French Word of the Day

French Fanatic

Learn French vocabulary with one new French word a day
Search our site

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

un demi de vin

a half-liter of wine

Pourriez-vous apporter un demi de vin blanc?
Could you bring a half liter of white wine?

Today’s word illustrates a common and less expensive way to order wine when traveling in France. Your demi will most often arrive in une carafe or un pichet (a pitcher) and will likely be the house wine.

Our word is inspired by the wine vineyards, or les vignobles, of France.

Vocabulary Section: Wine, Word of the Day
Monday, February 25, 2013

un conducteur supplémentaire

an extra driver

Combien coûte-t-il pour ajouter un conducteur supplémentaire?
How much does it cost to add an extra driver?

We always enjoy covering vocabulary topics about travel, because they contain essential words and phrases for French language learners who want to visit a French-speaking country. Today, we’re looking at a useful French word for a conversation about renting a car.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

faire mal à

to hurt

Ça m’a fait mal.
That hurt me.

Vocabulary Section: Expressions, Word of the Day
Saturday, February 23, 2013

y, when not to use it


1. With future and conditional tenses of aller (to go)
Avoid using the pronoun y with the future and conditional tenses of the verb aller, to go. It’s perfectly acceptable to use y with the near-future tense of aller (je vais y aller) — but not the future tense (j’irai) or the conditional tense (j’irais). The French do not say j’y irai. Instead, they would say j’irai or j’irai là-bas. Consider the following:

  • Je vais y aller. J’irai. J’irais.
    I am going to go there. I will go (there). I would go (there).

2. With people
In the example below, note the correct way to replace a prepositional phrase that includes a person. In general, y is not used to replace people.

  • Je pense à Paul. Je pense à lui.
    I’m thinking of Paul. I’m thinking of him.
  • Marc pense à Marie. Il pense à elle.
    Marc is thinking of Marie. He is thinking of her.
  • Jean pense à Marc et Marie. Il pense à eux.
    Jean is thinking of Marc and Marie. He is thinking of them.

3. Y can be used to replace things
Remember that, even though y is generally not used to replace people, above, it is the right choice to replace things in sentences constructed the same way.

  • Je pense à mes devoirs. J’y pense.
    I’m thinking about my homework. I’m thinking about it.

We’re focusing on the adverbial pronoun y.

Vocabulary Section: Grammar Tips, Word of the Day
Friday, February 22, 2013

monter en voiture

to get in the car

Je suis monté en voiture, et j’ai mis ma ceinture de sécurité.
I got in the car, and I put on my seat belt.

When you learn the word for car, la voiture, in French class, the vocabulary sometimes doesn’t go too far beyond that. But there is, of course, so much vocabulary related to cars and driving. Today’s phrase was selected to help you get beyond la voiture and get you moving.

Vocabulary Section: Cars, Word of the Day
Thursday, February 21, 2013

le babillage

(the) babbling

C’est seulement le babillage ou un vrai langage que les bébés partagent?
Is it just babbling or a true language the babies share?

Vocabulary Section: Babies and Children, Word of the Day
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

un horaire flexible

a flexible schedule

Les employés cherchent de plus en plus des horaires flexibles.
Employees are increasingly looking for flexible schedules.

Our word is inspired by the workplace and working.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

remonter une montre

to wind a watch

Si vous avez une montre à remontage manuel, il faut la remonter.
If you have a manually winding watch, you have to wind it.

le remontoir = winder, stem
Il faut tourner le remontoir. (It’s necessary to turn the stem.)

Vocabulary Section: Time and Calendar, Verbs, Word of the Day
Monday, February 18, 2013

les revenus, income

Il faut payer des impôts sur les revenus.
We have to pay taxes on income.

Note how the French often use the plural les revenus instead of the singular form of the word as we do with income in English. It’s one example of singular and plural differences between the two languages.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Prenez votre temps!

Take your time!

Prenez votre temps! C’est samedi.
Take your time! It’s Saturday.

As you can see, this is what we did today.

You can, of course, also say this in the informal form: Prends ton temps!

Vocabulary Section: Expressions, Word of the Day
Next Page »