Grammar for Dummies
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Grammar for Dummies SHOULD

  How do we translate « should » into French ? How does the structure work ?   How do we translate « should » into French ? French people use the verb « devoir » to express « should ». Attention, « devoir » when used in the present tense means « must » or « have to ». But if we change the tense of « devoir » and conjugate it in…


Grammar for dummies : EN

When do we use the preposition « en » ? This preposition seems to be used a lot but when is it correct and when it isn’t ?! « En » is in front of the following :   A date : Ex : Je suis arrivée à Morzine en 2003.         Elle est née en 1956.        Henri a participé à la guerre…


Grammar for Dummies: Could

  Why is this word so confusing in French ? The reason is quite simple, the French mainly have two ways of expressing it while in Engish there is only one way (= could).   Sometimes when using « could » we refer to an action in the past.   Ex : When I was young, I could … Here…


Grammar for Dummies: Can

1) CAN : la structure   French people use the verb « pouvoir » in the present tense to express the idea behind « CAN ».   In a positive sentence Je peux courir 10km Tu peux parler espagnol Il/elle/on peut faire la cuisine Nous pouvons comprendre le chinois Vous pouvez courir 10km Ils/elles peuvent parler espagnol   Notice that…


Grammar for Dummies: the negation

  The negation goes around the verb (or if it’s easier to remember : make a sandwich with the verb !! )   Types of negation :   NE … PAS                                                   – not…


LE VERBE AVOIR au présent

  When do we use it ? How do we use it?   When do we use it ?   The verb « to have », is used in French to talk about :   the age à Ex : j’ai 35 ans * body parts à Ex : Ils ont les yeux bleus members of the family à Ex : Il a…


LE VERBE ÊTRE au présent

  When do we use it ? How do we use it?     When do we use it ?   The verb « to be », is used in French to talk about :   – a job à Ex : Je suis docteur et il est prof. * – a physical description à Ex : Elle est grande et blonde…


GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES : LE PASSÉ COMPOSÉ

1) When do we use that tense ?   2) How do we use it ? When do we use that tense ?   This is one of the main past tenses in French. It is used to talk about an action that happened at a specific time and that is over ! « Le passé composé » cannot be…


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10 English words the French can’t pronounce and 10 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, and how could you know that ‘ough’ is pronounced differently in both words!   Beach “beech” French people can’t help pronouncing this word the same as a female dog, much to most English people’s amusement!   Hedgehog “hedge-hog” Actually pronounced…


Tips and tools to help you learn French

So you are learning French?  It can be a long, slow process especially if you aren’t living in France.  It is important to keep your learning varied and fun so that you stick with it; learning a language takes time but is extremely rewarding and needn’t be monotonous.  We at Alpine French School like to…


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