French connectives
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Connecteurs logiques

French connectives are links: they combine words, phrases, or sentences. Connectives do not constitute a single part of speech, but rather a category of terms including all conjunctions and prepositions as well as certain types of adverbs and pronouns used in this way.


All conjunctions – both coordinating and subordinating – are, by definition, connectives.

Je veux un chien et un chat.   I want a dog and a cat.
Il a dit qu‘il serait en retard.   He said (that) he’d be late.


All prepositions and prepositional phrases are connectives.

J’habite en France.   I live in France.
Il a réussi grâce à sa femme.   He succeeded thanks to his wife.

Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are connectives between main and relative clauses.

C’est lui qui a menti.   He’s the one who lied.
Voici le livre dont je t’ai parlé.   Here’s the book I told you about.


Many adverbs of frequency, place, and time are connectives.

Je suis arrivé avant David.   I arrived before David.
C’est ici que nous nous sommes mariés.   It’s here that we got married.

Types of Connectives

Rather than being sorted by grammatical function as above, connectives are typically grouped by how they are used, what purpose they serve.

Usage / Purpose   Par exemple …
Addition   et, de surcroît, en outre
Addition   and, in addition, furthermore
Alternative   ou, soit … soit, ne …. ni … ni
Alternative   or, either … or, neither … nor
But   pour, afin que, de peur que
Purpose   for, so that, for fear that
Cause / Justification   parce que, par conséquent, grâce à
Cause / Justification   because, as a result, thanks to
Classification   d’abord, deuxièmement, ensuite
Ranking   first of all, secondly, next
Comparaison   comme, de même, plus que
Comparison   like, similarly, more than
Concession   malgré, bien que, même si
Concession   despite, even though, even if
Conclusion   donc, pour conclure, finalement
Conclusion   so, to conclude, in the end
Condition   si, au cas où, pourvu que
Condition   if, in case, provided that
Conséquence   en conséquence, c’est pourquoi, de façon que
Outcome   as a result, that’s why, so that
Explication   à savoir, c’est-à-dire, autrement dit
Explanation   namely, that is, in other words
Illustration   par exemple, notamment, tel que
Example   for example, notably, such as
Liaison   en fait, en effet, justement
Link   in fact, indeed, exactly
Lieu   ici, devant, au nord
Location   here, in front of, to the north
Opposition / Restriction   mais, cependant, sauf
Opposition / Restriction   but, however, unless
Résumé   bref, enfin, en somme
Summary   in short, finally, all in all
Supposition   à supposer que, dans le cas où, probablement
Supposition   supposing that, in case, probably
Temps   avant que, depuis que, quand
Time   before, since, when

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French connectives

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