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.

   

   

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.

   

   

   

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.

   

Past Anterior

French past anteriorThe past anterior is the literary equivalent of the past perfect and is usually preceded by a conjunction such as après que or quand.

   

Politeness

French politeness
After bonjour, polite phrases like "please" and "thank you" are the most important French vocabulary you'll ever learn. When you visit France, knowing just these few phrases will go a long way, even if the very next thing you say is Parlez-vous anglais ?

   

Questions

French questionsKnowing how to ask questions is essential for making plans, shopping, traveling, getting to know people, and any other activity that requires obtaining information. There are two different types of questions, and different ways to ask each type.

   

Tu vs Vous – Subject Pronouns

Tu vs vousThe distinction between tu and vous is one of the most confounding aspects of French, and one of the most basic. The influence it has on verb conjugations, adjectives, and pronouns is considerable, but more than that, the choice of tu or vous is a matter of etiquette.