School Supplies in French

Instructor: Marcy Farrell
Around the world, most students use pens, pencils, and notebooks. Teachers often write on boards or use electronic equipment in the classroom. In this vocabulary lesson, you will learn the French names of basic schools supplies for students and teachers.

Backpacks and Bookbags

Robert is an American exchange student living with a host family in France. The host family's son, Gabriel, is a French high school student. Robert takes his sac à dos, (pronounced: sahk ah doh) his backpack, to school each day. Gabriel has a book bag, un cartable, (pronounced: uh cahr-tah-bluh) to carry his books and other fournitures scolaires (pronounced: for-nee-tyuhr skoh-layr), school supplies.

un cartable
image of blue student briefcase

Pens and Pencils

Robert notices that Gabriel also has une trousse (pronounced: oohn troohs), a pencil case. He keeps various writing implements in his trousse, which means he usually can lend Robert anything he needs. Being a little forgetful, Robert often has to ask Gabriel for un stylo (pronounced: uhn stee-loh), a pen or un crayon (pronounced: uhn cray-ahn), a pencil. Sometimes Robert and Gabriel use des crayons de couleur (pronounced: day cray-ahn duh cooh-leuhr), colored pencils.

un stylo plume
image of a black fountain pen

Robert is still getting used to using un stylo plume (pronounced: uhn stee-loh ploohm), a fountain pen, for written assignments. The French kids have been using them for years. Gabriel has to help Robert figure out how to put in un cartouche d'encre (pronounced: oohn cahr-toohsh dahn-cruh), an ink cartridge.

Paper and Notebooks

Robert has un cahier (pronounced: uhn cay-ay), a notebook, so he rarely has to ask Gabriel for une feuille de papier (pronounced: oohn feuhy duh pah-pee-ay), a sheet of paper. Robert also has un classeur (pronounced: uhn clahss-euhr), a binder where he keeps handouts. He's gotten into the French habit of putting handouts into une pochette (pronounced: oohn poh-sheht), a clear plastic sheet protector.

Other Supplies

Gabriel has lots of other useful stuff in his trousse. He always carries un tube de colle (pronounced: uhn toohb duh cohl), a gluestick, and un ciseau (pronounced: uhn see-zoh), a pair of scissors. He also has un taille-crayon (pronounced: uhn tie cray-ahn), a pencil sharpener and une règle (pronounced: oohn rehg-luh), a ruler, and une gomme (pronounced: oohn guhm), an eraser.

Although French and American students are reading online more and more, they still often use livres (pronounced: leev-ruh), books. Gabriel has textbooks for most of his classes, including un livre de maths (pronounced: uhn leev-ruh du mat) and un livre de français (pronounced: frahn-say).

Teacher Supplies

un tableau noir
image of chalkboard with Pi symbol

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