Grammar Mondays: modals 6

Améliorez votre anglais avec nos Grammar Mondays; chaque semaine, une nouvelle astuce avec Groupetude !

The modal may is used to express two things: politeness and possibility.

In terms of possibility, it can replace might, though might is more commonly used than may in this context.

More often, school children learn that may is used for good manners. For example, rather than using the modal can when asking for something, use may:

  • May I have another cookie please?
  • May I go to the bathroom? (A child asking at school.)
  • May I leave the table?
  • May I? (Said simply when it is obvious what the question is, for example, when you’re indicating that you’d like to offer your help.)
  • How may I help you? (If you’re a shop assistant speaking to a customer.)

Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comments, or email me directly!

Grammar Mondays: modals 5

Améliorez votre grammaire anglaise avec nos astuces tous les lundis !

Might reflects possibility. We use this modal if we are unsure that something will or will not happen.

For example, if you’re unsure of your plans for the evening, you could say: I might go out, but I’m not sure.

If you’re unsure if you’d like to go out, you could also say: I might not go tonight, we’ll see.

Whether you use the affirmative or negative form is really up to you and how you want to spin your sentence. Do you want to emphasize that you might NOT do something (you’re leaning towards no)? Or that you might do something (you’re leaning towards yes)?

Give it a try, and don’t forget, if you have questions, give us a shout!

Grammar Mondays: modals 4

Améliorez votre grammaire anglaise avec Groupetude chaque lundi.

We often use should to offer advice, or indicate something that is good or not good to do.

Should is never conjugated, and is used with another verb, in the infinitive.

Here are some more examples:

  • Mary should play more often if she wants to get better.
  • You should see your doctor every year for a health check up.
  • People should pay more attention to their diets.
  • You should exercise regularly.

In question form, simply invert the modal and the subject:

  • Should I take these pills with a meal?
  • Should you be doing that?
  • Should we leave now?
  • Shouldn’t you be at the theatre by now?

Have you got any questions? Be sure to leave them in the comments!

Grammar Mondays: modals

Improve your English grammar every Monday with Groupetude's Grammar Mondays series!

Have to is also a modal verb, though unlike the others, we must conjugate it in whatever tense you intend to use.

It indicates an obligation to do something, if used in the affirmative. So:

  • Amber has to play the guitar every day. = Amber must play the guitar every day.

However, in the negative, it indicates a lack of obligation:

  • Amber doesn’t have to do the laundry at home, her mom takes care of it. = Amber doesn’t need to do the laundry.

This rule is opposed to « must » which, in the negative, indicates that something is not allowed. For example, if someone says, « You mustn’t run by the poolside. » This means that you’re not allowed to run by the poolside.

Have you got any questions? Leave them in the comments and we’ll get back to you!

Grammar Mondays: modals 2

Suivez nos conseils de grammaire chaque lundi !

Must reflects an obligation. It is usually used to talk about rules or prohibitions. For example:

  • You mustn’t run by the pool.
  • You must wear a helmet when you ride your bike.
  • Pupils must raise their hand when they want a turn to speak.
  • A receptionist must answer the phone when it rings.
  • You mustn’t go swimming immediately after a meal.

Now it’s your turn, try to think of three things you must do, and three things you musn’t do.

Groupetude Newsletter: week 19

Weekly English Fix

Rain, rain, go away!

By Klaudyna Piatek May 10th, 2021

Oh what to do on a rainy day? On a rainy week? 

How about card games! We’ve recently rediscovered some great card games to play with friends. Board games and card games are super popular in France, and many people have got a nice collection for every occasion. 

Lately, we’ve been playing Smile Life and Mini Ville. They’re lots of fun, even if there are only two players. If you’re learning French, this is a great way to practice without feeling like you’re studying, and the language in the games will really help you with everyday vocabulary. 

Learning English? Why not try scrabble online. If you’ve got someone to practice with at home, then you could even order the English version of the game. 

Don’t forget to join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/groupetudecommunity

THIS WEEK’S

TOP STORIES

Spring and painting and Normandy, interview with David Hockney:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/may/10/david-hockney-on-joy-longing-and-spring-light-im-teaching-the-french-how-to-paint-normandy

The colors of spring, beautiful paintings, Normandy, and an interview with David Hockney, why not?! 

The myths you shouldn’t believe about the rights of Brits in France after Brexit

https://www.thelocal.fr/20210423/the-myths-you-shouldnt-believe-about-brits-rights-in-france-after-brexit/

It’s always good to keep afloat of important info concerning your status. The Local dispels a few myths for you in this article. 

THIS WEEK’S

TOP TIPS

Long Term Improvement

As I already mentioned above, play some games! They’re really lots of fun, and will help so much with ease and fluency. Try Smile Life, really, it’s fun! If you play once a week with your partner, in French or in English (depending on what you’re trying to improve) I promise you will improve your vocabulary and confidence! 

Vocabulary

Learning French: confused about whether a word is feminine or masculine? Check the dictionary or type it into Google, it’s a quick and easy way to get it right! 

Learning English: Have you been following our Word of the Day? If not, do so! Every Tuesday and Thursday on the blog, on Facebook and on Instagram! 

Grammar Spot

Learning French: it’s sometimes possible to determine the gender of a word depending on its ending. Here’s a website which helps you with that! https://wwwling.arts.kuleuven.be/alfagram/nom/desc/genre/inanim/fter.htm#:~:text=noms%20masculins%3A%20%2Dage%2C%20ai,%2C%20%2Disme%2C…

Learning English: follow the next few weeks’ posts about grammar where we explain the rules surrounding modal verbs. You’ll find them on the blog every Monday! 


Ok, do you have any questions? Drop me line, I’ll get back to you ASAP! 

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Groupetude SARL

21 AV Jean Giono

13090, Aix en Provence

Grammar Mondays: modals 1

Besoin d'aide en grammaire? Pas de problème ! Nous avons des astuces chaque lundi chez Groupetude !

Many people struggle with modal verbs because they seem scary. But they’re not so bad, really!

The rules are quite simple:

  • Modal verbs are never conjugated.
  • In a question, they don’t need an auxiliary.
  • They always need a supporting verb in a sentence, and that verb is never conjugated.

So here are some examples with the modal can:

  • My dog, Charlie, can jump very high.
  • Can you help me with this?
  • I can hop on one leg!

Do you have any questions? Drop me a line or join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/groupetudecommunity and ask there, we’ll get back to you ASAP!

Grammar Mondays: adjectives 8

Improve your English grammar with our tip of the week!

As you may have noticed, there are many ways to compare things in English. So here’s just one more!

Using the « as…as » formula is very useful when you want to compare two things that have the same quality. Often, children compare their heights in this way. They might stand on a chair and say to their mom or dad: « I’m as tall as you! » Or they might compare themselves to their peers: « Jenny’s not as tall as me. »

There’s also a film from the late 90’s with Jack Nicholson: As Good as It Gets.

Here are a few more examples:

  • My husband doesn’t like his job as much as I like mine.
  • Our games aren’t as good as our friends’ games.
  • My cats are as big as my dog.
  • The day is as beautiful as it was yesterday.
  • You are as beautiful as the first day I met you.
  • It’s not as hot as yesterday.

Got any examples of your own? Leave them in the comments!

Groupetude Newsletter! week 18

Weekly English Fix

May

By Klaudyna Piatek May 3rd, 2021

I always love the month of May. Doesn’t everyone? It’s spring, flowers are in bloom everywhere, and the warm weather becomes a more regular visitor. 

So what’s on the menu this month? 

We are going to be organising a series of Facebook Lives for all of you lovely people. Yes, you read that right, we’re giving away lots of learning tips. However, we need your help! Join our group, Groupetude Community, where the Lives will be hosted, and post your questions! There will be two threads, one for English and one for French learners. We will use these to organise the Lives and do our best to answer as well as possible. 

So get ready, we’re starting the week of May 17th! 

THIS WEEK’S

TOP STORIES

French Réunion: the postmen of the peaks

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/03/french-reunion-the-postmen-of-the-peaks

This is an island I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. Interested in La Réunion? Read about the postal workers who scale peaks to collect and deliver the mail. 

EXPLAINED: Do you have to pay duty if you bring furniture from the UK to France?

https://www.thelocal.fr/20210416/explained-do-you-have-to-pay-duty-if-you-bring-furniture-from-the-uk-to-france/

I’ve read a lot of questions concerning this issue on various expat forums, so check it out. The article breaks down the most popular questions, hopefully it’ll help you or someone you know! 

THIS WEEK’S

TOP TIPS

Long Term Improvement

This one is going to seem so obvious, but, make a friend. It’s so much easier to learn when you’ve got someone to talk to. You get free practice and have a good time all the while. If it’s hard to figure out how to make a friend, join a club; anything you enjoy doing really, and you’ll meet people that way.

Vocabulary

Learning French: Here’s a site I found for French vocabulary. Let me know if you like it, it seems to be quite useful! https://www.transparent.com/word-of-the-day/today/french.html

Learning English: check out https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/ it’s fantastic because it’s a dictionary for English learners and gives you a new word each day, along with the level and pronunciation. 

Grammar Spot

Learning French: When I was learning French I had trouble remembering when to use the verb être in the past. Here’s the House of être, useful as a memory tool and the website has some explanations on it too. https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/french/french-i/french-i-the-passe-compose/the-passe-compose-with-etre

Learning English: if you want to compare two things that are the same, you can use “as”. For example, Mary is as tall as John. The melon is as big as my head. You can also do this for the negative, when two things aren’t the same: my tea is not as hot as yours. 


Ok, do you have any questions? Drop me line, I’ll get back to you ASAP! 

Don’t want the newsletter anymore? Just reply with the word “unsubscribe”.

Groupetude SARL

21 AV Jean Giono

13090, Aix en Provence

Groupetude Newsletter: week 17

Weekly English Fix

Back to school

Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

By Klaudyna Piatek April 26th, 2021

Vacation’s over kids! Time to go back to school, and back to a normal working week for mom and dad. It’s eerily quiet now in the flat, apart from the dog barking at random I-don’t-know-whats. 

As we steer towards the end of April, stay tuned to Groupetude to find out about our Facebook Lives throughout the month of May! We’re going all out, twice a week, with tips and tricks and more to help you learn. 

Also, don’t forget to join us on Thursday evenings for our Cooking Hour in French, where we cook and chat and are generally jolly! These workshops are absolutely free and provide precious practice. 

So don’t forget to book a spot, we’re limited to 10 people per workshop so that it doesn’t get too crowded and everyone ha a chance to speak! 


THIS WEEK’S

TOP STORIES

Bottoms up! Five things to know about proposing a toast in France

https://www.thelocal.fr/20210416/bottoms-up-five-things-to-know-about-proposing-a-toast-in-france/

If you want to fit into French society, you’ve got to frequent the apéro whenever you’re invited. Or, whenever you invite! And what’s important during an apéro? The toast! 

Oscars 2021: Full list of winners at the Academy Awards

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/oscars-2021-full-list-of-winners-at-the-academy-awards-1.6001854

Wondering what to watch this week? How about one of the winners? The list does seem to be at least a little bit more diverse this year. 


THIS WEEK’S

TOP TIPS

Long Term Improvement

Join a bookclub! I’ve just started one in Aix en Provence, where I live. We’ve come up with a list of books, now it’s time to choose one and set a date to meet! It’s hard getting started on a book in a foreign language, so one way to get around that is by teaming up with others. Go on, give it a shot! 

Vocabulary

Read the dictionary. Yeah, you read that right! Sometimes it’s fun, though I don’t mean from cover to cover! Looking up words in the target language itself is useful because you learn even more words through the definitions. Try it, it can’t hurt, right?

Grammar Spot

Write in your target language. Keep a diary, or write short notes or text messages to your friends. If you do it on the computer, you’ll get help from spell check! This totally helps me remember to add the extra “e” on a feminine French word. 


Ok, do you have any questions? Drop me line, I’ll get back to you ASAP! 

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Groupetude SARL

21 AV Jean Giono

13090, Aix en Provence