Questions for French native speakers/French language educators~ =)

Salut! Hello my dearest French native speakers, educators on Duolingo! Thank you as always for kindly helping out French learners!

Could I borrow your brain for a moment please? Am just curious. Have the following somewhat burning questions for you folks.

Many many thanks in advance for your time! =D

What are the most typical, common key weaknesses and mistakes that you spot most frequently as a native speaker of the language, when encountering foreigners with intermediate or advanced level French using French to you or the 3rd party?

Q1: When speaking in French ?

Q2: Writing in French?

Assuming intermediate and advanced learners won't make obvious mistakes typically found in beginners, what are things that even people with years of French learning seem to struggle to master from native speakers' point of view?

Am all ears! =) Hopefully your valuable, insightful and candid feedbacks will help us the French learners from all over the world to improve our current learning strategies, approaches, methods attitudes and so on.

September 19, 2015


Actually, the mistakes made by advanced learners are exactly the same as those made by beginners, only less frequent.

Top 10:

  • genders
  • agreements
  • articles
  • pronouns
  • prepositions
  • asking questions
  • conjugation forms & spelling
  • tense usage
  • word order (adjectives, adverbs)
  • "tu" vs "vous"


September 19, 2015

I'm going to write this list down in my notebook!

September 19, 2015

Since you have genders and articles listed separately, I suppose the latter means the choice between le/la and une/e. Does it also include du/de la/d l'?

September 19, 2015

Yes, indefinite, definite and partitive articles are subject to lots of errors for they depend on meaning. So you have to really think before you pick the right one, until it becomes automatic.

September 20, 2015

The reason I ask is, I'm not used to thinkin of de as article/part of article. I've always thought of it as a preposition that is used to create partitive meaning with articles. Does that make sense? Well anyway, learning to use it is what counts :D

September 20, 2015

It does make sense and I agree.

Actually "du" (de+le), "des" (de+les), "au" (à+le) and "aux" (à+les) are called "articles définis contractés" only because they are made of a preposition (de or à) + an article, and contracted for euphony reasons.

But "de la", "de l' ", "à la" and "à l' " are not taught as "articles" to French pupils.
Actually, the big family of "determiners" has sub-groups, of which "articles": définis (un, une, des), indéfinis (le, la, l', les) and définis contractés (du, des, au, aux).

September 20, 2015
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