[caption id="attachment_43" align="alignright" width="180"] Close-up of a man adjusting his tie --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis[/caption] Let's have a little role play with Robert, as he gets dressed in the morning and gets ready to go to work. Don't forget to rrrroll your "r"s so you sound as French as possible. Robert s'habille. Il met ses chaussettes, puis sa chemise, son pantaloon. Pour mettre (Row ber sa bee.Il meh say show set, pu ee sah sh mees, sohn pahn ta loon. Poor met ruh Robert gets dressed. He puts on his shoes, then his shirt, his pants. To put on sa cravate il va devant la glace; il se brosse les cheveux et se peigne. Apres sa krah vaht eel vah de von la glass; eel suh bross lay shuh vuh ay suh paign. Ah pray his tie, he goes in front of the mirror; he brushes his hair and combs it. After cela, il met son veston et ses souliers. Il ne se depeche pas, il prend son sell lah, eel meh sohn veston ay say soo lee ay. Eel nuh suh day pesh pah, eel prahn sohn that, he puts on his jacket and his shoes. He does not hurry, he takes his temps. A huit heures et demi, il descend et entre dans la salle a manger ou il mange le tom. Ah wheat uhr ay demi, eel day sahn ay on truh lah sal ah mahn jay oo eel mahnj luh time. At 8:30, he goes downstairs and enters the dining room where he eats petit dejeuner. puh tee day juh nay. breakfast. Did you notice a lot of reflexive verbs? Even in something like "He does not hurry"- "Il ne se depeche pas" we see that he ("il") does not hurry himself ("se"). There are many times you need to use this form when you are talking about how we do things. Here are some more examples: You should be able to figure out who we are talking about now. Il se lave les mains- He washes (is washing) his hands Elle se brosse les cheveux- She brushes (is brushing) her hair Ils se seche les mains- They dry (are drying) their hands Je me nettoie les dents- I clean (am cleaning) my teeth Something else to notice in French is that, since they refer to themselves in this construction, it is not necessary to say "my hands" or "my hair" but rather "the hands" and "the hair". Parts of the body are referred to as "the" rather than "my" or "your" or "his". Some examples: Elle a les yeux bleus_s (El ah laze yueh blueh) _She has blue eyes. Il a les cheveux courts (Eel ah lay shuh vuh coor) He has short hair. Also notice that hair is plural. In English, we say "my hair", but in French one says "the hairs". Try to put together a few expressions like the ones above, substituting some words. How about describing someone grey hair or green eyes or long hair or brown eyes? Grey-Gris (gree) Green- Vert (vair) Long- Longues (lohng) Brown- Bruin (bru in) As you can see, it is a matter of plugging in the right descriptive word with the right person; as long as you keep doing this will all of the sentences you learn, you will build your French faster and faster.
What Did We Learn?
- Say in French: Robert goes in front of the mirror. He goes in front of the mirror.
- Say in French: Robert does not hurry. He does not hurry.
- Say in French: At 8:30, Robert goes downstairs and he eats his breakfast
- They dry (are drying) their hands: Ils se _____ les mains.
- I clean (am cleaning) my teeth: Je me nettoie les _____.
- Now describe yourself: J'ai les cheveux_____, j'ai les eux____.
- Say in French: Robert has green eyes and he has brown hair.
- Now practice with your family (you may have to look back to find the titles of your relatives): My mother has grey hair. My sister has brown eyes, etc.
- Now practice with some clothing. My mother is putting on her brown shoes. My sister is putting on her green skirt.
- Now try substituting the article: She is putting on her brown shoes. She is putting on her green skirt.