What's happening? Qu'est-ce qui a pu faire cela? What could have done this? After a preposition, que changes to quoi. Avec quoi ecrivezvous? What are you writing with? A quoi penses-tu? Negation No matter how positive positive and optimistic you are, sometimes you just have to say no. In this chapter, you '11 learn all about how to be grammatically negative in French. There are a variety of ways to make a statement negative in French, and each construction is used for specific situations. The English negative adverb is ''not," as in "I'm not going, I don't do not have time.
The French equivalent of ''not" is the two-part construction ne To make a sentence or question negative, place ne in front of the conjugated verb and pas after it. I'm tall-I'm not tall. Vous etes fatigue? Are you tired? In dual-verb and compound tense constructions, ne He wants to play-He doesn't want to play. J'ai mangJe n'ai pas mange. I ate-I didn't eat. When negating an infinitive, ne pas stays together in front of the verb: J' ai decide de ne pas accepter.
I decided not to accept Ne He hasn't eaten yet. Informal Negation On the opposite end of the spectrum from the formal negative structures in the previous section, you have informal French, in which ne is often dropped, leaving only pas to make the statement negative. Although ne is nearly always written, it is often dropped in spoken French. I'm not ready. Tu ne peux pas y aller?
Tu peux pas y aller? You can't go? Ne mange pas ya!
Don't eat that! Je n'aijamais fait ya. I've never done that. Nonverbal Negation When negating an adjective, adverb, noun, or some other nonverbal construction, pas is used on its own, paired with an adjective, adverb, noun, or pronoun. Not perfect, but it works. Pas bon, ya. That's not good. C'est un garyon pas gentil. He is an unkind boy. Not too much. Pas mal. Not bad. Pourquoi pas? Why not? Are you coming tomorrow? Non, pas demain. No, not tomorrow.
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Pas de probleme! No problem! I'm hungry, aren't you? Pas moi! Not me! Pas ceci;je veux cela. Not this; I want that. Do you understand, or not? Je veux le faire, pas toi? I want to do it, don't you? Pas juste? Isn't that cor-rect? Negative Adjedives Like negative adverbs, French negative adjectives are composed of two words that surround the verb.
Negative adjectives negate, refuse, or cast doubt on a quality of the noun they modify. You don't have any proof. Je ne connais pas un seul avocat. I don't know a single lawyer. Pas un probleme n' a ete resolu. No problem has been resolved. However, pas un and pas un seul are used only for countable nouns people, cars , nul is used only for collective nouns money, time , and aucun can be used for both countable and collective nouns. The parentheses indicate the letters that need to be added when negating a feminine noun because, like all adjectives, negative adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns that they modify.
When a negative adjective modifies the subject of the sentence, the verb must be conjugated in the third person singular. Not a single woman knows it. Aucune femme ne le veut. No woman wants it Aucun argent n'a ete retrouve. No money was found. Negative Pronouns Like adjectives and adverbs, French negative pronouns consist of two parts that surround the verb. Negative pronouns are used to negate, refuse, or cast doubt on the existence of the noun that they replace. They haven't seen any of the movies. Je n'ai rien fait.
I haven't done anything. Nous ne connaissons personne. We don't know anyone. Nothing was done. J en' ai rien fait. I didn't do anything. Je ne pense apersmme. I'm not thinking about anyone. The negative conjunction ne Ni Jacques ni Luc ne sont venus. Neither Jacques nor Luc came. Presentatives and Determiners Presentatives and determiners are two related categories of terms that introduce nouns while emphasizing or modifying them. Presentatives simultaneously introduce and emphasize something.
Determiners, on the other hand, introduce and at the same time modify nouns. Both groups of words are helpful to know and help you [ 92 Learn French in aHurry avoid confusion when you are trying to understand fluent French speakers. Abas le fascisme! C'est tres joli!
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Your village? It's very pretty! C'est une fille sympa. She's a nice girl. It's late. Don't forget, c'est normally becomes ce sont when followed by a plural noun. Although the expressions c'est and il est have similar meanings, they cannot be used interchangeably. In fact, the rules for their usage are quite strict Let's start by looking at c'est, which can be followed by the following terms. He's a lawyer. C'est mon frere. That's my brother. It's good. Ce n'est pas evident. It's not easy. C'est trop loin.
It is too far away. It's Michel. Ce sont Laure et Marie. It is Laure and Marie. It's I That's me. C'est lui qui veut y aller. It's him that wants to go. It can be used with the following terms. Elle est actrice. She's an actress. He is athletic. Elle est belle. She is beautiful.
Elles sont ici. They are here. He's in France. Elle est a1' ecole She is at school. There's a book on the table. There are several things to do. There isn't any book on the table. There aren't any clothes here. Remember that the indefinite article changes to de due to the negation. There was a book There will be a book You can ask a question with either use, est-ce que or inversion. Is there a book? Est-ce qu'il y a des vetements? Are there any clothes? To invert il y a, start with the pronoun y, then invert il and a. Y a-t-il des vetements?
Why is there a book on the table? Combien de livres y a-t-il? How many books are there? When il y a is followed by a period of time, it means "ago. I read it two weeks ago. We moved a year ago. Voici and Voila Voici and voila mean "here is" and ''there is," respectively. Voici and voila are used when the speaker is actually handing something to another person or pointing out to something or someone nearby.
Here are your keys. Voila ton pere. There's your father over there. Voici and voila are commonly preceded by the definite object or adverbial pronoun en. Le voila. Where is my bag? It's over there. Tes livres? Les voici. Your books? Here they are. In informal French, voila is used considerably more often than voici-voila tends to be used to mean both ''here is" and ''there is. Your friend is here. OU est-il? Where is it? Here you go. Voila can also be used to respond to some kind of demand or question. All right, I'm coming, I'm coming. Voila, j'ai termine! There, I'm done!
Et voila! That's it! Determiners include articles and certain types of adjectives; in fact, determiners are sometimes referred to as non-qualifying adjectives. Determiners are much more common in French than in English-nearly every noun in a French sentence must be preceded by some sort of determiner. Unlike qualifying descriptive adjectives, determiners always precede the noun they modify, cannot be modified, and cannot be used with other determiners. All articles are determiners. Both languages have possessive adjectives and pronouns, and both have a third way to express possession using a name or noun.
The biggest difference is that English has a total of three ways to express possession, but French has four. It is the fourth method of French possession that is the trickiest for students. Possessive Adjectives Possessive adjectives are the determiners used to indicate to whom or to what something belongs. French and English possessive adjectives are used similarly, but French is a little more complicated when it comes to form: like most French adjectives, possessives have different forms for masculine and feminine, singular and plural. Possessive De The French preposition de is used to express possession with a noun or name.
This is equivalent to 's or s' in English. Les musees de France translates literally to ''the museums of France. Possessive Pronouns Possessive pronouns replace possessive adjectives plus nouns. Once again, French has different forms of the possessive pronoun depending on the gender and number of the noun it is replacing. OU habitent les tiens? My kids are in Italy. Where do yours live? This money.. They are talking about their plans and we are talking about ours.
It emphasizes the ownership of the object, such as when you are trying to determine to whom something belongs: c' est ii moi ou ii toi? There are two constructions in which the possessive ii replaces a different structure used in English. Possessive iJ replaces possessive tk. Possessive iJ replaces possessive pronoun. In addition, knowing how to write a word in French can very often help you better understand and remember its spoken form. By practicing writing in French, you may notice a similarity to the word's English counterpart, and the simple act of writing vocabulary helps you cement that word's meaning into memory.
Contractions Contractions-the dropping of one or more letters and replacing them with an apostrophe-are optional in English but required in French. For example, in English you can say "I am" or "I'm"; the latter is somewhat less formal. In contrast, you cannot say "je ai" I have in French; you must make the contractionj'ai. Short, single-syllable words contract with the word that follows if it begins with a vowel or h muet. In French, a capital letter is known as a majuscule. Capitalized words are said to be en majuscules.
Both first and last names are capitalized. Names of cities, countries, and continents are capitalized. Directions are capitalized to indicate a specific place, like 1' Amerique du Nord North America.
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When used to indicate a general direction, like le nord north , no majuscule is used. When words are used as nouns to indicate the nationality of a person, for example, un Franyais a Frenchman , the word is capitalized. Punctuation Marks Written French looks very similar to English, so reading books in French should seem almost familiar. Included in this section are the French terms for many punctuation marks; they are handy words to know, and you never can tell when you may be called upon to use them. One-Part Punduation One-part punctuation marks are very similar in the two languages, so the summary for punctuation usage only covers the differences between French punctuation usage and that of English.
Period The period le point, in French is used in some French countries and parts of Canada to separate numbers In France, however, a space is used in place of the English comma to separate thousands, for example, so a number such as , would become in French The period can also be used in French to separate dates: 6. The period is not used after abbreviations of measurement or abbreviated titles, or as a decimal point: 20 min min. However for "Monsieur" the correct abbreviation is ''M. Tres bien! This book is very good; it's a classic of its kind. Quotation marks Quotation marks les guillemets tend to be used only at the beginning and end of an entire conversation.
This is quite different than the use of quotation marks in English, which surrounds each spoken word, phrase, or paragraph with quotation marks, which means that the quotation marks end each time there is an incidental clause like "he said" or "she replied," as well as any time the speaker changes. This is not the case in French. Instead, les guillemets surround the entire conversation and each new speaker is indicated by an m-dash un tiret. There are four accents commonly used with vowels: the grave accent, the acute accent, the circumflex, and the umlaut.
The Acute Accent The acute accent, called aigu ay-gooh in French, points upward and toward the right, as in Although it only appears over the letter e, it can become an integral part of a word, substantially changing its meaning. The acute accent also provides important clues about where the word fits in a sentence. Whenever it appears, it changes the pronunciation of the e from an eh sound like the middle e sound in ''treble" to an "ay" sound.
It's not so important in spoken French, so it can be easy to forget. The grave accent must be used in written French, however, so pay close attention to the words that use it. It doesn't modify the pronunciation at all, but it often indicates that an s used to follow the letter in Old French. The c becomes soft, turning into an "s. The umlaut is used in English in some foreign words, including words borrowed from French.
The accent tells you that the second vowel is to be pronounced on its own, distinct from the vowel preceding it. Here are some common acronyms. The following apocopes are considered "normal register"-you can use them when talking to anyone. Here are some informal apocopes you should use these only with people you are on familiar terms with. J e par le un peu de francais. Parlez-vous anglais? Que veut-dire Comment dit-on Repetez, s'il vous plait.
One more time. Plus lentement Encore une fois. J e ne comprends pas. J e ne sais pas. Courtesy Being polite when traveling is an absolute must If you don't have time to learn much before you leave, at least know how to say ''please" and ''thank you. The following list includes nationality adjectives in the masculine form; remember to change the to feminine endings when you need them!
However, they do need to be capitalized when used as nouns: J' ai parte avec un Espagnol.
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I spoke to a Spaniard. Getting Around and Asking for Diredions Sometimes it's fun just to wander aimlessly and discover all kinds of hidden treasures. Je voudrais louer une voiture. How much will it cost? Je voudrais payer par carte de credit. OU puis-je prendre Ia voiture? Quand dois-je Ia rendre? If you can't drive a stick-shift, be sure to [ Learn French in aHurry do some calling around before you leave to find a rental company that offers cars with automatic transmission.
Airports and Hotels Now you're ready to make your reservation, buy your ticket, and get on the plane. Here are the French phrases you'll need. For example, Je voudrais acheter un billet. I'd like to buy a ticket. Nous allons embarquer. Baggage Oaim, Immigration, Qlld Customs Once you've arrived at your destination, you need to collect your luggage and go through immigration and customs.
Here is the vocabulary you may need. My luggage is missing. Voici mon passeport Here's my passport. J' ai un visa. I have a visa. Je voudrais declarer I would like to declare You made it! After your flight and airport negotiations, you're probably ready to take a nap before going out to explore the town. Here are some words and phrases for getting the accommodations you want.
In some inexpensive French hotels, the bathroom is often down the hall. J e voudrais etre reveille ahuit heures. C'est combien? Je voudrais regler mon compte. Je voudrais payer.. Thieft Watch out! Some of these expressions can be more or less literally translated into English; those that cannot be literally translated are known as idiomatic expressions and are understandably more difficult to learn and remember.
But you '11 start to recognize these because most of them are very common. Come on then. Shall we go? Comment vas-tu? On yva? On the other hand, if you want to tell someone that you'll go away and leave them alone , say je m'en vais. The conjugations are pretty tricky, but these are probably the only two you'll need. Cold makes water freeze.
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