Tag Archives: french-vocabulary

Prendre – “le verbe magique”

In French verb prendre (to take) is so versatile that it deserves separate blog post by itself 🙂 Well in a way it is very close to its English counterpart, sounds very differently but, as you will see if you read on, very similar in usage/meaning. So prendre in French can have more than 30 different meanings, that’s why it sometimes called “la verbe magique“.

As in french conjugation is by fare more complex/varied and depends on number and gender the firs thing to know about any verb is its conjugation. So her it is:

infinitive: prendre

Indicatif Présent Actif

je prends     nous prenons

tu preneds   vous prenez

il prend        ils prennent

Key thing to remember is double “n” in ils prennent, which is here for pronunciation/sound purposes (it just sounds batter with double “n”, though for non native speaker difference is subtle).

Participle Passe: pris, prise, prises

Once you know conjugation for prendre you also know how to congugate 3 other verbs which are sharing the same root: apprendre (to learn), comprendre (to understand), reprendre (review, reopen, reconsider, resume).

Now how/when you can use this verb.

To talk about transport you use (the same as take in English): Je prendre metro/le bus/la voiture/un avion/le train.

To make an appointment: Prendre rendez-vous avec le médicin (or somebody else)

To take a photo: prendre des photos

Take classes: prendre cours de français

To suggest something, like “Would you like a dessert?”: Vouz prenez un dessert?

To attack somebody: s’en prendre à quelqu’un

Get down to something: s’y prendre: Ce travail – je vais m’y prendre. This job – I’m going to get down to it.

To be conscious/aware about something: prendre conscience de quelque chose

To freeze/catch a cold: prendre froid

To be afraid of/to get scared: prendre peur

To take over the ball (in a football game): prendre possession de ballon

To take a seat (e.g. in transport): prendre place. You may also use this to politely offer somebody to take a seat in transport, prendre place in such situation is much better than something like “Asseois-toi, madame!”

To sunbathe, to lie in the sun, to tan: prendre un bain de soleil, Or to describe result of this activity: predendre de belles couleurs. J’ai pris des belles couleurs.

In shop, when you buying something: Je prends cette veste.

To care about somebody: prendre soin de. Je prends soin de toi. “Le soin” is a noun which means “care”.

Take your time: prendre son temps (almost exact match with English).

 To put on the weight: prendre du poids. “Le poids” means “weight/load/burden”. Je prends du poids.

To take/accept something good/bad: prendre quelque chose bien/mal. Je l’ai mal pris.

To take offence/umbrage (at): prendre la mouche (leteral translation “to take the fly” 🙂 ).

To take care / to be careful: prendre garde

To grow old, age; advance in age / years: prendre de la bouteille/barbe

To fall flat on one’s face (familiar; figurative), to come a cropper: se prendre une gamelle

gamelle [gamɛl] – means dixie/dixy (which according to the Lingvo dictionary military slang for large copper/cauldron for cooking, though I wasn’t able to find this in M-W) or colloquial word for fall.

To bother (harass, nag, plague, worry) the life out of smb.; bluff smb.: prendre la tête

To be high/stoned: prendre son pied

This post is largely based on the below’s YouTube video (all the explanations in Russian). This entire channel worth including in French learning resources as it allows you both learn something and have some fun, but like I said these videos explain everything in Russian.


French Vocabulary: Saisons – Météo



climat [klima] – climate

doux [du] – soft/warm

clément [klemɑ̃] – soft/warm (about weather and temperature)

rude [ʀyd] – harsh/severe/inclement (origin – early 17th century from French inclément or Latin inclement-, from in- ‘not’ + clement- ‘clement’)

humide [ymid] – humid (also: moist, damp, dewy)

sec [sɛk] – dry/arid

pluvieux [plyvjø] – rainy (showery/wet)

temps [tɑ̃] – weather

temps couvert [kuːˈvɛː] (chargé, gris) – the weather is dull/cloudy/overcast

gros temps – storm on sea

il fait beau/mauvais temps – good/bad weather

un temps de saison – normal/usual weather (for particular season)

le temps est à la pluie, à l’orage – It is going to rain/it looks like rain/thunderstorm

le temps est au dégel – thaw is about to start

le temps se met au beau — the weather is improving/becomes fine

Le temps est agréable – The weather is good

Il fait [fɛ] beau [bo] – The weather is good

Il fait du soleil / Il y a du soleil – It is sunny

Il fait doux – It is soft/warm

Il fait chaud [ʃo] /  Il fait bon [bɔ̃] – It is hot / warm.

chaleur (f) [ʃalœʀ] – heat; heat wave; hot weather

Il fait frais [fʀɛ] – It is fresh/cool

Il fait un temps magnifique [maɲifik] / splendide [splɑ̃did] – The weather is splendid

Le temps est clair – It is fine/bright/clear

Le temps est désagréable – The weather is bad

Il fait mauvais [mɔvɛ] – The weather is bad

Il fait gris [gʀi] – it is cloudy / overcast / lowering, louring

Il fait lourd [luʀ] –  the weather is heavy

Il fait humide – It is humid

Il fait froid [fʀwa] – It is cold

Il fait du vent – It’s windy

Il fait du brouillard [bʀujaʀ] – It’s foggy

Il fait  nuageux – It’s cloudy

Il fait orageux – It’s stormy

Il pleut des cordes – It’s pouring rain

Il tombe de la grêle – It’s hailing

la grêle – hail

une flaque [flak] – puddle, pool

une mare [maʀ] – large puddle/pool; pond

Il gèle [ʒ(ə)le] – It is freeze (морозит, подмораживает)

Il fait un temps affreux [afʀø]/épouvantable [epuvɑ̃tabl] – The weather is foul/miserable.

Le temps est stable [stabl] – Weather is stable/unchanging

Le temps s’améliore [ameljɔʀe] – The weather is improving

Le temps se dégrade – The weather becomes worse

Le ciel [sjɛl] se dégage – The sky is clearing

Un vent – Wind

fort [fɔʀ] – strong

glacial [glasjal] – ice; icy, ice-cold, chilling, glacial

léger [leʒe]/faible [fɛbl] – weak

orage [ɔʀaʒ] – thunderstorm

tempête [tɑ̃pɛt] – storm/tempest

éclair [eklɛʀ]/foudre [fudʀ] – flash of lightning/lightning with thunder (thunderstorm)

tonnerre [tɔnɛʀ] – thunder

Quelle canicule! / C’est la canicule! [kanikyl] – hot wave

Quel temps fait-il? – How is the weather?

Les températures baissent/sont en baisse – The temperature is falling

Les températures montent / sont en hausse – The temperature is rising

Les températures restent stables – The temperature is unchanging

Il fait 30 à l’ombre – It is 30 degrees in shade.


Il fait un temps de chien – Terrible weather; or as an author of good post about this french idiom puts it “Chicago weather” (they tell that chicagoans live under gray skies for about 70% of the year)

ça caille – it’s very cold

Some related YouTube videos

French Weather Vocabulary:


Learn French – French Weather Vocabulary:


French Lesson 35 – Describe THE WEATHER Common expressions LE TEMPS CLIMAT Il fait froid chaud:


French lesson 8 – The four seasons in French – Les saisons – Las estaciones Cursos Clases de Frances:


How to say “Ни к селу, ни к городу” in French? :)

Today looking for a word “село” in French (it’s village, but for some reason in Russian we have two distinctive words “село” and “деревня” whereas both English and French translates these as “village”) I stumbled upon rough equivalent of Russian idiom “Ни к селу, не к городу” in French. In Russian this idiom, which can be roughly translated as “Neither for village, nor for the city”, is used in situations when something is completely incompatible with something, like piece of clothing, suggestion or utterance, it refers to such things, often unexpected and not coherent with the situation. So it looks like in French in similar situations you may say: “de but en blanc” or “sans rime ni raison” (rough translation is “without rhyme or reason”).

French Vocabulary: Interieur de la maison

 Interieur de la maison

Dans l’entrée – In the hall/lobby

meuble à chaussures – shoe rack (I was a bit confused when finding precise English equivalent, see my question on english.stackexchange.com for details)

portemanteau [pɔʀt(ə)mɑ̃to] – hall-stand

Dans la salle de séjour – In the living room

buffet [byfɛ] –  sideboard

canapé [kanape] – divan, sofa, couch; settee; well if you are interested there is even the word “chesterfield” which can be used to refer to long soft couch/sofa (replace the latter with “davenport” if you prefer American blend of English 🙂 ) – see more on etymology of “chesterfield” here, seems to be just a marketing trick of manufacturer which made it’s way into dictionaries

chaise [ʃɛz] – chair

cheminée [ʃ(ə)mine] – fireplace / open fire / chimney

coussin [kusɛ̃] – cushion (small one which you may see on divan, compare with pillow)

étagère [etaʒɛʀ] – bookshelf / rack; also whatnot (small set of open shelves for knick-knack/trinkets)

fauteuil [fotœj] – armchair; there is nice range of French idioms involving this word, e.g.: “dans un fauteuil” which means “very easily, without effort”, “arriver (comme) dans un fauteuil” meaning “to arrive first, leaving others far behind”

table [tabl] – table

table basse – coffee table

YouTube Video French Lesson 87 – Living Room – Le salon La salle de séjour – Furniture Household Vocabulary:


Dans la chamre – In the bedroom

armoire [aʀmwaʀ] – wardrobe; also: armoire à linge, armoire-penderie

commode [kɔmɔd] bureau/dresser (with mirror); chest of drawers. In french this is also an adjective meaning “convenient”. When looking for English translation you may also bump into Wellington chest of drawers or simply Wellington chest which is a piece of campaign furniture (furniture specifically made to breakdown or fold for ease of travel) named after 1st Duke of Wellington, or to put it simply just a narrow commode.

tiroir [tiʀwaʀ] – drawer

lampe [lɑ̃p] – lamp

lampe de chevet



table de chevet

table de toilette

Sur le lit – On the bed







taie  [tɛ] – pillow(-)case / pillow(-)slip

une taie d’oreiller

YouTube video “[Vocabulaire illustré] Le lit”:


Dans le bureau – In the study





Dans la quisine – In the kitchen


cuisinière électrique / à gaz



(four) micro-ondes

une plaque de cuisson [kɥisɔ̃] – hob (well didn’t know this English word before honestly, so this one is what called “варочная панель, варочная поверхность” in Russian, or if we employ the some definition here it means ” the top cooking surface on a kitchen stove”)



heter les ordures

réfrigérateur / frigo (fam.)

robinet d’eau chaude / froide

la vaisselle [vɛsɛl] – crockery; Probably we may argue if this stuff are part of house interior or not, and you may discard this as a major element of home interior but it belong to interior, right? Anyway you will definitely will need these words for many kitchen related topics.\nune assiette [asjɛt] – plate\nun couteau [kuto] – knife\nun fourchette [fuʀʃɛt] – fork\nune cuillère [kɥijɛʀ] – spoon\nune cuillère à soupe – tablespoon\nune cuillère à café – teaspoon; this is quite interesting: one and the same thing but for French this is “coffee” spoon, non tea spoon

YouTube video “French Lesson 82 – Kitchen – La cuisine – Furniture Crockery Utensils Appliances vocabulary”:


Dans le sall de bains – In the bathroom



drap de bain







YouTube video: French Lesson 83 – Bathroom – La salle de bain – Accessories Appliances Furniture Vocabulary”:


Décorer la maison – Decorate the house / other stuff 🙂

bibelot  [biblo] – knick-knack , trinket , charm

horloge [ɔʀlɔʒ] /pendule [pɑ̃dyl] – clock

Some related YouTube video:

Weekly French Words with Lya – Furniture


French vocabulary: Housing

Logement – Housing

Types d’habitation – Types of housing

appartement (m) – flat\n\ndeux-pieces (m) [døpjɛs] – two bedrooms flat\n\nduplex (m) – two storeys flat\n\nstudio (m) – one bedroom flat\n\nchalet (m) – small house in mountains\n\nchâteau (m) – castle\n\nHLM Habitation à Loyer Modéré (f/m) – council housing / block of flats\n\nimmeuble (m) – residential building\n\nmaison (f) – house\n\npalais [palɛ] (m) – palace\n

Un immeuble – Residential building/block of flats

en beton – made of concrete\n\nde brique – made of bricks\n\nascenseur – elevator\n\n    prendre l’ascenseur – use an elevator/take an elevator\n\nbalcon [balkɔ̃] – balcony\n\nboite aux lettres – mailbox\n\ncave [kav] (f)- cellar\n\nclé – key\n\n    fermer à clé – lock (on key)\n\ncloison [klwazɔ̃] (f) – partition between rooms\n\nclôture [klotyʀ] (f) – hedge/fence\n\nconcierge (m/f) / gardien/gardienne – consierge / guard\n\ncouloir (m) – corridor, passage\n\nentrée (f) – entrance, hall, anteroom, antechamber, lobby\n\nescalier (m) – stairs, staircase\n\n    dans l’escalier – on staircase\n\n    prendre l’escalier – take/use a stairs\n\n    descendre/montrer l’escalier – to descend/ascend a staircase\n\nfenêtre (f) – window\n\ngarage (m) – garage\n\ngrenier [gʀənje] (m) – attic\n\ninterphone (m) – intercom\n\njardin [ʒaʀdɛ̃] (m) – garden\n\nmarche (f) – step (of the stairs)/stair\n\nmur (m) – wall\n\npalier (m)  – stairwell\n\n    sur le palier – at the stairwell\n\npiscine (f) – swimming pool\n\npièce (f) – room\n\nplafond (m) (haut/bas) – ceiling (high/low)\n\nporte (f) – door\n\nrez-de-chaussée [ʀed(ə)ʃose] (m) – ground floor\n\npremier étage (m) – first floor\n\nserrure [seʀyʀ] (f) – key hole / lock\n\nsol (m) / plancher (m) – floor\n\nsonnette (f) – doorbell\n\nsou-sol (m) – basement\n\ntoit [twa] (m) – roof\n

Les pieces – Rooms

bureau (m) – office\n\nchambre (f) – bedroom\n\nchambre d’amis – guest room\n

chambre d’enfants – nursery / brattery (stumbled upon “brattery” in Lingvo dictionary when looking for translation of Russian word “детская” into English, this one absolutely irrelevant/outdated word to be found only in OED or really old texts, but if you are inclined to know more about it you may refer to my question about it at english.stackexchange.com)

cuisine [kɥizin] (f) – kitchen\n\ndébarras (m) – pantry, larder / stockroom, storeroom\n\nsalle à manger  – dining room\n\nsalle de bains – bathroom\n\nsalle de séjour – dining room and drawing-room; sitting-room; reception-room\n\nsalon (m) – drawing-room; sitting-room; reception-room\n\ntoilettes [twalɛt] (f, pl) W. -C. (m, pl) [vese]\n

Déménagement – Relocation/move

déménager – to move/relocate

emménager (dans) – move in (to)

prendre la crémaillère – have housewarming party

crémaillère – housewarming party

Vous êtes tous invités à ma crémaillère! – You’re all invited to my house-warming party!

Location, vente – Rent/lease, sell

location [lɔkasjɔ̃] – rent

vente [vɑ̃t] – sell

agence immobilière – an estate agency

caution [kosjɔ̃] (f) – deposit for rental flat

contract de location / bail (m) – lease contract

locataire [lɔkatɛʀ] / propriétaire [pʀɔpʀijetɛʀ]  tenant, lodger / landlord

location (f) d’un logement – property leasing / letting out

acheter / vendre une maison – buy / sell a house

louer (un appartement) – rent/lease (a flat)

payer le loyer [lwaje] – pay rent/rental fee, rental payment, rent-charge

Le loyer – Rental fee

bon marché [bɔmaʀʃe] / pas cher – cheap/inexpensive

cher [ʃɛʀ] – expensive/high

exagéré / exagéré [ɛgzaʒeʀe] – overpriced/exorbitant

modéré / modérée [mɔdeʀe] – moderate

La qualité du logement – Quality of housing

agréable [agʀeabl] | désagréable [dezagʀeabl] à vivre –  pleasant/unpleasant for living

ancien, ancienne [ɑ̃sjɛ̃, -jɛn] | moderne [mɔdɛʀn] (m/f) – ancient, old/modern

calme [kalm] (m/f) | bruyant, bruyante [bʀɥijɑ̃, -t] – calm, quiet / noisy

clair, claire / ensoleillé, ensoleillée [ɑ̃sɔleje] | sombre [sɔ̃bʀ] – light/sunny | dark, grim, gloomy, somber/sombre

en bon état | en mauvais état – in good | bad condition

humide [ymid] – humid

lugubre [lygybʀ] – grim, gloomy, somber/sombre

neuf, neuve | vieux, vielle – new | old

propre [pʀɔpʀ] | sale [sal] clean | dirty

rénové, rénovée | délabré, délabré [delɑbʀe] renewed / dilapidated

spacieux, spacieuse | minuscule – spacious | small, minuscule

vaste [vast]| étroit, étroite [etʀwa, -t] – huge / cramped

Formules essentielles

A l’agence immobiliere – At the estate agency

– Je voudrais louer [lwe] un deux-pièces. / Je cherche un deux-pièces à louer. – I would like to rent two bedrooms flat.

– Vide [vid] ou meublé [mœble]? – Furnished or unfurnished?

– C’est combien le loyer? / Le loyer est de combien? – How much is rent?

– Le loyer est de 500 (cinq cent) euros, (toutes) chatges comprises. – Rent is 500 euros, All charges included.

– Il fait quelle surface? – What is living space/floor space?

– Il fait 60 (soixante) mètres carrés. – 60 square meters.

– Quelle est la surface de cette pièce? – What is the floor space of this room?

 – Elle fait 30 (trente) m2 (mètres carrés). / Elle fait 5 mètres sur 6. – 30 square meters. It is 5 by 6 meters.ci

– Dans cette maison, il n’y a pas de travaux à faire. – There is no need to do a renovation In this house.

– Il y a une réparation a faire. / Il y a quelque chose a réparer. – There is some renovation/repair necessary.

Les fenêtres (l’appartement) donnent sur la cour. – Windows face to the yard/court.

La fênetre / l’appartement a vue sur la mer. – Window / flat with a sea view.

La cuisine est équipée / aménagée. [amenaʒe] – Kitchen is fully fitted.

Parler de son logement – To speak about your house

J’habite au premier étage. – I live on the first floor.

Ma chambre voit rarement [ʀɑʀmɑ̃] le soleil. – There is lack of sun light in my room.

J’habite une jolie maison. – I live in a beautiful house.

J’ai loue une jolie maison au bord de la mer. – I rent a beautiful house on the sea shore.

Je vais transformer cette petite pièce en débarras. – I will transform this small room into pantry/store room.

C’est un trou perdu! (fam.) – This is in the middle of nowhere.

Some related videos on YouTube: