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Comparative & Superlative Forms of Adverbs

 

Comparisons of Equality & Inequality

The following structures are used to express comparisons of equality or inequality:

Vous ne buvez pas autant que lui. (autant qualifies verb)

You don’t drink as much as him.


Il faudra le récompenser davantage. (davantage qualifies verb)

He’ll have to be rewarded more/given a greater reward.


Cette voiture roule aussi rapidement que l’autre. (aussi qualifies adverb in positive statement)

This car goes as fast as the other.


Il ne m’écrit pas si/aussi souvent que vous. (si or aussi qualifies adverb in negative statement)

He doesn’t write to me as often as you do.


Plus j’étudie ce livre, plus j’admire l’auteur. (plus introduces each clause)

The more I study this book, the more I admire the author.


Comparative Forms

The comparative form of the adverb is made by putting plus before the regular form:

Ce mot s’emploie plus couramment. | This word is more commonly used.

The adverb mal has the regular comparative form plus mal:

Mon oncle va plus mal. | My uncle is feeling/getting worse.

There are several common irregular comparative forms:

beaucoup | much

plus | more

bien | well

mieux | better

peu | little

moins | less


Superlative Forms

The superlative forms of the adverb is made by putting le before the comparative form. This applies to regular and irregular comparative forms. Since adverbs are invariable, le is used irrespective of the gender/sex and number of the subject of the verb.

Ma nièce a tout mangé le plus vite possible.

My niece ate everything as quickly as possible.


Les magasins vendaient ces articles le plus cher possible.

The shops sold these items at the highest price they could.


Wow, first day of June! Fast year this has been so far. I hope you all are doing well!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

 

Object Pronouns – Indirect Object Pronouns

Welcome back to part two of object pronouns! You can find part one here.

An indirect object is the person to whom or for whom an action is done. It is connected to its verb by the preposition à.

J’écris à Jean. | I write (toJean.


Les élèves parlent au professeur. | The students talk to the professor.


Nous donnons des cadeaux à nos amis. | We give gifts to our friends.


The French indirect object pronouns refer only to people. Lui may mean either to/for him or to/for her, depending on the context.

 

Indirect Object Pronouns

 
 

singular

plural

first person

me

nous

second person

te

vous

third person

lui

leur

The indirect object pronouns follow the same rules for position as the direct object pronouns.

Ce chapeau vous va très bien. | That hat looks very good on you.

Il vous plaît ? | Do you like it?


Et Marion ? Elle a faim ? | What about Marion? Is she hungry?

Oui, je lui prépare un sandwich. | Yes, I’m making a sandwich for her.


Je vais leur téléphoner ce soir. | I’m going to call them this evening.

S’ils ne sont pas là, te peux leur laisser un message au répondeur. | If they’re not there, you can leave them a message on the answering machine.


I hope everyone is having a good week!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Object Pronouns – Direct Object Pronouns

A direct object is the person or thing that receives the action of a verb.

Je vois Camille. | I see Camille.


Nous ne voyons pas le magasin. | We don’t see the store.


Je lis mon livre. | I read my book.


Elle porte ses lunettes. | She’s wearing her glasses.

In order to prevent unnecessary repetition, direct object nouns are often replaced by direct object pronouns.

Direct Object Pronouns

Singular

Plural

First Person

me, m’  me

nous  us

Second Person

te, t’  you

vous  you

Third Person

le, l’  him, it

la, l’  her, it

les  them


Direct object pronouns precede the conjugated verb. Note that before a verb beginning with a vowel or muted hmetelela becomes m’t’l’.

Est-ce que tu achètes ce livre ? | Are you buying that book?

Non, je le regarde tout simplement. | No, I’m just looking at it.


Me retrouvez-vous en ville ? | Will you meet me in town?

Oui, nous t’attendons au café. | Yes, we’ll wait for you at the café.


Tu aimes ces nouvelles chansons ? | Do you lie these new song?

Pas du tout. Je les déteste. | Not at all. I hate them.


Direct object pronouns precede the auxiliary verb in compound tenses. Remember that the past participle agrees in gender and number with a direct object noun or pronoun that precedes it.

As-tu vu Michel ? | Have you seen Michel?

Je l’ai cherché, mais je ne l’ai pas trouvé. | I looked for him, but didn’t find him.


Je t’ai appelé, mais tu ne m’as pas entendu. | I called you, but you didn’t hear me.

Si, je t’ai salué, mais tu ne m’as pas vu. | Yes I did, I waved to you, but you didn’t see me.


Et les lettres ? Où est-ce que vous les avez mises ? | What about the letters? Where did you put them?

Je les ai jetées à la poubelle. Je croyais que vous les avez déjà lues. | I threw them in the garbage. I thought that you had already read them.


When a verb is followed by an infinitive, the direct object pronoun comes before the verb of which it is the direct object… usually the infinitive.

Vous pouvez nous déposer en ville ? | Can you drop us off downtown?

Je regrette, mais je ne peux pas vous prendre. | I’m sorry, but I can’t take you (give you a lift.)


Je peux t’aider ? | Can I help you?

Oui, merci. Tu vois cette chaise ? Tu peux la monter au deuxième étage. | Yes, thank you. Do you see this chair? You can take it up to the third floor.


Be sure to come back next week for part 2 of this post. I hope you all are having a great week!

A la prochaine…

Courtney

The Pronoun ‘En’

We’re going to dig a bit deeper into the pronoun ‘en’ this week. I touched on the subject awhile ago.

The basic function of the French pronoun ‘en’ is to replace complements that consist of de + noun. In most cases (but not all) en can replace complements consisting of de + either an animate object or inanimate noun.

En can can replace de + any noun when de + the article is a partitive article or a plural indefinite article. En is often translated as some or any in English, but in many cases it has no English equivalent.

Vous avez des livres ? | Do you have (any) books?

Vous en avez ? | Do you have any?


Tu veux des frites ? | Do you want any fries/chips?

Tu en veux ? | Do you want any?


Elle a des cousines en Californie. | She has cousins in California.

Elle en a en Californie. | She has some in California.


Ce magasin ne cherche pas d’employées. | This shop isn’t looking for employees.

Cette magasin n’en cherche pas. | This shop is not looking for any.


En can replace both animate and inanimate nouns that follow a quantity word (most of which contain de) or a numeral.

J’ai beaucoup de travail. | I have a lot of work.

J’en ai beaucoup. | I have a lot.


Elle fait tant de voyages. | She takes so many trips.

Elle en fait tant. | She takes so many.


Nous avons résolu la plupart des problèmes. | We have solved most of the problems.

Nous en avons résolu la plupart. | We have solved most of them.


Ce prof enseigne cinq cours. | This prof teaches five classes.

Ce prof en enseigne cinq. | This prof teaches five.


When a noun following quelques is replaced by enquelques becomes quelques-uns or quelques-unes.

Nous avons lu quelques articles. | We read some articles.

Nous en avons lu quelques-uns. | We read some.


Je peux te donner quelques fleures. | I can give you some flowers.

Je peux t’en donner quelques-unes. | I can give you some.


En also replaces inanimate nouns when de means from.

Elle est revenue de la campagne. | She came back from the country.

Elle en est revenue. | She came back (from there).


Cheers, everyone!

A la prochaine…

Courtney

Declarative & Interrogative Sentences

A declarative sentence makes a statement, and consist of a subject and a predicate. They can be simple or compound, and end with a period. (So basically, a declarative sentence is everything but a question or an exclamation.) The structure of a declarative sentence is standard: subject, verb, object.

Nous avons passé un bon séjour. | We had a pleasant stay.

An interrogative sentence asks a question. A declarative sentence may be turned into a question in three simple ways in French.

🔵  The word order of the declarative sentence may be retained, but with the voice raised at the end of the sentence to mark a question. This form of interrogation is common in colloquial speech.

Tu as déjà invité Charles pour demain ? |Have you already invited Charles for tomorrow?

🔵  The declarative sentence may be prefaced by est-ce que. This form is more common in spoken than written French.

Est-ce que vous avez vu ce film ? | Have you seen that movie?

🔵  Inversion – this form is more characteristic of formal spoken or written French, and may sound unnatural in normal conversation. It is rare to use inversion with the subject je and a verb in the present tense, with the exception of puis-je and suis-je.

When the subject of a verb is a pronoun, the inversion is straightforward:

Savez-vous si le train sera à l’heure ? | Do you know if the train will be on time?

With verbs ending in a vowel, -t- must be placed between the inverted verb and the subject pronouns il/elle/on. This is for pronunciation reasons:

A-t-il répondu ? | Has he responded?


Apprécie-t-on jamais les richesses de la vie ? | Does one ever appreciate the treasures of life?

When the subject of a verb is a noun, simple inversion cannot be used. Instead, the noun stands at the start of the phrase, followed by the verb + the pronoun corresponding to the subject:

L’étudiant savait-it qu’il est défendu de fumer dans les salle de classe ? | Did the student know that it is forbidden to smoke in the classroom?


Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

How to use ‘Chez’

If you’re new to learning French, you may have read sentences in your textbooks that use the word “chez”. It’s a very common word – a preposition – used in everyday speech, and it has two meanings.

Literal meaning: Chez is used to indicate a destination or a physical location. In this case it means:

  • At/To the house of:
    • Chez ma tante – At/To my aunt’s house
    • Charlotte est allée chez sa tante.
  • At/To the shop of:
    • Chez le coiffeur – At/To the hairdresser
    • Il est temps d’aller chez le coiffeur.
  • At/To the office of:
    • Chez le médecin – At/To the doctor’s (office)
    • Je vais chez le docteur.

Figurative meaning: Chez can also be used to indicate a particular group, a person’s character or style, or a period in time.

  • Among/For/In
    • Chez les jeunes – Among young people
    • Chez les romains – In Roman times
    • C’est une qualité chez lui – It’s a quality in him
  • In the work of
    • Chez Voltaire – In Voltaire’s work

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

A bientôt !

Courtney

Conditional Mood

I’m jumping back a bit to further explain the Conditional at a more advanced level. There is a bit of debate on whether the conditional in French should be classed as a verb tense or a mood, and actually, the conditional verb forms can convey information about both time and the attitude of the speaker.

Present Conditional

The present conditional is formed from the future stem + imperfect endings.

Je donnerais, tu donnerais, etc.

I would/should give, you should/would give, etc.

Conditional Perfect

The conditional perfect is formed from the present conditional of the auxiliary verb (J’aurais / je serais) + past participle.

J’aurais donné. – I would have given.

Tu serais parti. – You should have left.


The main uses of the conditional are listed below.

To express a hypothesis, most commonly in the form: “If x happened, I would do… / If x had happened, I would have done…”

Si je gagnais 1.000.000 euros, je m’achèterais une nouvelle voiture.

If I won 1,000,000 Euros, I would/should buy a new car.


Si j’avais su ton adresse, je serais venu te voir.

If I had known your address, I would have come to see you.


In indirect speech or thought after si to ask/know whether something would happen/would have happened.

Il m’a demandé si je viendrais.

He asked me if/whether I would come.


Nous ne savons pas si elle aurait préférée passer l’année dernière à Nice.

We don’t know if/whether she would have preferred to spend last year in Nice.

It’s good to note that this is one of the only cases in which it is correct to use the conditional after si. An easy way to check whether an English sentence fits this category is to ask if “if” can be replaced by “whether”.

Il m’a demandé si  je changerais d’emploi.

He asked if I would change my job. / He asked whether I would change my job.


In a main clause, to imply that the information is as yet unconfirmed. This is seen mostly in the media such as newspapers and online journalism. There is also no direct equivalent form in English.

Le Président des Etats-Unis serait malade.

The President of the United States is said/rumoured to be ill.


Un avion aurait été manqué.

A plane is reported to have gone missing.


In questions, giving a tentative supposition.

La voiture n’est plus là. Ta sœur serait partie ?

The car’s gone. Might your sister have left? / Perhaps your sister has left?


Est-ce qu’ils auraient dépensé tout l’argent déjà ?

Is it possible they’ve already spent all the money?


In exclamations to convey that something is unlikely, and possibly to suggest some indignation.

Moi, je lui enverrais une invitation Facebook!

Can you imagine me sending him a Facebook [friend] request! / I’d never send him a Facebook [friend] request!


There are two cases where in English would/should may be used, but where French requires a different construction.

“Would” conveying the sense of “used to”, such as a repeated action in the past. This would actually be translated into French by the Imperfect.

When we were travelling in France, we would stay at youth hostels. (When we were travelling in France, we used to stay at youth hostels.)

Quand nous voyagions en France, nous restions dans des auberges de jeunesse.

“Should / should have” conveying the sense of “ought to / ought to have”, such as an obligation. This would be translated into French by using the Present Conditional, or the Conditional Perfect of devoir + infinitive.

I should call my mother tonight. (I ought to call my mother tonight.)

Je devrais téléphoner à ma mère ce soir.


We should have turned right at the traffic light. (We ought to have turned right at the traffic light.)

Nous aurions dû tourner à droite aux feux rouges.


Next week I will continue a bit more with the Conditional. But I will leave you with this for now.

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney