Learning French: 7 language tips and common mistakes

French dictionary

Top tips to help you become fluent in French - Credit: Sylvie Bouchard GettyImages

Here are some quick language tips to help you with learning French, from grammar problems to confusion over syntax, they are some common French mistakes you might be making. Avoid these faux pas and you’ll be one step closer to being fluent in French!

1. Bon is usually an adjective, used for everything physical, such as food or drink. Bien is usually an adverb, used for an action, or the way in which something is done

C’est un bon prof - He is a good teacher

Une lettre bien rédigée - A well-written letter

2. Les Toilettes is always plural to mean bathroom, la toilette means a personal wash

Où sont les toilettes s’il vous plaît? - Where is the toilet please?

Je fais ma toilette tous les matins - I have a wash every morning

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3. People use on in conversation more often than nous to mean us

On va au marché ce matin - We’re going to the market this morning

4. To know the difference between like, liking a lot and love;

J’aime Henri - I love Henri

J’aime beaucoup Henri - I really like Henri (he is a good friend, un grand ami)

J’aime bien Henri - I like Henri

5. Je l’aime is reserved for people/pets

J’aime ça - I like that / Je déteste ça - I hate that

Je l’aime - I love him/her

6. When asked if you want a coffee and your answer is yes, be careful as in some regions ‘Merci’ is seen as a refusal

Oui je veux bien - Yes I’ll have one

Merci - No thank you

7. See you later can be interpreted differently depending on the phrase you use

À tout à l’heure - See you later (today)

À plus tard - See you later

À bientôt - See you soon


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