Posts

Counting in Korean: A Beginner’s Guide to Korean Numbers

Counting numbers 1-10 in Native & Sino Korean

Learning the Korean numbers is necessary to read, write, and speak in Korean. In this article, we’ll show you how to count in Korean from 1–10.

The Korean number system is complex, but with a little practice, anyone can learn it! There are two different categories of numbers in Korean: Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers.

The two categories can cause some confusion, so let’s look at the differences between them, so you can learn how to count in Korean.

An Intro to Korean Numbers

What is Sino-Korean?

Sino-Korean refers to actual Korean words that originated in China or were influenced by Chinese words. About 60 percent of Korean vocabulary is Sino-Korean.

Tofu is a great example. Tofu is written as 두부 in Korean (read as dubu) and written as 豆腐 in hanja (Chinese characters).

Sino-Korean vocabulary also includes the Korean numbers used for dates, money, time, addresses, and numbers above 100.

Below is a list of numbers 1 to 10 in (native) Korean and Sino-Korean, so that you can see the difference in pronunciation and writing.

Korean Numbers 1-10

  • 1  하나 hana
  • 2  둘 dhul
  • 3 셋 sehtt
  • 4  넷 nehtt
  • 5  다섯 da-seot
  • 6 여섯 yeo-seot
  • 7  일곱 il-gop
  • 8 여덟 yuh-deol
  • 9 아홉 ah-hop
  • 10  열 yeol

Sino-Korean Numbers 1-10

  • 1 일 il
  • 2 이 i (pronounced as “e”)
  • 3  삼 sam
  • 4 사 sa
  • 5  오 o
  • 6 육 yuk
  • 7 칠 chil
  • 8 팔 pal
  • 9 구 gu
  • 10 십 ship

Remember, Sino-Korean numbers are used for dates, money, time, addresses, and numbers above 100.

Here’s an example:

If your friend asks you how long it’s been since you started studying Korean, you could answer: “나는 한국어 공부 시작한지 “셋” 일” (native Korean numbers).

This answer will show that it’s only been three days since you started studying Korean, but it will sound really awkward. The correct reply is:
“나는 한국어 공부 시작한지 “삼”일 됐어,” since you must use Sino-Korean when you’re talking about dates.

Patterns in Korean Numbers

Now that you know the difference between (native) Korean and Sino-Korean numbers, let’s look at the basic logic in the two numbering systems.

Consider this example:일, 이, 삼, 사, 오, 육, 칠, 팔, 구, and 십. You know now that this is a Sino-Korean numbering set. It’s used for dates, money, time, addresses, and numbers above 100.

Obviously, there are numbers, like 11, that go over 10. So how do you say/write 11 in Korean? Again, there is a logical consistency with numbers in Korean. You know 11 is a product of adding the numbers 10 and one.

You also know that 십 is 10 and 일 is one. When you add those two together, you get 11, algebraically, and you get “십일” in Korean.

What about 12? The same rule applies: 10 is 십 and two is 이. Add those two together and you get 십이. Can it be really be that easy? Yes!

The same rule applies to (native) Korean numbers: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟, 아홉, and 열. These are the Korean numbers 1 – 10, so what’s 11? 열 is 10 and 하나 is one. When you add these together, you get 11, which is “열 하나” in Korean.

When the number exceeds 19 (열아홉 in Korean or 십구 in Sino-Korean), you will need a new number for 20, which is 스물 in (native) Korean  and 이십 in Sino-Korean.

After that, the counting logic still applies, so here’s how you can figure out 21 in Korean: It’s the product of  스물 (20) and 하나 (One). In Sino-Korean, combine 이십 (20) and 일 (one).

Whether you’re using Korean or Sino-Korean numbers, the same logic applies when it comes to adding numbers. For a visual reminder of Korean and Sino-Korean numbers, see the infographic below!

 

numbers 1-10 in native and sino Korean infographic

There you have it! The numbers in Korean may seem complex at first, but once you understand the basic principles and logic behind these two systems, it will be much easier to master counting.

Is there a certain Korean number you need help spelling or saying? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re ready to start learning more Korean today, search for a Korean teacher near you.

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

French Greetings The Right and Wrong Way to Greet Someone in French

15 Greetings in French: How to Properly Meet & Greet Someone in France

15 Formal French Greetings: How to Say Hi & Bye to Someone in France

How much do you know about French greetings and salutations? Knowing how to approach and greet someone in France is crucial as a beginner – what better way to strike up a conversation and make some new friends?

To get you started, here are a few easy greetings in French so you can make an excellent first impression!

15 French Greetings to Know

Remember, using proper French etiquette, how you say “hello” depends on your relationship with the other person and the social setting. (Scroll to the next section for some related “dos and dont’s”)!

1. Bonjour – Good morning / hello

Use bonjour to say “good morning” or “hello” to someone when you’re seeing them for the first time today. If you encounter the same person again later in the day, it’s appropriate to use a less formal version of “hello.”

2. Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you

In a more formal setting, it’s polite to indicate that you’re delighted to meet someone after they introduce themselves, and this French greeting is the perfect way to do so.

3. Bonsoir – Good evening / hello

This greeting is used in similar situations as bonjour, but reserved for the evening.

4. Salut – Hi

Considered one of the more casual French greetings, salut is appropriate when you see someone again later in the day.

5. Coucou – Hey

Close friends use this French greeting often. You can skip the formal bonjour and use this word, or even ciao, when seeing close comrades.

SEE ALSO: 50 Inspiring French Quotes

6. Ça fait longtemps, dis donc – Long time, no see

An ideal greeting between old friends, young French people tend to use this phrase often.

7. Âllo – Hello

This French greeting is used exclusively for conversations on the telephone.

8. Ça va? – How are you?

A very simple way to ask someone how they are doing is to say Ça va? It’s a condensed version of the question Comment ça va? – How are you doing? Either version is correct and can be used in formal and casual settings.

9. Tu vas bien? – How are you doing?

Literally translated to “are you doing well,” this is a polite way to ask someone how they are when you’re expecting a positive reply.

10. Quoi de neuf? – What’s up?

This one of the very casual French greetings, so we recommend using with close friends.

RELATED: 50 Beautiful French Words

11. Au revoir! – Goodbye!

Rather formal, this is a safe way to say goodbye in French no matter the social setting.

12. Salut! – Bye!

This French word for “goodbye” is much more casual than au revoir.

13. Ciao! – See ya!

This phrase is Italian in origin, but is popular among the younger French population.

14. À plus! – Later!

This is one of those easy greetings in French that is a simple way to indicate you’ll see someone later, but at an unspecific time.

15. À demain! – See you tomorrow!

The word demain can be replaced with any day of the week if you know that you will see the other person soon.

Dos and Don’ts for French Greetings

The proper etiquette for greeting people in France relies on a few factors. While it’s expected and considered polite to greet everyone, from colleagues to shopkeepers, the way you greet each person depends on your relationship with them and the social setting. For example…

  • Les bises (kisses) are a typical greeting when meeting friends in France.

Depending on the region of France, la bise can include one, two, or even three little kisses on the cheek. If in doubt, let the other person initiate and move to one side of your face or the other. The kisses generally begin on the right side of the face.

  • A handshake is a greeting that is reserved for formal or business settings.

When entering a meeting for work, it’s normal for colleagues to offer a firm handshake. It’s also common for men to greet with a handshake rather than with une bise.

  • A hug, contrary to American greetings, is reserved for close family members or significant others only.

A hug is seen as an invasion of privacy to the French and can make someone feel awkward or uncomfortable if you don’t know them well enough.

Learn More French Greetings & Phrases

Once you’ve mastered these greetings in French, you can start to work on more conversational skills! Here are some additional guides for you to check out:

Want to learn even more French? Your options are endless! To start, try working one-on-one with a French tutor near you. Or, you can always sign up for some free online French classes if you’re on a budget. Good luck!

Post Author: Jinky B.
Jinky B. teaches French and ESL. She has her Bachelors in French, French Literature, and Psychology from Florida State University and has been teaching since 2008. Learn more about Jinky B. here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Garry Knight

Spanish adjectives personality

46 Spanish Adjectives to Describe All Your Friends [Printable List]

Spanish adjectives list

Spanish adjectives are crucial to learn and memorize if you want to be fluent in Spanish. Spanish adjectives will help you describe places, things, and especially – people!

If you’re learning Spanish, you might already know a few basic nouns and verbs to carry on a conversation. Now is the perfect time to start learning some extra, descriptive words! There will be many times in conversation when you’re looking for just the right word to describe a quality or trait, and our Spanish adjectives list is sure to come in handy for each of them.

In this post, we’ll share how to use 46 of the most common Spanish adjectives. (You’ll also be able to download a free worksheet to practice all the new vocabulary you’ve learned at the end!)

How to Use Spanish Adjectives

There are a few ways to form sentences with Spanish adjectives. Here are some examples to get you started.

  • Juan es muy mentiroso. Siempre dice cosas que no son verdad.
  • Mis padres tienen un carácter fuerte, pero son muy amables.
  • Tengo mucho sentido del humor y por eso soy gracioso.

In most cases though, you’ll use the verb ser in combination with an adjective. For example:

  • Ella es simpática.
  • Ellos son graciosos.
  • Nosotros somos organizados.

Learning how to conjugate the verb ser will be a huge help when it comes to using adjectives properly. Now, are you ready to learn some new words? Here are 46 Spanish adjectives that will help you describe yourself, your friends, and your family. (Some of these words can also be used to describe places and things).

The Ultimate Spanish Adjectives List

46 Spanish Adjectives List to Describe Personality

Additional Practice with Spanish Adjectives

Want even more practice? You can download a free worksheet here to review the vocabulary above and practice forming sentences. You can also check out these additional resources to help you learn more about Spanish vocabulary and grammar:

We hope you enjoyed this guest post by Sara from Spanish2Learn. Can you think of any more unique Spanish adjectives to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Need Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Antoine K

The 50 Most Beautiful French Words You’ll Ever Hear | Infographic and Audio

When you think of speaking French, what comes to mind? If you’re picturing candlelit dinners, incredible art, and grand romance, you’re not alone.

French is known as the language of love, and just about everything in French sounds lovely. So here are 50 beautiful French words for your enjoyment.

Some of these beautiful French words were selected for their pleasant sound, while others were chosen based on their meaning.

Beautiful French Words

Hear These Beautiful French Words:

Listen as each of these beautiful French words is read by French tutor, Carol Beth L.

 

50 Beautiful French Words

  1. ange – angel (masc.)
  2. baleine – whale (fem.)
  3. bisou – kiss (masc.)
  4. brindille – twig (fem.)
  5. brûler – to burn
  6. brume – mist (fem.)
  7. câlin – hug (masc.)
  8. chaleur – heat (fem.)
  9. chatoyer – to shimmer
  10. chaussettes – socks (fem.)
  11. mon chouchou – my little cabbage, said as a term of endearment (masc.)
  12. citronnade – lemonade (fem.)
  13. citrouille – pumpkin (fem.)
  14. coquillage – seashell (masc.)
  15. croquis – sketch (masc.)
  16. dépaysement – the feeling of being in another country (masc.)
  17. doux – soft
  18. écarlate – scarlet
  19. éclatant – brilliant, dazzling, gleaming
  20. empêchement – a last minute difficulty (masc.)
  21. épanoui – blooming, joyful, radiant
  22. éphémère – ephemeral
  23. étoile – star (masc.)
  24. feuilles – leaves (fem.)
  25. flâner – to stroll aimlessly
  26. floraison – bloom (fem.)
  27. grelotter – to shiver
  28. hirondelle – swallow (bird) (fem.)
  29. libellule – dragonfly (fem.)
  30. loufoque – wild, crazy, far-fetched
  31. luciole – firefly (fem.)
  32. myrtille – blueberry (fem.)
  33. noix de coco – coconut (fem.)
  34. nuage – cloud (masc.)
  35. orage – thunderstorm (masc.)
  36. pamplemousse – grapefruit (masc.)
  37. papillon – butterfly (masc.)
  38. parapluie – umbrella (fem.)
  39. pastèque – watermelon (fem.)
  40. péripatéticien – wanderer (masc.)
  41. piscine – swimming pool (fem.)
  42. plaisir – pleasure (masc.)
  43. pleuvoir – to rain
  44. plonger – to dive
  45. retrouvailles – the happiness of seeing someone again after a long time (fem.)
  46. singulier – so odd it’s one of a time
  47. sirène – mermaid (fem.)
  48. soleil – sun (masc.)
  49. sortable – someone you can take anywhere without being embarrassed
  50. tournesol – sunflower (masc.)

SEE ALSO: 100+ Common Regular French Verbs

10 Tips for Learning New French Words Fast

Learning new French words can be one of the hardest parts of studying French. Use these 10 tips to “decode” the language so you can memorize French vocabulary faster.

1. Look for Roots

When you can, memorize French words that share a root at the same time.

For example, when you learn “écrire” (to write), you can also learn “écrivain” (writer) and “l’écrire” (the act of writing). This increases your vocabulary exponentially. Words and their meanings will stick more clearly in your memory since you learned the whole family of words together.

2. Know Your Cognates

As you study French, make a list of French/English cognates (words that sound the same and share the same meaning).

To study, write your cognates on a piece of paper in two columns (one for French words and one for English words) and quiz yourself by folding the piece of paper vertically in half. Test your ability to remember both the English meaning and the French word.

3. Practice With Your Textbook

Most language books have illustrations of new vocabulary. Looking at the illustrations, describe them using the vocabulary you already know or have studied, and then read the captions underneath the pictures to see how well you did. Notice how the French words are used in context.

4. Three is a Magic Number

If you’re really struggling to memorize vocabulary words, write each word three times in French and once in English. Then write the French word again without looking back. Check to see if you wrote it correctly.

5. Listen and Repeat

Look for digital recordings of French words. Try listening to these once, then repeat each word in French while listening to it a second time. There are many great French videos on YouTube that can help you memorize vocabulary and also practice listening.

6. Use it in a Sentence

For each vocabulary word, write a new sentence using it. Try to make your sentence memorable. Context is often a key to remembering new French words.

7. Make Associations

Make associations with words you are familiar with in English.

For example, look at the French verb “rencontrer.” While it means to meet or find, another meaning is “to encounter.” Make the association between these two words so you will be able to recall both the meaning and the word itself in French.

8. French Word of the Day

Choose a French word of the day each day.

Each day, take the French word you have chosen to study and write it on a few post-its with or without its English equivalent. Place the post-its in places you will see throughout the day, like the bathroom mirror, the monitor of your computer, or in your planner.

You’ll see the French word many times as you go about your day, and by the end of the day you should have it memorized!

9. Write it Down

If your goal is to increase your vocabulary rapidly by quickly memorizing additional French words, keep a notebook of new words you encounter in class, in books, and in conversations that you hear. Keeping a written record of words you are learning allows you to review and track your progress.

10. Do it Daily

Make studying French vocabulary a regular part of your day.

The key to learning a new language rapidly is studying it regularly. It doesn’t have to be for a long time; just a few minutes each day can make a huge difference.

You can add even more French words to your vocabulary by studying with a private tutor. Are you ready to learn how to speak French?


Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

 

How to make learning a language easier and faster

Infographic: How to Learn Languages Easier & Faster

easiest languages to learn

When it comes to learning a new language, everyone has different goals. Maybe you just want to keep your mind sharp and broaden your communication skills in general — in that case, you might be wondering what the easiest languages to learn are, and will go from there.

Other learners might have a specific language in mind, whether you’re heading on vacation and want to chat with the locals, or need to be able to communicate with business contacts or clients.

So… why do your goals matter? The fact is, learning a new language shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all process. And the way you approach it makes a big difference!

Getting Started With the Hardest Languages to Learn

German (with its three grammatical genders), Finnish (with its complicated grammar rules), and Japanese (with its entirely new writing system) are all known as some of the hardest language to learn. Don’t let that deter you, though! Benny over at Fluent in 3 Months has a great article about what actually makes these languages difficult (spoiler: it’s your attitude!).

Moreover, often the idea of the “hardest” language to learn is completely subjective.

It’s also a matter of knowing your learning style, and your personal learning goals. Once you’ve got these figured out, you can determine the logical steps and strategies you need to take (more in this later!).

Your motivation in general makes a big difference, too! Learn more about the psychology of learning a language in this article over at the LinguaLift blog.

Getting Started With the Easiest Languages to Learn

So, what are the easiest languages to learn, you might be asking? As we discussed above, any kind of classification like that can be a bit misleading. If you begin the process thinking learning Spanish won’t even take much studying, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. There’s a lot to focus on, from new vocabulary to tenses.

Instead of making it harder than it needs to be, start off on the right foot by again acknowledging your learning style and goals.

What Type of Language Learner Are You?

Now, that you know what you need to do, let’s get started! To begin, take our learning styles quiz. This will tell you what to keep in mind as you study.

Next, with your learning style in mind, read on to determine what ‘type’ of learner you are and check out Spanish tutor Joan B.‘s tips and suggestions for reaching your specific goals.

(1) The Vacationer

Do you dream of passing the time drinking sangria, exploring cathedrals, and having a late Spanish dinner followed by a night out on the town? If you’re planning a trip to Spain or Latin America, you’ll have a much richer cultural and traveling experience if you brush up on Spanish a bit before leaving.

Language-learning goals:

  • To communicate basic needs and ask questions as needed.
  • To understand signs and announcements.
  • To engage with locals, both for pleasure and learning, as well as for transactions (in a market, at a pensión [guesthouse]).

How much and what you should learn:

  • Basics: greetings, numbers, interrogative words.
  • Key verbs (for Spanish, these include ir, estar, ser, querer, and tener).
  • Key vocabulary related to traveling and places.
  • Key phrases that you’ll hear often.
  • Any special pronunciations or slang related to the country you’re visiting.

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Carve out a few minutes in your daily routine to practice through listening. You can listen to a language tape, a language podcast, a song… anything to increase your exposure to the language!
  • Keep a notebook with new vocabulary so you can keep track of it and see your progress.
  • Start learning well ahead of your departure date, and make a timeline with your tutor or teacher to reach a level of basic comprehension and speaking ability.

(2) High School or College Student

You’re taking a Spanish class as a requirement, or perhaps you’re exploring the possibility of majoring or minoring in Spanish. In a span of a few months, you’ll be absorbing a number of new grammatical concepts, vocabulary, and more in order to gain fluency and pass your class with a high grade.

What language should I learn?

Depending on your school, you may have a choice of languages, or there may be only one offered. If you have that choice, avoid selecting something just because it’s the so-called “easiest” language to learn. Instead, think long-term — where do you want to travel in the future? Will your career interests benefit from learning a specific language?

Language-learning goals:

  • To fulfill your requirement and earn a high grade.
  • To increase your marketability in another field (Spanish language fluency is in demand in many job markets!).
  • To learn a new language, and possibly have a new cultural experience by studying abroad in the future.

How much and what you should learn:

  • The goal in high school or college classes is well-rounded fluency. You want to achieve mastery at whatever level you’re enrolled in in the areas of speaking, listening, reading comprehension, and writing.
  • Focus on key grammatical concepts, thematic vocabulary by chapter, and culturally specific information as detailed in your textbook.
  • Tip: For Spanish learners, Castilian Spanish is the standard for high school and college classes. If you study abroad, you might eventually learn a different variety of Spanish, such as Argentine or Mexican, but the goal now is to achieve mastery in Castilian Spanish, which is considered “textbook Spanish.”

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Study intelligently: stay on top of deadlines and exam dates, and plan your studying so you learn a little bit each day. Language learning is cumulative, so it’s very hard (and a bad idea!) to try to cram for an exam.
  • If you’re confused about a concept, seek extra help from your teacher. Grammatical concepts also build upon one another, so it’s important to clear up confusion before it grows. If you’re really struggling, consider seeing a tutor once or twice a week to get individualized attention and help.
  • Remember the many uses for the language. Learning in a classroom setting may seem removed, but its dividends pay off exponentially as you travel, work, and have the possibility to communicate with the millions of Spanish speakers in the world.

(3) Moving Overseas

You’re planning to study or live abroad, or perhaps you’re already there. You may have chosen the country for a variety of reasons, but one thing is sure: living or studying abroad is a unique opportunity to rapidly gain fluency in Spanish as you’re constantly exposed to it in a variety of contexts.

Language-learning goals:

  • To deepen your understanding of the culture, and to communicate meaningfully throughout your stay of several months to a year.
  • To gain fluency as you’re immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment.
  • To work, study, or otherwise participate in daily life in the country in which you’re staying.

How much and what you should learn:

  • Functional fluency: you want to have a significant breadth of vocabulary, grammar structures, and colloquial language to communicate in a variety of contexts, such as in stores, government offices, at a party, or in a vocational or educational environment.
  • Appropriate registers: polite language, formal language, informal language, and phrases, as well as the ability to choose the appropriate register for each situation.
  • Vocabulary, slang, and pronunciation differences unique to the area you’re living or studying in.

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Combine your immersion learning with specific learning in a class, with a tutor, or with a language partner. You might also consider going to a class or seeing a tutor in combination with practicing conversation with a language partner.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity for interaction: don’t be shy! Locals will appreciate your effort and enjoy meeting someone from a different place and learning about you.
  • Keep a language journal, so you can remember unique conversations, new words, and your experience in general. Living or studying abroad can be a life-changing and memorable experience!

(4) Business Professional

You’re established in your field and looking to continue progressing, when you realize that knowing another language will help you in moving ahead in your career. You might even be eyeing a specific position where that knowledge is an asset, if not required.

What language should I learn?

A lot has been written on the benefits of bilingualism, but what’s the best language to learn to help your career? According to Forbes, the general consensus is that Mandarin-Chinese, German, and Spanish are great picks. Of course, the right pick for you will also depend on your location and industry.

Language-learning goals:

  • To gain and demonstrate ability in Spanish for use in professional contexts: business meetings, with clients, or with Spanish-speaking partners abroad.
  • To pass competency tests to put on your résumé as proof of your ability.
  • To demonstrate cultural sensitivity and interest as needed in your field.

How much and what you should learn:

  • No matter what your goal is, it’s important to always start with a strong foundation. Enroll in a beginning class (or an appropriate level if you already have some knowledge) to gain an understanding of the language as a whole.
  • Either concurrently or after gaining a good foundation, take a course or study privately with a tutor to learn vocabulary appropriate for your field (for example, business or medical Spanish).
  • Learn with the goal of clear and appropriate communication. You want to be able to make your point, in addition to expressing it appropriately and politely.
  • Learn cultural habits and trends to help you respond appropriately with whom you interact with: this is a very important point that can often be overlooked! Competency without cultural sensitivity can leave a huge gap in your professional interactions, as people like to feel understood and appreciated by their business partners.

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Speak to others in your field who are fluent in your chosen language, either through bilingualism or study. Ask them for help, suggestions, and information about the use of that language in your desired field.
  • Explore various competency tests and work toward a specific one with the goal of a passing score.
  • Make sure you understand the level of fluency required for your particular career. In some careers, being at a conversational or basic level is sufficient, while in others, a higher degree of fluency is necessary.
  • Look into certificate programs for working professionals at universities.

(5) Hobbyist

You’re a weekend warrior: you’re learning the language out of love and a personal motivation and interest. You might want to build new neural pathways by challenging yourself to learn a new language, or you might have always had an interest in learning it. Whatever the reason, you’re sure to discover a whole new world of possibilities and growth through your language study.

What language should I learn?

This one’s up to you! There’s no best language to learn, so whatever sparks your interest — go for it!

Language-learning goals:

  • To enjoy the process, gain new skills, and challenge yourself to learn a new skill.
  • To experience a new culture and world of communication possibilities.
  • To one day use the language in other contexts, as well: travel, study, work, friendship, or love.

How much and what you should learn:

  • Learn at a pace that is comfortable to you. Since you’re learning for fun, there’s no need to rush. You can learn new grammatical concepts one by one, and take your time seeing the various contexts in which you might use them.
  • Ask your teacher or language tutor to incorporate extracurricular activities like dining out, going to a concert, or other Spanish language activities to build your progress in a fun way.
  • Explore literature, comics, cartoons, music lyrics, or other things that appeal to you as a way to improve.
  • Study all aspects of the language (speaking, listening, writing, and reading comprehension), but if there’s an element of particular interest to you (for example, writing to one day have a pen pal, or reading comprehension to read new literature), don’t hesitate to focus in on it! You will inadvertently improve other areas of the language by delving deeply into a particular part of it.

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Join a language meetup or other social group to have fun while improving your language skills, in addition to making new friends.
  • Explore different teaching and learning styles to find the one that is most effective and enjoyable for you.
  • Consider taking a vacation to combine learning and pleasure. It can be a great way to reinforce all of the benefits of learning the language in addition to accelerating your learning curve.

(6) Connecting With Family or Friends

You have a significant other, friends, or family members who speak another language. There’s nothing quite like talking to them in their native language, except… you don’t speak it. Never fear! With some focused study, you can be chatting with them in no time!

Language-learning goals:

  • To communicate freely with your friends or family.
  • To participate more richly in this realm of your social life. When everyone else around you speaks another language, you can miss out on a rich tapestry of humor and expression of feeling if you don’t understand.
  • To better understand your friends and family. Language learning directly educates us about cultural rituals, perspectives, and much more.

How much and what you should learn:

  • Colloquial expressions and conversational vocabulary are key. You’ll be able to carry on a social conversation and understand those around you.
  • Grammar is also important, but to a lesser extent for your goal.
  • Learn vocabulary as needed, focusing on themes of vocabulary that are most useful (for example, activities and hobbies, food, etc.).

Tips to reach your goal:

  • Watch films in the language to understand native speakers. You can start by watching them with English subtitles and then progress to just listening as normal.
  • Ask your friends and family to help you learn. A few minutes of conversation every day can help you progress and get used to their accent.

Using Your Learning Style & Type Effectively

First, here’s a recap of what you’ll need to determine:

Which Language Learner Are You

 

Now that you’re clear on your goals and how to reach them, it’s time to get started! Need a tutor? We’ve got you covered — search for a local or online tutor here. Good luck!

Joan BPost Author: Joan B.
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian, and spent time living in Spain. Learn more about Joan here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

german slang

10 Commonly-Used German Slang Words and Phrases

Take a break from your textbook to learn some fun German slang words and phrases outlined by German teacher Trevor H. below…

Every language has its own set of unique slang words and phrases, even German! While traveling throughout Germany and/or speaking with natives, you’re bound to encounter some German slang words and phrases.

Oftentimes, these words and phrases aren’t outlined in your German study books, which is why we’ve gathered up some of the most common German slang words to ensure that you’ll be able to carry casual conversations with natives.

Below are some fun, and often hilarious, German slang words and phrases.

1. Super!

Don’t confuse the word “super” with “Suppe,” which sounds almost exactly the same. Used much in the same way we use it in English, “super” is a word I’ve heard the most since learning German.

Schedule a meeting: “Super!” Show off a guitar riff: “Super!” Make a hole-in-one while mini-golfing: “Super!” Just remember to pronounce that “s” as an English “z.”

2. Na?

Na” is an informal way to say “hello.” Use it in place of the American slang phrase, “Yo, how’s it going?” You can even say it as a response to itself. Add in “alles Klar” if you really want to be verbose.

3. Naja

This German slang word is one that I use most often. It’s used the same way as “well…” is used at the start of a sentence. It gives you a little extra time to think about what case the articles of the following sentence will be in.

4. Auf jeden Fall

This is a great way to wrap up a thought. It’s also easy to assimilate, considering how similar “auf jeden Fall” is to the English phrase “in any case.” Change “jeden” to “keinen” and all of a sudden it means “in no case.” This is a very useful German phrase to add your repertoire.

5. Prost!

If you have any desire to go to Oktoberfest or any pub for that matter, you should definitely learn this German slang word. It’s used just like “Cheers!” is used in English. You may also want to brush up on a drinking song or two.

6. Fett

Fett” literally means “fat,” but just like the American slang word it can take on positive connotations. You can use it like “cool” in English. For example, “Das Gitarrenriff ist fett!” or “That guitar riff is cool/fat!”

7. Alda/Alta/Alter

Chances are you’ve heard the word “dude” once or twice. Here’s your opportunity to use the German version. “Alter” literally means “old one,” so reserving it for friends is probably a good idea, as you don’t want to offend anyone.

8. Sie gleichen sich wie ein Ei dem anderen.

This German slang phrase is the equivalent of the English idiom “two peas in a pod.” Although, this German phrase means something more along the lines of, “They seem like each-other like one egg resembles the others.”

9. Zwielichtig

This German slang word is fun to say. “Zwielicht”–which literally means twilight– is meant to describe something or someone as “shady” or “dodgy.” For example, “Er is ein zwielichtigen Kerl,” or “He’s a shady guy.”

10. Mach’s Gut

Rather than say “Auf Wiedersehen!” or “goodbye,” use the German slang phrase “Mach’s Gut.” This is a less formal way of saying goodbye, which is literally translated to “make it good.” However, it means something along the lines of “have a good one.”

Hopefully you’ll get a lot of use out of these German slang words and phrases. I know I certainly have.

If you’re looking to learn more German slang words and phrases, ask your German teacher or speak with a native German! The more you speak to natives the easier it is to learn the language and culture.

And with that I’ll leave you with one more: “Ende gut, alles gut.” All’s well that ends well.

Trevor H.Post Author: Trevor H.
Trevor H. is a German instructor in El Cajon, CA. He studied German in college and has been teaching the language for more than 10 years. Learn more about Trevor here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Newsletter Sign Up

Learn Hangul: The Korean Alphabet for Beginners

Learn Hangul Korean Alphabet for beginners

Looking for a complete guide on how to learn the Korean alphabet for beginners? In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about hangul – an essential component of the Korean language.

The Korean alphabet, also known as hangul, was invented by King Sejong the Great and his scholars in 1443. It was proclaimed the official alphabet in 1446, and is one of King Sejong’s greatest and most unique achievements.

Hangul is a phonetic system that is both scientifically and philosophically designed. To help you learn hangul, let’s break it down into its basic components.

Learn the Korean Alphabet for Beginners

Part 1: Hangul Consonants

The five basic consonants (ㄱ, ㄴ, ㅁ, ㅅ, ㅇ) in the Korean alphabet are symbolic of how each sound is pronounced physically (using your mouth). “ㅁ,” for instance, is the figure of a mouth with two lips open.

Hangul-Consonants-2

“ㅇ” is the figure of a throat, while “ㄴ” is what the tongue looks like after you pronounce an “n-” sound.

These five elements are varied to make 14 other consonants (and even more, if necessary).

Hangul-Consonants-1

Part 2: Hangul Vowels

The next step in the process for how to learn the Korean alphabet involves mastering your vowels.

The vowels in the Korean alphabet are designed with nature in mind. Follow these steps to learn hangul vowels.

learn Hangul

The three elements that compose variations of vowels in hangul are actually the traditional symbols for heaven, earth, and man. First, draw a circle and name it “sky” or “heaven.”

The smaller circle that looks like a dot, is one of the three fundamental symbols that construct vowels in hangul.

learn hangul

Next, draw a square and name it “Earth.” Each line represents one of four directions: North, South, East and West.

Each straight line becomes one of three fundamental symbols that construct vowels in hangul.

step-3

Now draw a vertical line and name it “man.” The combinations of these three elements make 21 commonly used vowels in the Korean alphabet. *Please note that modern hangul now uses short lines instead of dots.

For starters, let’s take a look at some of the different combinations of “ㅣ” and “•”.

When “•” is placed on the right side of “ㅣ”, it becomes “ㅏ” or “A”.

When “•” is placed on the left side of “ㅣ”, it becomes a darker sound: “ㅓ” or “eo”. These are just a couple examples of the vowels in the Korean alphabet.

Part 3. Hangul Syllables

Unlike in English, in the Korean language, each syllable is its own individual unit.

For instance, “banana” has three syllables. If you write it in hangul, it becomes “바나나.” The first syllable is a complete unit with one consonant “ㅂ” and one vowel “ㅏ”.

When all three syllabic units are written without spaces, it makes one word that now has a meaning.

One unit consists of three parts: the first consonant, the vowel, and the last consonant. While the first two are the essential components to make a unit, the last consonant is not necessary.

SEE ALSO: Intro to Korean Numbers

Practicing the Korean Alphabet

Once you learn the Korean alphabet, you can get practice by spelling out simple words. For example, let’s take some common English names and spell them out in hangul.

  1. John: ㅈ [j] + ㅗ [oh] + ㄴ [n] = 존
  2. Jackson: ㅈ [j] + ㅐ [ă] or [ae] + ㄱ [k] + ㅅ [s] + ㅡ [ə] + ㄴ [n] = 잭슨

Writing John and Jackson in Korean is pretty straightforward, but the following is a little more complicated.

With the name “Esther,” we’re missing the first consonant in the first unit, and missing the vowel in the second unit. For those syllables, starting right from the vowel in English, simply add “ㅇ” in place of the first consonant.

In Korean, two consonants cannot be written consecutively without a vowel. So we also need to add “ㅡ”, a neutral “eu” sound.

So, here is how you would write Esther in Korean:

  • Esther [ĕstər] = {ㅇ [-] + ㅔ [ĕ]} + {ㅅ [s] + ㅡ [eu]} + {ㄷ [t] + ㅓ [ə], [r] is silent} = 에스더

This is a lot of information for your first hangul lesson, but don’t get discouraged – no one learns a new language overnight!

If you need more help learning the Korean alphabet for beginners, try working with a Korean teacher. Korean lessons are a great way to improve your skills quickly and effectively!

Photo by Gonzalo Baeza

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

7 Reasons Why Learning Korean Isn’t as Hard as You Think

Is learning Korean hard? 7 reasons why it's easy

Learning any new language can seem difficult at first. If you’re feeling apprehensive about learning Korean, these tips from Korean tutor Bryce J. can help…

When considering language lessons, many people shy away from Asian languages like Japanese and Korean because they fear these languages are too challenging to learn. While every language has certain challenges, some languages are more complex than others.

Here are seven reasons why learning Korean isn’t as hard as you think!
Korean Alphabet is easy

Unlike Japanese and Chinese, Korean script uses a phonetic alphabet which consists of 24 basic ‘letters’ (two fewer than English).

There are 14 consonants and 10 vowels that can be combined to make all the sounds in the language.

Created by King Sejong back in the 1400’s, Korean was originally referred to by scholars as a children’s script because it’s so easy to learn!
Korean has no hard tones

When most people think about Asian languages, they imagine tonal languages where different tones create entirely new meanings.

Guess what? Korean, just like English, bypasses these complications by not using tones at all!

korean grammar is simple

When it comes to Korean grammar, it’s almost mathematical in the way that it’s organized.

Once you understand the concept of a verb stem, it’s just basic addition and subtraction after that.

In fact, grammar rules are often written in textbooks with the “+” sign because the rules really do read like simple math problems.

4

English grammar is renowned for the number of exceptions for every rule. You can hardly learn to spell a word or make the subject and verb agree without coming across an exception to the rule.

Korean grammar rules are very straightforward, and have very few exceptions. So, once you learn a rule, you can basically apply it freely (for the most part) without worrying about those pesky exceptions.

Korean is getting more popular

When people look to learn an Asian language, they tend to go for the big names like Japanese and Chinese. It’s true that both Japan and China have larger populations than Korea, but the growth of Korea’s economy and its expanding cultural influence worldwide make it the trendy choice.

From Psy’s “Gangnam Style” to the movie “The Interview,” Korea is taking center stage in place of Japan and China.

Opportunities to speak Korean and take in quality Korean-language media are multiplying at lightening speeds.

The Korean language is being used more in professional and recreational settings, which makes it even more accessible to Korean-language students.

Korean is a contextualized language

Ever wonder why the subtitles of your favorite Korean drama are so long compared with what the actor or actress actually says? This is because Korean is a highly contextualized language.

This means you don’t need to worry about constructing lengthy complete sentences to get your meaning across, since your listener already has 90 percent of the information.

So many utterances in Korean conversations consist of only verbs, like “did” or “ate” and adjectives like “good” or “delicious,” and they leave out all the unnecessary fluff that is obvious based on the context.

This makes it much easier to carry on a conversation.

Korean is easy to practice

You may worry that if you start learning Korean, you won’t have many opportunities to practice your new language.

Rest assured, there are so many native speakers who are trying to learn English that it’s as easy as “lying down and eating rice cake” (a Korean idiom meaning something is easy, like “a piece of cake”) to make friends with someone interested in a language exchange.

When it comes to learning Korean, the opportunities are truly endless! Hopefully, with these facts, you feel more at ease about your decision to learn Korean.

Remember, the best way to learn a new language is through lessons with a private tutor. Find a Korean teacher near you and start learning today!

 

BryceJPost Author: Bryce J.
Bryce J. teaches college-level Korean and ESL classes in Minneapolis, MN. He has his MA. in teaching from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Learn more about Bryce here!

 

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 

Learn Spanish Grammar: Present Perfect Conjugations

Spanish Present Perfect Conjugations

Ready for your next lesson in Spanish grammar? Here, tutor Jason N. explains what you need to know about present perfect conjugations…

 

Mastering verb conjugation is crucial to learning Spanish. It’s all about knowing patterns and formulas, as I’ve reviewed in some of my earlier posts about Spanish grammar.

If you’re reading this now, it probably means you are well aware of the importance of conjugating verbs to describe situations and events. Conjugations also enable us to form coherent sentences that specify the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ and ‘when’ of a particular action.

By now, you have come a long way. You know how to conjugate basic verbs in the present tense (such as beber, hablar, and escribir), stem-changing verbs in the present tense (such as pedir, poder, and querer), irregular verb conjugations in their ‘yo’ form (such as vengo for the verb venir), and how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the past tense, the imperfect, and the conditional and future tenses.

Next up? The present perfect!

What is the Present Perfect Tense?

While the preterite tense refers to a one-time, isolated event in the past, and the imperfect tense describes past events that occurred in a habitual or routine manner, the present perfect refers to past actions, events, thoughts, or beliefs that are still happening or are in progress, and are likely to continue into the present (i.e. ‘something has happened’).

All we need to do now is learn a new formula that will make present perfect conjugations so easy that they will become second nature. The present perfect is conjugated by using the following formula: haber (in the present tense) + the past participle of a given verb.

Forming the Past Participle

To form the past participle for an -ar verb, there are two simple steps:

  1. Remove the last two letters of infinite form of the -ar verb (e.g. tomar→tom).
  2. Add –ado to the end of the verb (e.g. tomado). In this case, tomado translates to the word “taken” in English, which is the past participle of the verb “to take.”

To form the past participle of -er or -ir verbs, you simply add –ido (instead of –ado) to the end of the word, after removing the last two letters of the verb’s ending in the infinitive form (e.g. comer→com→comido).

Forming the Present Perfect

Now that you know how to conjugate the past participle in Spanish, we can add this to the present perfect formula (present tense of haber + past participle of a given verb) to create the present perfect tense. As a reminder, haber is conjugated like this:

How to conjugate haber chart

As we move on to the next step,  let’s start with the example of the verb tomar.

Conjugating -ar Verbs in the Present Perfect

  • Create the correct participle. (tomar→tom→tomado = ‘taken’)
  • If you are referring to yo or ‘I,’ use he, forming he tomado. (I have taken)
  • If you are referring to or ‘you,’ use has to form has tomado. (You have taken)
  • If you are referring to él or ella or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ use ha to form ha tomado. (He/she has taken)
  • If you are referring to nosotros or ‘we,’ use hemos to form hemos tomado. (We have taken)
  • If you are referring to ellos or ‘they,’ use the ending han to form han tomado. (They have taken)

Conjugating -er and -ir Verbs in the Present Perfect

As an example, let’s use comer (to eat).

  • Create the correct participle. (comer→com→comido = ‘eaten’)
  • ‘Yo’ would be he comido. (I have eaten)
  • If you are referring to  or ‘you,’ it would be has comido. (You have eaten)
  • If you are referring to él or ella or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ use ha comido. (He/she has eaten)
  • If you are referring to nosotros or ‘we,’ use hemos comido. (We have eaten)
  • If you are referring to ellos or ‘they,’ use han comido. (They have eaten)

Spanish Present Perfect

Ready for some practice? Conjugate the following in the present perfect tense:

Spanish Conjugation Chart - Present Perfect Tense

Irregular Past Participles

There are several verbs that have irregular past participle forms. Unfortunately, memorizing these verbs’ past participles is the best way to learn them.

Irregular Past Participles

Verbs with the same root as irregular verbs naturally have the same irregularities. Here are a few examples:

  • componer – compuesto
  • describir – descrito
  • devolver – devuelto

Once you memorize the irregulars, which is easier than it sounds (once you practice or study regularly), you’ll be ready to go! Remember: a Spanish tutor can really help if you get stuck!

JasonNPost Author: Jason N.
Jason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Fairfax, CA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here! 

Photo by m00by

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

20 Easy Spanish Phrases for Striking Up a Conversation

Spanish phrases for conversations

Casual conversations with Spanish-speakers are a fun and easy way to practice your language skills! Here, you’ll find 20 phrases that will come in handy for Spanish conversation practice.

When you’re learning Spanish, it’s useful to have a few topics of conversation in mind so you can practice your conversational Spanish skills with another Spanish speaker. If and when the opportunity arises, use any of the following Spanish questions and phrases to put all you’ve learned into practice! Try them with a friend or Spanish tutor.

20 Spanish Phrases and Questions for Conversation Practice

1. ¿Cómo te llamas?/¿Cómo se llama usted? (What’s your name?)

This simple phrase is a must-have for when you’re meeting someone new. It can be used in virtually any situation, from a party to a job interview!

2. ¿De dónde eres?/¿De dónde es usted? (Where are you from?)

There are many Spanish questions you can use to strike up a conversation, but asking about someone’s birthplace can provide a lot of insight into their country and culture. You never know where it will lead!

3. ¿Tienes hermanos?/¿Tiene hermanos? (Do you have brothers and sisters?)

Expressing an interest in someone’s family can get them talking, and before you know it, you’ll be conversing like old friends.

4. ¿Qué te gusta hacer?/¿Qué le gusta hacer? (What do you like to do?)

This is one of the best Spanish phrases to know, because you might discover you have a lot in common, or you might learn about a new and interesting activity you’ve never done before. Either way, this question is a great way to get some Spanish conversation practice.

5. ¿Qué deportes te gusta ver?/¿Qué deportes le gusta ver? (What sports do you like to watch?)

If you have a favorite sport or sports team in common, you’re sure to start a lively conversation about the next match, your favorite players, and more. This is a great way to break the ice.

6. ¿Cuál es tu restaurante favorito?/¿Cuál es su restaurante favorito? (What’s your favorite restaurant?)

People love talking about their favorite foods. And if your conversation goes well, you might just be able to have your next chat at the restaurant of your new friend’s choice!

7. ¿Qué libro acabas de leer ?/¿Qué libro acaba de leer? (What book did you just finish reading?)

Literary interests can start a fascinating conversation. You may also get some suggestions for authors in Spanish literature to look out for.

8. ¿Qué película viste recientemente?/¿Qué película vio recientemente? (What’s the most recent film you’ve seen?)

Spanish-language films reveal a lot about the culture. Take this chance to learn about new films that are popular in the Spanish-speaking world.

9. ¿Cuándo empezaste a aprender español?/¿Cuándo empezó a aprender español? (When did you start to learn Spanish?)

This is a great way to get some Spanish conversation practice with another Spanish learner. Ask for any insights or tips they might be willing to offer.

SEE ALSO: 46 Spanish Adjectives to Describe All Your Friends

10. ¿Qué otros idiomas hablas?/¿Qué otros idiomas habla? (What other languages do you speak?)

Chances are, you’re not the only one who is bilingual! It’s always fun to see how many languages people know how to speak.

11. ¿Te gusta bailar?/¿Le gusta bailar? (Do you like to dance?)

Of all the Spanish questions you could ask, this one is probably the most daring. Whether you’re at a wedding, party, or club this question comes in handy on a variety of occasions. Salsa dancing, anyone?

12. ¿Adónde has viajado recientemente?/¿Adónde ha viajado recientemente? (Where have you traveled recently?)

Travel is a passion that knows no borders, and people love talking about their interests. Ask your new friend if they’ve been to any Spanish-speaking countries lately.

13. ¿En qué trabajas?/¿En qué trabaja? (What is your profession?)

This question will strike up a conversation easily. It also opens the door to future networking opportunities if you’re interested in the same field!

14. ¿Qué música prefieres?/¿Qué música prefiere? (What is your favorite music?)

If you both like music with Spanish-language lyrics, you’ve just found an excellent way to practice your Spanish, as you listen, discuss, and decode the music.

15. ¿Qué pasa en las noticias de hoy? (What’s in the news today?)

The daily events of the world always offer something new to talk about. This question will likely help you learn some new vocabulary words and get some much needed Spanish conversation practice in.

16. ¿Qué hiciste este fin de semana?/¿Qué hizo este fin de semana? (What did you do this weekend?)

This is one of our favorite go-to Spanish questions, ideal for use on Mondays. As you explore your conversation partner’s interests and hobbies, you’ll usually learn something new about him or her.

17. En tu opinión/su opinión, ¿cuál es la solución a los problemas del medio ambiente? (What do you think is the solution to environmental problems?)

Sharing ideas about the most vexing problems of today is an easy way to share ideas and learn from one another.

18. ¿Trabajas como voluntario -a?/¿Trabaja como voluntario -a? (Do you volunteer?)

Find out if your new friend volunteers and you’ll often discover a window into what matters most to them. Meaningful conversations create lasting friendships!

19. ¿Vas/va al gimnasio o participas/participa en otras actividades para hacer ejercicio? (Do you go to the gym or do other activities as exercise?)

Exercising together is a fun activity that can really break the ice among new friends. See if your conversation partner enjoys playing soccer, taking walks, or riding bikes.

20. ¿Tienes mascota/tiene mascota? (Do you have a pet?)

Spanish questions about our most beloved companions are guaranteed to start a long and fun conversation. Dig deeper and ask about the animal’s name, breed, size, etc.

20 Conversational Spanish phrases and questions

With any of these Spanish phrases and questions, you’ll be able to easily get some Spanish conversation practice time in. Don’t be shy – people love it when you make an effort to speak in their native language. Starting regular conversations with these tips will also help you learn how to speak Spanish faster. Now go ahead and start getting to know someone, en español! 

Joan BannaPost Author: Joan B.
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian, and also spent time living in Spain. Learn more about Joan here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Eddy Van 3000

Live Resources

180+ Common French Words (Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, & More)!

When studying any language, one effective method for learning is to study and memorize the most common words first. This can help you to understand situations more quickly than if you’re learning vocabulary from random sources.

Here, we’ll share a list of common French words broken down into seven parts of speech: personal pronouns, articles, conjunctions, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Let’s get started!

The List of 182 Basic French Words For Every Beginner

Common French Personal Pronouns

Common French PronounsPersonal pronouns are words like he, she, I, and you. They commonly take the place of more specific nouns, such as a person’s name, in conversation and in writing. See the list below of French words, their English definitions, followed by which part of speech and tense the word is in.

1.  je – I – 1st person

2.  nous – we – 1st person plural

3.  tu – you – 2nd person

4.  vous – you, • yourself – 2nd person plural

5.  il – he, it – 3rd person

6.  elle – she – 3rd person

7.  ils – they – 3rd person plural, masculine

8.  elles – they – 3rd person plural, feminine

NOTE:  Vous, the french word for “you” can be either singular or plural. When used in a singular form, it is considered a form of politeness. As a plural, it is used to address more than one person.

Learn more about the difference between tu and vous here.


Common French Articles

French Article Words A-z

French articles can sometimes be confusing for students because they need to agree with the nouns they modify. They often don’t correspond to articles in other languages.

As a general rule, if you have a noun in french there is always an article in front of it, unless you use some other determiner like a possessive (mon, ton) or demonstrative (ce, cette) adjective.

There are three different kinds of articles in French, definite, indefinite and partitive.

9.   le – the; him, it – definite article (referring to a masculine singular noun)

10. la – the; her, it – definite article (referring to a feminine singular noun)

11.  l’ – the – definite article (used instead of le or la before nouns beginning with a vowel)

12. les – the, them – definite article/ pers. pronoun (referring to a plural noun)

13.  au – at the, to the, in the – definite article (used with a singular masculine noun)

14.  aux – (a+ les) of the – definite article

15.  un – a, an, one – indefinite article (used before a masculine noun)

16.  une – a, an, one – indefinite article (used before a feminine singular noun)

17.  des – some, any – indefinite/ partitive article (used before a m or f plural noun)

18.  du – some/any – partitive article (masc. singular)

19. de la – some/any – partitive article (feminine singular)


Common French Conjunctions

French Conjuction Words ListIn order for a sentence to make sense the parts must be linked logically, this is the job of conjunctions. There are seven coordinating conjunctions, which are used to link either words or sentence fragments of equal importance, they are:

20.  mais – but

21.  ou – or

22.  et – and

23.  donc – thus, therefore

24.  or – now, yet

25.  ni – neither

26.  car – for, because


Common French Nouns

4 (2)Nouns are words that name a person, place, or thing.

French nouns can often function as other parts of speech such as verbs, auxiliary verbs, adverbs and adjectives as well as nouns depending on their usage within the context of a sentence.

27.  être – being – noun, masculine

28.  dire – according to – noun, masculine

29.  tout – all, everything, any – adj, indefinite adj.

30.  pouvior – power – noun, masculine

31.  bien – well, very good – adverb, noun

32.  devoir – duty – noun, masculine

33.  une chose – thing, matter – noun, feminine

34.  un petit – kid, child – noun

35.  merci – thanks, thank you – noun

36.  un peu – not much, not very, few – noun, adverb

37.  un homme – man – noun

38.  une femme – woman, wife – noun

39.  le temps – weather, time, times – noun

40.  la vie – life, lifetime, existence – noun

41.  le jour – day, daytime – noun

42.  un dieu – god – noun

43.  personne – anyone, anybody – indefinite pronoun, noun, feminine

44.  un père – father – noun

45.  une fille – daughter, girl, gal – noun

46.  le monde – world, people – noun

47.  un ami – friend, friendly – noun, adjective

48.  besoin – need, demand, necessity – noun, masculine

49.  accord – agreement, accord, harmony – noun, masculine

50.  monsieur – gentleman, Mr. – noun, masculine

51.  madame – madam, Mrs. – noun, feminine

52.  enfant – child, infant – noun

53.  grand – big, tall, large, great, big girl, big boy – adjective, noun

54.  mère – mother – noun, feminine

55.  maman – mummy, mama, mom – noun

56.  maison – house, home – noun, feminine

57. nuit – night – noun, feminine

58.  peur – fear, fright – noun, feminine

59. problème – problem – noun, masculine

60.  argent – silver, money – noun, masculine

61.  dernier – last, latest – adjective, noun, masculine

62.  tête – head, face – noun, feminine

63.  amour – love, love affair, cupid – noun, masculine

64.  nouveau – new, fresh – noun, adjective

65.  revoir – to see again, review – noun, masculine

66.  fait – event, fact – noun, masculine

67.  affaire – affair, business – noun, feminine

68.  frère – brother – noun, masculine

69.  histoire – history, story – noun, feminine

70.  jeune – young, youthful, young person – noun, masculine

71.  porte – gate, door – noun, feminine

72.  année – year – noun, feminine

73.  meilleur – better ; the best one – adjective, noun

74.  place – room, square, seat – noun, feminine

75.  ville – town, city – noun, feminine


Common French Verbs

Common French VerbsWhile there are literally thousands of French verbs, there are a few that are commonly and often used so it’s important to know them, know what they mean and understand how to use them and conjugate them.

Conjugating French verbs can be difficult. As in the English language, the verb changes depending on who is speaking and context. While in English there are some verbs which require memorization, but in general conjugating an English word is not too difficult.

French verbs on the other hand, typically have different endings for almost every subject pronoun, in all tenses and all moods. This list touches on the most common french verbs, you’ll need to know the tense!

Learn more about conjugating French verbs here.

76.  être – to be

77.  avoir – to have

78.  faire – to do, make

79.  dire – to say, tell

80.  aller – to go

81.  voir – to see

82.  savoir – to know

83.  pouvoir – can, to be able to

84.  falloir – to be necessary

85.  vouloir – to want

86.  devoir – to have to,  must

87.  venir – to come, occur

88.  suivre – to follow

89.  parler – to speak, talk

90.  prendre – to take, get

91.  croire – to believe, think

92.  aimer – to love, like, be fond of

93.  passer – to pass, go by, cross

94.  penser – to think

95.  laisser – to leave

96.  arriver – to arrive

97.  donner – to give, give away

98.  regarder – to look at, watch

99.  appeler – to call, ring

100.  rester – to stay, remain

101.  mourir – to die, pass away

102.  demander – to ask, ask for, be looking for

103.  comprendre – to understand

104.  sortir – to go out, take out

105.  entendre – to hear, listen to, understand

106.  chercher – to look for, seek

107.  revenir – to come back, return

108.  jouer – to play

109.  finir – to finish, end

110.  perdre – to lose, miss


Common French Adjectives

Common french adjectives listAdjectives are words which add the color to a conversation! They describe, identify and further define nouns and pronouns. Proper use can give depth to your speech by describing how something feels, looks, sounds, tastes, or acts.

This list contains the various French adjectives that should be among the first you should learn. They’re broken down into categories  below.

Physical Qualities – People

111.  petit – small, short

112.  grand – large tall

113.  jeune – young

114.  vieux – old (masculine)

115.  vieille – old (feminine)

116.  beau – handsome; beautiful (with masculine noun)

117.  belle – beautiful (with feminine person, or noun)

118.  fort – strong

119.  faible – weak (person or object)

Physical Qualities – Objects

120.  froid – cold

121.  chaud – hot

122.  bien chaud – warm

123.  long – long

124.  court – short

125.  clair – clear, bright (light); thin (soup)

126.  bas – low

127.  haut – high, tall

128.  lèger – light (as in not heavy)

129.  lourd – heavy

130.  sale – dirty

131.  plein – full

132.  vide – empty

133.  sec – dry

134.  humide – damp, wet

135.  fraise – fresh, chilly, wet (paint)

Descriptors

136.  bon – good, right

137.  mauvais – bad, wrong

138.  nouveau – new

139.  proche – near

140.  facile – easy

141.  difficile – difficult

142. dur – hard (as in difficult, or not soft)

143.  pauvre – poor

144.  riche – rich

Feelings/ Health/ Emotions

145. heureux – happy

146. content – happy, satisfied

147.  triste – sad, unhappy

148.  malade – ill

149.  gentil – kind, nice

150.  sympathetique – nice, friendly


Common French Adverbs

Popular French Adverbs List

Adjectives add color and description to nouns.  Adverbs modify pretty much everything else. They can be used to modify a verb, adjective, another adverb, a noun phrase, clause or entire sentence.

Adverbs provide information about the words they modify, like when, where, how, or how often.

In English adverb placement can be arbitrary. The French language has stricter rules about adverb placement, for example a french adverb when used to modify a verb, it is generally placed after the conjugated verb.

The following are some common French adverbs you should include in your vocabulary!

151.  actuellement – currently – adverb of time

152.  assez – quite, fairly – adverb of quantity

153.  aujourd’hui – today – adverb of time

154.  aussi – as – comparative adverb

155.  beaucoup – a lot – adverb of quantity

156.  bien – well – adverb of manner

157.  bientôt – soon – adverb of time

158.  déjà – already – adverb of time

159.  demain – tomorrow – adverb of time

160.  enfin – finally – adverb of time

161.  ensuite – next, then – adverb of time

162.  heureusement – fortunately – adverb of manner

163.  hier – yesterday – adverb of time

164.  ici – here – adverb of place

165.   – there – adverb of place

165.  là-bas – over there – adverb of place

166.  longtemps – for a long time – adverb of time

167.  maintenant – now – adverb of time

168.  mal – poorly – adverb of manner

169.  parfois – sometimes – adverb of frequency

170.  partout – everywhere – adverb of place

171.  moins – less – comparative adverb

172.  peu – few, little – adverb of quantity

173.  quelque part – somewhere – adverb of place

174.  rarement – rarely – adverb of frequency

175.  souvent – often – adverb of frequency

176.  tard – late – adverb of time

178.  tôt – early – adverb of time

179.  toujours – always – adverb of frequency

180.  très – very – adverb of quantity

181.  trop – too much – adverb of quantity

182  vite – quickly – adverb of manner


This list, while far from complete, gives you over 180 common French words used in everyday conversation.

While there’s no magic formula for learning to speak a new language, starting by studying and learning the most common words in any language will help you to develop an “ear” and an understanding.  The two main aspects of learning any language are study and practice.

Immerse yourself in the culture and language. Listen to French music, you may not understand all of the words, but your ear and subconscious mind will begin to pick up the subtleties of the language. Watch French movies while reading the subtitles and your mind will begin to make the connection.

Learn these common French words and then get out there and use them in conversation! Bonne chance, and have fun studying French! For more help, check out our 10 tips to help you memorize French vocabulary fast.