French Lesson Vocabulary

French Lesson Vocabulary is Chapter 49 and part of this free online French lesson Course for Business French

Vocabulary in a French Lesson – Where do you even start?

“a campaign”: « une campagne » 

“The advertising campaign was very successful this year.”

« La campagne de publicité a été un franc succès cette année. »

“advertising”: « la publicité » 

“promotion”:  « promotion »

“an ad” (advertisement): « une pub » 

“to be successful”: « avoir du succès »  

Remember this one: we had to use a paraphrase because the noun « succès » has to be used here. 

There is no adjective like “successful” in French. You could use an adjective like « prospère »: “prosperous” but the meaning would be slightly different. 

So this is for you next level language learning. Literal translations often won’t work with complex ideas. So the next level for you would be to think in the target language, in French, directly. Right now you’re most often thinking of ideas in English and then translating them. 

There are many expressions that are built differently in English and in French.

For example, “I am fifteen”: « j’ai quinze ans ».

The English uses the verb “to be”. In French use the verb “to have”: « avoir ». 

The same goes with “to be cold”: « avoir froid » ; “to be hungry”: « avoir faim ».

“Very”: « très ». This is a generic translation that usually works. 

“very successful”: « un franc succès » 

So what I did here is that I used the set phrase in French « avoir du succès », and to translate the intensity of “very” I had to use an adjective « franc », literally “frank”: “this was a frank success”/“a real success”/“a true success”. This conveys the same idea as “very successful”. 

e.g. « La campagne a été un franc succès ».

French Lesson Quick tip: Use synonyms

If you get blocked, paralyzed trying to find a translation, look for formal synonym, a slightly different synonym. Even if their meaning is slightly different, it’s better than going blank for fifteen seconds. 

For example, if you can’t think of a translation for “successful” because « avoir du succès » is different, think of “prosperous”: « prospère » (transparent).

And if you can’t remember « prospère », you can say it in English. In English I would say “prosperous”. 

Most people will understand.

Grammar point:

We used the passé composé in French, « a été ». However, the English was not “has been” [past perfect].

The English used “was” (preterit), “the campaign was successful”.

The English has to use preterit [past tense] because there’s a date, “this year”. 

But the French has to use the passé composé most of the time.

The Verb Etre in the passé composé:

Here’s a quick reminder on how to conjugate it. Let’s conjugate « ETRE » in the passé composé:

ETRE (TO BE): passé composé

J’ai été: I have been/I was

Tu as été: You have been/You were

Il/Elle a été: He/She has been/He/She was

Nous avons été: We have been/We were

Vous avez été: You have been/You were

Ils/Elles ont été: They have been/They were

So you conjugate the auxiliary which is « avoir »: “to have”, then you put « être » in the past participle (its gender or number doesn’t change): « il a été », « nous avons été » and so on ; « été » doesn’t change. 

Here is the full sentence again:

“The advertising campaign was very successful this year.”.

« La campagne de publicité a été un franc succès cette année. »

So the next question is – do you know what a Logical Conenctive is in French? Check that out here

And please please take a look at our full audiobook Hands Free Business french HERE