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Re: Pads is confused again

The trick, Pads, is to try not to translate these kinds of words at all, but to learn to use them as a French person does - not easy!  IMHO, it is all fine and dandy to learn verbs and nouns and their translations but pronouns, participles, articles etc are really best understood in context.  It's too easy to say that de means of and a (with a grave accent)  means to and it's something that less-than-skilled teachers tend to do which, to my mind, is a cop-out and, what is more, leads to confusion once one starts to get into a language and its structure rather more deeply.  It's the reason why I could never teach - it's really tough to explain these things well, as Norman has done.
"I couldn't sleep very well last night. Some noisy b*ggers going around in automobiles kept me awake." Ken Miles
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Re: Pads is confused again

You are quite right. Grammar rules are a description, not a prescription.
Much better to learn as Chancer does, by hearing and repeating and checking.

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: Pads is confused again

Yeahbut nobut yeahbut, thats ow i lernt de english innit, nowotimeen! Stick out tongue [:P]
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Re: Pads is confused again

At school, to help remember when "de" was to be employed (instead of du, de la, de l' or des), we used to have to chant in unison:

"After a negative,
before an adjective or
after any measure or quantity."

It has served me well through the years, Pads, and maybe it'd be helpful to you.


so:
Je n'ai pas DE pommes;
Tu as DE beaux yeux;
Nous avons eu beaucoup DE pluie cette semaine.

Angela

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Re: Pads is confused again

Angela, that is a wonderful mnemonic. Thank you very much.

I am often envious of people who'd studied French at a young age but, there again, I came to live in France in order to "force" myself (and OH) to get to grips with a different culture and language so as to keep ze leetle grey cells from atrophy.

I'm good with after a negative and also after any measure or quantity but I forget the adjective bit. Hah, when I get back to French class, I can show off to the classmates and amaze the long-suffering teacher!


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Pads is confused again

There was a lot to be said for learning by rote; it really does stick in the mind! We had a crazy Irish teacher called Miss O'Shiell; it's lovely that I am spreading her words 60 years on!

I've got some other handy ones up my sleeve, for remembering the various meanings of "si",
and for getting the order of pronouns right...

Angela
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Re: Pads is confused again

There was a lot to be said for Grammar schools and 'O' levels too Smile [:)]

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: Pads is confused again

Angela, order of pronouns!  Blimey, what have I missed by not learning French in school....

Oh, do, do, do, please, please, please tell me how to remember order of pronouns.  I'm mostly OK until I come to sentences like "He gave it to me to give to you" when I'm still OKish but have to work it all out in my head first.


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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