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French Grammar: The *NE* explétive Posted by on May 31, 2014

*NE*… A two-letter word can be a source of serious confusion for new French learners! What is it exactly? It is un adverbe called the “ne explétif.” When do we use it? Right after some verbs and conjunctions. It is used in situations where the main clause has a negative meaning (in the sense of negation), or expressing situations of warning, doubt…

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Who Wants a Last Dance in Paris? Posted by on May 17, 2014

Care to improve your French comprehension skills by joining Indila for une dernière danse (a last dance) in the streets of the French capital? * * * Indila’s new song “Dernière danse” (“Last Dance”)   Oh, ma douce souffrance Oh, my sweet suffering Pourquoi s’acharner, tu recommences Why try so hard, you start again Je ne suis…

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Do You Want a French Mustache—Or an Austrian Beard?! Posted by on May 9, 2014

In less than 24 hours, the 2014 Eurovision grande finale will be taking place. Six pays (six countries) are en lice (battling it out) for la première place. What does France has to offer this time, you may reluctantly wonder? A group whose chanson (song) seems to hint at the general zeitgeist reigning a bit everywhere in the world: the “I-got-many-things-but-I-still-want-more” kind of syndrome. Of course, without reading…

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Happy “Premier Mai” (First of May)! Posted by on May 1, 2014

Today is la fête du travail (International Workers’ Day), a celebration that, as everyone is aware, takes place in almost every country in the world… But did you know that le premier mai (the First of May) is also the special date of another celebration in France? It’s called la fête du Muguet (the Lily of the Valley Celebration), ans it is estimated to be…

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French Grammar: Using *Depuis*! Posted by on Apr 17, 2014

Un peu de grammaire aujourd’hui (A little bit of grammar today)! Here is a “flashback lesson” from The French Blog, using sentences which you might hear if you are talking to French people. Today, we’ll focus on the word “depuis“, which usually means “since.” Let us see the different cases it can be used…

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Who Changed the Names of the Parisian Neighborhoods? Posted by on Apr 3, 2014

Did you know that the names of many French cities were once completely changed, practically du jour au lendemain (overnight)? Some of them had their age-old names simply canceled, such as Marseille, which became known as “Ville-sans-Nom” (“City-without-a-Name”)! When did took place? During the tumultuous times of la Révolution française, when the government decided the sudden déchristianisation of the country that was…

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*IL FAUT* que tu apprennes le Français (You *Must* Learn French)! Posted by on Mar 30, 2014

Learning French is not optional anymore; it is now mandatory! Well, just kidding, bien sûr… One thing you must do, however, if you already speak French, is to watch out for the good use of le subjonctif. Just pay a bit of attention to when French people speak, or to French books, articles, etc., you will…

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