proposer (fr) vs propose (en)

The French proposer and the English to propose can be quite similar. For example: To put forward a plan or proposal: The committee proposed a new agreement. → Le comité a proposé un nouvel accord.  We proposed Ms Smith as Chair / Chairperson / Chairwoman. → Nous avons proposé Mme Smith en tant que Présidente. … Lire plus

the past simple and tense markers

I like to think of the past tense as a flag in the middle of a sentence to call out and mark tense. Training your ear to notice these “flags” or markers will help you better capture meaning. The English language aims for simplicity and reduces markers to a minimum. Have a look at the … Lire plus

(…) dans les combien?

Combien means how many or to how much. It makes no difference between countable and uncountable (mass) nouns: Combien de beurre? How much butter? Combien de fleurs? How many flowers? (…) dans les combien (no plural “s”) is a spoken expression meaning about how many, or about how much. It’s often used in money matters.  When you don’t want to ask exactly how much, say, C’est dans les combien? … Lire plus

Il faut – Il me faut – j’ai besoin de…

Il faut – il me faut are from the verb falloir and are used exclusively in the third person form which is impersonal as explained in this previous post. Add a me, te, lui, nous, vous or leur to define WHO is in need: Il lui faut un stylo –> He or she (context dependant) … Lire plus

Miss vs manquer 2

Following my previous post, let’s look at differences between insufficiency, absence and lack. In French, insufficiency is often expressed with the impersonal third person “Il” or “ça” or a passive. Absence vs lack The result is the same, but isn’t there a nuance in how we see things (when analyzing, not day-to-day choices!)- “Il manque … Lire plus

Comment dire “Tu me manques” en anglais

Ce sont les anglophones qui auront le plus de jonglage intellectuel pour exprimer le manque en français. En revanche, le francophone simplifie et construit une rapide phrase sujet-verbe-objet : I (sujet) miss (verbe) you (objet : qui ou quoi me manque). Il suffit de connaître les pronoms personnels compléments (d’objets directs ou indirects, c’est la même chose … Lire plus