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I know that for a male to say that he is french, we use francais, and for a female, we use francaise.

But when a female says that she speaks french, do we use francaise as in Je parle francaise?

And when a female says that she likes French music, do we use francaise as in J'aime la musique francaise?

  • French -

    Salut, Mischa! Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. You are correct with the first sentence IF you add the necessary accent mark: français and française.

    With the 2nd sentence, it does not matter WHO says it (male or female, singular or plural) because what is understood is "the French language" so it is simply "français." (le français)

    With the 3rd sentence, what matters is that the noun "la musique" is feminine and that is why the adjectival form is "française."

    NOTE: The adjective modifies the noun in number (singular/plural) and gender (masculine/feminine) and has nothing to do with the subject (Je, J', tu, il, elle, on, nous, vous, ils, elles.)

    These were good questions! Please feel free to let us know anytime something seems confusing to you.


  • French -

    Thanks. I have another question. This sentence comes straight out of my textbook.

    Il aime la danse, la musique.
    Il is he, so why would it not be le danse, le musique?

  • French -

    Salut autre fois! Yes, the subject is Il = he. The verb is aime = likes, does like. Now the objects, or what he likes, are simply nouns. When you learn a noun in French, be sure to learn the definite article that goes with it. (Le, la are easy to determine as masculine, feminine. L' is more difficult because you have to know the gender of the noun. L'argent is masculine while l'histoire is feminine. Les simply denotes a plural noun.

    The word for dance is "la danse" and for music is "la musique." The gender can NOT be changed for a noun. After you have studied French a while, you will begin to see the "pattern" for masculine vs. feminine nouns.

    My guess is that this is your first year of French so I don't want to give you too much in the way of explanation, but when you are ready for the "rules" as to whether or not a noun is masculine or feminine, let me know!


  • French -

    P.S. If I know the name of your textbook, there are often sites online from that publisher with more information to help you.

  • French - there's nothing like le musique or le danse. I just have to remember the nouns, I get it now, thanks.

    And my textbook is called initial 1.

  • French -

    And also, if a male says that he likes French music, so we also use francaise as in J'aime la musique francaise?

  • French -

    Yes, indeed! Just please remember the accent mark = française or it will NOT be totally correct!

  • French -

    I remember that accent mark, I just don't know how to type it in. =)
    Thanks again.

  • French -

    Unfortunately, I find next to nothing about your textbook Initial I except that is le livre de l'élève (student's book) and published by CLE International. Hopefully you got the CD that goes with it? This is not a text I am familiar with.

    In order to tell you how to make the accent marks, I need to know the following:
    1. Do you have a PC or a MAC.
    2. You have Windows or not?

    Once I know that I can send you the chart for accents on the computer. It's past my bedtime so I hope you are sleeping! Dors bien!


  • French -

    I have a PC and Windows

  • French -

    Bonjour, Mischa! When it comes to accent marks on the computer, a MAC is the easiest! It's a lot of work with a PC but here you go:

    How To Type Accented Characters on a PC

    US-International Keyboard uses the ', `, ~, ^, " as dead keys (highlighted in blue below), and uses Right-ALT plus !, ?, and a number of other keys to produce characters not normally available. The accents are intuitive. Tap the accent dead key, then tap the vowel for which you want the accent. The ' dead key also works for the cedilla. ' + e = é
    ` + e = è
    ~ + n = ñ ^ + e = ê
    " + e = ë
    ' + c = ç

    US-International Keyboard method:
    1. Go to Control Panel / Keyboard / Language
    2. Choose English-United States-International
    (through PROPERTIES, not "Add") With that option, the keyboard operation is slightly modified but the keyboard does not change for every language (it is useful for German, Spanish, French and Portuguese, among other European languages, including English, of course) and it does not interfere with the regular use of the actual, physical keyboard that you see. when you type the ~ character (left-hand corner of keyboard), nothing shows until you type another key. So, if you type ~ and then the letter n, you get a nice n+tilde output. If you type ~ and then any vowel, you get that vowel with the tilde on top of it (which is used in Portuguese to represent nasal vowels). If you type ~ and then the space bar, you get the ~ character(for example to produce a sting like ~eyepes). If you type ~ and then any other consonant, you get ~ followed by that consonant: ~p, for example. when you type the ' character (center right-hand key of keyboard), nothing appears until you type another key. Again, if you type any vowel immediately after typing ' , you get that vowel with an acute accent (the one used in Spanish and in some French words). If you type the space bar or any other key, you get the usual simple quotation mark followed by the consonant or key that was hit afterwards. For example: 'f , or 'g , and so on. same rules apply for the ` , ^ and " characters: they don't show until you type another key--they will be combined with vowels and followed by consonants.

    The Windows Character Map, usually found in the Windows 95 (Office 97) Accessories Program Group, provides a combination of keystrokes needed for foreign language applications. Instructions: Go to START, click on FIND and type CHARMAP. Find the character map in Windows, select the font "Times Roman," and use the numeric key pad on the right side of the keyboard to create special characters. The system will occasionally fail if a particular combination of keystrokes has been reserved by another application.
    Depress the ALT key and hold it down while typing in the three-digit number. To type the numbers, use the numeric keypad, not the number keys on the top row. 128 Ç
    129 ü
    130 é
    131 â
    132 ä
    133 à
    135 ç
    136 ê
    137 ë
    138 è
    139 ï

    140 î
    141 ì
    142 Ä
    143 Å
    144 É
    145 æ
    146 Æ
    147 ô
    148 ö
    149 ò
    150 û

    151 ù
    152 ÿ
    153 Ö
    154 Ü
    160 á
    161 í
    162 ó
    163 ú
    164 ñ
    165 Ñ
    168 ¿

    PC Variations: Hitting the spacebar or a non-accented letter after a dead key produces the key's normal value, i.e. ', `, ~, ^, or ". Other special characters can be entered by using the Right-Alt key in combination with other keys (esp. useful for ¿, ¡ «, » ß). For Spanish, it might be easier to use the Right-Alt key for accents too: Alt-? = ¿ Alt-! = ¡ Alt-s = ß Alt-n = ñ Alt-N = Ñ Alt-, = ç
    Alt-a = á Alt-e = é Alt-i = í Alt-o = ó Alt-u = ú

    This two hundred number combination in the Character Map, set to "Times New Roman," is useful within an internet document (e.g., an on-line student response journal) in the latest versions of browers.

    ALT + 0224 yields á ALT + 0225 yields à ALT + 0233 yields è ALT + 0232 yields é ALT + 0242 yields ò ALT + 0243 yields ó ALT + 0200 yields É ALT + 0204 yields Á ALT + 0241 yields ñ

    Other Windows Options

    Here are several options for MS Word. First, in MS Word, go to the Help Menu and search "Diacritic Marks." Second, in MS Word, choose INSERT, SYMBOL, and then select the accented character needed. Third, in newer versions of MS Word
    1. Press CTRL and the key that most closely resembles the accent needed.
    2. Release the two keys pressed in Step 1.
    3. Press the character, and voila--the accented character will appear.
    à, è, ì, ò, ù - À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù CTRL+` (ACCENT GRAVE), the letter
    á, é, í, ó, ú, ŁN - Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, ŁN CTRL+' (APOSTROPHE), the letter
    â, ê, î, ô, û Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û CTRL+^ (CARET), the letter
    ã, ñ, õ Ã, Ñ, Õ CTRL+~ (TILDE), the letter
    ä, ë, ï, ö, ü, ÿ Ä, Ë, Ï, Ö, Ü, Ù CTRL+: (COLON), the letter
    å, Å CTRL+@, a or A
    æ, Æ CTRL+&, a or A
    Ï, Î CTRL+&, o or O
    ç, Ç CTRL+, (COMMA), c or C
    ŁN, ŁN CTRL+' (APOSTROPHE), d or D
    ø, Ø CTRL+/, o or O
    ¿ ALT+CTRL+?
    ¡ ALT+CTRL+!
    ß CTRL+&, s

    Other bits of Information

    In Microsoft Office 98 for the MAC, the Value Pack (on the CD-Rom) contains the Proofing Tools--spellcheckers and thesarus for different languages. The tools are language specific and should be set by the user. ALKI provides the foreign language Proofing Tools for Microsoft Office 98.
    Microsoft fonts for the Asian languages exist on the Office 97CD--in the ValuePack folder, open the Far East folder and install Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
    Microsoft has released a free spellchecker, in German for Word 6.0 or MS-Office 97. This is an add-on feature in which unrecognized words are underlined in Word97 but no suggested alternatives are offered and there is no grammar checker. The link to download it is available at this web page:
    WordPerfect since at least version 4.2 has allowed remapping of the keyboard (for DOS and Windows versions at least). The most current versions allow you to have different keyboard maps and switch at random (Edit> Preferences> Keyboard> Create). Unfortunately the keyboards you map only work inside the WordPerfect application.
    Windows95 also has a selection of keyboard layouts that work for all windows applications. To try them, look under "Keyboard" in the ("Start" > "Settings">) "Control panel." For example go to "Keyboard," choose the "Language" tab, hit the "Properties" button and then choose the "UnitedStates-International" from the drop-down menu of keyboard layout choices. You can assign layouts of your choice to languages of your choice. If you have a list of two or more language/layouts listed on the "Language" tab page, the current choice will show on the right side of the task bar and you can click on it to switch between your other selections. To see how the current keyboard is mapped, open the (Start> Programs> Accessories>) "Character Map," choose the font you are working with, and click on the character you wish to type. The keystroke combination for the current layout will show up on the bottom line of the "Character Map" window.
    WordPerfect keyboard maps override the Windows layouts wherever there is a conflict. But you can use the two in combination to create many very useful keyboard shortcuts and features.

    Now you'll see why many students enter the accent marks by hand!


  • French -

    so if it is mac how do you get the accent marks?

  • iyemo hytrn -

    ytjhareg ywaqestug tjbpoi bhaqmjd lkqiy enuqkm xdiyo

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