Groupetude Newsletter: week 15

Weekly English Fix

A bit of rain helps the flowers grow!

By Klaudyna Piatek April 12th, 2021

The nice thing about grey days is that people tend to stay home, which means that my family and I can have the great outdoors all to ourselves. Our hike yesterday to the Refuge de Cézanne was absolutely lovely, and we were all alone. We must have met a grand total of 10 people! 

Funny anecdote about language learning: just yesterday afternoon, I was a little flustered and trying to figure out what I should pack for my son when I very nearly said: Je lui ai mis une poule chaude. I only almost said it, however, my husband caught it and absolutely teased me. For those of you who are not there yet in French, it means: I packed him a hot hen. I meant to say: Je lui ai mis un pull chaud; which would mean: I packed him a warm sweater. 

You will quite probably say a very many silly things on your language learning journey; embrace them! They will serve as great anecdotes later on and you’ll be able to get a good laugh out of them. 



This kid couldn’t find an avatar that looked like him — so he helped create one

When I came across this article I absolutely loved it, and what’s more? It’s from the Kids News CBC website. So for those of you who have pre-teens or teenagers who want to read a bit in English, why not give the website a try?

How France is making renting property (a bit) easier

I thought this article might be useful to those of you looking for a place to rent in France, but also for those learning English, to read about renting and the difficulties that foreigners to the country often encounter. 



Long Term Improvement

One of the things that really helped me improve my French has been cooking. It’s amazing how much vocabulary and practical grammatical structures you can learn from a good cook book. I recommend this to anyone who likes cooking, honestly, it has been very very helpful! I’ll post about one of my favorites on Instagram this week, so follow us @groupetude and check it out!


Do you read headlines? You should! It doesn’t take very long, but a good headline will also contain clever new words you can use. If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading the news in a foreign language, why not start with just the headlines ?

Grammar Spot

French: having trouble with the subjunctive? Try this: Il faut que tu fasses tes devoirs. Now you know that whenever you say, “il faut que + the subject (like il, elle, tu…) you must use the subjunctive. You know what’s frustrating? My 4 year old son is beginning to use this structure better than me! Quelle honte! 

English: if you use the words must, can, will, have to, etc. (basically all modal verbs) what comes after is always the infinitive. For example: You must wash your car; she can take a cookie, Rebecca has to do her homework. 

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

Groupetude SARL

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13090, Aix en Provence

Word of the Day: nauseous

For the American pronunciation: nah-tious.

For the British pronunciation: nah-zee-ous

I figure that this is a pretty useful word to know. After all, everyone feels sick at one point or another, and it may be a good idea to know how to describe your symptoms to a doctor or a friend.

Here are some more examples:

I often feel nauseous in the car, especially if the road twists and turns.

Just watching you eat that is making me nauseous.

Doctor: what are your symptoms?

Patient: I have a headache, a fever, and I feel nauseous.

Grammar Monday: adjectives 1

I still sometimes struggle with adjectives in French, because they change. You have to know the gender of the noun, adjust for plurals, etc.; that confuses me, or, even when it doesn’t, sometimes I simply forget!

In English, adjectives are pretty simple. They never change! No matter what you pair it with, your adjective will always be the same. For example: your old shoe, and, your old shoes. There may be more than one shoe, that’s ok, it has no effect on the adjective.

Aldo, adjectives go in front of the noun. For example: a happy face.

There you go! More on this again next week, when we’ll deal with multiple adjectives to describe one thing.

Grammar Mondays

As you know, we don’t only use conjunctions for opposition, we also need them to add information or make a further point. That’s why these are great; you can use them all at the start or in the middle of a sentence, always at the beginning of a clause.

Can you make a sentence with each one?

Let us know if you have any questions!

Immersion en anglais à travers les séries

Personne ne veut que son enfant passe trop de temps devant les écrans, mais si on est réaliste, on admet que nos enfants regardent quand même des dessins animés. Alors, pourquoi ne pas en profiter pour qu’il apprennent en même temps ? 

C’est bien connu que les personnes dans les pays scandinaves, tel la Norvège, parlent très bien anglais. Alors voyons pourquoi. 

Il y a, bien sûr, des raisons linguistiques et économiques pour ces compétences. Les pays scandinaves ont des petites populations; ils ont besoin de parler l’anglais professionnellement pour pouvoir communiquer avec des étrangers. Les langues scandinaves sont aussi plus rapprochées linguistiquement de l’anglais que les langues latines. 

Aujourd’hui, cependant, je vais vous parler des médias. En Norvège, ou en Suède, les séries et les films ne sont généralement pas doublés. Si la version originale est en anglais, elle reste en anglais. Grâce à ça, les scandinaves ont l’anglais tout autour d’eux, alors qu’en France, regarder une série ou bien un film en VO n’est pas toujours possible. Ça change, bien-sûr, mais pour moi, on pourrait vraiment faire mieux. Je connais très peu de français qui regardent leurs médias en VO, même ceux qui parlent anglais ! 

C’est important, pour l’apprentissage d’une langue, de l’entendre. Si le seul endroit où l’on rencontre une nouvelle langue est dans un livre de grammaire, ou dans un cours à l’école où il y a tellement d’enfants que même si l’enseignant est bon, il y a peu de chance qu’il arrive à aider tous les élèves; alors c’est certain que l’on n’apprendra pas. 

Alors, mettez les séries en VO ! Mettez les films et les jeux en VO. Si vous souhaitez que votre enfant parle bien anglais, mettez lui ses dessins animés en anglais. Il n’est pas important ce que vous lui mettez, tant que c’est en anglais, mais voici quelques séries bien aimées de mon fils de 4 ans: Paw Patrol ; Peppa Pig ; Mickey Mouse Club House (génial pour l’apprentissage car en plus d’être en anglais, c’est une série où les enfants apprennent plein de choses) ; Mickey Mouse Roadster Racers ; Curious George et Llama Llama.

Ce n’est pas une liste exhaustive, mais elle est déjà pas mal. Je recommande vivement Mickey Mouse Club House pour les plus jeunes, car c’est vraiment basé sur l’apprentissage des plus petits. 

Donc voilà, j’espère que je ne vous ai pas trop ennuyé ! Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à nous écrire ou laissez un commentaire ci- dessous.

Bonne journée et bon week-end à tous !  

P.S. Cet article est écrit avec l’anglais à l’esprit, mais vous pouvez tout à fait transférer ces idées à n’importe quel autre langue !

Friday Idiom: under the weather

Mandy: How are you today?

Roger: I’m a bit under the weather. How are you?

Mandy: Yeah, same. There must be a bug going around.

This expression is often used when you’re not terribly sick, but you have a cold, for example. Usually, we use the qualifier ‘bit’ right before.

So, have you « caught a bug »? Are you feeling under the weather?

word of the day: basket

Today’s word is basket. This is a simple word, yet it is also what we call a false friend. I sometimes hear the word baskets used in English to mean sneakers. Sneakers are running shoes, baskets are things you use to carry objects, like clothes, picnics, groceries, etc. In French, you can say les baskets to mean sneakers. But if you say: I got some great new baskets today, in English, people will look at you funny; I mean, who gets excited about a basket? Well, I suppose you could, if it’s an especially cool one 🙂 .

So, suffice it to say, a basket is very useful, but not footwear.

Can you think of any false friends between English and your language? Are they funny? Let us know in the comments below!