We would like to offer a few suggestions we hope you will find useful and interesting. When learning a foreign language, we know that it can be exciting, motivating, rewarding and fun but inevitably, at times, it can also be discouraging, frustrating and difficult – it is a bit like a roller coaster. Don’t worry, these are perfectly normal feelings and they are part of the language...Read More
We hear them and we see them everywhere. How do we use them?
Let’s first start by defining en.
As a pronoun (be sure not to confuse it with the preposition en ) it is used for many reasons and in many contexts. Here are the most important ones.
En is a pronoun that replaces de or an indefinite determiner such as du , de l’ , de la , des + a noun; en can be translated as...Read More
As a French teacher, I hear my students making the same common mistake when expressing I know… Of course, it is quite confusing, as the French language has two verbs that can be translated into English by to know! Therefore, you have to choose between savoir or connaître; and you have 50% chance of getting it right. I hope I can help you understand how to decide which one to use through the...Read More
Replacing nouns with pronouns makes our use of the language much more fluid and economical. In both English and French, the choice of which pronoun to use is determined by its role in the sentence, i.e. subject, direct object or indirect object, etc. In French the choice is made even a bit more complicated because of the existence of the so-called disjunctive, or tonic, pronouns. Leaving...Read More
The Passé composé versus the imparfait! When studying French, everyone needs to spend some time going over the tricky relationship between these two main past tenses. Instead of trying the figure out how they translate exactly into English grammar terminology (it doesn’t work in many cases), it is better to understand how and when they are used in French. First, we should understand the...Read More
You might be a beginner or have been learning French for a while and you’re still unsure about the correct French interrogative expression for ‘what’ or ‘which’. Que, quoi, quel(s), quelle(s) or qu’est-ce que (qui) ? Which one should you use?
Let’s try to clarify…
When ‘what’ precedes a noun, you need to use the interrogative adjective quel or quelle (f) in front of the noun. Quel(le) can be...Read More
How long have you been studying French? I’ve been taking lessons for 5 years and I went to a French language school every week for 1 year! How do you translate this simple question and reply without getting into a muddle? As you learn French, you will discover the “temporal prepositions” (pour, pendant, il y a, ça fait, etc…) and you will notice that they are used quite differently in French...Read More
When learning the different components of a French sentence, it may at times be difficult to identify the adjective. As a reminder: an adjective is a word which modifies a noun by describing it. These words are descriptions such as colours, sizes, nationalities, moods, and more. For example, have a careful look at the following phrase: La belle langue française (the beautiful French language)....Read More
If I’m going back to Paris, I’m visiting a friend and I’ll return on Monday! The translation of these verbs is not always straightforward.
You’re visiting a friend? Instinctively, a native English speaker will say je visite. In French, we visit a city or a touristy place but not a person; therefore we cannot use the verb visiter in this situation! We would have to use ‘going to see’ (aller...Read More
The construction of the negative forms in French works differently than in English because it is composed of two elements and because of its placement: the first element, ne (n’), comes in front of the conjugated verb; the second or main negation (pas, jamais, rien, etc..) has to be placed after the conjugated verb. For example, if you wanted to make the following sentence negative, Je lis Le...Read More