Grammar is often the boring part of learning a language – we have to learn rules that are so different from the ones in our native language.
With these explanations, we hope to make the grammar of French a little less intimidating! Here we explain all the important rules in a brief and straight-forward way. The provided exercises give you the opportunity to immediately practise what you’ve learned so you can remember it better.
Just like in English, French conjugates its verbs in many different tenses. Some of the French tenses are quite similar, though, and we have to be careful not to mix them up.
Here you’ll find information about gerunds, participles, modal verbs, reflexive verbs, the conditional, the passive, the imperative and the subjunctive. The tenses are explained in the section called “Tenses”.
In French, all nouns are either masculine or feminine (e.g. le journal, la idée). They are generally used with their articles, and the plural is usually constructed by adding an “s”.
Pronouns replace nouns (la femme → elle). The different kinds of pronouns include personal, possessive, reflexive, relative, interrogative, demonstrative, and indefinite pronouns.
Adjectives are descriptive words. They indicate how something or someone is (e.g. good, fast). Adjectives have comparative forms, and in French they agree with the grammatical gender of the noun they are describing.
Adverbs are words which don’t change their form (e.g. ici, hier, seulement, certainement) and which we use to give information about place, time, reason or manner. Some adverbs have comparative forms as well.
Prepositions are small words (e.g. avant, dans) that are used with nouns or pronouns. Prepositions are tricky words, because they often can’t be translated directly.
Here we’ll explain word order in French sentences. In particular, we’ll look at relative clauses, conditional clauses, and indirect speech.