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For instance, languages, days of the week, months, seasons, metals, colors, and measurements are mostly masculine. Otherwise, memorizing word endings is the best way to guess genders. We'll learn these ending patterns in four steps:. All others, especially nouns ending in consonants, tend to be masculine. A tip to learn this sound is to shape your mouth like you're about to say the "oo" in "too" , but say "ee" in "tee" instead. Practice this until it feels natural.

French word endings tend to be particularly difficult for beginners, largely because ending consonants are usually silent, but they do affect preceding vowel sounds. This is a way of distinguishing masculine and feminine forms verbally. The letter E often becomes mute in the middle of a word, especially if it would add a syllable. Unlike English adjectives, French adjectives must agree in number and gender with the nouns that they modify.

When used with pronouns, adjectives agree with the noun that has been replaced. In French, most adjectives appear after the nouns they modify. However, some adjectives precede the noun. All determiner adjectives e. You will learn these later. A few adjectives can come both before and after the noun depending on their meaning.

For people, it comes before a noun when it means "important" and after the noun when it means "tall". It has, however, created some unexpected rules. This is a great way to tell if a noun is plural. If not, it's probably singular.

Les sciences racontées à ma petite-fille

Remember that verbs change conjugation to agree with their subjects in both grammatical person and number. There are no quotation marks in French. Exclamation marks! Like many common verbs, they have irregular conjugations. The "z" sound is essential here to differentiate between "they are" and "they have", so be sure to emphasize it.

Other verbs must be used for these meanings. These pronouns aren't interchangeable. This is optional; you can also choose to treat them as nouns. In this case, use the masculine singular form of the adjective. This is especially common for states or conditions that a person may experience.

English has a number of idiomatic plural-only nouns that have to be translated carefully. These are not just nouns that are invariable with number like "deer" , but rather nouns that cannot refer to a singular thing at all. The same is true of the acute accent. There are four nasal vowels in French. Try to learn these sounds by listening to native speakers. These aren't always nasalized.

If there's a double M or N, or if they are followed by any vowel, then the vowel should have an oral sound instead. As adjectives, they agree with the nouns they modify except in two cases. First, colors derived from nouns e. However, in French, they match the thing being owned. Consider the example of "her lion". It's ambiguous without more context. Possessives have different forms that agree with four things: the number of owners, the number of things owned, the gender of the thing owned, and the grammatical person of the owner e. For the sake of euphony, all singular feminine possessives switch to their masculine forms when followed by a vowel sound.

It consists of a root parl- and an ending -er. The ending can dictate how the verb should be conjugated. To conjugate another 1st Group verb, affix the ending to that verb's root. Note that in verb constructions beginning with non-auxiliary verbs, the verbs must be separated by a preposition. The indefinite article doesn't always refer to just one thing.

Sometimes, it can mean one thing each. Consider these examples:. They can be used in place of articles. Like other adjectives, they must agree with the nouns they modify. It's ambiguous between the two. Discerning between them is easy, however: an adjective must modify a noun, while a pronoun can stand alone as a subject or object. When it's used as an object, it usually translates to "this" or "that". This is relatively rare.

Se constituer des souvenirs

Conjunctions function by hooking up words, phrases, and clauses. For the most part, French coordinating conjunctions behave very similarly to their English counterparts. However, if the subject of the sentence is a noun, then the noun should appear before the verb, although a pronoun still needs to appear afterwards. If the verb ends in a vowel, the letter T must be inserted after the verb for euphony. However, the pronoun in an inversion cannot elide.

In informal speech, one of the most common ways to ask a question is simply to raise your intonation at the end of a statement, like you'd do in English. French has interrogative adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs. It translates to "which" or "what" depending on the context.

An interrogative adjective cannot stand alone. Note that it agrees with the noun it replaces. However, the construction changes based on a number of factors. You will learn these uses later. Sentences can have grammatical objects, which are nouns that are affected by a verb. In this example, "Ben" is the subject, "the ball" is the direct object, and "him" is the indirect object. You can usually recognize indirect objects in English by looking for a preposition after a verb.

Identifying objects is important, especially in French. Verbs can be transitive, intransitive, or both. However, both types of verbs can have indirect objects. French verbs can be tricky for Anglophones because some transitive verbs in French have intransitive English translations and vice versa. Pay attention to this. The most common stative verb is "to be". Here are some other common examples:. The most important detail about stative verbs is that they can't be used in continuous tenses in English. You may have noticed that some verbs can be both stative and dynamic based on context.

Pay attention to this nuance when translating into English. This problem rarely occurs when translating to French because it lacks continuous tenses. When multiple adjectives modify a noun, they should come before or after the noun based on the same rules as if they were the only adjective.

On the other hand, when there are multiple nouns being described by one adjective, that adjective takes the masculine plural by default. Many English and French words look alike and share meanings. This is because English is heavily influenced by French and Latin. Be careful before assuming a French word's meaning based on its English lookalike.

For instance, in the sentence "Ben threw the ball", the ball is the direct object. French has a set of pronouns that can be used to refer to a direct object. Se is used with all third-person subjects, regardless of gender and number. Certain pronouns can be added to the end of the sentence to differentiate between reflexive and reciprocal uses if necessary.

French prepositions can be difficult because their meanings and uses don't always line up to what you would expect in English. These prepositions can be used in many ways. For instance, they may indicate movement or location. This change occurs for euphony only; the nouns do not change genders because of it. Between 0 and 20, most French numbers are constructed similarly to English numbers.


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Like most other pronouns, they agree in gender and number with the noun they replace. The 2nd-person articles for multiple owners can be used for a single owner when speaking formally. These are used when pointing something out, referring to something indefinite like an idea , or referring back to something already mentioned.

Demonstrative pronouns refer to a very specific thing and cannot stand alone. They must be used in one of three constructions. A relative pronoun and dependent clause can follow the demonstrative pronoun. This construction is idiomatic and does not directly translate to English. Months aren't capitalized in French. A few words for dates and times have both masculine and feminine forms that are used in different contexts. Consider the meaning of the whole sentence when deciding between the two. Some pairs are more flexible than others. The masculine forms are used for countable units of time and specific dates or moments.

The feminine forms are used to express or emphasize a duration or the passing of time. They're also used with most adjectives. You will learn more about determiners in "Adjectives 3". Tenses reflect a time frame e. It can be used in a variety of constructions, either with or without prepositions. You learned this in "Verbs: Present 1". Here, note that French infinitives can often be translated as English gerunds with an -ing ending , especially when they're subjects. As you learned previously, some verbs must be followed by a preposition to complete their meaning e.

An infinitive can be used as an object when it follows such prepositions. Remember from "Common Phrases" that an impersonal statement is one with a dummy subject instead of a real one. To further illustrate the difference, consider these two different translations of "It is fun to read. It's often used in relation to foods. A long adverb that modifies a phrase can usually be relegated to the beginning or end of a sentence. However, other articles can follow adverbs of quantity when the noun is specific. The definite article agrees with the noun being modified.

You are familiar with some of these from "Common Phrases". Omitting the indefinite article is optional. A negation changes the meaning of a statement to its negative. Most French negations are constructed out of two words that surround a conjugated verb. In addition to the negative adverbs above, you also have the option of starting a sentence with a negative adverb, which acts like a masculine subject.

When a negation is used with an inversion to ask a question , the whole inversion must remain inside the negation. Extra adverbs that modify the verb usually come after the negation. Otherwise, they follow the rules from "Adverbs 1". In English, two negatives may make a positive, but in French, they usually don't. It's also omitted for short phrases that lack a verb.

Remember that verbs of appreciation e. Negations are no different. In "Conjunctions 1", you learned about coordinating conjunctions, which link similar elements that have equal importance in a sentence. However, in complex sentences, one clause may be dependent on another. In English, many adverbs are constructed from adjectives by adding "-ly" to the end. For instance, "quick" becomes "quickly". In negative clauses, adverbs that would otherwise follow the verb usually appear after the negation. As you may have noticed, a lot of English vocabulary vocabulaire comes from French.

This has created many etymological patterns that you can use to your advantage when learning new words. Consider the following suffix patterns:. You learned in "Basics 1" that almost all nouns must be preceded by an article. This isn't entirely accurate. As of this unit, you will have encountered every type of determiner. There are very few exceptions to the rule that nouns must have a determiner. A few are verb-based.

Recall that French does not have noun adjuncts, which are nouns that qualify other nouns. Choosing a preposition for time depends on the situation, but multiple choices may be appropriate. These are versatile and can be used for most expressions of duration. Expressing locations in French can be tricky because many English prepositions don't have one-to-one French translations.


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  8. It is especially appropriate when the location name has an article or possessive. In general, the best way to tell if a noun is plural is to listen carefully to its article. Otherwise, it's probably singular. French nouns for persons of a certain nationality are capitalized, but in French, national adjectives and language names are not capitalized. In this usage, they act like adjectives and are not capitalized. Because French lacks continuous tenses, most French verbs can translate to either simple or continuous tenses in English and vice versa. However, as you learned in "Verbs: Present 2", English stative verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses.

    You can only use them in simple tenses. Mais non! Je ne crois rien! Il n'a jamais rien fait d'autre que des additions. Mais ce n'est pas un homme, c'est un champignon! Ce n'est pas important la guerre des moutons et des fleurs?

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    Il ne put rien dire de plus. Je me moquais bien de mon marteau, de mon boulon, de la soif et de la mort. Je le pris dans les bras. Je lui disais: "La fleur que tu aimes n'est pas en danger Je te dessinerai une armure pour ta fleur Elle choisissait avec soin ses couleurs. Je vous demande pardon Vous n'auriez pas un paravent? Il faut les regarder et les respirer. Les fleurs sont si contradictoires! Mais, comme il disait, "On ne sait jamais! Evidemment sur notre terre nous sommes beaucoup trop petits pour ramoner nos volcans.

    C'est pourquoi ils nous causent tant d'ennuis. Il croyait ne plus jamais devoir revenir. Je te demande pardon. Il fut surpris par l'absence de reproches. Il ne comprenait pas cette douceur calme. Tu n'en a rien su, par ma faute. Cela n'a aucune importance. Laisse ce globe tranquille. Je n'en veux plus. L'air frais de la nuit me fera du bien. Je suis une fleur. Sinon qui me rendra visite? Tu seras loin, toi. J'ai mes griffes. Tous les hommes sont des sujets. Je te l'interdis. J'ai fait un long voyage et je n'ai pas dormi C'est un ordre. Alors je Ce serait ma faute.

    Faites-moi plaisir Ordonnez au soleil de se coucher Il faut exiger de chacun ce que chacun peut donner, reprit le roi. Je l'exigerai. Mais j'attendrai, dans ma science du gouvernement, que les conditions soient favorables. Ne pars pas, je te fais ministre! Je n'ai pas fait encore le tour de mon royaume. C'est le plus difficile. Je n'ai pas besoin d'habiter ici. Je l'entends la nuit. Tu pourras juger ce vieux rat. Il n'y en a qu'un.

    Elle pourrait m'ordonner, par exemple, de partir avant une minute. Il me semble que les conditions sont favorables C'est pour saluer quand on m'acclame. Malheureusement il ne passe jamais personne par ici. Le petit prince frappa ses mains l'une contre l'autre. Le vaniteux salua modestement en soulevant son chapeau. Cinq et sept douze. Douze et trois quinze. Quinze et sept vingt-deux. Vingt-deux et six vingt-huit. Pas de temps de la rallumer. Vingt-six et cinq trente et un. Cinq cent un million de J'ai tellement de travail! Deux et cinq sept Je disais donc cinq cent un millions Je les compte et je les recompte, dit le businessman.

    C'est difficile. C'est amusant, pensa le petit prince. On ne sait jamais. Cependant il est moins absurde que le roi, que le vaniteux, que le businessman et que le buveur. Au moins son travail a-t-il un sens. J'avais le reste du jour pour me reposer, et le reste de la nuit pour dormir Il voulut aider son ami:. Quand tu voudras te reposer tu marcheras Ce que j'aime dans la vie, c'est dormir.

    Cependant c'est le seul qui ne me paraisse pas ridicule. Il n'y a pas de place pour deux Le petit prince s'assit sur la table et souffla un peu. Je manque absolument d'explorateurs. Il ne quitte pas son bureau. Il les interroge, et il prend note leurs souvenirs. Et aussi un explorateur qui boirait trop. Mais on exige de l'explorateur qu'il fournisse de preuves. J'ai trois volcans. Mais on ne sait jamais. Il est rare qu'une montagne change de place. Ce qui compte pour nous, c'est la montagne. Elle ne change pas. Puis eux aussi s'escamotaient dans les coulisses.

    Puis de ceux d'Afrique et d'Europe. Quand on veut faire de l'esprit, il arrive que l'on mente un peu. Elles s'imaginent tenir beaucoup de place. Elles se voient importantes comme les baobabs. Vous leur conseillerez donc de faire le calcul. C'est inutile. Vous avez confiance en moi. Le petit prince, une fois sur terre, fut bien surpris de ne voir personne. La Terre est grande, dit le serpent. Elle est juste au-dessus de nous Mais comme elle est loin! Je puis Il en existe, je crois, six ou sept.

    Le petit prince fit l'ascension d'une haute montagne.

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    Et les hommes manquent d'imagination. Et les routes vont toutes chez les hommes. Tu cherches des poules? Et je n'ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n'a pas besoin de moi non plus. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre.

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    Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde Il y a une fleur Je chasse les poules, les hommes me chassent. Toutes les poules se ressemblent, et tous les hommes se ressemblent. Je m'ennuie donc un peu. Les autres pas me font rentrer sous terre. Le tien m'appellera hors du terrier, comme une musique. Et puis regarde! Je ne mange pas de pain.