Helping Adam use French to influence

These past few months, I was challenged by INRAE Dijon, French public research institute dedicated to agricultural science, to provide a 30h Advanced French For Foreigners Course for Research Director Adam Vanbergen.

Of course, Adam was already fluent in French but he was determined to do even better for example in situations when several Researchers interact and you have to process different things at the same time in order to provide appropriate AND convincing answers.

More than 100 pages of content

All through our sessions, I made him discover how people* build their speech. Some of them are easy to understand because their ideas are clear and when they talk, it’s well prepared. Some of them give you a headache and you have to deal with that.

Everyone still wants to make his point and builds a conscious (or unconscious) strategy to do so!

*Researchers and well-informed public (or not!) in science

French grammar, linguistics, rhetoric, argumentation: I created more than 100 pages of content from real situations and I challenged Adam with missions to accomplish. Of course, in an action-oriented evaluation of the language, I wanted this course to be useful for him as a Researcher and Research Director. 💪

Read below Adam’s feedback about this course and check link if you also want to join

Adam, merci de témoigner pour cet article ! Voici les questions :
  • Êtes-vous satisfait de cette formation et a-t-elle répondu à vos objectifs de départ ?

Oui parce que je trouve que le programme est bien construit avec un mélange de grammaire, de compréhension orale, etc. J’ai apprécié l’interactivité grâce à l’utilisation de la vidéo qui stimulait les échanges et aussi que Samyra place le sujet dans le contexte de mon domaine de recherche. C’est plus facile à comprendre.

  • Qu’est-ce qui vous a été le plus utile dans cette formation ?

La grammaire (pronoms relatifs, etc.), les connecteurs logiques, etc. ont été des outils que je réutilisais après les séances dans mon travail.

  • Avez-vous constaté des changements pour votre travail ?

J’ai plus de confiance quand je parle avec mon équipe.

  • Est-ce que vous recommanderiez cette formation à un.e autre chercheur / chercheuse ?

Oui, cette formation a été construite de manière très précise pour les besoins individuels des chercheurs. Elle est très différente des formations dans d’autres instituts de langue.


“Use French to Influence”

30h course especially designed for Researchers (B2/C1 level)

Thank you!

Thank you!

These past 3 years, I had the opportunity to meet clients from almost 20 countries.

Students, researchers, tourists, gite owners, etc.: THANKS to all of them for their motivation and above all, for trusting me.

I don’t teach them French, they teach me how to pass it them on

Il était une fois, Seed…

Il était une fois, Seed…

Shout-out to Seed, a new charity made in France!

Created by spouses of famous football players, Seed will support projects dedicated to health, education , environment and sport anywhere needed and first of all in Africa.

We love the concept so it surely deserves some “story-tale-ing” gift from École Bonjour Dijon!

Check them on Instagram


Il était une fois dans un pays où la terre est très sèche et très chaude, deux enfants que nous appellerons par les surnoms qu’ils se donnent : P’tit frère et Grande sœur.

De leur maisonnette, on voyait tout là-bas au loin la cime des baobabs majestueux.

Tous les jours, après les cours, P’tit frère et Grande sœur passaient des heures à imaginer ensemble — ou chacun de leur côté — mille et une inventions.

Il faut dire qu’ils avaient entendu parler comme tout un chacun de William Kamkwamba dit “le garçon qui dompta le vent”.

Imaginez un peu ce qu’il avait réussi à construire avec un tronc d’eucalyptus, des restes de bicyclette et du matériel de récupération : une éolienne !

Célébré comme un héros dans son pays, il était devenu à juste titre un exemple à suivre par delà les frontières.

À l’annonce de ce tour de force inédit pour un jeune de son âge, on s’était félicité dans les allées des marchés et on avait généreusement partagé cet exploit sur tous les réseaux sociaux réels ou virtuels. Voilà une nouvelle qui en avait bouché un coin aux cousins de France ! 

Tout ce remue-ménage avait donné des idées à bien des enfants qui se lançaient des défis à qui serait le prochain inventeur du siècle.

Chez P’tit frère et Grande sœur, l’exubérance de l’un était tempérée par le calme de l’autre. P’tit Frère considérait que l’usage que l’on pouvait faire du résultat de ses expériences hasardeuses importait peu. Le simple fait d’amasser des trésors glanés dans tous les bric-à-brac des environs lui suffisait amplement.

Grande sœur observait quant à elle cet enthousiasme d’un œil indulgent et se contentait d’en sourire. Si elle semblait réservée, c’est en effet à l’intérieur qu’elle bouillonnait : son esprit était sans cesse en train de réfléchir à tous les schémas et comptes-rendus d’expériences lus dans les livres qui lui tombaient sous la main…

Oui, c’était décidé, si elle en avait la possibilité, elle deviendrait une scientifique.

———————————————–

Pendant ce temps-là, à des milliers de kilomètres, quelque chose avait commencé à germer là où personne ne s’y attendait…

Imaginez un chaudron dans lequel tombent des ingrédients d’une qualité rare : de la bonne volonté marinée à de la détermination en acier trempé et assaisonnée d’un zeste de notoriété offert par des ambassadeurs au grand cœur.

Et c’est ainsi que naquit, après un certain temps de maturation, Seed.

Tout comme dans les histoires imaginaires, ce sont des bonnes fées qui se penchèrent les premières sur le berceau de Seed.

Ensemble, elles partagèrent leurs préoccupations pour les enfants venant au monde avec de graves maladies, les jeunes qui rêvent d’apprendre et de pratiquer leur sport préféré mais aussi ces familles privées d’accès à l’eau ou à l’électricité ainsi que ces agriculteurs et agricultrices si soucieux du bien-être de la terre.

Aider les autres à aider les autres, voilà le vœu qu’elles firent pour Seed.

Des colombes voyageuses ayant été envoyées de par le monde, l’une d’entre elles arriva un beau jour dans le village de P’tit frère et Grande sœur.

Et très vite, la nouvelle se répandit :

“Oyé, oyé ! Quiconque ayant connaissance d’une association méritante est invité à venir la présenter” 

Au même moment, dans le calme de sa maisonnette, Grande sœur était penchée sur son travail en surveillant du coin de l’œil un petit perroquet youyou qu’elle avait recueilli.

Elle entendit soudain P’tit frère arriver tout essoufflé :

– Grande sœur ! Au village, tout le monde parle de Seed ! 

– Te voilà, toi ! Tu n’as plus la tête lourde comme un hippopotame, on dirait ? lui rappela-t-elle sans lever les yeux.

P’tit frère ne prêta pas attention à cette pique et continua tout excité :

– Il paraît que tout le monde est allé voir le directeur de la bibliothèque du village ! On va peut-être enfin pouvoir l’agrandir !

Grande sœur dressa l’oreille, soudain intéressée.

Quoi ? Une plus grande bibliothèque ? Avec plus de livres ?

Goguenard, P’tit frère poursuivit : 

– Tous ceux qui veulent en parler doivent aller à la réunion qui a lieu… MAINTENANT ! Après, si tu préfères faire tes devoirs de la semaine prochaine…

Mais Grande sœur n’avait pas entendu la fin de sa phrase : elle était déjà partie en trombe.

P’tit frère éclata de rire puis il s’assit un instant, pensif. 

Très curieux et téméraire, il avait de grands projets pour son village et, avec la confiance et l’innocence des enfants, il se disait que tout était possible. 

Quittant à son tour la maisonnette, il partit rejoindre Grande sœur et tous leurs amis pour s’entraider les uns les autres comme ils l’avaient toujours fait.

For more French tales, check our free audiobook

more about the “conte” as a writing-mode

La Liberté d’expression en France

[Free B2 content] La Liberté d’expression en France

Today: session about freedom of speech in France with Eirini (Greece) and Ronald (Netherlands)!

What is the specific definition of freedom of speech in France?

What is the story behind?

Why is press freedom so important?

When is it important to protect or to put some limits on freedom of speech?

This issue is a good opportunity to publish our unique content as a free ressource for:

  • advanced students
  • Teachers of French looking for fresh ideas

“Ignorance and fear are my enemies but knowledge is my shield”

Go straight to the content

5 French Weird Expressions

5 French Weird Expressions

formal

1) emprunter les wc

= someone asks you permission to use the restroom

Est-ce que je peux vous emprunter vos toilettes, s’il vous plaît ?

borrow = emprunter

Imagine a situation where you make a delivery at a company, they don’t expect you to stay for more than that but you need to go to the restroom. You can definitely use this sentence to ask permission!

PS: the extreme politeness of this request makes it really hard to get you a “no”

colloquial

2) vous appeler quelqu’un 

= call someone for you

Ne bougez pas, je vous appelle mon collègue.

Don’t move, I call you “my coworker”

Imagine someone comes to you and you realize you can’t answer his questions but someone else in your team can so by using this sentence, you ask him to wait and you go call your coworker.


3) mettre quelqu’un bien

= do eveything you can to help someone feel comfortable and enjoy

Fais-moi confiance, je vais te mettre bien !

Imagine a friend is having a bad day so you decide to plan something special for him / her. Using that sentence means that he / she can leave everything to you.


4) remettre le bonjour 

= say hello to someone for someone else 

Vous remettrez le bonjour à votre femme !

Imagine you meet someone you haven’t met in a while (maybe you used to be neighbours for example)…

You talk about family, news, etc. and at the end, you ask him to say hello to his wife for you. It will be considered as small kindness.

PS: remember that if someone uses this sentence, you will probably hear “vous r’mettrez l’bonjour à vot’ femme”


5) être au taquet

= be at the limit of brackets (something that helps holding a door or a shelf)

Il est au taquet, lui ! Ça se voit qu’il veut réussir.

Imagine someone who is really motivated and does whatever it takes to succeed!

People around can say this as a compliment but depending on the context, it can also sound ironic or even mocking as an attempt to hide one’s jealousy…

Are there such weird expressions in your language? Share with us below!

Do You Need French to Apply to a “Grande École”?

Do You Need French to Apply to a “Grande École”?

Quick answer is “no and yes”!

For more, read the article below or go straight to your favorite part  


Are you dreaming of living and working in France, maybe in a famous company like Dior or a hotel from Accor Group?

By the way, since 2016, foreign graduates can now work in France!

Big French companies praise “grandes écoles” a lot. These specific institutions provide very high education level and they are separate from, but parallel and often connected to the main framework of the French public university system.


But hold on, let’s talk first about a fun fact 

aller à la grande école (1) faire une grande école (2)

(1) kids aged 6 going to elementary school

(2) students in their early twenties going to a “grande école”

Oups… Watch your words!


What is a “grande école”?

The name appeared during the Renaissance to refer to… Buildings where you could attend university classes. “Grandes écoles” indeed are big constructions, aren’t they? So it makes sense to focus on the container before the content.

Of course, the first post graduate schools in France were Royal Schools: engineers and military academies (17th-18th). It is just at the end of Early modern european period that “grandes écoles” were also meant for engineering and business education.

Today, there is no official list of “grandes écoles” in France. In 1992, the Ministry of Education described them as having:

  1. a selection based on a competitive exam
  2. a high education level

There are 3 kinds of “grandes écoles”:

  • dedicated to business and management education : according to the BCE, French institution in charge of the competitive exam, there are 21 business schools but we will focus here on the Top 10

By the way, did you know that 5 French “grandes écoles” are in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020? 4 of them are in our top 10 below: HEC Paris, EM Lyon Business School, Edhec Business School & Essec Business School.

Not only business schools aim at training the best students in business and management but they also offer lifelong learning to business owners and executives (see MBAs at ESSEC).

  • other institutions : selective and challenging institutions such as engineering schools, Sciences Po Paris, Paris-Dauphine, etc. were also influenced by “grandes écoles”.

⛔ Lets’ take a break here to talk about the hidden face of “grandes écoles”

Since they are selective and challenging – how ironic in the nation of equality … – “grandes écoles” are definitely not open to any French student! (Take a look at the drawing below).

So we can’t help but wondering if they are exclusive to people who can afford them? To people gifted with the perfect background leading them to the top jobs in the top companies?

Of course, “grandes écoles” are expensive and even before making it, students who can pay for private lessons definitely have a head start on the others!

Criticisms do exist about “grandes écoles” (check this abstract about “Les Grandes écoles, système dépassé ou produit d’avenir ?” – more in the French version) but as far as I am concerned as a French citizen and a language teacher willing to treat all languages and cultures equally, let’s admit that French “grandes écoles” definitely have a typical way of thinking, organizing, managing and running business. 

They have their own vision on how to deal with the economy and so will the human connections be impacted. And by exporting themselves out of France, they also spread – and impose ? – that vision.

Otherwise, why would ESSEC go in Africa after investing in Asia? Why would many other French “grandes écoles” hurry to invest in Morocco, Senegal or Ivory Coast (see this article in French)? By the way, let’s not forget that the age of colonialism remains a very sensitive subject in France (check here and here)…

How would French people react if academic institutions from asian or african countries would open schools in France?

And by the way, who run the “grandes écoles”? Who decide the contents? The strategy? The vision for future? How do they change – if they change -? Are the students or other publics involved in the process?

Global warming and environmental impact, consequences of Covid-19, overconsumption: we already face some of the big changes we feared the most

Do the “grandes écoles” – and not only the French ones ! – really fit to help us prepare for what comes after? Aren’t these the final hurdle which lead all of us to the present point: short term economic vision with profitability at all costs (including frequent unacceptable working conditions), damage of natural resources, etc., so many reasons “why we should bulldoze the business school”, reported The Guardian in 2018?

I hereby ask questions because I have no answer and also because it is up to you, if you still wish to attend a French “grande école”, to find answers 


6 good points about “grandes écoles”

Now that we talked about the story behind “grandes écoles”, let’s talk about how students benefit from them!

Apart from the cost, any French ambitious student would be more than happy to study in a “grande école” and here is why:

  • selective therefore prestigious, the “grandes écoles” are the must-do especially if you dream to work in hotel trade, luxury industry, restauranting, culture, art, design, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Look below how selective a “grande école” is and imagine how you will be considered as a non-French being able to make it!

  • high quality teaching staff and resources to help students: excellent working and living conditions on campuses (see example at EDHEC Lille). Students get used to networking so it helps for the future!
  • but at the same time, students are encouraged to take projects up: get involved in charities (see examples at TBS), start a business, anything to be able to learn from action! It is also easy to take a gap year in order to go more into your personal project, whatever it might be, in depth.
  • by the way, the “grandes écoles” make it really simple for French students to go abroad starting by providing them with challenging methods to learn foreign languages.
  • frequent dual-degrees provided, for example:

Let’s take a break here to name some French “VIPs” who graduated from a “grande école”

  • top executives
    • Christophe Bonduelle (EDHEC), CEO of Bonduelle 
    • Michael Burke (EDHEC), CEO of Louis Vuitton
    • Jean-Philippe Courtois (SKEMA Business School), Executive Vice President and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations for Microsoft
    • François Gay-Bellile (NEOMA), General Manager of Coca-Cola European Partners France 
    • Wilfried Guerrand (NEOMA), Executive VP in charge of Métiers and Data & IT systems at Hermès
    • Thierry Guibert (NEOMA), General Manager of Lacoste
    • Dominique Loiseau (BSB – Executive Program), CEO of Bernard Loiseau gastronomic restaurants
    • François-Henri Pinault (HEC), CEO of Kering (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.)

Click here for more


Top 10 of French “grandes écoles”

+ will you need French there? 

Classes in “grandes écoles” can be in English and French or only in English with French courses provided to international students. Basically, each “grande école” is different and so are the degrees!

Bear in mind that if you wish to get more skilled in a specific master’s degree for example, French will probably be required at to some point

See example in Skema’s FAQ: “Do I need to speak French to apply? No. SKEMA’s MSc and BBA programmes are designed for international students – they are taught and marked entirely in English. French is not required at all. To help you settle into your new lives in France, the school offers foreign students free French classes. For mastères spécialisés programmes, you need to speak French to apply.”

Anyway, if you come to study here in France with French students, you will soon be expected to reach A2 and then B2 at last, especially if you wish to work for a French company and / or settle down here. 

As far as the “grandes écoles” campuses out of France are concerned, it is impossible to know if French language is privileged in class and for which degree. You will have to check with each school beforehand.

Remember that if you graduate a dual-degree from a French “grande école”, you really can’t miss the opportunity to highlight your level in French whatever it may be due to the courses provided by the “grande école” or your personal commitment!

You will find below the Top 10 French “grandes écoles” with some examples of degrees and the language required

HEC*More about HEC & Asia, HEC & Americas, HEC & Middle East / Africa
ESSEC Global BBA in France, Singapore & Morocco
Master in Management in France, Singapore & Morocco
 ESCP BS* Bachelor in Management (BSc) in Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, Turin
Pre-Master year studies for the Master in Management in Paris () or in Turin ()
Master in Management in the 6 ESCP campuses
List of postgraduate specialised masters ( and/or )
EM Lyon* More about incoming & Double Degree Students (Undergraduate)
More about EM Lyon campus in Casablanca
20 degrees in different locations ( and/or )
EDHEC BBA in Lille & Nice ( and )
List of worldwide academic partners
Audencia Business School*More about Audencia’s strategy abroad
Grenoble école de managementMore about Grenoble EM’s strategy abroad
SKEMA Business School*List of programs and degrees ( and/or )
NEOMA Business SchoolList of programs and degrees ( and/or )
TBSList of programs and degrees ( and/or )
*You can apply to Masters in Management in these 5 Business Schools on the same website JoinschoolinFrance.com

Lets’ also add Burgundy School of Business (BSB) ranked 15 and located here in Dijon but also in Lyon and Paris. Many programmes are delivered 100% in English with French classes available to international students.


How do you get into a “grande école”?

1) Selection based on a competitive exam after a preparatory class (1-3 years)for French people and French-speaking people

After high school diploma*, called “baccalauréat”, French students aged 17-18 (check here for more about Education in France), can attend a “classe préparatoire” (preparatory class) where they will be called préparationnaires during 1 to 3 years.

*If, and only if, they were selected beforehand from their performance at school! 

Since the 18th, this special class prepares students for the “concours d’admission aux grandes écoles”. Students can choose between Literature, Science and, since 1920, Economics and Commerce called “EC” or “HEC” but students call it “prépa épices” (spicy prep? ).

At this stage, things start getting serious… 

Life in “prépa” is very stressful so it is an excellent opportunity to learn dealing with the pressure, find a good work method and also focus on working really hard to read a lot of classics. Indeed, maybe you know how important it is to be able to debate and build reasoning in French education system…  

There, students get prepared for the yearly competitive exam leading to the “programme Grande École” of 21 French business schools (and 3 other schools). All of them deliver masters’ degrees. 

If failed, they can try again twice, it depends if they are satisfied or not with their results at the written and oral parts* of the exam. Also, students from French-speaking countries like Morocco or Senegal go for the same competitive exam as native students. 

*oral part of the exam was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic… A drama for lots of students who relied on it to expect a better result!

⚠ By the way, native or not, you definitely need to be perfectly fluent in French to be able to attend a “classe prépa”. Remember that even most French people can’t make it!

Students in “prépa” are not alone. They have access to useful information and advice thanks to media like Mister Prépa, founded by Benjamin Hautin, former student in “prépa” and a team of students

To apply for a “classe prépa”, visit websites below and follow instructions

( deadlines may have changed when you will read this article!)

  1. check information on your local Campus France agency
  2. application open from mid-November to March on Pastel.diplomatie.fr 
  3. then you will have to follow instructions on Parcoursup.fr (French version only…) from end of January to mid-March
  4. after that, don’t forget to apply for the competitive exam before the end of your “classe prépa”! Follow instructions on Concours-bce.com (French version only…).
2) Selection based on gradefor French people and non-French people

French students who did not attend a “classe prépa” nor have the competitive exam but graduated a bachelor’s degree at university for example can apply to a “grande école”. This is called “admission sur titre”.

Places are limited so they need to prepare their records! Specific honors may be required so as 2 or 3 reference letters and you definitely need to prove your motivation during the interview with the jury.

Non-French students face the same process but each “grande école” is free to require more, for example B2 level in French. 

Check requirements for the Master in Management at Skema and Neoma

To apply for a selection based on grade as a non-French student, follow instructions on Join a School in France

3) Access thanks to an academic partner in your countryfor non-French people

The easiest way to spend a semester or a year (or more!) in France and maybe get a degree from a “grande école” seems to apply for exchange programs your university may have with French “grandes écoles”.

Check examples of partnerships at HEC, Grenoble Ecole de management or BSB

Psst! How about you Start French Now to get ready? ?

Did you find this article useful?

Feel free to comment below and / or share with friends!

Discover 10 French Original Tales (ebook)

Discover 10 French Original Tales

How about improving your listening skills in French?

Feel free to take a look at this collection of homemade french stories* (B1 and above): “Raconte-moi une histoire en attendant le Ramadhan” (“Tell me a story before Ramadhan comes”)

*Yes, as an aunt and a teacher of French, I could not escape my fate: write tales!

picture: Voyages au pays des contes, acrylic paint 70x50cm by Saïda Richi
  • L’éléphant qui broutait l’herbe des océans 
  • Les Wimés et les Géants
  • Au pays du roi Souleymane 
  • Le jardin sur lequel il y a la maison de Mamie Bouture (dedicated to Coexister)
  • Elyes et les bulles
  • Le Hadj gentil
  • Emna, princesse-sourire
  • Une histoire tatastrophique ! 
  • Patapouf, chien-gardien de moutons
  • Une trottinette électrique pour l’aïd (dedicated to R2S)

Download the Ebook (epub format) – 5,00€

Any question? Contact Samyra

When is the “s” in “plus” mute?

When is the “s” in “plus” mute?

Another big headache today with this article inspired by my british advanced student, Anna (thanks !)

Like I said in a previous article about “sentir vs ressentir”, as a native, you just k-n-o-w how to use the language but let’s dig more into the subject.

First, please note that we use “plus” in french when it comes to: 

  • negation: ne…plus (not anymore
  • comparative/superlative (superiority): plus grand (taller)

Now comes the headache!


We do have, for both, examples where you pronounce the “s” and where you don’t.

Let’s go for the inventory!


Plus with “s” pronounced

audio

  • When you mean “more” before nothing, “de”, “que” and other situations

J’en veux plus ⊘ ! I want more !

À plus* ⊘ !  See you later (*Implicitly: “…tard” in “À plus tard”)

Non, ce collier a bien plus de valeur No, this necklace is much more valuable

Tu en as eu plus que moi You had more than me

⚠ Pronunciation will be “z” before a word starting by a vowel (or “h”)

 ⚠ In french, an “s” between two vowels is a-l-w-a-y-s pronounced “z”: 
Vous êtes plus à même que nous pour juger You are a better judge than us
Il est plus apprécié que ses collègues People have a better opinion of him than of his colleagues
Je vois, vous voulez pratiquer le français plus efficacement I see: you want to practice french more often
Tu es plus habitué que moi au froid You are more used to the cold than me

?In fact, when you use “plus” meaning “more”, there are plenty of situations where it is possible to pronounce the “s” or not! It depends if you want to emphasize on this specific idea of “more”. Let’s talk about the sentence below:

 Je vois que vous êtes plus motivé que les autres candidats 
I can see you are more motivated than the other candidates

➨ I can let the “s” mute OR I can choose to pronounce it and if I do, it would imply that I think this candidate is r-e-a-l-l-y more motivated than the others!

  • When you mean negation before a word starting by a vowel

Pronunciation will be “z”

Il ne veut plus avoir à le répéter He doesn’t want to repeat it again

Be careful: it is possible not to pronounce the “s”!

For example, in the sentence below, you wouldn’t if you want to emphasize on the verb (and by the way, the pronunciation would be stressed on “veux”):

C’est terminé, je ne veux plus être en retard au travail!
Enough, I don’t ever want to be late for work!
  • When “plus” is considered as a noun

C’est vraiment un plus d’habiter au centre-ville It is a real advantage to live downtown

6 + 1 = 7 (six plus un, égal sept) In that case, you don’t make the connection with the word after even if it starts by a vowel!

  • When it comes to idiomatic expressions

De plus…. Moreover…

En plus…. Then / On top of that…

Pas plus, merci ! / Rien de plus, merci ! Nothing more, thanks

Tout au plus 10 euros At most 10 euros

Il y a eu plus de peur que de mal ! It was more fear than harm

Raison de plus pour… All the more reason to…

Sans plus ! So-so ( “sans plus attendre”: “s” is connected to “attendre” so the pronunciation is “z”)

De plus en plus… More and more… ( first “s” is connected to “en” so the pronunciation is “z”)

Plus ou moins More or less ( “s” is connected to “ou” so the pronunciation is “z”)


Plus with “s” mute

audio

  • When you mean “more” before a word starting by a consonant

Ça coûte plus cher ! It is more expensive

C’est plus fréquent que ce que je pensais It is more often than I expected

Nous voulons pratiquer le français plus régulièrement We want to practice french more often

  • When you mean negation before a word starting by a consonant

On ne veut plus prendre la voiture pour aller à Dijon, il y a le TGV ! We don’t want to drive to Dijon anymore, there is the high speed train!

Tu n’es plus habituée à te lever tôt le matin You are not used to wake up early anymore

⚠ This rule also works before “y” (indication of place): Tu ne veux plus y retourner (You don’t want to go there anymore)

⚠ Sometimes, part of the negation is omitted (informal) 
Du pain ? Non, j’en veux plus (= Je n’en veux plus”) Bread? No, I don’t want bread anymore

  • When it comes to idiomatic expressions

À plus tard ! See you later!

Jamais plus ! / Plus jamais ça ! Never again!

N’avoir plus rien Have nothing more

Plus du tout Not longer at all

I hope this article helped a little! Bear in mind that the more you will practice, the more you will k-n-o-w instinctively

Are there such big headaches in your language? Share with us below!

“Sentir” vs “ressentir”: big headache to make the difference

“Sentir” vs “ressentir”: big headache to make the difference

The other day, during a session with Iva, one of my students, we happened to talk about two french verbs with very close meaning: “sentir” and “ressentir”. Iva asked me the difference between them and I was like…

So I told to myself: “why not write an article about it?

Not only these two look alike when you write them but their meaning is very close! As French natives, we just k-n-o-w when to use one rather than the other

Let’s talk first about the writing. As you can see, there is this “re” in “ressentir” which is the only visual difference. Most of the time, this prefix means that we emphasize on something which will be repeated or a return on a first action.

Examples:

commencer (start) ; recommencer (do again)

partir (leave) ; repartir (go back, set off again)


BUT here it is not the case with “ressentir” so be careful…

Sentir

These are the most common meanings of “sentir” nowadays (sources: CNRTL & Littré):

1) Percevoir (perceive)

  • with the sense of smell

example: “ça sent les crêpes !” it smells crepes!

sentir bon = smell good

  • with other senses (taste, touch)

Examples: “je sens le goût du citron dans la salade” I can feel lemon in the salad

“ils sentent le vent dans leurs cheveux”  They can feel the wind in their hair

  • with intuition

Example: “il sentait que sa mort était proche” He knew his death was coming

Extract of a poem by Guy de Maupassant, “Terreur” (Terror)

Ce soir-là j’avais lu fort longtemps quelque auteur.
Il était bien minuit, et tout à coup j’eus peur.
Peur de quoi ? je ne sais, mais une peur horrible.
Je compris, haletant et frissonnant d’effroi,
Qu’il allait se passer une chose terrible…
[Alors il me sembla sentir derrière moi
Quelqu’un qui se tenait debout]*, dont la figure
Riait d’un rire atroce, immobile et nerveux (...)

*Suddenly I felt like there was someone standing behind me

2) Avoir la sensation de (feel)

Se sentir + adjectif

“Je me sens toujours jeune” I still feel young

“Il se sent vraiment fatigué” It feels really tired

3) Faire comprendre (make something more or less clear)

Faire sentir quelque chose

“Tu lui as fait sentir qu’elle n’était plus la bienvenue” You made it clear for her that she was not welcome anymore

➨ here you can replace “sentir” by “ressentir”: “Tu lui as fait ressentir qu’elle n’était plus la bienvenue”

4) Other meanings in frequent idiomatic expressions

  • supporter (tolerate) : “je ne peux plus les sentir” I can’t stand them anymore

⚠ “ne pas / plus sentir quelqu’un” is only used with negative

  • se faire des illusions sur soi-même (delude yourself like to be full of yourself) : “Tout à coup, tu t’es senti pousser des ailes !” Suddenly, you felt ten feet tall!
  • s’attendre à un résultat (see something coming)

“Ça sent…”

“Ça sent le vécu !” It has a ring of truth about it

“Ça sent l’arnaque, cette histoire !” It looks like a scam to me

“Ça ne sent pas bon, ne fais pas ça !” It doesn’t look good, don’t you do it! (= it’s not a good idea)

Ressentir

These are the most common meanings of “ressentir” nowadays (sources: CNRTL & Littré):

1) Sentir ou éprouver un sentiment profond et / ou dont on se sent conscient (feel something deep and / or you are aware of)

“Je ressens de la colère quand j’entends ce qui se passe là-bas” I feel angry when I hear what happens there

“Elles ressentent tout le bien-être de la thalassothérapie” They experience the feeling of well-being of the thalassotherapy

➨ here you can replace “ressentir” by “sentir”: “je sens de la colère quand j’entends ce qui se passe là-bas” ; “elles sentent tout le bien-être de la thalassothérapie”

Le plus grand plaisir qu'un honnête homme puisse ressentir est celui de faire plaisir à ses amis.”  
The greatest pleasure of an honorable man is to please his friends 
 
Voltaire, Les pensées philosophiques (1862)  

2) Aimer (love) ❤

“Dis-lui ce que tu ressens pour elle !” Tell her how you feel about her!

3) Percevoir un sentiment chez une personne (feel something in someone’s talk or in something)

“On ressent le regret dans tes paroles” Anyone can feel the regret when you talk

➨ here you can replace “ressentir” by “sentir”: “on sent le regret dans tes paroles”

“ça se ressent…”

“Ça se ressent dans ta façon d’en parler, que tu es à bout !” (fam.)

➨ here you can replace “ressentir” by “sentir”: “ça se sent dans ta façon de parler, que tu es à bout !” (fam.)

4) Éprouver une impression en raison d’une cause extérieure (feel something from an external cause)

avoir un ressenti sur quelque chose (sense something)

“J’ai eu un très bon ressenti pendant mon entretien avec le DRH” I had a very good feeling during the job interview with the HR Manager

Are there such big headaches in your language? Share with us below!