The prepositions après and derrière have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between après and derrière to put all of this confusion behind you.
Auxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs, because they help form compound conjugations. The key thing to remember about compound conjugations is that it's the auxiliary verb which conjugates for the required tense or mood; the main verb is always a past participle.
The prepositions avant and devant have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between avant and devant to get in front of any potential confusion.
In English, we use the modal "would" plus a verb to talk about actions that may or may not take place, usually depending on whether a certain condition is met. The French equivalent to this construction is a conditional mood with a full set of conjugations for every verb. The uses of these two constructions are very similar.
One of the eight parts of speech, conjunctions are used as connectors between grammatically related words or phrases. There are two kinds of conjunctions, depending on whether that relationship is equal or unequal.
Coordinating conjunctions are small words that connect two or more grammatically equivalent words or phrases. The connected words might be adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, or even independent clauses; the important thing is that they're equal and each one serves the same function in the sentence.
When talking about something that happened in the past, the correct verb tense isn't always enough - sometimes you need a temporal expression to state just when it happened. The most common French temporal expressions are depuis and il y a, and they are not interchangeable.
Devoir is a very common French verb with irregular conjugations and an unusual relationship to some of its English equivalents. Devoir has several meanings related to obligation, supposition, and expectation.
A direct object is a noun, whether person or thing, that someone or something acts upon or does something to. In both French and English, direct objects are often replaced with direct object pronouns (COD): me, te, le, la, nous, vous, les.
French grammar is sometimes trumped by pronunciation, as in the case of euphonic adjectives. Because French does not like the hiatus created when a word ending with a vowel precedes a word that begins with a vowel or mute h, a few adjectives change their spelling—and thus their pronunciation—for purely euphonic reasons.
The irregular French verb falloir means "to need," "to be necessary," or "to be lacking." Since falloir is an impersonal verb, it has only one conjugation in each tense and mood: the third person singular; for example, the present tense il faut.
In English, we use the modal "will" plus a verb to talk about actions that will take place in the future, but in French there's a future tense with a full set of conjugations for every verb. The uses of these two constructions are very similar.
They say practice makes perfect, so how can one of the most common French past tenses be imperfect? In grammatical terms, "perfect" means "complete," so the imperfect tense is used to describe an incomplete or ongoing action or state of being.
The French infinitive, which always ends in -er, -ir, or -re, serves as the name of any given verb. It's what you look up in dictionaries and verb conjugation tables, so it's important to learn the infinitive of every new verb you see or hear.
The normal word order in French and English is subject + verb, as in vous êtes - you are. Both languages also have what is known as inversion, where the verb and subject pronoun switch places, resulting in êtes-vous - are you. In English, inversion is used only to ask questions, but in French it has several different purposes.
Lequel, "which one," is the pronominal equivalent of the interrogative adjective quel, meaning that quel + noun can be replaced by lequel. It has different forms depending on the gender and number of the noun it replaces.
The regular -er French verb manquer means "to miss," which seems straightforward enough, and yet it causes no end of confusion due to a strange turnaround it requires in a certain construction. Don't miss this lesson!
Parts of speech are the building blocks of everything you say, write, hear, and read. Even if you hate the thought of learning any grammar terms, knowing the difference between these eight basic parts of speech is essential for improving your French ability.
French possessive adjectives (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta ...) are used in front of nouns to indicate to whom or to what those nouns belong. They're more complicated than English possessive adjectives because there are different forms depending on gender and number.
Pouvoir is a very common irregular French verb with an unusual relationship to some of its English equivalents. It generally means "can" or "to be able," but it's a bit more complicated in certain tenses.
The French present participle, which always ends in -ant, may be used as a verb, gerund, noun, or adjective. Structurally, French present participles are equivalent to "verb + ing" in English, but grammatically there are many differences between them.
When used as a noun or adjective, the present participle follows the same agreement rules as other nouns and adjectives, and some verbs have a different present participle conjugation for these usages.
For reflexive verbs, the reflexive pronoun indicates that the subject of the verb is performing the action on him/her/itself, rather than on someone or something else. The majority of reflexive verbs have to do with one's body, clothing, or relationships.
Do you know how to say "know" in French? There are two verbs with distinct meanings, and just to keep things interesting, there are also two overlapping meanings. Confused? After you read this lesson, you'll know all you need to know.
Semi-auxiliary verbs are used with infinitives to influence their meaning, tense, mood, or aspect. Some French semi-auxiliaries are equivalent to English modal verbs, and most of the top 10 French verbs can or must be used as semi-auxiliaries.
As indicated by the name, stressed/disjunctive/emphatic pronouns are used for emphasis. Stressed pronouns exist in English, but they are not always used in the same ways or for the same reasons as French stressed pronouns.