One day, I was idly thinking about French questions that get asked over and over, and inspiration struck: why not create a one-stop resource for lessons, practice exercises, and related content for those knotty topics?
Within a day, I’d figured out what to do and how to do it: publish an every-other-Sunday newsletter for anyone who wants to dive deep on essential aspects of the French language and francophone cultures, including common difficulties, customs, and important events.
Check it out!
It's impossible to imagine the Parisian skyline without the Eiffel Tower - or to believe that it was once considered an eyesore. Take an in-depth look at the Eiffel Tower - its original purpose, lots of facts and figures, and how to visit, whether actually or virtually.
Many French students are first introduced to reflexive verbs and then continue using this term for all verbs that need a reflexive pronoun, but in fact there are 4 different kinds of French pronominal verbs, depending on the meaning / purpose of the pronoun. This issue of Lawless French à fond
takes an in-depth look at understanding, conjugating, and using pronominal verbs.
While French uses the same 26-letter alphabet as English, it decorates half a dozen of them with diacritical marks, aka accents. The purpose of these accents varies, but they are always required when writing and typing. Take an in-depth look at accents: what they mean, how to use them, and how to type them on any computer, tablet, or phone.
is one of the biggest events of the French year. In many countries, early September is end-of-summer-break-and-back-to-school time, but in France it's so much more than that. Here's everything you need to know about la rentrée with Lawless French à fond
The French subjunctive can be extremely daunting, but like everything else, it can be mastered with good lessons, quality practice, and a fair amount of time. Check out this packed issue of Lawless French à fond
for everything you need, including the full-size, shareable version of this cute meme.
Despite their tiny size, French articles are an immensely important part of speech. They introduce and modify nouns, providing key information about the purpose of those nouns - as well as their gender and number. Today’s issue of Lawless French à fond
takes an in-depth look at the similarities and differences between French articles, and the tricky aspects of using them correctly.
This issue of Lawless French à fond
takes an in-depth look at the French national holiday and explains everything you could possibly want to know about the celebration of Bastille Day.
In English, talking about geography is fairly straightforward, prepositionally speaking. Regardless of the type of place, whether it's a city or a region or a country, when talking about going somewhere ✈️, being somewhere 🏨, or returning from somewhere 👋, we use just three prepositions: to, in, from. In French, geographical prepositions are orders of magnitude more complicated.
One of the very first things French students discover is that there are two ways to say "you," which can seem really strange for English speakers. In some cases, the choice between tu and vous is obvious, but for certain relationships, it's much more of an art 🎨 than a science. 🧪 Even native speakers don't always know which pronoun to use!
The French Open is one of the most important tennis events of the year. Not only is it one of the four tournois du Grand Chelem
(Grand Slam tournaments), Roland-Garros is the only tournament played on clay courts. But first things first: What is this tournament actually called?
When I talk to French students about what they have the most trouble with, at least half of them mention numbers. In French, iIt’s more than just vocabulary: it’s math. 🧮 So if you find yourself writing things like 4-20-17 and then realizing, oops, that’s 97, this audio-packed issue of Lawless French à fond is for you.
Happy May Day! You probably know that May 1st is a holiday in France - but did you know that it’s actually two holidays? Learn how they fit together, discover some related French lessons and exercises, and send a virtual muguet
to your favorite Francophile!
French has two auxiliary verbs (aka helping verbs): avoir and être. That means one or the other of these is the opening salvo in every compound verb conjugation, such as the passé composé and the futur antérieur. The rules for when to use avoir and when you need être for these verb forms can seem a little complicated, but with study and practice (and maybe a mnemonic assist) you’ll eventually get to the point where you know which one to use instinctively.
Love what you see? Head over to Lawless French à fond to find out which topics I’ll feature next and subscribe.
Note that Lawless French à fond is not a replacement for my regular 2x-weekly newsletter, which includes links to a variety of topics in each issue. They are separate subscriptions, so you can choose to subscribe to either one or both.