This book, and the two books which it combines, “Speaking Better French, The Key Words and Expressions You’ll Need Every Day” and "Speaking Better French, More Key Words and Expressions", have been hailed by reviewers as a unique and innovative idea.
They give you the absolutely essential words that you need to navigate everyday French conversation. Not the textbook formal words but the expressions that real people in France use when they talk to each other, the glue that holds conversations together.
You'll learn when to use, and when not to use words and expressions like truc, foutu, Oh-la-la, Coucou, payer en liquide, and merde. You'll learn how to faire un bise à quelqu'un, how to say you are sorry, how to say “Don’t worry about it!”, what les grandes surfaces are, and how to tell someone to shut up. You'll learn what a goûter is, and an apéritif dînatoire. You'll find out that Ce sale chat ! doesn't mean the cat is dirty, that passer an exam doesn't mean to pass the exam, and lots, lots more.
And it's all written in a conversational style with each word or expression explained and illustrated by examples of its use in French with translations into English.
You'll see why a reviewer of Key Words and Expressions on amazon.com said:
"If you really want to learn spoken French, you need this book. You'll need other books as well, you'll need audio materials, and you'll need live language experience, preferably in France. But this book is a necessity."
And why another wrote:
"Perhaps the most amazing thing about this book is that it took until 2007 for anyone to think of writing it! The author's insight is right on target. This book does indeed fill a huge and inexplicable gap in the otherwise very crowded market for books on learning French. (Come to think of it, I haven't found such books in any of the three foreign languages I've studied besides French.)"
What’s best about this book is that it's FUN to read! Here are some comments from others:
“I think your books are wonderful. You have made a fantastic contribution to the French language profession.” --- Professor Judy Baughin, Raymond Walters College
“As with your previous book, I am amazed at how fun to read, as well as incredibly informative the book is. It's a wonderful tool” --- Professor Brigitte Humbert, Middlebury College
“I just wanted to let you know that the copy of " Key Words and Expressions" arrived yesterday. I looked through it last night, and I have to say it is just the kind of book I would have liked to have had when I was teaching myself French oh-so-many years ago..” --- Professor John Moran, Director of Language Programs, NYU
“Your little books are great!” ---- Professor AG Fralin, Washington and Lee University
I love your books! They are easy to navigate, and they are extremely useful to non-native French speakers. Maybe I'm odd, but I actually enjoy reading them at night in bed before falling to sleep, they're that entertaining. ---- Professor John Turvaville, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
I've been perusing Key Words for the past couple of days and it's great fun. A feature I'm really liking is the focus on the day-to-day spoken language, which doesn't always follow grammar rules. I'm going to think how I could implement some of your expressions into my fall class. What a great idea for a book! --- Professor Herta Rodina, Ohio University
“I very much like what you have done with the latest book. The expressions you introduce are so much a part of everyday conversational life in France. Too bad that more French texts don't teach them.” --- Professor John Romeiser, University of Tennessee, Knoxville