“On”: Friendlier than “Nous”
The tiny word on carries great importance in everyday spoken French. For Anglophones learning French, on is frequently misunderstood or ignored because many think that on only expresses its English equivalent of ‘one’, while many of those who understand that it’s also an alternative to using nous hesitate to use it because of the false belief...Read More
Le plus-que-parfait : How perfect is it?
What is so perfect about the plus‐que‐parfait? Well in my opinion, this tense deserves to have the word parfait in its name because unlike the other 2 past tenses, it is easy to understand how and when to use it. It has a clear and logical explanation; it isn’t ambiguous like the passé composé and the imparfait. In addition, it is directly...Read More
The verb “prendre” is used a lot in the French language. Do you know how to use it?
Here are some explanations:
The verb ‘prendre’ is used the same way as the English verb ‘to take’ but is also used as the verb ‘to have’ in English when speaking about drinks or food.
We don’t say: “I’ll have a coffee” but we say I take a coffee.
It’s the same situation for meals:
Je prends...Read More
In France, there are not many subjects that are considered taboo, and the French will frequently speak their mind without holding back. At a dinner party in France, you might be asked to share your opinion on your political beliefs, relationships, spiritual tendencies, the environment, immigration, etc. In discussions, there is one topic that many avoid which is people’s finances or...Read More
If you spend a day listening to French people speaking to one other, you will hear the verb passer over and over. It is an extremely rich verb and probably one of the most important ones to master since it is used in so many everyday life contexts. Passer also has the particularity to take either the auxiliary avoir or être in the passé composé depending on its meaning.
1. Passer du...Read More
Plus de pain ? Plus de fromage ? Plus de gateau ?…” We have witnessed on several occasions our foreign guests get a little confused when, invited to a dinner by a French family, they are asked such questions. “More bread or no more bread? More cheese or no more cheese? More cake or no more cake?… What was the question, exactly?”
Very few short French...Read More
If you try to translate all the sentences below in French, you might get a bit muddled. Expressing quantity in French is tricky. The French have a specific list of words to communicate either vague or specific quantities.
‒I would like some water please!
‒Right away! Do you wish a bottle or a glass of water? And more wine?
‒No, no more wine, just a few glasses of water for everyone!...Read More
Who has not been confused over the difference between jour vs journée, soir vs soirée and an vs année? The reasons for using one or the other can be complicated, therefore, I would like to give an easy and straight forward explanation. The idea is to avoid thinking too much about it when speaking to a French person.
In a nutshell, you should use the shorter version: jour, soir and an...Read More
To add to our previous lists of expressions published in our Free eMagazine French Accent Magazine where we provided some “do’s” and “don’ts” of typical mistakes that frequently result from making a direct and literal translation from English to French, we have come up with an additional list. These common errors are what differentiate a French native speaker from a...Read More
How to use French accent marks, on which letters, how they affect pronunciation… This is certainly one the mysteries of the French Language that usually puzzles many students who speak a language in which accents do not exist! And yet, they are very important as they definitely change the pronunciation of the words, and can even change their meaning.
We also give a few...Read More