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...Read More
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You might be a beginner or have been...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...Read More
Learning the formation and the placement of the French adjectives is quite a mental sport. French adjectives change to agree in gender and number with the nouns that they modify, which means there can be up to four forms of each adjective whether the noun is feminine, masculine, feminine plural or masculine plural. There are also different categories of adjectives with different endings
The most commonly used French verbs of motion
If I’m going back to Paris, I’m visiting a friend and I’ll return on Monday! The translation of these French 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...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,...Read More
Il faut ! If you live or have traveled in France, you’ve probably heard these two short words over and over again. When do we use it exactly and how does the sentence construction work? We use il faut to express directions, orders and very strong suggestions. Il faut can be expressed in an impersonal or personal way. Instinctively, foreigners are likely to say “c’est nécessaire de”,...Read More
One of the first expressions everyone learns when settling in France is “Je voudrais” (I would like), which works very well for simple everyday life transactions in stores, at the markets, or for obtaining general information. But, when you wish to ask for a favour or some additional information, “Je voudrais” might seem too demanding! It would be more appropriate and...Read More
To help you review and remember the usage of certain French verbs and words, we created a series of flash cards.
Teachers hear the same typical mistakes that are being said often due to false friends (a French word that looks awfully close to the English word but differ significantly in their meaning), or due to literal translations.
If they are useful to you, we suggest that you...Read More
One of the first verbs to master in the French language is the verb faire. It is used to express both of the following actions: ‘to do’ and ‘to make’ but it is also widely used in many different contexts such as the weather, sports, and household tasks, and many, many more….
Faire is an irregular verb and when conjugated in the present, you will notice how the vous form does not end...Read More