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 conversation. Don’t be shy!

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 din...

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 ...

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 b...

3 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 r...

2 replies - Last post by booksoutloudhfx - April 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 hi...

5 replies - Last post by Bud-C1 - March 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...

18 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 - February 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 c...

5 replies - Last post by M-L - February 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 - February 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 - January 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 "sinc...

2 replies - Last post by M-L - January 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 toru e - January 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 c...

5 replies - Last post by M-L - January 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 - December 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 - December 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" b...

1 reply - Last post by Michael-W - October 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 toru e - September 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 toru e - September 23, 2015

Idioms lesson (15.2)

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

2 replies - Last post by Simon-H20 - September 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 t...

6 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - August 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 ...

2 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - July 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 v...

2 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - July 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,...

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

Tres - how is the e pronounced

In the first lesson, the instructor says that an e with an accent grave is pronounced ay, whereas an e with an accent aigu is pronounced eh. In the words, tres, pres, a cote, etc., all of those words use an accent grave but sound like "ay" to me. Have I...

3 replies - Last post by Ana-R23 - June 16, 2015

des or de

We have some charming pictures over here. Nous avons de charmants tableaux par ici. why is it not "des charmants tableaux" since its plural. 

1 reply - Last post by toru e - April 8, 2015

de and du

Nous avons de charmants tableaux par ici. For this sentence, when we we use "du" and when do we use "de" ? Please help. 

1 reply - Last post by toru e - March 26, 2015

que vs qu'est ce que

Qu’est-ce que tu fais aujourd’hui for this sentence could I just say "que tu fais aujourd'hui?  

1 reply - Last post by toru e - March 26, 2015

De

Lesson 1.2 Why does de appear in '' D'ou venez vous? '' when there is no '' of '' in the meaning '' Where do you come from '' Does the '' de ''in that sentence mean '' from ''?

10 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - March 23, 2015

Avant ou devant

Que-est-ce que vous voulez dire par "Note that when the verb is at the infinitive, « de » should be added in front of « avant ». Vous pouvez dire "avant l'infinitive," n'est-ce pas?

2 replies - Last post by jason☺ - March 14, 2015

Birds are singing

Why is it "les oiseaux chantent" instead of "les oiseaux sont chantent?"

1 reply - Last post by toru e - March 12, 2015

Je te rendrai

Bonjour à tous, Je travail page 199 - Chapitre 41 Le Temps (3) sur Grammaire progressive du Français par CLE International. Dans exercice 4 - Complétez avec « depuis », « il y a », « pendant », « en », « dans » ou « pour ». 3. Je te rendrai l'agent que je...

4 replies - Last post by jason☺ - February 26, 2015

C'est or il est?

Is there no easy way to know which one to use.....:(

2 replies - Last post by toru e - February 26, 2015

argot and articles in lesson 2.2

Hello, When I saw both phrases together, I wondered if I really understood why I would use one over the other.  Link: http://members.rocketlanguages.com/lessons/182 There's a little typo in the English. A little quote slipped in there. &nbs...

0 replies - Last post by jason☺ - February 24, 2015

Weekend à Rome

Bonjour tout le monde, Je viens de finir un exercice de passé composé. Ceci a deux erreurs, je crois. Très bizarre de ne pas utiliser le pronom "je" dans deux phrases, n'est-ce pas?  C'est normal à vos avis? Je suis parti de Paris le samedi à on...

5 replies - Last post by jason☺ - February 19, 2015

Closing an email / Formules de politesse

Hello, I have received some emails with this sort of phrase at the bottom (24 of them at this point) that gave me a little difficulty. Vous en souhaitant bonne réception, Comme... Vous en souhaitant bonne réception, je reste à votre disposition pour to...

3 replies - Last post by Diana-S1 - February 18, 2015

Tu...puisses?

This "you could" phrase just popped up in my lesson yesterday. Can someone tell me where it fits with the conjugation of "could"? i.e.... je pouvais, tu -- ? puisses?, il pouvait, nous pourrions, vous pourriez, etc? Is it just an irregular verb, or a...

4 replies - Last post by Stefanie--15 - February 4, 2015

se baigner = to bath or to bathe

Bonjour à tous, When did we start spelling bathe as bath in English? Do a search in phrase finder for "baigner" http://members.rocketlanguages.com/Toolbox/ It comes up with two entries (both wrong) To bath oneself To bath, to swim From Antidote: Se ba...

4 replies - Last post by jason☺ - January 22, 2015

Telling time

In lesson 2.6 Telling Time Part 2, under the subheading "Halves and Quarters" you explain that "the hour + moins le quart" is the correct way of stating in French that it is quarter to the hour. However, in the "Par Example" section directly below, you pr...

4 replies - Last post by jason☺ - January 21, 2015

i understand the sentence but not the grammar

J'espère qu'on s'arrête bientôt. please explain (s'arrete) grammar bruce

5 replies - Last post by jason☺ - January 21, 2015

Clear up "je vous en prie" for me?

I just came across this in the Doctor Visit lesson, where "je vous en prie" is translated as "you're welcome". Every time I've ever heard this phrase in French dialogue in movies that I own (and listen to for practice), it is always used in the context ...

3 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - January 21, 2015

time question

Just a quick clarification, in the grammar lesson on time, it says that a quarter past the hour is moins le quart, but in the example the 'le' is missing. Is this an extra rule?

4 replies - Last post by Marie-Claire-Riviere - January 21, 2015

grammar

si il y en a please explain the en and the a thank you bruce

4 replies - Last post by jason☺ - January 20, 2015

j'en suis sur

please explain J'en what does it mean?

3 replies - Last post by bruce-a17 - January 17, 2015

trouvez la question avec est-ceque

pls help me to find the question for the following using est-ce que, 1) il y de la pluie. 2) nous écoutons une chanson. and mettez au pluriel for the following 1) il est indien 2) je suis étudiant 3) il a un portable. 4) c'est beau and conjugez au prése...

2 replies - Last post by jason☺ - January 13, 2015

assumed gender?

Salut tout le monde! In lesson 1.3 it says that "Est-ce que vous le comprenez ?" means "Do you understand him? (polite form)". That seams a little unintuitive to me because the french version doesn't refer to gender. Any thoughts? Merci!

3 replies - Last post by Jane-P1 - November 12, 2014

When to use "le" before francias?

Hello, I understand that "le" means "the" and in french they use it often before saying francias or longlais,,, and sometimes they don't use it, and it made me confused. when do I actually use it?

7 replies - Last post by Jane-P1 - November 9, 2014

French Pronoun confusion

Hello. I am new to this and therefore this may be a very silly question. In the two phrases below, why does the one example not use the pronoun "le" before "français" and the other does? - Je parle français. - J'adore apprendre le français.

3 replies - Last post by Diana-S1 - October 29, 2014

why plural

In the sentence - Une tarte aux pommes An apple tart - why is the apple plural?

1 reply - Last post by Diana-S1 - October 17, 2014

virtual keyboard

ON the virtual key board I cannot find the correct letters with accents, for example bientot I don't see the accent over the O. Bien Sur, I cannot find the accent for the U.

5 replies - Last post by toru e - September 27, 2014

which way is more popular?

Just wondering, for numbers such as 80 where there are two ways of saying them, which is the most prevalent? Thanks!

2 replies - Last post by Belinda--31 - September 21, 2014

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