7 French mistakes you can avoid easily

Live-French.netGrammar and Vocabulary

Here are 7 common French mistakes that you won’t make after you read this article:

1) The negative form: non and pas

Saying things in the negative form could seem to be easy. However if you speak English or Italian, this could be quite confusing. Et oui, non, c’est non : it’s a negative answer ! Otherwise, one should use pas.

In English you say ” No futur”, but in French we say ” Pas de lendemain”. In Italian you say ” Non il rosso, il giallo”, we say” Pas le rouge, le bleu”.

C’est simple, non ?

Ok, but pay attention : ” Not only… but also” – ” Non seulement… mais”

It’s tricky, isn’t it?

2) Ne pas … de

When a sentence is in the negative form, you don’t need to think too much, only use ‘de’, (no need for du / de la / des!)

Je mange du poisson – Je ne mange pas de poisson

Je mange de la salade – Je ne mange pas de salade

For once, you don’t need to think whether it’s feminine or masculine, singular or plural. Just remember: NE-PAS-DE

3) Les “si”  n’aiment pas les “ré”

French kids know this rule from a very young age, les “si” n’aiment pas les “ré” , it’s refering to the music notes.

So what’s the link to our grammar point?

If your sentence starts with “si”, then you never use the conditionnel.


Si tu es riche, tu peux voyager plus facilement.

Si tu étais riche, tu pourr ais voyager plus facilement.

If you look carefully, you see that the “ré” (rais) is not after ‘si’, it’s in the second part of the sentence.

4) The days of the week

They are all masculine words.
Le lundi, le mardi, le mercredi, le jeudi, le vendredi, le samedi, le dimanche.

Many foreigners say “Je t’appelle le lundi prochain”.  Even if your French accent is perfect, French people will find out you are not from France. Why? Because we say:

Je viens lundi

Je t’appelle lundi prochain

Il est venu mardi dernier

The same is true about time. Don’t say “à la 10 heure du matin” but “à 10 heures du matin”.

5) Visiter / Rendre visite

This is specifically French. We use visiter for a city, a country, a museum, but you can’t use this verb for your grandmother!

When you visit someone, the verb to use is rendre visite.


J’ai visité le Louvre

J’ai rendu visite à ma soeur

6) Comment allez-vous ?

You should say BIEN !

Some tend to use (by mistake) “bon”, but “bon” is only used to talk about something that is tasty like snails and frogs 🙂

7)  Souvenirs, souvenirs !

Il est bon de se souvenir de vos dernières vacances au soleil et de votre dernière soirée entre amis.

Mais voilà, vous êtes le seul à pouvoir vous souvenir !

No one can “vous souvenir”. However, they can remind you things (vous rappeler des choses).

Don’t tell your friend ” Merci de me souvenir d’acheter du pain ” but” Merci de me rappeler d’acheter du pain “.

Contributeur: Vanessa

Vanessa is from Strasbourg. Fine-arts and theater are her passions. She has published many books and thousands articles about various cultural topics in french. Therefore, she loves teaching French through art and literature. You may discover the wonderful French culture and way of life while improving your French conversation skills.

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Author: Live-French.net

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