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.

   

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.

   

   

   

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.

   

   

Optional Liaisons

French optional liaisonsSome liaisons in front of a vowel or h muet are optional, which means it up to you to decide whether to pronounce them. However, that decision matters: more liaisons means more formal speech, so obviously fewer liaisons means more informal, possibly even familiar speech.

   

Passé simple

Passé simpleThe passé simple is a single-word past tense, equivalent to English's simple past. However, the passé simple is a literary tense and is thus limited to formal writing, such as literature, journalism, and historical accounts.