Learn French Online - Shopping
This is where most people get their most practice in speaking French. Asking for goods, asking the price, paying for the goods and getting change are a big part of being a visitor to another country.
The first thing you must do when you go into a shop is to say hello. There are still many small shops in France and other French speaking countries and when one enters a small shop, one is expected to say hello, even if you do not see the proprietor right away. In years past, most of these small shops were at the front of the proprietor's residence, so you were stepping into his home, and expected to greet him. So whenever you enter a shop say hello and address whoever is there:
"Bonjour, Madame (Monsieur)."
It's nicer still to ask how they are:
"Comment ca va?"
You can go back to Lesson 4 and look at all of the responses, but in a shop, they will probably reply "Bien, merci, et vous?", to which you can reply "Ca va, merci."
Let's visit a grocery store (une epicerie) and make some purchases (des achats).
"Est-ce que vous avez du beurre?" Do you have any butter?
We are introduced to a few more idioms, and we'll discuss another grammar rule. (We're trying to sneak them in painlessly.)
"Bien sur" literally means "well sure", but is used to mean "of course."
You may have noticed that the adjective describing a noun follows the noun, unlike in English. We talked about grey hair (les cheveux gris) and blue eyes (les yeux bleus). Most of the time, the adjective that describes a noun follows the noun, and must agree with it. This is why you will have "les yeux bleus"; since eyes is plural, the adjective "blue" must also be plural. But if you were wearing a blue sweater, you would say "Je porte un pull bleu." The exceptions are adjectives of size: "La grande maison", la petite fille."
Now let's practice shopping. We are going to use a tense that you won't use a lot at this stage of your French education. It is the subjunctive, and it is used to say "would". Just memorize the expression, because it is the polite way to ask for something. We would rather hear "I would like" than "I want", wouldn't we?
"Bonjour, Madame, j'aimerais un pull bleu". Hello, Madame, I would like a blue sweater.
As you know, the adjective has to agree with the noun. That is why "bruins" is spelled with an "s". Most of the time, it does not change the pronunciation, since the "s" is not pronounced. There are some adjectives that change their form when they change from masculine to feminine and, as you can see above, "white" is one of them. The masculine form "blanc" is pronounced "blong", but when you change it to feminine, the word becomes "blanche". When you consult your French English dictionary, it will show you both forms of an adjective, so you just have to use the right one with the noun you are describing.
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