Chapitre 4 – Mary Arrive À Paris

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Story

Click the audio bars below to listen to the slow, normal and street French recording of this fourth chapter of French Today's free French audiobook.

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Nous sommes à la gare du Nord, à Paris. L’Eurostar de Londres vient d’arriver, et une jeune fille blonde descend. Elle a une valise bleue. Son voisin de train, qui descend aussi à Paris, propose de l’aider avec sa valise.
We are at the “gare du Nord” train station in Paris. The Eurostar train from London has just arrived, and a young blond girl is getting off the train. She has a blue suitcase. Her train seat mate, who is also getting off in Paris, offers to help her with her suitcase.

Pierre

Attends ! Ta valise est lourde, je vais t’aider !

Wait! Your suitcase is heavy, I’m going to help you!

Mary

C’est vraiment gentil, merci.
That’s very kind of you, thanks.

Pierre

Je t’en prie. Tu as une grosse valise !
You are welcome. You have a big suitcase!

Mary

Oui, mais souviens-toi que je vais être à Paris pendant trois mois !
Yes, but remember I’m going to be in Paris for three months!

Pierre

Vu comme ça... Bon, tu as mon numéro de téléphone, appelle-moi, d’accord ?
Looking at it this way... Well, you have my phone number, call me, OK?

Mary

D’accord. Merci Pierre, à bientôt.
OK. Thank you Pierre, see you soon.

Pierre

Au revoir Mary. Bonne chance !
Bye Mary. Good luck!

Mary marche sur le quai. Sa voiture est à la fin du train, et elle doit marcher beaucoup pour arriver à la gare ! Heureusement, sa valise a des petites roulettes, et elle roule bien. Un jeune garçon court dans sa direction. Il s’arrête devant elle.
Mary is walking down the platform. Her car is a the end of the train, and she must walk a lot to arrive at the station! Fortunately, her suitcase has small wheels, and it rolls well. A young boy runs in her direction. He stops in front of her.

Paul

Bonjour. Est-ce que vous êtes bien Mademoiselle Joe ?

Hello. You are Miss Joe, aren’t you?

Mary

Mais oui Paul, c’est bien moi ! Je suis vraiment contente de te rencontrer ! Mais Paul, tu peux me dire “tu”, et aussi m’appeler Mary, bien sûr !
Well yes Paul, it’s me all right! I’m so happy to meet you! But Paul, you can use “tu” to talk to me, and of course also call me Mary!

Paul

D’accord, Mary, merci ! Tu es comme sur la photo. Viens, mes parents sont là-bas.

Ok Mary, thanks! You really look like your picture. Come, my parents are over there.

Paul et Mary arrivent au bout du quai. Un homme blond et une femme brune leur font des signes de la main.

Paul and Mary reach the end of the platform. A blond man and a brunette are waving at them.

Anne

Bonjour Mary, je suis Anne Castel, et voici mon mari Gérard.

Hi Mary, I am Anne Castel, and this is my husband Gérard.

Mary

Enchantée de faire votre connaissance.

It’s very nice meeting you.

Gérard

Nous aussi ça nous fait plaisir de finalement te rencontrer. Tu as fait bon voyage ?

We are also pleased to finally meet you. Did you have a good trip?

Mary

Oui, très bon merci.

Yes, very good, thanks.

Anne

Le trajet dure combien de temps ?

How long is the trip?

Mary

Environ trois heures. Plus une heure de voiture pour aller chez moi.

About three hours. Plus an hour by car to go to my place.

Anne

Bon, et bien nous sommes garés au parking. Encore une demi-heure de voiture, et c’est fini ! Tu dois être un peu fatiguée.

OK, well we’re parked at the parking lot. Another half an hour by car, and you’re done! You must be a bit tired.

Mary

Non, pas du tout. Je suis très contente d’être ici. J’ai hâte de voir votre appartement, et de commencer mon travail de jeune fille au pair. Paul a l’air charmant, je suis sure qu’on va devenir de bons amis !

No, not at all. I’m very happy to be here. I’m impatient to see your flat/apartment, and to begin my work as an au pair. Paul looks charming, and I’m sure we’re going to become good friends!

Chapters 3 and 4 were written at an intermediate beginner French level (A1-A2). This is the level of A Moi Paris, Level 2 - Meet the Gang

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Questions and Answers

Q&A Audio

1. À quelle gare parisienne le TGV arrive-t-il ?

In which Parisian station does the TGV arrive?

Il arrive gare du Nord.

It arrives in gare du Nord.

2. Pierre propose de faire quoi ?

What does Pierre offer to do?

Il propose d’aider Mary avec sa valise.

He offers to help Mary with her suitcase.

3. Pourquoi ça ?

Why?

Parce que la valise de Mary est lourde.

Because Mary’s suitcase is heavy.

4. Combien de temps Mary va-t-elle rester à Paris ?

For how long is Mary going to stay in Paris ?

Elle va y rester trois mois.

She’ll stay there for three months.

5. Qui court pour accueillir Mary ?

Who runs to welcome Mary?

C’est Paul.

Paul does.

6. Comment Paul s’adresse-t-il à Mary ?

How does Paul address Mary?

Il dit “Mademoiselle” et il utilise “vous”.

He says “Miss” and he uses “vous (you formal).

7. Comment Paul a-t-il reconnu Mary ?

How did Paul recognize Mary?

Parce qu’elle est comme sur sa photo, et ils sont amis sur Facebook.

Because she is like on her picture, and they are friends on Facebook.

8. Combien d’heures de trajet représente le voyage de Mary depuis chez elle à Londres à chez les Castel ?

How many hours of traveling is Mary’s trip taking from her home in London to the Castel’s home?

Trois heures de train, une heure de voiture depuis chez Mary, une demi-heure pour aller chez les Castel. Ça fait quatre heures et demie au total.

Three hours of train, one hour of car drive from Mary’s home, half an hour to go to the Castel. It sums up to a total of four hours and a half.

9. La voiture est garée où ça ?

Where is the car parked?

La voiture est au parking.

The car is in the parking garage.

10. Mary à hâte de faire quoi ?

What is Mary impatient to do?

Elle a hâte de voir l’appartement et de commencer son travail.

She is impatient to see the flat and to start her work.

Study Guide: French Adjectives

Study Guide Audio

1. What is an adjective?

An adjective describes a noun or a pronoun in different ways:

1. A descriptive adjective indicates a quality: tall, blond, intelligent.

2. A possessive adjective shows possession: my book, their dogs.

3. A demonstrative adjective points out a noun: this book, that dog.

4. An interrogative adjective asks a question about a noun: what book, which dog?

French adjective follow very different rules than their English counterparts !!

2. What is different between French and English adjectives?

French adjectives have two very different behaviors than English ones:

1. They usually come after the noun:
Une valise bleue.
In English, most adjectives come before the noun: a blue suitcase

2. They agree in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) with the noun /pronoun they modify : Une fille blonde, des garçons blonds.
In English, adjectives don’t change : a blond girl, blond boys.

This means that in French, each time you use an adjective, you must first analyze the word that it modifies:

1. Is it a masculine or feminine word?

2. Is it a singular or plural word?

3. And for some adjectives, does it start with a consonant, or a vowel or a silent h?

Then, you will have to make the adjective match (in grammar we also use the word agree) with the noun or pronoun it modifies.

And finally, you will have to remember to place your adjective AFTER the noun (for most cases, there are some exceptions).

This too will take some training and getting use to :-)

3. How do I make an adjective agree with a feminine word?

The basic rules to make an adjective feminine are the following :

1. If your masculine adjective ends in a consonant, add a silent “e”. The consonant (which is going to be silent in the masculine form) will then be pronounced because of the “e” (the “e” itself is silent).
Il est blond - ends in a silent “d”.
Elle est blonde - the “de” is now pronounced.

2. If your masculine adjective ends in a “e” (very common in French), no change in spelling nor pronunciation.
Il est jeune, elle est jeune.

3. Watch out! If the masculine adjective ends in a “é” (“e” with an accute accent), you will add an “e” for the feminine, but the pronounciation will remain the same.
Il est fatigué, elle est fatiguée.

4. How do I make an adjective agree with a plural word?

The basic rule is easy. You add a silent “s”. Since this “s” is silent, there will be no difference in pronunciation between a singular and a plural adjective, the only difference will be in writing.

La voiture est garée - the car is parked

Les voitures sont garées - the cars are parked

  • These are the basic rules, but of course, there are many, many exceptions. It’s kind of crazy because in my experience, students often know the exceptions better than they can use regular adjectives. It’s because traditional method only talk about the exceptions, and don’t spend enough time practicing with regular adjectives.

    I have dedicated a whole audiobook to French adjectives. This audiobook will teach you everything you need to know about how French adjectives work, provide lists of truly useful adjectives, and give you the audio practice you need to master them.