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
One of the major challenges that drives many of our students crazy is that every noun has a gender in French! It has a to either masculine (masculin) or feminine (féminin).
Globally, there is no specific reason for it; the determination of its gender depends very much on its origin, with the suggestion that the word refers to something which is supposed to be more masculine or...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
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