Food – Lesson 1

Study Tip – I mentioned mnemonics the other day, and have shown you several of the ones I used when I had to solidify the genders of basic words. You may not like the ones I use because they work for me, based on cultural biases, and may not work for you. The idea is to train your brain to go to an image, phrase, or thought before any others, when the word is seen or heard. An example…alligator. It’s the same written word in both English and French, but what is the gender? If it was feminine, I would have an alligator handbag appear in my mind first, by telling myself to see that first. If it was masculine, I would see the mascot of the University of Florida, since it is definitely masculine.

BTW, the word is l’alligator (masculine). I do not limit myself to images however, why should I? I may not have a suitable image, but rather a phrase (le singe – monkey – Hey, Hey we’re the Monkees!), or a color (red, rose, pink, orange, yellow are feminine/blue, black, brown, green are masculine). As long as you understand the rules and associations, and can easily process a word quickly, encoding and decoding the memory aid, the mnemonic will work. I even have a coupled mnemonic where a guy tries to give a lady money (bread, pain, masculine) and she hits him with a baguette (feminine). Works for me, and that’s all that matters.


La – the (feminine)
viande – meat
Tomate – tomato
sandwich – sandwich
Baguette – baguette (bread)
soupe – soup

Go to the French Speaking dictionary to get familiar with food vocabulary, there are several food sections here:

Purpose of Module

Introduce vocabulary associated with food, and continue examples of feminine/masculine nouns and adjectives, as well as verb conjugation


J’aime le sandwich, merci – I love the sandwich, thank you
Je mange une tomate – I eat the tomato
L’homme mange de la viande – The man eats some meat
La femme mange un sandwich – The woman is eating a sandwich
Les enfants mangent de la soupe – The children eat soup
Nous mangeons la nourriture – We eat the food
Nous mangeons de la viande – We eat some meat / We eat meat
Tu manges la baguette – You eat the baguette
Tu manges un sandwich – You are eating a sandwich
Tu manges la nourriture – You eat the food
Une femme mange un sandwich et une orange – A woman eats a sandwich and an orange
Vous mangez un sandwich – You eat a sandwich


Very easy module, but you may be surprised by “tu manges”, because it sounds like “chew mahnj” and you’ll probably answer “je mange”. By now you probably realize that the program will take either form of present tense, i.e. You eat a sandwich / You are eating a sandwich.

You will see “du” often. This is “of the” and means “some” or an unknown quantity of something. “Du” is a contraction of “de and le”. New nouns that are either masculine or feminine in the food lessons are as follows:

Masculine  Un, Le,

Du (de + le = du)

sandwich, oignon, oeuf, pain, riz, vin, café, repas, thè, beurre, banana, fromage, poisson, carotte, bonbon, sucre, poulet, gâteau, sel, porc, poivre, chocolat, citron, jus, raisin, boeuf, alcool, eau
Feminine  Une, La salade, bière, boisson, crêpe, confiture, huile, viande, tomate, soupe

mnemonics – (masculines) – sandwich (the Earl of Sandwich), oignon (dude smells like an onion), oeuf (obvious), pain (guy spends money, or “bread”), riz (guy throwing rice), café (Mr. Coffee), repas (meal time guys!), thè (Mr. T), beurre (buttering up the boss), banana (obvious), fromage (smelly guy), poisson (fisherman), carotte (obvious), bonbon (bobo the clown), sucre (suckerpunch), poulet (game of chicken), gâteau (football player Marc Gastineau), sel (salty dog), porc (porky pig), poivre (pepper spraying), chocolat (guy giving heart shaped box), citron (sour puss), jus (steroids), raisin (obvious), boeuf (beefcake), alcool (drinkers), eau (cliff divers)

mnemonics – (femines) – soupe et salade (dieting), bière (St. Pauli’s girl), boisson (looks like “bosom”), crêpe (women hate creeps), confiture (Laverne and Shirley in a jam), huile (oil wrestling), viande (cow, not steer), tomate (check out that little tomato), baguette (she hits with a baguette)


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