The Tips and Notes File
I started French on Duolingo a few months ago, but I had to give it a break. Now, I will refresh it and get all my units to golden again. Though I have a little problem. I will use Duolingo on mobile. I realised that "tips and notes" section doesn't exist on the app. Normally, I would take a copy of them and save in a word document. Unfotunately, I haven't completed all the units, so I can't reach the rest of the course to copy and save. Is there anyone who has done the same thing and has all of the grammar notes or am I all alone in the universe? :D I can't understand the lessons thoroughly if I don't read tips and notes, so it would be great to have a file like that.
Numbers 2: Tips and notes
In French, most numbers are structurally similar to their English counterparts. They start as single words.
Number French 0 zéro 1 un 2 deux 3 trois 4 quatre 5 cinq 6 six 7 sept 8 huit 9 neuf 10 dix 11 onze 12 douze 13 treize 14 quatorze 15 quinze 16 seize 17 dix-sept 18 dix-huit 19 dix-neuf After seize (16), French starts combining a multiple of ten (e.g. dix) with a single digit (e.g. sept) to form a compound number (e.g. dix-sept). English also does this starting after 20. This pattern remains in French numbers up to 60, but notice the et in the middle of 21, 31, 41, and 51.
Number French 20 vingt 21 vingt-et-un 22 vingt-deux 23 vingt-trois 24 vingt-quatre 25 vingt-cinq 26 vingt-six 27 vingt-sept 28 vingt-huit 29 vingt-neuf 30 trente 31 trente-et-un ... 40 quarante 41 quarante-et-un ... 50 cinquante 51 cinquante-et-un For 60 through 79, French combines soixante (60) with the numbers from 1 to 19. There is no separate word for 70.
Number French 60 soixante 61 soixante-et-un 62 soixante-deux 63 soixante-trois 64 soixante-quatre 65 soixante-cinq 66 soixante-six 67 soixante-sept 68 soixante-huit 69 soixante-neuf 70 soixante-dix 71 soixante-et-onze 72 soixante-douze 73 soixante-treize 74 soixante-quatorze 75 soixante-quinze 76 soixante-seize 77 soixante-dix-sept 78 soixante-dix-huit 79 soixante-dix-neuf The same thing happens from 80-99, except notice that quatre-vingts (80) has an ending -s while the rest of the set does not. Also, notice that there is no et in 81.
Number French 80 quatre-vingts 81 quatre-vingt-un 82 quatre-vingt-deux 83 quatre-vingt-trois 84 quatre-vingt-quatre 85 quatre-vingt-cinq 86 quatre-vingt-six 87 quatre-vingt-sept 88 quatre-vingt-huit 89 quatre-vingt-neuf 90 quatre-vingt-dix 91 quatre-vingt-onze 92 quatre-vingt-douze 93 quatre-vingt-treize 94 quatre-vingt-quatorze 95 quatre-vingt-quinze 96 quatre-vingt-seize 97 quatre-vingt-dix-sept 98 quatre-vingt-dix-huit 99 quatre-vingt-dix-neuf This pattern does not appear in Swiss French, which instead uses septane (70), huitane (80), and nonante (90) in the original pattern.
From 100 to 999, put the number of hundreds first, just like in English. Notice that multiples of 100 have an ending -s, but there is no ending -s if cent is followed by another number.
Number French 100 cent 108 cent huit 144 cent quarante-quatre 200 deux cents 233 deux cent trente-trois Numbers in the thousands are also similar to English in structure. Note that French separates every three digits with a space or period instead of a comma and that mille is never pluralized.
Number French 1 000 mille 1 597 mille cinq cent quatre-vingt-dix-sept 4 181 quatre mille cent quatre-vingt-un 317 811 trois cent dix-sept mille huit cent onze Million (million) and milliard (billion) do pluralize, and they keep their ending -s even when followed by other numbers. Also, unlike cent and mille, million and milliard must be preceded by a number.
Number French 1 000 000 un million 4 000 000 quatre millions 9 227 465 neuf millions deux cent vingt-sept mille quatre cent soixante-cinq 1 000 000 000 un milliard A noun can usually directly follow a number, but de must appear before nouns for million and milliard.
Il est distant de milliards d'années-lumières. — It is billions of light-years away. Il y a soixante-cinq millions d'années — Sixty-five million years ago
Verbs: Compound Past 2: Tips and notes
The imparfait and passé composé can work together in the same sentence. A verb in the imparfait may be used as a background for an action given by a verb in the passé composé.
Elle chantait quand elle est arrivée. — She was singing when she arrived. Vous m'avez téléphoné pendant que je dînais. — You called me while I was having dinner. Il dormait quand il a entendu un bruit. — He was sleeping when he heard a noise. Je marchais quand je suis tombé. — I was walking when I fell. Être Verbs + Direct Objects
There are six être verbs that switch to using avoir as an auxiliary when they are used transitively with a direct object. These verbs are monter, descendre, sortir, rentrer, retourner, and passer.
Je suis monté(e). — I went up. J'ai monté les valises. — I brought up the suitcases. Il est sorti. — He left. Il a sorti son portefeuille. — He took out his wallet. Septembre est passé. — September has passed. J'ai passé trois heures ici. — I spent three hours here. Notice that the transitive versions of these verbs have a different meaning than the intransitive versions.
Past Participles as Adjectives
Just like in English, past participles can be used as adjectives in French.
La baguette grillée — The toasted baguette Des biens vendus — Sold goods Advanced Participle Agreement
You learned in the first compound verb lesson that participles that follow an avoir auxiliary are invariable unless a direct object pronoun precedes the verb.
Je les ai acheté(e)s. — I bought them. Ils l'ont vendu(e) — They sold it. An avoir participle also agrees with any form of quel + a noun as long as the noun is the object of the compound verb.
Quelle femme avez-vous vue ? — Which woman did you see? Quels bonbons a-t-il achetés ? — Which candies did he buy? This is also true for lequel (plus its other forms) and combien.
Laquelle des filles as-tu vue ? — Which of the girls did you see? Lesquelles de ces chemises a-t-il aimées ? — Which of those shirts did he like? Ta fille combien de robes a-t-elle achetées ? — How many dressed did your daughter buy? Participles do not agree with indirect objects, y, nor en.
Je leur ai parlé. — I talked to them. J'y ai pensé. — I thought about it. Nous en avons vendu. — We have sold some.
Verbs: Compound Past: Tips and notes
Compound verbs contain at least two words: a conjugated auxiliary and a participle. In this unit, we will cover the passé composé (PC), which can translate to the English present perfect.
Elle a vu ce chien. — She has seen that dog. Ils ont dit la verité. — They have told the truth. In both languages, the compound verb begins with a conjugated auxiliary verb (avoir and "to have" here) that agrees with the subject. A past participle (e.g. vu or "seen") follows the auxiliary.
In English, the active present perfect has only one auxiliary verb ("to have"), but the PC has two: avoir and être. Most verbs use avoir.
J'ai été malade. — I have been sick. Il a appelé un docteur. — He has called a doctor. A handful of verbs use être. The mnemonic "ADVENT" may help you remember these.
Initial Verb Opposite Verb Related Verbs
Arriver (arrive) partir (leave)
Descendre (descend) monter (ascend) Venir (come) aller (go) devenir (become), revenir (return) Entrer (enter) sortir (leave) rentrer (re-enter) Naître (be born) mourir (die)
The remaining verbs are passer (pass), rester (stay), retourner (return), and accourir (run up). Notice that être verbs involve movement or transformation.
Il est venu. — He has come. Septembre est passé. — September has passed. Je suis devenu roi. — I have become king. Also, all pronominal verbs use être.
Il s'est souvenu de ses amis. — He has remembered his friends. Il s'est rasé. — He has shaved. Object pronouns, negations, and inversions appear around the auxiliary.
Je l'ai entendu. — I have heard him. Il ne m'a pas trouvé. — He has not found me. Avez-vous vu les robes ? — Have you seen the dresses? Pourquoi l'avez- vous fait ? — Why have you done it? Past Participles
A participle is a special non-conjugated form of a verb. Most participles are formed by adding an ending to a verb's root.
Group Ending Example -er verbs -é manger ⇒ mangé -ir verbs -i choisir ⇒ choisi -re verbs -u vendre ⇒ vendu Unfortunately, most irregular verbs have irregular participles. For instance, the past participle of venir is venu.
Il est venu. — He has come. Les filles sont venues. — The girls have come. Note that participles vary with gender and number just like adjectives.
Gender Singular Plural Masculine venu venus Feminine venue venues Adverbs appear right before the participle.
Je l’ai souvent entendu. — I often heard him/her/it. Je vous en ai déjà parlé. — I already talked to you about it. PARTICIPLE AGREEMENT
A participle that follows avoir is usually invariable.
L'homme a mangé. — The man has eaten. Les femmes ont mangé. — The women have eaten. However, if a direct object appears before avoir, its participle agrees with the direct object. Below, vues agrees with the plural feminine robes because les precedes the verb.
Tu as vu les robes ? — Have you seen the dresses? Oui, je les ai vues. — Yes, I have seen them. A participle that follows être agrees with the subject.
L'homme est venu. — The man has come. Les hommes sont venus. — The men have come. La femme est venue. — The woman has come. Les femmes sont venues. — The women have come. However, if a pronominal verb is intransitive, then the participle is invariable. For instance, compare s'appeler (transitive) to se telephoner (intransitive).
Nous nous sommes appelés. — We called each other. (For a masculine nous.) Nous nous sommes téléphoné. — We called each other. (For both genders of nous.) Using the PC
Translating the past tense can be difficult because the English simple past (preterit) overlaps the French passé composé and imparfait (taught in the previous unit). The PC can translate to the preterit when it narrates events or states that began and ended in the past. In this usage, the PC often appears with expressions of time or frequency like il y a, which means "ago" when followed by a duration.
La fille a mangé il y a cinq minutes. — The girl ate five minutes ago. (A single specific event.) Les enfants ont eu froid hier. — The children were cold yesterday. (A state on a specific date.) Je suis tombé(e) plusieurs fois. — I fell several times. (Multiple specific actions.) Je suis déjà tombé(e). — I already fell. (An event in an undetermined time frame.) The PC can also translate to the present perfect for actions and states that started in the past and are still true.
Il n’a jamais mangé de pâtes. — He has never eaten pasta. Tu as perdu tes clés. – You have lost your keys.
Verbs: Past Imperfect: Tips and notes
Conjugating the Imperfect
French has a few past tenses, one of which is the imperfect (imparfait). You can construct it by taking the present indicative nous form of any verb and replacing the -ons with the imperfect ending. Notice that all the conjugated forms except the nous and vous forms have the same sound.
Subject Ending Être Parler Manger Aller je (j') -ais étais parlais mangeais allais tu -ais étais parlais mangeais allais il/elle/on -ait était parlait mangeait allait nous -ions étions parlions mangions allions vous -iez étiez parliez mangiez alliez ils/elles -aient étaient parlaient mangeaient allaient The only irregular imperfect verb is être, which takes on an ét- root. However, for spelling-changing verbs that end in -ger or -cer (e.g. manger), add an "e" to the root so the consonant remains soft.
Kilroy était ici. — Kilroy was here. Elle mangeait avec ses amis. — She was eating with her friends. Translating the Imperfect
Translating the past tense between English and French can be difficult because there is no simple mapping between the English past tenses and the two main French past tenses, the imparfait and the passé composé (taught in the next unit). When choosing a tense, pay close attention to what you're trying to express.
The imperfect describes situations, states of mind, and habits in the past. In a story, it sets the scene or background; thus, it often translates to and from the English past continuous tense.
Il allait chez lui. — He was going home. Dis donc ! Je mangeais ça ! — Hey! I was eating that! For repeated actions or habits, you can also use constructions with "used to" or "would".
Nous visitions chaque semaine. — We used to visit every week. À l'époque, elle chantait souvent. — Back then, she would often sing. A lot of confusion stems from the versatile English preterit (simple past), which overlaps both French tenses. For instance, the preterit can also be used for habits.
Nous visitions chaque semaine. — We visited every week. À l'époque, elle chantait souvent. — Back then, she often sang. As you learned in "Verbs: Present 2", stative verbs (e.g. "to be", "to think") usually can't be used in English continuous tenses. When used in past tenses, they should translate to the preterit.
Il croyait son père. — He believed his father. (Not "was believing".) Nous avions trois cousins. — We had three cousins. (Using "were having" would make you a confessed cannibal.) Using the Imperfect
The Imperfect conveys three things from the past:
States or situations
Use the preterit here to describe mental or physical conditions, scenes, date or times, weather, etc. Remember that you should never use English continuous tenses for stative verbs. In the examples below, "looked", "smelled", and "understood" are stative verbs.
Il était malade. — He was sick. Elle avait froid. — She was cold. Nous avions vingt ans. — We were twenty. Tu semblais heureux. — You looked happy. (Not "were looking".) Il était trois heures. — It was 3:00. Votre fleurs sentaient si bon ! — Your flowers smelled so nice! (Not "were smelling".) Elle comprenait mes sentiments. — She understood my feelings. (Not "was understanding".) Il y avait du vent. — It was windy. Also, when using il y a in other tenses, conjugate avoir to match. For the Imperfect, it becomes avait.
Actions or processes
The continuous past can be used here to set up a scene by describing an action or process.
Je marchais lentement. — I was walking slowly. Vous regardiez la mer. — You were watching the sea. Elles pensaient à leurs enfants. — They were thinking of their children. ("Thinking" is a process here.) Il pleuvait fort. — It was raining hard. Note that when "was" and "were" are the preterit forms of "to be", but they are also auxiliary verbs for the continuous past when used before another verb.
A habit or repeated action
Nous nous entraînions chaque semaine. - We used to train every week. Il récitait des poèmes. — He would (or) used to recite poems. Je ressentais souvent de la douleur. — I frequently felt pain. Note that you shouldn't use the past continuous here, but as mentioned before, you may use the preterit, "used to", or "would".
yes i have the mobile app too. no you aren't the only one. it is not possible because i have checked.
The tips and notes really disappear about half way through. I doubt Duo would mind me pasting them in here. It's not very much trouble since there are so few of them. From what point on would you like them?
Reflexives: Tips and notes
The reflexive verbs taught in this section are all in their infinitive forms, but inflected (non-infinitive) forms also exist. For instance, je me rase means "I shave [myself]".