C’est le printemps! The sun is finally coming out, and Willy M. is here to share the French vocabulary you need to know for spring!
What on earth could be lovelier than Paris in the spring? After a long cold winter, everyone is ready to get out and enjoy the warm weather. Here are ten French vocabulary words that will get your spring off to a good start. Not only will you get ten new vocab words, but I am also going to give you some tips to help you memorize them, and to put them into practice fast!
The first word on our list is the French word for Bird: l’oiseau (masculine noun)! Not only is the word oiseau poetic in its sound, it has the rise and fall (wah-zo) of a bird in flight. A group of related words are found in the popular French-Canadian song “Alouette,” a song about plucking off the feathers of a lark for waking the singer up too early!
Alouette, gentille alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai.
The next word on our list goes along with our title, and it is the word for Bee: l’abeille (feminine noun). This word should be easy for you to remember, because it is similar to a person in English saying “a bee.” Don’t let the fact that all the bees you see flying around in the world are male drones fool you though, this little French vocabulary word is a feminine word!
The next word on our list is one that you have to have if you are going to talk about spring, and it is the world for Flower: la fleur (feminine noun). And as Pepe Le Peu would probably say, females are the flowers of the world, this petit mot is feminine as well. This one should be pretty easy to remember as our English word “flower” actually originally derived from it.
And who can have flowers without having some grass around? L’herbe (noun feminine) is the French word for grass. This one is like our word herb. Should be pretty easy to remember, and like fleur, it is also feminine.
Another word that goes along with flowers and grass is the verb to plant: planter. Planter is an -er verb, and should be conjugated as such. It shouldn’t be too difficult to remember!
A couple words that are often associated with spring are words have to do with rainy days: rain (la pluie), cloud (le nuage), and sky (le ciel). Pluie is actually a feminine word, and it’s interesting to note that very often nouns that end in ie tend to be feminine. My name is Willy, and other people spell it Willie. But a long time ago, Willy was the shortened form of William, whereas Willie was the shortened form of Wilimina. In English we have not retained this distinction, but when we did, it came to us from the French!
Le nuage and le ciel are both masculine words, so keep in mind that clouds in the sky are always masculine! But the rain that waters the feminine grass and flowers are also feminine!
But no one wants only rain in the spring. What we’ve all been looking forward to is some warm weather, and some sun to brighten our days! Chaud is the French vocabulary word for warm, and it is important to remember that it is an adjective that follows the noun. Some French adjectives precede and some follow, but the word chaud comes after the noun.
Le soleil (masculine noun) should be easy to remember as “sun” if you know that the Latin name for our sun is sol!
So there are 10 French vocabulary words that should get you started speaking French this springtime!
Learn even more French words and improve your speaking skills by working with a French tutor! Tutors are available to work with you in-person or online via Skype. Search for your French tutor now!
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston, NC. Willy studied French for over 6 years in high school and at Earlham College. He traveled to Quebec, Canada where he was able to practice with native speakers. While working as an ESL teacher for World Relief, Willy had the opportunity to translate for people from former French colonies, such as Haiti, the Congo and Vietnam. Learn more about Willy here!
Photo by Linh Nguyen