The essential guide to French abbreviations

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Whether it’s to save space, avoid repeating long terms, or even simply to sound cool, French speakers often abbreviate (shorten) words. Let’s look at some of the most common French abbreviations, as well as some of the general rules for how they’re formed. What is an abbreviation? An abbreviation is a shortened word. In French, …

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Is Valentine’s Day a thing in France?

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A lot of people think that there’s nothing more romantic than being in France on Valentine’s Day. They’re not totally wrong; France is a beautiful country full of opportunities for romance. But Valentine’s Day in France may not be any more romantic than any other day of the year. Let’s find out why. Why Valentine’s …

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The essential guide to the French verb “prendre”

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Prendre means “to take” in French. It’s usually used just as “take” would be in English, including in more abstract ways, like “take a photo” or “take a bath”. That might make you take prendre for an easy verb to use, but beware: in some cases, its meaning can change dramatically. Let’s take a look …

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The essential guide to conjugating and using the French verb “servir”

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Servir: to serve. Such a helpful French verb…well, not exactly. Because service goes both ways. Not only might you be served by someone or use something to help you accomplish a task; you may also be doing the serving or even be used (manipulated) by someone! This dichotomy is also a way to remember that …

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The essential guide to French stem-changing verbs

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Stem-changing verbs are regular verbs whose root (radical)’s spelling changes in certain conjugations and with certain subjects. Stem-changing verbs end in -yer; or in é +consonant + -er; or with e + consonant + -er. Verbs ending in    -eter or in -eler also change stems. Despite the fact that they don’t exactly play by the …

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

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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 …

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