French Present Participle

The French present participle is difficult to explain to an English speaker. Well, this French tense construction is actually easy to explain, since it's fairly regular. However, we don't use the present participle in French nearly as much as you use it in English. [Read More...]

The French Seldom Use the NE Part of the Negation

You probably learned in school that the negative in French is formed with two words surrounding the verb: “ne” (or n’) and “pas". Then, you go to France, and you are shocked to never hear the "ne." It’s because we don't use it. Rather, I should say, we glide so quickly over it that it disappears. [Read More...]

Questions in French: Inversion With Je

Asking a question in French using inversion with je is no longer common. Je in inversion is mostly used in formal literature and deep introspection, and sometimes with "puis-je". If you have to ask yourself something in French, use "est-ce que je"! [Read More...]

How to Speak Modern French

I'll explain in details the differences between today’s modern spoken French pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence structure... and traditional textbook French and point you to a medium way of speaking which should greatly improve both your understanding and pronunciation of the contemporary French language. [Read More...]

Understanding The French Subject Pronoun On

The use of "On" may be the most blatant difference between traditional French and modern spoken French... "On" means "we" in modern French, and we use it all the time as such. However, "on" could mean so much more: "one", "people"... but also "someone", "you", "they" and even "he, she" and "I"... [Read More...]

Talking About Age in French – Vocabulary and Grammar

Expressing Age in French is tricky both grammatically and vocabulary wise: I'll explain the differences between "grandir" and "vieillir", the different life stages, the tricky French adjectives for old and young, how to ask someone's age in French, and the difference between "an" and "année". [Read More...]

French Mistakes: Beware of the To Be + verb in ING Constructions

There is a notion totally lost in translation: the progressive constructions in English. I am watching TV, they were dancing, she will be arriving soon... All these progressive constructions (to be + verb in ING) which come naturally to an English speaker often lead to mistakes when they translate them into French. Quite understandable since these constructions simply don't exist in French! [Read More...]

French Pronominal Verbs (Se verbs) + Video

French reflexive verbs - also French pronominal, reciprocal verbs or "Se" verbs - often confuse students. Here is my explanation including a short and fun video using the Sims with French transcript and English translation to help you grasp this concept better. [Read More...]