Habiter vs Vivre

Habiter vs vivreBelieve it or not, life in France is so great that one verb just isn't enough: "to live" may be equivalent to habiter or vivre, depending on what exactly you want to say.

   

Impersonal Verbs

Impersonal French verbsMost verbs are personal: they must be conjugated for different grammatical persons. But some verbs are used impersonally, meaning they have only one conjugation, the third person singular.

   

Introduction to Verb Conjugation

French verb conjugationWhen you start learning French, it's not just French vocabulary you have to get used to - you're also introduced to a whole new world of grammatical terms. For many students, one of the most daunting of these is verb conjugations. Just what is a verb conjugation and what does it mean to conjugate a verb?

   

Introduction to Verbs

French verbsVerbs are action words that express the action or state of being of a sentence. French verbs have five to six different conjugations for each tense and mood.

   

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.

   

   

Jouer

Jouer - to playJouer is a regular -er French verb that can be a bit confusing when it comes time to decide which preposition should follow. Here's everything you need to know.

   

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.

   

Magnetic Poetry

French magnetic poetryMagnetic poetry is a fun little tool you can use to learn and practice French. 500 magnets with words and parts of words help you to express yourself in a unique and creative way.

   

Manquer – to miss

Manquer - to missThe regular -er French verb manquer means "to miss," which seems straightforward enough, and yet it causes no end of confusion due to a strange turnaround it requires in a certain construction. Don't miss this lesson!

   

Modal Verbs

Translating modal verbs into FrenchThere's no such thing as modal verbs in French, so translating them from English requires a bit of creative thinking. Usually you need a normal (conjugable) French verb in a particular tense or mood, but you can sometimes use just an adverb.

   

Omitting Auxiliary Verbs

French auxiliary verbsBy definition, compound tenses and moods require an auxiliary verb plus past participle. However, when using two or more compound conjugations with the same subject, you don't always need to include the auxiliary verb for each one.

   

Overused Verbs

Overused French verbs
If you learned French in a classroom, odds are that you overuse certain French verbs, because you were taught a somewhat generic word but not the sometimes subtle distinctions between it and its synonym. Here are 5 French verbs that are useful but often overused.

   

Passé composé vs Imparfait

Passé composé vs imparfaitThe trickiest aspect of the two most important French verb forms is that they often work together, juxtaposed not only throughout stories, but even within individual sentences. Understanding the contrasting relationship between the passé composé and imparfait is essential to communicating in French.

   

Passive Reflexive

French passive reflexiveThe passive reflexive construction is a way to avoid naming the subject of a verb's action without using the dreaded passive voice.