Archive - July 2012

Team Assois Or Team Assieds?

S’asseoir, the way to say “to sit”, is difficult on many levels. 1)      It’s a reflexive verb, which means you’ll have to use the pronouns: me te se nous vous 2)      It starts with a vowel, which means the pronouns will actually be: m’ t’ s’ nous vous 3)      It changes form quite a lot when conjugated and not...

New Blogs on the Block (Updated)

A few French teaching/learning blogs that came to my attention lately… Le rendez-vous de Non-gae  is a collective by the students at the Alliance française de Daejeon. It is very well built, with lots of  historical bits,  expressions explained etc. It also offers various helpful links pertaining to Korea and learning French in Korea. All in...

Making a suggestion

Making a suggestion is not easy because it requires tact. It also requires knowing the Conditional. Review it in English at Tex’s French Grammar. Review frequently used verbs conjugated in the Conditional on Prof. Ousselin’s page. Where was I? Ah, yes, tact. It’s not as easy as it seems, recommending someone do something. They generally...

How to pronounce “u” (/y/)

Somewhere in the late 50’s, my father, then a young American learning French, showed up at my French, old fashion and very strict grandparent’s house to take my mother out. He was lead to the “salon”.  As he sat on a dainty Louis XV armchair waiting to meet his future in-laws, with numerous crucifixes and religious artwork sternly looking...

The Freaky Sams

There are a bunch of verbs in French that are just plain freaky. Anyone who’s attempted to say “I miss you” knows exactly what I’m talking about.   They are verbs that say what they mean in reverse. Instead of the subject being where it belongs, before the verb, it becomes an object and the object becomes the subject.  Did you get...

Usage de faut (Part 2)

In the last post, we saw how to translate in French the idea of “needing to” using “il faut”. In this post, we will explore its negative counterpart, “il ne faut pas”. While “il faut” means “(someone) needs to”, “il ne faut pas” rather translates the idea of “mustn’t”. One mustn’t fall!!!  - Boubou, you...

Usage de faut (Part 1)

When we need to do something, in French, the words to use are “il faut”. Il faut utiliser il faut! You will write and read “il faut” but generally hear “Y faut” ( /ee foe/). You’ll hear the “L” pronounced (/eel foe/) in the following cases:  anger, impatience, gravity, talking to a young child, to a somewhat dense individual or...

Avec. Such a handy little word… or is it?

Problem: A common mistake when we learn French is overusing the word “avec”. This comes from the fact that in English, “with” is used much more freely and more frequently. See the difference: In English… A man with boots and a hat:       But it French… « Un homme avec des bottes et un chapeau » :                    ...

Intercomprehe…what?

There is a fascinating article over at Nadeau&Barlow about the concept of intercomprehension. The learning technique, based on cognates, allows you to understand very quickly foreign languages by recognizing words that look like ones from your own mother tongue.  From what I gather, learners first start with reading comprehension, and are...

French and You: What You Don’t Know You Already Know

If you are reading this, chances are you have an interest in the French language. Maybe you are considering learning it, or already are. You might even be a Francophile, someone who loves French language and culture. To see if you are, go take Laura Lawless’s quiz over at About.com French is a language spoken by a lot of gens around le monde...