La Neige (lecture facile)

Vendredi : Entièrement en français.

La Neige : Lecture facile

lah NEZH: leck-tewr faa-SEEL. Cliquez ci-dessous pour écouter cet article.

The Snow: Easy Reading

(The numbers in parentheses refer to the notes at the bottom of the post.)

Mardi, il a beaucoup neigé. (1) Chez moi, on a eu 24 pouces de neige. (2) Elle s’est amoncelée (3) très haut, et a fait des courbes très gracieuses. (4)

La neige a été si profonde qu’elle a dépassé la hauteur de ma petite chienne, Isabella. (5) Voici une photo d’Isabella dans la neige.

Est-ce qu’il a neigé chez vous? Vous avez eu une aventure dans la neige? Ou habitez-vous dans un endroit où il ne neige jamais? (6)

1. No preposition before a day of the week. French doesn’t say on Tuesday, just Tuesday. And the adverb beaucoup goes between the two parts of the verb.

2. No preposition before chez moi. Chez is the preposition. It means at the home of, so the at is already included in the meaning.

3. Amoncelée has a feminine ending, because la neige is feminine and the verb is reflexive. It means piled up. Can you detect something that looks like the English word mound in the middle?

4. The subject of a fait is the same as the subject of s’est amoncelée, so you don’t have to repeat it. Gracieuses means graceful.

5. Si…que means so…that. La hauteur means height. Notice that you say la hauteur, not “l’hauteur”. In French, sometimes the letter h acts like a vowel, and other times like a consonant. Here it is acting like a consonant, even though you can’t hear it when you speak.

6. Habiter: to live (in a place; it doesn’t mean to be alive). Un endroit means a place. Ne…jamais means never, and you need both words to make a full sentence.

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4 responses to “La Neige (lecture facile)

  1. For #5, I have noticed a trick that seems to work very often: translate the French word to English and check if the h is silent or not.
    Hour – silent h – “deux heures” is deuz-ur
    Hall – spoken h – “deux halles” is deuh-all, not dooz-all
    (The trick is also useful for French speakers who want to remember which hs in English are silent and which aren’t.)

    • That’s a great observation, Allen! I believe you’re right. Like every rule, there are exceptions, but this is a great rule of thumb. Thank you!

  2. Have you found an exception?

    “Herbe” proves the rule, one might say; it’s wrong if you translate to American, but right if you translate to British.

    • Oh yes, many exceptions. L’hôtel, for one. L’hommage. Brits say ‘omage, Americans say homage, but the French is a non-aspirate h. Le héros and les héros (no liaison), but l’héroïne and les héroïnes, with liaison. L’Himalaya. And the rule of thumb doesn’t work if the French word isn’t cognate with the English. The only rule I am sure of, is that every rule is likely to have at least one exception. :-) Nevertheless, as long as one keeps in mind that this only a rule of thumb, it is a good test. One has a fighting chance of being right, at least, and that’s useful!

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