Level A1 – 20 French Dictées

“Dictation is the transcription of spoken text: one person who is “dictating” speaks and another who is “taking dictation” writes down the words as they are spoken. Among speakers of several languages, dictation is used as a test of language skill, similar to spelling bees in the English-speaking world.”

You can watch the first of twenty French beginner level dictation exercises in the video at the bottom of this post. Click on the button below for a free transcript, translation, and audio version of “Dans la rue”.

➯ Video presentation of the dictée. Watch me and listen as I read each sentence two times slowly enough to understand and write at the same time. Many non-natives find it makes the listening comprehension part of dictation exercises more manageable to see the speaker’s mouth. Once I’ve finished reading the dictation, I will present each written sentence in French along with the English translation. Once we’ve gone through all of the sentences and you have checked your work, I will present the complete text in paragraph form on the screen. At that time, we can slowly read through the complete text together so they can see how the separate sentences actually form a short story.

➯ Audio presentation of the dictée.. Listen as I read each sentence two times slowly enough to understand and write at the same time. This version of the exercise will be more challenging as you will not see the speaker’s mouth.

➯ PDF of the numbered sentences in the dictée and the English translation.

➯ Numbered response sheet. This is located on page 2 of the PDF.

The following dictées are included in my money saving FRENCH PROGRAM FOR SELF-LEARNERS.

All of the included themes are also available for individual purchase:

French Listening Comprehension for Beginners

Have you learned all or most of the French grammar you see on the list below? Do you find it easier to read and write than to speak and understand when being spoken to? Listening comprehension takes a ton of practice. Watch Jennifer’s first lesson on listening comprehension for beginners in the video below. This is the French course for you if you have studied a lot of basic grammar, and you need to practice putting it all together. Maybe you have some knowledge of French grammar, but you have difficulty creating solid sentences. In this course you will learn a lot about all of those “extra” words that pop up everywhere in French (and why they’re there).

This is an upper beginner level French listening comprehension course. Ten lessons are included for a total of 2.5 + hours of video instruction. Each comprehensive lesson includes French grammar unique to the A1 level (see grammar specifics below).

This lesson is included in my BUNDLED FRENCH LESSONS.

Each lesson covers a different theme, but the grammar used is repeated in different contexts lesson to lesson all the while adding new elements from the list.

In each lesson:

  • Jennifer does a first reading of the text on video
  • Jennifer asks 5 comprehension questions and you begin to answer
  • Jennifer does a second reading of the text on video
  • Jennifer shows you the 5 comprehension questions in written form and you finish answering
  • Jennifer goes over all 5 questions and answers with you
  • Jennifer leads you through a comprehensive grammatical analysis of the text

Each video lesson lasts approximately fifteen minutes. PDFs of the texts in French with English translations as well as the 5 listening comprehension questions are provided for you to print out and perhaps take notes on as you take each lesson.

This French listening comprehension course for beginners covers the grammar on the list below:

  • French subject pronouns
  • Stressed pronouns
  • Articles: Definite, indefinite and partitives
  • Plural nouns
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Prepositions of location
  • Numbers
  • Time, days, months
  • French verb ALLER
  • French verb ÊTRE
  • French verb AVOIR + expressions
  • French verb FAIRE + expressions
  • French verb PRENDRE
  • French verb METTRE
  • Descriptive adjectives
  • Questions
  • Il faut / Il ne faut pas
  • Themed vocabulary

There is a lot included in the lessons that isn’t on this list. Don’t worry, these are new things you will learn during our time together. Have a look at the first lesson in the following video.

French Reflexive Verbs

🎥 Scroll down to watch my video lesson on French reflexive verbs 🎥

French Reflexive Verbs

The subject and object are the same with reflexive verbs. They are called this, because the action reflects back on the subject. The subject is actually doing the action to itself. These are unlike direct and indirect object pronouns, which are used when the action is being done to someone or something else.

Reflexive verbs are very common, and they are used in everyday French. The infinitive form of a reflexive verb is preceded by the reflexive pronoun se, as you will see in the list of common verbs below.

As you will learn in my video lesson below, these verbs require reflexive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns always agree with the subject they refer to. ME and TE change to MOI and TOI in affirmative commands.

Present tense

Place the pronoun directly before the conjugated verb.

Passé Composé

When using reflexive verbs in the passé composé, you need to use the verb être as a helping verb. Place the pronoun right before the helping verb. Remember to make the subject and past participle agree in number and gender.

Body Part Rule (Passé Composé)

When using reflexive verbs in the passé composé, if a body part follows the past participle, you do NOT need to make agreement, even if the subject is feminine or plural. Also note that body parts are preceded by definite articles, and not possessive adjectives. You don’t need to use possessive adjectives, because the reflexive pronoun has already made it clear whose body part it is.

Get your list of French Daily Routine Vocabulary here

👇 Download your 10 page support guide to this video lesson on Patreon 👇

French Passé Composé with Être – List of Verbs

The Passé Composé with Être

The passé composé of certain French verbs uses the present tense form of être as helping verb. You need to add the past participle of the verb you want to use in the past tense. Do not confuse verbs that use être with action verbs. Many action verbs use avoir as helping verb.  Most of these verbs express a change of place, state, or condition. Reflexive verbs also use être as a helping verb.

👉 Scroll down to watch my video lesson on this grammar topic and for teacher resources 👈

List of the most common 17 verbs that use être as auxiliary verb.



Download your support guide to this lesson.


French Dictée – A1 Level – Le Voyage

Listen to the dictée while watching the video below. Download your free support guide which indicates all of the grammar topics included as well as the correction and English translation @LLL French Academy.

LENGTH40 – 60 WORDS: This is the length of the written part of the A1 DELF EXAM
INSTRUCTIONSWrite exactly what you hear in the dictée.  I will read each sentence twice. 

Pause the video if you need more time to write. Keep in mind that in French many words seem to run together and sound like just one word. 

Useful vocabulary:
point = period; full stop
virgule = comma
point d’exclamation = exclamation mark
point d’interrogation = question mark
GRAMMARGrammar covered in this dictée:

Regular French verbs ending in ER, IR, and RE
Reflexive verbs – Present tense
Futur proche
Passé composé with avoir
Imperfect tense
Direct object pronouns
Indirect object pronouns

Regular French Descriptive Adjectives


Descriptive Adjectives

There are two main factors to consider when using adjectives in French, and they are very different to the way we use adjectives in English. Scroll all the way down if you just want a quick list of 40 very easy to use French adjectives.

French adjectives must agree in number and in gender with the person, place or thing that they are describing. 
Most of the time you need to place the adjective AFTER the noun it is describing.  
The final consonant in masculine adjectives is usually silent, and usually pronounced in feminine ones.

Agreement of French adjectives

Most of the time you add E to masculine adjectives to make them feminine, and you add S to make them plural.  Exceptions follow.


Masculine singular

👉 bleu

👉 C’est un stylo bleu.

Masculine plural

👉 bleus

👉 Ce sont des stylos bleus.

Feminine singular

👉 bleue

👉 C’est une voiture bleue.

👉 Ce sont des voitures bleues.


Masculine singular

👉 amusant

👉 C’est un garçon amusant.

Masculine plural

👉 amusants

👉 Ce sont des garçons amusants.

Feminine singular

👉 amusante

👉 C’est une fille amusante.

👉 Ce sont des filles amusantes.


Masculine singular

👉 salé

👉 C’est un plat salé.

Masculine plural

👉 salés

👉 Ce sont des plats salés.

Feminine singular

👉 salée

👉 C’est une tarte salée.

👉 Ce sont des tartes salées.

Sometimes the masculine form of the adjective already ends in E.  When this is the case there is no difference in the masculine and feminine forms.


Masculine singular

👉 timide

👉 C’est un garçon timide.

Masculine plural

👉 timides

👉 Ce sont des garçons timides.

Feminine singular

👉 timide

👉 C’est une fille timide.

👉 Ce sont des filles timides.

Other common regular French adjectives

English meaningmasculine singularmasculine pluralfeminine singularfeminine plural

40 easy to use French descriptive adjectives

17gravetotally (slang)
18grosfat; heavy
21librefree; available
25pareilthe same
27presséin a hurry

French Verb Falloir – Il faut


👉 Watch my video lesson on the French verb FALLOIR. 

👉 Take the quiz  at the end of the lesson to see how you can avoid using the subjunctive.

The verb falloir is an impersonal verb.  You can only use it in the il form.  In this lesson we will focus on the present tense, but you can use this verb in many other tenses.  

Master the French verb FALLOIR – Included in my French Program for Self-Learners

Examples from the lesson:

👉 Il faut un passeport pour voyager à l’étranger.


You need a passport to travel abroad.  

👉 Il faut manger pour vivre et non vivre pour manger.


You must eat to live and not live to eat. 

👉 Il faut commencer maintenant.

We need to start now.


You can still use the verbs devoir and avoir besoin de to mean must or need, but you’ll sound much more French if you use falloir!

When you use the verb falloir with the indirect object  pronouns ME – TE – LUI – NOUS – VOUS – LEUR you can totally avoid the subjunctive by following them up with an infinitive.  Just remember when translating sentences to English, il will not be the first word you translate. The first translated word will be the pronoun.  English and French are just different that way. Look at the following examples.

👉 Il me faut un nouvel appartement.
👉 I need a new apartment.

👉 Il te faut des oeufs?
👉 Do you need eggs?

👉 Il lui faut son maillot de bain.
👉 He / She needs his / her swimsuit.

👉 Il lui faut ses baskets.
👉 He / She needs his / her sports shoes.

👉 Il nous faut une grande voiture.
👉 We need a big car.

👉 Il vous faut trois euros.
👉 You need three euros.

👉 Il leur faut du travail.
👉 They need work.


French Subjunctive Mood

French Subjunctive Lesson

The subjunctive is rumored to be the most difficult thing in French, but it’s not true. Watch the video lesson and follow along reading the text below. I will not teach every exception in this lesson.  Let’s keep it simple for now. 

Watch my video lesson on the French subjunctive.  Take the quiz  at the end of the video. See the exercise at the bottom of this page, and I’ll tell you the answers during the video.

👉 When and why do we use the subjunctive in French?

👉 How do you form the subjunctive?

👉 Examples using the subjunctive in meaningful context.

French Subjunctive

  • The present French subjunctive refers to actions in the present or future.
  • Use the subjunctive when the sentence contains a dependent and a main clause.
  • The dependent and main clauses are connected by the word QUE.
  • One of the clauses will demonstrate a WEIRDO condition.
  • If what follows QUE is subjective in nature,  you must use the subjunctive. 


The WEIRDO acronym can help you remember which verbs trigger the use of the subjunctive when followed by QUE.

WWishing / wanting
IImpersonal expressions
RRequest / require / recommend
DDoubt / demand / deny

What do sentences with main and dependent clauses connected by QUE look like?  Here are some examples from my video lesson (scroll down to watch it).

Wishing / Wanting
Je voudrais que tu finisses tes devoirs.
Je voudrais means I would like, so it demonstrates wanting. 
The Je voudrais and the tu finisses tes devoirs are connected by QUE
Just because I want THAT you finish your homework doesn’t mean you’re actually going to do it.
Je suis triste qu’elle ne vienne pas.
Je suis triste means I am sad, so it demonstrates an emotion.
The Je suis triste and the elle ne vienne pas are connected by QUE
I am sad THAT she’s not coming.
So why use the subjunctive here?  There’s not really a doubt associated with she’s not coming,  but anytime you’re dealing with emotion you do have to use the subjunctive.
Impersonal expressions
Il est important que nous répondions à toutes les questions.
Il est important means It is important, so that’s an impersonal expression. 
The Il est important and the nous répondions à toutes les questions are connected by QUE.
It is important THAT we respond to all of the questions, but just because it’s important doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen.  Right?
Requests / Requirements / Recommendations
Je suggère que vous arriviez un peu en avance.
Je suggère means I suggest, so that’s a recommendation.
Je suggère and the vous arriviez un peu en avance are joined by QUE.
Just because I suggest THAT you arrive a little early doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Demands / doubts / denying
Il faut que je mette la table.
Il faut means It is necessary, so that’s a demand. 
You can easily use Il faut followed by an infinitive and avoid the subjunctive altogether, but many times you’ll want to say Il faut que followed by another clause that begins with a subject.
In this example Il faut and je mette la table are joined by QUE
Just because It is necessary THAT I set the table doesn’t mean I’ll do it.
Je ne crois pas que ce soit une bonne idée.
Je ne crois pas means I don’t believe, so that demonstrates an Opinion.
The Je ne crois pas and the ce soit une bonne idée  are connected by QUE.
Just because I don’t believe THAT it is a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not.

How to Form the Present French Subjunctive

Before doing some exercises together I will show you how to form the subjunctive. There are just a few irregular verbs to learn.  As you may have guessed, the irregular verbs are the ones we use all the time.

How to form the stem / radical

  • The stem is what you’ll add the subjunctive endings to.
  • Take the -ENT off of the 3rd person plural form of the present tense verb
  • Take a free quiz on forming the subjunctive @ LLL French Academy
Il faut It is necessary
It is necessary THAT we write a letter.Il faut que nous écrivions une lettre.
That we write a letterThis part of the sentence needs the subjunctive.  Why?  Remember, just because it’s necessary doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. 

The verb «ÉCRIRE»:  Present subjunctive

How do you form the stem / radical?3rd person plural (indicative):Ils écrivent

Take the -ENT off of the 3rd person plural form of the verb.

Écriv-  This is your stem

Now add the subjunctive endings.
What are the subjunctive endings?This is the present subjunctive of the verb écrire.  The endings are in bold print:

que j’écrive

que tu écrives

qu’il écrive / qu’elle écrive / qu’on écrive

que nous écrivions

que vous écriviez

qu’ils écrivent

qu’elles écrivent

Stem-Changing Verbs in the French Subjunctive

  • Verbs that are stem changing in the present indicative are the same in the subjunctive.
  • Keep the same stem in the je, tu, il / elle / on, and ils / elles forms.
  • Only the nous and vous forms that will be different, and the same is true in the regular present tense.
  • We will look at only 4 stem changing verbs, but know that the same rule applies to other verbs in the same category.


Form the stem the regular way:  ils boivent, take off the -ent, and it becomes boiv- Only nous and vous will have a different stem.
que je boiveque nous buvions
que tu boivesque vous buviez
qu’il boive / qu’elle boive / qu’on boivequ’ils boivent / qu’elles boivent


Form the stem the regular way:  Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem envoie-
que j’envoieque nous envoyions
que tu envoiesque vous envoyiez
qu’il envoie / qu’elle envoie / qu’on envoiequ’ils envoient / qu’elles envoient


Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem prenn-
que je prenneque nous prenions
que tu prennesque vous preniez
qu’il prenne / qu’elle prenne / qu’on prennequ’ils prennent / qu’elles prennent


Nous and vous have an irregular stem; take the -ent off of the 3rd person plural form and you have the stem vienn-
que je vienneque nous venions
que tu viennesque vous veniez
qu’il vienne / qu’elle vienne / qu’on viennequ’ils viennent / qu’elles viennent

Verbs with irregular stems (and regular endings) 

Verbs with one stem  

faire (fass-)   pouvoir  (puiss-)  savoir (sach-)
Que je fasseQue je puisseQue je sache
Que tu fassesQue tu puissesQue tu saches
Qu’il fasseQu’il puisseQu’on sache
Que nous fassionsQue nous puissionsQue nous sachions
Que vous fassiezQue vous puissiezQue vous sachiez
Qu’ils fassentQu’ils puissentQu’ils sachent

Verbs with two stems

Aller (aill- / all-)Vouloir (veuill- / voul-)
Que j’ailleQue nous allionsQue je veuilleQue nous voulions
Que tu aillesQue vous alliezQue tu veuillesQue vous vouliez
Qu’il ailleQu’ils aillentQu’il veuilleQu’ils veuillent

Verbs with irregular stems and irregular endings

Que j’aieQue nous ayonsQue je soisQue nous soyons
Que tu aiesQue vous ayezQue tu soisQue vous soyez
Qu’il aitQu’ils aientQu’il soitQu’ils soient

Exercise to practice the French subjunctive

  • See the written questions here, and I’ll tell you the answer in the video around the 29 minute mark.  
  • In the first exercise put all verbs in the present subjunctive.
  • In the second exercise you will need to decide between the subjunctive and the indicative. 

Exercise 1

1Il faut que tu _____ (faire) tes devoirs.
2Je veux qu’il _____ (partir) ce soir.
3Je regrette que vous _____ (être) en retard.
4Elle est très heureuse que nous _____ (prendre) le train.
5 Il faut que vous _____ (dire) la vérité.
6Je ne pense pas qu’il _____ (avoir) raison.
7Je voudrais que tu _____ (apprendre) le russe.
8Vous ne croyez pas qu’il ____ (vouloir) nous voir?
9Je ne crois pas qu’ils se _____ (connaître).
10Il faut que vous _____ (pouvoir) le comprendre.

Exercise 2

1Je regrette que tu ne ____ pas venir avec nous à la campagne ce week-end.a.  peux        b. pouvais     c. puisses d.  pourras
2Il est sûr que tu ____ le français plus vite en pratiquant tous les jours.a.  apprendras   b. apprennes    c. appris d. apprenais
3Il faut que vous ____ plus d’exercice physique.a.  fassiez     b. faites   c. ferez d.  faisiez
4Nous sommes heureux que vous _____ à notre mariage.a.  veniez     b. viendrez      c. viendriez d.  venez
5Il n’est pas certain que ce projet _____ une excellente opportunité pour nous.a.  était     b. sera   c. est d.  soit

6Je veux que mon fils _____ plus soin de ses affaires.

a.  prenne     b. prend   c. prendra   d. prenait

7Le professeur exige que son élève ____ à l’examen.

a.  réussit    b. réussisse    c. réussira    d.  réussissait

8Il ne me semble pas que tu ____ ta leçon par coeur.  Tu dois encore réviser.

a.  savais    b. sais   c. saches d.  sauras

9Elle espère que tu _____ plus performant si tu acceptes de suivre cette formation.

a.  sois    b. étais    c. seras d.  as été

10Je ne pense pas qu’il ____ tort.

a.  avait     b. a c.  ait d. aura

French Possessive Pronouns

French possessive pronouns are used to replace nouns so that you can indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. Watch my video lesson below or click here to see it on YouTube.

‼ Possessive pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender.

‼ Possessive pronouns are always preceded by definite articles:  LE – LA – LES

‼ Possessive pronouns agree with nouns in number and gender.

‼ Possessive pronouns replace nouns preceded by possessive adjectives.


‼ Plural possessive pronouns only have three forms. 
‼ Use the NOUS form with the subject pronoun ON

‼ When à and de come before le and les, you have to form contractions:  AU or AUX and DU or DES

Mini-Course on Possessive Pronouns – Included in my French Course for Self Learners

Patreon tier 1 – Lesson guide
Patreon tier 2 – 4 matching activities
Patreon tier 3 – 4 quizzes
Patreon tier 4 – 60 practice cards

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