Welcome!

Welcome to Parler Français Blog! Here you can learn about French grammar, French culture, and Practicing to Listen and Speak in French. You can also learn more about the French language in my weekly blog post and by accessing our helpful resources.

This website will help you learn French or le Français (in French) for free online! There are lots of great grammar points and tips that will help you learn this new language. Whether French is your second language or third language, this language-learning website is a great resource to help you learn.

As you know, French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. French is spoken in Canada, many parts of Africa, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Belgium, France, Switzerland, French Guyana, Louisiana and other places around the world! This website will also focus on French and francophone culture.

There will be a  new article added every day or two, so please keep checking back to see more content! Happy learning. :-)

Where do I begin?

Click on one of the modules below to start learning! 🙂

 Orientation

 Module 1 

➤ Module 2

 Module 3

 Module 4

 Module 5

 Module 6

New Blog Opportunities!

Recently, I made the decision to start up a new blog called LangoBlog.com which will focus on similar themes as Parler Français Blog, but on LangoBlog I will not only be talking about various aspects and resources relating to French but also to other languages about which I am passionate. These languages are English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin. 🙂

I would like to invite you to also follow and subscribe to my new blog in addition to Parler Français Blog. Here is the link: LangoBlog.com. I am still putting the finishing touches on LangoBlog so some additional parts of the blog are not yet ready but will be in the near future.

Thanks everyone!! 🙂

Important Time Expressions in French

Here are a number of useful time expressions to help you express the past, present, and future in French.

Adverbs of Time

À l’heure
Chaque jour, j’arrive à l’heure.
Each day, I arrive on time.

À temps
Elle a commencé juste à temps.
She began just in time.

Actuellement
Je suis actuellement infirmière.
I am currently a nurse.

Auparavant
On avait auparavant un bâtiment à côté de notre maison.
We formerly had a building beside our house.

Aussitôt
Tu as choisi aussitôt ce que vous alliez manger.
You chose immediately what you were going to eat.

Autrefois
Autrefois, il y avait 30 000 personnes qui ont habité à Guelph.
In the olden days, there were 30,000 people who lived in Guelph.

D’abord
D’abord, il faut choisir une chanson.
First, it’s necessary to choose a song.

Désormais
On offre désormais la service en français.
We’re offering service in French from now on.

En avance
Il a été en avance.
He was on time.

En même temps
Je vous ai écrit en même temps que vous m’avez écrit.
I wrote to you at the same time that you wrote to me.

En retard
Il a été en retard.
He was late.

Enfin
Ils ont mangé enfin.
They finally ate.

Ensuite
Ensuite, elle a marché vers le centre commercial
Then, she walked towards the mall.

Maintenant
Maintenant, il ne me parle jamais.
Now, he never speaks to me.

Puis
Puis, elle a marché vers le centre commercial
Then, she walked towards the mall.

Tout à coup
Tu m’as frappé tout à coup.
You hit me all of the sudden.

Tout à l’heure
Elle a quitté le Canada tout à l’heure.
She left Canada a little later on.

 

Nouns of Time

Hier = yesterday
Demain = tomorrow
Le lendemain = the next day
Avant-hier = the day before yesterday
Après demain = the day after tomorrow
Aujourd’hui = today
La veille = the day/night before
L’aube = dawn
Le crépuscule = twilight
L’année passée/dernière = last year
Le mois passé/dernier = last month
La semaine passée/dernière = last week
La dernière année = the last year (of a sequence)

Times of the day

In French, the words for year, morning, day, and evening have a masculine and a feminine form which have different meanings.

The masculine forms emphasize quantity (talking about multiple) whereas the feminine forms emphasize quality (talking about the content of that time period). The masculine forms (quantity) are usually found with the adverbs listed at the beginning of the page as well as with numbers and ce/cet/cette/ces. The feminine forms (quality) are usually found with adjectives or when you’re talking about what you did on a specific day.

L’an/L’année = year
J’ai 40 ans.
I’m 40 years old.
L’année suivante, je vais lire beaucoup de livres.
Next year, I’m going to read a lot of books.

Le matin/La matinée = morning
Ce matin, on va discuter du livre.
This morning, we’re going to discuss the book.
J’ai lu un livre dans la matinée.
I read a book in the morning.

Le jour/La journée = day
Le voyage a duré 3 jours.
The trip was 3 days.
Passez une excellente journée!
Have a great day!

L’après-midi = afternoon
Elle mange le déjeuner en après-midi.

Le soir/La soirée = the evening
Qu’est-ce que vous allez faire ce soir?
What are you going to do this evening?
J’ai dansé dans la soirée.
I danced in the evening.

La nuit = the night
On va regarder un film toute la nuit.
We’re going to watch a movie all night.

 

Other expressions

Il y a = there is / ago
Il y a un homme qui habite là. There’s a man who lives there.
J’ai écrit un livre il y a quatre ans. I wrote a book four years ago.

dans un instant/moment = in a second
Je vais vous aider dans un instant.
Je vais vous aider dans un moment.
I’m going to help you in a second.

 

Depuis/pendant/durant/pour

Depuis, pendant, pour can all mean for.

Il habite au Canada depuis 4 ans.*
He’s been living in Canada for 4 years.
Depuis is used in the present tense in French – not in the future or past.

Il habite au Canada depuis 2010.
He’s lived in Canada since 2010. (And he still lives there now).

Elle a habité au Canada pendant 5 ans.
She lived in Canada for 5 years. (And no longer lives there).

Elle va habiter au Canada pendant 3 ans.
She’s going to live in Canada for 3 years. (It is a set amount of time, not indefinite).

Elle va habiter au Canada pour 3 ans.*
She’s going to live in Canada for 3 years. (Could be set amount of time or she could stay for 4 instead, etc..)
Pour can only used to express duration in the future, not the past.

Expressions with Avoir

An interesting peculiarity of French is why we use avoir, which regularly means ‘to have’, to express age rather than être, which means ‘to be’. In English, we ARE an age. It’s a state of being. In French, it is more of an attained status and something to be HAD. In Spanish, Italian, and French, speakers HAVE an age, rather than ARE an age. As a result, this structure is likely from Latin and likely pretty old.

French utilizes avoir for a number of other idiomatic expressions where English would use ‘to be’. Here is a list of the most common French expressions with avoir.

  • Avoir __ ans = to be __ years old
  • Avoir besoin de (never followed by definite article) = to need
  • Avoir chaud = to be hot
  • Avoir de la chance = to be lucky
  • Avoir envie de = to want, to desire
  • Avoir faim (pronounced like “la fin”) = to be hungry
  • Avoir froid = to be cold
  • Avoir honte de = to be ashamed of
  • Avoir l’air de = to look like
  • Avoir lieu = to take place
  • Avoir peur de = to be afraid of
  • Avoir raison = to be right
  • Avoir soif = to be thirsty
  • Avoir sommeil = to be sleepy
  • Avoir tort = to be wrong
  • Il y a = there is, there are

Expressing hotness and coldness in French

In French courses, you are often shied away from using être to express the hotness or coldness of something. As a result, learners of French are timid about describing temperature. Hopefully this post will clear things up!

In English, we use ‘to be’ to express hotness or coldness in pretty much every situation. French uses a little bit more complex of a system.

If you’re talking about the weather, we say:

  • il fait chaud = it’s hot/warm out
  • il fait frais = it’s cool out
  • il fait froid = it’s cold out

If you’re talking about how you’re feeling (internal temperature), we say:

  • J’ai chaud = I’m feeling hot, I’m hot
  • J’ai frais = I’m feeling cool/chilly, I’m cool/chilly
  • J’ai froid = I’m feeling cold, I’m cold

If you’re talking about the temperature of an object that you’re touching, we say:

  • le plat est chaud = the plate is hot
  • le plat est frais = the plate is cool
  • le plat est chaud = the plate is cold

Notez Bien: These structures are only to talk about hot and cool in terms of temperature, not the popularity or attractiveness of someone or something.

What’s the difference between partir, sortir, quitter, and laisser?

A common question among French learners seems to be what is the difference between partir, sortir, quitter, and laisser all of which translate into English as to leave. In responding to this question, I have created an image that captures more or less the differences between each verb.

partir sortir laisser quitter.001

Laisser > Quitter > Sortir > Partir

L’homme ci-dessus partent pour la France. Pour ce voyage, il faut quitter l’Italie. Malheureusement, en sortant, il a laissé sa valise à l’aéroport en Italie.

As more of an explanation, partir means “to leave” in the sense of a departure and with a destination in mind. For example, je pars du Canada pour la France.

Quitter means “to leave” with an emphasis on the location you are leaving usually without reference to where you are going. For example, je quitte la maison de ma mère.

Sortir means “to leave” in the sense of “go out” or “exit”. Sortir places emphasis on the action of leaving more than anything else. For example, cette soirée, je vais sortir.

Finally, laisser means “to leave” with an emphasis of what you are leaving behind (intentional or not). For example, j’ai laissé mes clés au bureau.

What’s the Difference between DE nouveau and À nouveau?

This morning while reading Mercure by Amélie Nothomb, I came across the expression à nouveau. I remember learning about it before, but I hadn’t seen it in a while. So, I had to refresh my memory.

I generally use de nouveau, but I realized that sometimes you need to use à nouveau instead! Here’s what I found out:

À nouveau

You use à nouveau when you’re doing an action again but slightly different such as in a new way. For example, you’re writing a letter but have to begin writing another letter to someone else.

Je dois écrire une autre lettre à nouveau.

De nouveau

You would use de nouveau when you’re repeating an identical action. For example, if you were drinking some water because you’re thirsty and you took another sip. It’s the same action without differences.

Je vais boire de nouveau de l’eau.

Origins of the Months of the Year

It’s no secret that Latin and French heavily influences the English language. The way we measure time, particularly the months, is heavily influenced by this ancient language. Many English (and French and Spanish and Italian speakers) have probably noticed the clear similarities between September, October, November, and December. However, the other day I realized a striking connection between September, October, November, and December and the Latin numbers: seven (septem), eight (octo), nine (novem), and ten (decem). So, I reflected on what other connections our months might share with Latin.

Let’s delve into the similarlities cross-linguistically in terms of the months. I’ve listed below the months in 4 different languages heavily influenced by Latin:

 English  French Italian  Spanish
 January Janvier Gennaio Enero
February Février Febbraio Febrero
 March Mars Marzo Marzo
 April Avril Aprile Abril
May Mai Maggio Mayo
 June Juin Giugno Junio
 July Juillet Luglio Julio
 August Août Agosto Agosto
 September Septembre Settembre Septiembre
 October Octobre Ottobre Octubre
 November Novembre Novembre Noviembre
 December Décembre Dicembre Diciembre

The similarities are pretty clear, eh? Beginning with September, October, November, December, they originate from the number 7, 8, 9, 10 because they were originally the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th months. In the Latin calendar, March was the first month of the year, which would make September the 7th, October the 8th, November the 9th, and December the 10th. When Julius Caesar reformed the calendar (creating the Julian Calendar), he shifted the year to begin with January skewing the original order.

January is named after the Roman god Janus and March is named after the Roman god Mars. Similarly, May is named after the goddess Maia and June named after the goddess Juno.

February originally comes from Februarius meaning purification. In Ancient Rome, Februa was a key purification ritual in this month which eventually gave it its name. This ritual allowed followers to purge and confess their sins.

According to Wikipedia, April has two possible origins. The first is that April originates from aperire (the latin verb meaning to open) which symbolizes the opening of the buds in the Spring time. Another origin suggests that April is Venus’ month. In Ancient Greece, Venus was Aphrodite (Aphros in Greek; Apru in Etruscan). According to mythology, Venus treasured the month of April.

For me, July and August are the most interesting! Originally named Quintilis and Sextilis as the fifth and sixth months prior to the reformation of the calendar, Julius Caesar chose to name Quintilis after himself: Julius which can be seen quite clearly in the Spanish spelling of July: julio. Following Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar chose to name Sextilis after himself: Augustus. Augustus ensured that his month had just as many days as Julius so that he was not seen as lesser to Julius. I recently discovered that historians don’t necessarily agree on this legend but it still sparks an interesting debate about the calendar and its close connection to Latin!

References

  1. http://blog.dictionary.com/september/
  2. http://www.design.caltech.edu/erik/Misc/month_names.html
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April
  4. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/Why-does-February-have-28-days-and-July-and-August-31-days/articleshow/2677672.cms