Basics 1 – Lesson 1

Now you have the top 25 phrases, and some idea of accents, and word pronunciation, I recommend going to Duolingo and starting with Basics 1, Lesson1.

I would also encourage anyone taking the DuoLingo course to also use this site:

You can download all of the mp3’s used on the website by following the instructions found on the site. You will need a Mozilla Firefox browser, with the “DownloadThemAll!” add-on. Duolingo kind of throws you into the deep end, with the concept that you will learn through repetition and limited instruction. I do not agree with the strategy, so this blog will give you some study notes to work with. Duolingo has added some notes to their earlier lessons, after enough feedback from users prompted them to realize that adult learners need notes. I have notes of my own before each lesson.

This video covers the verbs: Être & Avoir, which you will need soon. You may also like this instructor’s style, and want to Learn French with Alexa on YouTube.

For flashcards:


La – feminine version of “the”
Une – feminine version of “the”

Le – masculine version of “the”
Un – masculine version of “the”

Je – “I”
Suis – the conjugation of the verb “to be”

Le garcon – The boy
Un garcon – A boy

La femme – The woman
Une femme – A woman

La fille – The girl
Une fille – A girl

Purpose of Module

To introduce you to two of the four definite articles in French:

le – (the) Masculine and singular.                      la – (the) Feminine and singular.

The third definite article is:

les – (the) Plural definite article. When using plural in French, gender is ignored, so there is only one form.

A forth form is also used: l’ – and this is the vowel-dependent form, used when the next letter in the sentence is a vowel, to allow the sentence to be said smoothly. Like “les”, you ignore gender.

The module also introduces us to two of the three indefinite articles:

un – Masculine and singular.                              une – Feminine and singular.

The third indefinite article:

des – Is a contraction of “de les“, or “of the plural”. Often used in the context of “some” or when talking about an indefinite amount of something. It is also vowel-dependent.

The module also introduces you to the present tense of the verb “to be”, which is “être”. The form used here is “I am” or “je suis” in French. The verb is conjugated as follows:

je suis – I am
tu es – You are (familiar)
il/elle est – He/She is
nous sommes – We are
vous êtes – You are (plural)
ils/elles sont – They are

Normally, the “h” in French is silent and treated like a vowel, so the definite article (le, la) is contracted to l’, as in l’huile (the oil)…but there are three exceptions. The words le héroes (hero, singular), le haricot (bean) and le hors-d’oevre (appetizer). I remember these by seeing Mr. Bean with a cape, and a giant toothpick sticking out of him, so a large man can eat him like an appetizer.

Other Helpful Links – Website that will conjugate a French verb, in all of its many tenses. – A site for translating a phrase from one language to another – The best site for translating a phrase from one language to another because it continues to expand the features found, and has audio pronunciation of both the source and the target languages.


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