Lesson 16a

What are the French like? Can you describe them?

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Level: Intermediate

Lesson contents:
  • Introduction to the Present Simple and Past Simple.
  • Object Pronouns.
  • A few uses of get.
  • Introduction to the Second Conditional and the Present Perfect.

Always watch the video several times without subtitles first. Train your ears! Your pronunciation will be much better if you follow this simple rule.

Exercises for this lesson:
How to do the lessons:
  1. Watch the video without subtitles.
  2. Do all the Exercises.
  3. Come back to this page.
  4. Watch the video with English Subtitles. Use the Pause button. People speak fast!

Problems? See general support or ask your question here.

What are the French like?

Watch this video, then click on Exercise 1

Same video with Precise Subtitles



Although I spend a lot of time in the USA to see family and friends and to film for Real English® , I live in France. These are the questions Americans ask me most often:

"Are the French rude? Is it true that they hate Americans?" The answer is a simple No. Although some Americans who have been tourists in Paris will tell me about their misadventures which contradict my opinion, I would say that they're among the friendliest and most helpful people in Europe. Maybe it's because I speak French with a funny American accent and they see that I have made the effort to learn the language.

Unlike people in many other countries, the French make a clear distinction between the American people and the American government. In exercises, 1, 2 and 3, you will meet Bill who went to France a few times as a tourist. He tried to learn some French before arriving in Paris the first time, and he's simply a friendly, fun-loving guy. His story is typical. If France were an American state, it would be a deep blue, like my home state of New Jersey. But nobody ever asked Bill nor myself about our political opinions.

Some of the other stereotypical myths: No, they don't stink. They do not wear berets, riding bicycles, with baguettes under their arms (the baguettes are placed on the seats of their cars). Yes, they are "food snobs" if that is defined as a people concerned with the quality of products, presentation of plates, and the art of food pairings.

Do the French think they are superior to others? That's a tricky question. They have an exceptional lifestyle in regard to healthcare, work, & a keen sense individual rights. When I explain to my French friends that the average American gets 2 weeks vacation a year, they think it's impossible, crazy, or both.

When people ask me if I prefer living in France or the USA, I simply tell the truth. I don't prefer. I consider myself very lucky to be able to experience both cultures. I really love the differences.