Croire Expressions

French expressions with croire
The French verb croire, "to believe," is found in many idiomatic expressions, including to think so, to make no mistake, and to take someone's word for it. Learn these and dozens of other French expressions featuring croire.

   

E instable

French silent eIn many words the letter e is potentially silent, a characteristic which has three French names: e caduc, e instable, and e muet. Though e muet is the most common term, e instable is the most accurate.

   

Falloir Expressions

French expressions with falloir
The impersonal French verb falloir literally means "to be necessary" or "to need" and is used in many idiomatic expressions. Learn how to say far from it, that's more than we need, it takes all kinds, and more with this list of expressions with falloir.

   

Formal Negation

French formal negationFrench has three negative constructions that are reserved for formal (usually written) French like literature and historical accounts.

   

   

Inversion

French inversionThe normal word order in French and English is subject + verb, as in vous êtes - you are. Both languages also have what is known as inversion, where the verb and subject pronoun switch places, resulting in êtes-vous - are you. In English, inversion is used only to ask questions, but in French it has several different purposes.

   

Inversion with je

French inversionInversion with the first person singular je is a little trickier than with other subject pronouns. It's also very formal and therefore rare, so one of those grammar concepts you need to recognize but not necessarily use.

   

   

Literary Tenses and Moods

French literary tensesFrench has five past tenses/moods that are restricted to formal, written French. They were once common in spoken French, offering nuances that no longer exist today.

   

   

Ne explétif

French ne explétifDon't worry, it's not a swear word. In French, explétif is a grammatical term that serves only to draw attention to what precedes it.

   

Ne littéraire

Ne littéraire - Formal French NegationIn formal, usually written French, there are certain verbs and constructions that can be made negative with just ne - the inclusion of pas or some other negative word is not required.