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A French Short Story I Wrote- Beginner/Intermediate

Hello! So, if you do not already know this about me, I like to write French literature, primary poems as of now. However, I had written a short story in French, which I thought would be great for beginners and intermediate French learners. When I say "short story", I mean it's very short; just two pages, 701 words. It's primarily supposed to be a fairy-tale-like story. This was actually originally a project, but I never got around to posting it here for people.

Also, I'm not asking anyone to edit or give suggestions for the story (though, if there are mistakes please mention them). This is just for viewing pleasure and I hope French learners find benefit from reading this.

I'm trying to start small by writing simple stories, and then evolve my skills into longer stories, prose, and hopefully novels some day. For right now, enjoy "Le Jardin Enchanté"!

If you want to view the story through google docs, then here is the link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gFh0rVLIk8rh2uU8ZrX3UeA1atm3thYffr4EQDWnDMM/edit?usp=sharing

If you are having issues viewing the story, let me know and I will just post it on the actual discussion instead.

Thank you and have a blessed day!

October 6, 2017



I saw a small error.

"Tu as rencontré avec un destin terrible. Laissez-moi te guérir, mon enfant.”

There should not be "avec" in that phrase.

So instead:

"Tu as rencontré un destin terrible. Laissez-moi te guérir, mon enfant.”


There is also inconsistency: the use of the formal and informal you in the same sentence. It should either be 'Laissez-moi vous guérir' or 'Laisse-moi te guérir'.


Ah, yes. Thanks for that notification.


Errors I saw:

Tout les choses était tranquille -- Toutes les choses étaient tranquilles

Un homme s’appelle Elias Hanse -- Un homme qui s'appelle Elias Hanse

Il a vu un grand arbre avec des yeux et la bouche -- Il a vu un grand arbre avec les yeux et la bouche

Aussi, le prince a perdu son mémoires. -- Aussi, le prince a perdu ses mémoires.

il faisait ceci par son pouvoirs. -- Il faisait ceci par ses pouvoirs.

Il n'etait pas seule -- Il n'etait pas seul. There are other parts of the story where you should have used « seul » as well. Seul is male, seule is female.

Il lui a parlé de le plus jeune homme. -- Il lui a parlé de l'homme le plus jeune. Of the is also « du » when it follows a consonant, not « de le », which I think you knew.

S’il vous plaît, tu dois partir avant que le roi retourné -- why is there an accent on retourné ?

Another possible error:

Les chevaliers méchants se le sont approchés. Given that we usually say « s'approcher DE », « se sont approchés de lui » might be more likely. « S'en approcher » is often used, but I don't think « en » replaces people.


No, it should have been 'un grand arbre avec des yeux et une bouche' (the tree has eyes and a mouth).

Also, it should not be 'ses mémoires', but 'la mémoire'. 'Perdre la mémoire' = 'lose your memory'. 'Retrouver la mémoire' = 'get your memory back'. We also say: 'recouvrer la mémoire' (recover), but it is very literary, probably too much for a fairy tale.

So: 'le prince a perdu la mémoire' and farther: 'Il lui a dit qu’il a retrouvé la mémoire'.


Ah, yes I didn't pay attention to the object, my stupid error.

Also, can you maybe shed some light on the possible error « les chavaliers ... » ?


You were correct: 'se sont approchés de lui.' For things, we would say 's'en sont approchés'. 'En' can rarely be used for people. We had a debate with Sitesurf about this, hehe. I made them change their Tips and Notes about 'en'.


I saw a few small errors (mostly gender issues), otherwise very good. So would you consider the literature your specialty in French?


I suppose so, yes. ^ ^

Also, thanks for your corrections. I feel a bit embarrassed with some of them because some mistakes I made are those I usually never make. I'm so glad I have people who can point them out!


Sorry if it sounds like a suggestion but Tobias role is more like that of a servant or slave. Or can you still use 'prisionner' in that context? Since Tobias isn't behind bars that confuses me a little.

Also I've a doubt about the articles in 'je peux maîtriser la nature avec la magie' can you ommit the second 'la' and the resulting expression 'je peux maîtriser la nature avec magie' is still correct?

Thanks for the story, it's a good learning resource and it could be featured in the Labs if Duo Stories in french arrive, I'll be glad to read more of you.


Actually, you make a good point. Everyone else in that area is a prisoner, but Tobias is not because he is allowed to leave the kingdom. So, I think "servant" or "slave" would be more appropriate.

I was taught to keep the articles of words, unless in specific situations, so I don't know if omitting it would be correct or not. But, I may need to research it.

Thanks for your feedback! I mean, if Duolingo allowed it, I would love to contribute to Duolingo Stories. ^ ^


Thanks for the corrections, everyone! I feel stupid that I made some that were obviously wrong, but I will certainly be editing with your feedback. ^ ^

Edit: I have corrected the story using your feedback, so it should be fine now. Though, if there are still things I have missed, don't be afraid to mention them.


I saw a few errors (mostly gender as well), otherwise I loved it! What is your favorite part about French?


It's hard to choose... I suppose it is the way the French language basically is. Like, some words are very metaphorical in nature, and we would never say their direct translations in English; yet, it is so meaningful. Sorry if that was confusing.

Also, thanks for reading!

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