Essential French Verbs For The BBC Micro (Carsondale Enterprises) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

Essential French Verbs For The BBC Micro
By Carsondale Enterprises
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 1.10

Pardon My French...

This program covers 83 French verbs, in three main groups according to difficulty.

The choice of verbs is, of course, largely a matter of taste but I could have thought that absoudre, accroitre, croitre, assaillir, dechoir could have been omitted and replaced with many of the common etre verbs: sortir, entrer, monter, retourner, revenir, devenir, which are missing and which are essential Form Five verbs.

The second option allows one to look up the verbal forms by verb. The third option allows the user to look up by tense. The tenses covered are the present, imperfect, perfect, future and conditional - the five essential tenses. The screen is divided into two halves. The bottom explains what is happening and the top displays the conjugation of the verbs in two "windows". Four colours are used but black and white can be specified. This makes them somewhat easier to see.

I had looked forward to seeing the perfect tense but I was somewhat disappointed. Not only were many etre verbs missing but also the whole range of possible past participle endings were not displayed, nor were the elle and elles form (though there is a spare line in the window).

As the conjugation of the singular is displayed side by side with the plural, there is no room to show the nous, vous and Us form of reflexive verbs (except for se taire) and so the effect is lost. Again the participle agreements are simplified.

Could not these forms have been shown in the other window? The forms are obviously in memory because they are tested later.

The "browse" option allows the computer to display verbal forms quickly or slowly of the group of verbs and tenses chosen. The quick option displays a conjugation about once a second which is a little fast.

The fifth option is "test". Once again, one may chose any group(s) of verbs and any of the tenses specifying a time limit if desired. The computer is very strict and does not allow extra spaces to be typed in inadvertently. Perhaps a procedure could have been used to allow this.

It is perhaps the "retest" option which is the most novel in this program. The first 10 elements of a test may be stored in memory or recalled from cassette or disc for retest, either the whole test or just the mistakes. This seems potentially useful to the learner and a 10 element test will not lose his interest.

To sum up, a sound program and a good "verb calculator" and data base. It could however, have been more explicit in the perfect tense which is a major stumbling block for the "O" Level candidate.

Peter Hillman

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