Your Free Time

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Your Free Time

How do you spend your free time? You probably feel you don't have too much of it at the moment, having to revise for exams! This topic is bound to come up in one form or another in any of your exams, so make sure you know the vocabulary really well and that you've got plenty to say if it comes up in the speaking exam.

The list of hobbies is endless. If you have a particular hobby, make sure you can say lots about it in French. This exercise is to help you revise some of the usual hobbies. It is just to give you some ideas.

Look at the pictures of free time activities below, then drag the French phrases on top. Mark your answer to see how you got on...

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In all languages, the verb (doing word) changes according to who is doing the action. This happens in English, but if it's your mother tongue, you don't think about it! When we learn another language, we have to learn these things as we go along, but it helps to know that English is just like any other language.

So, if we look at the verb "to play". In English, we would say "I play". If we then want to say someone else (male or female) is playing, we say "he plays", or "she plays" we add an -s to the word plays.

French verbs change too. First of all, you need to see how a verb operates. You take the "infinitive" - that's the word you will find when you look up an activity in the dictionary - for example, to play = jouer.

Then, you lop off the -er and you are left with "jou". (This is called the stem!)

You then add on the endings according to who is doing the action:

je joue I play
tu joues You play (friend, family member)
il/elle joue He/she plays
nous jouons We play
vous jouez You play (polite, formal)
ils/ elles jouent They play

Note: When you say, for example, "John plays", you use the same part of the verb as saying "he/she plays" - for example, John joue.

Likewise, if you are talking about two or more people playing, it is the same as saying "they play", so you use this part of the verb - for example, John et Mary jouent.

Use this exercise below to practise your verbs. Drag the verbs into the correct yellow gap and mark your answer:

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The sorts of activities we do in our spare time often depend on the weather - for instance, sledging in winter/sunbathing in summer.

In French, you use the word "quand" if you want to say when it's hot,cold, etc?

You have to be careful with word order, but if you can use this structure correctly, just think about all those marks adding up!

Look at the pictures of weather and the activities. Read the sentences and click on the one that best describes the image. Mark your answer and then try the next question:

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Some of us are couch potatoes and some of us love kicking a ball around. You need to be able to say what you like and don't like doing in your spare time.

Here is a reminder of how to say you like and don't like doing things:

J'aime jouer au football I like playing football
J'aime bien jouer au football I really like playing football
Je n'aime pas jouer au football I don't like playing football
Je n'aime pas du tout jouer au football I really don't like playing football

To gain extra marks in your speaking or writing exams, you should always try and give a reason.

Here are some ideas for reasons for and against doing various activities:

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C'est intéressant It's interesting
C'est amusant It's fun
On se fait des amis You make lots of friends
Je retrouve la forme I get fit
Je me garde en forme I stay fit
J'apprends beaucoup I learn a lot
C'est passionnant It's exciting
C'est bon marché It's cheap
C'est gratuit It costs nothing

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C'est ennuyeux It's boring
Ce n'est pas amusant It's no fun
C'est difficile It's difficult
C'est cher It's expensive
Je dois acheter des vêtements I have to buy new clothes

So, to put the two things together you need a word that sticks bits of sentences together, called a conjunction. The word you will use here is "parce que" = because.

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