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Free Masterclass – Day #8

Top 30 French Mistakes English Speakers Make
Free Masterclass – Day #8

22. Grammar mistake: (reacting to seeing “la mer”) “c’est belle!”

To describe something, the regular construction is the one I explained in the first email of this serie; c’est + noun, il est + adjective.
But to give a spontaneous judgment, to react to something in a live situation, we use the construction c’est + adjective always masculine singular ; “wow! C’est beau!”. Imagine you are saying “how beautiful” in English. Your “how” is neutral, so is “c’est” here.

This is a very common construction: c’est bon! (how delicious) c’est froid (it’s cold) c’est chaud (it’s hot)…

Correct answer: c’est beau

23. Vocabulary mistake: “comment vas-tu? Je suis bien”

“I’m fine” is such a reflex in English that the construction sticks in French. My daughter who is raised bilingual actually made this mistake for a long, long time.
In greetings, we always use the verb “to go”.

Actually, this verb is used quite a lot in French, and is very irregular, so you should check out my French Verb Drills Volume 2 to learn the correct modern pronunciation of this very important verb.

Correct answer: je vais bien

24. Pronunciation mistake: Beware of the pronunciation difference between “le”, “la”, “les”

It’s very easy for an English speaker to mix them all into a L + English “A” sound. It sounds terrible in French if you do. So don’t let your mouth be lazy, and push out the correct French sound:

  • le is like je, de, ne, me, que…
  • la is like the a of “Emma” but with the mouth even more open.
  • les rhymes with L.A. (Los Angeles)

You can practice all these sounds and a lot more thanks to my very popular “Secrets of French Pronunciation” masterclass.

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

Camille

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