Errors made in French
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Errors made in French
INDEX OF CONTENTS
- Identify your common mistakes in French
- Add ‘a’ in front of people
- Remember this rule
- Can I ask a question?
- I am going to the doctor
- Forgett articles
Everyone knows that making mistakes is an unavoidable practice, but if your goal is to really improve your French, you must learn to identify and correct them. That is why we have decided to tell you about the most common mistakes among French students, both written and spoken.
If you can identify your common mistakes in French and know how to correct them, it will be much easier to avoid them. And this will allow you to significantly improve your level of French! And the identification of your mistakes which will allow you to better understand how the French language works.
Identify your common mistakes in French
Je suis bien
This is a literal translation. To ask “how are you?”, The French ask “how are going?”, Using the verb to go instead of be. So when they ask you for example: comment ça va ?, Do you go well? or is it going ? do not answer with well , or je suis bien . For this you have to use the verb aller since they are asking you with aller: je vais bien, ça va bien or ça va.
On the contrary, you can use je suis bien when you speak of being in a place: ici, je suis bien, je me sens bien. (I’m fine here, I feel fine).
Add “a” in front of people
In Spanish, the grammar requires the use of the preposition “a” before a complement of person:
- Yo conozco a Laura = Je connais Laura.
On the other hand, in French, this rule does not exist! Putting the preposition “a” after a verb and before a complement of person is, therefore, a mistake to avoid.
Remember this rule
You often confuse the verb se rappeller “to remember” and the verb se souvenir “to remember.” The verb se rappeler quelque chose “to remember something” is a direct transitive verb, that is, it is constructed without a preposition. The verb se souvenir de quelque chose “to remember something” is, on the other hand, an indirect transitive verb so it is constructed with the preposition “ of ”.
You have to say : Je me rappelle cette règle ou Je me souviens de cette règle . (I remember this rule or I remember this rule).
If you want to use a complement pronoun, you will use a direct object pronoun (le, la, les) for the verb “to remember”:
- Je rappelled me. (I pronounce “la” renvoie à “cette règle”)
(I remember her, the pronoun “la” refers to “this rule”)
For the verb se souvenir “to remember”, you will use the pronoun “en”:
- Je m’en souviens. (I pronounce “en” renvoie à “de cette règle”)
(“I remember that, the pronoun” en “refers to” of this rule “)
If the verb “to remember” is followed by a pronoun , the preposition of:
- Je rappelle d’elle
(I remember her).
- Il se rappelle de toi.
He remembers you.
We can also use “de” after “remember” when it is followed by a present infinitive that expresses an action that should not be forgotten to perform.
- Il doit se rappeler de faire le ménage avant le retour de ses parents.
(You must remember to do household chores before your parents return.)
- Rappelle-toi de m’appeler dès you arrive.
(Remember to call me as soon as you arrive).
“I am going to visit my parents. “
Previously, we used the verb visiter “to visit” in the sense of “going to someone to pay him a visit.” Today, the verb “visit” is used almost exclusively for a place or a monument : On visite une ville, un musée, un pays . (We visit a city, a museum, a country).
With a person, we prefer the verbe rendre visite à ou aller voir quelqu’un (the verb to visit or go see someone).
Then you have to say: Je vais rendre visite à mes parents ou Je vais voir mes parents. (voy a visitar a mis padres o voy a ver a mis padres).
As the Académie française says , you can use visiter to “visit” a person in certain fixed expressions. When we say “visit a person,” we mean a person who is suffering. One person visits another out of compassion, charity.
- visiter une personne malade, souffrante
(visit a sick person who is suffering).
- visiter a prisonnier dans a center de détention
(visit a prisoner in a detention center).
“Thanks a lot”
To thank, he often writes “milles mercis ” “thank you very much.” This expression is correct but it is misspelled. The word merci “thank you” is effectively numbered, so if there is more than one mercis “thank you”, you must add an “s”. On the other hand, the numerical adjective “thousand” is invariable , so it never has an “s”.
You must write: Mille mercis (Thank you very much).
Can I ask a question?
In French, the expression “ask a question” cannot be used simply because the verb “ask” is incompatible with the word “question”. You must use the verb “pose”.
You should say: Je peux poser une question (Can I ask a question?)
I am going to the doctor.
“ Au ” (al) is here the contraction of the preposition “à” and the article “defines” he ”.
In French, we use the preposition “à” with an inanimate place name , that is, a place that does not designate a person, for example:
- à la mairie, à la bibliothèque, à l’hôpital, au cabinet medical.
(in the town hall, in the library, in the hospital, in the doctor’s office).
The difficulty is that in Spanish there is no article in the indefinite plural (equivalent to “des”) while in French it is essential.
And be careful, some is not ‘tuoujoirs’ equivalent to the article “des” in French:
- Certains enfants jouent dans le parc. = Certains enfants jouent dans le parc.
(Some children are playing in the park. = Some children are playing in the park).
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