Results tagged language from David Lebovitz

The French Dictionary


Someone told me that the English language has more words than the French language, which I don’t believe – although to be honest, I’ve never counted. I know English can be kind of kooky at at times, but I don’t think we have multiple words for the same things, from a dozen different words for sinks, to a panoply of words for helmets, depending on what vehicle one is sitting on when wearing it.


However I can attest that there are, indeed, fourteen verb tenses in French versus six in English, which is why I always get my derrière whooped when I play Scrabble in French. According to my handy book of French verbs, many of the verb conjugations are ‘mood related’, to express how someone feels. So je suis (I am) becomes je sois, because you or more to the point – I just absolutely, positively, have to be.


And then there’s the fact that even in one particular tense, like when talking about the present, each verb is spelled differently. Whereas in English, we say I think, You think, We think, They think – spelling the word “think” exactly the same way – in French, each pronoun determines the way the verb is spelled, which changes each time. So it’s Je pense, Vouz pensez, Nous pensons. And yes, I did have to consult my book of French verbs to make sure I got those write. Er, I mean, right. (Gotcha! And you were about to pull that “grammar police” alarm. I told you English can be kooky, too.) So if you want to know why the French are nervously pulling drags off cigarettes, it’s because of the stress of conjugating all those dang verbs.


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French Classes in Paris


Whether you’re coming here to live, or even on vacation, there’s plenty of classes for everyone from débutants to those looking to master the elusive French verbs.

While I don’t personally make any recommendations, you can visit their sites to check for class times, size, and prices. Some schools do offer housing for longer programs and you can even get student visas if you sign up for longer sessions, helpful if you’d like to stay in Paris for a while.

Another plus about enrolling in a school is with your student ID, you can get discounts in museums and at the movies. Plus many gyms and sporting facilities give substantial student discounts and there’s student travel deals to be had as well.

A few tips:

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