Using the French partitives properly

A lot of English students do struggle with the use of partitives.

While this grammar point may seem difficult at first sight, I will share a few tricks with you distinguish between the different types of partitives. After reading this article, the partitives will have no secret for you!

 

Let us begin.

 

When and how to use the right partitive mainly depends on the type of question you are asking ( and of course, the gender of your word)

 

  • QUOI? WHAT?- UNDEFINED QUANTITY

 

“Tu veux quoi?” What do you want?

 

 

du fromage

response: du ( masculine),  de la ( féminine), des ( plural) or de l’ ( vowel or h in the singular)

-Je veux du fromage, de la confiture, des beignets et de l‘eau.

 

Combien? How much? DEFINED QUANTITY

 

250 grammes

Question: –Combien de farine faut-il pour faire ce gâteau?

Réponse:  –Il vous faut 250 grammes de farine.

 

Are falling into the same category:

ZERO QUANTITY, FEW or MORE and NUMBERS

-pas/ plus de café

-vous reprendrez bien encore un peu de thé?

-Il reste beaucoup de salade dans ton assiette

-Je dois acheter UN paquet de biscuits.

-Je n’aime pas les crevettes. Je ne mange pas de crevettes.

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

 

Autumn in Paris? Always a good idea!

autumn paris 55The fall is always a good period to reassess your language skills.

You are currently staying in Paris and you want to break from your stressful work environment?

Why not set apart a few hours to brush up your conversational French or German?

I am an experienced languages tutor, a native speaker of French and German and I am very willing to help you progress.

We can organize private French or German classes in the place of your choice:

  • your apartment
  • your hotel room
  • a nice Parisian Café
  • a bakery
  • a park

Wherever you are comfortable, we will communicate in French and /or German!

You will benefit from:

  • a relaxed and supportive atmosphere
  • nice and enjoyable learning material-if needed
  • a competent and experienced teacher at your service

Let’s have fun together. Come to learn French and/or German with me!

Any questions? Feel free to contact me!

 

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Ready for a Summer refresher course?

come study

 

Are you spending a few days or a few weeks  in Paris? This is the ideal time for a Summer refresher course in French and/or in German.

Here are the services that French lessons in Paris do offer:

  • one to one tuition in French language ( with explanations in English when and if needed)
  • one to one tuition in German language ( with explanations in English when and if needed)
  • French courses in German language for German speaking persons

 

Have fun learning languages in the heart of Paris. Succeed with Isabelle!

Can you count in French?

Counting in French can sometimes be felt as a major difficulty for non-native speakers.

Would you like to count from 1 to 20?

It is very easy. Let us do it together.

0= zéro

1= un                                                                        11= onze

2= deux                                                                    12= douze

3=trois                                                                      13= treize

4=quatre                                                                  14= quatorze

5= cinq                                                                      15=quinze

6= six                                                                         16= seize

7= sept ( do not pronounce the p)                        17= dix_sept

8= huit                                                                        18= dix-huit

9= neuf                                                                        19= dix-neuf

10= dix                                                                        20= vingt (don’t pronounce the g)

This was fun, right?

Ready to succeed in French with Isabelle? Of course, during a one-to-one lesson, I will help you perfect your pronounciation!

 

Now are you interested in learning ordinal numbers?

These ones are very useful, because they are used;

  • to name the 20 arrondissements of Paris
  • to speak about the floor on which you live
  • to classify winners in a competition
  • to set a date on the calendar ( example: le premier mai..but…be careful, le 2, le 3 mai and same for the other numbers)
  • to speak about high school classes ( sixième, cinquième…)
  • to express the first time, the second time etc…
  • to mention a birthday/ anniversary
  • to speak about centuries

-premier ( 1st), deuxième ( second), troisième ( third), quatrième ( fourth), cinquième ( 5th), sixième ( 6th), septième ( 7th), huitième (8th), neuvième, (9th), dixième( 10th), onzième ( 11th), douzième (12th), treizième (13th), quatorzième (14th), quinzième (15th), seizième (16th), dix-septième ( 17th), dix-huitième (18th), dix-neuvième (19th), vingtième ( 20th)

Interested in French lessons in Paris? Any questions? Feel free to contact me via the email mentioned in the ‘ contact me’ section of this website.

ordinauxchiffres de 1 a 20

Keep speaking, even if your speech is limited…

 

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Today I am going to give you a few tips if you run out of vocabulary and you would like to keep speaking French. Once you realize you don’t know a word, it is so tempting to go back to English and to handle your whole conversation in English.

In Paris, most people speak English nowadays, especially the young generation….Comfortable, yes, but this will not help you improve your French!

I’ve been confronted to such situations while traveling to Israel. I didn’t know the exact word, but I kept speaking Hebrew instead of using English. You can use the same trick, simply by using a few simple sentences:

 

  • Comment dit-on ça en Français? How do you say this in French?
  • Comment ça s’appelle en Français? How is it called in French?
  • Comment dit-on ( insert your English word) en Français?
  • C’est quoi? What is it? ( Make some gesture, point at the unknown thing…)

 

dino

See, these very simple, short, sentences will keep you going! Simply by asking these questions, you will invite your speaking partner to further conversation. By listening to his answer, you will also learn new structures. Be bold. Keep speaking, even if you know your language is not perfect.

In case the person is tempted to switch to English, please insist: “En Français, s’il vous plait!’

Never give up until you succeed!

C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron ( Practice makes perfect).

 

 

 

 

Succeed in making a phone call in French

 

phone panicked

If you are not used to making phone calls in French, it is normal to feel a little bit overwhelmed before starting a first conversation.

Do not panic, be organized instead.

You will not be running out of words and you will not make a fool of yourself if you are following a few advices that require a little bit of your common sense.

  • Take a piece of paper and note the object of your call, for instance, ‘hotel room reservation, ‘réservation de chambre d’hôtel’, ‘ réponse à annonce immobilière’, ‘reply to a housing agency’, or ‘demande de congés annuels’, ‘requesting annual holidays’. By clarifying the object of your demand and by writing it down, your brain will take notice of it quite immediately.
  • This step being completed, write a few sentences that are related to the subject mentioned before.  Example: ‘ Bonjour, je vous téléphone à propos  de votre annonce-je vous téléphone au sujet  de mes congés annuels.’
  • Anticipate the different answers that you may be facing, like, for instance:

– Oui, qu’aimeriez-vous savoir?

– J’aimerais connaître la surface du logement.

-Dans quel quartier se situe le logement? A Saint-Germain?

-Très bien, quel est le prix?

-Quand voulez-vous prendre congé?

– J’aimerais réserver la dernière semaine du mois d’août.

 

  • Master your scenario: write all useful sentences down-make sure that they are grammatically correct.
  • Practice with a French speaking conversation partner and/or in front of your mirror until you feel confident enough to pick up your phone.

Ready? Just give it a try. It will truly boost your confidence.

As you know, behind every skilled speaker, there used to be some shy beginner.

Practice makes perfect!

Wishing you much success in becoming a confident speaker!

Also, I’ll be more than happy to help you improve your French in case you need some lessons. Do not hesitate, just get in touch via email!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak French or German confidently!

You are currently staying in Paris and you would like to seize the opportunity to improve your conversational French or German…or maybe both?

I can help make you a confident speaker!

You will be able to enjoy:

  • a relaxed ambiance
  • a supportive learning approach
  • a talkative atmopshere
  • attractive learning materials

 

No matter how far you have come in your language studies, I am committed to helping you progress. Nearly 90% of the students I met admit that their greatest difficulty lies in self expression.

The more you will speak, the better you will be!

As time goes by, you will be able to master your structures more and more.

Thanks to the guidance of a native speaker, you will become more familiar with idiomatic expressions as well.

Are you ready to challenge yourself? Do not hesitate! Book your conversational courses NOW!