French Vocabulary – Drinks Posted by Tim Hildreth on Feb 6, 2018 in Culture, Vocabulary
Everyone knows the French love to eat. But they also love to drink. John’s recent post on sharing a drink with friends got me thinking about vocabulary for drinks.
Commençons avec un peu de vocabulaire (Let’s begin with a little vocabulary)
Quand j’ai* soif, je bois. (When I’m thirsty, I drink). The verb for to drink is boire. Boire is an irregular verb conjucated** in the pressent tense as:
My go-to beverage on a hot day in France is the Diabolo menthe. But there are lots of other choices. Here are the French words for some common boissons (drinks).
|l'eau||water||un verre||a glass|
|l'eau plate||still water||une bouteille||a bottle|
|l'eau gazeuse||sparkling water||une tasse||a cup|
|le lait||milk||un goblet en plastique||a plastic cup|
|le jus d'orange||orange juice|
|le soda||soda||un verre à vin^||a wine glass|
|le vin||wine||un verre de vin^||a glass of wine|
|le vin blanc||white wine|
|le vin rouge||red wine||un verre à eau^||a water glass|
|la bière||beer||un verre d'eau^||a glass of water|
|le cidre||hard/sparkling cider||une bouteille de vin||a bottle of wine|
|le thé||tea||une bouteille d'eau||a bottle of water|
^ Be sure to pay attention to the two different constructions here so you know the difference between a glass of something vs. a glass made for drinking that same thing.
Continuons avec une petite histoire (Let’s continue with a little story)
When we arrived in France for our vacation this summer, ma belle-fille (my step-daughter) Anne kindly left us a basket of local treats to tide us over until we could faire les courses (go shopping). Along with the panier (basket) of crêpes, pâtés, fromages, pain, et jambon (crepes, pates, cheeses, bread, and ham), she also left us quelques boissons – de l’eau, du vin, de la bière, du cidre, et … Breizh Cola. Breizh (the Breton*** word for Brittany) Cola was created in 2002 by deux amis (two friends). Aux aires de Coca-Cola (With an air of Coke), this “Cola du Phare Ouest” (the name of the company and a play on “far west”; un phare is a lighthouse and the phrase Il était une fois dans l’ouest . . . /Once upon a time in the west . . . evokes tales of the old cowboys and indians of the American West) has become a top selling soda in France.
You can learn more about Breizh Cola and Phare Ouest on their web site or in the short video below (which will let you practice your listening comprehension skills and see some lovely scenes of the lovely southern Morbihan area of Brittany.
* Remember that in French you use the verb avoir to express thirst (avoir soif) and hunger (avoir faim) as well as your age (J’ai 48 ans. / I am 48 years old.)
** You can always visit this useful site to see all the conjugations of almost any verb in French.
*** Breton, a Celtic language related to Welsh, is the local language of Brittany. It is no longer widely spoken, but has seen a bit of a ressurgence over the past few years. In many parts of the region you will see town names in both modern French and Breton.
Beverage photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/lime-juice-and-fruit-shake-on-glass-452737/
Breizh Cola photos by Tim Hildreth
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