It is a good idea to correct the mistakes at the very beginning of your learning as the longer you learn, the more difficult it will become to set it right.
This is especially important if you teach yourself French and learn on your own. Believe it or not, most novices make the same mistakes when first starting out.
Mistake 1: Not learning the gender of the noun
When you learn how to speak French it is important to learn a gender. French nouns have masculine and feminine gender. When you learn French vocabulary, you have to learn the gender of the noun at the same time with either a definite or indefinite article. This is very important because knowing the right gender is important for the more complicated tenses and sometimes even the meaning of the word that can be different for each gender. Of course, you will be understood at the most times even if you use the wrong gender, but this mistake will clearly indicate that you are just beginner in French.
Mistake 2: Missing the Accents
Accents in French indicate how the word is pronounced. You need to learn how to write or type them and know what they mean.
Mistake 3: Messing up with To Be (être) and to have (avoir) In French there it is common to use to have instead of to be. For example: to be afraid is avoir (to have) peur in French. Also, sometimes faire (to do, to make) in French is used to express meaning of to be. For example: Ça fait bien means it is well.
Make an effort to memorize this as it is quite important to get it right from the beginning.
Mistake 4: Not using Contractions
Using contractions in French is not only desirable, but is mandatory. Whenever a short word like je, me, te, le, la, or ne is followed by a word that begins with a vowel or H, the short word drops the final vowel, adds an apostrophe, and is attached to the following word.
For example, l’esprit (mind) is NEVER le esprit
There are never contractions before a consonant in French.
Mistake 5: Not distinguishing between Tu and Vous
In French ‘You’ has two words: Tu and Vous and there is a clear distinction between both.
Tu is singular ‘You’ and is also used in conversations among friends and more close associates. Vous is a plural version of ‘You’ and is also used as polite and formal version of singular ‘You’ when addressing people.
Mistake 6: French words that look like English words not always have the same meaning or sometimes have multiple meanings in English
Another frequent mistake when it comes to learn how to speak French is to assume that French words that look like English words have the same meaning. French and English have many similar words derived from the Latin, but you have to be careful and not always presume that the common word in English means the same in French. Also, a number of the French words may have multiple meanings in French. For example: French essai in English means to try, trial, to probe, essayor
French manteau in English means coat and mantel
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