La grammaire est l'étude systématique des éléments constitutifs d'une langue.

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« De nouveau » ou « à nouveau » ?

Un ami après avoir raté la préparation d'un repas affirme: « je vais le refaire de nouveau. » Pour moi, c'est « de nouveau » signifie répéter la même erreur. Donc « à nouveau » est plus convenable. Je ...
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3answers
129 views

Manquer de + noun vs. manquer du + noun

I would like to know the rules of using the verb manquer followed by noun. Let's take an example that is listed on the Wiktionary page (manquer de). It says in part: manquer de \mɑ̃.ke də\ ...
2
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1answer
135 views

Would have, should have, must have

I was told by a reliable source that "J'aurais dû partir plus tôt" means "I should have left sooner." So how do you say, "I must have left sooner."? Or "I would have left sooner." The question here ...
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82 views

Grammar: “ne me sentais pas” or “ne sentais pas”

I was wondering if it is absolutely necessary to place “me” right before “sentais” in the following sentence. If so, what might be the reason for that? Je ne me sentais pas le cœur de refuser. ...
2
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2answers
187 views

Quand utilise-t-on l'infinitif ou le participe passé dans un paragraphe ?

J'aimerais bien savoir quand on peut utiliser un verbe à l'infinitif ou an participe passé dans un paragraphe. Je connais déjà une régle: on met le verbe à l'infinitif s'il y a une préposition comme ...
2
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2answers
135 views

The meanings of “le puissant”, “la puissante”, and “les puissants”

If you place “le/la/les” right before an adjective, does the resultant phrase mean a person or people of that particular nature? le + puissant (Masculine Singular Adjective) = a powerful man? la + ...
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2answers
192 views

Explication de « lui dit-il » et « lui dit-elle »

My French is not good enough to ask this question in French, but hopefully I can understand the answers! I bought a copy of Le Petit Prince in French and I have been reading it to improve my French. ...
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76 views

How to change “have done” into “had done”?

In French, how do you express the idea of the past perfect (had done)? In English, it is as simple as changing “has” into “had”, but how about in French? Elle n'a jamais rien mangé d'aussi bon. { ...
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108 views

In “on le fait mettre à genoux,” is “le” the object of “mettre”?

The question is on le as highlighted in this excerpt from Candide by Voltaire. Candide, tout stupéfait, ne démêlait pas encore trop bien comment il était un héros. Il s’avisa un beau jour de ...
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164 views

“C'est du mauvais français” du vs de ?

Another user pointed out some poor phrasing in a French sentence I had linked to by saying "C'est du mauvais français." I am not sure why this uses du rather than de; my impression was that the ...
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56 views

Role of “en” in “Il en pendait dans toute la maison”

I'm reading La Fuite de Monsieur Monde by Georges Simenon. It contains this passage: S'il avait osé, il aurait dit: – Un complet de tout le monde. Il en pendait dans toute la maison. I've ...
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149 views

The word order of “de ne pas avoir à”

Je suis [contente/content] de ne pas avoir à te trimballer ! I always thought that you have to place a verb or an auxiliary verb like avoir between ne and pas, so I wonder why this is not the case ...
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5answers
143 views

What is the meaning of the word “rien” in the sentence “Ne vous préoccupez de rien !”?

Does this sentence: Ne vous préoccupez de rien ! mean: Do not worry about anything! ≠ Worry about nothing! or: Do not worry about the smallest things! (Those things are nothing ...
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109 views

Four different forms of the past participle of “laisser”: Which one to use?

Woman: Il ne m'a jamais laissée tomber. In the sentence above, the speaker is a woman, and the “il” refers to a certain man and the “me” refers to a woman (the speaker). I’ve just learnt that there ...
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4answers
644 views

How to express “being left to do” in colloquial French?

“I don't appreciate being left to do all the hard work.” It’s different from just saying “I don't appreciate doing all the hard work.”; the idea of “being left to do” is important. Someone else ...
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67 views

How would you best translate “to make one + verb”

I would like to know the correct way to translate "to make one + verb". In this case, "make" is to compel or make someone feel compelled to do something. Like the case: What made you want/feel ...
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147 views

“Je vraiment les aime” or “Je les aime vraiment”?

I want to say "I really like them." But, which comes first? “Vraiment les aime” or “les aime vraiment”?
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2answers
131 views

Meaning of “Autant faire”?

"...comme nous devrons y goûter devant les romains, autant faire un bon potage." I don't really understand that grammatically. I interpret the sentence to mean something to the effect of "Since we'...
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1answer
217 views

Les Françaises ou Les Français?

J'ai souvent entendu « Les Françaises » pour parler de toutes les personne françaises . Mais, pourquoi est-elle féminin (françaises) et pas masculin (français) ? Peut-être, c'est parce que « personne ...
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104 views

« J'ai rêvé que… » passé composé ou plus-que-parfait ?

Dans l'expression: J'ai rêvé que… Est-ce qu'on peut employer le passé composé pour exprimer une action que l'on a fait durant un rêve: J'ai rêvé que je suis sorti… Ou bien faut-il employer ...
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2answers
91 views

Grammar point of negative form “Je n'ai pas reçu le colis” and “Je ne recevais pas le colis” [duplicate]

Bonjour tout monde, Could you explain the grammar point behind the use of two tenses in Je n'ai pas reçu le colis Je ne recevais pas le colis When do we use one over another ? I often hear Je n'...
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5answers
615 views

Difference between beau and bel

What is the grammatical difference between beau and bel? They are both the masculine singular form of the adjective beau, right?
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98 views

Why is “c'est” used in this sentence and not “est”?

Pour rester en forme, la chose la plus importante à faire, *c’est* d’avoir une alimentation saine. Would it still be correct if est was used instead ? Also, I would like other examples where it is ...
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66 views

Reason for inversion in “peut-être es-tu une dinde !”

I saw it in the tale Le Vilain Caneton. I don't understand how come there's an inversion "es-tu" if it isn't a question? The whole sentence: Tu n'es pas comme les autres, peut-être es-tu une ...
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3answers
128 views

What does “ce sur quoi” mean?

I have never seen this one before, someone here wrote the sentence: On peut également préciser ce sur quoi porte la demande: par exemple, "Pouvez-vous répéter la question?" What does ce sur quoi ...
3
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1answer
121 views

When do we use plus-que-parfait?

I don't really understand plus-que-parfait. When do we use plus-que-parfait? And if you compare it with English, what tense is that?
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2answers
209 views

C'est-y pas vrai ?

Dans la lecture du Voyage au bout de la nuit, je suis tombé sur cette phrase orale : « C'est-y pas vrai ? » De nos jours, j’emploierais, pour ma part, « C'est pas vrai ? » à la place. Était-ce ...
4
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2answers
110 views

Peut-on dire “de par l'avenir” ?

Dans le contexte suivant, j'hésite entre plusieurs formulations : Je n'exclus cependant pas la possibilité de travailler avec vous de par l'avenir, si nous sommes amenés à nous rencontrer. de ...
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680 views

Placement of the word “aussi” in a sentence

It confuses me a little bit where I should place it. For example if I say in English; "Someone had also eaten my porridge" or "Someone also had eaten my porridge" They both would imply that that '...
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70 views

Usage of the future and of “moi” in “J'irais me venger moi”

The line is from the song Carmen by Stromae; Et s’il le faut j’irais m’venger moi Two questions: Why "aller" in the future tense? "Je vais aller faire qqc" already implies that you will do ...
6
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1answer
90 views

Why is “être” used in “Son estomac s'est mis à gronder.”

If I understand correctly, the sentence means "His stomach started to rumble/growl". I just don't understand which tense is it? If "se mettre a faire + infinitive" means to "begin doing something" (...
3
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3answers
136 views

La négation de la phrase “Mon travail est intéressant”

Est-ce que la négation de la phrase "Mon travail est intéressant" est: "Mon travail est n'intéressant pas"? Ou "Mon travail n'est pas intéressant"? Et pourquoi? Merci.
4
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87 views

“Alors qu'il s'était allongé” or “alors qu'il s'était allongeait”?

I saw the following sentence in the tale "three little pigs" (you have to start somewhere, right :); Alors que le petit cochon venait juste de finir de construire sa maison et qu'il s'était ...
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3answers
90 views

Verb with no subject (well, tu but you don't say tu it's implied)

How would i say verbs without a subject. Ex (in english) Do the dishes. (what verb conjugation would I use)
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2answers
251 views

What's the difference between “c'est pourquoi” and “parce que”?

I hear a lot of “c'est pourquoi” lately, so I just want to know what it means. Also with “parce que”.
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118 views

Is “D'où vient que…” a common expression?

My understanding is that this is translated as "How is it that..." which is an extremely common phrasing in English, but typing this into google does not give any auto-suggest results, leading me to ...
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2answers
599 views

How to translate “by which” ?

It came up in the sentence "Is there another way by which you can ... " and now I'm just wondering in general. I would have thought it would be par lequel or duquel or something like that but I get ...
5
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3answers
245 views

C'est du piment rouge or C'est un piment rouge?

The other day I was reading a French comic when I noticed one of the characters said this: Vous mentez! C'est du piment rouge! Note the use of the partitive. This strikes me as a little odd, ...
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195 views

The placement of the word “seulement” in the following sentence

I was listening to the song Tous les mêmes by Stromae the other day, and in the second verse I noticed he sings the following; Moi je l'disais pour t'faire réagir, seulement Toi, t'y pensais ...
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2answers
100 views

When should a direct object pronoun be ommitted?

I have recently begun to notice a number of places where the direct object is ommitted in translating from English to French. For instance, I saw I'll find it translated as Je vais trouver, rather ...
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1answer
106 views

How does “plus” makes the sentence negative?

I'm pretty new to the French language and just saw the following line in the song "alors on danse" by Stromae; "alors tu t'bouches plus les oreilles" I know that "se boucher les oreilles" means to ...
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1answer
111 views

Understanding “J’ai dû avoir l’air fatigué”

The question is on the highlighted sentence in this excerpt from L'Étranger by Camus. J’ai dit : « Il est tard. » Raymond le pensait aussi. Il a remarqué que le temps passait vite et, dans un sens,...
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32 views

Are the adjectives always placed behind nouns? [duplicate]

I am a ground beginner. So, sorry for any misunderstanding. I have come across the sentence: "Elle a une robe rouge" So, is it always that adjectives are placed behind nouns, or are there special ...
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4answers
142 views

How stupid am I

How can I express the meaning of such sentences which start with "How"? For example, "How lucky was I to survive", meaning that I was "so" lucky or "How stupid am I", when you criticize yourself ...
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3answers
174 views

Is “Elle me te montre” correct?

"Montrer quelque chose à quelqu'un" means "to show somebody something" or "to show something to somebody". Can I say "montrer quelque chose quelqu'un", as in English? And what about persons, can I ...
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1answer
57 views

Liste de valeurs/Liste des valeurs/Liste de valeur

I tend to have problems getting it right with “de”. To my knowledge, one uses “beaucoup de + nom (singulier)”. But some other cases confuse me. For example Liste de valeurs/Liste des valeurs/...
3
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2answers
82 views

Subjunctive Past: “We did not have to …”

I would like to say something along the lines of “we did not have to + infinitive”. Instead of present e.g. il faut + infinitive, I was thinking “il ne fallait pas”? But I struggled for it to make ...
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2answers
57 views

Something “vous donne droit à” something else : missing verb (avoir) ?

Today I received an email from Amazon with some kind of a discount. I decided to make use of it and translate it, however I stumbled on a sentence that gives me problems: Votre commande récente ...
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1answer
58 views

What is correct? “durée du séjour” vs. “durée de séjour”

What is right here? or is both equally fine? Intuitively I'd say: durée du sejour. meant is the length of a stay (in a hotel or hostel or hospital or whatever).
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119 views

The difference between ''de'' and ''à des''

''Le mixage, le metissage, l'emprunt à des cultures differentes sont des caracteristiques essentielles de cette population.'' ''Le mixage, le metissage, l'emprunt de cultures differentes sont des ...