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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Story Time: Grammar.. 'de, des?' 'le, ce'?

I have a test this upcoming Tuesday so I put off my studying (of course) to the weekend.  Mostly because I understand it (mostly) and also because I know I'd forget all the rules anyway.

French grammar is complicated... did anyone every tell you that?

Like for example, the verb 'Avoir'.  Did you know that if a sentence has 'un, une or des' they change to de?  What kind of crazy person sat down and wrote out these incredibly defined rules?  Why is it that I never learned this kind of stuff in English?

Plus, why is everything masculine or feminine according to their word (p.s. no logic behind this, just memorization) and not their actual gender?  Why is 'hatred' (la haine) feminine, but 'love' (l'amour) is masculine?

En tout cas; I think it's way too complicated for it's own good.. but it really means something.  I remember once at a dinner party I looked at Bri's mom and stated, 'Do you remember that one time you made a wild boar?  It was delicious'  (Tu te souviens ce temps t'as fait un sanglier?  C'était terrible (this means wonderful in french))

Everyone paused a moment and then burst out laughing.  I waited for an explanation and repeated, 'but it was a good sanglier!'.  Luckily, the hostess, was a retired French teacher... she stopped laughing enough to explain that using 'un' instead of 'de' made it sound like Bri's mom had roasted and entire wild boar in some caveman-ish style.  Alrighty, that made sense, but still, a mistake like that in English wouldn't cause an entire table to bust up laughing.

The French take their grammar very seriously and they will notice the slightest mistakes..

Did you know that during a job interview in France you can know if they are truly interested or not simply by the tense of the verb?  It's INSANE!

So.  That's my rant on the delicacies of the French language.  If you are planning to, or already do live here, I'd be studying that if you want to survive!!!



  1. Mostly, I'd like to know why Beard is feminine. This baffles me.

  2. Actually, "amour" is one of the only words in french that changes its gender if it's plural : "amour" is masculine and "les amours" is feminine. Yeah, I know, weird. Most french people don't know that.
    Good blog !


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