Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon
Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

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Beginners’ French: A trip to Avignon

Section 2.10

2.10.1 Years

In this session you visit the musée Angladon-Dubrujeaud, where you find out about the life of the painter Vincent van Gogh.

Key Learning Points

  • Understanding and using the numbers 70 to 100

  • Identifying and using dates (years)

  • Distinguishing between as in vin and [ã] as in vent

Activité 50

You met the numbers 1 to 69 and 1,000 (mille). You will need these to understand and use dates in French. Here are just a few of them. Say them aloud.

Prononcez à haute voix.

  • 13 – 54 – 21 – 42 – 19 – 33 – 26 – 45 – 68 – 57


You can go back and listen to Extracts 52, 53 and 54 if you are unsure of the pronunciation.

  • treize

  • cinquante-quatre

  • vingt et un

  • quarante-deux

  • dix-neuf

  • trente-trois

  • vingt-six

  • quarante-cinq

  • soixante-huit

  • cinquante-sept

Activité 51

To be able to say years, you need to learn more numbers. Listen to the following in Extract 68 and repeat.

Écoutez et répétez.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 30
Audio 30
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

70 – 71 – 72 – 79

80 –81 –82

90 –91



Check your answers on the audio and in the transcript below.

Extrait 68

  • soixante-dix

  • soixante et onze

  • soixante-douze

  • soixante-dix-neuf

  • quatre-vingts

  • quatre-vingt-un

  • quatre-vingt-deux

  • quatre-vingt-dix

  • quatre-vingt-onze

  • cent

Les chifferes dans la francophonie

In some countries where French is spoken, for example, in Belgium, Switzerland, the Congo and Rwanda you will hear:


Quebec follows the French system which is:

70soixante dix

Activité 52

1. Listen to Extract 69 and put the dates in the order in which you hear them.

Numérotez les dates par ordre d' audition.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 31
Audio 31
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  • (a) 1789

  • (b) 1830

  • (c) 1870

  • (d) 1936

  • (e) 1968

2. Listen to Extract 70. Write down the dates you hear.

Écoutez l' extrait et notez.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 32
Audio 32
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

3. Now say the dates out loud. Listen to Extract 70 again, to check that you are saying them accurately.

Dites les dates à haute voix et réécoutez l' extrait.


  1. The correct order is: (c), (d), (a), (b), (e).

    To check how these dates are spelled, refer to the transcripts below.


    • 2001 deux mille un

    • 1961 mille neuf cent soixante et un

    • 1958 mille neuf cent cinquante-huit

    • 2017 deux mille dix-sept

    • 1984 mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-quatre

    • 1991 mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-onze

  3. Check your answers on the audio and in the transcripts below.

Extrait 69

  • mille huit cent soixante-dix

  • mille neuf cent trente-six

  • mille sept cent quatre-vingt-neuf

  • mille huit cent trente

  • mille neuf cent soixante-huit

Extrait 70

  • 2001

  • 1961

  • 1958

  • 2017

  • 1984

  • 1991

Identifying and using dates (years)

  1. Dates are formed using a combination of the numbers you have come across:

    800 = (8 × 100) hiut cents

    1968 = (1,000 + 900 + 68) mille neuf cent soixante-huit

    1812 = (1,000 + 800 + 12) mille huit cent douze

    2006 = ( 2 × 1000 + 6) deux mille six

    Make sure you add cent when giving a year (this is omitted in English).

  2. You can use dates in several ways to describe events:

    En 1968, il y a des troubles violents à Paris.

    In 1968, there were violent disturbances in Paris.

    François Mitterrand est président de la République de 1981 à 1995.

    François Mitterrand was President of the Republic from 1981 to 1995.


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