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Les Salutations

September 12th, 2023

Les Salutations: Greetings in French

This month, we will not focus on a specific grammar point but on vocabulary! We are going to look at greetings in French.     Here are the different ways to say “Hi” according to the time of the day and the person you are speaking to.   salut hi…

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December 2nd, 2022

10 English words the French can’t pronounce and 10 French words the English can’t pronounce

Did you know the French can’t say ‘hedge-hog’ and the English struggle with ‘roi’. Read on to learn more English words the French can’t pronounce and also French words the English can’t pronounce.   English tongue-twisters   Thorough and Through “fuh-ruh” and “froo” The ‘th’ sound doesn’t exist in French,…

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December 12th, 2021

Christmas in France – What to expect

Just like everywhere else in the world, Father Christmas (known as Père Noël or Papa Noël in France) brings gifts to children who have been well-behaved on Christmas Day. The sapin de Noël (Christmas tree) is the main decoration in homes, streets, shops, and offices. On le Réveillon (Christmas Eve),…

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December 8th, 2021

Vous or Tu : Which one do I use?!

The subject pronouns Tu and Vous can be quite confusing for English speakers when they are first learning French, considering we only have one subject pronoun to mean you in English. However, once you get your head around how to use it, you will see it’s not as difficult as…

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October 1st, 2018


PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…

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September 17th, 2018


VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member…

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September 3rd, 2018

Grammar for Dummies Nous vs On

Nous / On    What’s the difference bewteen « nous » and « on » ? Is there any ? NOUS = ON In reality in 90% of the cases, they both mean « we » in English. When speaking, the French tend to use less and less the « nous » form as it is always longer to pronounce. Give…

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March 1st, 2018

Devoir and its many facets

The verb « devoir » = to must, to have The verb “devoir” is an irregular verb with various meanings. Je dois Tu dois Il/elle doit Nous devons Vous devez Ils/ells doivent   1st meaning : the notion of debt in the literal and figurative meanings : Combien est-ce que je vous…

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December 29th, 2017

Les pronoms réfléchis = pronominals (reflexives)

When the subject does something to itself (when the subject and the object of the verb are the same) you have reflexivity. The reflexive pronouns are used to denote this. Singular Plural 1st person me nous 2nd person te vous 3rd person se se NB : me, te, and se become m’ , t’ and s’ before vowels…

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December 1st, 2017

The impersonal verbs like “Il neige”

Impersonal verbs are very useful for your daily conversation ! The pronoun “il” is used when describing the weather and for time related expressions. “Il” here represents the state of things – the world or universe at that moment. Example : Il pleut Il neige. It’s raining It’s snowing. Il fait chaud. It…

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October 27th, 2017

“e”, “é” or “è” ?

In French, there are 3 different accents on « e ». It is important to know them as it changes the pronunciation of the word. The 3 accents: “é”: acute accent like : été (summer) “è”: grave accent like accès (access) “ê”: circumflex accent like tête (head), less used So how to know…

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September 22nd, 2017

To and From + country

Je vais en France OU au France ???? Je viens de France OU du France ????? How to know which sentence is correct? Before explaning this French rule, note that: To go to + country = aller + “au “OU “en” + pays To come from + country = venir + « de»…

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August 25th, 2017


As you may know, in French there are two main tenses we use in the past : « Passé composé » and « Imparfait ». « Passé composé » has been previously explained in another Grammar for Dummies , now time to focus on « Imparfait ». When is it used ? How to conjugate it ?   When is it used…

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July 28th, 2017


In French there are three categories of verbs : the ones ending in –ER, the ones in –IR and the ones in –RE.   The –ER ones are the most common ones and are all regular (apart from ALLER that is The exception to the rule). No matter the level you…

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May 12th, 2017

Grammar for dummies Futur Proche

GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES LE FUTUR PROCHE   In French there are two tenses for the future tense, just like in English (you can say « i’m going to go » and «  i will go » they both express a notion of future. « Futur proche » is like « i am going to go ». The…

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