For Francophiles, the word "Bastille" is likely to conjure up memories (or dreams) of fireworks and military parades, because the idea of la Bastille is inherently linked to 14 July - at least for English speakers. Chez les Français, not so much. Here are 7 things you should know about la Bastille: the holiday, the prison, and the word itself.
Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations created by stringing together the first initial of each word in a phrase. Learning some common French acronyms and initialisms can help you make sense of news, political discussions, administration, and more.
If there's anything worse than having to spend time at the airport, it's having to spend time at the airport when you don't speak the local language. Sure, most airport employees speak another language or two, but you'll still be better off if you have these key words and phrases in your pocket. Bon voyage !
French has two words for each of the following: year, day, morning, and evening, and they cause no end of difficulties for non-native speakers. Why is it that English can get away with one word when French needs two? The answer lies in how you look at these temporal markers.
A few dozen French words have a shortened form called an apheresis or aphaeresis, which is created by dropping one or more syllables at the beginning of the word. Some of these are further modified by adding an extra sound to the end.
Many French nouns and adjectives have shortened forms called apocopes, which are created by dropping one or more syllables at the end of the word. Some of these are further modified by adding o to the end.
Approximate numbers are very useful for talking about generalities, making estimates, and just flat-out guessing. English only has one approximate number, content to use "about" in front of cardinal numbers any time a guess is required. In contrast, French has about a dozen approximate numbers.