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Free Masterclass – Day #7

Top 30 French Mistakes English Speakers Make
Free Masterclass – Day #7

19. Grammar mistake: “la femme qui je vois”

Many students associate “qui” with a person. If this is right for questions and the interrogative expression “qui” (“Qui danse avec Anne ?” who dances with Ann?), it is not always the case; “qui” can aso be a relative pronoun. Without going deep into grammar, it means that “qui” replaces a subject, “que” replaces an object. It’s the grammar value that matters, not wether it’s a person or a thing.

I have a trick to give you which works 95% of the time: use que + subject + verb or qui + verb:

  • La femme que JE vois – la pomme que TU manges.
  • La femme qui REGARDE la télé – la pomme qui EST sur l’arbre.
Correct answer: la femme que je vois

20. Vocabulary mistake: “je le manque”

This is painfully hard for English speakers. In English, you say “I miss him”. In French, we say “Il me manque”. So, we make the object the subject, and the subject becomes an indirect object…

Another way to look at it: think “HE is being missed by me”. That will help you start with the right person, and that’s the key.
Don’t forget to do your subject verb agreement:
Pierre misses us: WE are being missed by Pierre: nous lui manquons, not nous lui manque.

If you use an object pronoun, it’s going to be one of these: me, te, lui (both him and her), nous, vous, leur. Not le, la, les. Put it JUST BEFORE YOUR VERB (after the ne).

Don’t overthink it. Just apply the steps.

  • Anne misses the dogs: THE DOGS are being missed by Ann: les chiens manquent à Anne.
  • She doesn’t miss me: I am not being missed by her: je ne lui manque pas.
Correct answer: il me manque – I miss him/it, Je lui manque – He/she misses me

21. Pronunciation mistake: Beware of the pronunciation of the French negative: “ne… pas”

English negative is formed with the word NOT. So it’s natural for English speakers to focus on the “ne” in French. Unfortunately, in Today’s spoken French, this “ne” is totally glided, or even disappears all together. nous ne sommes pas = “noon som pa” or even “noo som pa”.

To train on the correct pronunciation of the negative form of the most common French verbs, use my French Verb Drills series.

Talk to you tomorrow for more top French Mistakes English speakers make…

Camill

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