Transcript of the video
Hi everyone, I hope you're well, settled in and ready for a new French video.
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Today, we are going to talk about a very common mistake that can be made when you speak French and you are not a native speaker, when you are learning French.
It is to use "je suis", the verb "être" instead of the correct verb in French.
This mistake is common, especially if you are an English speaker or if you have learned to speak English. Because we will translate literally from English to French, we will keep the same sentence construction.
So, if in English, it is the verb "to be" that is used, we will naturally think that it is the verb "être" that will be used in French. However, it is not always the case and we will see it in this video.
I took the example of English because it is the language I know best, apart from French. But this may also be the case if you simply translate your language into French.
So in this video, we're going to look at five sentence constructions where you shouldn't say "I am" where you shouldn't use the verb "to be" and I'm going to tell you what verb you should use instead.
"I am 30 years old". No. You should say "I am 30 years old". To talk about your age, you should use the verb "to have" and not "to be." So, don't say "I am 30", but say, "I am 30" or your age. So it's a bad translation from English.
On the other hand, if you want to use the verb to be, you can say I am 30 years old, I am old for a girl and I am old for a boy. But it's much more common to use "I am 30", the verb to have.
Already you see, it's shorter. It's really much more frequent.
Both are correct, but if I say how old your sister is and you answer, she's 16, that's more sustained language.
I am well. No, you have to say je vais bien, it is the verb "to go" that is used in French and not the verb "to be". If someone asks you how are you, how are you? You have to answer "I am fine".
You say "I'm fine", to express that you are healthy, in a good mood, that you feel good, that there is no problem as it is the verb to go, it is "I'm fine", "you're fine", "he's fine", "we're fine", "you're fine", "they're fine".
If you say "I am well", in reality, you are expressing something else. I am well and linked to a notion of comfort. For example, if you are sitting on the sofa and someone asks you if you are comfortable, you can answer yes, I am comfortable.
I am hungry and I am thirsty. Again, this is a bad translation, maybe from English. In French, we use the verb "avoir". I am hungry and I am thirsty or you are hungry, you are thirsty. For example, I can say "I'm hungry" because I haven't had breakfast yet and it's already 11 o'clock.
However, you can say with the verb "to be" I am hungry and I am thirsty.
But be careful, it doesn't mean exactly the same thing as "I'm hungry" and "I'm thirsty." If you say you are thirsty or hungry, it means you are really, really hungry or really, really thirsty.
For example, I could say that I have been walking in the desert for five hours without food or water. I am thirsty and I am hungry.
I am afraid. No, again, it is the verb "to have" that is used in French. If you want to express the fact that you are afraid of something, for example, I can say "I am afraid of spiders", "I am afraid of the dark" or "I am afraid of horror movies, I prefer comedies".
We use the verb "to have" and not "to be" to express our fear. However, again, if you want to use the verb "to be", you can say "I am afraid", but it is much less frequent than saying "I am afraid".
It's more sustained language, really less frequent. In French, it doesn't come out spontaneously when you speak. Moreover, if we say that we are afraid, we have the impression that it is by something at a precise moment and not on the duration. If I say that "I am afraid of spiders", it is in a general way. On the other hand, if I say that "I am afraid", it is rather within the framework of a precise situation.
For example, I can say "my son is scared whenever he sees the neighbor's dog", that's okay. It's just a little less common than saying "my son is scared whenever he sees the neighbor's dog".
I am wrong and I am right. Again, it is the verb avoir that should be used in French and not the verb être, the correct expression is "avoir raison" and "avoir tort".
In English, we would say "I'm right" and "I'm wrong".
It is the verb "to be", but in French, no, it is the verb "to have".
"Being right means that you are right, that you are not mistaken. For example, if my husband asks me where you put the car keys? I can tell him I haven't used the car for two weeks, you used it last time.
He will answer me "ah, you are right, I will look in all my pockets".
"To be wrong" simply means to be wrong, not to be right.
"I'm wrong," I'm wrong. You use this expression to say that you made a mistake, that you are not right. Be careful, because there is another expression very close to being wrong which is "being wrong".
So, you see here we use the verb "to be". But "to be at fault" is not the same thing. If I say that "I am at fault", it means that I have done something wrong.
For example, if I have a fight with a friend and it's mostly my fault, if we had a fight because I did something wrong, I can say I was at fault.
Or here is another example Vanessa is at fault, she is the one who cheated on Sebastian.
One uses being at fault to express that it is one's responsibility.
This expression "being at fault" is also used a lot in the context of a car accident. I was at fault, I didn't stop at the stop sign and I caused an accident.
That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you liked it, please put a like.
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