FREN 100 AMU Week 8 French I American Military University assistance is available on Domyclass
Week 8 Overview
- Welcome to the last week, Class! This week, you will learn to employ French structures, vocabulary for Materials and Merchandise, Weight and Speed, Young and Old, Comparing and Contrasting, Size, and Preference. You will complete Rosetta Stone and our final assessment activities (short essay and multiple choice). You will also post your final forum assignment.
Students will be able to:
- Employ French structures, sounds, and vocabulary for Comparing and Contrasting, Size, Preference
- Employ French structures, sounds, and vocabulary for Materials and Merchandise, Weight and Speed, Young and Old
In this lesson, we will discuss: Materials and Merchandise, Weight and Speed, Young and Old, French Culture, Comparing and Contrasting, Size, Preference, and Final Assessment Activities.
- Language Basics
- Materials and Merchandise
- Work and School
- Shopping The following activities and assessments need to be completed this week:
- Week 8 Lesson
- Week 8 Forum
- Readings and Resources
- Assignment: Rosetta Stone, Unit 4, Lessons 3 and 4
- Short Essay Exam under Tests
Topics to be covered include:
- Materials and Merchandise
- A Review of French Culture
- Exam Preparation
- Course Overview
This lesson marks the end of French 100. Many of you will likely to go on to continue studying French in other courses, like French 101. You now have the foundation you need in conversational French, and likely have decided whether or not you wish to continue your studies in French or even wish to visit or study in France.
In Lesson 8, you will learn more about daily activities and interactions, including the vocabulary to describe merchandise, like clothing, jewelry, or even building materials. When you are describing items, you may need to talk about what they are made of, or about the style of the garment or object. This lesson also teaches you how to compare different things, and discuss whether they are larger or smaller, younger or older. Finally, in this lesson, you will learn about measurements in France, including size, speed, weight, and temperature.
Along with the new material included in this lesson, you will find a review of French culture, including expected behavior and interactions in France. In addition, you will find suggestions to prepare for your final examination, and a course overview.
Materials and Merchandise
In Lesson 7, you learned all about le shopping. In French, if you’re talking about shopping for clothing or other goods, you will use le shopping. If you are speaking of “grocery shopping,” instead of saying le shopping, you will say les courses. The shopping, as in “Have you brought in the shopping?” is also les courses. If you are talking about “going shopping,” the correct phrase is partir faire or aller faire les magasins or les boutiques; or, literally translated, “going to do the stores.”
When you are shopping, you have to choose from a variety of “merchandise,” or la marchandise. You have already learned how to talk about costs and currency, but you may want to talk about merchandise in terms of quality and materials, rather than just cost.
If you are visiting France, you may want to purchase clothing. You have already learned a little bit about clothing sizes in France, but you may also need to discuss different types of clothing materials.
When you discuss clothing, you may also want to discuss what you are wearing. The word for to wear is porter. It is a regular –er verb, so the conjugation is simple.
If you are describing a garment, you can use either de or en to refer to the type of fabric. Take a look at some examples:
|J’achète un blouson de cuir.||I buy a leather jacket.|
|Je veux un pull de laine.||I want a wool sweater.|
|Il porte un manteau de laine.||He is wearing a wool coat.|
|Elle porte une robe en dentelle.||She is wearing a lace dress.|
|Avez-vous acheté une robe robe du soir en soie pour la fête?||Did you buy an evening gown in silk for the party?|
You can also talk about the style of clothing, not just the fabrics. You may, for instance, want to talk about the sleeves on a garment. To talk about the sleeves, you will say à manchescourtes/longues/trois-quarts. The language is the same for men’s and women’s garments, but a “man’s shirt” is typically une chemise, and a “woman’s shirt” un chemisier. If you’re referring to a “sleeveless garment,” it is sans-manches. A dress or top with thin straps is described as des petites bretelles. The term sans bretellesis used to describe a “strapless top or dress.” and un débardeurrefers to a “tank top.”
|Je porte une robe sans bretelles.||I am wearing a strapless dress.|
|Il achète une chemise à manches longues.||He is buying a long-sleeved shirt.|
|Elle porte un chemisier à manches trois-quarts.||She is wearing a three-quarter sleeved shirt.|
You may also want to describe garments you wear on the bottom of your body, like a pair of pants, shorts, or a skirt. If you are referring to a very short skirt or dress, you will add mini– before the word jupe or robe. A “miniskirt” is une mini-jupe. A “minidress” is une mini-robe. In English, we often refer to skirts or dresses as above or below the knee. The same is true in French; au-dessus du genou is “above the knee” and au-dessous du genou is “below the knee.” Note that the only difference is in the words dessus and dessous. Longue and courtemay also be used to describe skirts or dresses.
To discuss the length of pants, you will use different words, rather than descriptors or adjectives. Un pantalon is a “pair of pants;” you will not use the plural unless you are referring to multiple pairs of pants. Un jean is a “pair of jeans” (and is pronounced like the English jean, not the French Jean), and un short is a “pair of shorts.” Un bermuda is a “pair of knee-length shorts,” and un capriis a “pair of above the ankle pants.” “Leggings” are un caleçon; however, this is also the word used for men’s boxer shorts. You will also see des leggings used.
If you have bought an “evening dress,” une robe du soir, for a formal party, a gentleman will wear un costume (a suit) or un smoking (a tuxedo). The language around men’s formalwear can be a bit confusing, as unevesteis a “suit jacket” and a “vest” is un gilet.
While you might shop for clothing, you could also be shopping for other goods, and may need to discuss different types of materials that are not textiles. The same grammatical construction is used for both textiles and other types of material. You can use the noun with de or en and the name of the material. “Materials” are des matériaux in French. For instance, you might talk about des matériaux de construction or “construction materials.” You can also talk about what toys, jewelry, furnishings or other goods are made of.
|L’or jaune||Yellow gold|
|L’or blanc||White gold|
|L’or rose||Rose gold|
These words can be used to describe a variety of different objects.
|J’achète une bague en argent.||I am buying a silver ring.|
|Elle cherche des boutons de manchette en argent pour son mari.||She is looking for gold cufflinks for her husband.|
|Nous visitons l’église en pierre.||We are visiting the stone church.|
J’achète une bague en or. What is the best translation?
|I am buying a silver ring.|
|I am buying a gold shirt.|
|I am buying a gold necklace.|
|I am buying a gold ring.|
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Weight, Speed, and Size
Depending upon what you wish to purchase or where you are going, you may need to discuss both weight, speed, and size in French. These are all measurements. France uses the metric system, and relies upon weights, rather than measures in many circumstances, including cooking.
Understanding basic conversions will help you when shopping, cooking, or managing a number of other tasks in France or in French. Some metric measurements are relatively common in the United States, like the liter. Others are less common or less frequently used.
One of the big differences between France and the United States involving measurement is found in cooking. In the United States, recipes rely upon volume measurements, like cups and tablespoons. In France, ingredients are measured by weight, using a small kitchen scale. You will see recipes that call for a number of grams of a given ingredient.
|1 gramme (g)||.0353 ounces|
|1 kilo(gramme) (kg)||2.204 pounds|
|1 centimètre (cm)||.393 inches|
|1 mètre (m)||3.281 feet|
|1 kilomètre (m)||.621 miles|
|1 centilitre (cl)||.021 US pint|
|1 litre (l)||.264 US gallon|
Temperature and Speed
Temperature is also measured differently in France. In the United States, temperature, outside of a scientific environment, is measured in degrees Fahrenheit. In France, it is measured in degrees Celsius. In degrees Celsius, the freezing point of water is at 0 degrees. The boiling point is at 100 degrees. A room temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit is 21 degrees Celsius, and the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is 37 degrees Celsius.
In the United States, speed, in the context most commonly used, is measured in miles per hour. In France, it is measured in kilomètres per hour. France has two different sets of speed limits for roads, one for dry weather, and one for wet weather. Wet weather limits are applied for new drivers, within two years of receiving their license. Town, or built-up, limits apply at the town sign, not the first speed limit sign, and radar speed checks are common. Traffic cameras may use radar and issue tickets, even if you are not aware of the camera or radar.
Dry weather limits
Wet weather limits
Penalties for speeding and other driving infractions are quite stiff; if you’re caught speeding on a traffic camera, you may be subject to a fine of up to 375 Euros. If you are travelling more than 50 km over the speed limit (31 miles), your car may be confiscated, and you can lose your driver’s license for driving more than 25 km over the speed limit. Other fines and penalties are quite high, including penalties for driving while intoxicated.
Which of the following is the toll highway speed limit in dry, ordinary weather?
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Comparing and Contrasting Size
You have learned a number of words describing size in French already, like petit, gros, and grand. These are not the only words that describe size. As with English, there are many different words to describe things that are bigger or smaller, both independently and in relation to one another.
Two of those words are introduced in the discussion on clothing; long and court or “long” and “short.” You might also use high and low to describe size or position. The word for “high” is haut, and for “low” is bas. Light and heavy are also words that describe size. “Light,” meaning not heavy, is léger. “Heavy” islourd.
To make comparisons, you will use comparative adverbs. Comparative adverbs are used to compare the relative inferiority or superiority of two or more things. There are three different types of comparisons:
- Superiority is a type of comparison characterized by the use of -er or “more” in English.
- Inferiority is indicated, in English, by the use of “less.”
- Equality shows that two things are the similar or same, using words “like” or “as” in English.
When you are making comparisons in French using adjectives, you will usually use one of three different words to make that comparison:
Plus, moins and aussido not change to match the noun or adjective, but should be used with an adjective that matches the number and gender of the noun. All three of these comparative adverbs are used before the adjective.
When you compare two things, and the antecedent for one of those two things is not in the sentence or implied by the context of the sentence, it needs to be added to the end of the sentence, using que or than.
Consider the examples and comparisons shown here. These each have an implied comparison:
|Cet arbre est moins grand.||This tree is less large.|
|Ce vélo est plus grand.||This bicycle is larger.|
|Ce chien est aussi gros.||This dog is as fat.|
The sentence is becomes more complex when there is not an implied antecedent. Each of the sentences shown in the basic comparatives can be rephrased to include both nouns in the comparison.
|Cet arbre est moins grand que l’autre.||This tree is less large than the other.|
|Ce vélo est plus grand que le mien.||This bicycle is larger than mine.|
|Mon vieux chemisier est plus petit que mon nouveau chemisier.||My old shirt is smaller than my new shirt.|
These examples all rely upon size. However, the same basic comparative strategy is used for other types of comparisons. You can use plus, moins, and aussito compare adjectives, adverbs, or to show change over time.
Young and Old
You already know how to tell someone how old you are, as well as how to use the words young, or jeune, and old, or vieux.
First, you should review how you talk about age. Remember, age is referred to with the structureavoir _____ ans. In French, you will always include the duration of time.
|Il a cinq jours.||He is five days old.|
|Elle a cinq mois.||She is five months old.|
|Ilsont cinq ans.||They are five years old.|
You may have noticed that you have not learned a great deal about asking about age. While it is fully acceptable to ask a child’s age, it is not considered polite to ask an adult’s age, particularly a woman’s. If you do want to ask someone’s age, remember to use avoir, notêtre.
|Quelâgeavez-vous?||How old are you?|
|Elle a quelâge?||How old is she? (casual)|
When you talk about age, you may need to talk about years. French has two words for years. You have learned one of them, an (ans in the plural). Annéealso means year in French. In most cases, you will use an/ans rather than année. Annéeis used in a number of specific phrases; for instance, you would sayl’annéedernièrefor last year andl’annéeprochainefor next year.
There are two different verbs that refer to growing up or growing older; one is used for children and the other for adults. The comparison to growing up and growing older is an accurate one, as it applies in English as well. In French, these two verbs are grandir (to grow) and vieillir(to age). While less common, rajeuniris occasionally used; it refers to getting younger or appearing younger. These are all regular -ir verbs, and are conjugated as such. Grandir can also be used in a number of other contexts, like the growth of plants. Less often, you will see another word for grow, croître.
While using jeune is fairly straightforward, there are some complexities to using vieux. Some of these are grammatical, and others are cultural. Vieux changes rather significantly; in the masculine singular, it is normally vieux; however, when used before a noun beginning with a vowel or h, it is replaced by vieil. In the feminine, vieuxbecomes vieille. In the plural, vieuxis the masculine and vieilles the feminine.
One common phrase, un vieilami, should be read in the same way you would in English. This is an old friend, not a friend who is old. If you need to describe your friend as elderly, you will need to say un ami qui estvieux.
As in English, it is not terribly polite to describe someone as old. Instead, you might say pas trèsjeuneor d’un certain âge. You also need to avoid using les vieux to mean the elderly; this is considered insulting and quite rude. If you need to refer to the elderly, you can use les seniors or les personnesâgées.
Which of the following is the most polite way to discuss a woman’s age?
|Elle est une vieille femme.|
|Elle est une femme d’un certain âge.|
|Elle a plus d’années que les autres.|
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French Culture Review
Throughout this course, you have learned about French manners, culture, and society. You should know enough about French culture now to avoid any significant faux pas or ill behavior. As this is the last lesson in your course, this discussion of culture reviews what you have learned throughout the course.1/10
- Formal cultureFirst, it is, in all your dealings with the French, essential to remember that French culture is a formal culture. First names and the use oftu, rather than vous, come with friendship, not casual acquaintances. Expect to address acquaintances and individuals in a professional or academic setting as Madame, Monsieur, or by a professional title. Avoid using first names or tuuntil you are asked; these rules are typically less stringent among younger people, like students. If someone introduces themselves by a first name only, you may use it, and can assume that the ability to use tu comes with first names.
In past lessons, you have had the opportunity to read through sample French conversations. Today, you will read a conversation between two students in France; they are out shopping. The students’ names are Sophie and Adalie.
Sophie: Nous allons faire les magasins aujourd’hui?
Adalie: Oui, bien sûr. J’ai besoin d’une robe du soirpour le bal.
Sophie: J’ai besoin d’une robe aussi. J’ai besoin d’acheter des chaussures.
Adalie: Je porte mes vieilles chaussures.
Sophie: Vas-tu acheter une robe ensoie?
Adalie: Non, je vais acheter une robe en dentelle. Je veux visiter la nouvelle boutique.
Sophie: Où est la nouvelle boutique?
Adalie: C’est près de l’église.
Sophie: Je veux une robe courte pour le bal. Je ne porte pas de robes longues.
Adalie: La boutique, c’est là.
Sophie et Adalie: Bonjour Madame. Nous voulons acheter des robes pour un bal.
Exam Study Guide
As this course concludes, you should make sure that you are particularly comfortable with the description of hobbies, description of daily routine, vocabulary associated with families, and description of animals and places. Be certain that you not only know the vocabulary associated with each of these, but how to structure sentences and use the vocabulary correctly.
Each week in this course has covered different topics, with some topics reviewed for additional and ongoing practice. Here, you will find a quick summary of each lesson, including all of the content you should have covered in that week, in the course.
You will find it helpful to review the lessons in this course, the discussion forums, the quizzes, and your work with Rosetta Stone. In addition, if you have a French-speaking friend or willing victim, practice!
In this lesson, you have expanded your overall knowledge of French, including the ability to discuss materials and merchandise, comparisons, measurements, size and age. Your vocabulary has increased, and you now have the tools you need to handle cooking and driving in France. You have even read a conversation between two French students shopping for dresses for a formal dance. You have reviewed the basics of French culture, and have had the chance to consider what to expect on your final examination in this course.
Congratulations on completing French 100 and best of luck on your final exam!
In this course, you have learned the basics of conversational French, from the alphabet to small talk. You should be able to successfully order a meal, go shopping, introduce yourself, and find your way in France. While the French have a reputation of being reserved, or even snobbish, they are likely to be much friendlier if you accommodate French cultural norms and do your best to speak French whenever you are able.
You have also learned to ask if others can speak English and to talk about your own ability to speak French. You know how to ask people to speak slowly or to repeat themselves, as well as how to ask for help with unknown vocabulary. Throughout France, the French love their language; it is a source of great pride. Because of that, you are likely to find that people are willing and happy to help you practice your French, improve your pronunciation, or learn new vocabulary.
These are the basic skills you need to make a trip to France a wonderful experience. Hopefully, you now feel at least relatively confident having a conversation in French with a new acquaintance, and making sure that you can navigate, meet your needs, and enjoy your interactions in French.