Aimer – to like, to love

Aimer - French verbThe regular -er verb aimer is ubiquitous and very useful, but somehow means both "to like" and "to love." In some contexts, this can make a world of difference as you certainly don't want to tell someone you love them when you're just friends, so how can you make it clear how you feel?

   

Aller – to go

Aller - to go - French verbAller is one of the most common and useful French verbs and has irregular conjugations in most tenses and moods. Aller literally means "to go" and is required to create the near future.

   

An/jour/matin/soir vs 
année/journée/matinée/soirée

An vs année, jour vs journée
French has two words for each of the following: year, day, morning, and evening, and they cause no end of difficulties for non-native speakers. Why is it that English can get away with one word for each of these temporal markers when French needs two? The answer lies in how you look at them.

   

Après que

Does après que require the subjunctive in French?

   

Après vs Derrière

Après vs derrière - French prepositionsThe prepositions après and derrière have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between après and derrière to put all of this confusion behind you.

   

Article Comparison

Comparison of French articlesThere are three types of French articles (definite, indefinite, and partitive), and it's not always easy to know which one you need. Here's a detailed comparison to help you decide.

   

Auxiliary Verbs – Avoir vs Être

French auxiliary verbsAuxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs, because they help form compound conjugations. The key thing to remember about compound conjugations is that it's the auxiliary verb which conjugates for the required tense or mood; the main verb is always a past participle.

   

Avant vs Devant

French grammarThe prepositions avant and devant have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between avant and devant to get in front of any potential confusion.

   

Bon vs Bien

Bon vs bienThe French words bon and bien can be tricky for French students because they both belong to three different parts of speech (adjectives, adverbs, nouns) and have similar meanings. This is a good lesson that will get you well on your way to understanding the difference.

   

C’est vs Il est

C'est vs il estThe French expressions c'est and il est can be tricky because they are synonymous but not interchangeable. Which one to use depends less on meaning than it does on grammar.

   

Capitalization

French capitalizationThe use of capital letters (les majuscules) is much less common in French than in English. Take a look at this summary of words that are capitalized in English but not in French.

   

   

Cedilla: ç

French cedilla çThe little hook added under the letter c in French is a diacritical mark known as a cedilla, une cédille: ç. The letter c with the hook is called c cédille.

   

Comment faire la bise

Comment faire la biseFaire la bise is often translated as "cheek kissing" or even "air kissing," when a more accurate - though decidedly less elegant - description is "lightly pressing alternating cheeks together while making optional kissy sounds."