French Grammar

By taking the time to understand how the French language works, you'll be able to speak French naturally, and read and write in French. We know this can be one of the more challenging parts of your course, and we’re here to help! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new topic at the bottom. Don’t be shy!

PDF download

Hi, How can I download all the pdf of all the 3 levels? Thanks, Shreyans

3 replies - Last post by shreyans-- -
Jun 1, 2018

French: help with adjectives ending in "ible" & "able"

Please can you point me in the direction of any rules that will help me to know which endings to use. Thanks

0 replies - Last post by shawcath00 -
Nov 21, 2017

conjugation eter verbs

A quiz question asked, 'What are the two conjugations of "you buy" (using vous singular and vous plural). Answer choices include: 1)Tu achetes (with an accent grave over the first e), vous achetez and 2)tu achettes, vous achetez. The correct answer is 1 but why is the t not doubled? According to...

0 replies - Last post by writer22 -
Nov 13, 2017

Why deosn't the word "Internet" (in French) have an article?

I'm just up to lesson 9.1 in which one sentence is: "Regarde sur Internet". Why not "Regarde sur l'Internet"?  I had assumed all French nouns need an article. Is it because it's a 'borrowed' word, or a proper noun perhaps (I noticed it's capitalised)?  But I believe we still say l'Angleterre ...

4 replies - Last post by agwarner -
Oct 29, 2017

Pour or de

I haven't been able to distinguish when to say "pour" or "de" for the English "for." I am only at level 1, however. Thank you.

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Sep 24, 2017

grammar

Lesson 5.1 Nous ne vendons pas de bouteilles .... Why isn't it DES bouteilles (to match the plural)?

2 replies - Last post by JanG -
Sep 21, 2017

Manger

Is there an less informal way of asking this question? Q'uest ce que tu aimes manger? Aimes-tu manger?

8 replies - Last post by Pascal-B -
Jul 20, 2017

Why present tense?

The last line in the conversation in lesson 2.3 is Malheureusement vous arrivez trop tard ! (Unfortunately, you've arrived too late!) That's present tense. Why? I would expect it to be in passé composé or in some form of preterite.  

3 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Jul 16, 2017

Having trouble with "r" in words

I have been having trouble pronouncing the "r" in words. It could be because I live in an area which is known for dropping the "r", but it is making me frustrated. Do you have any advice to help me?

3 replies - Last post by lesieur200 -
Mar 22, 2017

"nous avons de..." or "nous avons des..."

I'm working on unit 5.2 and came across these two sentences: (1) Nous avons de charmants tableaux par ici. (We have some charming pictures over here.) (2) Est-ce que vous avez des pantoufles ? (Do you have any slippers?) Both refer to something in the plural (e.g. charmants tableaux) but the...

2 replies - Last post by Peter--252 -
Mar 17, 2017

Help with toujours, encore, déjà and jamais

Hi -- I understand the regular sense of these adverbs well enough, but there are so many exceptions to the regular sense, exceptions that don't make sense in English.  Also, when the concepts of time continuing or interrupted or never occurring or never occurring again get even more confusing...

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Feb 26, 2017

Tests not working (no feedback)

Tests in lessons 4.1 and 4.6 of Japanese Level 1 are not working. The audio files play normally and I can record my answers, but there is no feedback. If I click on the "Reveal" button to move forward, the page disappears (does not reload the same page) and bumps me to the main page of "My...

4 replies - Last post by jason-oxenham-ceo -
Feb 9, 2017

C'est l'heure de or du

This is just a minor point which I'd appreciate a clarificiation: Just going through unit 2.6 which gives two examples of "c'est l'heure...": C'est l'heure du déjeuner !        =     It's lunch time! C'est l'heure de dormir.             =      It's time to sleep. In the first...

2 replies - Last post by Meages -
Dec 31, 2016

Moving up a level

How do I get from French level 1 to french level 2 or level 3? (level 1 is too easy)

5 replies - Last post by jason-oxenham-ceo -
Dec 4, 2016

20.2 French Etiquette, questions for the usage of le/en/on

Bonjour tout le monde, j'ai queleques questions. I'm extremely confused in lesson 20.2 with "le / en" and the usage of "on". I've tried to put all the pronouns back. Please check it for me. Et voici-moi quelques conseils.  à ce qu'on dit? (so they say?)  Why "on" is equal to "they",...

6 replies - Last post by Sue--114 -
Oct 26, 2016

passe compose

The lesson didn't mention when to use the auxilliary verb ete or avoir for passe compose

1 reply - Last post by Diana-S1 -
Sep 30, 2016

passe compose

The lesson didn't mention when to use the auxilliary verb ete or avoir for passe compose

0 replies - Last post by lawchewing -
Sep 30, 2016

Looking for lessons to distinguish plain verbs from verb with prepositions

I need more practice in learning the difference between plain verbs and the same verb that changes meanings when a preposition plus infinitive or only infinitive is added. Some examples: parvenir vs. parvenir à compter vs. compter plus infinitive (i.e. compter aller) vs. compter sur  vs....

2 replies - Last post by dalemcmillen -
Sep 19, 2016

French level2 lesson 9.1 -- why " Je n'ai pas encore acheté de billet " instead of " le billet " ?

In French Level 2 lesson 9.1 Au concert『Non, en fait je voudrais mais je n'ai pas encore acheté de billet.』 In this sentence, why not le billet   but de billet.   ?  

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Sep 14, 2016

Pouvoir Expressed in English

Pouvoir is translated to can, or to be able to in English. In Lesson 10.6, is the example Tu peux me tutoyer ! in which the translation is given as You can say « tu » to me!  The English translation is grammatically incorrect; it should read You may say « tu » to me!. Can speaks of  a...

2 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Aug 23, 2016

French Grammar

The this and that , these and those with gender are hard to pronounce and remember.  I wonder is there any tips to familiarise them Gary

0 replies - Last post by lawchewing -
Aug 13, 2016

french grammer

The this and that, cellui are hard to pronounce and remember

0 replies - Last post by lawchewing -
Aug 13, 2016

Paul ask: Oui, mais pouvez-vous parler un peu plus lentement ?

In this sentence:  Oui, mais pouvez-vous parler un peu plus lentement ?   Why is "parler" written in Infinitive and not in 1. person plural

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Jul 10, 2016

Le, La and Lui

Bonjour, My name is Tricia, as I went through Lesson 1.4 Are you thirsty, I got it that " Je t'apporte ça" means " I bring it to you" ; and from Lesson 1.3 Learning French, " Est-ce que vous le/la comprenez" mean " do you understand him/her ". I asked my nephew whose native language is French...

2 replies - Last post by tricquynh -
Jul 7, 2016

Pas des ou Pas de?

Hi everyone, I don't understand why "de" is used instead of "des" in this phrase although "livres" is plural: "Il n'y a pas de livres dans le sac" Does this means that only "pas de" is valid for whatever types of noun comes after it and "pas des" is always not true? Thanks guys in advance  

2 replies - Last post by thachphamvu -
Jun 5, 2016

Idiomatic and Non-idiomatic Pronominal Verbs

Lesson 10.5 presents pronominal verbs, and at the end of the lesson are idiomatic and non-idiomatic pronominal verbs.  Two examples are included. First example:  Idiomatic:  Je demande à Céline son adresse . . . . . Non-idiomatic:  Nous nous demandons où ils sont Second example: ...

3 replies - Last post by torusan -
Jun 1, 2016

Capital letter after comma

Is the usage of a capital letter after a comma standard in French? As in: 'Oui, Je parle français'. I've had a quick search online but couldn't find any reference to it. Is it specific to being after oui or non?

4 replies - Last post by jason-oxenham-ceo -
May 10, 2016

Et pour ce qui est du dîner ?

Can someone help me understand the grammar behind this sentence?   "Et pour ce qui est du dîner ?"  In the lesson, the English translation is "and with regards to dinner?"  - -but I can't get my head around this.   It looks like, "and for what is some dinner?" to me. I remember learning a...

3 replies - Last post by Jake1 -
May 3, 2016

Ne se soit pas

My example in the lesson today is: "Nous sommes desoles que la soiree ne se soit pas bien passe" I can see that the subjunctive turns etre into SOIT here.... but why the "se" before the soit? I understand when people are doing things together, "se" can come into it - - like "on se parlera...

3 replies - Last post by Jake1 -
May 3, 2016

Subjunctive

The example I have today is: "Je suis triste que nous n'ayons pas pu venir" and I'm wondering how or why "avoir" comes into it.   The translation is: " I'm sad that we couldn't come" - but the subjunctive for "pouvoir" is "nous puissions" so can it be:  "Je suis triste que nous ne...

3 replies - Last post by Jake1 -
May 3, 2016

Ne pas devoir

Can anyone tell me why this example in my lesson is: "Nous acheterons assez a manger pour ne pas devoir aller au restaurant" when my logic tells me I want to put it this way: "Nous acheterons assez a manger pour ne devrons pas aller au restaurant" And I have rarely seen "ne pas" put together...

2 replies - Last post by Jake1 -
May 3, 2016

l'on se connaisse

One of the examples in my lesson today is focusing on the subjonctif. The example is: "Il est important que l'on se connaisse mieux" So why is the L in front of the "on"?  Usually le or la represents another subject or another person, something being referred to.  But in this example, I...

2 replies - Last post by booksoutloudhfx -
Apr 10, 2016

personal pronouns

how do you know to use or to translate "la sienne or le sien"?  His or Her and for that matter the same question about "son"? For example "Ce n'est pas son jouet. C'est le sien"  a boy and a girl fighting over a toy - how do you know if "son" is her or his and the same for "le sien" - is it...

5 replies - Last post by Bud-C1 -
Mar 18, 2016

Ce n'est pas ce que je pensais

Please explain  the 2 "ce"s. The 1st one was self explanatory but what was the purpose or meaning of the 2nd ce, i.e. what was it's place grammatically speaking to make the proper sentence to mean what it meant. My instinct was to skip the 2nd one but I'm sure it would mean something else or...

18 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Feb 11, 2016

FlashCards: I will bring you a hot drink (polite form)

I will bring you a hot drink (polite form)  ANSWER: Je vous apporte une boisson chaude This to me is present tense:  I bring or I am bring you a hot drink. what happened to the "will"?  I venture to use the future tense:  Je vous apporterai une boisson chaude Am I again translating word...

5 replies - Last post by M-L -
Feb 10, 2016

Nous aussi nous avons

So when you say "we also have vegetarian dishes", why are there two "nous"? "Nous aussi nous avons des plats vegetariens" (in my lesson today) Thanks!

2 replies - Last post by floribon -
Feb 10, 2016

voyagent -elles

An example in Lesson 7 has "Et combien de personnes voyagent-elles" "And how many people are travelling?" I'm wondering why it doesn't say, "Et combien de personnes sont voyager?" or if this is an alternate in any way? Thanks!

4 replies - Last post by booksoutloudhfx -
Jan 23, 2016

Je suis à Paris depuis hier I’ve been in Paris since yesterday

6.3 Flirting Lesson: Extra vocabulary    Je suis à Paris depuis hier => the lesson translation was:  I’ve been in Paris since yesterday If the lesson was meant to be "je suis..." then the translation should have been "I am" but it didn't agree with "since yesterday". Odd!  On the other...

2 replies - Last post by M-L -
Jan 21, 2016

ou je peux en trouver

So in lesson 5.2, he asks "where he can find them" (the slippers). If it was just one thing, I would think he would ask: "Savez vous ou je peux le trouver?" So here why doesn't he say,  "Savez vous ou je peux les trouver?" Thanks!

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Jan 6, 2016

Elle se prépare le petit déjeuner. 4.8

Elle se prépare le petit déjeuner.  (from 4.8 lesson and test) The English translation given was: She makes herself SOME breakfast. My understanding of le is the definite article which corresponds to the English "the"; du is the partitive article which corresponds to "some". So shouldn't the...

5 replies - Last post by M-L -
Jan 2, 2016

The session 'Where am I?'

This lesson does does not include "Where am I?". Is it simply "Où suis je?"  

3 replies - Last post by M-L -
Dec 27, 2015

y a til

Can you say "combien de personnes y a til dans la restaurant?" as an alternate to "Il y a combien de personnes dans la restaurant?"  

2 replies - Last post by M-L -
Dec 13, 2015

Conjugation of "trouver" in lesson 12.7

In this lesson on formal negation, there is a sentence that reads "tu ne le trouve nulle part." (you don't find it anywhere).  But should it not be "tu ne le trouves nulle part"?  In other words, would not the conjugation of the verb "trouver" be "tu trouves"?  Or does throwing...

1 reply - Last post by Michael-W -
Oct 8, 2015

Combining notre with on

So....when speaking or writing informally we use 'on' in place of 'nous', but then what word does one use for 'our'? Should I write: On cherche nos livres or On cherche ses livres as an informal alternative to Nous cherchons nos livres ????

1 reply - Last post by torusan -
Sep 29, 2015

Comment vous appelez-vous

Comment vous appelez-vous Is the s in vous sounded out when spoken in this sentence? I can't distinguish this when listening.   

3 replies - Last post by torusan -
Sep 23, 2015

Idioms lesson (15.2)

Why the pronoun "en" in "tu n'en as pas dormi?"

2 replies - Last post by Simon-H20 -
Sep 10, 2015

Verb Conjugation -- Acheter

In Lesson 7.3 is the sentence, “Un cadeau acheté par un ami,” translated to, “A gift was bought by a friend.”   Why was the present tense used; shouldn’t it have been the passé composé and read, “Un cadeau a acheté par un ami”?   The action in the sentence is a...

6 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Aug 14, 2015

La-bas o au bas?

Hello, I'm in section 2.8 "where am I" and am wondering about these 2 phrases.  Its hard to tell them apart La-Bas is "over there" but Au bas is "at the bottom". I looked up bas in the phrase finder but it only came back with these.  Except it also has Parler Bas means "Speaking...

2 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Jul 31, 2015

J'ai besoin de vs. Il me faut

Hello, I suppose I should be getting used to this as I asked about Est-ce que a while ago.  So, I've been all content using J'ai besoin de for I need but now am finding Il me faut for I need, but also see Je dois me for I need. So, why are there 3 versions of I need?  Is one to be...

2 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Jul 31, 2015

Passive and Active Verb Usage

In Lesson 6.4 is the following example:  The French "Ça lui ferait plaisir d’entendre ça" translates to "She would be very pleased to hear that."  I think I've seen this type of construction before:  English uses the active tense, but French uses the passive...

3 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere -
Jul 31, 2015

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