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Flashcards in Lesson 11 Deck (101):

I am going to apologize to him later tonight

Je vais lui demander pardon plus tard ce soir

to apologize to - demander pardon à. You could also use the verb s'excuser or the expression présenter des excuses.


Are you going to feed the children?

Vas-tu nourrir les enfants?

to feed - nourrir, donner à manger


She has to feed the animals

Elle doit nourrir les animaux

an animal - un animal. Note the plural form.


What kind of pet do you have?

Quel type d'animal domestique avez-vous?

a pet - un animal domestique. Note that a more colloquial way of asking this would be Tu as quoi comme animal domestique?


The male is often larger and more muscular

Le mâle est souvent plus grand et plus musclé

a male - un mâle. Note that mâle is also an adjective. The term is normally used to talk about animals.


What is the difference between the male and the female?

Quelle est la différence entre le mâle et la femelle?

a female - une femelle. Like mâle, femelle can also be used as an adjective. This term is only used to talk about animals.


I have only two pets

Je n'ai que deux animaux domestiques

only - ne... que. If the sentence were "I only have pets" (without the specific number of pets), you would have to use the partitive: Je n'ai que des animaux domestiques. Another way of saying "only" is with the adverb seulement.


I have only two pets

J'ai seulement deux animaux domestiques

only - seulement. Recall that as an alternative, you can use the construction ne... que.


He only bought one thing today because he knows he will get Christmas presents. He bought one thing today only because he knows he will get Christmas presents

Il n'a acheté qu'une chose aujourd'hui parce qu'il sait qu'il va recevoir des cadeaux de Noël. Il a acheté une chose aujourd'hui seulement parce qu'il sait qu'il va recevoir des cadeaux de Noël

Note how the placement of que and/or seulement changes the meaning as far as what is qualified by "only."


I do not only have three cars, I have two boats too

Je n'ai pas que trois voitures, j'ai deux bateaux aussi

not only - ne... pas que. There are other ways of saying "not only," using seulement.


I do not only have three cars, I have two boats too

Je n'ai pas seulement trois voitures, j'ai deux bateaux aussi

not only - ne... pas seulement


Not only do I have two dogs, but I have three cats too

Non seulement j'ai deux chiens, mais aussi trois chats

not only - non seulement. This construction cannot stand alone and requires something to balance it; in this case, aussi serves that purpose.


I'm going to the pet store to buy some dog food

Je vais à l'animalerie pour acheter de la nourriture pour chien

a pet store - une animalerie


No one knows this personne

Nul ne connait cette personne

no one... - nul ne... This is a formal alternative to personne ne...


She is not going anywhere

Elle ne va nulle part

nowhere, not anywhere - ne... nulle part


We are going to buy a Christmas tree next week

Nous allons acheter un arbre de Noël la semaine prochaine

a tree - un arbre


There are hundreds of trees in this small forest

Il y a des centaines d'arbres dans cette petite forêt

a forest - une forêt. Note that "jungle" is jungle, which is also feminine.


(formal) Do you want to go hiking in the countryside?

Voulez-vous faire de la randonnée dans la campagne?

the countryside - la campagne


In France, we eat a lot of duck

En France, on mange beaucoup de canard

a duck - un canard


My uncle has a farm in the countryside

Mon oncle a une ferme à la campagne

a farm - une ferme


I hope that we will see the farm

J'espère qu'on va voir la ferme

to hope - espérer. Note how "to hope that" is espérer que + a verb in the indicative mood. "To hope for" or "to count on" is translated by espérer en + a noun.


What is the imperfect tense in French?

The imperfect tense (l'imparfait) is a descriptive form of the past tense. It denotes incomplete and/or repeated actions, or an ongoing state of being. It is used for past habits, descriptions, and actions of unspecified duration. The imperfect is most often translated in English as "was" or "was ___-ing."


How do you conjugate the imperfect tense?

Take the present tense nous form of the verb in question and drop the original ending. Then add the imperfect endings: ais, ais, ait, ions, iez, aient.

For example, the je form of arriver in the imperfect is j'arrivais.


In 2006, I was going to school every day

En 2006, j'allais à l'école tous les jours

Note the first-person singular in the imperfect tense of the verb aller. This is formed by taking the stem of the present tense nous form (all-) and adding the appropriate imperfect ending.


  • I was going
  • you were going
  • he/she/it was going
  • we were going
  • you (plural) were going
  • they were going

  • j'allais
  • tu allais
  • il/elle/on allait
  • nous allions
  • vous alliez
  • ils/elles allaient


He was studying. We were studying too

Il étudiait. Nous étudiions aussi

The imperfect root for this verb is étudi-, which results in a double "i" in both the nous and vous forms.


When he was nine, he studied very little

Quand il avait neuf ans, il étudiait très peu

Note the imperfect of the verb avoir. The imperfect is used here to describe a past habit.


She used to eat a lot

Elle mangeait beaucoup

The imperfect is used for past habits or states of being, so the imperfect of manger can convey that the subject "used to eat." The imperfect root of manger is mange-, except for the nous and vous forms, which don't need the "e": nous mangions, vous mangiez.


It was nice out yesterday

Il faisait beau hier

Note the imperfect of the verb faire, which takes the stem fais-. Also note how the imperfect is used to describe weather in the past. The imperfect is generally used for any physical and emotional descriptions in the past.


It was raining on my birthday

Il pleuvait le jour de mon anniversaire

Note that the imperfect stem of pleuvoir is pleuv-.


(formal) Were you lying to your mother?

Est-ce que vous mentiez à votre mère?


She believed in me

Elle croyait en moi


I was going to sit on the sofa, but it's no longer in the living room

J'allais m'asseoir sur le canapé, mais il n'est plus dans le salon


  • I was
  • you were
  • he/she/it was
  • we were
  • you (plural) were
  • they were

  • j'étais
  • tu étais
  • il/elle/on était
  • nous étions
  • vous étiez
  • ils/elles étaient

Être is irregular in the imperfect in that it doesn't use its present tense nous form as the stem.


When I was young, I often went to the supermarket near my house

Quand j'étais petit, j'allais souvent au supermarché près de chez moi

Note the imperfect of être. It is common to say quand j'étais petit to mean "when I was young" (rather than quand j'étais jeune).


We had just eaten

On venait de manger

In the past, the construction venir de + infinitive is conjugated in the imperfect.


He was in the process of making a meal

Il était en train de faire à manger

In the past, the construction être en train de + infinitive is used in the imperfect.


There was a student in the classroom

Il y avait un étudiant dans la salle

Note that the expression il y a can be used in tenses other than the present; simply conjugate avoir in the intended tense.


She was writing in her office. Meanwhile, I was taking a shower

Elle écrivait dans son bureau. Pendant ce temps, je prenais une douche

meanwhile - pendant ce temps. Note the imperfect tense of the verbs écrire and prendre.


He is in the middle of the street

Il est au milieu de la rue

the middle, the center - le milieu, le centre. Note that milieu can also mean "environment."


They played sports because they had free time

Ils faisaient du sport parce qu'ils avaient du temps libre

The imperfect is used here to describe an unspecified duration of time: the beginning and end of the past actions/conditions are not indicated. So even though the first verb's English translation is "played" instead of "were playing," the imperfect is appropriate.


In the past, people believed that the earth was (at) the center of the universe

Autrefois, on croyait que la terre était au centre de l'univers

in the past, formerly - autrefois, auparavant


I was going up the stairs when I fell

Je montais les escaliers quand je suis tombé

Both the imparfait and passé composé are used here. The imperfect is used to set the background of the scenario, which is then interrupted by the action in the passé composé.


The dog was hungry when we found it

Le chien avait faim quand nous l'avons trouvé

Note the use of both the imperfect and the passé composé here.


They were coming home when they decided to stop at the store

Elles rentraient à la maison quand elles ont décidé de s'arrêter au magasin

Note the use of both the imperfect and the passé composé.


They were skiing when I arrived

Ils faisaient du ski quand je suis arrivé


He was a professor at the time

Il était alors professeur

at the time, at that time - alors. Recall that this word most often means "so" or "then." Used like this, however, it takes on this different, time-related meaning.


You arrived as I was leaving

Tu es arrivé alors que je partais

while, as, at that time - alors que. Note that alors que can sometimes also mean "even though."


Marcel wanted to start even though Jules wasn't with us

Marcel voulait commencer alors que Jules n'était pas avec nous

even though - alors que. You can infer this meaning of alors que largely based on context. You can also say "even though" with the expression bien que.


You can do your homework while I watch the movie

Tu peux faire tes devoirs pendant que je regarde le film

while - pendant que, tandis que. An alternative is tout en: Je nettoie le salon tout en regardant un film -- "I clean the living room while watching a film."


She likes that song whereas I hate it

Elle aime cette chanson tandis que je la déteste

whereas, while (contradiction) - tandis que. Two alternatives with which to present opposition and/or contradiction are alors que and lorsque.


When I was young, I used to be afraid of dogs

Lorsque j'étais petit, j'avais peur des chiens

when, as soon as - lorsque. Used like this, lorsque means "when" and is thus a synonym of quand. Note, however, that it can also mean "as soon as" and is not always interchangeable with quand.


He has not seen you in a while

Il ne t'a pas vu depuis quelque temps

awhile, a while - quelque temps, un moment. Note that quelque temps is an adverb ("awhile"), whereas un moment is a noun ("a while").


There's a river somewhere in this jungle

Il y a une rivière quelque part dans cette jungle

somewhere - quelque part


How long had they been arguing when you went to bed?

Depuis combien de temps se disputaient-ils quand tu es allé te coucher?

Note how depuis is used here to show that something was happening in the past when something else occurred. When a past action interrupts another past action, both the imperfect and passé composé are used.


From the age of nine on, he was scared of animals

Dès l'âge de neuf ans, il avait peur des animaux

from, as soon as - dès, dès que. Dès que, "as soon as," is often employed with the future tense. Note also that dès lors means "henceforth" or "from then on."


The supermarket is open from 8 am on

Le supermarché est ouvert à partir de 8 heures

from - à partir de. This expression is used with dates, time, or places. It forms the basis of several other expressions, like à partir de maintenant ("from now on") and à partir de ce moment-là ("from then on").


I have no idea

Je n'ai aucune idée

no, none (of), not any (of) - ne... aucun. Note the agreement of aucun with the feminine noun that it's modifying.


I see some ducks. Now I see no ducks

Je vois quelques canards. Maintenant je ne vois aucun canard

Note how ne... aucun serves as the negative replacement for quelque(s).


I no longer have any pants

Je n'ai plus aucun pantalon

no longer any - ne... plus aucun. In this construction, aucun must agree with the noun being modified.


None of these houses is yellow

Aucune de ces maisons n'est jaune

none (of) - aucun (de)... ne. An "e" has been added to aucun since maisons is feminine. However, the verb is conjugated in the third-person singular because the singular aucune is the subject. Finally, note the negative ne before the verb.


They are not bright at all

Ils ne sont pas du tout brillants

not at all - ne... pas du tout


She did not buy a single shirt

Elle n'a acheté aucune chemise

Negative words (ne + pas/rien/etc.) usually surround the conjugated auxiliary verb in compound tenses. Personne, aucun, and nulle part are exceptions to this rule, and come after both the auxiliary verb and the participle. For instance, you cannot say Elle n'a aucune acheté chemise.


It is hardly possible

Il n'est guère possible

hardly - ne... guère. This construction is used formally.


I (simply) cannot do it

Je ne peux point le faire

not (for emphasis) - ne... point. This construction is used formally and for emphasis.


I'm going to call my mother later

Je vais téléphoner à ma mere plus tard

to call (someone) - téléphoner (à quelqu'un), appeler (quelqu'un). Téléphoner takes the preposition à; therefore, the verb takes an indirect object, whereas its English equivalent takes a direct object. Appeler, however, is like English in that it takes a direct object.


I'm going to send my mother a gift for her birthday

Je vais envoyer un cadeau à ma mère pour son anniversaire

to send - envoyer. Note that "to send something to someone" is envoyer quelque chose à quelqu'un.


He likes this play's characters as well as the fact that it takes place in Paris

Il aime les personnages de cette pièce ainsi que le fait qu'elle a lieu à Paris

as well as, like, just as - ainsi que


His company supports the poor

Son entreprise soutient les pauvres

to support - soutenir. This verb is the most appropriate translation of "to support"; one alternative is supporter, but that is an informal Anglicism that many consider incorrect. Note how the word pauvre can function as both an adjective and a noun.


I can't stand this kind of behavior!

Je ne supporte pas ce type de comportement!

to stand, to put up/deal with - supporter. This is a common use of this verb, which can also mean "to accept" or "to bear."


I was athletic but my brother was even more so

J'étais athlétique mais mon frère l'était davantage

more - davantage. This is a comparative word both signifying and emphasizing superiority. It is roughly translated by "more" and is usually placed at the end of sentences. Note the object pronoun l', representing the act of being athletic.


Our house is much smaller than theirs

Notre maison est beaucoup plus petite que la leur

smaller, the smallest - plus petit, le plus petit. These are the regular comparative and superlative forms of the adjective petit.


You guys don't have the slightest idea

Vous n'avez pas la moindre idée

the least, the slightest - le moindre


We prepared a meal that is superior to the one from last week

Nous avons préparé un repas qui est supérieur à celui de la semaine dernière

superior to - supérieur à. Note that the opposite structure also exists: "inferior to" -- inférieur à.


The more I go to school, the more I feel like learning

Plus je vais à l'école, plus j'ai envie d'apprendre

the more... the more - plus... plus. Note that the opposite construction also exists: "the less... the less" -- moins... moins.


There were so many people here that we couldn't find Christophe

Il y avait tant de personnes ici que nous n'arrivions pas à trouver Christophe

so many - tant de, tellement de


The flowers that Denis brought are beautiful

Les fleurs que Denis a apportées sont belles

a flower - une fleur


The flowers were growing very quickly

Les fleurs poussaient très vite

to grow - pousser. This verb is used with plants, while grandir is used with people. Growing animals are often described with the verb se développer.


Butterflies seem to love flowers

Les papillons semblent adorer les fleurs

a butterfly - un papillon


I was listening to the birds

J'écoutais les oiseaux

a bird - un oiseau. Note how the plural form takes an "x."


The horse crossed the river

Le cheval a traversé la rivière

a horse - un cheval. Note that the plural is chevaux, while "by horse" is translated by à cheval.


They were riding horses

Ils montaient à cheval

to ride (an animal) - monter à. Note how in French the kind of animal is shown in the singular.


I was running along the river when I fell

Je courais le long de la rivière quand je suis tombé

along - le long de. Note that this literally translates to "the length of."


He is not French. He comes from somewhere else

Il n'est pas français. Il vient d'ailleurs

elsewhere, somewhere else - ailleurs, autre part. Note that the expression par ailleurs means "otherwise" or "besides."


I have never liked cow's milk

Je n'ai jamais aimé le lait de vache

a cow - une vache. Note the word for "milk," lait, which is masculine.


Did you eat the rest of the chicken?

Avez-vous mangé le reste du poulet?

chicken - le poulet. Like in English, this word applies both to the bird and to the food. Note the noun reste, which of course refers to the "remainder" or "rest" of something.


When I was five years old, I wanted a rabbit

Quand j'avais cinq ans, je voulais un lapin

a rabbit - un lapin


It was a very fat pig

C'était un très gros cochon

a pig - un cochon, un porc. Only porc applies to the food, "pork."


Goat's milk is delicious

Le lait de chèvre est délicieux

a goat - une chèvre


We were going to the circus to see the animals

Nous allions au cirque pour voir les animaux

a circus - un cirque


They're going to go on a safari to hunt animals

Ils vont faire un safari pour chasser des animaux

a safari - un safari. Note the construction faire un safari. The literal translation of the English, aller sur un safari, is incorrect.


My daughter rode an elephant at the circus

Ma fille est montée sur le dos d'un éléphant au cirque

an elephant - un éléphant. Note the use of monter sur le dos d'un éléphant, "to ride on the back of an elephant," instead of monter à éléphant. As an alternative, some French speakers say monter un éléphant to avoid the awkward use of à éléphant.


The lion is often regarded as the king of the jungle

Le lion est souvent considéré comme le roi de la jungle

regarded/considered (as) - considéré (comme). Note that lion is a masculine noun.


You were always scared of tigers

Tu avais toujours peur des tigres

a tiger - un tigre


Is there a monkey in the tree?

Est-ce qu'il y a un singe dans l'arbre?

a monkey - un singe


The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world

La girafe est l'animal le plus grand du monde (entier)

a giraffe - une girafe. Note the use of du monde (entier) to mean "in the world."


The children obey their parents

Les enfants obéissent à leurs parents

to obey - obéir à. Note that in French this verb takes an indirect object.


By playing with her son, she forgot about her anxiety

En jouant avec son fils, elle a oublié son angoisse

anxiety, fear - l'angoisse. This is a feminine noun.


He is relieved to learn that he did not lose his ticket

Il est soulagé d'apprendre qu'il n'a pas perdu son billet

relieved - soulagé. This adjective is the past participle of the verb soulager, meaning "to relieve."


The bear was big and mean

L'ours était grand et méchant

a bear - un ours


Sheep's fur is used to make wool

La fourrure des moutons est utilisée pour (faire de) la laine

fur - la fourrure. Note the masculine noun for "sheep," mouton.