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To start with the basics, here’s one of the first transition words you likely learned in French class. Translation: Next Ensuite, je prépare la tarte aux cerises.
The tendency of some learners is to avoid it (we’ve all been there).
Lucky for you, I’ve noted which of the transitional words and phrases below take the subjunctive. This will give you some French to use right away while practicing both your transitions and the subjunctive. Many of these words and phrases don’t require the subjunctive mood.
It can also be used with a different meaning of “just as,” as in “It went just as I thought.”Subjunctive-friendly? Translation: After/when Je vais dormir après que je mange toute cette tarte. Translation: So thatmakes more sense when using this phrase. (No matter what my mom makes in the kitchen, it’s delicious.)I bet your mind is reeling with how much better your French will sound once you get this one down. But you may be noticing an interesting trend: A word that you’re well-versed in by itself means “so much or many,” or can be used to express an indefinite quantity. Translation: Sinceand now we’ve got the same thing minus the space in between and all of a sudden it means “even though”?
(I’m going to sleep after I eat all this pie.)Bet you’re wondering what the difference is between helps link the clauses, and you should be good to link the night away. Technically, no, but French speakers tend to use the subjunctive after it regardless. Translation: Before(He gave me peach pie even though I ordered an apple pie! Translation: As soon as(As soon as the pie arrives, I will destroy it.)This is usually followed by not the subjunctive, but by a future tense! This is a great conjunctive phrase to use when making threats, lofty goals and uncertain plans. They both mean essentially the same thing, but it’s good to know both of them to add variety to your French conversation. If you apply that definition back to this transitional phrase, then you can see something of a rough translation that matches “as long as.” But as long as you remember the definition, you’ll be good to go. These sound the same when spoken, but you should be able to figure it out based on the context.
Try writing a paragraph that uses four or five transition words.
If you’re more into immersion-based learning, make sure to include appropriate transition words when writing emails to your pen pals, writing entries in your French journal or even in text messages with another French-speaking friend. The subjunctive is nothing to fear, but sometimes it can be difficult to integrate into the French you actually use.Once you know the bulk of them, you can revel in the wonderful feeling of understanding that much more French text.Authentic French movies, TV shows and videos are another great place to look and listen for transition words.Use Fluent U’s learn mode to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video with vocabulary lists, flashcards, quizzes and fun activities like “fill in the blank.”As you continue advancing in your French studies, Fluent U keeps track of all the grammar and vocabulary that you’ve been learning.It uses your viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give you a 100% personalized experience.You’ll get very familiar with French transition words and tons of other vocabulary, without ever feeling like you’re studying.If that sounds cool, start using Fluent U on the website or practice anytime, anywhere with the i OS and Android apps.It’s a useful piece of vocab when delving into French book series and films, and this transition word is obviously useful for continuing a series of events or directions you may be giving. It can mean “well,” “all in all,” “I mean” or “at least.” It’s a multi-edged sword.Use it as a transition to an end or to make your conversational French more authentic. (I would like apple pie as well as two scoops of ice cream.)Getting into some more advanced vocabulary now, this means “just as.” This conjunction is useful when elaborating on something you’re already discussing. Translation: No matter what Quoi que ma mère fasse en cuisine, c’est délicieux.If you still aren’t positive as to what a word means, highlight it for later and look it up in one of your French dictionaries.You’ll find these fun tie-in words in every type of French literature, from children’s books to young adult fiction to classic literary masterpieces.