Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 19 years in the US, France, and to people around the world over the phone and by Skype . My method is proven and unique, and, based on my students' goals and needs, I've developed high quality French audiobooks and French audio lessons for all levels.
Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!
"Pâques" is an important holiday in France: a religious one of course, but also a traditional gathering for families, religious or not. Kids go egg hunting (you can see our daughter Leyla in action), but our egg providers are a bit different: magic bells!! And we traditionally cook a large meal with a leg of lamb, and set a lively table to honor the coming of Spring time.
This is such a common mistake, and it's soooo embarrassing. The verb "to kiss" is "embrasser". The NOUN "a kiss" is "un baiser". Don't use the noun as a verb...
We already studied common French verbs followed by the prepositions 'à' and "de". Now, here is a list of common French verbs which are not followed by any preposition when followed by a verb in the infinitive. The second verbs comes directly after the first verb, as in "Paul adore jouer au ballon" (Paul loves to play with a ball). Of course, these verbs may or may not take a preposition in English, so you need to really link the meaning of the verb to the action being described, not the English words.
In French, some verbs are followed by the prepositions "à" (je cherche à comprendre) or "de" (J'évite de comprendre), others by nothing (je veux comprendre). I looked all over the place for an explanation, some sort of rule or logic, but couldn't find anything, and couldn't figure it out myself (if you do know something, please don't hesitate to share it with all of us and post a comment, or contact me).
Now, let's study the list of French verbs followed by the preposition "de". As I mentioned in my list of French verbs followed by "à", I couldn't find any rhyme or reason why this is the way it is. I suggest you try to memorize them. The best way to do so is to copy them onto flash cards, and use them in sentences that make sense to you, connecting them to your own life experiences. For example, I could write "j'ai peur des araignées" - I am afraid of spiders, which is true, and a statement that makes sense to me.
This might seem like a weird subject, but many of my students seem baffled by the European style bathtub: a regular bathtub, with a hand shower at the end of a cord, and very often no shower curtain or glass separator. "How the heck am I supposed to wash my hair??" they often ask...
Today, I'll unravel the mystery ;-)
Tripes, chicken hearts, brains... one of my students' biggest fears when going to France is ordering one of these variety meats, or organ meats (referring to the internal organs and entrails of animals). As disgusting as this may sound to some, many of these meats are considered a delicacy, and are indeed common in French cuisine. I will list some of the common offal and their French translation, as well as wide-spread dishes that feature them.
Traveling to France in May can be a bit complicated. We have many holidays, and many long weekends.
French is an evolving language. You know it, and you've been warned. Yet when you walk the streets of Paris, it can be quite a shock... On top of the "parler d'jeunes" (generation Y new slang), the verlan (common French practice consisting of inverting the order of syllables in a word), and the traditional slang, you are going to encounter many grammatical constructions and glidings that are quite far from your textbook French: welcome to the world of modern spoken French!
Don't put your métro tickets near coins or metal
The subway tickets have a magnetic strip. If it gets in contact with metal, it will become demagnetized and the tickets won't work: the machine will reject them. If that happens to you and there is a booth near by, cut of the line and go directly to the teller. Hand him/her your tickets and tell them they don't work, they need to be changed. And don't store your tickets in your wallet.... how practical!