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French Lesson: At The Beach

Au Bord de la Mer. At the seashore. Mettons nos maillots de bain. Let's put on our bathing suits. Allons a la plage! Let's go to the beach! Nous pouvons jouer sur la plage et nour baigner. We can play on the beach and bathe. C'est meilleure quand la maree est bas. It's better when the tide is low. Regardez le grand bateau tout la bas a l'horizon . Look at the big boat over there on the horizon. Regardez le petit chalutier qui sort du port. Look at the little trawler going out of the harbor. Je pense qu'il part a la peche. I think it is going fishing. Demandons a ce vieux pecheur quels poisons on prend ici. Let's ask this old fisherman what fish they catch here. Pardon, monsieur. Quels sont les poissons que l'on peche par ici? Excuse me, sir. What fish are caught here? Nous nous contenterons de pecher la crevette et la moule, si toutefois il y en a. We are content (we content ourselves) with catching shrimp and mussels, if there are any. L'annee prochaine, je vais porter un perche. Next year, I'm going to bring my fishing pole. You see that a fish is “une pêche” , to fish is “pêcher and a fisherman is “un pêcheur” and  a fishing pole is un perche.  You will frequently find connections like this.  “Un demande” is a request, “demander” is to request and “un demandeur” is someone who makes a request, for example. A few old friends visit us in this passage, which affords us a little review. Imperative: Mettons, Allons, Regardez, Demandons. Si Il y en a: If there are any (of them). "On" means "one" or "you" or "we". Here is a "seaside" vocabulary:

La mer the sea

le maillot de bain bathing suit

La plage Beach

la serviette de bain bathing towel

Le brise-lames breakwater

le bonnet de bain bathing cap

La jetee pier

la vague wave

La tente tent

le banc de sable sandbank

La cabine de plage bathing cabin

la mouette sea gull

Le poste de sauvetage life guard station

la promenade the promenade

La bouee de sauvetage life-buoy

le quai the waterfront

La ceinture de natation life jacket

le canot row boat

L'ombrelle (f.) sun umbrella

le bain de soleil sun bathing

La piscine swimming pool

le nageur/la nageuse swimmer

  Our seashore visitors decided they would bring a fishing pole on vacation next year. This is a simple way to express the future, instead of having to remember all of the various endings for the future. Simply use "Aller" in the present tense and add the second verb in the infinitive. Aller

Je vais

I go/am going

Nous allons

We go/ are going

Tu vas

You go/ are going

Vous allez

You go/are going

Il/elle va

He/she/it goes/is going

Ils/elles vont

They go/are going

  Add an infinitive, and you now say I'm going to.. Je vais poster quelques cartes postales. I am going to send (post) some postcards. Qu'est-ce que tu vas faire? What are you going to do? Je vais faire une promenade. I am going for a walk (make a walk) Form some sentences of your own in the future tense, using aller and the infinitive.

What Did We Learn?

First, we'll practice the imperative.

    1. Let's put on our bathing suits and lets go to the beach!
    2. Look at the beautiful sand (sable)!
    3. Let's ask the fisherman what he is fishing for.
    4. The sea is cold; let's swim in the pool.
    5. Look at that big wave!

And now use "aller" to form the future tense.

  1. We are going to the beach tomorrow.
  2. Next week (la semaine prochaine) I am going fishing every day.
  3. He is going to put his rowboat at the pier.
  4. My mother is going to buy a bathing suit, a bathing towel and a sun umbrella. She is going on vacation .
  5. When (quand) is she going on vacation?

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Author: Amélie
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