French grammar notes available here.

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qwertyuiop1993
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#1
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#1
Hi, I thought I'd upload some of my grammar notes from my first year of university that I've started typing up/elaborating in case they might be of use to some people.

So far I've uploaded:

  • C'est vs il est.
  • Various points about agreement in the compound tenses (agreement with pronominals (including reflexives), with verbs of perception, with the causative)
  • The subjunctive
  • The perfect tense vs the imperfect tense


EDIT: I would advise anyone who downloaded the Perfect vs Imperfect notes before the 27th of December to download the new ones, I made some really silly mistakes.
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Giant
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#2
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#2
Really useful and a nice, straightforward layout.

Merci beaucoup
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qwertyuiop1993
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Giant)
Really useful and a nice, straightforward layout.

Merci beaucoup
You're welcome

If you have any queries about what I wrote feel free to PM me (or if you just want to ask something about French grammar in general I'd be happy to see if I can help)


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Gales
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#4
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#4
Merci! I'll use this when I start my grammar at university.
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raxatax
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#5
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#5
Thanks for this, really helpful!. May I ask what uni you're at (I'm thinking of applying for French)?
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qwertyuiop1993
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#6
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#6
(Original post by raxatax)
Thanks for this, really helpful!. May I ask what uni you're at (I'm thinking of applying for French)?
No problem!

I'm going into my second year (!) at Oxford this October. If you have any questions about applying for languages I'd be happy to talk about how I found the whole process.


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Nathanielle
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#7
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#7
I know, I am not that precise here(no great idea of grammar, as I learned French not only out of books) but of course you can use c'est for a profession, it is would just mean:
- That is a journalist. (C'est un journaliste. Il faut dire un, parceque si non la phrase n'avait pas de sense. -> You would naver say in English: That is journalist, either. )
- He is a journalist. (Il est journaliste/Il travaille comme journaliste.)
It has a lot to do with the right translation/meaning of il and ce, than with a strict application of the grammar rules. When you mean "He", you can simply say "Il", in that case "C'est" could be only used by a snob from the nobility in the middle age.

My French and English are both not perfect, definitely not and at the end of your studies you will speak much better than me and grammar rules are allways developing and underly also a certain pedadogy, but don't take them allways 1:1 to not learning false things and neglect the meaning (which will make it easier for you with the time).

I hope I created no confusion.
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qwertyuiop1993
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Nathanielle)
I know, I am not that precise here(no great idea of grammar, as I learned French not only out of books) but of course you can use c'est for a profession, it is would just mean:
- That is a journalist. (C'est un journaliste. Il faut dire un, parceque si non la phrase n'avait pas de sense. -> You would naver say in English: That is journalist, either. )
- He is a journalist. (Il est journaliste/Il travaille comme journaliste.)
It has a lot to do with the right translation/meaning of il and ce, than with a strict application of the grammar rules. When you mean "He", you can simply say "Il", in that case "C'est" could be only used by a snob from the nobility in the middle age.

My French and English are both not perfect, definitely not and at the end of your studies you will speak much better than me and grammar rules are allways developing and underly also a certain pedadogy, but don't take them allways 1:1 to not learning false things and neglect the meaning (which will make it easier for you with the time).

I hope I created no confusion.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on the pdf - what I should have stated is that c'est is used for professions when the profession is in the form of a noun, like, "C'est un ingénieur". The point about using il est with professions ONLY applies to phrases when the article is deleted, such as, "Il est ingénieur". When the article is present, then, as you say, c'est is used.
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qwertyuiop1993
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#9
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#9
Anyone who has downloaded the pdf I would recommend downloading the updated one. Nathanielle helpfully pointed out that my explanation for c'est/il est with professions was not very clear.
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qwertyuiop1993
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#10
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#10
The pdf on agreement in compound tenses has been slightly revised to give some examples using other tenses, not just the passé composé.
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emanuela15
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#11
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#11
Merci beacoup
:d
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raxatax
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#12
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#12
(Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
No problem!

I'm going into my second year (!) at Oxford this October. If you have any questions about applying for languages I'd be happy to talk about how I found the whole process.


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Perfect- I'm currently doing English Literature and as much as I enjoy it I do sometimes find it quite hard. As part of the French degree, I was just wondering how challenging the literature is at Oxford at and also whether the workload is stressful and too much to handle?
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qwertyuiop1993
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#13
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#13
(Original post by raxatax)
Perfect- I'm currently doing English Literature and as much as I enjoy it I do sometimes find it quite hard. As part of the French degree, I was just wondering how challenging the literature is at Oxford at and also whether the workload is stressful and too much to handle?
The literature for languages is probably as tough as studying English Literature at university. You're expected to analyse texts/periods in depth and use secondary reading appropriately. It is hard for almost everyone, but it's also very enjoyable.

Don't worry - I found English Lit. A level hard too, but that doesn't mean you won't do well at degree level. In what way do you find it hard?

The workload is intense, but manageable - last year I had an essay and a few translations a week as well as a summary exercise every fortnight. I also had collections at the start of the second and third terms (two 3 hour exams - one in the morning, one in the afternoon) which test your knowledge of the previous term's work. It sounds horrible but it's actually very beneficial to get exam practice and you get one to one feedback - it's all very personal.

Many people I know managed to keep up with the workload while doing many other things - be that through societies/charities or just getting ****ed so it's not all work and no play.
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Nathanielle
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#14
(Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
...

The workload is intense, but manageable - last year I had an essay and a few translations a week as well as a summary exercise every fortnight. I also had collections at the start of the second and third terms (two 3 hour exams - one in the morning, one in the afternoon) which test your knowledge of the previous term's work. It sounds horrible but it's actually very beneficial to get exam practice and you get one to one feedback - it's all very personal. ...
Sounds great, as it is very difficult to learn a language in short time to a very high level, when you would not practise that lot. (At least you don't have to do it by yourself, but you are doing it all together.)

What is a summary exercise? At what level do you start with the language?
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qwertyuiop1993
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Nathanielle)
Sounds great, as it is very difficult to learn a language in short time to a very high level, when you would not practise that lot. (At least you don't have to do it by yourself, but you are doing it all together.)

What is a summary exercise? At what level do you start with the language?
A summary exercise is just when you get a 800 word passage in French about some topic (normally quite a weird one with long words!) and you have to write a summary in French but in your own words. For second years you then have to write about the passage and analyse the arguments being made.

Everyone studying French has done A level and most got an A*. It's good because most people have a solid grasp of the language and the tutors don't have to focus on the basics all the time. It also means we can read French literature and philosophy and study French films at quite a fast pace.

Are you French and studying in England?
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emanuela15
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#16
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#16
Anyone know any good textbooks for developing translation skills?

Merci d'avance xx
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Nathanielle
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#17
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#17
(Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
A summary exercise is just when you get a 800 word passage in French about some topic (normally quite a weird one with long words!) and you have to write a summary in French but in your own words. For second years you then have to write about the passage and analyse the arguments being made.

Everyone studying French has done A level and most got an A*. It's good because most people have a solid grasp of the language and the tutors don't have to focus on the basics all the time. It also means we can read French literature and philosophy and study French films at quite a fast pace.

Are you French and studying in England?
French, but now left it again for Germany (I am already missing it.) But I am no metropolitan French, so I am sadly no native speaker.
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qwertyuiop1993
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#18
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#18
I've added notes on the subjunctive - they are very schematic, often only including examples of subjunctive contexts rather than really explaining, but hope they help!
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najabri
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#19
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#19
These are really great, the subjunctive ones will be particularly useful.
Just on a side note, how are you finding Trinity as a college?
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qwertyuiop1993
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#20
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#20
(Original post by najabri)
These are really great, the subjunctive ones will be particularly useful.
Just on a side note, how are you finding Trinity as a college?
Trinity is a great college It's really spacious an open and ideally located. Also we have the best food


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