Monday, 31 March 2008

The week of the future

Inspired by Lily who has begun using the future tense (correctly conjugated, mind you), I've decided to allocate myself one tricky tense a week and try and practice. I've got a handful of textbooks, most of which I never look at, and I'm starting with the future. I really don't remember any of this from high school and I have a lot of trouble distinguishing the future tense from the conditional. I think the added problem with the future tense is that one can simply use aller + infinitive to get a similar, and in my current state, adequate meaning across. I've realized that I say je vais ... a lot more in french than I would saying "I'm going to ..." in english. In english I would say, "I will..."

So I'll be digging out a few textbooks and making a real effort to properly conjugate the future tense this week, instead of just relying on the easy, not-quite-right way out.

9 comments:

mammaclaudia said...

I really like reading your blog. It reminds me of my first months in France. I spoke a little french already when I started working in Nice, but there were so many words I didn't know and so many times I just had to "guess" what people was asking me...

Bon courage!

Function of Time said...

I've come to the realization that I need classes. At least, SOME classes to start in the right direction.

Le Tigre said...

Keep us posted, you progress will inspire me to keep on myself!

Rupal said...

So I continue to be impressed by your determination at becoming fluent - I mean really fluent, not "fluent" like I am in Spanish, where the only future tense I will even acknowledge is the Ir + infinitive!! Happy studying!

Milie said...

Well done Penny ! Tu vas y arriver ;-) you can do it! Lily is really stimulating you, that's excellent.
As I was reading your article, I've realised that I almost never use "I'm going to", but "I will"...yes, tenses are difficult in french, I agree. But you know what, there are many French that can't write their own language...that's sad.
Take care!

screamish said...

Yeah but have you tried pronouncing the french for "I will write"??? tell me how its done...half the reason i still use je vais is to avoid pronunciation probs...! my tongue just doesnt want to make the necessary contortions at the back of my throat...

Penny said...

Screamish - funny you should say that as I had never before yesterday tried pronouncing things like "on mangera" and I had to get get David to help me understand where to put the emphasis. Its a good tense to avoid I think - too many R's :)

Thanks Claudia - its always good to know other people have made it :)

Function Of Time - I think thats a great idea. I would still like to take lessons one day when Jasper is in school. there is a great tutor here in Annecy :)

Le Tigre - well, my progress to date. I did about a hour's revision yesterday and have barely spoken to anyone today. I did dream that I was speaking in the future tense - if that counts! Hang in there - one day this will all be a distant memory :)

Thanks Rupal. I am determined but I'm trying to be patient too :)

Thanks Milie - BTW your photos from North Queensland were fantastic. I was just too lazy to write you a reply in french ;-)

Justin said...

great plan! I need to put more work in to my tenses, like you I have a hard time distinguishing between future and conditional. It will come though, I learned both tenses well a while back, but have only just started to be able to use them and comprehend them. But when it comes, it hits like lightening. Keep up the good work. I actually used the future tense 4 times already this morning, whereas two weeks ago I would have only used the present or avoir + inf to talk about my plans for tomorrow.

Justin said...

Penny,

I thought about your 'too many Rs' comment today during my French lesson about future tense. Check out this example I came across today:

Q - Est-ce que vous avez récupéré vos messages hier soir?
A - Non, je les récupérerai plus tard ce soir.

I stumbled over that future tense quiet a few times. :-)