7. a continué

J’ai continué crier, “où se trouve mes lunettes?!!”
I kept yelling, “Where are my glasses?!”

continué / verb, past participle

Like with demandé, simply form “kept …ing” by using the passé composé structure:

pronoun + avoir + continué

Avez-vous continué trouver?
Did you keep looking?

C’est très difficile, mais j’ai continué apprendre le français.
It was hard, but I kept learning French.


6. ressemble à

I will slowly be phasing my blog into Français one or two words at a time. Those words will be dark purple.

Il vraiment ressemble à sa mère!
He really looks like his mom!

“ressembler”  c’est la verbe meaning “to look like,” and is paired with “à.”

Par example, the beginning of chapter 2, “Les Cowboys” begins by stating that Alceste looked like a big chicken:

Alceste était en Indien, il avait une hache en bois et des plumes sur la tête, il ressemblait à un gros poulet…

Le Petit Nicolas, p.14

Some of my own sentences:

Oh, je très pâle, je ressemble un fantôme!
Oh, I’m so pale…I look like a ghost!

Nous avons ressemblé un troupeau des éléphants.
We looked like a herd of elephants.

Est-ce que c’est elle a ressemblé La Joconde?
Did she look like the Mona Lisa?

Remember that to make it past tense, just use avoir + ressemblé. C’est très facile!

5. demandé

“Où es tu?” il a demandé.
“Where are you?” he asked.

demandé is the past participle of “ask,” which means you just need to throw in an “avoir” (have) verb before it, and you’ve got a dialogue tag. Coming across this a lot in this book, so it’ll be good to know. The other tag is “il/elle a dit,” which means he/she said.

Vous lui avez demandé premier, non?
You asked her first, right?

One really hard thing from going from Chinese to French is that I have to untrain my brain to put grammar in reverse. For example, the adverb “first” goes at the end of a sentence in English (“Ask your mom first!”) but at the beginning in Chinese (“First ask your mom!”) This placement is up to style in English but it’s fixed in Chinese.

4. le fantôme

Je suis le fantôme!
I’m a ghost!

le fantôme / noun, ghost

Whenever you see a circumflex, it means there used to be an S following that vowel. That’s why for example, fête which means party (used to be feste, sound familiar?). Here the word apparently used to be fantosme, which sound like the English “phantasm,” meaning a hallucination or ghost.

four other masculine nouns

  • le temps / time
  • le parking / parking lot
  • le nez / nose
  • le circonflexe / circumflex accent mark (ˆ)

Additional examples:

As-tu peur des fantômes?
Are you afraid of ghosts?

Je n’ai pas peur des fantômes.
I’m not afraid of ghosts.

3. par terre

Asseyez-vous par terre et mangez, s’il vous plait!
Sit down [on the ground] and eat, please!

(The context of the above sentence is a picnic, if there are any questions.)

s’asseoir = sit oneself (verb)

par terre = down [towards the earth, seems to refer to an outside context] (preposition phrase)

For verbs starting with se (se asseoir, se souvenir de, etc.), simply change the “se” part to the reflexive pronoun. (e.g. je/me, tu/te, vous/vous il/lui)

Use the personal pronoun, add the reflexive pronoun as a prefix to the verb, then add the verb.

Je m’assieds par terre.
I sit on the ground.

Tu t’es assise par terre.
You sat on the ground (addressing a woman).

“…le premier rang assis par terre…”
The first row sat down on the ground.

-Le Petit Nicolas, p. 8