Hot answers tagged

26

You could use this form in a figurative way, when describing objects falling down or being thrown in big quantities. It can also be found in sport comments, usually tennis and maybe boxing, for example Les coups droits pleuvaient sur le Central (litterally Forehands were raining on the Central Court).


20

Choir (to fall, defective verb, rarely used) Démordre (the mechanical action opposed to to bite, i.e. to release after a bite. Nearly only used in the idiom ne pas vouloir en démordre which means not wanting to give up or hold one's position stubbornly) Désapprendre (used frequently, meaning unlearn) Paître (to feed on grass, used for ruminant animals mainly)...


16

Être + en train + de + the infinitive of the verb is the french structure of the english progressive form : To be + gerund. The progressive form is used to express an ongoing action. Ex: Je me prépare. Je suis en train de me préparer. I am getting ready. Ex: L'avion atterrit. L'avion est en train d'atterrir. The plane is landing. Ex: Nous déjeunions. ...


15

This particular use of présent is called présent de narration or présent historique, it describes a past event in the présent tense. présent de narration ou présent historique : il est employé dans les récits pour donner un relief particulier à un fait en le rendant plus présent à l'esprit du lecteur ou de l'auditeur. Il est généralement introduit par des ...


15

Phonetically speaking, you can't tell the difference between them; they are pronounced the same. And yes, it goes for all the other verbs where the third person singular is pronounced the same as the third person plural, except in cases where the verb starts with a vowel. In those cases, there is often a liaison made when it's plural. For example, ils ...


15

Personnellement je dis : Je suis content que tu l’aies aimé. Je n'ai pas souvenir d'avoir entendu dans mon entourage quelqu'un utiliser l'indicatif dans ce genre de phrase. Mais, bien que Français, je ne suis pas forcement représentatif.


15

Offrir is to give someone a present. Mes parents m'ont offert un stylo pour mon anniversaire. It can also be used for non material things, for example : Il m'a offert son amitié.1 Il m'a offert son aide.2 In those two preceding sentences offrir could be replaced by proposer, offrir there implies the recipient may refuse whatever (help or friendship or ...


14

In articles such as those, the present tense is very common. It also has the particularity of being called présent historique. Basically, it allows for a lighter text and can be mixed with passé simple to emphasize certain events. Wikipedia has a little article on its pros and cons. You will most often find this kind of structure in history books or articles,...


14

First, the re- prefix doesn't always connote re-petition (e.g. recompter), it may also indicate re-currence (e.g. rebondir), re-action (e.g. rebondir with a different meaning), re-adjustment (e.g. rehausser), or state re-covery (e.g. revenir), re-ciprocity (e.g. redevoir), among others. Quite a few verbs do not admit such a prefix. I would advise you ...


14

The simple answer is "because it is the rule". The rule says that object pronouns are always placed before the verb except in imperative affirmative sentences. J'aime la France. → Je l'aime. J'entends les oiseaux. → Je les entends. An easy lesson on the subject on Bonjour de France.


13

Penser de exprime une opinion : — Que penses-tu de ce livre ? — J'en pense qu'il est fantastique, je l'aime beaucoup. (où "j'en pense" signifie "je pense de ce livre") ou encore — Que penses-tu d'aller déjeuner ? — Je meurs de faim, allons-y ! Penser à exprime le fait d'avoir des pensées pour quelque chose ou quelqu'un — Je suis content de te ...


13

En dehors de ricaner, qui n'a pas tout à fait le même sens, il n'y a pas de verbe correspondant à smirk en français, on utilise le nom sourire que l'on qualifie : petit sourire narquois, sourire méprisant, rictus [auto-]satisfait (ou d'autosatisfaction), sourire moqueur, sourire suffisant, rictus, sourire ironique, sourire accrocheur, ...


13

Quand j'étais né is impossible in French. The root cause of the confusion many English speakers have with être né is the fact that there is no verb for naître in English. "Born" doesn't translate with né because "born" (from "to bear") really means enfanté/accouché. "I was born" actually means j'ai été enfanté. Être né ...


13

One not subtle but major difference is that the verb conger doesn't exist... I guess you are thinking about the expression prendre congé de ... which is a formal way to say dire au revoir et quitter quelqu'un. e.g.: Je dois partir. (I have to go) Je dois vous quitter. (I have to leave you) Je dois prendre congé de vous. (I have to take leave of you) ...


12

The common idiom is on dirait que (TLF: I.B.1.a.γ). It is followed by a verb in the indicative mood. On dirait qu'il y a moins de sièges¹ ici que dans le métro actuel. Y a-t-il effectivement moins de sièges ? Other impersonal constructions are possible. Avoiding the impersonal on makes for slightly more formal writing. Another common idiom is il semblerait ...


12

Gésir implies more than just lying down; the subject has to be incapacitated and not be able to move. It's mainly used on dead people's graves, where ci-gît stands for "here lies ..."


11

Ces verbes peuvent être conjugués avec les deux auxiliaires. Pour le verbe paraître, l'auxiliaire peut changer le sens de la phrase. Lorsque l'auxiliaire être est employé, le verbe signifie se montrer, se présenter ou être publié. Lorsqu'il est utilisé avec l'auxiliaire avoir, il a le sens de sembler, donner l'impression. La nouvelle est parue dans le ...


11

Just to get a feeling for why such a meaning is possible, you can take it as meaning I have 16 years (of age under my belt). or think of it as similar to the past perfect tense in English (have+past participle), which links past and present I have (aged for) 16 years (and this is me now) If we take "copula" as the fancy term for "to be", and look ...


11

Ne pas vouloir de is something of an emphatic construction that specifically rejects a situation that could befall you for some reason, as here, because the Prince is being offered one. This is why when you answer in the negative to a question with veux/voulez-vous [+ objet], the formulation is technically "Je n'en veux pas", where the en implies a phrase ...


11

(Se) coucher has several meanings Se coucher = to lie down, to go to bed Je me couche tôt en semaine. Tu viens te coucher ? Coucher quelqu'un = to put someone in bed J'ai couché les enfants. Coucher avec quelqu'un = to have sex with someone Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir ? Dans le cinéma, il faut coucher pour réussir. And some other meanings.


11

Certains verbes intransitifs comme courir, coûter, dormir, durer, marcher, mesurer, peser, régner, reposer, valoir, vivre, etc., peuvent être accompagnés d'un complement circonstanciel qui exprime la durée, la distance, le prix, ou la valeur (compléments circonstanciels de mesure). Dans ces cas, le participe passé reste invariable. Par exemple : Ce ...


10

You can say both, as habiter is both transitive and intransitive. However, in everyday conversation, the intransitive form is more common.


10

Because it's how one says ages in french. We can revert the question: Why is to be used instead of to have when expressing/referring to age, in english?


10

A correct answer with "échapper" is: J'échappe au lion. Together with a person/object, you says "j'échappe à/au". The form "je m'échappe du/de" is used together with a location: Je m'échappe de la prison. Je m'échappe du pays. Last but not least, you can also use the verb "fuir", which is used the same way with locations or persons: Je fuis ...


10

You don't have to add "avant " every time, if you just use the "imparfait" tense, it will be enough in most situations. If needed, you can add an adverb to make your statement clearer, but it is not mandatory, the verb alone in the the imparfait will make sense and is certainly not a mistake. You can also use the phrase "avoir l'habitude de" if you are ...


10

Toto has answered your question accurately, here I would like to go further and say that not only subjunctive actually is used in informal contexts, but in those situations it is even overused. The most common situation is after the locution après que: e.g., Après que je sois parti... is incorrect but extremely widespread. The correct wording is: ...


10

Rather than avoir l'air, in your examples, the verb faire means donner un air, donner une apparence, as the subject is not the thing that has the appearance, but is what gives this appearance. This the definition nr. 19 given here in the Wiktionary. Ex: J'aime bien porter un smoking, ça fait classe (porter le smoking donne un air classe). Ne porte pas de ...


9

1) There are two different spellings: asseoir (traditional, much more common, the one I prefer and the one I use for this answer), and assoir (1990 modernized grammar, typical of some official texts, but still less common). 2) There are two strictly equivalent, fully correct conjugation forms to asseoir (to make or help someone / something sit down) or s'...


9

Si on n'utilise pas de pronom, cette phrase peut aussi être écrite : Les reines ont succédé aux reines. On s’aperçoit que le rôle du pronom réfléchi est celui d'un objet indirect (COI) dans cette phrase. Il apparait aussi que le véritable auxiliaire est avoir, et qu'il ne peut y avoir d'accord puisqu'il n'y a pas d’objet direct. Dans une phrase qui ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible