If you’d like to say “with” in French, you would generally use the preposition “avec.” But as is so often the case with prepositions in other languages, there’s not always a literal equivalent. There are times in French when “with” is represented by another preposition, such as “à” and “de” —or is simply implied as part of a phrase. Some examples include, “conforme à” (in accordance with) and “de même que” (along with).
If prepositions seem a little intimidating, don’t worry. Comfort comes with practice. Plus, so many are part of standard phrases, such as the above “conforme à,” and “de même que.” Once you’re in the habit of using those, “avec” may not even cross your mind. It will simply feel natural to use the standard expression.
Rosetta Stone designs language-learning programs that build confidence in speaking and understanding French. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate French speaker looking to advance your fluency, we’re here to help. Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion®
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As a new learner of French, you may be tempted to try to memorize long lists of vocabulary words and phrases. But memorizing vocabulary doesn’t necessarily pan out to be an effective way to learn French. Instead, you can get off to a great start by first learning how to pronounce commonly used words and short phrases. This assumes your purpose for learning the French language is not vocabulary acquisition alone. Rather, your reason for choosing to learn French is to develop the ability to comfortably and confidently understand and speak French in real-world conversations.
You will soon discover that there are a relatively small number of basic French words and short phrases that pop up frequently in everyday conversations. Focusing on learning how to accurately pronounce these commonly used words and short phrases will help you build a foundation. This set goes beyond familiar greetings like “Bonjour” and “S’il vous plaît” and includes words and phrases that native French speakers pepper into everyday conversation. These words include quoi, où, qui, quand, pourquoi, and comment. These French words are very similar in meaning to the basic English words of what, where, who, when, why, and how.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of French is its je ne sais quoi—a somewhat indefinable quality that makes the French pronunciation and accent sound alluring. But what may seem at first to be an elusive aspect of the language’s appeal is actually just a subtle nuance of French pronunciation. Yes, it’s true that French pronunciation can be challenging to learn. The reason for this is the distinctly nasal sound of French pronunciation, much more so than the pronunciation of English and other languages. It will take practice for you to become comfortable reproducing the distinctly French nasal pronunciation.
Learning proper pronunciation requires that you receive immediate feedback. Rosetta Stone helps you get the pronunciation right in a snap with our TruAccent™ speech engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the French language.
The French alphabet has the exact same 26 letters as the English alphabet. But some French letters are pronounced quite differently than their English counterparts. As one well-known example, the French letter e is pronounced quite differently than the English letter e. The letter e in French is pronounced ‘euh’ and you will hear it in many French conversations. That’s because the French e is used in the same way that English speakers use the sound “uh,” as a pause or as a connector to another thought.
The good news is that the French language includes accent marks that inform your pronunciation. There are five different accent marks in French, and they are: the cédille (Ç), the aigu (é), the circonflexe (â, ê, î, ô, û), the grave (à, è, ù), and the tréma (ë, ï, ü). These five accent marks often indicate that the pronunciation of the particular accented letter is meant to be irregular. There is one notable exception: the circonflexe is used solely in French writing and does not affect the pronunciation of the word in which it appears.
After you have the basics down, you will be ready to move onto learning longer French phrases that are common in everyday conversations. Rosetta Stone lessons are designed to help you learn the language in just this way. The lessons are organized to build naturally and include a practical review to help new learners solidify their language skills.
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