Hi. I found a helpful explanation here: http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/suffix-ci.htm
Rather than only provide a link, it would be more helpful to provide a short answer, with the link as further reading. A few reasons: Web pages can disappear or get renamed, making the link useless (broken) in the future. Secondly, the Android app doesn't make the URL a hyperlInk, so it can't be simply clicked. And the Android app doesn't allow the text in comments to be selected, so the URL can't be copied & pasted in the browser. (5 Mar 2014). I've provided feedback to DL about the app issues. In this case, it would have been simple to state that the suffix -ci means "here", and add the URL.
This is correct. Also worth mentioning as a corollory is la means "there". These proximative markers can refer to space or time.
Donne-moi ce crayon la - (the one on the table). ce crayon ci (the one in your hand)
Raconte-moi de ce fois la (tell me about that occaision, back then). ce fois ci (tell me about this time, the most recent)
My understanding is that "Je veux manger moins ce mois" could mean "I want to eat less this month" or, "I want to eat less that month" because "ce" has both meanings. The "ci" eliminates the ambiguity, you want to eat less in the month you are currently in.
We do something similar in English, though only for emphasis. "This book here is the best book on the subject".
Because by adding -ci then there is no question about it meaning "that". It also helps us learn a new way of being more specific.
It is just like saying ceci, cela is more specific than saying ce. A handy thing to know should there ever be a case when you are trying to confirm you mean something closer to you than something farther away.
Remember that native speakers of a language didn't learn from a textbook, and that languages themselves evolve through the use of those who speak them. This is just one of a multitude of expressions that must simply be accepted as being commonly used, even if it isn't the simplest or most logical form to a non-native speaker. To me, that's part of what makes any language interesting and challenging. If you want a more logical, scientifically-devised language to learn, try studying one of the artificially created "universal" languages, like Esperanto. But good luck finding anyone to speak it with!
My personal opinion, I have tried three different French learning applications, Duolingo, Babel, and Rosetta. The last two cost a lot of money and the quality of learning didn't hold a candle to Duo. I get frustrated with some issues on Duo but I still think it's the best app on the market! The only thing I would add would be more helpful grammar hints like for each lesson to provide critical language rules that apply to the information we are about to learn.
I would say that the way Duolingo constructs sentences and punishes "close answers" causes quite a bit of angst. I read on one post where the person suggested that Duolingo provides a 'tough love approach' to help a person learn. I suggest they are simply anal in their teaching approach. But then you get what you pay for.
I still get frustrated when I keep getting knocked out, but I can see that by continuing to retry I am getting better. I think the DL is really a great product. I have tried Rosetta stone and I believe that this is far and away a better product. Learning another language is a real challenge.
Duo is, if not the, one of the best learning "guides" for a new language one wants to learn :)
the audio is not that bad. Some are plain incomprehensible, BUT Duo is still very good...remember, this is also a FREE app, so it
s very fine :) But the frustration comes although it also goes away when you get the hang of it :D good luck tall!
@NickM98, what I have found to make learning fun and progressive is if I encounter a lesson that proves confusing, I do not move on to the next one but I spend the next few visits to this site doing practice exercises. They not only help me revise things I learned a while ago and was beginning to forget, but they also help me reinforce the lessons that were proving tricky. Doing a practice exercise also gives me the opportunity to read different discussions on topics that confused me and help clarify things for me. About.com is also a great resource for helping explain a lot of the nuances of the language, if the discussions do not answer your questions in a timely manner.
I understand that adding a, ce, to the end of a word accentuates the fact that it is this or the closer of more than one thing, even though that word is, as far as I can tell, always prefaced by the word, this. Now in this case, does it make sense to put it after the word month. When your in a month, one, this, covers it I would think.
When I took French in college, my professor and other students told me I had a natural Parisian accent. However, I have never pronounced "in" the same way as "en" or "an". The way I pronounce the "in" in vin is very different from how I say the "en" and "an" in enfant.
Newdelly at the following Forvo links pronounces the two words the way I do:
I am not aware that MsBot may have a Parisian accent, being Parisian myself.
What I can say is that "in/ain/ein" and "an/en" are not even close (the latter with a more open mouth/chin down).
The nasal sounds that can be merged in Paris are rather "un" and "in", with "un lundi" pronounced as "in lindi".
From one region to the other, within France, diphthongs can sound different, as well as some vowel sounds:
- moins, [mw-inh] can be heard as [mw-èng] in the south again.
- jaune or rose, with ô, like more, can be pronounced like lot, in the south.
But then, it is very difficult to imitate sounds in writing!
I don't think the DL computer has a reliable French accent. I can't count the number of times I have had to double check my pronunciation of simple words on Forvo and Larousse because it said something that made no sense to me and made me second guess my own pronunciation. Each time, it turned out that others were complaining about the same thing that bothered me.
Ce by itself could mean "this" or "that". So imagine someone sharing the following:
I started exercising in December and I lost 12 pounds in that month. I saw Jane this month and she could hardly recognize me.
Because I have not yet covered past tense, I used Reverso.net to help me translate that so I apologize if there are errors in translation as I do not have the skills to detect them. This is what I got as the translation:
J'ai commencé à exercer en décembre et j'ai perdu 12 livres ce mois. J'ai vu Jane ce mois et elle pourrait à peine me reconnaître.
If you look at the second sentence, it is hard to know that ce is referring to January (this month) not December (that month) because both statements--namely, this month and that month--translate as ce mois. So to make it clearer that second sentence's ce is referring to this current month, you would add -ci, which makes it clear you mean this not that:
J'ai commencé à exercer en décembre et j'ai perdu 12 livres ce mois. J'ai vu Jane ce mois-ci et elle pourrait à peine me reconnaître.
To be even clearer, that the ce in the first sentence was referring to "that", you would add -là:
J'ai commencé à exercer en décembre et j'ai perdu 12 livres ce mois-là. J'ai vu Jane ce mois-ci et elle pourrait à peine me reconnaître.
So in essence, not adding -ci would not be incorrect; it just would not be as precise, and therefore clearer, as adding -ci.
Quite the opposite. You use -ci to mean current month. In my example, we are in January. I saw Jane in January, the current month. So to make it clear I mean the current month, when referring to January, I say ce mois-ci
Here is my example again stated in the month of January:
I started exercising in December and I lost 12 pounds in that month [December]. I saw Jane this month [current month, i.e. January] and she could hardly recognize me.
J'ai commencé à exercer en décembre et j'ai perdu 12 livres ce mois [that month of December]. J'ai vu Jane ce mois-ci [this (current) month of January] et elle pourrait à peine me reconnaître.
Thank you, Andrew48. I should probably stick to the tenses I have covered lest I hurt myself trying to venture into new territory without a flashlight! That was rather clumsy of me! I will want would be future (Duh!) and that would be without the s je voudrai. (shameface)
I was doing a bit of research on this and it seems that you cannot use "the present conditional of the word vouloir in the sense of "to be willing" which is what I would like to eat less this month would imply. Here is what the article I read said:
Be careful to distinguish between “would” as used to form the conditional and the verb vouloir in the imperfect or in the passé composé to express “would” in the sense of “to be willing”:
Sous ces conditions, il signerait le contrat. (Under those conditions, he would sign the contract.)
Il ne voulait pas signer le contrat or Il n'a pas voulu signer le contrat. (He wouldn't [wasn't willing to] sign the contract.)
Laura Lawless seems to agree with this explanation as she says that the present conditional for vouloir simply makes a request polite. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/conditional.htm