French for Beginners : Level 1
4.5 (2,180 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
11,360 students enrolled

French for Beginners : Level 1

Learn French with Julie : your charming native French teacher. Focus on conversation and practical French.
4.5 (2,180 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
11,359 students enrolled
Created by French Toast
Last updated 11/2014
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 22 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Acquire basic French language skills
  • Be able to ask & answer simple questions
  • Introduce yourself and make your own sentences !
  • Build a strong foundation before moving on to more advanced levels
  • Motivation and a positive mind set
  • NO experience required as the course covers everything from the very basics
  • A decent internet connexion and computer to enjoy the videos and movies in HD with no lagging
  • A printer if you wish to print out the convenient A5 size summary and vocabulary sheets that come with the lessons

This course teaches you the basics of the French language.

It is meant for persons with little or no knowledge of French. This course is video based and taught by Julie, a bilingual speaker who is a native and experienced French teacher.

  • over 2.5 hours of content including videos, quizzes and printable documents such as vocabulary sheets
  • progressive & comprehensive learning conducted in English
  • additional notes within the videos for a better understanding
  • exclusive bloopers for your enjoyment
  • next levels are in the making

Absolute beginners as well as people getting started with the French language will learn a lot with this easy-to-follow French course. It will also be very beneficial for people planning a short trip to France or to any other French-speaking country.

Learning French with Julie is fun, pleasant and effective. Julie has taught thousands of students of all ages in private and group settings, and has received extremely positive feedback from them.

Topics covered in this introductory course are the French letters, French numbers, conjugation basics, asking and giving directions, introducing yourself (asking and telling your age, nationality, profession, etc), genders (feminine and masculine), quantity (singular and plural), pronunciation (accents, stressing, tips...), giving the time in French and more !

One of the many perks of this course are the short videos in between sections that put to use the vocabulary and rules covered in the previous lessons. This way you can put yourself in real-life situations and test your understanding of native speakers. Not to worry, the short movies are always played twice and come with subtitles the second time !

Last but not least, we have included bloopers at the very end of this course for you to laugh with us. Learning French is no easy task, one must put time and effort to learn and eventually master the language, but you MUST keep in mind that it has to remain a FUN experience. Enjoying learning is the key to staying motivated and progressing efficiently.

Ready ? C'est parti !

Who this course is for:
  • Persons with little or no knowledge of the French language
  • French enthusiasts who want to get to know the language
  • Persons preparing for a short trip to France
Course content
Expand all 25 lectures 02:20:27
+ Before we start
2 lectures 05:24

A brief introduction about how useful and rewarding learning a foreign language can be, but also what you need to know or/and do before embarking on this long but wonderful journey.

"Learning a foreign language takes time and dedication. Reasons for learning a new language can be practical, aspirational, intellectual or simply sentimental. Whatever your reasons, having a clear idea of why you're learning a language can help to motivate you in your studies.

Being fluent in a second language offers numerous opportunities, and learning a second language is not only exciting but offers practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits.

Whatever your age, being bilingual or even trilingual will help you in life massively, especially in today's global society.

Are you ready ?

C’est parti ! "

(Let's go)

Preview 02:26

Discover why French is such a popular and loved language despite its complicated grammar and conjugation ! Here are some of the facts from the video :

  1. French is the largest donor of foreign words in English with about 30% of common vocabulary.
  2. French is spoken as a native language in almost 30 countries on 5 continents.
  3. French is one of the most common native language in the world, with 220 million native speakers worldwide.
  4. French is the second most frequently used language on the internet.
  5. Last but not least, French is ranked the 2nd most influential language in the world.
Preview 02:58

Test yourself and find out how "French" you are.

This quiz includes fun and interesting facts about France, its culture and people.

How much do you know about France ?
10 questions
+ Pronunciation basics
4 lectures 33:23

A simple video about the French alphabet and its pronunciation.

  • The French alphabet has the same 26 letters as the English alphabet, but of course most are pronounced differently.
  • Some letters have the exact same pronunciation as in English : F, L, M, N, O
  • The English “ee” letters (B, C, D, P, T, V) become “ay” in French. Bee become Bay, Cee becomes Cay, etc.
  • The letter “E” in French is pronounced “Eh”, and the letter “I” is pronounced “ee”.
  • The letter G and J can be a little confusing as well :
  1. G, pronounced “Gee” in English, is pronounced “Jay” in French.
  2. J, pronounced “Jay” in English, is pronounced “Gee” in French.
  • The French Q and U can be difficult to pronounce, but no worries, we will explain how to get there !
  • The letter R is pretty tricky to pronounce, and often students just wonder how to say it. Try to follow our instructions and practice daily and you'll get it.
Preview 08:53

One of the things French has and English has not are accents. Accents are use with certain letters only and often affects the way they are pronounced.

There are four French accents for vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and one accent for a consonant (C).

  • The accent aigu ´ (acute accent) can only be used on the letter “e”.
  • The accent grave ` (grave accent) can be found on the letters “a”, “e”, and “u”.
  • The accent circonflexe ˆ (circumflex) can be on the letters “a”, “e”, “i”, “o” and “u”.
  • The accent tréma ¨ (dieresis) can be on the letters “e”, “i”, and “u”.
  • The cédille ¸ (cedilla) is found only on the letter “c”.

Stressing in French : Unlike in English, their is not much stressing to worry about when speaking French. The one main rule you have to remember if for the general intonation of your sentences : Intonation refers to the pitch of someone's voice. Basically your intonation goes down for normal sentences and it goes up for questions.

Accents & Stressing

In this video we are going to talk about some of the important aspects of French pronunciation. It may look difficult at first, but you don’t have to worry too much : this lesson is only meant to introduce these rules to you, and the more you learn, listen to and speak French, the more natural these rules will become.

Silent letters : in French, the letters B, C, F, K, L, Q, and R are usually pronounced at the end of a word. The other French consonants are usually silent at the end of a word, with some exceptions which are mostly words borrowed from other languages.

Silent E & Dropped E (Elision) : in spoken French, the letter E may sometimes be silent or even disappear.

Liaison : a liaison is the pronunciation of a word’s final consonant when it immediately precedes a following vowel sound.

Double consonants : they change the sound of the letter E to É.

The letter H is usually silent in French.

General rules

Finally ! After the mind wrecking but inevitable videos about grammar, here is your first “real” lesson : the numbers.

Check out our detailed explanation and master the French numbers in no time. You will see that it is a piece of cake... for most.

You will come to realise that French people have funny ways to say 70 (soixante-dix = 60 + 10), 80 (quatre-vingts = 4 x 20) and 90 (quatre-vingt-dix = 4 x 20 + 10).

Letters & Numbers
10 questions
+ Greetings & Introductions
4 lectures 25:08

Although foreigners know that the basic greeting in French is “bonjour”, there is much more her to be told !

Formal vs Informal : Even though French shares a lot with English, there are a few main differences. One of these differences is the fact that in French, the is a formal and informal way to address someone, and this will show as well in the way you greet the person.

Faire la bise or serrer la main ? If you know the person or are being introduced, you're also expected to either faire la bise (kiss cheeks) or serrer la main (shake hands). When arriving at work, this means you should go around the room and individually greet each person.

Much more than Bonjour !

When meeting French speakers, you need to know how to introduce yourself and what to say when you are introduced. Here are some useful expressions for you to memorise.

  • Comment vous vous appelez ? What's your name ? (formal)
  • Comment tu t'appelles ? What's your name ? (informal)
  • Je m’appelle... My name is…
  • Je suis… I am...
  • Mon prénom est… My (first) name is...
  • Enchanté / Enchantée. It's nice to meet you.

Age : Now that you know the numbers by earth, telling your age is going to be a breath !

You simply need to say “J’ai” your age “ans”. It means “I am” your age “years old”.

Nationality : Je suis français. I am French.

Name, age & nationality

In this video you are going to learn how to talk about your job as well as your hobbies. First, let’s start with the most important verb when it comes to expressing feelings, the verb AIMER (to like / love).

  1. J’aime - I like
  2. Tu aimes - You like
  3. Il/Elle aime - He/she likes
  4. Example : J'aime le tennis. I like tennis.

Talking about your job

If someone asks you “Tu fais quoi ?”, literally “What do you do ?”, the person is most likely asking about your profession. The answer is pretty simple, you can say :

  • Je suis + job : I am …
  • Je travaille pour + name of the company : I work for …


  • Je suis professeur de français. Je travaille pour French Toast.
  • I am a French teacher. I work for French Toast.
Hobbies & profession
DIALOGUE - Part 1 Client - Bonjour ! Excusez-moi, c'est bien ici l'école de pâtisserie? Secrétaire - Oui, oui, bien sûr! Bonjour et bienvenue! C - Je m'appelle Madame Mancini et ma fille veut s’inscrire dans un cours de pâtisserie. C'est possible? S - Bien sûr, aucun problème ! Comment elle s'appelle? C - Elle s'appelle Alice Mancini. S - Mancini? Comment ça s'écrit? C - M-A-N-C-I-N-I S - Et quel âge a-t-elle? C - Elle a 12 ans. S - Et quelle est sa nationalité? C - Elle est italienne. Oui, mon mari est italien, il vient de Rome. S - Oh, vraiment?! J’ai une amie italienne aussi, elle habite à Paris avec moi. Elle est professeure de tennis. C - Vraiment ? Alice adore jouer au tennis. Elle aime faire de la peinture et de la natation tous les week-ends. S - Très bien!! Et quel est votre numéro de téléphone, s'il vous plait? C - Alors, c’est le 01 46 97 02 48. S - D'accord, et vous avez un numéro de portable s'il vous plait? C - Oui, c'est le 06 43 76 14 01. Pouvez-vous me donner des informations sur votre école de pâtisserie?
Preview 03:27

A quiz to get you talking.

Let's talk !
10 questions
+ Conjugation basics with "être" & "avoir"
3 lectures 19:56

Similarly to English, to be and to have are the 2 most used verbs in French.

To be, “être” in French.

  • Je suis - I am
  • Tu es - You are
  • Il / Elle est - He / she is
  • Nous sommes - We are
  • Vous êtes - You are
  • Ils / Elles sont - They are

To have, “avoir” in French.

  • J’ai - I have
  • Tu as - You have
  • Il / Elle a - He / she has
  • Nous avons - We have
  • Vous avez - You have
  • Ils / Elles ont - They have
"To be, or not to be..."

You might have heard that French conjugation was terribly complicated… Well, you were not totally wrong. However, while surely more complicated than English conjugation, French conjugation has its rules, and it is not as difficult to understand than it seems.

What is conjugation ?

To conjugate a verb is write it accordingly to the person (I, he, you, we, my mother, the teacher…) and the tense (to make it simple, present, future and past).

Structure of a verb : verbs have a RADICAL (the stem) and a TERMINAISON (the ending). The helpful part is that for regular verbs, the RADICAL will not change, only the TERMINAISON will. For example, reguler verbs ending in -ER will follow this pattern :

  • Je radical + e
  • Tu radical + es
  • Il / Elle radical + e
  • Nous radical + ons
  • Vous radical + ez
  • Ils / Elles radical + ent

Example : Donner - To give

  • Je donne
  • Tu donnes
  • Il / Elle donne
  • Nous donnons
  • Vous donnez
  • Ils / Elles donnent
Demystifying French conjugation


  • Je fais
  • Tu fais
  • Il / Elle fait
  • Nous faisons
  • Vous faites
  • Ils / Elles font


  • Je vais
  • Tu vas
  • Il / Elle va
  • Nous allons
  • Vous allez
  • Ils / Elles vont

POUVOIR - TO BE ABLE TO (commonly translated by CAN)

  • Je peux
  • Tu peux
  • Il / Elle peut
  • Nous pouvons
  • Vous pouvez
  • Ils / Elles peuvent


  • Je veux
  • Tu veux
  • Il veut
  • Nous voulons
  • Vous voulez
  • Ils veulent
Essential verbs

Test yourself on your French conjugation skills.

Ready, Set... Conjugate !
10 questions
+ Gender & Number
3 lectures 09:52

One of the beauties of the French, genders ! Similarly to using IL (he) and ELLE (she) when talking about a man or a woman, each object in French is either male or female.

There is no way to guess the gender of a word, see yourself : the word moustache is feminine, the word lipstick is masculine !!!

The best and maybe only way to easily remember the gender of a word is, when learning it for the first time, to remember the article with it “UN” (masculine) or “UNE” (feminine). This will make your brain memorise not only the word but its gender as well.

Do all Frenchwomen have moustaches ?

Besides having a gender, words have a “number”, meaning that they can be singular or plural and for some exception invariable. This is exactly the same as in English, you would say “a man” but “men”, and you would say “one red car” but “two red cars”.

In both English & French, the most common way to obtain the plural form of a word is by adding an S to its singular :

This is my only friend > These are my only friends.

However, in both languages, not all words have their plural ending with a S.

English examples : man > men, child > children, baby > babies

In French, simply follows these 3 simple rules :

  • Words already ending in -s, -x and - z DO NOT CHANGE : un prix > deux prix
  • Words ending in -eu, -au, -eau generally takes an X : un drapeau > deux drapeaux
  • Words ending in -al have their plural ending in -aux : un cheval > deux chevaux
Singular & Plural
DIALOGUE - Part 2 C - Oui, c'est le 06 43 76 14 01. Pouvez-vous me donner des informations sur votre école de pâtisserie? S - Bien sûr! Alors notre école a 7 chefs étoilés. Ils donnent des cours de pâtisserie à Paris. Parmi eux, il y a Chef Michot, il est français. Il y a aussi Chef Matsumi, il est japonais. Et il y a Chef Kutchikov, il est russe. Nous avons 149 étudiants. Ils ont entre 8 et 70 ans. C - C'est très intéressant ! Et vous proposez quelles activités ? S - Chaque année, nous organisons des journées découvertes dans les cuisines de grands restaurants parisiens, des pâtisseries prestigieuses ou dans des chocolateries. C'est très intéressant! Les enfants adorent.... c'est un peu comme "Charlie et la chocolaterie"... C - C'est fabuleux! Et c'est possible pour les parents de venir avec vous aux journées découvertes? S - Non, je suis désolé Madame... c’est seulement pour les étudiants. C - C'est bien dommage!
Dialogue - Part 2

Let's see how you fare when it comes to gender and number !

Do YOU have a moustache ?
10 questions
+ Articles & Pronouns
2 lectures 08:02

The French definite article corresponds to "the" in English. There are four forms of the French definite article :

  • le masculine singular
  • la feminine singular
  • l' m or f in front of a vowel or some words starting with H
  • les m or f plural

Which definite article to use depends on three things: the noun's gender, number, and first letter:

  • If the noun is plural, use les
  • If it's a singular noun starting with a vowel or h, use l'
  • If it's singular and starts with a consonant or h aspiré, use le for a masculine noun and la for a feminine noun

These prepositions contract with the definite articles le and les :

  • à + le = au
  • à + les = aux
  • de + le = du
  • de + les = des
Definite Articles ("The")

The subject of a verb, a sentence, is the person or thing which performs the action of that verb. Subject pronouns simply replace this person or thing.

  • Marie dort > Marie is sleeping.
  • Elle dort > She is sleeping.

The full list of pronoms sujets (subject pronouns) is : JE, TU, IL, ELLE, ON, NOUS, VOUS, ILS, ELLES

Stressed pronouns are used to emphasise a noun or pronoun that refers to a person.

The full list of pronoms toniques (stressed pronouns) is : MOI, TOI, LUI, ELLE, NOUS, VOUS, EUX, ELLES

  • Qui veut manger ? Moi !
  • Who wants to eat ? Me !
What are pronouns ?

Articles and pronouns may be confusing for some students, let's see how YOU do !

The chosen one !
10 questions
+ Getting around
4 lectures 18:06

Now, here is something easy ! Telling time in French is just a matter of knowing the French numbers and a few formulas and rules.

Remember, French use the 24-hour system.

Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it ?

Il est une heure. It is 1 o'clock.

Il est deux heures de l'après-midi. It is 2 in the afternoon.

Il est six heures du matin. It is 6 in the morning.

Il est huit heures du soir. It is 8 in the evening.

Il est midi. It is 12 noon.

Il est minuit. It is 12 midnight.

Il est cinq heures et quart. It is a quarter past 5.

Il est sept heures et demie. It is half past seven.

Il est dix heures moins le quart. It is a quarter to ten.

What time is it ?

Deciding which French preposition to use with countries, cities, and other geographical names can be somewhat confusing, at least until now! This lesson will explain which prepositions to use and why.

As a general guideline, geographical names which end in e are feminine, while those that end in any other letter are masculine.

Masculine country

  • Je vais au Japon - I go to Japan
  • Je suis au Japon - I am in Japan
  • Je viens du Japon - I am from Japan

Feminine country

  • Je vais en France- I go to France
  • Je suis en France - I am in France
  • Je viens de France - I am from France

Plural country

  • Je vais aux États-Unis- I go to the US
  • Je suis aux États-Unis - I am in the US
  • Je viens des États-Unis - I am from the US
Around the world

Exploring French-speaking countries can be quite an adventure, but you need to know how to ask for directions in French and to understand what you're told. After all, if you don't understand the directions, you might miss the very things you hoped to see !

  • Excusez-moi ? Pardon ? Excuse-me.
  • Où se trouve la rue Poincaré ? Where is the Poincaré street ?

  • ici / here
  • là / there
  • par ici / this way
  • par là / that way
  • nord / north, sud / south, est / east, ouest / west
  • tournez à droite / turn right, à gauche / turn left
  • tout droit / straight
  • à droite / on the right, à gauche / on the left
  • une carte / a map
  • au coin de / at the corner of
  • devant / in front of , derrière / behind
  • la prochaine rue / the next street
  • là-bas / over there
  • le centre-ville / downtown
  • à côté de / next to

C - Parfait! Je suis sûre qu'Alice va être très heureuse dans votre école de pâtisserie!

À quelle heure avez-vous une classe pour ados le mercredi?

S - Le mercredi? À 10h et à 15h30.

C - Et le samedi?

S - Le samedi? à 9h15 et à 13h45.

C - Pour moi, c'est difficile d'amener ma fille, mais pour mon mari, lui, c'est possible.

Où se trouve l'école de cuisine exactement?

S - Elle n'est pas loin d'ici. Elle se trouve 15 rue Nobel. L'école est à droite du petit cinéma, derrière le parc. À gauche de notre école, il y a une pâtisserie. C'est là que sont commercialisées les délicieuses créations de nos élèves!

C - C'est parfait. La séance du mercredi à 15h30 est parfaite. Combien coûte l'inscription?

Dialogue - Part 3
Which way ?
10 questions
+ Conclusion
1 lecture 04:50

Congratulations ! You made it through the first level !

How was it ? Did you find it difficult, challenging or was it a breeze ?

Well, do not worry, the first step when learning a new foreign language, no matter which, is always the most difficult, especially for adults.

Everything is new, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar… While it is exciting, it is a lot to get used to and to remember. And even though we have all the motivation and good will in the world before you get started, once you come face to face with the difficulties you might have a hard time overcoming them.

Watch the video and take note of our tips to overcome these difficulties and make your learning experience better !

Take a deep breath !

The "Grand Quiz", testing you on everything you have learnt in this course. Hang on tight !

How is your French ?
10 questions
+ Extras
2 lectures 15:46
DIALOGUE - Part 3 C - C'est bien dommage! Bon, je suis sûre que ma fille Alice va être très heureuse dans votre école de pâtisserie! À quelle heure avez-vous des cours pour ados le mercredi? S - Le mercredi? À 10h et à 15h30. C - Et le samedi? S - Le samedi? À 9h15 et à 13h45. C - C'est très difficile pour moi, mais pour mon mari c'est possible d’amener ma fille. Et où se trouve l’école ? S - Elle n'est pas loin d'ici. C’est au 15 rue Nobel. L'école est à droite du petit cinéma, derrière le parc. À gauche de notre école, il y a une pâtisserie. C'est là que sont commercialisées les délicieuses créations de nos élèves! C - C'est parfait. La séance du mercredi à 15h est très bien. Combien coûte l'inscription? S - C’est 300 euros pour 10 séances d'une heure. Et cela commence mercredi prochain. C - Voila 300 euros. S - Merci beaucoup Madame. C - Merci beaucoup Monsieur. Au revoir! S - Au revoir. C - À bientôt. S - À bientôt.
Dialogue (uncut)

We hope that you had as much fun learning as we had preparing this course for you !

Exclusive Bloopers