11
votes
3answers
213 views

Comme on connaît ses saints, on les honore

The translation of this appears to be: To know a friend is to respect him That's completely different from the meaning of the French words. What's the logic behind the original French sentence? ...
8
votes
5answers
556 views

Where can I find good reading materials without the literary tenses?

So here's my strategy for learning French: Took 4 years in high school, so I already know the basics and a lot of vocabulary. Memorize ~2000 new nouns and ~2000 new verbs, thus expanding vocabulary ...
10
votes
1answer
566 views

Translating some rare irregular verbs?

I recently compiled for myself a list of all conjugations of every irregular verb in the French language, for over 350 verbs (as close to all of them as I could get.) I also had to translate the ...
9
votes
2answers
707 views

What does “Nom marital” mean?

What does nom marital mean? Is it related to marital status?
8
votes
1answer
235 views

Comment étudier le français tout seul ?

Mon niveau est presque B1-B2. J'ai un bon vocabulaire (mais il pourrait certainement être meilleur), je me débrouille pas mal dans la compréhension, mais j'ai quelque soucis avec l’orthographe et la ...
10
votes
2answers
856 views

When to pronounce “s” at the end of words?

For instance, “vous” has a silent “s”, unless it's something like “Je vous ai vu.” (I'm not sure that I constructed that properly, but you get the point — the s is pronounced in that case.) But what ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

N'importe quoi: What does it mean and how is it used?

Can someone explain the meaning and common usages of this phrase? I hear it often and am not entirely sure I always understand it. Does it mean something like English's “whatever” or “bullshit”? Is it ...
8
votes
2answers
162 views

What does “bêcher” mean in the context of ignoring someone?

I want to know the meaning and level of offense/informality of the phrase: Une personne bêche une autre. I know that the verb literally means "dig over" and that it has to mean something like ...
16
votes
4answers
605 views

Common usage of “mon œil”?

When I first learned French in high school, we were taught that mon œil was a way of expressing disbelief to another person, accompanied by a silly finger-eye gesture. For the French users here, I was ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Est-ce qu'on dit « travailler sur l'ordinateur » ou « travailler sur ordinateur » ?

Il y a plusieurs variantes de combiner le mot « travailler » avec le mot « ordinateur » : travailler sur ordinateur, travailler sur l'ordinateur, ainsi que travailler à l'ordinateur. J'ai trouvé ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What are the best on-line tools for learning french [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Free online resources for beginner course I've been studying French for about 9 months and I've found the following on-line tools helpful. News in slow French ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Y a-t-il un nom pour désigner les mots composés de racines linguistiques hétérogènes ?

La formulation actuelle de la question a évolué suite aux réponses données. Elle s'intitulait au départ Quadricéphale : comment appelle-t-on ce barbarisme spécifique ? L'exemple utilisé dans le ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

When to use du instead of des?

I don't understand why people sometimes use 'du' instead of 'des' when the meaning of both articles is the same. For example, "some pencils" is des crayons whereas "some cheese" is du fromage.
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Stepsister vs. half-sister

How do you differentiate between half-sister (you share one parent) and stepsister (no blood relation)? I've seen both translated as une demi-sœur.
7
votes
1answer
418 views

« des médias » ou « des média » ?

Doit-on écrire « des médias » ou « des média » ? Google fight : des médias: 20 900 000 résultats des média: 1 180 000 résultats Ce blog post supporte le s. Dans Wikipédia on trouve des articles ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

“Pas encore” — is it correct to have the liaison or not?

I'm very confused about the pronunciation of pas encore. I've always thought it was said with the liaison since it follows the rule of an ending consonant before a word beginning with a vowel. ...
12
votes
3answers
898 views

Kindly requesting a guide to the verb “Asseoir”

I was going through all the irregular verbs, learning their conjugations, and I got to this one and completely blanched. Now I recall that they always brushed aside questions about this verb back in ...
17
votes
2answers
344 views

Third person plural for “pleuvoir”?

Apparently the verb pleuvoir can only be conjugated in the third person, but I don't understand why you would ever conjugate it in the plural. If Il pleut means It's raining, what does Ils pleuvent ...
9
votes
3answers
158 views

How to differentiate pronunciation of 1 or 2 Rs in courir conjugation?

Nous courons vs nous courrons? Nous courions vs nous courrions? Same with mourir, secourir, accourir, etc...same with vous as for nous. How do you differentiate between them?
10
votes
2answers
24k views

Gaufre et gauffre

Jusqu'à aujourd'hui, j'étais dans la certitude totale que « gaufre » s’épelait « gauffre ». Or lorsque j'ai appris que ce n'était pas le cas, j'ai voulu savoir si j'étais la seule à penser cela. Il ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

What is meant by “Des êtres et des génies”?

I'm searching course options for my Fall semester in CEGEP, and one of the courses offered is called "Des êtres et des génies." My problem is that I'm having some trouble understanding what the course ...
10
votes
4answers
281 views

Which is a correct french translation of “Coming together”, “Keeping together” and “Working together”?

I'm trying to translate this quote: Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress. Working together is success. but I'm having trouble because I don't know if the literal ...
12
votes
3answers
176 views

Statements of uncertainty?

In English, I like to add on certain modifiers when giving people information, so as to remind them that the information is not guaranteed to be true. Examples include: "In my opinion,..." "...but ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

“This side up” sign in French

I need to put a sign of "This side up" in English and French on a few boxes that I need to ship. What would be the most common choice of words for such a sign? Is "Ce côté vers le haut" correct? ...
10
votes
3answers
215 views

How is “gésir” a defective verb?

Apparently gésir has an incomplete conjugation—it only works in the present tense. This confuses me. How would I say “I would lie down” or “I will lie down”, etc?
11
votes
2answers
379 views

Is 'ouïr' used at all anymore?

Everywhere I read, it says “ouïr” is archaic and has been replaced by “entendre.” Is this completely true? Do people still know the verb? How long ago was it still used regularly—the 50s, or more like ...
17
votes
3answers
697 views

Où est le « h aspiré » dans « anse » ?

J'ai une question sur le mot « anse ». Comme tout le monde, je prononce ce mot [ɑ̃s] et comme tout le monde, ce mot commençant par une voyelle, j'applique les différents processus de sandhi en ...
10
votes
3answers
772 views

What is a good translation to “end up” somewhere?

How can I be able to express that something will "end up" in a particular place or situation? For example: "If you keep getting in trouble, you may end up in jail." "With good marks, you may end up ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

What is an effective word for not being attentive?

What is a good translation for not being attentive? Examples could be: Je n'étais pas [attentive] dans ma classe de Chimie or Si tu n'étais pas [attentive] sur la rue, tu peux être dans un ...
9
votes
3answers
305 views

Is there any general rule to determine the gender of a noun based on its spelling?

For example, words ending by "-ette" are very likey to be feminine. So, are there other rules that can help to assess the gender?
7
votes
3answers
367 views

How to say ‘it’ when ‘it’ has no defined gender?

How do you say it when it has no defined gender? For example in the phrase: Eat it! Is the French translation “mangez-la ! ” or “mangez-le ! ”, or neither? Also, aside from in “c'est” where ...
10
votes
4answers
548 views

Quelles sont les durées des mots utilisés dans les expressions ?

Voilà un bail que je me pose la question, sans savoir y répondre. Ça fait déjà une paye que je voulais la poser ici, mais je n'avais pas le temps. J'espère que je n'attendrai pas des lustres avant ...
12
votes
1answer
723 views

How to translate “Be there or be square”?

En voulant annoncer au monde entier ma soirée, j’ai voulu traduire “Be there or be square” en français mais je ne trouve pas d’équivalent. Une idée ?
8
votes
1answer
353 views

« Et que cela saute ! »

De quelle origine provient cette expression ? « Et que cela saute ! ». Est-ce que le « Et », qui est vraiment obligatoire dans cette phrase, a une signification spéciale ? Que veut dire « sauter » ...
12
votes
1answer
533 views

For how long has French been the official language of France?

That is to say, in France, at which date was it declared that official documents had to be written in the french language? Any additionnal informations like where was it decided, how was is decided, ...
5
votes
3answers
466 views

What is the nickname for Michel?

Is there a nickname for Michel (Michael) in French? Back in the IRC days, when I introduced myself as Mike on a French channel, everyone called me "Mickey" for whatever reason.
8
votes
2answers
156 views

Français pour “get off scot-free”?

En anglais il existe le terme "get off scot-free", qui veut dire que quelqu'un échappe sans punition quand il a commis une faute. Existe-t-il une phrase semblable en français?
13
votes
3answers
606 views

Avoir un grain. De quel grain parle-t-on ?

Dans l'expression « avoir un grain » pour dire être un peu fou. De quel grain parle-t-on et pourquoi ?
5
votes
2answers
132 views

Localization Help

I'm writing a program and need to know how dates, versions, time, and numbers are formatted in the French Language Example (in English) Version 1.0.0 (Build 0) How would that look in French?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it better to use “faire une promenade” or “se promener”?

I know that both faire une promenade and se promener mean "to walk," but which one is considered better to use?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Étymologie de « un fou dans une poche »

Je serais la première à dire que le Québec regorge d'expressions colorées, toutes aussi farfelues les unes que les autres. Il est relativement facile pour moi de trouver et de comprendre l'origine de ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

D'où vient précisément « saperlipopette » ?

Comme tout le monde je pense vous avez déjà dû entendre quelqu'un s'exprimer en disant « Saperlipopette ! », même si ce n'est (il me semble) plus très courant aujourd'hui (je me souviens encore de ...
9
votes
2answers
506 views

Learning French to follow some mathematics texts

It is slowly being felt by me that learning French will give me access to the rich mathematical literature of France. I will be obliged if someone would please refer me to a source or book where I can ...
1
vote
1answer
938 views

The difference between “un petit garçon” and “un garçon petit” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quand peut-on mettre un adjectif avant ou après un nom? I was wondering what is the difference between “un petit garçon” and “un garçon petit”. un = one petit = ...
6
votes
3answers
661 views

How to translate 'Save me the trouble'?

For example "You saved me the trouble by keeping my badge". How can I express the same sentiment in French? Would this be a good solution? Vous m’avez fait économiser le problème par garder mon ...
5
votes
3answers
350 views

What is a “Calque de l'anglais”?

I'm applying for a dishwashing job here in Quebec, and have been using Antidote to sharpen my writing: "Bonjour, j'appelle Zolani Stewart et je veux appliquer pour le poste de ...
10
votes
5answers
263 views

Traduction de « to make sense »

Dans les discussions que j'ai déjà eues, « It makes sense. » exprime à la fois le fait que l'interlocuteur comprend et que cela veut effectivement dire quelque chose. De même « It does not make sense ...
9
votes
2answers
301 views

Le sot-l'y-laisse

Je connais un restaurant qui s'appelle le sot-l'y-laisse, la première fois que je l'ai vu je me suis demande ce que ça pouvait bien vouloir dire. Après quelques recherches, il semble qu'il s'agisse ...
7
votes
5answers
984 views

How to translate “Up for it”?

To be “up for it” is to be ready to face a certain situation. How can I say it in French with the same emotion?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Accord du participe passé avec un pronom relatif

J'ai du mal à savoir laquelle de ces deux versions est juste et pourquoi : les choses auxquelles il est confronté. les choses auxquelles il est confrontées. L'accord est-il nécessaire avec les ...

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