Grammar for Dummies
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Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by pronouncing well, you make yourself…


VOUS vs TU

VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member = VOUS (in general it’s…


Grammar for Dummies Nous vs On

Nous / On    What’s the difference bewteen « nous » and « on » ? Is there any ? NOUS = ON In reality in 90% of the cases, they both mean « we » in English. When speaking, the French tend to use less and less the « nous » form as it is always longer to pronounce. Give it a try, pronounce the…


Devoir and its many facets

The verb « devoir » = to must, to have The verb “devoir” is an irregular verb with various meanings. Je dois Tu dois Il/elle doit Nous devons Vous devez Ils/ells doivent   1st meaning : the notion of debt in the literal and figurative meanings : Combien est-ce que je vous dois? = How much do…


Les salutations !

This month, we will not focuse on a specific grammar point but on vocabulary ! The different way to say “Hi” according to the time of the day and the person (s).   salut hi bienvenue welcome bonjour good day (greeting) bonsoir good evening/night (greeting) bonne journée good day (farewell) bonne soirée good evening/night (farewell)…


Les pronoms réfléchis = pronominals (reflexives)

When the subject does something to itself (when the subject and the object of the verb are the same) you have reflexivity. The reflexive pronouns are used to denote this. Singular Plural 1st person me nous 2nd person te vous 3rd person se se NB : me, te, and se become m’ , t’ and s’ before vowels and mute h Exemple : Je me…


The impersonal verbs like “Il neige”

Impersonal verbs are very useful for your daily conversation ! The pronoun “il” is used when describing the weather and for time related expressions. “Il” here represents the state of things – the world or universe at that moment. Example : Il pleut Il neige. It’s raining It’s snowing. Il fait chaud. It is hot. Il fait froid….


“e”, “é” or “è” ?

In French, there are 3 different accents on « e ». It is important to know them as it changes the pronunciation of the word. The 3 accents: “é”: acute accent like : été (summer) “è”: grave accent like accès (access) “ê”: circumflex accent like tête (head), less used So how to know which accent is the right…


To and From + country

Je vais en France OU au France ???? Je viens de France OU du France ????? How to know which sentence is correct? Before explaning this French rule, note that: To go to + country = aller + “au “OU “en” + pays To come from + country = venir + « de» OU « du » OR arriver +…


Imparfait

As you may know, in French there are two main tenses we use in the past : « Passé composé » and « Imparfait ». « Passé composé » has been previously explained in another Grammar for Dummies , now time to focus on « Imparfait ». When is it used ? How to conjugate it ?   When is it used ? The French use it…


GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES : -ER verbs

In French there are three categories of verbs : the ones ending in –ER, the ones in –IR and the ones in –RE.   The –ER ones are the most common ones and are all regular (apart from ALLER that is The exception to the rule). No matter the level you have you probably know more…


Grammar for dummies Futur Proche

GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES LE FUTUR PROCHE   In French there are two tenses for the future tense, just like in English (you can say « i’m going to go » and «  i will go » they both express a notion of future. « Futur proche » is like « i am going to go ». The good news is that it’s…


Grammar For Dummies Different use of Bien & Bon

GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES Different use of Bien & Bon   As previously explained in a different Grammar For Dummies, « bon » & « bien » are grammatically different : « Bon » is an adjective (so it gives information about a noun and it can change : bon / bonne / bons / bonnes) and is the opposite of « mauvais » (that also…


Grammar for dummies C’est bien vs C’est bon

GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES : C’est bien vs C’est bon When to use « c’est bon » ? When to use « c’est bien » ?   When to use « c’est bon » ? « C’est bon » is used to express a physical sensation.   Examples : J’adore le chocolat, c’est tellement bon ! Faire la sieste au soleil, c’est vraiment bon. Faire du sport et manger…


GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES Bien / Bon

GRAMMAR FOR DUMMIES : Bon/ Bien When do we use « bon » ? When do we use « bien » ?   BON BON à gives you information about a noun, so it’s an adjective. In French adjectives agree with the nouns, which means that if the noun is feminin, the adjective will be feminin too, same thing if the noun…


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