Driving in France: key words and phrases

Whether you are moving there or just visiting on holiday, be sure to learn this list of key phrases relating to hiring a car in France, French road signs and other key phrases relating to driving in France Hire car glossary

French dictionary

Are you dying to learn this?

The verb mourir, to die, is quite irregular. Let’s hope you won’t have to say ‘I will die’ or ‘I am dying’ too often, but it is still an important …

French dictionary

Take me for a drive

Conduire is an irregular verb meaning to drive, lead or take (someone) to a place. I have translated the various tenses here with the meaning ‘drive’ for simplicity’s sake, but …

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Keep your eyes open

Ouvrir, to open, is another useful irregular verb. The past participle, ouvert, is unusual for an -ir verb, and the present tense is more similar to the pattern of an …

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All in all, all’s well!

‘Tout’ basically means ‘all’, but it is used in a number of ways in different expressions. Since it can be an adjective, a pronoun, an adverb or a noun, there …

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Hold my hand, we can cope!

Tenir, to hold, is conjugated in almost the same way as venir (to come). The difference is that tenir forms the compound tenses (such as the perfect tense) with avoir, …

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Rain, rain, go away …

Pleuvoir, meaning to rain, exists of course only in the third person singular or ‘il’ form. Because of this, I am just giving one example sentence for each of several …

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Let’s have a good laugh!

Rire, to laugh, is an irregular verb. The most unusual thing to notice is the double letter i that appears in the present subjunctive, first and second person plural (nous …

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Don’t lose sleep over it…

Dormir, to sleep, is an irregular verb but not a very difficult one to learn. It can be used in several colloquial expressions similar to our English ones: to sleep …

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Don’t run any risks …

The verbe courir generally means to run, but also to rush, to speed, to be headed for, to compete in or to roam. It isn’t a very difficult one to …

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Before or after?

One of the problems that native English native speakers in mastering the use of French adjectives is the fact that they are usually placed after the noun they modify, which …

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Live and Learn

The verb vivre means to live, which of course has many uses. The most unusual thing about it is the past participle, ‘vécu’.

PRESENT TENSE

Je vis – I live, I am …

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Singular or Plural?

In the first article we looked at various ways of changing masculine forms of adjectives to feminine forms. If a noun is in the plural, the adjective that modifies it …

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Leaving, going, setting off…

Partir is an irregular verb, and one of those that forms the compound tenses, such as the perfect tense, with etre. It is an extremely useful verb meaning to leave, …

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They have to agree

In French, adjectives (describing words) have to agree in gender and number with the noun they modify. In other words, if an adjective describes a feminine noun, the feminine form …

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Follow my example

Suivre is an irregular verb that is not too difficult to learn. It means to follow, but also to go on a course or a diet, etc., or to support …

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Where are we now?

There are separate articles on the use of à/au/à la/à l’/aux and en, but we will look here are other prepositions of place. Some of these prepositions can be used …

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Read this carefully…

Lire is an irregular verb but not one of the most difficult to learn. Remember that the past participle is lu, and the rest should come quite easily. It is …

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It must be understood by all…

Sentences with the structure subject – verb – object are in the active voice, for example ‘The boy hits the ball.’ The subject ‘boy’ is performing the action on the …

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Receiving and Entertaining

Recevoir is a verb with a good deal of irregularities and so needs considerable attention. It means to entertain people (in the sense of inviting them) as well as to …

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Have done, did, or was doing?

This article focuses on an area that may cause difficulty for intermediate learners of French. Having learned two verb tenses that refer to the past, students are often confused as …

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Can you believe it?

Croire means to believe or think. It is irregular: notice that the i changes to y in the first and second personal plural (nous and vous) forms of the present …

French dictionary

Can you believe it?

Croire means to believe or think. It is irregular: notice that the i changes to y in the first and second personal plural (nous and vous) forms of the present …