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French Conversation and Composition   By:

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FRENCH CONVERSATION AND COMPOSITION

BY HARRY VINCENT WANN, M.A.

PROFESSOR OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES

INDIANA STATE NORMAL SCHOOL

PREFACE

This little volume has been prepared with a twofold purpose in mind: to provide material (1) for conversation and (2) for a review in the elementary principles of the grammar.

To attempt to stimulate spontaneous conversation, even on simple subjects, without the aid of a French model, not only is hazardous but often becomes aimless, and at best results in the acquisition of a limited vocabulary. Furthermore, it requires a skilful teacher to adapt to such purposes the substance of a text prepared with a totally different end in view.

The author, in the course of five years' experience with conversation classes in the University of Michigan, had difficulty in finding material for this work in a form that was adapted peculiarly to his needs. Plays and anecdotes were found to yield the best results.

Another need is that of books offering a systematic review of the first year's work. In every class will be found a certain per cent of students who translate readily but who have only a hazy notion as to the practical application of some of the most fundamental principles of the grammar.

It is hoped that this book will help to fill the two needs above referred to. The anecdotes have been selected from a large number used by the author in conversational classes and drawn from a great variety of sources, many of which will be readily recognized. He is in a number of cases indebted to Claude Augé's excellent grammar. Most of the anecdotes have been adapted to the author's purpose of illustrating grammatical principles. Questionnaires have been inserted.

In the preparation of the vocabulaire , the Petit Larousse and Hatzfeld Darmesteter dictionaries have been freely consulted. Students will at first require some aid and encouragement from the teacher, in the use of the all French vocabulary; but they can be made, in a surprisingly short time, to form the habit of using a French dictionary by preference, and of doing a large part of their thinking in French.

It is suggested that the book be used on certain days of the week only, to supplement the student's reading texts, and provide the sort of exercise indicated by its title. It is not intended as a reader.

The author's thanks are due to his former colleague, Professor Hugo P. Thieme, of the University of Michigan, for many helpful suggestions and criticisms, as well as to Professor René Talamon, of the same institution, who kindly assisted in reading the proof.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON I.

Use of definite and indefinite articles. Simple interrogation. Contraction of de and à with definite article. Possessive case of nouns. Chez .

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON II.

Possessive adjectives.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON III.

Position of adjectives. Irregular adjectives. Compound subject, agreement. Forms and use of lequel .

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON IV.

Future and conditional tenses. The demonstrative adjective. Meanings of present tense. Est ce que . Use of past tenses.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON V.

Voici . Voilà . Il y a . Expressions with Avoir . Se trouver . Aimer mieux . Venir de .

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON VI.

Comparison of adjectives and adverbs.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON VII.

Partitives and expressions of quantity.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON VIII.

Conjunctive pronouns.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON IX.

Compound tenses. Avoir and Être as auxiliaries. Agreement of past participles: Avoir verbs.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON X.

Agreement of participles: Reflexive verbs.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON XI.

Agreement of participles: Passive verbs. Substitutes for the passive.

ANECDOTES

GRAMMAR REVIEW. LESSON XII.

Agreement of participles: Intransitive verbs conjugated with Être ... Continue reading book >>




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