French Language Blog

Archive for June, 2016

French Grammar: The Past Conditional Posted by on Jun 20, 2016

The French past conditional, also called the conditional perfect, is used to express what could or would have happened in the past if things had happened differently. As described in my post on si clauses, the past conditional often can follow the past tense in si clauses. For example, “si j’avais su que le magasin…

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Two Front Doors! – Special French Addresses Posted by on Jun 15, 2016

Using La Poste and knowing what your adresse is solves most of your mail related problems in France. There is however another aspect of French addresses that I did not understand for a very long time. Sometimes une adresse has a number followed by the word bis. I didn’t know what the bis meant until…

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A vous de choisir! * Posted by on Jun 14, 2016

Vous: Qu’est-ce que c’est que ça ? Une chanson ? Encore ? Moi : Et oui, encore une chanson ! J’aime la musique, pas vous ? Et je voudrais partager celle-là avec vous.** The verb vouloir means « to want » or « to want to ». It’s very useful for expressing what your wishes and desires are when communicating with your French friends. When…

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French Baguettes Posted by on Jun 13, 2016

If I were to ask you what basic food the French are known for, what would you say? Many of you would respond that the French are famous for their cheese, which is true. A famous saying in French states that there are 365 different French cheeses–one for each day (il existe un fromage différent…

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Not Just Fat Ladies – Opera Terms in French Posted by on Jun 9, 2016

One of my favorite things about moving to San Francisco was the opportunity to speak French. I’d invested so much time learning it, and where I formerly lived, it was hard to find native French speakers to talk to. When I moved here, I found a large francophone community and was even able to obtain…

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La Poste – Sending Snail Mail In France Posted by on Jun 8, 2016

Before I had trouble figuring out how to send un mail, I had trouble figuring out how to send le courrier (the mail). La Poste (the French postal service) isn’t very different from other postal services around the world, but it is somewhat unique in that it is also une banque et un opérateur de…

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Que vas-tu faire? * Posted by on Jun 7, 2016

After last week’s example of the passé composé, I thought this week we’d take a look ahead . . . to the avenir (“the future”). There are two common ways of forming the future in French: the futur proche which like the passé composé is formed using an auxillary verb (recall that the passé composé…

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