Entrons dans le salon d'une famille francaise. Let's go into the living room of a French family.
Le salon est meuble avec beaucoup de gout. The living room is furnished in very good taste (a lot of taste).
A gauche, nous trouvons deux grandes fenetres. On the left, we find two large windows.
Les fenetres du salon donnent sur une petite cour. The windows of the living room look onto (give on) a little court.
En face des fenetres, il y a le divan et le fauteuil autour du tapis. Opposite the windows are the sofa and the armchair, situated around the rug.
C'est un beau divan, fauteuil. The sofa and armchair are beautiful.
La bibliotheque a beaucoup des livres. Cette famille aime lire. The bookcase has a lot of books. This family likes to read.
La table basse est devant le divan. The coffee table is in front of the sofa.
Pres du fauteuil, il y a une lampe. Near the armchair, there is a lamp.
Des beaux tableaus et des belles plantes sont partout. Beautiful paintings and lovely plants are everywhere.
Sur les murs, il y des photographies de paysages de France. On the walls, there are photographs of French landscapes.
La television, la chaine stereo, le magnetoscope sont sur le mur sur l'autre cote de la bibliotheque. The television, stereo and VCR are on the wall on the other side of the bookcase.
C'est tres gentile. It is very nice.
Ca vous plait? Do you like it?
Tant mieux. Very much.
La famille est ravis que vous serez de cet avis. The family is delighted that you think so.
Let's have a look at some of the uses we see in the story.
Autour de- Around. We need to put "de" (of) for this construction. Things are not just "around" something, but "autour de quelque chose". Note that since "le tapis" is masculine, it becomes "autour du".
Aime lire- Love to read. The infinitive "lire" already includes the understood"to".
Ca vous plait? We have become used to the expression "S'il vous plait". Literally translated, it means "If it pleases you". In the informal, you would say "S'il te plait".
Here we are saying "That pleases you?", substituting that for it. In the informal, it would be "Ca te plait?", remembering that the object "te" is before the verb "plait".
Tant mieux- Very much. Tant is used to mean "so much, so many". (Be careful not to confuse it with Tante, which means Aunt. Since there is an "e" at the end, the second "t" is pronounced. For "tant", you only pronounce a nasal "n" -tahn.) "J'ai tant des choses a faire." "Il y a beaucoup de meuble dans le salon."
Ravis que- Thrilled that. This expression goes a bit beyond “pleased”. For example, you might normally say “Enchanté de faire votre connaisssance”, “Pleased to make your acquaintance”, but if it is someone you have been especially anxious to meet, you may say “ravis de faire votre connaissance”.
De cet avis- of this opinion. “Changer d’ avis.” Change one’s mind. Literally, “To change of opinion.”
As your French improves, you may want to jot down such expressions and sprinkle them in your conversation whenever you see an occasion.
What Did We Learn?
Le salon d'une famille francaise est meuble avec beaucoup __ ____.
Nous trouvons beaucoup des ____ ________ (beautiful paintings).
La _________ a beaucoup des livres.
Pres du _______, il y a une lampe.
Ca vous plait? Ca __ plait beacoup
The chairs are around the rug.
There are photographs of the family on the walls.
There is a large photograph of Aunt Louise and Uncle Martin.
I am pleased to make your acquaintance.
I have changed my mind.
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