Tagged Questions

Comment utiliser un mot en situation. / How to use a word in a particular situation.

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8
votes
3answers
468 views

Nuancier des grossièretés

N'étant pas de langue maternelle française, une des choses qui m'est très difficile est de 'sentir' la force de certains mots, même si j'en connais la signification et l'utilisation. De plus, c'est ...
11
votes
5answers
170 views

What's the correct verb to use to describe the phenomenon of going from calling someone 'vous' to calling someone 'tu'?

The kind of verb that can only exist in language such as French with different ways of referring to people in the second person, what is the verb (or verbs) that describe the phenomenon of switching ...
15
votes
1answer
246 views

L'usage de « ne » sans un mot associé ?

Généralement, quand on voit ne dans une phrase, ce mot est associé avec un autre mot, pour modifier une verbe ; par exemple : il ne parle pas… il ne parle plus… il ne parle que… Mais ...
16
votes
4answers
716 views

Latin phrases - used in French too?

There are lots of latin phrases in common use in English. Is it suitable/appropriate/common to directly use them in French, exactly like I would for English? For the purposes of discussion lets look ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of the word “trombone” in the sense of “paperclip”

With school around the corner, I got a package of paperclips and I notice the French translation for paperclip is the word trombone. What does this have to do with the instrument? They look quite ...
14
votes
5answers
351 views

What are some tricks for avoiding the tu/vous dilemma?

Following on from this question about using vous/tu, and specifically a throwaway remark by subtenante, what are some tricks that you can use to avoid having to use either, if you're uncertain?
23
votes
9answers
4k views

How do you decide whether to use “vous” or “tu”? / Comment choisir entre « vous » et « tu » ?

When talking to someone, how do you decide when to use "vous" or "tu"? Example: Comment allez-vous ? or Comment vas-tu ? Comment choisir entre vous et tu quand on s'adresse à ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

“quoique” vs. “bien que”

Is there any difference between “quoique“ and “bien que”? I have found two random examples, but my knowledge of French is not good enough to understand if they express the same meaning or not. Il ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Quelles parties du monde francophone continuent à utiliser les nombres réformés pour dénombrer au-delà de 69?

Il existe en français des mots pour exprimer les multiples de dix, pour les valeurs au-delà de 60 : septante (70), huitante/octante (80), et nonante (90). Ils ne sont pas utilisés en France. Quelles ...
10
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the correct way to pronounce 'poutine'?

In Canada, there's a dish spelt 'poutine', which consists of fries, gravy, and cheese curds. However, I have come across two conflicting accounts of how to pronounce the word online, and I would like ...
10
votes
4answers
244 views

How universal is the guillemet in written French?

There's a discussion going on about the use of Guillemet in written French. The official view of l'Académie is pretty clear I think, but how widely is this reflected around the world? Is it normal to ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it necessary to use guillemets when quoting in French, or may one use English-style doublequotes?

Many French writers and publications will use guillemets when quoting in French, e.g. Il a dit qu'il « était le meilleur joueur du monde » hier soir. But there are also major publications such ...
15
votes
4answers
329 views

Est-il correct de laisser tomber le « il » dans « il y a » ?

On voit souvent l'abandon du il dans la phrase il y a…, tant dans l'écriture formelle que dans l'écriture informelle, et aussi dans le discours. Exemple: Y a des chiens… Est-ce que c'est ...
13
votes
1answer
210 views

Est-ce qu'écrire « ça » au lieu de « cela » est si grave que ça ?

Je sais que ça ne se fait pas d'écrire « ça », mais j'ai peine à situer la gravité de son utilisation. « Cela » me semble souvent être trop formel, voir sonner faux.
48
votes
10answers
18k views

If “Je t'aime” means “I love you”, how do you say “I like you” in French while still addressing the other person as “tu”?

There doesn't seem to be a way to indicate that one only likes a person with whom one is friends, rather than loves them. Is there a way to indicate this while still referring to the friend as 'tu'?