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Coquilame MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 20:04   Sujet du message: [English] Speak, learn, have fun! Répondre en citant  
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After a recent thread here, Lénaelle and me figured it would be a good idea to have a main thread here for speaking and practising English!

So, you can speak here to practice, ask for English help, or just to discuss stuff in English.

It's my native language, so I'd be more than happy to help anyone out with it!

I will also be writing lessons here too Smile

If you want to join the Skype group for text and voice chat practice, just add me on Skype - my Skype is Coquilame.

Thran : This topic is now a post-it!

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Dernière édition par Coquilame le Jeu 13 Fév 2014 17:19; édité 2 fois
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Lénaelle MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 20:25   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Hey !

for the new guys and girls here, you're asked to talk in english in this topic, french can be used only for asking a translation, for example (wordereference.com can be used anyway if it's just for a word)

To begin, let me show you a cool test that I just found, it's about knowing which kind of character you'd be in Dungeons and Dragons, a Role Play Game.

There is the test, they are 129 questions, and all of them are in english. So if there is any question or word that you don't understand, please just ask Mr. Green

http://www.easydamus.com/character.html

I am a True neutral Half-elf Fighter and Sorcerer, says the test.
I guess it's about right since I'm evil as much as I'm kind, it depens on circumpstances Razz

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Peppy MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 21:04   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Localisation: Dans une chouette communauté !
It's a great idea for all of us !I think that it could be interesting and I 'll be grateful to you to help me with some of my papers for college, someday.

Could I start with a great subject ? Differencies between France and...your country (what is it ? Australia, England or maybe the USA ?) Do you know about France or not ?

If you don't, let's talk about our countries. We will be happy to show you how it works here, you will be surprised ! ahaha Wink

There are a lot of things that I would like to know about your life, I mean another type of life, and if is it very different of our ?

I will be enjoying to discuss with you, stranger Wink

Let me know if you are not able to understand that,or if you want to correct my mistakes. Mr. Green

Reading my comment again, I'm saying that I'm kinda weird, am I ? After all, our countries aren't so different, you are not ET the Alien...

But we are so lucky to have you (and another member I guess but I'm sorry, I don't remember his (her) name) and it's a great opportunity to share about our cultures.

One day, I'll leave France and I'll come visit you, whenever you are, Coquilame !

It'a a joke...I think. Travel the world is my not-secret dream, maybe our roads will cross each other someday.

See you arround Smile



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Coquilame MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 21:53   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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That is a good idea for a subject. But never having been to France, it would be hard for me to think exactly how things are different between here and there besides the languages haha. One interesting fact I learned was that French people (as well as other Europeans) don't have screens in their windows. But in America, we have screens outside the windows so that birds and big bugs can't get in through the window. Super random, but yeah.

Anyhow, I think later today I will post a lesson about English relative clauses for Midochou here.

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Belgarel MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 22:23   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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I just love the idea ! Are there other people on the forum, whose native language is English ? (Apparently, at least one.)

Peppy, unless I'm proven wrong, I can already spot a few mistakes in your message, though it is pretty much understandable.

"Do you know about France or not ?" > "Tu sais pour la France, ou pas ?" I don't know what you exactly meant, but answers to this questions might get a little strange…
Troll mode.
Spoiler


"I wanna know if is [your life] very different from our" Two mistakes here.
1° "if is your life" : For those grammatical issues, let's skip to french. "Je veux savoir si ta vie est-elle différente" > "Je veux savoir si ta vie est différente" Pas d'inversion sujet-verbe dans les subordonnées interrogatives. Ça marche aussi en anglais.
2° "Our" is not the proper word here. In French, it translates : "différente de mon/ma" (déterminant) instead of "différente de la mienne" (pronom). (J'ai préféré passer au singulier, parce que la différence entre "notre" et "nôtre" est assez ténue.) Bref, "ours" See the second diapo of this document for a quick recap.

"I will be enjoying to discuss with you, stranger" "Stranger" is a person in the street you never met, and you know nothing about. It's not that much of a friendly word (though it's not necessarily negative, there generally is an idea of distrust to it). I think you meant "foreigner" (person from another country).

***

Coquilame : By "screens", you mean those ? Well, indeed, it's not frequent, but that's because most of the time, it's not needed. There are not many regions in France where bugs really are such a nuisance. As of birds, only once in my life did I see a bird come through my window and stay in my room. It was some kind of WTF colorful parrot. I just stayed amased, starring at it like it was some kind of childhood magic. Then I though the landowner would get angry if it was to end a digestive cycle, so I made it fly away. I don't see the point of preventing them from entering the place, since there is a pretty low chance for it to happen.

Edit : Sorry Lénaelle, I never played D&D.
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Premier commandement : Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Les distinctions sociales ne peuvent être fondées que sur l'utilité commune.
Troisième commandement : Tout individu a droit à la vie
Quatrième commandement : Nul ne sera tenu en esclavage ni en servitude; l'esclavage et la traite des esclaves sont interdits sous toutes leurs formes.


Dernière édition par Belgarel le Mar 11 Fév 2014 23:23; édité 1 fois
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Kerian MessagePosté le: Mar 11 Fév 2014 23:06   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Thanks for the test Lénaelle, it was funny !

I am a true neutral human Druid with a 14 in human and 13 in elf, so it's borderline. Polymorph and nature power seems very fascinating ! And true neutral, as expected.
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Coquilame MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 00:14   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Y'alls English is so much better than my French T.T F y'alls (just kidding, I love you guys)
Also, writing long English posts on this forum is so weird...

As for the window screens, this and this are what I mean. Don't you get a lot of bugs though inside? I mean birds would be rare, but bugs o.o
---

Anywho, time for English lesson number one, and it's about relative clauses, dedicated to Midochou, written by me and Belgarel. (Please correct any mistakes in my French examples if there are any.) Relative clauses include that, who, which, whose, why, when, where and whom. I hope this doesn't confuse anyone and helps some of you.

1. That - this is gonna be the most important one I think. It's used A LOT in English, more than in French. In French, you use que and qui, que before a subject and qui before a verb *(see below for the technical explanation.) But in English, we don't have that rule. You will use the word "that" in place of "que" and "qui" in contexts like this:
"C'est le chien que je trouve mignon." ou "C'est le chien qui est mignon."
"This is the dog that I think's cute." or "This is the dog that's cute."

You might be thinking, "But wait, why not "This is the dog who is cute?"" If so, jump to point #2!
Another interesting point is that in English, unlike French, using "that" is optional when a subject follows. If you so choose, you can completely leave it out. For example:
"This is the dog I think's cute." but "This is the dog that's cute."

*Technical explanation as mentioned above: Because "qui" replaces the subject in the dependent clause, the verb will always follow it thanks to SOV (subject-verb-object) word order.
Je cherche l'artiste. Il étudie à Paris.
> Je cherche l'artiste qui étudie à Paris.

And because "que" ends up replacing the object, leaving the subject still, the subject of the dependent clause will always follow it thanks to SOV word order.
J'ai acheté le livre. Ma sœur l'a écrit.
> J'ai acheté le livre que ma sœur a écrit.


2. Who - "who" can be used in place of "that" in English for animate (this means "living") things, so basically animals and people. Just like in French, you could say "This is the dog who's cute." in English if you wanted. However, the word "that" is much more often used. When we say "who", it's usually for slight emphasis on the subject (the dog in this case.)
Now, you might be thinking again, "But wait, why not also "This is the dog which is cute?"" If so, jump to points #3.1 and 3.2!

3.1 Which - "which" can also be used in place of "that" in English. But like I said above, "that" is way more common. "Which" feels a bit more formal (as in "mannered"). What you should be realizing by now if you haven't already is that 90% of the time, you should just choose to say "that" in English. It might seem unnatural since French mixes it up between que and qui and is very strict about which to use, but English really gives you options, even though one option is much more popular.

3.2 Which - "which" has another use though. It can be used in place of "and that" and "and it." For example:
"Code Lyoko was a French show, which surprised me." / "Code Lyoko was a French show, and that surprised me."
"Code Lyoko était un série français ce qui me surprend." / "Code Lyoko était un série français, et ça me surprend."
"I just watched Code Lyoko, which was a great show." / "I just watched Code Lyoko, and it was a great show."
"J'ai juste regardé Code Lyoko ce qui était un série génial." / "J'ai juste regardé Code Lyoko, et il était un série génial."

In these cases, "which" is more common than "and that" and "and it" but don't be afraid to express yourself either way.
Another way of looking at "which" is that it sums things up. For example:
"The Replikas that the Lyoko Warriors had destroyed were the embodiment of XANA's power."
"The Replikas, which the Lyoko Warriors had destroyed, were the embodiment of XANA's power."


4. Whose - this is a possessive word. Not to be confused with "who's" which means "who is." In French, you'd probably use "dont" for this. It is almost always used for people and animals. For objects, see the second example, it's more common for objects.
Here is an example sentence with "whose" in English.
"The cat whose paws got wet was sad." / "Le chat dont les pattes sont devenu mouillés était triste."
In these sentences, the subject (the cat) has/owns something (its paws). Another way of seeing it is like this:
"The cat that got its paws wet was sad." / ...Je n'ai aucune idée comment dire ça en français lol
In the second sentence, a verb ("got") comes first, so you say "that". But in the first sentence, a noun ("paws") came first, so you say "whose."

5. Why - it means "pour lequel".
"The reason why I did that..." / "La raison pour laquelle j'ai fait ça..."

6. When - it means "quand" though in French "où" is often used in this context. If it is a matter of time, instead of space, you use "when".
"Tell me when you are hungry." / "Dis-moi quand tu as faim." (Random example, I know...)

7. Where - it means "où." This is like French. It is a matter of space, not time.
"Tell me where I need to go." / "Dis-moi où je dois aller."

8. Whom - don't ever use this xD, no one says this ever except in like really formal (that means "mannered") writing. And even then, native speakers have trouble with it too and have to look up how to use it sometimes because it is very unnatural xD It's pretty advanced English. So yeah, one less word to worry about. Just use "who" instead. (If you're really curious though, here's a linky.)

-To be edited-
Fixing up some of the examples
Expanding on "whom"

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Dernière édition par Coquilame le Lun 17 Fév 2014 18:11; édité 2 fois
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Belgarel MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 03:42   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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I think it won't be about presenting lessons, but organizing them, and searching for examples that will make people progress and understand, or even practice. I wanted to translate the lesson into french, so that difficulties to understand english wouldn't be an ostacle, and I ended up disagreeing with stuff and rewriting explanations and I got a headache and erased my lessons three times. Bloddy complex. Why isn't grammar implanted in everyone's mind when they are born, thus we wouldn't need to explain it !
Not to mention : "adjective clause" ? What's with that kind of namming, what is clause ? Where are the clear concepts of proposition ? And subordination ? How do you people do grammars, actually ? I feel utterly ignorant, and I don't know if we are talking about the same objects. Are interrogative pronouns considered clause relatives (while "that", the main clause relative, is not an interrogative pronoun) ? Or did you pick examples sometimes carelessly ?

Well, I don't quite agree with the order in which you present clauses. It doesn't make sense : why don't you group them ? Why do you begin with whom, which is the (obsolete) object form of "who" ?
I'd think it'd make more sense to begin with THAT, then which, then the Doctor's clan, and finally, the leftovers.

First things first, "that" does have an equivalent in french : it's "que" Clauses Adjectives aren't the only thing in the universe :
Je sais que (I know that)
Que veux-tu ? (What do you want ?)
Que de doutes ! Que de peur ! (How many doubts ! How much fear !)
Que c'est courageux ! (How brave !)
Je t'aime tant que (I love you so much that)
Après que j'aurai terminé (After I'm done with it)
Avant que
Pendant que (While)
Sad thing you don't mention disappearing thats. They're so much fun to beginners ! You crazy people, making an essential indicator of the grammatical construction of your sentence disappear just because "Well, if the object is before the subject, then it must be that there's an adjective clause somewhere !"

"que before a noun and qui before a verb" Wow, nope. Qui is the subject of the clause adjective, que is its object. Both, since they are clauses, replace the noun in the adjective (proposition). And they both necessarily follow a noun, and precede a verb.
In fact, if we were talking about people only, "qui" would (pretty much) always be translated into "who", "que" into "whom" (except it's mandatory, not formal), and "dont" into "whose"*
Btw, avoid "formal" It's a fake friend to french people : "formel" may have different translations depending on the context (Je suis formel : I'm "absolutely sure" / On m'a formellement interdit : "I was strictly forbidden"), but "formal" is not among those. "Mannered" may be clearer to a french's ear.

You were actually misled by "C'est le chien que je trouve mignon." DON'T EVEN TRY TO ANALYSE THIS SENTENCE. There are actually two ways to grammatically interpret this piece of crap, and one is a gallicism (a non-translatable construction, so ancient that the way it logically works is no longer perceived by most people). Depending on the context, it may mean : "It's not you/that that is cute : it's the dog" or "Here is the cute dog I told you about" Fancy that, what a mess !

To explain "which", saying it feels more formal is not sufficient. Unless I'm mistaken, "which" sums things up. It would be translated by "ce qui" (.2), but also by "lequel" (also when it's an interrogative pronoun).
Rather, explain why "which" is sometimes needed because "that" would be ambiguous :
"The Replikas that the Lyokowarriors had destroyed were the embodiement of XANA's power."
"The Replikas, which the Lyokowarriors had destroyed, were the embodiement of XANA's power."

About "whose" : "Not to be confused with "who's" which means "who is." I laughed at this, because I read Youtube comments.
"whose" means "dont", but not "à qui". "À qui" would be litterally translated "to who(m)"

"The reason why I did that..." / "La raison pourquoi j'ai fait ça..."
What a shame ! that's precisely the only case in which english and french differ on the use of "why" French people say : "la raison pour laquelle" ("the reason for which).
Pourquoi is not a relative pronoun ; however, it may be used as an interrogative pronoun ("Pourquoi le monde est-il si cruel ?") or to introduce an indirect question ("Ils se demandaient pourquoi traduire devait être aussi compliqué."), exactly as it is in English.
Same thing with when, by the way : we use "où" (I know, it's space not time, so it doesn't make sense !)
"La nuit où l'avenir du monde allait se décider" : "the night when the future of the world was going to be settled"

____
* Actually, this "very intricate" page about how to use "who/m/se" is pretty easy to deal with to french people, who are more used to seperate qui, que, dont (instead of using "that" 90% of the time…or just making it disappear !) Well, young children sometimes have difficulties learning that not everything is "que" and that's inexcusable, but globally it's okay.
Thus, though English is not my native tongue, I know exactly how to use "whom" Glorious piece of knowledge !
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Premier commandement : Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Les distinctions sociales ne peuvent être fondées que sur l'utilité commune.
Troisième commandement : Tout individu a droit à la vie
Quatrième commandement : Nul ne sera tenu en esclavage ni en servitude; l'esclavage et la traite des esclaves sont interdits sous toutes leurs formes.
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Coquilame MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 15:16   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Belgarel a écrit:
I think it won't be about presenting lessons, but organizing them, and searching for examples that will make people progress and understand, or even practice. I wanted to translate the lesson into french, so that difficulties to understand english wouldn't be an ostacle, and I ended up disagreeing with stuff and rewriting explanations and I got a headache and erased my lessons three times. Bloddy complex. Why isn't grammar implanted in everyone's mind when they are born, thus we wouldn't need to explain it !
Not to mention : "adjective clause" ? What's with that kind of namming, what is clause ? Where are the clear concepts of proposition ? And subordination ? How do you people do grammars, actually ? I feel utterly ignorant, and I don't know if we are talking about the same objects. Are interrogative pronouns considered clause relatives (while "that", the main clause relative, is not an interrogative pronoun) ? Or did you pick examples sometimes carelessly ?

Well, I don't quite agree with the order in which you present clauses. It doesn't make sense : why don't you group them ? Why do you begin with whom, which is the (obsolete) object form of "who" ?
I'd think it'd make more sense to begin with THAT, then which, then the Doctor's clan, and finally, the leftovers.

I chose to talk about the words that I did from this linky.
I agree, we should organize lessons here. I figured there would be a few mistakes in mine, so I was waiting for some feedback haha

As for the order, I wanted to get "whom" out of the way immediately, because it's really not that useful - I mean it's really only used in academic writing and literature and even there, its usage is probably declining. I could have also saved it for last I suppose. Then, I brought up "that", because I feel it is the most important and most common one, then "who" which can be used in its place at times, then "which" which can also be used in its place, but has a bit more of an explanation to it, then the final three which are much easier to explain... or so I thought.


Belgarel a écrit:
First things first, "that" does have an equivalent in french : it's "que" Clauses Adjectives aren't the only thing in the universe :
Je sais que (I know that)
Que veux-tu ? (What do you want ?)
Que de doutes ! Que de peur ! (How many doubts ! How much fear !)
Que c'est courageux ! (How brave !)
Je t'aime tant que (I love you so much that)
Après que j'aurai terminé (After I'm done with it)
Avant que
Pendant que (While)
Sad thing you don't mention disappearing thats. They're so much fun to beginners ! You crazy people, making an essential indicator of the grammatical construction of your sentence disappear just because "Well, if the object is before the subject, then it must be that there's an adjective clause somewhere !"

I was only talking about relative pronouns and relative adverbs as the lesson was on relative clauses, so while I covered "que" in English in its use in contexts like "Je sais que", I did not talk about "que"'s usage in places like "Que de doutes !" etc.
Furthermore, while you can certainly argue that "que" is an equivalent of sorts to "that", it isn't a 100% true equivalent. In French "que" is used where we would not say "that" in English, like in "Que veux-tu ?", and in English, "that" is used where we would not say "que" in French, like in "C'est le chien qui est mignon."
I agree though, I should make an edit to talk about the disappearing "that"! Very Happy


Belgarel a écrit:
"que before a noun and qui before a verb" Wow, nope. Qui is the subject of the clause adjective, que is its object. Both, since they are clauses, replace the noun in the adjective (proposition). And they both necessarily follow a noun, and precede a verb.
In fact, if we were talking about people only, "qui" would (pretty much) always be translated into "who", "que" into "whom" (except it's mandatory, not formal), and "dont" into "whose"*
Btw, avoid "formal" It's a fake friend to french people : "formel" may have different translations depending on the context (Je suis formel : I'm "absolutely sure" / On m'a formellement interdit : "I was strictly forbidden"), but "formal" is not among those. "Mannered" may be clearer to a french's ear.

You were actually misled by "C'est le chien que je trouve mignon." DON'T EVEN TRY TO ANALYSE THIS SENTENCE. There are actually two ways to grammatically interpret this piece of crap, and one is a gallicism (a non-translatable construction, so ancient that the way it logically works is no longer perceived by most people). Depending on the context, it may mean : "It's not you/that that is cute : it's the dog" or "Here is the cute dog I told you about" Fancy that, what a mess !

About the before a noun or verb thing, we are both right. Your explanation is just the more technical one, whereas I was trying to keep things more simple in mine. Because "qui" replaces the subject in the dependent clause, the verb will always follow it.
Je cherche l'artiste. Il étudie à Paris.
> Je cherche l'artiste qui étudie à Paris.

And because "que" ends up replacing an object, leaving the subject still, the subject of the dependent clause will always follow it.
J'ai acheté le livre. Ma sœur l'a écrit.
> J'ai acheté le livre que ma sœur a écrit.

But it's much easier in one's head to say "hey, is there gonna be a noun/subject next or a verb?" than to think about whether they are replacing an object or subject.

As for the "C'est le chien que je trouve mignon" part, this actually doesn't mean "This is the dog that I think's cute." ???
If so, could you recommend a better example sentence for me to use in the lesson?


Belgarel a écrit:
To explain "which", saying it feels more formal is not sufficient. Unless I'm mistaken, "which" sums things up. It would be translated by "ce qui" (.2), but also by "lequel" (also when it's an interrogative pronoun).
Rather, explain why "which" is sometimes needed because "that" would be ambiguous :
"The Replikas that the Lyokowarriors had destroyed were the embodiement of XANA's power."
"The Replikas, which the Lyokowarriors had destroyed, were the embodiement of XANA's power."

This is also a good explanation ^^ I like your examples and the explanation of it summing it up, so I will edit that into my original post!

Belgarel a écrit:
About "whose" : "Not to be confused with "who's" which means "who is." I laughed at this, because I read Youtube comments.
"whose" means "dont", but not "à qui". "À qui" would be litterally translated "to who(m)"

No, "whose" can be translated to "à qui" and vice versa, although I think that that would not be a relative clause... So I may have accidently added that in. I can always remove that part and save it for a future lesson. Here are some links to prove my point:
http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/whose
http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/possession_3.htm


Belgarel a écrit:
"The reason why I did that..." / "La raison pourquoi j'ai fait ça..."
What a shame ! that's precisely the only case in which english and french differ on the use of "why" French people say : "la raison pour laquelle" ("the reason for which).
Pourquoi is not a relative pronoun ; however, it may be used as an interrogative pronoun ("Pourquoi le monde est-il si cruel ?") or to introduce an indirect question ("Ils se demandaient pourquoi traduire devait être aussi compliqué."), exactly as it is in English.
Same thing with when, by the way : we use "où" (I know, it's space not time, so it doesn't make sense !)
"La nuit où l'avenir du monde allait se décider" : "the night when the future of the world was going to be settled"

I have trouble with knowing when to use laquelle, so if I got this wrong, I'm really sorry.
I will try to rewrite it later thinking about what you have said haha Non-native French-speaker problems...

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Belgarel MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 17:17   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Grammar sure is interesting, but it also sucks. Maybe anti-moskitoes screens were more fun.

The thing most Europeans are astonished by, when they go to the States, is how huge everything is. It's totally out of scale, I mean : people living 60 miles away from their workplace ? Spending two hours on the road to go to a party like it's nothing ?
Another think that was huge was that hamburger at the restaurant. I have a pretty insatiable appetite, and yet hell was it incredible ! Mc Donald's success is now totally impossible to understand.

From now on, I will continue discussions on this lesson inside spoilers, or we can use PMs (why do these letters make me think about Pikamaniaque ?)
Spoiler

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Lénaelle MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 19:23   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Spending two hours on the road to go to a party like it's nothing ?


Been there, done that \o/
As long as there is some good music in the car, it's all fine to me haha

Appart from that, I think that topic is going to be very useful, I have an english test (CLES) in a few weeks and I am afraid I am not as good with grammar and stuff as I think I am :/

So thanks !

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Ikorih MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 19:28   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Oh you have an exam too Lénaelle? I have the FCE on 7th and 14th March :s
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Lénaelle MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 19:50   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Lucky You ! I see it corresponds with the B2 european level, Mine is B1 for the moment, I'll have to pass an other one next year, I guess it's because you have the chance to study in an international school.
I wonder if it's the same type of test we have.

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Coquilame MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 19:59   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Alrighty, Belgarel, I'll edit the topic later today when I have more time. For now, I must get to translating. Busy as always T.T lol Or at least that's my perception being a lazy person at heart.

I don't know about you guys but I hope to pass my C1 certification exam (by taking the DALF at the Alliance Française in New York) at the end of 2014 or the start of 2015, but this is obviously a huuuge goal and I should really dedicate more time specifically towards improving my French...

If there's anything in particular that either of you would want me to organize a lesson for here, I'd be more than willing ^^

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Lénaelle MessagePosté le: Mer 12 Fév 2014 20:08   Sujet du message: Répondre en citant  
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Maybe we could organize an audio training with some certified examples of questions that we can find in the exam Mr. Green
That's something I never did before, talking with a true english speaker in order to train for an exam *.* And then when you pass your french thing, Kelsey, we can help you the same way o/

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