Essential French Tools

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Essential French tools
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Outils essentiels

Learning and practicing French is easier, more effective, and more fun with the right tools. Here are some of my favorites.

French Grammar Tools


If you find yourself struggling to remember which verbs and expressions require the subjunctive, you’re not alone. That’s why I created the Subjunctivisor: just make your selection from the list and you’ll be redirected to a page with the answer as well as a sample sentence or two.


French has so many different pronouns – and different kinds of pronouns – that it can be hard to keep track. Enter the Pronommeur: choose a problematic pronoun to find out what kind(s) of pronoun it is and how to use it.

Progress with Lawless French

My co-branded site Progress with Lawless French creates a personalized study plan for you and tracks your progress with every kwiz you take. There’s also an interactive Brainmap, weekly writing challenges and dictation exercises, and tons of listening and reading practicelearn more.

Bon Usage 2017Le Bon Usage

The bible of French grammar – the most thorough French grammar book that exists. It has been republished more than a dozen times and is a must for fluent speakers. Le Bon Usage is the book that native speakers refer to when they want to understand or explain some aspect of French grammar. (French only)

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French Vocabulary Tools

Le Robert & CollinsLe Robert & Collins

My favorite bilingual dictionary, no contest, is Le Robert & Collins. It’s packed with translations, examples, sound files, verb conjugations, and everything else you need to switch between French and English.

Le Grand Robert

Grand RobertWhen you’re ready to go monolingual, Le Grand Robert is the best. This veritable encyclopedia of the French language, originally published as 6 enormous books, is now a single CD-ROM with 100,000 words and 325,000 quotations, in an attractive and easy-to-use interface. The detailed definition for each entry includes pronunciation, etymology, historical uses, register, regionalities, and examples from literary and historical sources, and everything is hypertexted so that you can jump from one word to another. This is the dictionary that native speakers rely on, and what I recommend whole-heartedly for advanced and fluent French speakers.

More: French vocabulary lessons and lists

French Pronunciation Tool

Savoir Dire

Expensive, but unbeatable: in-depth analysis of each French letter and sound with corresponding listening exercises; comparison of American English and French sounds; and explanations of French rhythm, silent letter patterns, and much more. (book and online sound files)

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French Listening Comprehension Tools

FluentU video

Vast collection of subscription-based, real-life video content for all levels, including news, music, and movie previews. Each FluentU video includes captions, translation, and the option to click any word for its definition and example sentences. Read my review or visit the site.

PwLF Listening Comprehension

A wide variety of audio files and videos accompanied by a bilingual reader (French text that can be clicked for English translation and related grammar lessons) and dictation exercises.

Yabla - French videosYabla French

To work on your French listening comprehension, check out Yabla, a subscription site with a massive collection of original videos featuring native speakers and – best of all – dictées.

More: French listening comprehension

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Essential French tools

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