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Level 5 frustration

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I am on level 5 in French. I understand that at this level it should be a little harder but I am getting really frustrated because there are no tips and to be honest I am just guessing on some of the exercises. Why can't they give the English translations for the fill in the blank questions. I may get the right answer but I'm not learning anything because I'm just guessing sometimes. I feel like I am missing a lot. For example. I don't know when to use "ce que" verses "ce qui" I'm just guessing. Am I just supposed to figure it out on my own or look it up somewhere on line. Am I the only one feeling this frustration?

April 22, 2020



I'm a native speaker however no expert on grammar. But most of the time "que" refers to the object whereas "qui" refers to the subject (the doer). Example: "La pomme que je mange" ("the apple I'm eating") -> "ce que je mange" (what I eat) : I eat the apple, meaning I'm the subject and the apple is the object, hence the "que" "l'homme que j'aime" ("the man I love"): I love him -> I use "que" because I am the subject "la femme qui me parle" ("the woman who is talking to me"): she is the one talking, the "qui" refers to her


I honestly don't mean this in any way to be rude at all, so please don't take it that way, but, I don't understand why you feel that it's such a hardship to need to look things up online. In fact, to be honest, what I feel is that we have the whole internet at our disposal, and that's amazing! It's so quick and easy.

It's just that I remember what it was like to try to learn a language before the internet, before cell phones, and apps, all that. About all you could do was take a night class. I took night classes in French, and I had so many questions, but, well, like I said, there was no internet to look them up on. I had to hope the answer was somewhere in my (expensive) textbook, or hope to be able to ask the teacher at some point....and every student wanted to ask the teacher something, so even if I got the chance to ask him, his answers were usually (understandably) pretty quick and not very thorough. So....like I said, I don't mean to be rude, but, to me, it's amazing to be able to look all this information up, so quickly and easily, and find so many great, in-depth answers. So I don't understand why you seem to see it as a difficulty or a burden of some kind, because I think it's a huge privilege.

I look things up all the time, for my French. I have a ton of my favourite sites bookmarked. I find Lawless French to be especially good at explaining things.


I have just ventured into Level 5 myself...I understand your frustration but I also like that we are supposed to feel our way around...it is not 'studying' or 'drilling' anymore but 'discovering' and sitting with 'not knowing'...

You have worked thus far, which means you must trust the process somewhat...why not trust it some more and see where it takes you?

I personally like the shift in the mode of learning...which means all the foundation thus far must have been laid out...

What skill level have you taken the previous tree levels (gosh we need a better way to talk about these) upto? Are they all gold till now, or are they all at 1? Maybe go back and polish it up higher while you proceed further down the tree at level 5?

That is what I am doing...


  • 1240

They are all gold until now.


I see, that's great. I am still laddering...

Well I am wondering if it is not a case of needing to readjust the learning mode...(that is without knowing for sure how effective their new method is, as I am only starting down level 5 and the first few skills I have liked thus far).

To me this feels like learning to ride a horse on a different gait...you know, you have learned to walk the horse, may be now trot...same horse, but different challenge of being seated on it...

GL and keep at it! Already I think it helps to ask for help (even though we are not always sure, it is given, and by your asking this question, I too learnt something from Angus' explanation)...

So we all win!

Bonne chance and we can compare notes as we proceed down Level 5...

Off to the deep end (waves sword like Mel Gibson in one of those Celtic war movies)


Le fait de deviner ce qu'il faut répondre à la question d'un exercice ne doit pas te frustrer, au contraire !

C'est plutôt encourageant pour toi, car cela montre que tu as acquis les mécanismes essentiels de formation des phrases en français, ce qui est bien le but d'un tel apprentissage ! :)

Pour tenter de palier à la frustration que tu décris, tu peux peut-être essayer de trouver un site internet (français facile, ou un site du même genre) pour réaliser des exercices de grammaire. Ou même rechercher un livre de grammaire :)

De cette façon, tu verras plus en détaille le fonctionnement de la grammaire, et tu combleras certainement ton désir d'apprendre ^^


i recommend 'french grammar in context' by margaret jubb for understanding some of these points


To get around the grammar concepts (which isn't necessarily a good idea, but...) there's a little rule of thumb.

  • que usually comes before a noun or pronoun.

  • qui usually comes before a verb.


Level 5 is terrible. Just picky grammar rules. Unless you plan to write a French novel it's useless and only serves to frustrate and discourage. Unnecessarily long sentences of little practical value. I wish they'd hit us hard with expanding vocabulary using simple sentences then work up at the bottom of the tree. Why are they still using lion as an animal? I'd like to know names of a lot more animals at this point. I have 648 crowns. Use different nouns as examples. Yes, level 5 is useless for learning.

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