French Language Blog

Archive for May, 2016

Qu’est-ce que j’ai fait?* Posted by on May 31, 2016

In 1986, Sabine Paturel had a hit with the song “Les bêtises“. There is just a handful (une poignée) of verbs in French that use the verb être to form the past tense, but most verbs in the passé composé are formed using the verb avoir (to have). Les bêtises gives you lots of chances…

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The French Imperative Posted by on May 30, 2016

In my last post, one of my astute readers pointed out that, in a French si clause, the imperative can also result from “si+present tense” (in addition, of course, to the present and future tenses, as I discussed). I hadn’t included the imperative mood in my previous post because I wasn’t sure if readers…

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Punctuation Mark and Symbol Names in French Posted by on May 26, 2016

John’s post yesterday reminded me of the first time I had to orally give mon adresse mail. I knew she was talking about my email address. I’d mastered the alphabet and proudly spelled out the letters, but I stopped when I got to the at sign. How do you say that?? I didn’t want to say…

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Two Different Mails – Email In French Posted by on May 25, 2016

Talking about the Internet in French can be confusing. There’s a mix of vocabulary borrowed from English and new terms in French. It can also be hard to know how to say any symbol whether it’s just numbers or “@” (arobase). Then there’s learning how to type using un clavier AZERTY! Writing and sending emails…

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Silence, on tourne!* Posted by on May 24, 2016

« A mes yeux Paris restera le décor d’un roman que personne n’écrira jamais.»** Paris, Julien Green, 1984 Before we get to this week’s post, I wanted to revisit last week. While I included examples like Bonjour / Bonne journée, I forgot to include Bonsoir et Bonne soirée (good evening) . . . and bonne matinée…

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French Grammar: Si Clauses Posted by on May 23, 2016

Also known as conditional sentences, si clauses in French posit what will happen if something else happens first. In English, this would be something like: “If I go to the store, I will get you some dessert.” In conditional sentences, the possibility of the second part of the sentence (the second clause; in this example, “I will get…

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Properly Soft – Laundry In French Posted by on May 18, 2016

La vie quotidiènne (everday life) can sneak up on you in French. You may know how to conjugate the subjunctive, but can still have trouble asking someone to fermer les stores (close the blinds). I always have to learn new words for everyday things, like when I needed to buy un tournevis ou une pile…

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