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New year resolutions in French
The new year is upon us, and of course, French people also make New Year's resolutions (les bonnes résolutions du nouvel an). Here is a list of vocabulary and constructions used for New Year's resolutions in French + examples.

First, we’ll see what common constructions we use to make New Year’s resolutions in French. Then I’ll explain the difference between “an” and “année”, tell you why we say “le nouvel an” and we’ll study some typical French resolutions.

Les Bonnes Résolutions du Nouvel An = New Year’s Resolutions in French

Making New Year’s Resolution is also a typical French habit for Le Nouvel An. It’s likely you’ll be using constructions such as:

  • Je vais + infinitive… I am going to
  • J’ai l’intention de + infinitive… I intend to
  • Je vais essayer de + infinitive… I am going to try to
  • Je veux + infinitive… I want to
  • Je dois + infinitive… I must
  • Il faut que je + subjunctive… I must

Using the simple future or the near future tenses.

“An” Versus “année”- How To Say “Year” in French?

So Why we say “le nouvel an” and not “la nouvelle année”? Both are possible, although “le Nouvel An” is more common. “An” is usually used with a number, when saying your age or counting years.

  • J’ai 44 ans. I’m 44.
  • Je suis allée en France il y a deux ans. I went to France 2 years ago.

“Année” is used to describe the whole year span, and is mostly used in expressions such as “l’année dernière / prochaine” (last year/ next year), “toute l’année” (all year long).

Contrast: 

  • Je vais en France tous les ans – I’m going to France every year.
  • J’ai étudié le passé-composé toute l’année – I spent the whole year studying passé-composé.

So, for the expressions using an / année, it’s mostly a question of memorizing them.

Why is-it “le Nouvel An” for “New Year”?

Nouveau is a weird French adjective.

Not only does it go before the noun, but it has what I call a “mutant” form.

So, you have the typical feminine / masculine / plural adjective agreements.

  • Un nouveau travail. A new job.
  • Des nouveaux amis. New Friends.
  • Une nouvelle équipe. A new team.
  • Des nouvelles chaussures. New shoes.

But you also have a mutant form, especially for masculine nouns starting with a vowel = nouvel.

It’s pronounced just like the feminine form, and the L glides over to the next word.

  • Le nouvel an – New Year
  • Un nouvel enfant – a new child
  • Un nouvel ami – a new friend
  • Un nouvel appartement – a new appartment
  • Un nouvel emploi – a new job

Master French adjectives and their tricky pronunciation with my audio lesson.

New year resolutions in French

Typical French New Year’s Resolutions

Typical French New Year’s Resolutions include:

  1. Je vais arrêter de fumer
    I’ll quit smoking.
  2. J’ai l’intention de perdre du poids. Je vais faire un régime.
    I intend to lose some weight. I’ll go on a diet.
  3. Je dois essayer de faire plus de sport.
    I must try to do more sport.
  4. Je veux passer plus de temps avec ma famille / mes amis.
    I’m going to spend more time with my family / my friends.
  5. Il faut que j’économise de l’argent.
    I must save money.
  6. Je voudrais faire un voyage.
    I would like to take a trip. Review your French prepositions of places and countries here.
  7. J’ai l’intention d’étudier quelque chose de nouveau.
    I intend to study something new.
  8. Je vais faire plus attention à ma santé : boire moins, manger sainement.
    I’ll be more careful about my health: drink less (alcohol), eat healthy.

How To Better Your French This Year?

If you are reading this article, chances are that you are studying French. I suggest you check out my article 12 tips to learn French efficiently, I’m sure it will help you come up with a plan to improve your French.

One big factor about learning a language is convenience. Most of us are short on time, so it’s good to find solutions that help you study as you are multitasking: check out French Today’s French audiobooks to study French at the gym, commuting to work, or from home.

If what you are looking for is one on one lesson, check out our French lessons by Skype – learn French from work, or at home in you pyjamas !!

Et Vous ? Quelles Sont vos Résolutions Pour le Nouvel an ?

Moi, c’est de continuer à faire du sport, passer plus de temps de qualité avec ma fille, et d’écrire plus d’articles pour le blog de French Today !

I post exclusive mini lessons, tips, pictures and more daily on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages – so join me there!

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If you liked this article, you may enjoy How the French Celebrate New Year + French Vocabulary.


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Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 20 years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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