How and When Should You Use the French Imparfait?

the beginner's guide to the French imparfait

So, you’ve mastered the ins and outs of speaking in the present tense and you’re an old pro at the passé composé—what could possibly be missing from your repertoire of French language skills at this point? If your answer to that question is the imperfect tense, bienvenue au club.  For one reason or another, the …

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De in French: The Ultimate Guide to the Essential French Word

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De is one of the most frequently used words in French, but it’s also one of the trickiest. You’ll see it almost everywhere. It can be both an indefinite article and a preposition. It can represent a group of something, or its absence. It can be used in positive and negative statements. It can be …

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The Beginner’s Guide to French Adjectives

French adjectives rules

In English, adjectives are pretty easy to use. You put them before the noun they describe and you’re done. In French however, the placement of adjectives varies. And if that wasn’t enough to confuse you, adjectives also change depending on whether the noun they describe is masculine, feminine, singular or plurial. Luckily, in today’s lesson, you’ll discover …

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How to Easily Guess the Gender of French Nouns with 80% Accuracy

How to Easily Guess the Gender of French Nouns with 80% Accuracy

Feminine, or masculine? That is the question you often ask yourself as a French learner. After hours trying to figure out why féminisme (feminism) is masculine and masculinité (masculinity) is feminine, you’ve come to the most logical conclusion: the gender of French nouns was randomly chosen by a bunch of sadistic  linguists. Actually, this is …

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Voler: A Mild-Mannered French Verb with an Exciting Double Life

It always makes me smile when I see voler in no particular context, because I think, “Is this one up to no good?"

On the surface, the French verb voler is simple and straightforward. It’s a regular verb that doesn’t bend the rules in any way.  But when it comes to what it means, that’s when you discover that there’s more to it than you think. Voler means “to fly” – but it also means “to steal”. It …

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How to Use the French Verb Créer (And Understand All Its Nuances)

Créer is the French verb that means “to create.” As in English and many other languages, it can be used to talk about the creation of just about anything, from a masterpiece, to a monster; from a problem, to a solution.

At a glance, the French verb créer looks pretty creative, with its little accent like a beret jauntily perched on an artist’s head.  This may make it seem complex and complicated. But while créer can be used to talk about complex projects and works of art, it’s actually a pretty easygoing verb! Let’s get to …

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