Learn to Speak French
French Lessons
Begin learning French with the basic French lessons we've included on this page. Here we teach you how to count in French, how to conjugate French verbs, what those French verbs mean, and we provide an audio guide to French pronunciation. These French language lessons are, of course, meant only as a basic introduction. That's why we've also included online resources you can explore further, including our guide to certified online French courses, to help you find more extensive French lessons as well as auxiliary tools to supplement these exercises. So, without further ado, let's begin with one of the most important French lessons:

French pronunciation
Even if this is the first time you've studied French, you're bound to have already noticed: French words are spelled far differently from how they are pronounced. Why is this so? Well, not to bore you with a brief lesson in historical linguistics, but at one point French speakers actually pronounced all the letters in every word. Over time, however, many of the words - and sometimes entire syllables - have been dropped. That explains the disparity between how French words are spelled, and how they are spoken. That's also why it's important to learn the basic rules of French pronunciation.

Here is an an introduction to French pronunciation

French verbs
There are three types of verbs in French, those that end in "-er", those that end in "-ir" and those that end in "-re". Here are examples of these three different types of French verbs:

parler - to talk
venir - to come
boire - to drink

Unlike English, French verbs change all the time depending on who is carrying out the action described by the verb. For example, in English we are able to say, "I talk", then say "you talk", then say "we talk", etc. Notice that the verg "talk" stays the same, and only changes in the third person singular, "he/she/it talks". In French, however, the verb for "talk" changes its form all the time. This is called verb conjugation. Here are the conjugations for the three French verbs listed above. Memorize these, and you'll be ready to work with French verb exercises:

parler
je parle - I talk
tu parles - you talk
il/elle parle - he/she talks
nous parlons - we talk
vous parlez - you (pl) talk
ils/elles parlent - they talk

venir
je viens - I come
tu viens - you come
il/elle vient - he/she comes
nous venons - we come
vous venez - you (pl) come
ils/elles viennent - they come

boire
je bois - I drink
tu bois - you drink
il/elle boit - he/she drinks
nous buvons - we drink
vous buvez - you (pl) drink
ils/elles boivent - they drink

Here you can find more exercises to learn French verbs

How to count in French
Being able to count from one to ten in French is an essential first step in learning the language. That's why we've included a few key online lessons and French number exercises to help you learn how to count in French in our French Web resources section (see below). There is, for instance, a lesson that is simply a list of the numbers in French, up to a billion, spelled out and with their English translations. It also includes notes on how to pronounce French numbers.

French lessons online



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