Getting started with French 3
Getting started with French 3

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Getting started with French 3

2.1 Asking for directions in town

To ask for directions, you can use any of the following:

  • Je cherche + le/la/les + noun

    Je cherche la poste I am looking for the post office.

    Note: In French je cherche is followed directly by its object, unlike the English ‘I am looking for’.

  • Où est/Où sont + le/la/les + noun

    Où est la gare? La gare, c’est où? Where is the station?

    Où sont les toilettes? Les toilettes, c’est où? Where are the toilets?

    Note: C’est où? is another, more informal, way to ask ‘Where is/Where are …?’

  • Il y a/Est-ce qu’il y a + un/une + noun + près d’ici/par ici?

    Il y a un cinéma près d’ici? Is there a cinema nearby?

    Est-ce qu’il y a des toilettes par ici? Are there any toilets around here?

  • Pour aller + au / à la /à l’/aux + noun

    Pour aller au musée, s’il vous plaît? The museum, please?

    Pour aller à la mairie, s’il vous plaît? The town hall, please?

    Pour aller à l’office de tourisme, s’il vous plaît? The tourist office, please?

    Pour aller aux grands magasins, s’il vous plait? The department stores, please?

    • à + le is always shortened to au (au musée) in front of singular masculine nouns
    • à + la is used in front of feminine singular nouns (à la gare)
    • à + l’ is used in front of nouns which start with ‘h’ or a vowel (à l’hôpital, à l’école)
    • à + les is always shortened to aux (aux toilettes) for plural nouns.

Activity 4

Look at the photos and ask for directions to each place, using the different question structures (given in brackets) and your own choice of words to attract a passer-by’s attention.

Ask each question out loud and record yourself speaking. Listen to your recording and then listen to the model given in the feedback. The phrases used in the model to attract the passer-by’s attention may, of course, be different to yours.

Exemple

Exemple: (où est / cathédrale)?

Question: Excusez-moi, monsieur, où est la cathédrale, s’il vous plaît?

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Activity 5

Now listen to the recording below. Ask for directions to these places aloud in the gaps (you can pause the recording if necessary). You should use the structure supplied in each prompt. Use any opening phrase of your choice to attract attention.

Exemple

(You hear) un parc / est-ce qu’il y a…?

(You say) Pardon, monsieur, est-ce qu’il y a un parc près d’ici?

Download this audio clip.Audio player: lxf003_wk1_act_aud007.mp3
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Transcript

(un parc / est-ce qu’il y a)
Pardon monsieur, est-ce qu’il y a un parc près d’ici ?
(un office de tourisme / il y a)
Excusez-moi madame, il y a un office de tourisme par ici ?
(le cinéma / je cherche)
Bonjour monsieur, je cherche le cinéma, c’est où ?
(la bibliothèque / pour aller à)
Pardon madame, pour aller à la bibliothèque, s’il vous plaît ?
(la mairie / où est)
Excusez-moi madame, où est la mairie, s’il vous plaît ?
End transcript
 
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Discussion

Listen again to the recording to check your answers.

LXF003_1

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