My Class Essay In French

Writing about Family in French: Teacher Section

*Teacher: Some students aren't comfortable talking about their families, so I tell them it's ok to make it up! The whole point is to use the vocabulary and to put together sentences.

A. Le Vocabulaire / Vocabulary

Begin by introducing basic vocabulary. I use un/une a lot, and always tell my students to learn words with those, so they’ll more easily remember the gender. It’s not as important with a word whose gender is obvious, but it’s a good practice. (Note: be sure to remind them about le and la becoming l’.)

1. Qui / Who:

*Teacher: You may have to add words to fit different family make-ups. Hint: If "sœur" is difficult for them, remind them to ignore the -o and that leaves them with -eu.

  • une mère / mother
  • un père / father
  • un fils / son
  • un garçon / boy
  • un frère / brother
  • une fille / daughter, girl
  • un mari / husband
  • un homme / man
  • une femme / wife, woman
  • un grand-père / grandfather
  • un petit-fils / grandson
  • une tante / aunt
  • un oncle / uncle
  • un cousin / male cousin
  • une cousine / female cousin
  • une sœur / sister
  • un(e) enfant / child
  • une nièce / niece
  • un neveu (-x) / nephew
  • une grand-mère / grandmother
  • une petite-fille / granddaughter

2. L'État Civil / Marital Status:

*Teacher: Once again, you may have to add words to fit different family make-ups. Remind them of the difference between "mari" and "marié."

  • célibataire / single
  • fiancé(e) / engaged
  • décédé(e) / deceased
  • veuf / veuve / widower / widow
  • marié(e) / married
  • divorcé(e) / divorced
  • remarié(e) / remarried

3. Les Adjectifs Possessifs / Possessive Adjectives:

Possessive adjectives personalize your writings about your family. You wouldn't want to constantly say, "I have a mother. I have a brother. I have an aunt." You can use the different forms of "my" (mon, ma, mes) to vary your sentences.

4. Les Verbes / Verbs:

You won't need a lot of verbs to talk about your family: Être, avoir and habiter should be enough for most descriptions.

*Teacher: I find examples often work best, but if you'd like you can spend time talking about the basic verbs they'll need--or even ask them what verbs they think they'll need! I have sample sentences for you in section II. Don't forget to talk about "habiter" (live, reside/where) with a city, with states and streets, and how it differs from "vivre" (live/how, when). You may also want to talk about the difference between using "chez" and "avec."

B. Les Phrases / Sentences

*Teacher: Examples tend to work best, so I’ve included some basic sentences to cover many situations. You can add as many as you'd like, and your students can take notes on their copies. Don't forget to remind your students to also use words like "et" and "mais" to vary the sentences more.

1. Qui / Who (with verbs):

a. J'ai un frère/une sœur. J'ai deux frères./deux sœurs.

b. J'ai un petit frère/une petite sœur. J'ai un grand frère/une grande sœur.

*You can also teach aîné, cadet, etc. It's depends on how much time you have to spend on the family lesson.

c. Je n'ai pas de frère(s)./pas de sœur(s). **Teacher: Remind them that the noun can be singular or plural, but that they'll still use de/d' in the negative in many cases...

d. On n'a pas d'animaux.  *Teacher: d'/vowel

e. C'est le frère de mon père. Le mari de ma tante (mon oncle) est décédé. (mort(e))

f. Mon oncle s'appelle Marc. Ma tante s'appelle Marie.

g. J'ai un oncle qui s'appelle Marc et il a 50 ans.

h. Mes parents s'appellent Sophie et Pierre. Mes parents sont Sophie et Pierre.

2. L'État Civil / Marital Status:

a. Mon frère est marié. Ma sœur n'est pas mariée.

b. Mes parents sont divorcés. Ma sœur est divorcée.

c. Je ne suis pas marié(e). Je suis célibataire.

d. J'ai un frère/une sœur qui n'est pas marié(e).

3. L'Age / Age:

a. Mon frère a 14 (quatorze) mois. Mon frère a 1 (un) an.

b. Mon frère a 9 (neuf) ans.

c. Mes deux sœurs ont 13 (treize) ans et 14 (quatorze) ans.

4. Où ? / Where?:

a. J'habite à Boston. **Teacher: à + ville

b. Mes parents habitent en Californie. / en Floride. / dans le Vermont. **Teacher: masculine & feminine//au

c. Mon grand-père habite avec un ami. / Mon grand-père habite chez ma tante. / tout(e) seul(e)

d. Mon cousin habite 9 Rue Corbert. Ma tante habite une grande maison/un bel appartement.

e. Mes grands-parents sont en

Reading time:  2 minutesDifficulty: Intermediate

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à la finin the end
à mon avis / quant à moi / selon moiin my opinion
alors quewhereas
autrement ditin other words
avant de conclurebefore concluding...
bien que je puisse comprendre quealthough I can understand that
cela va sans dire queit goes without saying that
cependantnevertheless
considéronslet's consider
d’après moiaccording to me
d’une part, d’autre parton one hand, on the other hand
en ce qui concerne...as far as ... is concerned
en outrefurthermore / moreover
enfinfinally, at last
grâce àthanks to
il est donc question deit is a matter of
il faut bien reconnaître queit must be recognised that
il semble que les avantages l'emportent sur les inconvenientsit seems that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages
il serait absurde de dire queit would be absurd to say that
il vaut mieuxit is better to
je crois quei think/ believe that
je soutiens donc queI maintain that
je suis contreI am against
je voudrais souligner queI’d like to underline that
la premiere constatation qui s'impose, c'est quethe first thing to be noted is that
ne… ni… nineither… nor
pas forcément la faute denot necessarily the fault of
pour commencerto start with
selon moiaccording to me
tout bien considéréall things considered

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About the Author Frederic

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +

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