French Connection: Directions & The Verbs Voir & Devoir

French Connection

As I continue to explore the unit on Locations, I have two important topics to discuss today: giving and asking for directions, and using the verbs voir and devoir.

Asking For Directions

It’s extremely important that when you visit a foreign-language country, you either know how to get around, or how to ask for directions. If you ever forget how to ask for directions, though, you can always resort to le plan.

Here are a few useful phrases:

Excuse me, sir/ma’am… = Excusez-moi / Pardon, monsieur / madame…

For example, in order to ask a man where the bank is, you might say:

Excusez-moi monsieur, où est la banque? 

Continuing…

I’m looking for… = Je cherche…

The phrase above uses the verb chercher in the je form. You can conjugate this (as a regular -er verb) depending on the pronoun, as in the sentence Nous cherchons la pharmacie.

Do you know where I’d find… = Savez-vous où se trouve/où est…

You might say… Savez-vous où se trouve le marché?

Can you tell me where there’s… = Est-ce que vous pouvez me dire où il y a…

Remember, il y a means there is/are. You might say… Est-ce que nous pouvez me dire où il y a l’ecole? (Do you know where there is the school?)

For more of this post, please click CONTINUE READING.

Giving Directions

When someone asks you directions, it’s also important to know how to respond. Here are some helpful phrases:

Prenez… = Take…

Prenez is very helpful when referring to street names, such as saying Prenez Vert Boulevard. (When we give commands, we often use a verb in it’s conjugated form [in this case vous] but without the actual pronoun, like that example)

À gauche = on the left

Both à gauche and à droite (below) can also be preluded by a verb, such as prenez à gauche.

À droite = on the right

Same idea as with à gauche.

Continuez jusqu’au / à la…

This refers to a lesson I don’t believe I’ve covered: au vs. à la, where au means to the, but when the verb is masculine. The opposite applies to à la. In this instance, you might reference specific landmarks around town, as well as street names.

Allez tout droit vers… = Go straight towards…

Again, another good one to use with landmarks and street names, though both of these can be used when speaking of places too.

Traversez… = cross…

Such as: traversez la rue, or traversez le pont. (Vocal words from around the town can be accessed here.

Tournez… = turn…

This is most commonly used when saying turn right or turn left.

À la prochaine / au prochaine… = At the next…

Same idea as with the à la and au. This is most commonly used with directions as well.

C’est là tout de suite sur votre gauche/droite. = It’s right there on your left/right.

This phrase, of course, is referring to the destination.

A few other things…

  • To say “I am lost” you would say Je suis perdu(e). The e is only added on if you, specifically, are female.
  • A common verb that you might want to use when giving directions is commencer, which means to start. Remember how to give commands!

The Verb Voir

One verb we recently learned in French Class is voir, and it is irregular (meaning that it has different conjugations than normal -ir verbs).

The verb voir means to see. Here is how you would conjugate it, along with a few example sentences:

Je: vois

Tu: vois

Il/Elle/On: voit

Nous: voyons

Vous: voyez

Ils/Elles: voient

Example sentences:

  • Je vois le marché.
  • Elles voient la pharmacie.
  • Tu vois le café.
  • Il voit l’hôpital.

You should be able to decipher what each of those means…

The Verb Devoir

Despite looking similar, the verb devoir bears little resemblance to voir. In this case, it means to have to, as in I have to wash the dishes.

Here are the appropriate conjugations:

Je: dois

Tu: dois

Il/Elle/On: doit

Nous: voyons

Vous: voyez

Ils/Elles: doivent

Example sentences: 

  • Tu dois tondre la pelouse (You must mow the lawn)
  • Je dois donner à manger le chien (I must feed the dog)
  • On dois écrire une lettre (One must write a letter)

That’s it for today’s lesson, and also for French Connection itself until July. I’ll be releasing more details about my June posting break at the end of the month.

Thanks so much for reading! I’ve attached the Quizlet set underneath my name.

Gabe

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Click the Quizlet icon above to access this post’s study set.

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