Translation exercises

In this section, short passages in English are translated into French. To see the translation and explanations, click the English sentence. You also have the opportunity to listen to each sentence in French with my voice. Bear in mind that translating has many benefits: it helps improve your French grammar, you learn new words and structures, your writing style gets smoother and your understanding of both English and French gets better.

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We should have taken time off in November.

Nous aurions dû prendre des congés en novembre.

Another alternative such as prendre du temps libre is also correct.

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Of course, he's not cut out for this.

Bien sûr, il n’est pas fait pour ça.

Other good alternatives are Évidemment/Bien entendu for Of course.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Ne sois pas aussi dur avec toi-même.

Si instead of aussi is correct. Dur and difficile are both acceptable in this context. Envers toi-même is good too.

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It turns out the place has been empty for years.

Il s’avère que l’endroit est vide depuis des années.

Il apparaît is correct too. The present perfect in English will be translated with the present tense in French as it's something still happening today.

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I bet he was drunk!

Je parie qu'il était bourré !

Je parie can also be translated as Je suis sûr/Je suis certain. Être bourré is quite informal, so you could say saoul or alcoolisé to keep it formal.

She fell off the chair and hurt herself

Elle est tombée de la chaise et s'est fait mal.

Tomber means to fall. Fall is followed by a preposition off to indicate the initial position of the action fell. In French, de is accurate in this context.