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Free Masterclass – Day #3

Top 30 French Mistakes English Speakers Make
Free Masterclass – Day #3

7. Grammar mistake: Il est regarder la télé

This mistake is mostly made by beginner students. It’s really bad if student don’t know this by the time they reach the intermediate level… English tense to be + verb in ING (present progressive) has no French equivalent. We use the simple present. If you do want to insist on the fact that you are in the middle of something, then you’ll use the expression “être en train de + verb”: il est en train de regarder la télé.

This concept and a lot more are thoroughly explained in my (3+ hours long) French Verbs Fundamentals Masterclass.

Correct sentence: Il regarde la télé or il est en train de regarder la télé

8. Vocabulary mistake: je la baise

Oh boy… you are in BIG trouble here!

“Un baiser” is a kiss. Nothing wrong with that. In older French, the verb “baiser” meant to kiss. So it seems just like in English, baiser = kiss.

You might be shocked by this but it is very important to know because I have heard it over and over again and this is probably one of the most embarassing mistakes my students make. Nowadays, the verb “baiser” has switched its meaning to something VERY vulgar, starting with an F and ending with a K in English… The verb you absolutely (!) need to use instead is “embrasser”.

Correct sentence: Je l’embrasse.

9. Pronunciation mistake: Can you say “cette vieille pile est rouillée”? (This old battery is rusted)

The letter “i” followed by a double LL makes a [Y] sound comparable to the [Y] of yahoo; eille, aille, euille, ouille… Words ending in eil, ail, euil or œil – all with only one L – also have this [Y] sound. In English, L is not pronounced Y, and all these letters for only a short sound looks unlikely.

In my masterclass “Secrets of French Pronunciation” you’ll find a whole section dedicated to this elusive sound, with many examples and useful sentences to practice.

So talk to you tomorrow for more and feel free to follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/frenchtoday) for more daily tips…

Camille

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