146 Answered Questions for the topic usage


Latin phrases - used in French too?

There are lots of latin phrases in common use in English. Is it suitable/appropriate/common to directly use them in French, exactly like I would for English? For the purposes of discussion lets... more


What exactly is the difference between <verb>-てしまう and <verb>- [切]{き}る?

I've read that both the ~てしまう and ~きる (18th meaning of 切る at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E5%88%87%E3%82%8B) forms are used to signify something has been... more


How to translate: "Keep/leave something". So, how to express intention to leave something unchanged?

Consider questions like: Please leave the door open, thanks! Could you please keep the lift's doors open? Thankyou Please, leave it as it is. They all imply something common: not changing... more


slightly/somewhat の 「~[目]{め}」: Usage and limitations?

I'm somewhat confused about the usage and limitations of the ~め suffix that means "somewhat/slightly". I've only ever heard it on a handful of words: > * 大きめ * 小さ目 * 多め * 少な目 * 早め and maybe a... more


Peut-on employer Monsieur pour parler d'un mort?

J'ai récemment lu quelqu'un soutenir qu'on ne doit pas parler des morts avec la civilité «Monsieur Boisson» ou «Madame Boisson».Il argue que cela serait contraire à l'usage, et que l'on doit... more


I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先?

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like *previous; prior; former; some time ago*. However it also includes meanings such as *front; ahead; the future; destination*. I am struggling to... more

Pourquoi « baiser » a-t-il deux sens tellement différents?

On dit « *donne-moi un baiser* » mais « *je veux te baiser* » veut dire autre chose... (Pour ceux parmi nous dont le français n'est pas une langue maternelle, il me semble que cela pourrait créer... more


“quoique” vs. “bien que”?

Is there any difference between “quoique“ and “bien que”?I have found two random examples, but my knowledge of French is not good enough to understand if they express the same meaning or not.>... more
Usage French Sens


Quelle différence y a-t-il entre «Bonjour» et «bonne journée»?

D’usage, on dit «bonjour» en rencontrant quelqu’un, et « bonne journée» en le quittant. Y a-t-il une différence de sens entre les deux?

How to mention an attached file in an e-mail?

Let's assume somebody is asking me to send back a document by email, for example a CV.In English, while sending the attached file, I usually write: > Here you are.In French, can I write: >... more


Que répondre à un merci mérité? — Which answer to a much deserved “merci”?

Il existe bien des manières de répondre à ***merci***. Chacune a sa signification.- [Ne me remercie] *De rien*.- [À ton] *Service*.- *Il n'y a pas de quoi* [me remercier].- *C'est tout naturel* [ce... more

Faut-il dire « matériel » ou « hardware » en Informatique ?

Ma discipline est l'informatique et je voudrais savoir si je dois utiliser « le matériel » ou « le hardware » ?Exemple dans cette phrase :> Les commandes concernant le matériel.ou bien :> Les... more
Usage French Pronoms


Pourquoi utilise-t-on «on» au lieu de «nous»?

Pour quelle raison *on* est-il utilisé au lieu de *nous*? Est-ce parce que c'est plus simple grammaticalement? Y a-t-il quelque raison pour laquelle on préfère éviter *nous*?


Doit-on utiliser le terme « corrigeable » ou « corrigible » ?

Je me demande si l'on doit utiliser le terme « corrigeable » ou « corrigible ». L'un des deux est-il incorrect ? Si oui, lequel doit-on utiliser ?De prime abord, j'ai l'impression que les deux sont... more
Usage French Sens


Futur vs. avenir?

Il apparaît que les mots «futur» et «avenir» portent le même sens, mais ils existent tous les deux. Quand doit-on utiliser le premier, et quand le deuxième?

Quotation marks?

Which quotation marks should I use? Some sentences use double-quotes, i.e. `"..."`, while others use double-angle-quotes, i.e. `«...»`. Obviously, the `"` is correct in English. However, I am not... more


Usage de «par contre», «en revanche» et «au contraire»?

Je souhaite être éclairé concernant l'usage approprié de ces locutions qui sont fort usitées me semble-t-il.


The difference between “plaisant” and “agréable”?

What is the difference in connotation between “*plaisant*” and “*agréable*” (in referring to a conversation, event, etc.)? I had always assumed that the former was mildly derogatory or... more


Usage of “du coup”?

I often come across the phrase *du coup* in the course of discussion with my French friends. What does it signify and when to use it? Some of them tend to add it in every other sentence, most often... more


« Tout à coup » ou « Tout d'un coup » ?

Est-ce correct de dire *tout d'un coup* lorsqu'un évènement survient ?Ne devrait-on pas plutôt employer *tout à coup* ?


If the subject of a sentence is normally left implicit, what does adding it to a sentence mean?

In Italian, the subject of a sentence is normally implicit.> Ho incontrato Luigi e mi ha detto di salutarti.> Siamo andati a Roma per il weekend.> Sono andate via senza dire niente; non so... more


How does one use the "[V ます stem] に [Vタ]" pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: > 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any... more
Usage Italian Idioms


Can "sci&#242;" be used for person? If so, in which cases can it be considered acceptable?

I remember my grandmother saying _sciò_ to keep away an animal that was getting too close to something or somebody, whatever it was a cat, a chicken, or a dog.Can that exclamation be used also for... more


Why is the passé simple not used in spoken French?

Why has the usage of this tense been confined to literature or formal situations?EDIT: After reading the answers I realize I may have not been clear enough. I understand the fact that some... more


What's the origin of the second-person 'we'?

I've often heard the phrase ***what do we have here*** to mean ***what do you have***. And also, recently, I've heard a teacher ask one of his students struggling with an assignment: ***do we have... more

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