Je, J’ai

I’m feeling mean right now. Do forgive me, reader, if you are offended.

Now, I’m no fluent speaker of French. I’ve been learning it for the past 5 years, but the farthest (in terms of grammar) I’ve gone is the intermediate level. Though I’m more of a Grammar Nazi in the language of English, I know my basic French grammar and I would like to pick at this little, teensy thing that has been bugging me for awhile now.

French students (who aren’t natives), whether advanced or beginner, can sometimes end up becoming pretentious, making a show of knowing another language. “Oh, how cool I am to be able to speak this!” I admit, I can be this way myself (hey, just writing this blog post reeks of pretense, doesn’t it?) but when I do decide to speak French (even when in reality, I still have a lot to learn), I do make sure that what I’m saying is at least grammatically correct.

See, honey, if you’re going to go around making use of what you’ve learnt in class, you should at least take the time to check what you’re saying.

“Je” refers to oneself. I’m sure you know that, right? You should. “J’ai”, on the other hand, means “I have.” You should also know how to conjugate avoir. You know, like: “j’ai”, “tu as”, “il a” et “nous avons.” Remember those? I mean, you should, seeing that you’ve studied that longer than I have.

Why is it important to know this? Well. One, it’s basic French grammar. It’s a prerequisite to more advanced French, which I’m sure you’re going to take soon. Two, you’ll end up making a fool out of yourself.

I’m sure “I headache” (je mal à la tête) isn’t what you meant to say. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure you meant “I have a headache” (j’ai mal à la tête). That or “I am a headache,” which would make sense as well because your grammar, even in English (your native language) can cause me headaches.

Right. So that wraps up our lesson for today. Pretentious? Sure, why the hell not! We all are at some point, ouiMais, try not to make it so obvious. Otherwise, je vais vomir.


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