C’est vs Il est, Which one to Use?
Don’t you find it puzzling when you hear a French person using c’est about a person? For instance: c’est un Anglais – il est avocat (he is an English man, he is a lawyer). As you probably already know, c’est means “this/it is” so why not use il est or elle est ? Well, we just have to accept that when...Read More
These following French learning tips can be all very helpful, but most importantly; don’t be afraid to speak and to involve the French you meet in your language learning!
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,...Read More
Pronouns En and Y. 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...Read More
Savoir and connaître are used in different contexts and can describe different aspects of knowing.
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...Read More
Study the following explanations about the difference between the three types of French pronouns and then practice them through the following role play exercises.
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...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...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)...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...Read More
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...Read More