A-Level French Grammar

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beyknowles
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#1
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#1
Hello. I have recently started AS French (WJEC if that matters) and I am slightly worried. I am having problems with grammar. In my GCSE revision book and my AS textbook there are sections specifically for grammar and we have also been recommended a few sites to help us. But, I just now how to take it all in? I feel like I need to get the grammar side sorted ASAP because it's really important but I've tried writing things down like the tables for du/de/des and le/la/les etc. and it doesn't stick at all. I study a page or 2 and fully understand it then the next day I can't remember anything. What scares me the most is the amount of tenses we have to learn.. I can't even form the present tense properly..

If someone can help me/give me advice that would be great!!!!
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lilymoran
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#2
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#2
OK, there is no short cut to language learning. It is hard slog.

Years ago there was research done about how much work needs to go into learning a new word or phrase. The result was - you need to have met it 30 times before you will remember it. So, you need to walk up and down saying each new word ( and english equivalent) 30 times before you'll know it. The advantage is that you'll have perfected the pronunciation by then too.

French IS irregular verbs. You must know them all perfectly. Again no short cut . Repeat them out loud with the English, until you know them . My mother spent hours testing me everyday. I did Latin, then French then German and started Spanish at Uni. So off you go...... je vais - I go, I am going, tu vas, il va nous allons vous allez ils vont: je suis tu es il est nous sommes vous etes ils sont... The present is actually the most difficult of the tenses because it tends to have the most changeable bits.


For language learning little and often is the key. So half an hour in the morning, before school or on the way, going over your vocabulary ( you have got a vocab, book with every new word or phrase you've met in it?)

Half an hour doing irregular verbs and grammar ie learning the examples in the grammar section. EVERYDAY.

Then the next day you go over what you did the day before and start the new stuff. The next day you go over the stuff you did the day before and the day before and the new stuff etc.

Yes it's boring : the problem is concentrating on what you're saying - the mind tends to wander after the first 20 time of repetition ........

Though you can revise just before a language exam most of the work has to be done in the weeks, months , years even before. This is however a certain advantage and should give you confidence if you've worked properly all year.
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Anna Schoon
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#3
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#3
(Original post by beyknowles)
Hello. I have recently started AS French (WJEC if that matters) and I am slightly worried. I am having problems with grammar. In my GCSE revision book and my AS textbook there are sections specifically for grammar and we have also been recommended a few sites to help us. But, I just now how to take it all in? I feel like I need to get the grammar side sorted ASAP because it's really important but I've tried writing things down like the tables for du/de/des and le/la/les etc. and it doesn't stick at all. I study a page or 2 and fully understand it then the next day I can't remember anything. What scares me the most is the amount of tenses we have to learn.. I can't even form the present tense properly..

If someone can help me/give me advice that would be great!!!!
This is a classic problem with French students in the Sixth Form - you are not alone, I can assure you!

You are absolutely right to say that grammar needs to be sorted out as soon as possible - it really is more than half the battle up to A2. There are two parts to the grammar: on the one hand you have to understand what is going on, on the other you have to practise, practise and practise. The key is repetition so that the structures become so familiar that you can get there without thinking.

I always recommend this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essential-Fr.../dp/095706120X . I use it with my own students and they say it is really good. If you get it, I suggest that you do the whole first chapter first - this covers grammar basics (eg main clause / subordinate clause; adjective / adverb; direct object / indirect object etc.) and all the exercises relating to this chapter. Then move on to verbs and tenses and any other sections that you are covering in class or that are bothering you. The answers to the exercises often have extra notes and comments highlighting areas where the most common mistakes are made, so you have half a chance of actually understanding where you've gone wrong if you have made a mistake.
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LkMa
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#4
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#4
(Original post by beyknowles)
Hello. I have recently started AS French (WJEC if that matters) and I am slightly worried. I am having problems with grammar. In my GCSE revision book and my AS textbook there are sections specifically for grammar and we have also been recommended a few sites to help us. But, I just now how to take it all in? I feel like I need to get the grammar side sorted ASAP because it's really important but I've tried writing things down like the tables for du/de/des and le/la/les etc. and it doesn't stick at all. I study a page or 2 and fully understand it then the next day I can't remember anything. What scares me the most is the amount of tenses we have to learn.. I can't even form the present tense properly..

If someone can help me/give me advice that would be great!!!!
What you have to understand is that French is very different from English. The way your brain is used to construct sentences on a grammatical level would not work, so you need to get used to that first and foremost. If I had one advice to give you to better your French is simply to practice, over and over again. There is no secret, magic trick that will make it easy. Just hard work and follow the tips your professor gives you. On a personal note, when i was learning English what helped me a lot was to watch movies in english with english subtitles. That made me realize how different "academic" english was different from the real thing. Try watching your favourite DVD in french and see if by the end of the movie you didn't learn a thing or two. Good luck.
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beyknowles
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#5
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#5
(Original post by pickup)
OK, there is no short cut to language learning. It is hard slog.

Years ago there was research done about how much work needs to go into learning a new word or phrase. The result was - you need to have met it 30 times before you will remember it. So, you need to walk up and down saying each new word ( and english equivalent) 30 times before you'll know it. The advantage is that you'll have perfected the pronunciation by then too.

French IS irregular verbs. You must know them all perfectly. Again no short cut . Repeat them out loud with the English, until you know them . My mother spent hours testing me everyday. I did Latin, then French then German and started Spanish at Uni. So off you go...... je vais - I go, I am going, tu vas, il va nous allons vous allez ils vont: je suis tu es il est nous sommes vous etes ils sont... The present is actually the most difficult of the tenses because it tends to have the most changeable bits.


For language learning little and often is the key. So half an hour in the morning, before school or on the way, going over your vocabulary ( you have got a vocab, book with every new word or phrase you've met in it?)

Half an hour doing irregular verbs and grammar ie learning the examples in the grammar section. EVERYDAY.

Then the next day you go over what you did the day before and start the new stuff. The next day you go over the stuff you did the day before and the day before and the new stuff etc.

Yes it's boring : the problem is concentrating on what you're saying - the mind tends to wander after the first 20 time of repetition ........

Though you can revise just before a language exam most of the work has to be done in the weeks, months , years even before. This is however a certain advantage and should give you confidence if you've worked properly all year.
(Original post by Anna Schoon)
This is a classic problem with French students in the Sixth Form - you are not alone, I can assure you!

You are absolutely right to say that grammar needs to be sorted out as soon as possible - it really is more than half the battle up to A2. There are two parts to the grammar: on the one hand you have to understand what is going on, on the other you have to practise, practise and practise. The key is repetition so that the structures become so familiar that you can get there without thinking.

I always recommend this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essential-Fr.../dp/095706120X . I use it with my own students and they say it is really good. If you get it, I suggest that you do the whole first chapter first - this covers grammar basics (eg main clause / subordinate clause; adjective / adverb; direct object / indirect object etc.) and all the exercises relating to this chapter. Then move on to verbs and tenses and any other sections that you are covering in class or that are bothering you. The answers to the exercises often have extra notes and comments highlighting areas where the most common mistakes are made, so you have half a chance of actually understanding where you've gone wrong if you have made a mistake.
(Original post by LkMa)
What you have to understand is that French is very different from English. The way your brain is used to construct sentences on a grammatical level would not work, so you need to get used to that first and foremost. If I had one advice to give you to better your French is simply to practice, over and over again. There is no secret, magic trick that will make it easy. Just hard work and follow the tips your professor gives you. On a personal note, when i was learning English what helped me a lot was to watch movies in english with english subtitles. That made me realize how different "academic" english was different from the real thing. Try watching your favourite DVD in french and see if by the end of the movie you didn't learn a thing or two. Good luck.
thanks everyone!!!
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coralinemetz
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#6
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#6
hello, I'm french and when I started to learn grammar and conjuction at school I found it really difficult so I understand you and I don't know how french learners get it tbh but now, if you want to get the le/la/les and du/da/des and the others you'll have to practice it all the time! if you want to, we can get in touch and I can help you with that cause my career plan is to be a french teacher in the uk so that'd be a good thing for both of us
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beyknowles
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#7
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#7
(Original post by coralinemetz)
hello, I'm french and when I started to learn grammar and conjuction at school I found it really difficult so I understand you and I don't know how french learners get it tbh but now, if you want to get the le/la/les and du/da/des and the others you'll have to practice it all the time! if you want to, we can get in touch and I can help you with that cause my career plan is to be a french teacher in the uk so that'd be a good thing for both of us
merci pour le response et bonne chance pour l'avenir! (as you can probably tell I'm currently a beginner).
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Lulu24
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#8
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#8
(Original post by beyknowles)
Hello. I have recently started AS French (WJEC if that matters) and I am slightly worried. I am having problems with grammar. In my GCSE revision book and my AS textbook there are sections specifically for grammar and we have also been recommended a few sites to help us. But, I just now how to take it all in? I feel like I need to get the grammar side sorted ASAP because it's really important but I've tried writing things down like the tables for du/de/des and le/la/les etc. and it doesn't stick at all. I study a page or 2 and fully understand it then the next day I can't remember anything. What scares me the most is the amount of tenses we have to learn.. I can't even form the present tense properly..

If someone can help me/give me advice that would be great!!!!
this is the exact same problem i have
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coralinemetz
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#9
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#9
(Original post by beyknowles)
merci pour le response et bonne chance pour l'avenir! (as you can probably tell I'm currently a beginner).
No! if you did it without google translate that's very good! (la réponse) but that was the only mistake! if that helps you, most of the words ending with an "e" are feminine
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beyknowles
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#10
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#10
(Original post by coralinemetz)
No! if you did it without google translate that's very good! (la réponse) but that was the only mistake! if that helps you, most of the words ending with an "e" are feminine
thanks haha, I guessed the word for response and the gender lmao (-:
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coralinemetz
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#11
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#11
and you're right haha now you're ready for your exams ^^
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