Archive | June 2016

Lesson 24 – Duration of Time

Duration of Time – La durée du temps

En

Time necessary to carry out an action.

  • J’ai terminé le marathon en 3 heures.

Dans

Time before the start of a future event.

  • Marion arrive dans 30 minutes.

Ça fait…que

Time spent in a current state.

  • Ça fait 2 heures que je t’appelle.

À partir de

Start of a lasting event.

  • Ils seront en Grèce à partir de lundi prochain.

Au bout de

The end of a lasting event.

  • Il a arrêté les cours au bout de 2 semaines.

Depuis

Duration spent in a current state.

  • Je suis au chômage depuis 4 mois.

Pendant

Duration of an event.

  • Il a travaillé pour cette enterprise pendant 10 ans.

Pour

Duration of a planned event.

  • Je suis à Paris pour 3 semaines.

Have a great week, readers!

À bientôt !

Courtney

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Dear Language Students…

Dear Language Students…

when-a-student-uses-google-translate

We know when you use online translators!

Fun fact: I was looking over a dissertation from one of the students I was tutoring who was in 3rd year high school French. It was a topic I didn’t know about, so I did my own research before diving into her essay. I read her essay, and it’s gibberish, some word-for-word translations, all from the English Wikipedia article I had just read. She copy/pasted the entire article into Google translate and tried to hand it in. I had her redo the entire thing.

Moral of the story: Your language teachers know.

À bientôt!

Courtney

Rencontrer vs. Retrouver

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a versus post here! I personally like them, they’re interesting to read and fun to learn, n’est-ce pas? Et vous, vous les préférez?

Today I’ll go over Rencontrer vs. Retrouver. Both mean “to meet”, but they are not interchangeable.


Rencontrer: to meet for the first time; to meet by chance – to run into; to encounter.

These meetings are not planned meetings. Imagine running into someone you know in a professional setting, and seeing them out in public away from that professional environment.

  • J’ai rencontré mon professeur au cinéma.
  • I ran into my professor at the movies.

Another scenario is meeting someone for the first time.

  • J’ai rencontré mon copain à l’école.
  • I met my boyfriend (for the first time) at school.

Retrouver: to meet up with someone; find again – find something that was once lost; find; relocate; to see someone again after a long time.

Unlike rencontrer, retrouver is used when talking about a planned meet up with someone.

  • J’ai retrouvé ma meilleur à la plage.
  • I met up with my best friend at the beach.

This verb also means to find, as in to find an item.

  • Ma mère a retrouvé mon portable.
  • My mother found my cell phone.

 

If you have any suggestions for another versus post, please leave a comment below!

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous!

Courtney

Verbs – Devoir

Devoir – to owe, must, out, to have to

Devoir is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation and has a number of different meanings.

The basic meaning of devoir is “to owe”.

  • Qu’est-ce que je vous dois? – What do I owe you?

It is also used to express obligation – with a following infinitive. The conditional tense is more mild and more polite than the present tense.

  • Je dois partir tout de suite. – I must leave at once.
  • Vous devriez la voir avant de partir. – You must see her before leaving.

Devoir also expresses supposition, inference, and probability.

  • Vous devriez être fatigué après votre voyage. You must be/probably are tired after your trip.
  • Il doit être malade. – He must be/probably is sick.

Translating devoir

Devoir can be translated by should, must, ought to, have to, supposed to – the distinction between necessity and probability is not always clear.

  • Je dois faire le lessive. – I should/must/ought to do the laundry.
  • Il doit arriver demain. – He supposed to/should arrive tomorrow.

To specify “must” rather than “should”, add a word like absolument or vraiment.

  • Je dois absolument partir. – I really must go.
  • Nous devons vraiment te parler. – We must speak to you.

To specify “should” rather than “must”, use the conditional tense.

  • Tu devrais partir. – You should go.
  • Ils devraient lui parler. – They should talk to him.

 

Devoir bonus!

Devoir is a masculine noun meaning “duty” (le devoir), or “duties” (les devoirs). “Les devoirs” is also homework. (Je dois faire les devoirs. – I should do homework.)

Have a great week, readers! Please feel free to leave a comment or request a lesson. 🙂

À bientôt !

Courtney

Lesson 23 – Interrogative Question Structure

Interrogative Question Structure

The structure of a question when using interrogative terms, the term is placed at the beginning of the statement, transforming it into a question.

Interrogative Term

Example

Combien (how much) Combien pèses-tu? (How much do you weight?)
Combien de (how many, how much) Combien d’enfants a-t-elle? (How many children does she have?)
Comment (how) Comment vas-tu? (How are you?)
Où (where) Où vas-tu maintenant? (Where are you going now?)

D’où viens-tu? (Where are you from?)

Pourquoi (why) Pourquoi as-tu fait ça? (Why did you do that?)
Quand (when) Quand est-ce qu’ils vont arriver? (When are they going to arrive?)
Quel(le) (what/which) Quelle heure est-il? (What time is it?)
Qui (who/whom – as objects) Qui rencontres-tu à l’aéroport? (Who are you meeting at the airport?)
Quoi** (what) Tu vas porter quoi ce soir? (What are you wearing tonight?)

**Quoi is a little different from the other interrogative pronouns because it never begins a statement but rather it follows the verb.

À quoi (to what) À quoi penses-tu? (What are you thinking about?)
De quoi (about what) De quoi parles-tu? (What are you talking about?)

 

Have a great week, everyone!

À bientȏt!

Courtney

Parlez-vous Franglais?

I came across this funny article written in Franglais! In case you don’t know what Franglais is, it’s a mesh of both French and Anglais (English). If you have a grasp of even basic French, this article will be an easy read. 🙂

Je ne peux plus spell words anymore, knowing deux langues has really messed up my spell checking abilities. Est-ce-qu’on dit “centre” or “center”, I never know anymore. — I relate so well to this statement! Anyone else have this problem as well?

Happy reading!

Courtney

Verbs – Venir

All about venir!

Learn how to say something you just did using the verb venir.


Venir (to come)

Je viens Nous venons
Tu viens Vous venez
Il/Elle/On vient Ils/Elles viennent

To say something you just did, you would use venir + de + infinitive.

Je viens de commander une pizza. – I just ordered a pizza.

Tu viens de manger le dîner. – You just ate dinner.

Il vient d’aller au magasin. – He just went to the store.

Nous venons d’acheter une voiture. – We just bought a car.

Ils viennent de voyager en France. – They just traveled in France.

Elle vient de téléphoner à sa mère. – She just called her mother.

Vous venez de danser ensemble. – You just danced together.

 

As always, please feel free to comment or request anything. Have a great week!

Merci à vous !

Courtney