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Français pour débutants
If you want to start learning French from the bottom up, you’ve come to the right place! Lawless French for Beginners is a self-study course divided into 30 loosely themed units consisting of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation lessons; cultural tips; and assorted listening exercises and quizzes along the way. Keep reading for some info and advice on making the most of this course, or go straight to the lessons.
How to learn French
Each unit is in the form of a checklist with links to online lessons and other resources. I recommend spending at least a week but no more than a month on each unit: study/practice each item in the list and then go back through them again more quickly to cement your learning before moving on to the next unit. And of course you can go back to an earlier unit any time you like.
You can save a printable pdf copy of each checklist to your computer or you can create a Checklist account to save a dynamic version online. Both options are completely free, so it’s up to you!
Are you really a beginner?
If you’re not an absolute beginner, I recommend you take at least one of these free proficiency tests in order to figure out where you are:
- French proficiency test (CEFR levels A1 and A2)
The answers page includes a link to the relevant lesson for each question.
- Progress with Lawless French (all levels)
After taking the placement test, you’ll receive a level assessment and personalized study plan.
Also try one of these fun programs:
- Frantastique uses comics and videos to tell the story of a pair of aliens who bring Victor Hugo back to life and help him navigate this strange new world.
- Get Up To Speed is structured like a play between a French tutor and her students, with dialogs, lessons, and assorted exercises.
Whenever you have questions, please post them in the Lawless French forum and we’ll be happy to help!
Units: These checklists take a moment to load, please be patient! 🙂
- Greetings, introductions, nouns, verbs, alphabet
- Politeness, social niceties, definite articles, subject pronouns, -er verbs, vowels
- Essential French, tu vs vous, present tense, the letter I
- Numbers, il y a, avoir (to have), the letters A and O
- Telling time, c’est / il est, indefinite articles, the letter E
- Calendar, être (to be), -ir verbs, the letter U
- Dates, good-bye, aller (to go), accents
- Weather, faire (to do, make), adjectives, the letter H
- Food, partitive articles, pouvoir (to be able to), nasal vowels
- Feelings, easy questions (est-ce que), negation, consonants
- Family, drinks, preposition de, recent past (venir de), the letters B and D
- Body, toiletries, reflexive verbs, the letter C
- Clothes, colors, hard questions (inversion), the letters F and P
- Descriptions, à, stem-changing verbs, the letter G
- Home and furniture, possessive adjectives, vouloir (to want), the letter K
- School, office, adverbs, devoir (to have to), the letter J
- Transportation, questions, savoir vs connaître (to know), the letter Q
- Directions, demonstrative adjectives, re -verbs, the letter L
- Personality, prepositions, dormir, partir, sortir, the letters M and N
- Professions, passé composé, auxiliary verbs, the letter R
- Ordinal numbers, coordinating conjunctions, imperfect, the letters S and T
- Fractions, passé composé vs imparfait, the letters V and W
- Hobbies, direct objects, dire, écrire, lire, the letter Y
- Shopping, shops and businesses, indirect objects, imperative, the letter Z
- Weights and measures, adverbial pronoun y, future tense, silent letters
- Restaurant, adverbial pronoun en, conditional, liaisons
- Nationalities, subordinating conjunctions, past perfect, enchaînement
- Languages, à vs de, infinitive, e instable
- On the phone, stressed pronouns, present participles, elisions
- Dishes/silverware, comparatives, superlatives, contractions
Et voilà ! Follow the above for a thorough grounding in beginning French, then use the links below to continue your studies. Bonne continuation !
- Beginning French lessons and reading/listening
- Explanation of CEFR levels
- Independent study
- Lawless French forum
- Online French dictionary
- Progress with Lawless French
- Relearning French
- Verb conjugations