Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1. Articles: Homme/Femme and Nouns

In french, most things has articles. Article is what you use to describe whether it is a feminine, or a masculine. You could memorize all of the articles, whether it is a masculine, or a feminine. But I think from what I have seen so far, most articles are masculine and only some of them are feminine. I sometimes re-check it on the internet though hahaha, but if you want to be a fluent French speaker, maybe you should memorize it.

Indefinite Articles
Or in English, we use "a" (a house, a building, an airplane, etc). In French, "un" is the article for the masculine noun, and "une" is the article for the feminine noun- I think it also works on adjectives. Those are for the singular nouns. If the noun is plural, the you'd use "des" whether it is masculine or feminine.

un avion (an airplane)
un bateau (a boat)
un chat (a cat)
un cheval (a horse)
une valise (a suitcase)
une plage (a beach)
une pomme (an appel)
des crevettes (shrimps)
des pommes (apples)
des bateaux (boats)

Definite Articles
The definite articles in English uses "the" and in French it is "le" for masucline and "la" for feminine. And then again, it is "les" whether it is masculine or feminine

le père (the father)
l'homme (conjucted from le homme means "the man" or "man")
le pays (the country)
le pont (the bridge)
la valise (the suitcase)
la mère (the mother)
la mer (the sea) haha you must becareful with this one and the one above, it kinda pronounced the same
les étoilés (the stars)
les couleurs (the colors)
les parents (the relatives)

Note: Where as in English we won't use "the", sometimes in french we add these articles although it doesn't literally translates as "the"

For example:
normally people would say "J'aime la magie" rather than "J'aime magie" although in English we would mean "I love magic", not "I love the magic"
So use "J'aime la magie"

Demonstrative Pronouns
"this", "that", "these", "those" in english. There are some of these things such as ceci, cela, and ça but I don't fully understand those. I could try to explain it to you but I would sound stupid and it wouldn't accurate. So it's best to look here if you want to learn it further. What I understand for demonstrative pronoun is "this" which translate as "ce" in french. As usual, "Ce" is for masculine and "Cette" is for feminine, and so "Ces" is for plural whether it is masculine or feminine. Although there is something else, you use "Cet" when the noun begins with mute h (for example: cet homme)

ce jardin (this garden)
ce navire (this ship)
ce billet (this ticket)
cet homme (this man)
cet hôtel (this hotel)
cette tour (this tower)
cette femme (this woman)
cette signature (this signature)
ces livres (these books)
ces poissons (these fishes)
ces animaux (these animals)

Plural Nouns
As you have seen earlier, the plural nouns for example in the previous articles, some simply end with "s" but some don't. You see in French, to make a noun plural mostly you just add "s" to it (and also change the article of course). But if the noun already ends with "s", "x", or "z" you don't need to add anything. Add "x" to make nouns plural which ends with "eau", "eu", or "ou" (e.g. l'oiseau -> les ouiseaux). Change "al" to "aux" to make noun which ends with "al" plural (e.g. animal -> animaux)

But you don't have to worry about the pronunciation (it's the writing you have to worry about, haha seriously) because usually there aren't any difference in pronunciation between the singular noun and the plural one. Well, it's not certain. The pronunciation really depends on the sentences. The best you could do is listen to a lot of french sentences or stuff to enhance your pronunciation. Mispronuncation could mean very different things in French.

la étoilé -> les étoilés (star/stars)
la valise -> les valises (suitcase/suitcases)
le pays -> les pays (country/countries)
le bureau -> les bureaux (office/offices)
le taureau -> les taureaux (bull/bulls)
l'oiseau -> les oiseaux (bird/birds)
l'hôpital -> les hôpitaux (hospital/hospitals)
le animal -> les animaux (animal/animals)

Les Couleurs
In addition to your french vocabs, I would like to teach you the colors I know in French. Just for fun.
Black = Noir
White = Blanc
Red = Rouge
Pink = Rose
Green = Vert
Brown = Marron
Blue = Bleu
Purple = Violet
Yellow = Jaune
Orange = Orange
Gray = Gris
Blonde = Blond
Brown (as in hair) = Brun

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