In this video I show you 10 mistakes that French people make themselves. But don't worry, everyone makes mistakes in French, it's normal. You have to make mistakes to progress in French and not be afraid to speak or write in French 🙂
Transcript of the video
Hi everyone, I hope you are doing well and that your French learning is still going very well. Today, we are going to see together 11 mistakes, 11 mistakes that French people often make themselves. I had already made a video about the differences between spoken and written French.
We had seen that certain sentence formulations were accepted in speech. It was just a little less fancy, it was a little less sustained language. Here, today, we're really going to see the real mistakes that the French make themselves.
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Let's start right away with the first mistake, the first mistake that French people, French speakers, very often make when speaking. "La voiture à papa". This is a mistake. You don't say "la voiture à papa". You have to say "la voiture de papa".
This error has gradually become part of everyday language, but if you hear this formula, for example, "this is Sarah's umbrella" or "this is Thomas' toy", it is a mistake. When you have two nouns in a row and you want to show ownership, you should always use the word from to link the two nouns. So, "dad's car", "Sarah's umbrella", "Thomas' toy". Let's move on to the second mistake.
"I've been to the movies." This is a mistake. You should use the verb to be and not the verb to have. You should say "I went to the movies". This is a very common mistake in everyday language. I myself know that it is a mistake I can make. If you are moving, if you are going to a place, you should use the verb to be and not the verb to have. I will say I went to the beach with a friend this afternoon.
There is a notion of movement. "I went somewhere". You should not say "I went to the beach with a friend". Another example could be "I went to the supermarket" to do my shopping this afternoon. You don't say "I went to the supermarket to do my shopping this afternoon". This is a mistake as you go somewhere, it is the verb to be.
The following mistake is very common, you can hear it almost in every mouth. "I live in Paris" is a mistake.
You should say "I live in Paris". Many people use this expression "on" to introduce a city as if it meant in the surroundings. But this is a mistake. We say "I work in Lille" and not "I work in Lille". You say "I am on vacation in Marseille" and not "I am on vacation in Marseille". When you use "on", it gives the impression that you are in a plane and that you are going to land. I had made a video on prepositions to introduce country names and city names, I'll put it above so you have a more detailed explanation for the "à" that introduces cities.
"If I had known, I would have gone to school". In French, we say that "les si n'aiment pas les rai". This rule is taught to the children when they learn conjugation at school because we know that it is a very frequent mistake to use the conditional after the if, whereas it is necessary to use the imperfect.
"If I had known she was sad, I would have stayed with her". So, we always use the imperfect tense after the "if" and in the second part of the sentence, we use the conditional tense. But remember this rule: "the ifs don't like the rais". So never put the conditional at the beginning of the sentence.
"As of today." You can hear this expression in the daily newspaper as well as on television.
This is a mistake. It's like saying "a great giant". It's called a pleonasm. It means you put two words in a row that actually mean the same thing. "As of today" doesn't work. It just emphasizes that it's today. Instead, it's better to say on this day, now, or simply, today.
I'll give you an example of a sentence with the mistake, it would be, "As of today we are all confined." This is a mistake. It should say, "To this day we are all confined" or "today we are all confined," or "now we are all confined."
They believe, people, believe that. This is a conjugation error. The verb to believe is conjugated in the third person plural in this way: Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Often you can hear: Buddhists believe in reincarnation. This is a mistake.
This error certainly comes from the proximity between the verb to believe and to drink.
The verb to drink, it will be conjugated in the third person plural in this way: the children drink apple juice. So we'll make the mistake with believe, we'll say they believe in God, when no, it's a mistake, the two verbs are not conjugated the same way, we say well the Buddhists believe in the reincarnation.
I'm going to the hairdresser. This is a mistake. We say I'm going to the hairdresser. We use au only to introduce places. When you want to introduce someone's name, a person, a job, you always use chez. Here is an example to help you understand. I'm going to the hairdresser's, but I'm going to the hairdresser's, the hairdresser's is a place, it's not a person so we say "at".
But the hairdresser is a person, it's a profession, so we say "at". We say I'm going to the cinema, but I'm going to the butcher, I'm going to the doctor, but I'm going to the doctor's surgery. This is a very, very common mistake in everyday language.
The next mistake is one that is only made in writing. It is about the difference between French, French, French. The first French refers to the language, the second French refers to the inhabitants of the country and the third French is an adjective used to characterize someone or something.
The word "French" is not always capitalized.
The same goes for other language names that are also used to talk about the inhabitants of a country or that are used as adjectives. For example Italian, Italian and Italian as adjectives or Spanish or English.
If you ask French people, it's really not sure they know the rule. Many French people make this mistake in writing. Let me explain the rule. When you talk about the inhabitants of the country, you must always capitalize it. The French live in France. French must be capitalized because it refers to the inhabitants of France. On the other hand, when we talk about the language, we never capitalize it. I am learning French, there is no capitalization of French.
The same goes for I am learning Italian or I am learning Spanish. And finally, the adjective we are going to use to characterize something is never capitalized either. If I say "French cheese", there is no capitalization of French. Likewise, if I say, "François eats a croissant every morning. He's so French!" There is no capitalization, it is used here to characterize him.
The next mistake is "because". You may hear French speakers using "à cause que" instead of "parce que" which is of course a very big mistake.
I'll give you an example so you can understand.
I arrived late because I missed the bus. No, this is a mistake. You have to say, I was late because I missed the bus. I am not going to my sister's house because it is too far. This is a mistake. You have to say, I'm not going to my sister's because it's too far, so there's no such thing as "because", it never replaces because.
The next error is again a conjugation error.
The last mistake we're going to see today is "I made this cake". This is a mistake. It should be said that I made this cake. The subject of this sentence is me. So the verb agrees with the first person. It's an error which is quite frequent, we will in fact agree the verb to have with what comes after, thus with cake, thus in the third person singular.
If you have any doubt, replace me with I. You'll see, it's much clearer. The sentence was: I made this cake. If I say I made this cake, there is no more doubt. You are not going to say "I made this cake".
And that's it for today, I hope you liked this video on the mistakes that the French make themselves. If you liked it, don't forget to put a like or a little comment.
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