3
votes
3answers
91 views

To what extent are liaisons optional? Can I have some examples?

The more I listen to spoken French, which I am doing much more of lately, the more I see that liaisons are very often not used where I expected them. My policy in the past has generally been to place ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

What does “tomber dans les pommes” mean? [closed]

I'm wondering what "tomber dans les pommes" means. I don't know what it is. I once knew what it meant, but not anymore now. I don't understand the French meaning of It.
1
vote
3answers
175 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What does “À l'œuvre, on connaît l'ouvrier” mean?

I know "À l'œuvre, on connaît l'ouvrier" is a proverb, but what does it mean?
2
votes
2answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
152 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
112 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
646 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
627 views

Best translation for “I'm back” ?

I used to translate I'm back as "Je suis retourné" but eventually I changed that to "Je suis de retour." Am I right nowadays, is that the most idiomatic way of expressing that?
2
votes
2answers
159 views

How to express “dare to” in French?

Is it correct to use the verb "oser" in the following sentence? Mes amis artistes qui sont plus que fiers de leurs talents de peintre jamais osent peindre des portraits.
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How to say “old days” in French?

Recently, I have found a French relative on the net and I want to tell him: I also have a vague memory of the old days. How can I say the sentence above and specially the "old days" in French ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What gender(s) are political parties?

For example the parties: LR PS FN And is it the same gender for all parties? What about "UDI" can you use l'UDI ?
3
votes
2answers
150 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”?
11
votes
3answers
227 views

Is it correct to say “la capitale de France”?

If so, is the meaning any different from that of "la capitale de la France"? More generally, why is the article omitted in other phrases, such as "Stade de France," "Tour de France" and "roi de ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Traduction du terme « Golden Hour » utilisé par les photographes

En anglais, « Golden Hour » désigne les périodes après le lever du soleil et avant son coucher où la lumière est plus douce. Quelle est l'expression équivalente en français ?
3
votes
4answers
240 views

How to translate “Can't stop” to French?

Is it correct to say: Je ne peux pas arrêter de les regarder, tes peintures. Does it convey the meaning of "can't stop looking at your paintings"?
6
votes
4answers
119 views

What is the meaning of “lui nuit plus qu'il ne lui sert”?

I'm reading Le rouge et le noir and I came upon this sentence: Cet automate de mari lui nuit plus qu'il ne lui sert I understand the first part of the sentence but not the second one. My problem ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

What is the construction used in negating with “ne pas” (but not ne..pas)?

I am in in Québec City for a five day vacation. One sentence I entered into google translate is "I regret not studying French more", and google translate gave me the following: Je regrette de ne ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Understanding “s’en retourna tout agitée”

I am trying to understand the highlighted phrase in this excerpt from Voltaire's Candide. Un jour, Cunégonde, en se promenant auprès du château, dans le petit bois qu’on appelait parc, vit entre ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Comment « n'en pouvoir mais » a-t-il evolué pour signifier « ne rien pouvoir » ?

Cette réponse a entamé cette locution verbale, qui est expliquée ici d'où je cite partiellement : N'en pouvoir mais [...] Mais pour la comprendre, il faut savoir que cette forme est très ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Where can I find the abbreviations used in the Trésor de la langue française ?

I already read this. For example, I could not locate an explanation on CNRTL for « dés. », which I only encountered subsequently on Wiktionnaire: la désinence. I can infer that « préf » means « le ...
5
votes
2answers
132 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'...
7
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Is “rien n'est à craindre, tout est à comprendre” a play on words?

A question based on comments here Dans la vie, rien n'est à craindre, tout est à comprendre (Marie Curie) Is it a play on words in French?
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

Why are mutiple kissES exchanged (at least one on each cheek) when “faisant LA bise”?

If “la bise”and “le bec” are both singular nouns meaning “the kiss,” why do French and many Francophone people generally exchange multiple kisses on their cheeks when they “faire la bise / le bec” ...
3
votes
4answers
263 views

When “toujours” appears, how do I know if it means “always” instead of “still”?

There are posts like the following Toujours vs encore to translate “still”? that state that still can be translated with both toujours and encore. Please note that my question is different. I am not ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

« Je suis un beau torvis/tord-vis » ?

Dans la chanson folklorique québécoise Martin de la chasse-galerie (composition Michel Rivard, inspiré d'un conte au recueil d'Honoré Beaugrand, interprétation La Bottine souriante, La Mistrine, 1994),...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Paient ou Payent

Y a-t-il une règle à propos de ce verbe ? Parce que sur la plupart des sites de conjugaison, c'est écrit Ils paient/payent Les deux orthographes sont-elles acceptées ou y en a-t-il une qui est plus ...
4
votes
2answers
266 views

Does a future subjunctive tense exist?

It seems to me that the present and future subjunctive is the exact same. For example, to say Bette is hitting on Tex so that he will give her good grades. (future) you would say Bette ...
0
votes
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'...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Masculine country or feminine country

How do you know if a country is feminine or masculine? If you say "in a (feminine) country", you would use en, but how would you know if the country is feminine or not? Is there a rule of thumb?
1
vote
5answers
674 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?
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Understanding “laisser pleuvoir du feu”

The question is on this sentence from L'Étranger by Camus. It is describing a scorching summer sky. Il m'a semblé que le ciel s'ouvrait sur toute son étendue pour laisser pleuvoir du feu. Which ...
7
votes
5answers
398 views

« Pile » ou « batterie »

Quelle est la différence entre une pile et une batterie ? Quand on parle d'une pile ordinaire (de type AA, C, 9V, ...), peut-on utiliser le terme « batterie » ? Quand on parle d'une batterie de ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Understanding “haletait de toute la respiration rapide et étouffée de ses petites vagues.”

I am trying to understand the syntactic structure of the second sentence of this excerpt from L'Étranger by Camus. C’était le même éclatement rouge. Sur le sable, la mer haletait de toute la ...
2
votes
2answers
545 views

How do the French say “bacon”?

I believe there is a cognate, perhaps spelled the same way, but meaning something different. I have asked a few native French speakers. They seem to agree that they have a word "bacon" but they are ...
6
votes
3answers
133 views

“Vous êtes tout ce que je pensais que vous soyez.”

In the phrase above (heard on a French TV show), why is the final verb in the subjunctive? I would have guessed the sentence would read "Vous êtes tout ce que je pensais que vous seriez." Merci ! ...
5
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
103 views

Understanding “quitter des yeux son adversaire”

The question is on the highlighted phrase in this excerpt from L'Étranger by Camus. In it, Raymond has caught up with a man who, earlier in the morning, had given him knife wounds on his mouth and ...
3
votes
1answer
343 views

Qu'est-ce qu'un « arroi de dentelles » ?

L'une de fables de Maurice Carême commence par la strophe En arroi de dentelles, La très noble Isabelle Traversait la forêt. Un loup maigre paraît Qui se jette sur elle. Qu'est-ce qu'un ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Un équivalent du mot anglais « application » pour une procédure administrative

Je cherche un mot en français courant qui pourrait remplacer « application » en anglais, dans le contexte où il s'agit d'une procédure administrative, impliquant dossiers et paiements…
0
votes
3answers
94 views

Quand on tient à quelqu’un, on le retient

France 2 tweeted: "Quand on tient à quelqu’un, on le retient." Découvrez la campagne #SécuritéRoutière #RetenirUnAmi avec @michelcymes What is the meaning of the first sentence?
2
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Quelle est la différence entre “ce que” et “celui/celle que”? [duplicate]

Dans la phrase « Il n'y a que cinquante et une cartes dans ce jeu, où est _ manque ? », pourquoi dit-on « celle qui » et pas « ce qui » ?
0
votes
3answers
97 views

Difference between “lieu” and “endroit”

What is the difference between “lieu” and “endroit”? I know both of them mean place, so what exactly is the difference? Please use examples in your answers.
2
votes
3answers
72 views

Alternatives ou meilleure traduction pour le mot blog

Existe-t-il une meilleure traduction française pour "blog"? Je vois le mot existe dans le Larousse, mais j'aurais aimé un mot différent de l'anglais.
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Pronunciation of “parce que” and class implications

I recently listened to a podcast on France Culture's "Hors champ" with Patrick Boucheron, whose pronunciation of "parce que" seems really off. Instead of eliding the "e" in "parce", he actually ...

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