Mistakes and Difficulties
French Mistakes and Difficulties
Erreurs, fautes, méprises, difficultés
Improve your French by looking out for and learning how to avoid some common French mistakes.
As if the myriad possible translations of à and de aren't enough, these two French prepositions also have complementary and contrasting uses.
B1 - Intermediate French • prepositions • quick tips
À vs De with Verbs
The prepositions à and de are found in many verbal constructions that look very similar, but the choice of preposition makes all the difference.
One of the most common questions from French students is, "How can I perfect my French accent?" Like many language learning questions, this one doesn't have a simple answer.
Adjectives Functioning as Adverbs
By definition, adjectives modify nouns. But more than 30 French adjectives can sometimes modify verbs instead, thus taking on the role and characteristics of adverbs, including the fact that they are invariable.
adjectives • adverbs • agreement
Adjectives with Prepositions
When describing someone as capable of doing or determined to do something, a preposition is required between the adjective and verb. In French, the choice of preposition depends on the adjective that precedes it, not the verb that follows.
Advanced Indirect Objects
Some French verbs do not allow their indirect objects to be replaced by pronouns; instead, the preposition must be maintained after the verb along with the indirect object.
B2 - Upper-Intermediate French • pronouns • verbs
Adverbial Pronouns / Pronominal Adverbs
As you might guess from their name, adverbial pronouns are caught between two worlds: they are pronouns in the sense that they replace nouns, and at the same time they are adverbs representing a place, a quantity, or the object of a proposition. French has two adverbial pronouns: en and y.
adverbs • B1 - Intermediate French • pronouns • word order
Adverbs of Quantity
Adverbs of quantity express how much, how many, or to what extent.
A2 - Low-Intermediate French • adverbs
Ages, Birthdays, Anniversaries
Grammatical agreement is a vast topic - and one of the banes of French students. While in English we have a few pronouns and adjectives that indicate gender and number (e.g., he/him/his and she/her/hers), in French, agreement is found in 5 of the 8 parts of speech.
adjectives • articles • nouns • pronouns
Agreement with vous
Vous can be every type of personal pronoun, but its role as a subject pronoun may be the trickiest because of agreement.
agreement • B1 - Intermediate French • pronouns
Agreement with Direct Objects
Most French verbs are conjugated with avoir as their auxiliary verb in compound tenses and moods, and therefore do not require agreement with their subjects. But avoir verbs do need agreement in a very specific construction: the past participle must agree with the direct object when it precedes the verb.
agreement • B2 - Upper-Intermediate French • word order
Agreement with Pronominal Verbs
All pronominal verbs are être verbs in compound tenses and moods like the passé composé, which means that the past participles must agree with their subjects - at least in theory. In fact, it's not quite so straightforward.