Saying “I taught that it was too late.”

What?  You teach that?2013-08-15

Translation: « J’ai enseigné que c’était trop tard »

Why wrong: Taught is the past of teach whereas thought is the past of thinkTh is a distinct sound in English, not to be confused with t. For more informatioGet Answersn, click here.

Correct it: Touch your top front teeth with your tongue and exhale softly when you say th. You probably know people who lisp (parlent au bout de la langue). This is what you should do to pronounce th. Say “I thought that it was too late.”

Roy is a pronunciation specialist. Contact him to quickly improve it by working on the “Big Five”.

“Me, I think that…”

2013-09-27Why are you repeating?  We already know it’s you.

Why wrong:  In French, emphasis is expressed through repetition of the subject (e.g. Moi, je pense que, Lui, il pense que, etc.).  In English, we say it by saying certain words louder and longer than others.

Correct it: To emphasize, say the important word louder and longer: “I think that…”Biz Group

You wouldn’t play golf with a baseball bat – it’s a different game.  Remember, that French is a “game” and English is a different game. Learn the rules and the techniques. Don’t just speak French using English words!

Roy has already helped hundreds of francophone professionals. Contact him to improve your “game.”

Saying “She’s one of my friend.”

 2013-09-26Translation: « Elle est une de mon amie. »

Why wrong: In French, the final s in a plural isn’t usually pronounced. This can create confusion if you do this in English. It’s true the reference is to only one friend, but the use of “of” makes it one of many, hence plural.  For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Coaching2

Correct it: The final s on plurals must be pronounced or else singular will be understood. Say “She is one of my friends.”

Do you make this mistake? Contact Roy to improve your pronunciation and sound like a pro.

“My car broke.”

Broken CarReally?  Send it to the scrap yard!

Translation: « Mon auto a fracturé. »

Why wrong:  In English there are thousands of expressions called pProblem Solvedhrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb.  Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off.  Omission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously.

Correct it:  My car broke down.

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy!

“We bought two new equipments.”

MassWhy wrong:  Equipment, like information, is a non-count or mass noun. Mass nouns are used for masses like sand that are too big to count their individual parts.  That means that they can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). In French, mass nouns are signified by du, de la or de l’.  For more information, click here.Biz Group

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (an equipment) or try to make them plural (equipments). “We bought two new pieces of equipment.”.

Would you like to help your employees improve their English? Contact Roy for more information without obligation.  You can even have a free half-hour consultation.

Saying “Doctor, my chess hurts.”

2013-09-22Translation: « Docteur, ça me fait mal aux échecs »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. This can create confusion if you do this in English. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously...Consultation

Correct it: The endings of words (especially d, s and t) must be pronounced or else something else may be understood. Say “Doctor, my chest hurts.”

Do you make this mistake? Contact Roy for a free half-hour consultation.

“Please throw your garbage Monday morning.”

Garbage CanGet out of the way!

Translation: « Veuillez lancer vos poubelles lundi matin. »

Why wrong: In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb. Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off. Omission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously. If you mean to put something in the Excellentgarbage, say throw out.

Correct it:Please throw out your garbage Monday morning.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy

“It’s take an hour.”

Thumbs DownTranslation: « Il est prendre une heure. »

Why wrong:  It’s is a contraction of it is or possibly it has and is third person singular. Consequently, in the Simple Present, it is the verb, and not the subject, that takes the s.Time To Impress

Correct it: After words that are third person singular (e.g. it, this and that), remember to put the s on the verb in the Simple Present. “It takes an hour.”

Would you like to impress your boss with your English? Contact Roy for a personalized class.

Saying “I have fate it will get better.”

2013-09-16Translation: « J’ai destin que ça va s’améliorer. »

Why wrong: Fate means le destin whereas faith means la foiTh is a dCoachingistinct sound in English, not to be confused with t. For more information, click here.

Correct it: Touch your top front teeth with your tongue and exhale softly when you say th. You probably know people who lisp (parlent au bout de la langue). This is what you should do to pronounce th. Say “I have faith it will get better.”

Roy is a pronunciation specialist. Contact him to quickly improve it by working on the “Big Five”.

“I put a thousand dollars in my rear.”

$99You have way too much money!

Translation« J’ai mis mille dollars dans mon derrière. »  Rear is an English word.  REÉR is not.Dollar Sign

Why wrong:  Be extremely careful with acronyms. Remember that they are short for other words.  If those other words are in another language, it’s almost 100% sure that another acronym will be used.  REÉR (Régime Enregistré d’Épargne et Retraite) doesn’t stand for the same words in English. If you mean REÉR, say RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).

Correct it:  Say “I put a thousand dollars in my RRSP.”  Please don’t put money in your rear.

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“Ottawa is the capital of the Canada.”

North AmericaReally?  How many Canadas are there?Right Way

Why wrong: The definite article (“the”) is not used for streets, cities, provinces, states, countries, continents, mountains, islands, lakes or bays unless they are plural (the United States, the Alps or the Maritimes).  To be taken seriously…

Correct it: When speaking of singular streets, cities, provinces, states, countries, continents, mountains, islands, lakes or bays, don’t use the definite article (“the”). “Ottawa is the capital of Canada.”

After taking his classes, Roy’s students usually hear the English mistakes their colleagues make. Contact him for more information.

Saying “I’m really tire.”

TireTranslation: « Je suis vraiment pneu »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. This can create confusion if you do this in English. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Young Female Executive

Correct it: For words that end with r sound before the ed, the -ed should be pronounced like -de. Don’t add an extra syllable. Say “I’m really tired.”

Better English can lead to a promotion! Contact Roy for a free half-hour consultation.

 

“I plugged my computer.”

PlumberReally?  Call a plumber!

Translation: « J’ai bouché mon ordinateur. »

Why wrong:  In English there are thousands of expressions called phrasal verbs that use a particle (i.e. a preposition or adverb) after a verb.  Examples of particles are up, down, in, out, on and off.  QualityometerOmission of the particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously.

Correct it:  “I plugged in my compter.”

Would you like to learn over 1,000 English idioms? Contact Roy!

“Let me give you an advice.”

MassWhy wrong:  Advice, like information, is a non-count or mass noun. Mass nouns are used for masses like sand that are too big to count their individual parts.  That means that they can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). In French, mass nouns are signified by du, de la or de l’.  For more information, click here.Team

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (an advice) or try to make them plural (advices). If you mean only one thing, say “Let me give you a piece of advice.”  If you mean many things, it should be  “Let me give you some advice.”.

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Saying “It’s really coal outside today.”

CoalReally? Is it that dark?

Translation: « Aujourd’hui, il fait vraiment charbon dehors »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. This can create confusion if you do this in English. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Follow Through

Correct it: Just like a golfer finishes his swing, finish your words.  The endings of most English words (especially d, s and t ) must be pronounced or else something else may be understood: “It’s really cold outside today.”

Contact Roy for a personalized class and learn how to quickly reduce your accent by 80%.

Writing “They’re american.”

Paper HelpWhy wrong: Nationalities, languages, proper names, days of the week, months of the year, holidays and the pronoun I must be capitalized. To avoid this mistake…

Correct it:  Write “They’re American.”Do It Now

Would you like to impress your boss? Contact Roy for personalized classes adapted to your personal objectives! 

Saying “I heat ice cream every day.”

2013-09-05What?  You want to melt it?

Translation: « Je rechauffe de la crème glacée tous les jours. »

Why wrong: Eat and heat are two different words. Exhaling changes the meaning, sometimes humorously. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Consultation

Correct it: If there’s no h, don’t exhale.  Say “I eat ice cream every day.”

Contact Roy for a free half-hour consultation or a personalized class.

“I quit my job at 5:00 every day.”

Need JobWhat?  You have a different job every day?

Translation:  « Je démission de mon travail chaque jour à 17h00. »

Why wrong:  Quit is a false friend. It doesn’t always mean quitter.  For more help with false friends, click here.Problem Solved

What are “false friends?”  False friends are words from different languages which look similar but have different meanings. There are over 1,000 false friends between English and French.

Correct it:  What is meant here is leave as in “I leave my job at 5:00 every day.” 

Contact Roy to keep your job and maybe qualify for a promotion.

Saying “I have to go to the batroom.”

2013-09-02What?  Are you Batman? He has a batmobile, a batplane and a batcycle.  He must have a batroom too.

Why wrong:  Th  is a distinct sound in English, not to be confused with t. For more information, click here.  To be taken seriously…OK Businessman

Correct it:  Touch your top front teeth with your tongue and exhale softly when you say th.  You probably know people who lisp (parlent au bout de la langue). This is what you should do to pronounce th. I have to go to the bathroom.

Roy is a pronunciation specialist. Contact him and let him help you with the “Big Five” of francophone pronunciation problems.

Writing 99$.

$99Dollar SignWhy wrong:  The dollar sign always goes before the number.  It’s the cents sign that goes after the number. Write $99.

Avoid these mistakes:  contact Roy here! Whether it’s conversation, email or presentations, he can help you communicate more professionally.