French people need romance to be unexpected, a coup de cœur, a smack to the heart. …
« Excusez-moi de vous importunez » (EN : Sorry to bother you)
« Je suis nouveau ici… » (EN : I am new here…)
« Des endroits à me conseiller… » (EN : Any places you would like to recommend…)
« Puis-je vous offrir un verre ? » (EN : Can I offer you a drink?)
« Puis-je vous voler quelques minutes de votre précieux temps ? » (EN : Can I steal a few minutes of your precious time?)
« Mes yeux ne peuvent vous quitter… » (EN : My eyes can’t get over you…)
« Puis-je vous confier un secret, j’ai perdu la tête en vous voyant… » (EN : Can I tell you a secret, I have lost my mind when I saw you…)
« Je ne parle pas bien Français, voulez-vous m’apprendre ? » (EN : I don’t speak French very well, would you mind teaching me?)
« M’accorderez-vous cette danse ? » (EN : Shall we dance ?)
« Bonjour, puis-je vous embêter quelques secondes ? » (EN : Hi, can I bother you a few seconds ?)
« Bonjour, je cherche cette adresse, pouvez-vous m’aider ? » (EN : Hi, I am looking for this place, can you help me?)
-Don’t chat up (FR: draguer) a woman on public transport such as the Métro
-Don’t be heavy / insistent
-Be a gentleman / lady
-Speak French, even if you only know a few words… (S)he will fall for your accent
-Compliment her / him
-Be romantic (FR: être romantique)
-Play the game: If (s)he is going to play with your emotions, play with hers/his. The typical femme Française loves the chase.
-Be open to seduction in chat-friendly scenarios
We have also built a playlist with her / his favourite tunes (cliché):
-Beautiful by James Blunt
-Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
-Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye
-You can leave your hat on by Joe Cocker
-Angels by Robbie Williams
A pique-nique in front of the Canal Saint-Martin To surprise her/ him, contact Marion, your BFF for a night and she will deliver an amazing basket with some bubbles to make this moment unforgettable. /Contact: Marion 06 09 57 32 57/
A cruise on the River Seine A scenery you won’t forget. The captain of the cruise will also provide you champagne and petit fours. /Adresse : 6 Quai Jean Compagnon, 94200 Ivry Sur Seine/
Claus, for a « special » breakfast. /14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001 Paris/
La Corte, At the bottom of a secret passage, you will find the perfect restaurant charm your date. /320 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris/
Le Restaurant Biotiful is a colorful and cozy in the 17th arrondissement. /18 rue Biot, Paris 75017/
Le Gravity Bar, with its warm atmosphere and its wooden desigh you can only spend a great evening. /44 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010/
Le Pas de loup, our favorite spot in Paris. We can’t tell you why.. Find out at /108 rue Amelot, Paris 75011/
About staffordshire bull terrier breed, Nissan note 2013 motorisierung, Mazda3 vs nissan qashqai
by Samia Timol
Y a d’la joie Bonjour bonjour les hirondelles Y a d’la joie Dans le ciel par dessus le toit Y a d’la joie Et du soleil dans les ruelles Y a d’la joie Partout y a d’la joie Tout le jour, mon cœur bat, chavire et chancelle C’est l’amour qui vient avec je ne sais quoi C’est l’amour bonjour, bonjour les demoiselles Y a d’la joie Partout y a d’la joie
Le gris boulanger bat la pâte à pleins bras Il fait du bon pain du pain si fin que j’ai faim On voit le facteur qui s’envole là-bas Comme un ange bleu portant ses lettres au Bon Dieu Miracle sans nom à la station Javel On voit le métro qui sort de son tunnel Grisé de ciel bleu de chansons et de fleurs Il court vers le bois, il court à toute vapeur
Y a d’la joie La tour Eiffel part en balade Comme une folle elle saute la Seine à pieds joints Puis elle dit: ” Tant pis pour moi si j’suis malade J’m’ennuyais toute seule dans mon coin” Y a d’la joie Le percepteur met sa jaquette Plie boutique et dit d’un air très doux, très doux ” Bien l’bonjour, pour aujourd’hui finie la quête Gardez tout Messieurs gardez tout”
Mais soudain voilà je m’éveille dans mon lit Donc j’avais rêvé, oui, car le ciel est gris Il faut se lever, se laver, se vêtir Et ne plus chanter si l’on n’a plus rien à dir’ Mais je crois pourtant que ce rêve a du bon Car il m’a permis de faire une chanson Chanson de printemps, chansonnette d’amour Chanson de vingt ans chanson de toujours.
“Paris is beautiful to explore any season. But spring is the time to soak up that special ‘April in Paris’ charm that Sinatra sung about so well: chestnut groves blossom, city parks burst into flower, plane trees sprout foliage over boulevards, and cafe terraces buzz with new-found energy as Parisians head outdoors to enjoy spring’s soft warm days.”
You’ll find a short list of things happening in town http://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/major-events/best-of-private-french-lessons-paris016/in-march-april-it-s-springtime-in-paris/march-april-a-packed-spring-events-calendar.
Paris tourist office, www.parisinfo.fr provides endless ressources about where to stay, what to see, do or during your stay in the capital.
The imperative is used to give a command or make a request. For most verbs, the imperative is formed by using the tu, vous, or nous form of the present tense without the subject pronoun. This is true of both positive and negative commands.
Finis ton milkshake. Ne perds pas ton temps. / Finish your milkshake. Don’t waste your time.
Attendez un moment. Ne partez pas. / Wait a moment. Don’t leave.
Rentrons maintenant. Ne passons plus de temps ici. / Let’s go back home now. Let’s not spend any more time here.
In te imperative tu form of regular –er verbs, the final –s of the present tense for is dropped. The –s is also dropped in the imperative tu forms of aller and –ir verbs conjugated like –er verbs, such as ouvrir and souffrir.
Téléphone à tes parents. N’oublie pas. / Call your parents. Don’t forget.
On sonne. Va. Ouvre la porte. / The doorbell is ringing. Go open the door.
Some verbs have irregular imperative forms.
Être: sois, soyons, soyez
Avoir: aie, ayons, ayez
Savoir : sache, sachons, sachez
Click below to enhance your french vocabulary
Exemple : Ranger / vos chaussures d’été => Ne rangez pas vos chaussures d’été
Exemple : On reste à la Paris ? (aller à Saint Tropez) => Non, ne restons pas à Paris, allons à St Tropez
Exemple : Il faut faire des projets précis => Fais des projets précis.
Exemple : Passer la journée ensemble => Passons la journée ensemble
Check the answers on our Facebook page next week !!
“With the strength of his dreams, he changes his destiny.” That, in essence, describes the incredible tale of Oliver Twist.
Don’t miss out with an exclusive English surtitling system, Oliver Twist the Musical coming in September 2016.
Another service allowing visitors to do truly French things with a helping hand is of course Theatre in Paris. Founded in 2014, the company was the first in France to offer English surtitles for French theatre performances. Foreign language theatre surtitling had only ever been done before in Berlin and Tel Aviv. It’s taken off like a house on fire here in Paris, with visitors over the moon to finally have an alternative to cabaret or opera when it comes to evening entertainment that they can actually understand!
To this day, the company remains the only one to offer a dedicated English-speaking host at the theatre, to welcome international guests and take them to their seats amongst the Parisian locals. In this, they follow the same logic as FAYLI, recognising that when you’re just learning the language, or even don’t speak it at all, navigating your way around a bustling public place can be fairly daunting.
So, if you’re coming to Paris soon for language lessons with FAYLI, it’s likely you’re going to want to fully immerse yourself in the culture, and also tread a little off the beaten track. In which case, a hosted trip to French theatre with English surtitles couldn’t be easier!
Check out www.theaterinparis.com
Now, how was the play you saw? Subjunctive is the tense you want to master if you want to express your opinion about everything from play to people or current affairs.
The subjunctive is used after verbs that express wanting, preferring, needing, making, or forcing someone to do something.
–Je ne veux pas qu’il aille au théâtre sans moi. I don’t want him to go to the theatre without me.
-Alors il va falloir que je trouve une excuse pour me libérer. Then I will have to find a reason to get away.
The following verbs are followed by the subjunctive:
Attendre que. To wait until, wait for
Avoir besoin que. To need
Demander que. To request, ask
Désirer que. To desire, want, wish
Empêcher que. To prevent, keep
Exiger que. To demand
Permettre que. To allow
Préférer que. To prefer
Recommander que. To recommend
Souhaiter que. To wish
Suggérer que. To suggest
Vouloir que. To want
The following impersonal expressions signifying imposition of will are followed by the subjunctive:
–Il est nécessaire / urgent que. It is necessary / urgent
-Il est essentiel / important que. It is essencial / important
-Il est indispensable / utile que. It is indispensable / useful
-Il faut que. It is necessary, one has to
For the subjunctive to be used, the subjects of the main clause and the subordinate clause must be different. If the subjects of the two clauses are the same, the infinitive is used.
–Je veux que tu viennes chercher les places avec moi. I want you to come and get the tickets with me.
–Je veux venir. I want to come.
–Ils préfèrent que nous restions sur les strapontins. They prefer that we stay on the folding seats.
–Ils préfèrent rester. They prefer to stay.
Best formulas to critic a play:
Moi, je ne veux pas. Un ami vous dit ce que font les autres. Répondez-lui dans chaque cas que vous, vous ne voulez pas que les autres fassent ces choses. Employez le subjonctif dans la proposition subordonnée.
Exemple : Marie étudie Shakespeare huit heures par jour => Moi, je ne veux pas qu’elle étudie Shakespeare huit heures par jour.
La soirée du samedi soir. C’est à vous d’organiser la soirée de samedi. Dites ce que chacun doit faire.
Exemple : Je veux / Marie / inviter ses cousins => Je veux que Marie invite ses cousins.
Des étudiants à Paris. Un groupe d’étudiants de province vont passer une semaine à Paris. Où aller ? Ils ne sont pas d’accord. Construisez des phrases avec les éléments données pour savoir ce que chacun souhaite faire. Employez le subjonctif dans les propositions subordonnées.
Exemple : Paul / vouloir / on / aller/ d’abord / au Moulin Rouge => Paul veut qu’on aille d’abord au Moulin Rouge
If you have a doubt about the pronunciation, please click here… and improve your oral skills !
Check out the answers to the exercices above on Facebook next week !
Did you know the tradition of Easter bells (cloche de Pâques) started in the 7th century in Europe?
The legend says in a few Catholic countries, particularly in France, on the evening of Holy Thursday the bells go to Rome where they are blessed by the Pope. Then on Easter morning , the bells return pealing (carillonner) to announce the joy of the Christ resurrection. In Rome, they are loaded (charger) with Easter eggs that are spread in gardens so children will look for them. On their journey, the bells are decorated with a pair of wings, ribbons, and are carried on a chariot / float.
Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century, with France and Germany taking the lead (mener) in this new artistic confectionery. We know you will be celebrating in a couple of days so before getting into the sweet atmosphere, get to know some of the ad-hoc terminology and take the opportunity to work on your French with this second part dealing with “Construction of a sentence”.
Les oeufs que les parents ont cachés. The eggs the parents hid.
Les oeufs que les enfants ont trouvés. The eggs the children found.
Les oeufs qu’ils ont décorés. The eggs they have decorated.
Les oeufs que les enfants ont décorés. The eggs (that) the children decorated.
Les oeufs qu’ont décorés les enfants. The eggs (that) the children decorated.
Les oeufs que les enfants ont découverts dans le jardin. The eggs (that) the children have found in the garden.
Les cloches que l’on entend célèbrent pâques. The bells (that) we hear celebrate Easter.
La chasse aux oeufs dont je te parle est celle du Bon Marché. The egg hunt I am talking about is the one at the Bon Marché.
Le chocolat dont je préfère le goût est le chocolat blanc. The chocolate I prefer the taste of is white chocolate.
Le lapin dont je t’ai parlé est en chocolat. The rabbit I was talking about is in chocolate.
For the interrogative form, the order of the words in the indirect speech is not the same as for the direct question.
Où doit-on chercher les oeufs?
Je vous demande où l’on doit chercher les oeufs.
Est-ce du chocolat noir, blanc ou au lait?
Je vous demande si c’est du chocolat noir, blanc ou au lait.
Les enfants demandent où sont cachés les oeufs.
Les enfants demandent où les oeufs sont cachés dans le jardin.
Note : Other grammar rules regarding the place of the subject noun in the indirect question will be treated another chapter.
1)Maybe she will find the chocolate egg first
2)”Where did you find the chocolate bunny?” asked Pierre to his sister
3)This is the chocolate that I prefer
4)These are the chocolates that I found in the garden
5)These bells celebrate easter
Click below to learn ad-hoc Easter terminology:
For several years, the town hall of Paris, a few hotels, brands, associations or national monuments organize for children egg hunts in green spaces of the capital. These events have found an audience among children and with no surprise adults. Don’t miss them and find out more about their different locations below:
Grande chasse aux œufs au Playmobil FunPark
du 26 mars 2016 au 28 mars 2016
Playmobil Funpark – 22-24 allée des Jachères – ZA La Cerisaie, Fresnes
Grande Chasse aux œufs Solidaire au pied de la Tour Eiffel
du 27 mars 2016 au 27 mars 2016
Parc du Champ-de-Mars – Quai Branly – Avenue de la Motte Picquet, Paris
Pâques, ludique et arty au Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte – Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy
Joyeuse Pâques à Disney Village
du 27 mars 2016 au 28 mars 2016
Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée
Chasse aux œufs au Jardin d’acclimatation
Dimanche 27 mars de 10h à 12h puis de 14h à 16h30
Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris
Chasse aux œufs à l’aquarium de Paris
du 26 au 28 mars 2016 et pendant les vacances de Pâques à partir de 10h
5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016 Paris
Chasse aux œufs au Musée de Montmartre
dimanche 27 et lundi 28 mars 2016, à partir de 11h30
12-14 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris
A little more…
Mini Paris and its Easter Workshop
On the occasion of the Mini Clubman launch, Mini Paris got into a partnership with La Pâtisserie des Rêves to offer a chocolate workshop for children while their parents can try any model of the Mini range.
Le 16 et 19 Maris – CHEZ MINI PARIS ET MINI PARIS VELIZY
This is the part of the year where your feel worn out and your immune system (système immunitaire) is known as an “open window”. Unless you live in a bulle, you will be exposed to infections. And apart from staying inside all winter (hiver) with your head under a duvet and avoiding all possible human being, you will need to protect your health and reinforce (renforcer) your immune defences (défenses immunitaires).
To protect your organisme (organism) against germs (microbes), Magnesium and Vitamin D activates both the white blood cells (globules blancs) needed for the creation of antibodies (anticorps). You’ll find vitamin D in various foods such as smoked herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies or cod liver oil. For magnesium, you can eat seafood, almonds, cashew, tofu, or dark chocolate 70% minimum. You have a good reason not to take chocolate out of your diet.
Vitamin C stimulates the creation of interferon (interféron), this molecule is produced by our immune system cells to destroy germs. Drink a large glass of fresh squize orange juice (jus d’orange pressé) every morning or eat clementines, lemon, blackcurrant or kiwi. We suggest you a colourful fruit salad, it is like adding a “little summer” to your day.
70% of our immune system is in our intestin (intestine), so it ‘s important to do a course of probiotics (cure de probiotique) to strengthen your intestinal mucosa (musqueuse intestinale). Take a mixture of lactobacilli daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced the risk of catching a cold (rhume). You can find probiotics in yogurt, but also in artichoke, leeks, brewer’s yeast or wheat germ.
It is important to warm yourself enough. Always keep your neck covered (protéger / couvrir) and try to choose thermal clothes (matières thermales). In Paris, the weather is always changing, from sun to rain and it is easy to get sick when you don’t have the right outfit.
You need at least 7 à 8 heures de sommeil (7 to 8 hours sleep) per night so make sure to organise your day efficiently. You need to spend time on yourself, treat yourself with a massage or a diner between friends… You immune sytem will thank you for this, the more your mind will be clear and relaxed, the more your body will be healthy (en bonne santé).
Virus (Viruses) can live on the surface of many objects for hours so regular hand washing is the simplest way to avoid carrying and ingesting these viruses. In case you spend more time outdoors, use antibacterial hand gel (gel antibactérien) that you can carry in your bag or slip in your pocket.
Add a few drops (gouttes) of sunflower oil (huile de tournesol) to your homemade smoothie or to a glass of water each morning. Sunflower oil contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. The health benefits are various: Cardiovascular benefits, Anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatoire), Prevent Arthritis, Prevention of Asthma and types of cancer, Lowers Cholesterol, Fight free radicals, Repairs the body, Skin and hair benefits…
For fruit and vegetable, you can go to many places. We can suggest you some amazing product at:
Primeur du Marais : 61 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Vergers Saint Paul : 97 Rue Saint-Antoine
Le Comptoir des Mers : 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris
Fromagerie Laurent Dubois : 97-99 Rue Saint-Antoine
Organic products – included sun flower oil
Naturalia : 59 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
Bio C’ Bon : 103 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
Au vieux Campeur : 48 Rue des Ecoles, 75005
Massage and Spa
Bulle de Plaisir : 66 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004
Ban Thai Spa : 12 Rue Lesdiguieres, 75004
Let us know in the comments below what are your tips to fight Winter …
Being one of the most romantic cities of the world, Paris is covered in breathless and charming places for any lovebirds (des tourtereaux). It is also the Capital where Love happens…
Friday – 6:35pm at sunset (le coucher du soleil), after a real-life situation French lesson (Leçon de Français en extérieur) in Le Centre – Georges Pompidou, Si gently escorted his French teacher back to her bike. Both living in the same area Ile Saint Louis, they ended up walking back home together…
This was the beginning of a love story (une histoire d’amour).
Si, a British man from the Hampshire moved to Paris for Professional purposes. Like many foreigners, he was motivated to enhance his oral skills in French in order to feel more confident within his company or in his personal life (vie personnelle). He requested information from 3 language school which were offering interesting French learning program, however what he appreciate from French As You Like It was the personal approach (une approche personnelle). Agnès contacted Si by phone and she organized an appointment with him at his office the next day to talk about his different goals and expectations.
“She made a good impression” (une bonne impression) Si says. She was confident (confiante) and he was really impressed to see how determined she looked. She perfectly knew what she was talking about and we could notice she was passionate (passionnée) about her job. He then signed up for French one-on-one lessons every week at his office or out and about. It’s important to link theory to real-life situations when learning (apprendre) a new language.
Si is convinced that you always build a kind of relationship (une relation) with your private teacher. You end up by sharing (partager) some personal aspects of your life. It might look bizarre but when you cancel a lesson for instance, you want to let your teacher know about the reasons. However he admits, Agnès being a charming (charmante) and really attractive (attirante) woman. Looking always smart, she always released la “joie de vivre”. She is a woman with personality, adventurous and really genuine, the type of woman Si can’t resist.
A couple of month later, Agnès and Si walked back home and finally had their first dinner (un diner) in a Canadian pub where he treated her with the well-known Poutine: chips with cheese and gravy. Si remembers, they had two official dates (rendez-vous amoureux): one in the Hameau de la Reine, the hamlet in the middle of the parc of the Chateau of Versailles and the other one on the night of Halloween. Agnès was all dressed up and they both ended up getting some Chinese food for dinner at La Muraille du Phénix.
We wondered what was the most important thing they have learnt being together (ensemble) and we understand the diversity (diversité) and the differences of culture (la difference des cultures) had made them a powerful couple. They share permanently and they both love discovering new aspect of each other every day. It is the advantage of being a mixed couple.
We asked Si if he kept something as a Symbol (un Symbole) of their Love story and here is his answer:
At this period, Kenzo promoted its famous perfume Flower By Kenzo. As part of the promotion, they hitched (accrocher) handicraft (artisanal) poppies (coquelicot) to bicycles. Agnès found one on hers that day, came into his office with the poppy in her hand and handed it (tendre à qqun qqch) to him. He thought she was exactly like the description of the perfume: unpredictable (imprévisible), strong (forte) and beautiful (belle). The only embarrassing point was the arrival of his CEO at the same moment.
We asked Si to tell us a final word about his story with our amazing Agnès: “We’ve been together for a few years now and I think she is the best choice I have ever made, thank you for being part of my life Agnès”.
We also asked Agnès to list us places she has been with Si, she said there is so much to remember but gave us a few of them:
Where to eat?
Le Café Français
Brasserie du Printemps
Le Petit Palais
Le temps des Cerises
Where to go?
Centre Georges Pompidou
Cimetière Père Lachaise
Les Berges – Quai de la Seine
L’Ile Saint Louis
If you want your French to sound more advanced, one of the best ways is to understand how to use the French pronoun “en.”
Sure, you can construct proper sentences without these tiny words, but you’ll be doomed to forever sound like a beginner. And who wants that? Not us – our goal is to get you speaking fluidly as fast as possible.
So this week, we’re going to focus on how to use “en.”
EN replaces de + noun
When discussing quantities of something, “de + noun” phrases are almost inevitable. In this context, “de” represents the preposition “of”, which indicates that a quantity, number or adjective is being discussed.
The adjective, adverb or quantity is always repeated at the end, even if that amount is none. To illustrate:
Combien de tomates voulez-vous? J’en voudrais six.” (How many tomatoes do you want I would like six [of them])
Combien paires de chaussures as-tu? J’en ai beaucoup. (How many pairs of shoes do you have?I have a lot [of them])
Est-ce que Marie a des frères? Oui, elle en a deux (Does Marie have brothers? Yes, she has two [of them].)
J’ai acheté trois jolies robes, j’en ai acheté trois. (I bought three nice dresses, I bought three nice ones)
Est-ce que tu as un Euro? Oui, j’en ai un. (Do you have a Euro? Yes, I have one.)
Est-ce que vous avez une voiture? Non, nous n’en avons pas (Do you (all) have a car? No, we don’t have one.)
NOTE: It is NOT correct to say: “J’ai un” or “Non, nous n’avons pas une”. You must use “en” to indicate the quantity.
Je me souviens de ta première voiture…je m’en souviens I remember your first car… I remember it
J’ai peur de la mort…j’en ai peur I am afraid of death… I am afraid of it
Je reviens du Brésil…j’en reviens I am coming back from Brasil… I am coming back from there
Est-ce tu as besoin d’aide? Oui, j’en ai besoin Do you need some help? Yes, I need some
Ils s’occupent du projet? Non, ils n’en s’occupent pas. Jean s’en occupe Are they handling the project? No, they’re not handling it. Jean is handling it.
Paul parle-t-il de son travail? Does Paul talk about his job?
Oui, il en parle tout le temps! Yes, he talks about it all the time!
When it comes to replacing a noun of person, you keep ‘DE’ and use the tonic form of the pronoun:
J’ai peur de ce professeur…J’ai peur de lui I am afraid of this teacher…I am afraid of him
Elle est jalouse de sa soeur…elle est jalouse d’elle She is jealous of her sister…she is jealous of her.
A partitive article in French (du, de la, des) is an unknown quantity of something. In English, this translates to “some” or “any.” “En” replaces the partitive article and the noun. For example:
Avez-vous de la confiture? Oui, j’en ai. (Do you have any jam? Yes, I have some).
Boit-il du vin? Non, il n’en boit pas. (Does he drink [any] wine? No, he doesn’t drink any.)
Est-que tu as acheté du pain? Non, j’en ai oublié d’acheter. J’en peux acheter plus tarde. (Did you buy some bread? No, I forgot to buy some. I can buy some later.)
Do you have any questions about how to use the French pronoun “en”? If so, feel free to write them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you! Or, of course, you can always contact us to discuss French lessons.
by Marie Vicarini
In our private French lessons, we primarily focus on learning to speak like a native, and most of our lessons are spent in conversation.
But reading in French is fundamental to improving your speaking ability. One of its biggest benefits, of course, is that reading can substantially (and quickly) widen your vocabulary. It can help you more easily absorb grammar and sentence structure. And depending on what you read, it can help foster your understanding of French culture, politics, and humor – all of which will certainly help you adjust to your life in France.
If you want to read more fluidly in French, try these 3 tips before settling down with your next roman (novel) or journal (newspaper).
When deciding on what to read, it’s key to choose a subject that’s interesting to you and that it’s at an appropriate level.
You might be thinking: “Well, duh!” but it’s not unusual for students to read certain subjects or mediums that they think they should be reading rather than what truly interests them. But that path just leads to glazed eyes, a wandering mind, and the unfair assessment that reading French is so hard and sooo boring.
So, don’t bother stoically plodding through Le Monde, if you think you’d enjoy reading Glamour or Top Santé more. Think outside the box. In addition to novels, magazines, and newspapers, there are countless blogs written in French on a wide range of topics, from travel to cooking to finance.
If you’re longing to read a classic like Balzac, but just aren’t up to that level yet, look to classic French children’s books like Le Petit Prince or Le Petit Nicolas series. If you like comics (bande déssinees), you’ll have so much fun with the ancient Gaul, Asterix, or sharing in the adventures of the Tintin.
Bottom line: it doesn’t matter much what you read, as long you enjoy it.
Too often students of French read with a book in one hand, and a dictionary in the other. Forget that. Interrupting your reading flow to look up new words also breaks up your broader understanding of the language and how it is used.
Approach reading in French similar to how you would watch a French film or listen to a French song. Let the language flow through your mind, allowing it to effortlessly call up certain images and whatever understanding you can grasp.
Your brain will fill in many of the blanks by interpreting an unfamiliar word’s meaning through context.
(Note: be sure that you’re reading at an appropriate level or slightly above your level – if you’re baffled by every other sentence, you’d be better off finding something slightly easier.)
Of course, we’re not saying you should never use a dictionary. While you’re reading, underline new words in pencil so that you can remember to look them up later. And when you do look them, try researching them in French dictionary, which will keep you thinking in French. But keep a good French-English dictionary on hand for times you’re truly stuck or exhausted.
Reading aloud (haute voix) is a great way to improve your French on multiple levels. You can strengthen your vocabulary, pronunciation and accent, and boost your ability to speak fluidly all in one fell swoop. Reading aloud also forces you to pay attention to words that you might skip over as you read silently.
When you read aloud, do so slowly and consciously, and read each page or passage twice. During the first reading, just let the words and understanding flow without great effort. In the second reading, pay attention to how your tongue and mouth move as you read. Do this for 10-15 minutes every day – or even every other day – and we think you’ll be pleased with the results!
What do you enjoy reading in French? Share your favorite books, magazines and blogs below!
Last week, we wrote about the importance of learning French noun gender and presented multiple categories of words that tend to be either masculine or feminine.
This week, we want to give you 3 more important clues to use to assess whether a French noun is masculine or feminine. We use the word “clue” as opposed to “rule” because – alas – in every category, there’s almost always an exception. But once you memorize and internalize these clues you’ll get the gender right, let’s say… 8 out of 10 times.
Not bad, eh? Here we go:
Clue #1: Most words that refer to men are masculine; those that refer to women are feminine.
Le père (the father)
Le fils (the son)
La tante (the aunt)
La soeur (the sister)
Clue #2: Certain nouns are always masculine or feminine regardless of the gender of the person/animal referred to.
Always masculine nouns:
Un ordinateur (a computer)
Un témoin (a witness)
Un manteau (an overcoat)
Un cheval (a horse)
Un guide (a guide)
Always feminine nouns:
Une voiture (a car)
Une souris (a mouse)
Une maison (a house)
Une école (a school)
Une personne (a person)
Une victime (a victim)
Clue #3: Certain French nouns endings indicate that the word is either masculine or feminine. Exceptions abound, however. We’ve included the more common ones below, but be always be on the look out for more.
Typically masculine endings:
Typically feminine endings
HOMEWORK: Pick 3 masculine word endings and 3 feminine word endings and find 3 new nouns with those endings. Write your answers in the comments below! And, of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us below or contact us.
When you imagine a word that has no direct translation into another language, it’s easy to imagine the existence of some exotic, complex word.
For example, take the French verb “entarter.” This means, “to hit someone in the face with a pie”. Somehow that seems like exactly the kind of word that would have no direct translation into English (or possibly any other language).
But how about the verb “to kick?” “To hug”?
Seemingly basic English verbs such as these have no direct counterpart in French. The concept exists in French, of course, but there is no single French verb that covers the meaning in the same way as in English.
Because there’s no single word equivalent of these verbs, their French meanings sometimes don’t appear on standard vocabulary lists. In fact, you might not realize you can’t express these concepts until you’re halted mid-tracks in your conversation, racking your brains for a word that you feel must exist, but doesn’t.
To save you the trouble, here are 7 commonly used English verbs that have no direct equivalent in French – and the French phrases you need to express them properly.
Example: Je n’aime pas Marc. Il donne des coups de pied à son chien.
I don’t like Marc. He kicks his dog.
Example: Ne laissez pas tomber cette vase! Elle est très chère!
Don’t drop that vase! It’s very expensive.
Note: A drop in value translates to “baisser” (lower) “diminuer” (diminish) or “chuter” (plunge).
Example: Après son retour de l’étranger, il a serré sa petite amie dans ses bras étroitement.
After returning from abroad, he hugged his girlfriend tightly.
Note: Many people think that “calîner” (calîn, noun) is the equivalent of to hug, but it’s actually “to cuddle.” Embrasser is also often mistakenly believed to be the translation of “to hug” but it means “to kiss.”
While there’s no single word for the verb “to hug,” as a noun, “a hug” is translated as “accolade.” (e.g. Après son retour de l’etranger, il a donné une accolade à sa petite amie = after his return from abroad, he gave his girlfriend a hug.)
As hugging is not the cultural norm in France, “hug” as a verb or noun isn’t frequently employed.
Faire mal is used to indicate when someone has hurt you emotionally or physically.
Example 1: Il me fait mal quand je déplace mon bras comme ça.
It hurts when I move my arm like this.
Example 2: Ça m’a fait mal quand elle a cessé de me parler.
It hurt me when she stopped speaking to me.
Note: If you want to say that someone caused you a physical wound or injury then use the verbs “blesser” or “injurer.”
Faire confiance and avoir confiance are used to express your confidence in a person.
Faire confiance usually requires use of the preposition “à”, while avoir confiance requires use of the preposition “en”.
Example 1: Je fais confiance à mon copain
I trust my friend.
Example 2: Je te fais confiance
I trust you.
Example 3: Ils ont confiance en toi
They trust you. / They have confidence in you.
Note: When you want to express trust of something that’s not a person, you’d use the verb phrase: “pouvoir compter sur” (“to be able to count on”)
Paul peut compter sur sa voiture même si elle est très vieille.
Paul can trust his car even though it’s very old.
Example: Elle n’a que 50 ans mais elle a déjà pris sa retraite.
She’s only 50 but she’s already retired.
There’s no single word in French that covers all the various meaning that “to care” does in English. You have to learn the right verb or verb phrase in the right context to express yourself properly.
To care about someone = avoir de l’affection (pour quelqu’un)
Example: Elle n’est pas amoureuse de lui mais elle a de l’affection pour lui.
She isn’t in love with him but she cares for him.
To take care of someone = prendre soin de qulequ’un
Example: Quand Marie était dans l’hôpital Paul a pris soin de ses enfants.
When Marie was in the hospital Paul took care of her children.
To care about a cause = se sentir concerné
Example: Si vous vous sentez concerné par les baleines, vous ferez un don à la cause.
If you care about whales, you will donate to the cause.
Can you think of any other verbs that have no direct translation? Share them below!