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Translating something as easy as "next Thursday" can turn to a nightmare in French. Learn the different French expressions to express the notion of next + date in French, and find out the least confusing way to make plans in French! [Read More...]
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...]
Most French students know that French has several forms for you: "tu" and "vous". If knowing which one to use when meeting a French person is not always easy, it's even harder to decide when it's time to switch from "vous" to "tu", and how to do the transition smoothly. [Read More...]
French Reflexive verbs can be difficult to understand for students. Some don't make any sense, such as "se sentir", "s'ennuyer", "s'occuper de"... So here is a list of difficult to understand or remember French pronominal verbs. Feel free to suggest more! [Read More...]
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.
"Il y a" is probably the common French expression where the modern French pronunciation is the most blatant. And this often comes to a shock to poor students of French who were never prepared for that! [Read More...]
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...]
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...]
Our daughter Leyla is eleven years old and she loves playing Minecraft. She has put together this short and fun video to illustrate which verbs use "être" in passé composé using Minecraft. Enjoy! [Read More...]
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...]
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...]
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...]
Using the verb 'To Meet' is easy enough in English, but it is not so in French: we use several verbs such as "(se) rencontrer", "retrouver", "réunir", "rejoindre"... and they are not interchangeable. Let's study the differences, although you'll see the rules are not really set in stone. [Read More...]
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...]