Jan 12, 2020
103 Views

Dr and Mrs Vandertrampp – Why They Won’t Help You Learn French Grammar

Written by

In French educating (français langue étrangère or ‘FLE’), there is a in style aide-mémoire for studying French verbs that take the auxiliary verb être (to be) as a substitute of avoir (to have). It is DR MRS VANDERTRAMPP, every letter of this well-known couple being the primary letter of a verb.

On this article I am going to clarify why this mnemonic is not the slightest bit helpful and can talk about different, other ways of remembering this difficult grammar level.

In French grammar there’s a group of verbs that use the auxiliary verb être (to be) as a substitute of the standard avoir (to have) when speaking previously. Most, however not all of those French verbs are to do with motion – to be born and to die are each additionally included on this group (you would consider them as motion, I suppose).

So in French we are saying je suis arrivé for ‘I arrived’ or ‘I’ve arrived’. In the event you translated it into English phrase for phrase you’ll get ‘I’m arrived’. This isn’t as unusual as it could first appear, in English we are able to use verbs as adjectives, so in in style songs we regularly hear singers feeling lonely ‘whenever you’re gone’. ‘Gone’ on this context is an adjective, a synonym for ‘absent’ and it is on this method {that a} French thoughts would work when utilizing être as an auxiliary verb.

Understood? Now let’s return to again to that glamorous French-speaking Dutch couple, Dr and Mrs Vandertrampp. The verbs represented are Descendre, Rester, Monter, Revenir, Sortir, Venir, Aller, Naître, Devenir, Entrer, Retourner, Tomber, Rentrer, Arriver, Mourir, Partir, Passer.

This mnemonic system cannot enable you to within the slightest as a result of you have not pre-learned the seventeen verbs. And if you happen to had, by any probability, dedicated all of them to reminiscence, you would not must trouble with good previous Dr and Mrs Vandertrampp.

Some well-intentioned French trainer in all probability reasoned that if tens of millions of Britons (myself included) have discovered the colours of the rainbow by reciting ‘Richard of York Gave Battle In Useless’ (purple, orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, indigo, violet), then the identical may very well be performed with the French verbs that conjugate with ‘be’ and never ‘have’. The massive distinction is, nonetheless, {that a} little one already is aware of the names of the colours, and the little phrase solely helps her or him to recite the colours of the rainbow within the right order within the spectrum (very helpful for science class).

Studying the colours of the rainbow or the planets within the photo voltaic system usually requires studying them in a sure order, and mnemonics are a helpful support. In studying French, nonetheless, I’d be very stunned if anybody ever managed to control a dialog so that each one seventeen verbs with être got here up within the actual order of Dr and Mrs Vandertrammp.

OK, so I’ve rubbished this cute little method that will help you together with your French grammar – now what? Is there a greater method? Properly … no, probably not. My recommendation to you’ll be to overlook studying any sort of checklist and simply be taught some instance sentences that you just would possibly discover helpful. In the event you’re a newbie in French, you are not prepared for this sort of grammar, so attempt constructing your vocabulary of sensible phrases – it’s miles higher to have the ability to say dozens of verbs within the infinitive than to have the ability to conjugate one verb completely (there are greater than thirty variations on every French verb however the infinitive will get your message throughout fairly successfully generally).

Study them as and whenever you want them. Most individuals would agree that ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘go away’ and ‘arrive’ are extra necessary than ‘die’ or ‘give beginning’ when touring, the latter not being really useful, even when French well being care is the most effective on the planet!

Take into account studying a lexical merchandise in its entirety with out breaking it down into its particular person elements: if you wish to say ‘I went’ in French it is je suis allé. It is not really essential to know that suis is the primary individual singular of the verb être which right here is the auxiliary in entrance of the verb aller (to go). Simply be taught it, then add issues to it. Realizing that je suis allé means ‘I went’, how troublesome is it to work out what the next imply?


  • je suis allé au cinéma
  • je suis allé au théâtre
  • je suis allé à l’hôtel
  • je suis allé au restaurant

Construct up your vocabulary, be taught issues in context and wave goodbye to the nice physician and his spouse, the Vandertrampps.

Article Tags:
· · · · ·
Article Categories:
Learn French

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *