French › Level three lessons › Work · Le travail

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Grammar review · Present perfect [edit]

Auxiliary verb formation[edit]

The auxiliary verb is always either avoir or être . When the auxiliary verb is conjugated in the passé composé the auxiliary verb is conjugated in the present indicative:

J'ai fini.I have finished.

Past participle formation[edit]

  • -er verbs: replace -er with é
  • -ir verbs: replace -ir with i
  • -re verbs: replace -re with u

Past participle agreement [edit]

The past participle must agree with the direct object of a clause in gender and plurality if the direct object goes before the verb.

If the direct object is masculine and singular, there is no change:

J'ai fini le jeu.I have finished the game.
Je l'ai fini.I have finished it.

If the direct object is feminine and singular, add an e to the past participle:

J'ai fini la tâche.I have finished the task.
Je l'ai finie.I have finished it.

If the direct object is masculine and plural, add an s to the past participle:

J'ai fini les jeux.I have finished the games.
Je les ai finis.I have finished them.

If the direct object is feminine and plural, add an es to the past participle:

J'ai fini les tâches.I have finished the tasks.
Je les ai finies.I have finished them.

Avoir or être ?[edit]

In most circumstances, the auxiliary verb is avoir . However, under certain situations, the auxiliary verb is être . This occurs when the verb is reflexive or is one of sixteen special verbs that take être (note that when a direct object is used with these verbs, avoir is used).

Grammar review · Infinitives [edit]

The formation of a conjugated verb + infinitive is the same in French as it is in English: conjugate the first verb, then append the infinitive.

Aimer
J'aime jouer au tennis.I like to play tennis.
J'aime lire le journal au lit.I like to read the newspaper in bed.
Devoir
Venir
Vouloir
Je veux aller au centre commercial.I want to go to the mall.

However, when one uses vouloir to request something of someone else, one must use the subjunctive:

Je veux que tu fasses la vaisselle.I want you to do the dishes.
Pouvoir
Faire causitif
Je le fais réparer.I have it fixed.
Futur proche
Je vais aller.I'm going to go.

Pronouns[edit]

Pronouns come before the verb they modify:

Je vais le voir.I'm going to see it.

Negation[edit]

Either the conjugated verb or the infinitive can be negated, each with different meanings:

Je n'aime pas marcher.I don't like to walk.
J'aime ne pas marcher.I like to not walk.

Dialogue [edit]

Culture · Work life in France [edit]

Vocabulary · At work [edit]

travailler to work
travailler pour to work for (somebody)
l'employé (m)
l'employée (f)
About this sound Fr-employé.ogg employee

Vocabulary · The office [edit]

Supplementary vocabulary · Professions [edit]

l'agriculteur (m)
l'agricultrice (f)
About this sound [a.ɡʁi.kyl.tœʁ]
About this sound /a.ɡʁi.kyl.tʁis/
farmer
l'architecte (m or f) About this sound /aʁʃitɛkt/ architect Il a fallu toute une équipe d'architectes pour concevoir ce nouvel avion. It took a whole team of architects to design the new aircraft.
l'avocat (m) About this sound /a.vɔ.ka/ lawyer Votre avocat a fort bien plaidé. Your lawyer argued well.
le/la comptable About this sound /kɔ̃.tabl/ accountant
le cuisinier
le chef
la cuisinière
la cheffe
About this sound [[Media:Fr-cuisinier.ogg|]]
About this sound /ʃɛf/
About this sound [[Media:Fr-cuisinière.ogg|]]
About this sound /ʃɛf/
cook Cet homme est un très bon cuisinier.
Cette femme est une très bonne cuisinière.
This man is a very good cook.
This woman is a very good cook.
le/la dentiste About this sound /dɑ̃tist/ dentist
l'écrivain (m)
l'écrivaine (f)
About this sound /e.kʁi.vɛ̃/
About this sound /e.kʁi.vɛn/
writer
le/la fonctionnaire About this sound /fɔ̃k.sjɔ.nɛʁ/ civil servant
le garçon
le serveur
la serveuse
About this sound /ɡaʁsɔ̃/
About this sound /sɛʁ.vœʁ/
About this sound /sɛʁ.vøz/
waiter
waitress
Garçon, l'addition s'il vous plait. Waiter, the bill please.
le gardien About this sound /ɡaʁ.djɛ̃/ guard
l'homme d'affaires (m)
le businessman
la businesswoman
About this sound /ɔm d‿a.fɛʁ/
About this sound /biz.nɛz.man/
businessperson
l'informaticien (m)
l'informaticienne (f)
About this sound /ɛ̃.fɔʁ.ma.ti.sjɛ̃/
About this sound /ɛ̃.fɔʁ.ma.ti.sjɛn/
computer specialist, IT worker
l'ingénieur (m)
l'ingénieure (f)
About this sound /ɛ̃.ʒe.njœʁ/ engineer
l'interprète (m or f) About this sound /ɛ̃.tɛʁ.pʁɛt/ interpreter Ils se parlent par interprète.
Vous nous servirez d’interprète.
They speak through an interpreter.
You serve us as an interpreter.
le/la journaliste About this sound /ʒuʁ.na.list/ journalist
le/la juge About this sound /ʒyʒ/ judge Le juge a rendu la sentence ce matin. The judge issued the sentence this morning.
le marchand
la marchande
About this sound /maʁ.ʃɑ̃/
About this sound /maʁ.ʃɑ̃d/
merchant
le médecin About this sound /me.də.sɛ̃/ doctor Ma mère est médecin scolaire. My mother is a school doctor.
le musicien
la musicienne
About this sound /my.zi.sjɛ̃/
About this sound /my.zi.sjɛn/
musician Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz sont de grands musiciens, des musiciens célèbres. Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, and Berlioz are famous musicians.
le/la peintre About this sound /pɛ̃tʁ/ painter
le pharmacien
la pharmacienne
About this sound /faʁ.ma.sjɛ̃/
About this sound /faʁ.ma.sjɛn/
pharmacist, chemist
le plombier About this sound /plɔ̃.bje/ plumber Il faut faire venir le plombier pour réparer cette conduite d’eau. We must have the plumber come to repair the water line.
le policier
la policière
About this sound /pɔ.li.sje/
police officer
le politicien
la politicienne
About this sound /pɔ.li.ti.sjɛ̃/
About this sound /pɔ.li.ti.sjɛn/
politician
le pompier About this sound /pɔ̃.pje/ firefighter Les pompiers se sont rendus maîtres du feu. The firefighters have gained control of fire.
le postier About this sound /pɔstje/ postal worker
le professeur About this sound /pʁɔ.fɛ.sœʁ/ teacher, professor
le/la psychiatre About this sound /psi.kjatʁ/ psychiatrist
le soldat
la soldate
About this sound /sɔl.da/
About this sound /sɔl.dat/
soldier L’officier doit veiller aux besoins du soldat. Ce capitaine est un père pour ses soldats. The officer must ensure the needs of the soldier. The captain is a father to his soldiers.
le traducteur
la traductrice
About this sound /tʁa.dyk.tœʁ/
About this sound /tʁa.dyk.tʁis/
translator
le vendeur
la vendeuse
About this sound /vɑ̃dœʁ/
About this sound /vɑ̃.døz/
salesperson

Supplementary vocabulary · Office supplies [edit]

Text · Unemployment · Le chômage[edit]

Avant j'avais un travail : je travaillais dans une banque. Mais la banque a fermé et je me suis retrouvé au chômage. Je n'ai plus de travail et j'en cherche tous les jours. Je lis les petites annonces et j'envoie des lettres de candidature. Je n'ai pas souvent de réponses. Mais aujourd'hui, j'ai obtenu un entretien d'embauche. Avec un peu de chance, j'obtiendrai le travail…

Exercises [edit]