Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

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Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 20:06

Hi everyone,

I open this topic in order to help students fix common mistakes (I hope).

A first series of common mistakes is:
- same degree comparative ("comparatif d'égalité"): He's as tall as the Eiffel Tower (and not "than" which would be a translation of the French preposition)
- higher degree comparative: that building is smaller than the Eiffel Tower; a BMW is more expensive than a Peugeot
- preposition after "different": never "of" (which would be a translation of the French preposition) but different from or different to in British English; different than in the United States
Remember that British people tend to adopt American language (films, songs, fashion, etc.)
- preposition after "good": never "in" (which would be a translation of the French preposition) but good at math or good at speaking English

HTH


Dernière édition par gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 22:00, édité 1 fois (Raison : (improve title))

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 20:24

Please, could members who are fluent in English (persons who usually experienced traps) suggest "their" common mistakes made by French students?

Learners are invited to suggest theirs and ask questions...

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 21:07

Hi Gerard
You want the common mistakes of those who learn French or those who learn English
I am a bit confused. Thank you for letting me know.

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 21:29

Hi Muriel,

You're right, the title is ambiguous. Sorry for not having been clear enough.

We are in the English forum, I'd like to help people learning English; I rather adress mistakes made by French persons as it's the usual case for our members and it's what I'm able to do.


However, another similar subject would be helpful to persons learning French.


By the way, I wonder if I had not opened such topic a year ago (in this case, a moderator should merge them LOL).

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 22:01

Muriel,

I improved the title.

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 22:27

thank you for the new title Gerard
Hi everyone
Could you correct these mistakes ?
I play sometimes golf.
I have too much eaten!
It was the film the best I have seen.
Do you know what is the time?
Thank you

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 22:53

Muriel,

> Could you correct these mistakes ?
Did you ask me to respond? Wink


I guess my text was designed for intermediate/advanced learners.

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 22:56

No Gerard, I only want English learners to respond, you are far too good Wink

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 23:00

Muriel,

> you are far too good
You're too kind!

I'm still a learner and will always be as the more I learn, the more I want to go on, into details. I would say that the more I learn, the more exciting it is.

My aim was to become fluent in English before improving my German, Italian and Russian: I wonder if I will take up learning "my" other languages.
(I decided not to work on the 4 languages in a row but one by one: in my opinion, better to reach a good level in one language than an average level in several languages - average level doesn't fit with me)

~~ edit
As I'm writing this and checking with KrystynaD, she rather suggests to me : "to sit with me" instead of "to fit with me".
As I never heard this meaning of "to sit", I needed to check and know what? she's right -> http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/sit+well+with
tx KrystynaD! Wink

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 23:18

your are a perfectonnist, Gerard ! I only want to be a polyglot. Do you know its definition ? A polyglot is able to speak badly in all languages Very Happy
I am very pleased to see Krystyna again, Hello Krystyna \

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 23:22

sit well with someone
to be acceptable to someone. Your explanation of your absence doesn't sit well with the president. The whole affair didn't sit well with the manager.
I have never heard of that expression either !

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 23:28

Muriel,

> your are a perfectonnist, Gerard
Hm! There's a mistake in there!! Twisted Evil

~~ edit
Let's say a glitch! Smile

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  MurielB le Sam 12 Jan - 23:30

sorry, you are a perfectionnist ! I don't know the word glitch

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 23:45

Muriel,

> your are a perfectonnist, Gerard
(understood as You're a perfectionist)

Yes, I'm a passionate!

When I started learning English again (in 2000), my dream was to speak American as well as a native (the truth is that I had an American lover). I will never reach that level though I can teach many things to English natives (mainly because as a French I'm very interested in grammar, cultures, etc.)
Anyway, I'm no more with my American lover but I'm still a passionate of English.
I prefer to be at a high level in English language than at average level in lots of languages; the other languages will come later (I intend to live at least 40 additional years).


Dernière édition par gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 23:52, édité 1 fois (Raison : glitch)

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Sam 12 Jan - 23:48

Muriel,

You must know as it is a very common word.
MurielB a écrit:sorry, you are a perfectionnist ! I don't know the word glitch
I guess you already looked up in a dictionary: a glitch is a very small mistake.

In my mind (but I'm going to check) in a decreasing order, we have: an error, a mistake, a typo, a glitch.
Neighboring meanings, you could also insert: a confusion, a bug...

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Mar 15 Jan - 14:23

Hi everyone,

I would like to point out another frequent mistake which is now famous among English speaking people as it was recently made by Nicolas Sarkozy in front of Hillary Clinton (Jan 20, 2010).

Sarko is known for his poor English...
The French have to realize they often have several meanings behind a word.
It's true with other languages but English has got more words than French due to the multiple roots and the homonyms got specialized... the problem with En is that there're too many words and French not enough.
Well,
The French have to realize they often have several meanings behind a word. There's often one word when English has several due the the numerous meanings.
For example, behind "temps", there are 2 main meanings: weather like in "le temps est bien moche aujourd'hui" and time/hours like in "il est 5 heures, Paris s'éveille" (my dictionary displays 11 meanings).

Ask Google about 'Sorry for the time!" Sarko' and you will see the success of our former President, for example:
- Canal +

Halas, other French presidents are hardly better -> L'anglais et nos Présidents : grands moments de solitude. Read the article, it's worth it! Wink

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Re: Common Mistakes by French persons learning English

Message  gerardM le Mer 16 Jan - 16:47

Hi everyone,

I'd like to write about a very common mistake made by intermediate/advanced people learning English.

In English, you must not separate a verb and its object: never ever!!

- when you use a compound tense like in "You shouldn't have made this mistake", the "verb" is "made"
- the verb "to be" doesn't have an object.

In French language, we often place an "adverbe" immediately after the verb and hence between verb and object (COD-Complément d'objet direct).
- j'ai lancé volontairement la balle à sa figure (good and common French)
When we speak a foreign language, we tend to transpose everything from French to the new language (translate word by word)... this is never very good because every language has its grammar!

I repeat: a verb and its object must not be separated!

The location of the adverb: you've the choice between 'before the verb' or 'at the end of the sentence'.
-> I voluntarily threw the ball at his face
or
-> I threw the ball at his face voluntarily.

NB: Nothing to do with objects at adverb location but...
Notice the "u" in voluntarily (different to the French volontairement)
Notice the "at" preposition which implies a nasty intention (a more neutral way would have been "to" here).

That's it guys!

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