Ask Alexa: June's FAQs

Posted by Nancy on 7th Jul 2020 in the blog in the learning french category

In English

Last month, we received many French questions for Alexa via social media. Our community members on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube were very curious. We did our best to answer as many questions as possible during the month. Below you will find the most popular questions we received in June. We hope to share our top questions every month in order to help as many French learners as possible.


En français

Le mois dernier, nous avons reçu de nombreuses questions en français pour Alexa via les réseaux sociaux. Les membres de notre communauté sur Facebook, Instagram et YouTube étaient très curieux. Nous avons fait de notre mieux pour répondre à autant de questions que possible au cours du mois. Vous trouverez ci-dessous les questions les plus populaires que nous avons reçues en juin. Nous espérons partager nos principales questions chaque mois.

***Kindly note that the questions are copied as received on social media.

Ask Alexa - June questions

Hello Alexa. I just watched your YT video about passe compose in ER verb. I just want to make clarifications on the sample sentences you gave. Jouer (to play) cuisiner ( to cook) and Marcher ( to walk) aren't these movement verbs? In that case should we use auxilliary verb ETRE?

Hello there, neither Jouer, Cuisiner or Marcher are movement verbs so they should be used with AVOIR in the passé composé. Please learn the movement verbs as there are only a few. The rest are all used with AVOIR.

Actually I'm learning French from your YouTube channel." Learn French with alexa" ...I have some doubt like...for what should I write if I want to say " je suis etudiant de française à KNC .....so can I use au instead of à..

‘je suis etudiant de français à KNC’ is correct, we would not use ‘au’ in this case as KNC represents a place and would be considered as a town. For example ‘je suis étudiant de français à Paris’. AU would be use when used with ALLER and a building ‘au restaurant’ ‘au collège’ etc… AU is used with a masculine word.

Est-ce que vous pouvez expliquer la locution « tant qu’à faire »

‘Tant qu’à faire’ means ‘while you are at it’ ‘might as well’. Though this particular idiom isn’t explained as such in the course, there are many other videos available in the course explaining idioms that we may want to watch.

I just wanted to know if it should be CES instead of CE. Because if you translate, it's something like "these are not your books, these are mine". So shouldn't it be "Ces ne sont pas tes livres, ces sont les miens?"

‘CES sont les miens’ doesn’t work as ‘ces’ ‘ce’ or ‘cette’ are demonstrative adjectives and always used with a noun and not with a verb.

I wanted to ask @alexa which tense to use when I use verb to do in English for example "he did not have" or he did leave ect.

It is a passé composé or an imparfait tense depending on the verb used but remember that you can not translate “I didn’t” in “I didn’t have”in the past negative sentence in French so you would say “je n’avais pas”. As for “he did leave” the did would not be translated either instead you would say ” Il est bien parti”

For example, se débrouiller is to manage & s'occuper is to take care of so I am thinking that je me suis débrouillé is i managed whereas je m'en suis occupé is i took care care of it. And we also have say gérer. I am guessing there is no shortcut but thought it was worth the question.

your translation of ‘se débrouiller’ is perfect, it means ‘to manage’ or ‘to cope with’ & s’occuper is ‘to take care’ or ‘to look after’. Also ’ je me suis débrouillé’ is i managed and je m’en suis occupé is i took care care of it.
Learning these verbs by heart and their meanings will avoid confusing. The ones you listed are perfect so well done.

Hi, I have a question regarding the following line of the dialogue Les vacancies d'ete. Nous avons mis une semaine pour arriver. Why do we not use prendre instead of mettre ? (We took a week)

Dear Rob, we can either use both phrases ‘mettre du temps’ ou ‘prendre du temps’. The difference is that in ‘mettre du temps’ the subject is the person who does the action while ‘prendre du temps’ the subject either the person who does the action or the action itself.

I've never seen/heard "j'ai su", only "je savais" to mean I knew, and "je ne savais pas" to mean I didn't know. When should we use "j'ai su"?

Hello, you would use ‘j’ai su’ in sentences such as ‘j’ai su que tu étais arrivé hier’ . I found out that you arrived yesterday. So ‘savoir que’ means ‘to find out’ or ' to know that’.

Web Subscriber Question: I am here again with some questions from today's (16/06/2020) Live session because I missed it. 1. Deux dames sont assises sur un banc. Please what is the bold and italicized word and how different is it used from asseyer? because of this sentence Il y a deux femmes qui asseyent sur le banc de parc.....I am confused and I have never come across this yet" assises" 2. At what point do I use les gens, les arbres or des gens, des arbres? when is les and des used please? 3. une journée ensoleillée, what does that mean? 4. {Il y a un peux froid car ils porte hier vetements.} I am thinking this isn't correct and it should be Il y a un peux froid car ils portent des vetements d'hier? right? but then again why " portent" and not " mettent" as in mettre 5. Je pense qu’il fait froid, mais il fait du soleil aussi. how about il y a du soleil? 6. il fait très beau, mais un petit froid car ils portent leurs manteaux. Alexa says un petit peu froid instead...why please? but can I also say il y a un peu froid? 7. Il fait beau parce que le ciel est bleu, mais c’est froid parce que les gens porte plus vestements. how do you use plus, I thought it means addition + only. 8. lastly, can't I say La scène se passe au parc?

Hello YAA,
‘assises’ is the adjective of ‘asseoir’, ‘elles sont assises’ they are sitted down . Asseyer is not a verb. However we would say ‘asseyez-vous’ Sit down.
Les means the so it is a definite article, des means some so it is indefinite refers to anybody in particular.
Une journée ensoleillée = a sunny day
{Il y a un peux froid car ils porte hier vetements. Is not correct so please check the support guide for the correct version.
Il y a du soleil is correct too.
Il y a un peu froid is not correct, froid is an adjective and does not work with petit instead use the adverb ‘peu’.
Il fait beau parce que le ciel est bleu, mais c’est froid parce que les gens porte plus de vêtements. Please refer to my video on Youtube ‘French made easy : plus’ this gives you the different ways of using Plus.
La scène se passe au parc: is correct

what is the best dictionary for french?

Collins Robert French dictionary

Is à used for both Feminine and Masculine before a town name?

à is Used for all Towns. They are neither feminine nor masculine

As always, be sure to watch our YouTube videos to stay up to date with the latest lessons. We also mini-lessons daily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Bonne chance et bisou bisou!

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