle de cinéma
casino le casino
la maison de jeu
library la bibliothèque
stadium le stade
beach la plage
park le parc

Supplementary exercises [edit]


(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Translate from French to English.

porter to carry, to wear
donner to give
regarder to watch
écouter to listen to
parler to speak, to talk
entrer to enter
aimer to like
demander to ask (for)
sembler to seem, to resemble
trouver to find, to surprise
passer to pass, to spend (time)
chercher to look for
arriver to arrive, to happen

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Translate from English to French.

to find, to surprise trouver
to look for chercher
to give donner
to watch regarder
to carry, to wear porter
to speak, to talk parler
to enter entrer
to arrive, to happen arriver
to listen to écouter
to seem, to resemble sembler
to like aimer
to ask (for) demander
to pass, to spend (time) passer
ExerciseFill in the blank using -er verbs

(Highlight or hover over a line to show the answer.) Fill in each blank with the correct form of the -er verb in parentheses.

nous ______ (parler) nous parlons
elle ______ (chercher) elle cherche
tu ______ (écouter) tu écoutes
il ______ (entrer) il entre
elles ______ (regarder) elles regardent
vous ______ (aimer) vous aimez
je ______ (demander) je demande
ils ______ (sembler) ils semblent
nous ______ (donner) nous donnons
tu ______ (arriver) tu arrives
on ______ (porter) on porte
ils ______ (chercher) ils cherchent
nous ______ (demander) nous demandons
je ______ (regarder) je regarde
vous ______ (sembler) vous semblez
on ______ (aimer) on aime
elles ______ (donner) elles donnent
vous ______ (chercher) vous cherchez