Puis-je vous « anglaider » ?

 

Ce blog souligne les erreurs les plus communes que font les francophones en anglais et les explications pour les corriger. 

Le français est un « jeu » et l’anglais en est un autre, chacun avec ses propres règles, techniques et objectifs.  Ne parlez donc pas en français avec des mots anglais !

“He’s a seven-feet-tall basketball player.”

Turtleneck Eye Roll

Why wrong: In English, expressions used as adjectives are almost always singular. Someone can be seven feet tall, but when you use this expression to describe something else (e.g. a basketball player), it becomes a noun modifier, therefore, singular in form.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it “He’s a seven-foot-tall basketball player.”

Roy Almaas can coach you personally to get the fastest results possible. He will discuss things important to you and truthfully but gently correct your mistakes with proper explanations.  Contact him for a free consultation.

OK Businessman

“He entered and shot the door.”

2013-07-27Translation: « Il est entré et a tiré dans la porte.»

Cause of confusion: There is no short u sound in French.  It is often confused with a short o sound. Short o sounds like the sound you make when a doctor asks you to stick out your tongue. The short u sound is like in the word up.

Correct it:  Listen aggressively to notice the nuances between vowels.  For shot, drop your chin and hold the sound longer.  For shut, keep the sound short and raise the edges of your mouth (as if you’re smiling). Say “He entered and shut the door.

Choose the right opportunity:  Why not ask Roy how he can help to improve your career by mastering English conversation?


Dead End Opportunity

“My wife is tainting her hair.”

2013-09-28Quick, phone 9-1-1!

Translation: « Ma femme est en train de contaminer ses cheveux. »

Why wrong: Taint doesn’t mean teindre, but rather contaminer, infecter, or salir.  For more help with false friends, click here.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is to dye or to colour. Say “My wife is dying her hair” or “My wife is colouring her hair.”

Get the information you need to improve your communication.  Email or phone Roy in English or French for a free evaluation.
The Info You Need Website Screen Computer Internet Browser

“That was a really good publicity.”

>Mistake2Why wrong:  “Publicity” is non-count or mass noun.  Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number).

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (a publicity) or make them plural (publicities). Say “That was really good publicity.”

Do you want to really know the difference between publicity and advertising? Contact Roy!  He will explain this and many other language points.


Reputation

Saying “You got 100 person on your test!”

Paper HelpTranslation: « Tu as eu 100 personnes sur ton examen ! »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants, especially d, t and s aren’t pronounced. Failure to do this in English can change the meaning completely. A golfer must finish his swing or his shot is weak.  To speak properly, you must pronounce final consonants or your speech will be weak. Follow Through

Correct it: Say “You got 100 per cent on your test.”

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“Two on three like it.”

2013-09-15Why wrong:  Proportions in English use out of and not on.  French uses sur (deux sur trois), as if the number two were sitting on the number three, as in 2/3.  English uses another metaphor:  that of a group containing three members and two of them are removed (taken out of) the group.  So, we take two out of three, hence the idiom.  To speak properly,Squarehead Blog

Correct it:  Say “Two out of three like it.”  It is also possible to sayTwo thirds like it.”

Contact Roy to write speak more professionally and follow this blog every day to improve your English.

“We have to do our planification for next year”

2014Why wrong:  Even though evidently the verb to planify and the noun planification exist in some dictionaries, they are not common and sound wrong to most educated natives.  Instead we say to plan and planning.  To avoid strange looks…

SayWe have to do our planning forTime To Impress next year.”

Before you finish your planning for next year, contact Roy in either English or French.  He helps francophones sound more like native anglophones

“He don’t know.”

FrownTranslation« Il ne savons pas. »

Why wrong:  The third person singular (he, she, it or their equivalents) in the Simple Present takes an s at the end of the verb, even auxiliary verbs It’s unfortunate, but many anglophones speak this way, especially in popular music. You cannot be taken seriously if you don’t use correct grammar.

Correct it: “He doesn’t know.”

Get someone you can trust to tell you the truth about your English.  Phone or email Roy here.Trust

Saying “They went to eye school together.”

Really?  Are they both optometrists?

Translation: « Ils sont allés à l’école d’optométrie ensemble. »

Why wrong:  Eye (or I) and high Panic(or Hi) are different words. Exhaling changes the meaning, sometimes humorously. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: is a consonant in English and must be pronounced by exhaling.  For more information, see H.  Say “They went to high school together”2014 Future Projection Target Shows Forward Planning

Don’t waste your time or your money!  In 2014, get personalized training. Email or phone Roy to find out more.

“We’d like to report the meeting.”

Asian Covering FaceQuick, phone the police!

Translation: « Nous aimerions signaler la réunion. »

Why wrong: Report is a false friend. It doesn’t mean reporter, but rather signaler, notifier. For more help with false friends, click here.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is postpone or put off. Say “We’d like to put off the meeting.” or “We’d like to postpone the meeting.”Trust concept.

Get someone who will tell you the truth.  Email or phone Roy in English or French to learn how he can help you.

Saying “Tank you very much!”

BaldingTranslation: « Réservoir-toi beaucoup ! »

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

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 Thank you very much!Get Answers

Do you have a national or international market? Email or phone Roy to learn how to improve your pronunciation!  You’ll thank him later!

“I’m sorry for the retard”

2013-08-17Really? Who’s the retard?

Translation: « Je suis désolé pour le débile. »

Why wrong: Retard is not only offensive slang, it is also a false friend. It doesn’t mean un retard, but rather un débile, un crétin or un arriéré.   To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is lateness or tardiness.. Say “I’m sorry for being late”, “I’m sorry for my lateness” or “I’m sorry for my tardiness.”

Signpost

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“I listened the radio.”

FailedWhy wrong:  There are differences between English and French in many ways, but one is the different use of the indirect object (“to something”) versus a direct object (without “to.”).  Many verbs take “to”, and sometimes at, in one language but not in the other.  Listen is one  of those verbs which takes it in English, but not à in French.  For more information, click here.  To improve,

Correct it: Say “I listened to the radio.”gesturing hand OK isolated on white

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Saying “She was very scare.”

2013-08-31Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. This can create confusion if you don’t pronounce -ed endings in English, with people possibly understanding the present instead of the past, a verb instead of an adjective or two verbs instead of one. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…

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 “She was very scared“.2013-09-13

Let Roy help you find the right way to speak English. Contact him for a personalized class for rapid results.  It doesn’t take a long time to improve if you get the right help.

 

“I have a very comprehensive boss.”

What Do You SayTranslation: « J’ai un patron très exhaustif. »

Why wrong: Comprehensive is a false friend. It doesn’t mean comprehensif, but rather complet, exhaustif. For more help with false friends, click here.   To be taken seriously…North America

Correct it: What is meant here is understanding. Say “I have a very understanding boss.”

Enjoy travelling around the world with better English.  Email or phone Roy in English or French to learn how he can help you.

“We stopped at a camping in B.C.”

2013-09-10Why wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing are usually non-count or mass nouns.  They refer to activities, such as shopping, driving or running.  If you see a sign that says “No smoking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. 

Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). Sometimes, the same spelling can be used for a noun and a gerund (e.g.  a building, a feeling or a meeting). For more information, click here.Truth Prevails

Correct it: With gerunds, don’t use indefinite articles (a camping) or try to make them plural (campings). If you mean something short, say “We stopped at a camping site in B.C.”  Before site, here camping is used as an adjective.  You stopped at a site for that activity.

Do you want to really know the truth about your English? Contact Roy!  He has more than 14 years experience teaching francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

Saying “I took a fly to Vancouver.”

2013-07-24Translation: « J’ai pris une mouche à Vancouver. »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. Failure to do this in English can change the meaning completely. For more information, click here. There are already lots of flies in Vancouver, so they don’t need any more.  To be taken seriously…Smiling female executive using a mobile in the office

Correct it: Say “I took a flight to Vancouver.”

Don’t be afraid of working with anglophones! Contact Roy for communication coaching.

“I’m agree with you.”

FrenchWhat do you mean?  You are agree with me?

Why wrong:  Sometimes languages have different forms to say the same thing.  French uses the idiom être d’accord whereas English simply has a verb:  to agree.OK Businessman

Correct it:  “I agree with you.”

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

“We went for a walk yesterday night.”

WhatWhy wrong:  The expression Yesterday night (hier nuit) doesn’t exist in either English or French. Either say yesterday evening (hier soir) or last night (la nuit dernière). To be taken seriously…

Correct it:  Say, “We went for a walk last night.”Trust concept.

Contact Roy, either in English or French, to improve your vocabulary, especially idioms, which will help your comprehension of normal English conversation.

“I have lived in Montreal since 14 years.” 

MetroWhy wrong: For, not since, is used for durations.  Don’t think that depuis is always translated by since.

Correct it:  For durations, use for:I have lived in Montreal for 14 years.”

With English becoming more and more important in the world, don’t postpone language training.  Do It NowContact Roy to learn more.  You can have a free half-hour consultation with no obligation.  He will analyze your needs and give you recommendations.

Saying “Don’t worry, my dog is armless!”

MasterTranslation: « Ne t’inquiète pas, mon chien est manchot ! »

Why wrong:  Armless and harmless (inoffensif) are two different words. Exhaling changes the meaning, sometimes humorously. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Time Money

Correct it: is a consonant in English and must be pronounced by exhaling.  For more information, see H.  Say “Don’t worry, my dog is harmless!”

Don’t waste your time or your money!  Invest in personalized training to your interests, needs and objectives. Email Roy to find out more.

“I have to assist a meeting this afternoon.”

2013-08-23Really? What are you going to help it with?

Translation: « Je dois aider une réunion cet après-midi. »Biz Group

Why wrong: Assist is a false friend. It doesn’t mean assister, but rather aider. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: What is meant here is attend. Say “I have to attend a meeting this afternoon.”

Attend a class with Roy.  Email him to learn how he can help you.

“We both enjoy to ski.”

2013-08-26Why wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing refer to activities, such as shopping, driving or running.  If you see a sign that says “No smoking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. A second verb following verbs like avoid, enjoy, finish, keep and mind takes the gerund form (it ends with -ing), not the infinitive (to ….) like in French.  For more information, click here.

Correct it: “We both enjoy skiing.”2014 Future Projection Target Shows Forward Planning

Are you frustrated because your English is OK but you don’t always understand what English people say in meetings?  Relax, you’re normal.  Why not face your fears in 2014 and email Roy!  He has helped hundreds of francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

Saying “He wants boat of them.”

2013-08-28What?  Where will he put their boat?

Translation: « Il veut bateau des deux. »

Listen to the mistake: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Boat.mp3″]

Listen to the correction: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Both.mp3″]

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

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 “He wants both of them.”Young Executive

Don’t let your pronunciation prevent you from growing in your career! Email Roy to reach your full potential!

Saying “Your website is anglaide point com.”

Left Of NameWhat?  Actually, no it’s not!

Why wrong:  Dot it used only in Internet sites and e-mail, for example yourname@yourdomaine.com.  The ending is pronounced “dot com”.  Remember that the @ sign is pronounced “at”, not “arobas” or “commercial A”.

Period is punctuation which ends a sentence or an abbreviation.  It also means “point final” in an argument.

Point refers to decimals.  After a decimal, every number is read individually.  For example. “5.75” should be read “five point seven five” and not “five point seventy-five”.  To be taken seriously,…Investment

Correct it:  Say “anglaide dot com.”

Why not invest in your vocabulary?  Contact Roy to avoid making other common francophone mistakes in English.

“That problem arrives every year.”

SOSReally? Let it go somewhere else instead of coming here!

Why wrong: Arriver in French can mean two things:  either the antonym of partir or else it can be a synonym of se passer. If you mean se passer, it’s better to say arise or happen. To be taken seriously…Team

Correct it:  “That problem arises every year.”  or “That problem happens every year.” For more information on confused words, click here.

Would you like to avoid problems arising?  For more free information on what Roy can do for your team, contact him.

“Before email, people were writing more letters.”

Toilet HelpReally? And what happened?

Translation: « Avant les courriels, les gens étaient en train d’écrire plus de lettres… »

Why wrong:  The Past Progressive is used for past interruptions, not for repeated actions in the past. We expect to hear about the interruption.  For more information, click here and here.Female Executive

Correct it:  If there was no interruption, but just a repeated past action, say used to.  “Before email, people used to write more letters.”

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Saying “I bought that for ten box.”

2013-09-14Really?  You didn’t pay with money?

Translation: « J’ai acheté ça pour dix boîte

Listen to the mistake:
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Box.ogg”]

Listen to the correction:
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Bucks.ogg”]
Cause of confusion: There is no short u sound in French.  It is often confused with a short o sound. Short o sounds like the sound you make when a doctor asks you to stick out your tongue. The short u sound is like in the word up. For more information, see O or U.Facebook

Correct it:  Listen aggressively to notice the nuances between vowels.  For dock, drop your chin and hold the sound longer.  For duck, keep the sound short and raise the edges of your mouth (as if you’re smiling). Say “I bought that for ten bucks.

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“All of the medias were there.”

SheepWhy wrongThe word medias  doesn’t exist. The word is media, an irregular plural, whose singular form is a medium.  Television is a medium, radio is another medium and the press is yet another one.  All of them together are the media.Manager With Team

Correct it:  “All of the media were there.”

Contact Roy.  He is a Cambridge English Teacher Advisor and can help you improve your vocabulary so as not to make embarrassing mistakes.

“We need new furnitures for the living room.”

2013-09-10Why wrong:  Furniture, 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.Thumbs Up

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (a furniture) or try to make them plural (furnitures). “We need new furniture for the living room.”  Remember that furniture doesn’t mean des fournitures. For that, we would usually say supplies.

In addition to new furniture for your living room, why not get some help with your English conversation at the office?  Contact Roy and reach your full potential!

Saying “I have to water my plan”

OopsTranslation: « Je dois aroser mon plan. »

Listen to the mistake: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Plan.mp3″]

Listen to the correction: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.anglaide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Plant.mp3″]

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. Failure to do this in English can change the meaning completely. For more information, click here. Plans don’t usually need to be watered, but plants usually do.  To be taken seriously…Coaching

Correct it: Say “I have to water my plant.”

Don’t be afraid of working with anglophones! Contact Roy for communication coaching.

“We got married on the two May.”

OpportunityNot Again1Why wrong:  Dates in English use the ordinal (first, second, third, etc.) and not the cardinal number (one, two, three, etc.).  French uses the ordinal for the first day of the month (le premier mai), but cardinals for the rest (le deux mai, le trois mai, etc.).  Typically we will say the month first, followed by the and the correct ordinal. In written form, many possibilities are used (May 2, May the 2nd, 2 Mai, 2013-05-02, and so forth).  Usually corporate culture dictates which form is preferred in your company.

Correct it:  “We got married on May the second.” or “We got married on the second of May.”  The second one is more formal.

Contact Roy to write email more professionally.

“That guy just burned a red light.”

2013-08-06Why wrong: Brûler un feu rouge is a Quebec French idiom.  The North American English equivalent is to run a red light.  To be taken seriously…North America

Correct it:  Say “That guy just ran a red light.”

Do you want to look good in front of your international clients? Let Roy help you!  He is a member of SPEAQ (Société pour le perfectionnement de l’enseignement de l’anglais langue seconde au Québec).

Saying “It’s ought in the summer.”

HTranslation: « Il fait devoir l’été. »

Why wrong: Ought (ought to is a synonym of should) and hot are two different words. Exhaling changes the meaning, sometimes humorously. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: is a consonant in English and must be pronounced by exhaling.  For more information, see H.  Say “It’s hot in the summer.”2014 After

Already planning 2014?  Roy’s students make excellent progress quickly. Contact him to see what he can do for you.

“I always take my vacancies at the end of July.”

BallWhy wrong: Vacancies are chambres libres in hotels or postes vacants for a job opening.  If you have time off from work, it’s a vacation.  To be taken seriously…Biz Group (Small)

Correct it:  Say “I always take my vacation at the end of July.”  It can be used in the plural if there are more than one, e.g.  I take two vacations, one in the summer and one in the winter. For more information, click here.

Would you like to be proud of your English communication?  For more free information on what Roy can do for you, contact him.

“When I do that, it’s help a lot.”

Translation« Qua2013-08-31nd je fais ça, c’est de l’aide beaucoup. »

Why wrong:  It’s is a contraction of it is or possibly it has. It is third person singular, similar to he or she. Consequently, in the Simple Present, it is the verb, and not the subject, that takes the s.IMG_3043

What’s a “contraction?”  A contraction is a shortened form. It has an apostrophe, which takes the position of the letter(s) it replaces (e.g. can’t for can not, you’ll for you will  or we’ve for we have.

Correct it:  If be is not the verb, don’t say It’s.  Say it and put the s on the verb:  “When I do that, it helps a lot.”

Let Roy make you look good in front of your English-speaking colleagues.  Contact him here.

Saying “That was the tent time it happened.”

Future Down ToiletWhat?  Did you go camping?

Finally HitTranslation: « C’était la tente fois que c’est arrivé. »

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

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 “That was the tenth time it happened.”

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“No, I don’t too.”

WrongTranslation: « Non, moi aussi.»

BusyWhy wrong:  Just as the above translation sounds weird to francophones, the original sounds just as strange in English  The negative form of too is either.

Correct it: Say “No, I don’t either.”  

Do you want rapid results but your schedule is tight? Contact Roy and prepare to be amazed at how things will finally make sense.

“I have a lot of job.”

Need JobWhy wrong: Job means emploi and most of us have many of them over our careers. If you mean things to do at your job, you mean work. Many Quebecers will say “J’ai de la job,” thinking that is English.  Sorry! To be taken seriously…Consultation

Correct it:  Say “I have a lot of work.”  For more information, click here.

Would you like more free information on what Roy can do for you?  Contact him without obligation.  He’s used to it.

“When I was 17, I was making hamburgers.”

WhatReally? And what happened?

Translation: « Quand j’avais 17 ans, j’étais en train de faire des hamburgers… »

Why wrong:  The Past Progressive is used for past interruptions, not for repeated actions in the past. We expect to hear about the interruption.  For more information, click here and here.Verb Tense Chart

Correct it:  If there was no interruption, but just a repeated past action, say used to.  “When I was 17, I used to make hamburgers.”

Contact Roy. His verb tense chart was voted among the top four on the web. Click here to see the page.

Saying “The guys went dock hunting.”

Awkward Moment1Really?  How many docks did they bring home?

Translation: « Les gars sont allés à la chasse au quai.»

Cause of confusion: There is no short u sound in French.  It is often confused with a short o sound. Short o sounds like the sound you make when a doctor asks you to stick out your tongue. The short u sound is like in the word up. For more information, see O or U.Free Star

Correct it:  Listen aggressively to notice the nuances between vowels.  For dock, drop your chin and hold the sound longer.  For duck, keep the sound short and raise the edges of your mouth (as if you’re smiling). Say “The guys went duck hunting.”

Get a free consultation!  Contact Roy to improve your English pronunciation, especially mastering “the Big Five,” which will improve your French accent by about 80%.

“Every week, my husband throws up the garbage.”

Paper HelpWhy does he eat it?

Translation: « Chaque semaine, mon mari vomit les poubelles. »

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. Using the wrong particle can change the meaning, often quite humorously. If you mean to put something in the garbage, say throw out not throw up (vomit).Someone Who Can Help

Correct it:Every week, my husband throws out the garbage.”

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

“I didn’t do my homeworks.”

2013-09-10Why wrong:  Homework, 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.

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (a homework) or try to make them plural 2014(homeworks). “I didn’t do my homework.”.

Are you already planning your goals for 2014?  Make better communication one of them!  Contact Roy and see how proper explanations, practice and coaching can help you reach your full potential!

Saying “I have to go upstair.”

Two Fingers One FingerWhat?  You’re only going to go up one?

Why wrong: In French, the final s in a plural isn’t usually pronounced. This can create confusion if you do this in English.  To move to a different floor, you have to climb many stairs, not just one.  This is why we say upstairs.  For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: The final s on plurals must be pronounced or else singular will be understood. Say “I have to go upstairs.”

Remember not to use French pronunciation rules when you speak English. Contact Roy to sound like a pro.

“Close the stores. I can’t see.”

2013-09-27What?  A lot of money will be lost if you close them all.

Translation:  « Ferme les magasins. Je ne vois rien. »

Why wrong:  The word stores is a false friend. It doesn’t mean des stores.  For more help with false friends, click here.

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.Dead End Opportunity

Correct it:  What is meant here is review as in “Close the blinds.  I can’t see.”

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“Before to leave, lock the door.”

2013-07-28Why wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing refer to activities, such as shopping, driving or running.  If you see a sign that says “No smoking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. Verbs used after prepositions take the gerund form (they end with -ing), not the infinitive (to ….) like in French.  For more information, click here.

Correct it: “Before leaving, lock the door.”Face Fears

Do you feel your English could be better but you don’t know exactly what the problem is?  Relax, you’re very normal.  Why not face your fears and contact Roy!  He has taught hundreds of francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

Saying “Cardiologists work at the art institute.”

Puzzle 1Translation: « Des cardiologues travaillent à l’institut de l’art. »

Why wrong: Art and heart are two different words. Exhaling changes the meaning, sometimes humorously. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…Puzzle 2

Correct it: is a consonant in English and must be pronounced by exhaling.  For more information, see H.  Say “Cardiologists work at the heart institute.”

Roy gets excellent reviews for his work. Pronunciation, idioms and verb tenses are his specialties.   Contact him to see what he can do for you.

“I got my back at UQAM”

BackReally? Where did you get the rest of your body?

Translation: « J’ai eu mon dos à UQAM. »

Why wrong: Bac, short for baccalauréat, is used in Québec for a higher education degree. In Bachelor MasterEnglish, the expression is bachelor’s (degree). The word degree is understood in context, and isn’t necessary to say. If you have a degree, make sure you use the right English expression:

Correct it: Say: “I got my bachelor’s at UQAM.” or “I got my degree at UQAM.”

Contact Roy to avoid embarrassment like this.

Saying “He’s my fodder.”

IMG_3028 What?  Are you going to feed him to your animals?

Translation: « Il est mon fourrage ».Finally A Hit

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

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 “He’s my father.”

Have you been disappointed by previous English courses? Contact Roy to finally hit your target.

“We need to buy some gaz.”

IMG_2890What’s gaz?  Demotion

Why wrong: The English word gasoline and its shortened form, gas, do NOT have the sound of the letter z.  Gas rhymes with the word grass, not the word jazz.  To be taken seriously…

Correct it:  Say “We need to buy some gas.

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“Mommy, I ate all my spaghettis”

2013-09-10Why wrong:  Spaghetti, 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.

Correct it: With mass nouns, don’t use indefinite articles (a spaghetti) or try to make them plural Do It Now(spaghettis). “Mommy, I ate all my spaghetti.”.

Don’t wait to improve your communication.  Contact Roy and see how proper explanations, practice and coaching can help you reach your full potential!

Saying “Pierre is my friend. We’re bodies.”

Asian Covering FaceTranslation: « Pierre est mon ami. Nous sommes des corps.»

Cause of confusion: There is no short u sound in French.  It is often confused with a short o sound. Short o sounds like the sound you make when a doctor asks you to stick out your tongue. The short u sound is like in the word up. For more information, see O or U.

Correct it:  Listen aggressively to notice the nuances between vowels.  For body, drop your chin and hold the sound longer.  For buddy, keep the sound short and raise the edges of your mouth (as if you’re smiling). Say “Pierre is my friend.  We’re buddies.”
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“The surgeon operated my mother.”

Machine OperatorReally?  Is she a machine?

Translation: « Le chirurgien a fait fonctionner ma mère. »

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.  Someone can operate a machine, but surgeons operate on people.Potential

Correct it:  “The surgeon operated on my mother.”

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“I had a training this morning.“

TrainingWhy wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing are usually non-count or mass nouns.  They refer to activities, such as shopping, driving or running.  If you see a sign that says “No smoking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. 

Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). Sometimes, the same spelling can be used for a noun and a gerund (e.g.  a building, a feeling or a meeting). For more information, click here.

Correct it: With gerunds, don’t use indefinite articles (a training) or try to make them plural (trainings). If you mean something short, say “I had some training or a training session this morning.”  Before session, here training is used as an adjective.  You had a session with that activity.

Do your employees need training to improve their English? Contact Roy!  He has more than 18 years experience teaching francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.
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Saying “I wooden do that if I were you.”

Blue Hard HatTranslation: « J’en bois ça si j’étais toi »

Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. Failure to do this in English can change the meaning completely.  Wooden means en bois or de bois. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: Say “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

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Spelling “responsible” as “responsable.”

DictionaryWhy wrong:  In French, the word responsable is spelled with the letter a.  In English, responsible takes an i  To avoid this mistake…

Correct it:  Write “responsible.”  Spell checkers are very useful for writing when they are used. Make it a habit of using them before sending email or before presenting with slides.

With handwritten notes, however, be careful with words that are similar between English and French, since such mistakes can make people question your credibility:  contact Roy to learn these words and for personalized classes adapted to your objectives!

Goal

“When I look in the mirror, I see me.”

MirrorWhy wrong: When the same person or thing is the performer and the receiver of the action in the same verb, a reflexive pronoun is used.  There are several of them:  myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.  They should agree in person (first, second or third) and number (singular or plural) with the subject.  For more information, click here.

North AmericaCorrect it:  “When I look in the mirror, I see myself.

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Saying “She hallways does that.”

What Do You SayTranslation: « Elle corridor fait ça. »

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

Correct it: If there’s no h, don’t exhale.  Say “She always does that.”Act Now (Small)

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“I revised my notes before the test.”

2013-08-15What?  You changed them?

Translation:  « J’ai changé mes notes avant l’examen. »

Why wrong:  Revise is a false friend. It doesn’t always mean reviser.  For more help with false friends, click here.Facebook

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 review as in “I reviewed my notes before the test.”

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“How much does your house worth?”

Money TargetIMG_2896Why wrong:  This problem arises from trying to translate the verb valoir.  The word worth is usually a noun, not a verb.  The expression to be worth is the proper way to translate valoir.  Here, worth is used as an adjective.

Correct it: Say “How much is your house worth?”  

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Saying “My son is tree.”

BallWhat?  Your son is a tree?  Are his leaves changing colour?

Translation: « Mon fils est arbre. »

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

Finally HitCorrect 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 “My son is three.”

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Writing “adresse” instead of “address.”

IMG_3030Why wrong:  In French, the word adresse is spelled with only one letter d and a final e.  In English, address takes a double letter d and no final letter e.  To avoid this mistake…

Correct it:  Write “address.”  Spell checkers are very useful for writing when they are used. Make it a habit to use them before sending email or before presenting wiChecklistth slides.

With handwritten notes, however, be careful with words that are similar between English and French, since such mistakes can make people question your credibility:  contact Roy for personalized classes adapted to your personality and interests!

“We visited the Mexico on our vacation last year.”

2013-10-11Why 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).  When a country, state or province has a city that bears the same name, the word “City” is used afterwards (e.g. Mexico City, Panama City, Quebec City.)  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”). “We visited Mexico on our vacation last year.”

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Saying “I’ve always believe in hard work.”

2013-08-06Why wrong: In French, most final consonants aren’t pronounced. This can create confusion if you don’t pronounce -ed endings in English, with people possibly understanding the present instead of the past, a verb instead of an adjective or two verbs instead of one. For more information, click here. To be taken seriously…

Correct it: For words that end with v sound before the ed, the -ed should be pronounced like –de.  Don’t add an extra syllable. Say “I’ve always believed in hard work”.

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“Please fill the document”

Asian Woman Covering MouthReally?  What should I fill it with?

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.  Concerning information, there are two often misused idioms:  fill in and fill out.  Fill in refers to blanks or fields in a database whereas fill out refers to entire documents.  The trick to remember that is that out is bigger than in, i.e. outside is much bigger than what room you are in right now.  

CareerCorrect it:  ‘Please fill out the document”

Do you also know how to use fill up?  Would you just say fill for all of these?  To learn 1,000 English idioms, contact Roy and see your career take off!

“I couldn’t find a parking anywhere.”

Hat and Coat (Small)Why wrong:  Gerunds, noun-verb hybrids ending in -ing are usually non-count or mass nouns.  They refer to activities, such as swimming, smoking or camping.  If you see a sign that says “No parking” it means that the activity is forbidden there. 

Mass nouns can’t be plural or take an indefinite article (a or an means one, which is a number). Sometimes, the same spelling can be used for a noun and a gerund (e.g.  an opening, a beginning or an ending). For more information, click here.Biz Group (Small)

Correct it: With gerunds, don’t use indefinite articles (a parking) or try to make them plural (parkings). If you mean only one spot, say “I couldn’t find a parking space.”  If you mean the entire area where many cars are parked, call it a parking lot.  They are spaces and lots.  Parking is what people do there.

Do your employees need to improve their English? Contact Roy!  He has more than 14 years experience teaching francophone professionals in the greater Montreal area.

Saying “Did you enjoy the weaken?”

Curls, Covered MouthTranslation: « As-tu aimé le faiblir ? »

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…

Correct it: The endings of words (especially d, s and t) must be pronounced or else something else may be understood. Say “Did you enjoy the weekend?”Consultation (Small)

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Writing “week-end”

Paper Bag (Small)Why wrong:  In French, there are many words borrowed from English which, even though they have identical meanings, are spelled differently.  For some reason, in French, the word week-end takes a hyphen.  In English it does not.Act Now (Small)

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“What is the right pronounciation?”

Not Again1Why wrong:  The word pronounciation doesn’t exist. The word is pronunciation.  It’s true that the verb is to pronounce, but the noun is different. To be taken seriously…

Correct it:  Ask, What is the right pronunciation?You Can Do It

Contact Roy to improve your pronunciation, especially the “Big Five” which will improve a French accent by about 80%.

“Are you proud of you?”

RegretsWhy wrong: When the same person or thing is the performer and the receiver of the action in the same verb, a reflexive pronoun is used.  There are several of them:  myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves.  They should agree in person (first, second or third) and number (singular or plural) with the subject.  For more information, click here.

Correct it:  Are you proud of yourself?

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Saying “The Chicago Black Ox won the Stanley Cup.”

Turtleneck Eye RollTranslation: « Le boeuf noir de Chicago a gagné la Coupe Stanley. »

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

Correct it: If there’s an h, exhale.  Say “The Chicago Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup.”

Roy gets excellent reviews for his work. Pronunciation, idioms and verb tenses are his specialties.   Contact him Excellent Pushpinto see what he can do for you.

“He wears a casket when he plays baseball.”

CasketWhat?  It must be hard to run with that on his head!

Translation:  « Il porte un cercueil quand il joue au baseball. »

Why wrong:  Casket is a false friend. It doesn’t mean casquette.  For more help with false friends, click here.

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 Checklistand French.

Correct it:  What is meant here is cap as in “He wears a cap when he plays baseball.” 

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“It’s cost $20.”

2013-10-01Translation: « Il est coût 20$. »

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.

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 costs $20.”Team

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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.