Author Topic: I'm learning Fench  (Read 6889 times)

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Offline crowbi_wan

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I'm learning Fench
« on: January 11, 2008, 03:28:42 »
Hello, or perhaps I shall say salut!  I've decided to learn some French before I head over to see The Cure in March.  Mostly, as I'm just getting started, I've been working on pronunciations.  Just now, though, I'm move to some words and how to use them in phrases.  There's something I find puzzling, though.  How do you know when to use "une" or "un"?  I understand that one is masculine while the other is feminine.  Same thing for "la" and "le".  An example of why I find this confusing is this.  Take the word "window" (la fenetre).  What makes a window feminine?  A "picture", or le tableau, is masculine.  How do you know this?  I suppose mispronouncing (or mixing the two up) is not that big of a deal and I would assume that anyone I speak with would understand if I use un instead of une (or "la" in place of "le").  Still, it's a difficult concept for an American to grasp and I'd like to develop as much of an understanding of you language as I possibly can in the short time I've allotted myself.   

Offline scatcat

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 13:23:04 »
As in English, male & feminine forms are sometimes differentiated by the use of two quite separate words,, e.g.:
mon uncle ( my uncle)..  ma tante (my aunt)
un taureau ( a bull)... une vache (a cow)

easy enuff!!  :lol:

There are some words in French, however, which show this distinction by THE FORM OF THIER ENDING:- some nouns add an e   to the masculine singular form to form the feminine.

-If the masculine singular form already ends in -e , no further e is added in the feminine.

-some nouns undergo a further change when e is added. These changes occur regularly.

In French, all nouns are either masculine or feminine ( which you have already stumbled across, Brian!), whether denoting people, animals or things.
Unlike English, there is no 'neuter' gender for inanimate objects and abstract nouns.


Gender is really unpredictable!! ... and has to be learnt  for EACH noun. ( that is why I'm not really that hot at French!!)

some nouns have both female and masculine forms, just to confuse you a bit more!!
 so I'm sure you'll do fine, as an attempt to speak french is a good sign, and unless you take french lessons for years, or live in France for awhile, it will take some time!

( and who thought English grammar was hard! We don't have to identify the 'gender' of an inanimate object!! )... actually the Italians/Latin do the same..   :smth023
salut!
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Offline gioez

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 15:00:45 »
I'm learning French too, 'cos I have to use it to work. The Company where I work is French. And I've studied French at school too, so I know this language.

French is much more similar to Italian and we have almost the same masculine and feminine terms. But you know, we haven't a generic rule to deciding if a word is masculine or feminine. In general the animals are almost all masculine. Almost...... "la vache" and "la chèvre" are feminine (feminine in italian too). The fruits are almost all feminine and their threes are masculine... but there are some exceptions, like the kiwi and the melon that are masculine. So you have to know much more words as possible, 'cos only with experience and excersises you can learn well French. You know, French it's difficult for Italians too, because there are masculine words in Italian that are feminine in French and vice-versa.

Some examples that show differences between French and Italian:

English                   French                         Italian

Evening                   Le soir (masculine)            La sera (feminine)
Flower                    La fleur (feminine)            Il fiore (masculine)
Colour                    La couleur (feminine)          Il colore (masculine)
and many more........  ;)

Good luck and... ENJOY FRENCH!
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Offline scatcat

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 15:17:12 »

Good luck and... ENJOY FRENCH!
goodluck Brian!!

At least a quarter of the English language originated from French, another quarter Latin ( Italian included here ), a quarter Greek ( thanx to the philosophers and mathematicians like pythagoras!!) and then we have other languages absorbed... like Arabic ( our numerical system), and other European languages ( Germanic ).

The lazy English... had sooo many  nouns for the one item... just take " table' for instance.. so , we don't see it as male/female, we just put a simple "the" to define the noun!! ( Europeans are soo much more passionate about objects!!).. we just have like five different names for the one noun, adjective, etc..

happy learning!! ( I am much better with Mandarin!!)
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Offline Tof

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 16:00:25 »
French is very difficult Brian, and I don't know how to explain how to use UNE ou UN because it's natural for me, but I correct you when we are spend some time together !!!  :D


Some examples that show differences between French and Italian:

English                   French                         Italian

Evening                   Le soir (masculine)            La sera (feminine)


In french we can say ... une soirée (feminine)  :twisted: !!!

BON COURAGE A VOUS !!!
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Online dsanchez

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 17:36:50 »
What makes a window feminine?  A "picture", or le tableau, is masculine.  How do you know this?  

I think most words in french which are feminine ends with "e". For example "etoile", "fille", "soiree". However, there are exceptions which I guess are learned on the way, as "jeune", "rapide" (you use both for girls or boys). If you want to learn faster I suggest you to hire french movies from now.

When I learned french back in 2002 I had a class 3 hours a day during near 6 months. During this time I was getting french movies and also met a girl in the chat from Quebec who helped me a lot. Et maintenant je pense que je peux comprendre presque tout meme si j'oublies des mots quelquefois.

Bonne chance! :smth023
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Offline yann_de_cannes

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 09:39:49 »
Hello, or perhaps I shall say salut!  I've decided to learn some French before I head over to see The Cure in March.  Mostly, as I'm just getting started, I've been working on pronunciations.  Just now, though, I'm move to some words and how to use them in phrases.  There's something I find puzzling, though.  How do you know when to use "une" or "un"?  I understand that one is masculine while the other is feminine.  Same thing for "la" and "le".  An example of why I find this confusing is this.  Take the word "window" (la fenetre).  What makes a window feminine?  A "picture", or le tableau, is masculine.  How do you know this?  I suppose mispronouncing (or mixing the two up) is not that big of a deal and I would assume that anyone I speak with would understand if I use un instead of une (or "la" in place of "le").  Still, it's a difficult concept for an American to grasp and I'd like to develop as much of an understanding of you language as I possibly can in the short time I've allotted myself.   
Hello Crowby_wan,
"bravo" for learning french...
Don' worry too much about the gender, french people are used to hearing strangers confusing them, it's very common, and you will be rarely misunderstood. A little "truc" to guess the gender of a noun you have to use : If it's a "little" thing, it might be feminine, if it's "big" thing, it might be masculine (example : la lune & le soleil; la voiture et le bus; une maison & un immeuble; etc...). Don't say that to a french teacher or to a feminist, they will scream at you! But it's usually how it is, that's all. Of course, there are many exceptions, but that makes the "charm" of this difficult language...
take courage!
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Offline soulmate

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 11:14:19 »
A little "truc" to guess the gender of a noun you have to use : If it's a "little" thing, it might be feminine, if it's "big" thing, it might be masculine (example : la lune & le soleil; la voiture et le bus; une maison & un immeuble; etc...). Don't say that to a french teacher or to a feminist, they will scream at you!
Oh my God, can't believe what I'm reading!!!!  :smth011 I'm not that much of a feminist but I'll scream anyway!!!!  ;) 

Offline yann_de_cannes

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 11:20:09 »
A little "truc" to guess the gender of a noun you have to use : If it's a "little" thing, it might be feminine, if it's "big" thing, it might be masculine (example : la lune & le soleil; la voiture et le bus; une maison & un immeuble; etc...). Don't say that to a french teacher or to a feminist, they will scream at you!
Oh my God, can't believe what I'm reading!!!!  :smth011 I'm not that much of a feminist but I'll scream anyway!!!!  ;) 
pas féministe, mais peut-être prof de Français? ;-)
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Offline soulmate

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Re: I'm learning Fench
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 11:39:45 »
Yep!  :-D