Can You Translate These Basic French Phrases? II

EDUCATION

Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Think you know basic French like the back of your main? There are countless languages spoken across the world, and many people speak more than one. French, however, is unique, as it is one of the only languages that can be heard around the world because it is spoken natively on almost every continent. Throughout Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, the language of love is spoken by over 275 million people.

If you are wondering how French has traveled so well, with the exception of European French speakers, the rest is due to the era of colonialism. France had an empire stretching across the globe, even into the Americas. This is why the city of New Orleans, Louisiana has that famous French flair and Quebec, Canada is French-speaking to this day. In fact, 95% of Quebec's population speaks French as either their first or second language. North America is full of the influence and remnants of our French and Spanish colonial pasts, in places just as much as that of Great Britain.

If you think your basic French is on point, see if you can talk your way to a perfect score on this quiz! Bonne chance!

Ma femme est blonde.

While "femme" means woman in general in French, it has another meaning. It can also mean wife.

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Elle est belle.

Belle is an irregular French adjective. Its masculine form is "beau."

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J'ai trois oiseaux.

This translates to "I have three birds." The singular bird is "l'oiseau."

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Aimez-vous le chocolat?

In this phrase, both the formal you and inversion, which is more formal, are used. This is how you might address a stranger or someone you wish to show respect to.

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Il veut deux enfants.

This means, "He wants two kids." Other French words for young people include "les jeunes" which means "the youths."

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Le chapeau est jaune.

This means that, "The hat is yellow." If there is more than one hat, you would say "les chapeaux sont jaunes."

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Ce chat est mignon.

"Le chat" is a masculine noun. Here both the definite article "ce" and adjective "mignon" agree with its gender.

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Tu peux danser?

There are three ways to structure questions in French. In one you change nothing but the tone of your voice, the second is to say "Peux-tu danser?," and the third is to ask "Est-ce que tu peux danser?"

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Je veux du steak.

This means "I want steak." In French and English, the word for this type of meat is the same.

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Venez avec moi!

Interjections in French use the vous conjugation of verbs. These denote commands.

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Ce chien est rouge.

"Ce" is the masculine form of that. It agrees with the gender of the noun, in this case "le chien," which is masculine.

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Cette voiture est verte.

"La voiture" is a feminine noun. Both the definite article "cette" and adjective "verte" agree with its gender.

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Ma mère dort.

"Dormir," the French verb meaning to sleep, is an irregular verb. Do not try to conjugate it like regular -IR verbs.

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L'été est ma saison préférée.

Translated literally, this would read "The summer is my season favorite." Remember that English and French have very different grammar and syntax.

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As-tu froid?

Inverting the subject and verb and joining them with a dash is one way to ask questions in French. You can also simply phrase it "Tu as froid?" and raise your inflection to indicate it is a question.

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Mon oncle est un docteur.

"L'oncle" is French for uncle. Both "le docteur" and "le médecin" can be used to mean doctor.

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Mon mari voyage.

This sentences involves the conjugated verb "voyager," meaning "to travel." It is a regular -ER verb.

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Le ciel est bleu.

In French, the genders of nouns and the adjectives describing them must agree. Here, both sky and blue are masculine.

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La carotte est orange.

The color orange is the same in both French and English. It must agree with both the gender and amount of the noun it describes in French, however.

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J'aime manger des oeufs.

When using two verbs next to each other in French to describe how you feel about or will do another action, it is common to leave the second unconjugated. Here "manger," meaning "to eat," is left in its infinitive form.

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Est-ce que tu es prêt?

While inversion is a formal way of structuring questions in French, plopping "est-ce que" before a statement to make it a question is more every day. If you want to sound like a more natural French speaker in casual settings, opt for this way.

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Cette robe est moche.

"Cette" is the feminine form of "that" in French. Here, it agrees with the gender of "la robe," meaning dress.

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Allons-y!

This phrase is used to mean "Let's go!" It stems from the verb "aller," meaning "to go."

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Je ne bois pas de lait.

In French it is easy to say that you don't do something. Just wrap whatever verb you are negating in "ne....pas."

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Ces filles sont grandes.

In French, plural nouns all adopt the same articles, whether they are masculine or feminine in their singular form. While "la fille" is singular on its own, when there is more than one girl it becomes "les filles" or "ces filles."

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Les pommes sont petites.

Even though "la pomme" is a feminine noun in its singular form, it loses that when it becomes plural. All nouns in French adopt masculine articles when plural.

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Pourquoi est-ce que tu es parti?

"Pourquoi" is one of the most basic French question words. Here it is combined with "est-ce que," which is used to create an informal question.

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Mon anniversaire est en octobre.

With this phrase, you can say when your birthday is. If you are not an October baby, you can replace that word with any month, such as août or janvier.

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La lune est brillante ce soir.

"La lune" is a feminine noun, so brilliante matches its gender by ending with an "e." "Ce soir" literally translates to "this night," but is used to mean tonight.

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J'ai besoin de lunettes de soleil.

"J'ai besoin de" is used to indicate "I need," and any noun can be placed after it grammatically. "Lunettes de soleil" literally translate to "glasses of sun."

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Est-ce que tu m'aimes?

Here is one place French and English are very different. Here the pronoun is tacked onto the front of the verb.

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Elle est enceinte.

"Elle" is the French pronoun meaning "she." "Enciente" means pregnant.

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Mon ami est un acteur.

"L'ami" means friend. However, "Le petit ami" means boyfriend and "La petite amie" means girlfriend.

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Tu as faim?

In French there is no exact word for hungry. You don't say feel hungry, but use "avoir faim" which literally means "to have hunger."

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Elle court vite.

This means "she runs quickly." To make it negative you would say "elle ne court pas vite."

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