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French transitivity etc.

From:Trebor Jung <treborjung@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 12:59

I'm both very confused and very frustrated, about French and how they teach us:

In school, we learned that <perdre> in French means 'to lose'. And I wondered if
it was like 'I lost my money' or 'I am lost', so I asked the teacher 'Is
<perdre> transitive or intransitive?'. She said it was transitive *, and now
I'm wondering if transitivity, as in English, is not important - i.e.
(in)transitive verbs have the same forms: 'I lost (something) vs. I lost my
money'. Or maybe I should have thought about the <être> construction - <Je
suis perdu> 'I'm lost'? (I'm just guessing on <perdu> - is that the correct

* [Could someone PLEASE teach me French grammar please - proper real grammar
without ridiculous amounts of watering down?]

The teacher (who supposedly can speak Italian and Spanish, too) took in college
those courses, and still wasn't sure what 'intransitive/transitive' mean! Even
my father, who I'm sure didn't learn much about linguistics, actually knows
what they mean (and I didn't tell him). Aren't these people supposed to know
these terms? Shouldn't they be teaching us using these terms? ... The current
teacher says 'break down' instead of 'conjugate', and that <chez> = 'at', <à
la maison> = 'at the home of', ...!

And the definitions: Does <J'ai regardé> mean 'I watched', 'I have watched', 'I
had watched', or something else? ... If it's one, how do you form the others?
... And <regarder> itself, is it 'to watch (e.g. television)', 'to look after
(e.g. my little brother - no, <garder>?)', 'to see/to notice (<voir> - 'to see'
what, though?)', or what?

And does French have a progressive aspect (at all)? The teacher says 'I eat' and
'I am eating' are the same thing.

... This way I'll never learn French properly. Stupid methods for learning foreign
languages result in no such learning ever taking place except of an
unintelligible form of the language which native speakers cannot understand a
single sentence of (ask Christophe :((( ), or even create such an
ungrammatical, incomprehensible sentence, or understand the speech of monoglots
*, or say/write/read anything in the language at all...

* One who speaks only one language (right?).



Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Tristan McLeay <zsau@...>