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50 Ways to Improve your French


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Table of Contents

Meet the authors Only got 1 minute? Only got 5 minutes? Only got 10 minutes? How to use this book The 50 most common mistakes in French Sounding right 1 Vowel problems 2 Consonant problems 3 Silent endings and -ent 4 Numbers count 5 Accent deficit disorder 6 Capital letters can lead to capital errors 7 Mission impossible: how to pronounce words beginning with a vowel + n/m 8 Don't get stressed about stress! 9 Contractions without (labour) pain) and the influence of the 'h' factor 10 Liaisons - some of them are dangerous - and how to pronounce plus Getting the structure right Getting the right word in the right place 11 Adjectives: you don't have carte blanche! 12 Where do the ne and the pas belong? A negative viewpoint 13a Direct pronouns - get them sorted! 13b More possibilities with direct pronouns 14 Sort out your direct from your indirect pronouns! 15 Y and en, the pronouns for 'there' and 'some of it' 16 Reflect on your reflexives! 17a Pronouns: subjective, emphatic and possessive 17b His or hers, mine or yours? Possessive adjectives and pronouns Nouns, adjectives and adverbs 18 Gender issues - very French! 19a Be articulate! The indefinite, definite and partitive articles 19b When to use un/une and le/la/les with days or parts of days 20 Agreement of adjectives: the French all agree on this! 21 How you do what you do - bon, bien, mauvais, mal, mieux, meilleur and pire 22 Tout, tous, toute and toutes: when and how to use them 23 C'est and il/elle est... Defining moments 24 You're never alone with a plural! 25 Demonstrative adjectives: 'this', 'these' and 'that' 26 Indefinite adjectives and adverbs: beaucoup, quelques, plusieurs... Verbs: what you do and when 27a The present participle: the '-ing' thing (the 'gerund') 27b The present participle: naming an activity 28a Unlocking the secret of auxiliary verbs: avoir 28b Unlocking the secret of auxiliary verbs: etre 29a Talking about time: depuis and ca fait...que 29b Talking about time: pour and pendant 30 Il y a - there's nothing quite like it! 31 Set your past right! The perfect and imperfect tenses - which to use Prepositions 32 Prepositions: choosing the correct preposition 33 Prepositions: their presence or absence makes a difference! 34a Prepositions and places: towns and regions 34b Prepositions and places: countries and continents Weeding out unnecessary words and adding others 35 Verbs worth a closer look: attendre, chercher, aller and venir 36 How about 'that': que to express what you think, feel and believe Choosing the right words 37 Visiting places and people: who to bring and what to take 38 Choose your verbs carefully! Connaitre/savoir, entendre/ecouter, voir/regarder, laisser/quitter/partir and pouvoir/savoir 39a Qualifications and achievements: passing and taking exams 39b The workplace: interviews and meetings 40 Prendre, mettre and faire: how to deal with taking, putting (on), doing and making! 41 Etre or avoir ('being' or 'having')? How old are you and how do you feel? 42 Faire or faire faire? 43 Le temps: weather and time - taking the time to sort them out 44 Actuellement, normalement, eventuellement, reellement and proprement: beware these false friends 45 Alors, donc, aussi: saying 'so, 'thus', 'therefore' and 'also' 46 More false friends: they can let you down anytime, bigtime! 47 Use dictionaries carefully! Do not assume the first definition is the right one 48 Tu or vous? Adults only! 49 Watch these words! 50 Have fun...but take care choosing between jouir (de), s'amuser, aimer and plaire Glossary of grammatical terms Simplified sound system Index to grammar

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Avoid sounding like a beginner with these 50 top tips for improving your spoken and written French.

About the Author

Both authors have taught, examined and lectured in French and currently teach at the University of Surrey. Lorna Wright is additionally on the panel of English examiners at Trinity College London and Marie-Jo Morelle holds a fellowship at The Higher Education Academy.

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