The French subjunctive can be a challenge for a few reasons. English speakers don’t use the subjunctive in the same way, so don’t have a reference point. The subjunctive involves what appears to be a fairly complex set of rules and a new set of conjugations. And if you weren’t taught it at school it […]
There are things you’re supposed to have learnt at beginners’ level that can still cause trouble later on. Take for example these two sentences: J’y suis allé mercredi dernier. I went there last week. Je vais y aller mercredi prochain. I will go there next week. The y meaning “there” switches places: it’s before suis […]
Take a look at these four sentences: (i) It’s me who is in charge. (ii) It’s I who am in charge. (iii) It’s me who am in charge. (iv) It’s I who is in charge. If you’re a native English speaker, you’ll recognize instinctively that (i) and (ii) sound right, whereas (iii) and (iv) sound […]
Take a look at these French sentences and see whether you know what the missing words are. You can click here to see the answers. Hide the answers 1) Je ne me ferai plus prendre à l’avenir. I won’t get caught out again in the future. 2) J’ai confiance dans l’avenir. I have faith in […]
Avec is one of the first words you come across in French.
It means “with”.
It’s easy to pronounce.
Nothing could be simpler. Except…
Launching into À la recherche du temps perdu is a unique experience. It’s not so much the length (though at 1.5 million words and 2400 pages it is the longest novel ever published), but the baggage that comes with it. I still remember how small I felt when a fellow student at University told me […]
The rhythm of spoken French resembles a string of pearls or the beads of a rosary, wrote the phonetician Pierre Delattre: L’égalité syllabique a fait comparer le rythme du français aux perles d’un collier, au grain d’un chapelet, aux battements du coeur. Bien qu’il soit un peu saccadé, ce rythme n’est ni dur (les syllabes […]
It’s sometimes the words that are closest to our own language that are the hardest to adopt.
Joseph Conrad is known as one of the finest ever writers of the English language. He was the author of classic novels such as Under Western Eyes and Heart of Darkness (which was adapted by Francis Ford Coppola into the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now.