How long does it really take to learn French?

Three people in silhouette stand and look out of the famous clock window at the Musee d'Orsay. Through the window we see the line of Haussmannian buildings across the Seine and to the extreme left a bit of the Sacre Coeur in the distance. Mostly we see a partly cloudy sky. The people and interior are in shadow.

As a teacher, French culture and language writer, and non-native French speaker, “How long does it take to learn French?” is a question I get a lot. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single, concrete answer. That’s because there are a few questions you have to ask yourself first. Let’s look at five questions that will help …


How to use and conjugate ouvrir | With Audio

An open window gives out onto a view of Parisian rooftops. We see the Eiffel Tower in the far distance. The day is sunny, with lots of puffy white clouds in the sky.

The French verb ouvrir means “to open”. Like its English equivalent, it’s open to many different possibilities when it comes to meanings and uses. Let’s open our minds and learn more about the verb ouvrir! What does ouvrir mean? The verb ouvrir  usually means “to open”. As in English, this can be used literally or …


How to use and conjugate venir (and the mistakes to avoid)

busy street in Nice, France

In most cases, the verb venir means “to come”. But as we’ll discover, a tiny preposition can change everything. Come along as we take a look at how to conjugate venir, as well as its sometimes surprising meanings. Venir conjugation How to conjugate venir in its most commonly used tenses Note that since venir is …


Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the French verb “vouloir”

A white dog and a black and white cat stare longingly at a plate of food on the table in front of them. They are sitting on a chair in the background.

Vouloir means “to want’ in French. That means it can convey a demand or desire – but it’s also used to convey the total opposite: an ultra-polite request. Want to learn more about this two-sided verb? I want nothing more than to help you. How to conjugate vouloir Vouloir is an irregular verb. It’s conjugated …