French Lesson Pronouns

French Lesson Pronouns is Chapter 5 from the free French Lessons on this site

“an increase”: « une augmentation »
“I ask the director for an increase in the marketing budget.”
« Je demande au directeur une augmentation du budget marketing. »

“I ask”: « je demande »

« je demande » is the first person of « DEMANDER »: “TO ASK”. 

It ends with « -ER », first group, easy. 

Let’s conjugate it:

Conjugate The Verb DEMANDER (TO ASK): present

Je demande: I ask

Tu demandes: You ask

Il/Elle demande: He/She asks

Nous demandons: We ask

Vous demandez: You ask

Ils/Elles demandent: They ask

Now “to the director”/“the director”: « le directeur »

Why do we have an English “I ask the director” and in French it’s not « je demande le directeur ? », it’s « je demande au directeur ? ». 

Well verbs are used differently in English and in French. In English “to ask” is transitive direct here. So, you only need to place the object of the action right after the verb. But in French you will need a little something, a preposition like “to”: « à ». « demander » is transitive indirect. So, you will use « je demande à le directeur » but it’s ugly so we contract it into « au »: « je demande au directeur ».

Next, we have “an increase”: « une augmentation » 

“to increase” would be « augmenter »: « -ER », first group. 

“in the marketing budget”: « du budget marketing »

You see that we use different propositions: “in”: « du ».

« du » is not “in”. « du » is “of the”.

So, it’s like saying “I asked the director for an increase of the marketing budget.”

And So, like often the English and the French will use words that are not exact equivalents. So, you need to understand how each language works.

Here is the full sentence again:

“I ask the director for an increase in the marketing budget.”

« Je demande au directeur une augmentation du budget marketing. »

Quick tip: Latin-derived synonyms

“the director”: « le directeur »

See how similar it is. So, when you’re struggling, think of a Latin derived synonym in English there’s a very high chance it will be the same, it will be transparent in French.

French Lesson Pronouns Grammar point: Genders 

Genders in French are very hard to remember. Most of them are just random, there’s no logic behind. So you have to use your memory. Don’t worry, there are a few rules like trees, seasons, days of the week, months. 

So For example, months and seasons are always masculine.

You also have masculine and feminine endings. 

Then For example, words that end with « -ement » are always masculine. [Note: the audio doesn’t make any distinction between « -ement »  and the other endings].

Words that end with « -ssion »/« -ude »/« -sion »/« -ade » are always feminine.
E.g. « l’engagement »: “engagementt” (masculine)

« la fortitude »: “fortitude”, « la passion »: “passion” (feminine).

Its certainly a big lesson and a lot to take in. Best thing is to bookmark the page and review it again in a few days. And to see some of the other lessons like this one HERE.

You can also get a full version of the essential audiobook Hands Free Business french HERE and it contains ALL of the lessons from this entire site, to listen on repeat and master the accent and pronunciation.