Speak French with less hesitation, by learning full French sentences.
Want all the vocabulary of the lesson ?
1. When you didn’t understand everything
- Je veux dormir. = I want to sleep.
- J’ai une idée. = I have an idea.
- Je croyais que ça allait marcher. = I thought it would work.
There’s nothing worse than stopping in the middle of a French sentence to think about how to say what you want to say. But when you learn a whole French sentence like these, you can tweak them and use them later in your own conversation.
For example: Je veux partir. = I want to go. By learning this simple sentence, you’ll always have in mind the construction: Je veux + [verb] = I want to [verb].
2. Speak French with less hesitation: Using songs
Some sentences give you several constructions at once. As in:
C’est là que tu te sens chez toi. = That’s where you feel at home.
With this sentence, you get the construction:
- C’est là que = That’s where…
- Tu te sens = You feel…
- Chez toi = At (your) home
And it’s in a song too! In: Il y a (Fredericks Goldmans Jones)
This song was written by Jean-Jacques Goldman, the greatest French singer-songwriter alive. Learning with a song and a melody helps you remember the lyrics. That’s why learning full sentences from songs is particularly effective – if all works well, they’ll get stuck in your head!
3. Speak French with less hesitation: More songs
Pick any of his songs and pore over the lyrics. For instance, in Là-bas, a heartbreaking and motivating song about a man leaving his wife to emigrate to America, you’ll find this sentence:
C’est pour ça que j’irai là-bas. = That’s why I’ll go over there.
With this sentence in your head, you’ll always feel confident using:
- C’est pour ça que = That’s why / That’s the reason why
- J’irai = I’ll go, the first person of “aller” in the future tense
- Là-bas = Way over there, out there in this direction
Goldman loves to sing about travel, as in On ira for instance.
The chorus goes: On ira. On partira, toi et moi. Où ? Je sais pas.
= We’ll go. We’ll leave, you and me. Where? I don’t know?
And Où ? (= Where?) and especially Je sais pas. (= I don’t know in informal French) are very common in French conversations.
Now pick a song, learn the lyrics, and sing it in your shower!
Singing helps you remember, that’s been true since Homer.
4. Speak French with Less Hesitation: Je Marche Seul
Je m’en fous (de tout). = I don’t give a damn (about anything)
(Now you know this sentence, and most of all, you understand it if someone else uses it!)
Finally, the chorus uses:
Je marche seul, sans témoin, sans personne. = I’m walking alone, without a witness, without anybody.
→ Seul = alone, on my own. Sans personne = without anybody (around)
And now you’re ready to do that yourself!
You can pick any French sentence that you think sounds cool, from movies or pop culture – but to me, songs work best.
That’s why I give you explanations on songs by Édith Piaf, Françoise Hardy and Rose (2006).
Click on the link to get to the full lesson:
- Learn French with a Love Song: Hymne à l’amour – Edith Piaf
- Learn French with a Love Song: Message Personnel – Françoise Hardy
- Learn French with a Love Song: La Liste – Rose
À tout de suite.
I’ll see you in the next video!
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