June 5, 2018

When searching for a French word, we often gravitate to the easiest and closest English equivalent. However, many expressions use different verbs in the two languages. Grabbing the first verb we think of may not always be the right or best choice. In certain expression...

May 17, 2018

Once we learn a verb in French, we have a tendency to use it the same as we do in English. However, there are certain English verbs that have two or more equivalents in French. In this post, we will look at three verbs: driving, writing, and swimming, each of which has...

May 1, 2018

At first glance, there appears to be no rhyme or reason why one French word is masculine and another feminine. For instance, why is le bonheur (happiness) masculine, while la bonté (kindness) is feminine? While the grammatical gender of some French words correlates to...

April 24, 2018

A lot of students ask if there is logic to French gender. Gender assignment appears to be arbitrary at best. For instance, why is “chair” feminine (la chaise), but "armchair" masculine (le fauteuil)? And sometimes, it seems contrary to logic. A man’s tie is feminine (l...

March 23, 2018

The letter h

The French letter h is silent. We are taught to treat words beginning with h followed by a vowel like any other word beginning with a vowel. However, not all words beginning with h act in the same way.

In fact, there are two types of h in French: h muet (si...

February 2, 2018

peu a little of this, not much of that

When moving from French to English, I’m often surprised how easy it is to translate certain expressions. For instance, un peu and le peu are almost identical to a little and the little, and used in similar ways. However, these s...

December 5, 2017

fond is an extremely useful word in French with many practical applications. It comes from the Latin noun “fundus” meaning bottom, farm (piece of land), ground or foundation. The term has evolved, in both English and French, to refer to something that is at the bottom...

November 27, 2017

I have spoken before about the importance of learning not only the French language, but also the culture surrounding it. After all, we are learning French so that we can speak to the French! And understanding the social courtesies that the French themselves use every d...

November 12, 2017

Translating from one language to another is not an exact science. It is often hard to know which French word is closest to an English word. This is even more difficult when one English word has two almost equivalent words in French, such as the following words represen...

October 19, 2017

How the French build sentences: learning to think in French

When we speak French, we have a natural tendency to use the same word order that we use in English. Often this works, as many structures are the same in both languages. For instance, both form questions by rais...

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Hello & Welcome

 Hi, I'm Liane.  I'm a French speaker 
 and  teacher, sharing  tips

on how to  speak French  

more  fluently and authentically!