Learning French by Accident

The ULTIMATE French Pronunciation Podcast / How we ACTUALLY say "NOUS"?

February 16, 2024 Chase In French (Chase Emery Davis) Season 1 Episode 4
Learning French by Accident
The ULTIMATE French Pronunciation Podcast / How we ACTUALLY say "NOUS"?
Show Notes


Welcome back to another episode of our linguistic journey, examining the intricacies of French that no classroom will teach you. Today, we're diving into the nuanced world of "Nous" and "On." These pronouns may seem interchangeable at a glance, but they carry unique implications in conversation, cultural contexts, and even in the philosophy of language learning itself.

In this episode, we will explore the origins of "On," dating back to the 17th century, and its evolution from "Hom," reflecting its usage in the third person. This historical perspective illuminates why "On" can cause confusion among learners and highlights the importance of understanding its correct application.

French Sentences:

  • "On y va" versus "Nous y allons"
  • "Qu’est-ce qu’on va faire?" / "On fait quoi?" / "On va faire quoi?"
  • "C’est ce que l’on va faire" / "C’est c’qu’on va faire"

We'll also delve into why "On" should never be used as a stress pronoun, and the implications of doing so. This leads us to a broader discussion on the philosophy behind language learning and why traditional methods may not always serve our best interests.

Challenging Sentences:

  • "On y était il y a quelque jour"
  • "On y peut rien"

Lastly, we will tackle the nuances of liaison in French pronunciation and its implications for learners. And for those curious about when it's actually acceptable to use "Nous," I'll share an emotional story from a French classroom, revealing the cultural rebellion against formality and the embrace of linguistic beauty.

Cultural Implications:

Understanding "Nous" and "On" goes beyond grammar; it's about navigating social dynamics, expressing camaraderie, or maintaining professional distance. For learners, this episode offers a key to unlocking more authentic and nuanced French communication.

So, whether you're a beginner or looking to polish your French, join us for an episode that promises to deepen your understanding and appreciation of these crucial pronouns.