Parlez-vous Français ? - French Mistake

French mistakes analyzed and explained

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Mistakes will always be made in French, and now you can learn from them.

Wrong: Parlez-vous Français ?

Right: Parlez-vous français ?

Explanation: The French word français has three English equivalents: French (the language), French (the adjective), and French (the person). As you can see, all three are capitalized in English. In French, however, français is only capitalized when it is used as a noun referring to a person: Les Français aiment le vin (The French like wine).

When français is used as an adjective or the language, it cannot be capitalized: J'aime le vin français (I like French wine). Therefore, parlez-vous Français ? is incorrect - you have to write parlez-vous français ?

Many beginning French students make this mistake, as do many Francophones who speak English well - they start capitalizing français, anglais, espagnol, etc, whether it's a noun, adjective, or language because nationalities and languages are always capitalized in English.

Related lessons: Capitalization | Languages + Nationalities |
Vocabulary related to French and France