The French you learn in school is not at all the same language as what you encounter when speaking to people in real life - there are all kinds of shortcuts, informalities, and other differences that you need to be familiar with in order to carry on a conversation. Check out some resources that focus on how French is actually spoken.
Though it's named for the roughly hexagonally shaped country in Western Europe, the French language extends far beyond the borders of France, in myriad and frankly confusing ways.
Want to learn French in France? Immersion is the key, and the Homestay Immersion experience is a great option, with both professional tutoring and informal interactions with your French host family around the dinner table. In addition, you'll be in France and can therefore speak French around town, watch French TV and movies, and explore every aspect of French culture. It's true immersion, for any level.
The rule is that to make a French verb negative, you need ne in front of the verb and pas after it. The reality of how the French speak says otherwise.
As if normal French pronunciation weren't hard enough, informal French pronunciation introduces a whole new set of issues, with many sounds being dropped or changed. Here are the potential problem areas.
A large part of communicating has to do with reporting what other people have said. This grammatical grapevine comes in two varieties: direct speech and indirect speech.