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Free Masterclass – Day #10

Top 30 French Mistakes English Speakers Make
Free Masterclass – Day #10

28. Grammar mistake: “j’ai joué au tennis depuis 2 ans”

Depuis means for or since, as something that started in the past, and is still going on today. English has decided to take into account when the action started, therefore the past, so use for with past continuous: I have been living in France for 7 months – I started living in France 7 months ago, and I am still doing so now. On the contrary, French focuses on the fact that it is still going on now, and therefore uses the present with depuis: J’habite en France depuis 7 mois.

Correct answer: je joue au tennis depuis 2 ans

29. Vocabulary mistake: (speaking about wine) “Je l’aime”

With the verbs “connaître” (to know) and “aimer” (to love, like, enjoy, and also to be in love), we use a direct object pronoun only when we talk about a person.

  • Ex: Tu aimes Pierre? – Oui je l’aime.
  • Tu connais Pierre? – Non, je ne le connais pas.

For anything else, places, food… don’t use le, la, l’ nor les. For most cases, the most simple thing to do is just answer saying “oui” or “non” – in French, this is perfectly fine.

  • Ex: Tu aimes la France ? – oui.
  • Tu connais la France ? – oui.

Sometimes, you may use “ça” for aimer and food, connaître and situation…

  • Ex: Tu aimes le vin blanc ? – oui, j’aime ça.
  • Je suis triste de partir. – Je connais ça… (I know what you feel…)
Correct answer: j’aime ça.

30. Pronunciation mistake: Beware of the liaison with “les Etats-Unis”

Many of my students come from the States. They should know how to pronounce the name of their own country in French, even if it’s not as obvious as it seems.

Les/des/aux Etats-Unis have 2 liaisons; one at the beginning: zayta, one in the middle: zunee.
“lay/day/o zayta zunee”.

Think ZZ Top :-)


Thank you!

So that’s it, in the past 10 days, we’ve covered 30 of the most common mistakes most non native French speakers make. I hope you enjoyed it and that I was able to teach you things that you did not know before (or had forgotten).

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Good luck with your studies!

Camille

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