Auxiliary Verbs

French auxiliary verbsAuxiliary 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.

   

Bastille Day

Bastille DayYou probably know that 14 July is Bastille Day, but do you know what it's called in French? (Hint, it's not "jour de Bastille.") Do you know the history behind Bastille Day, or how it's celebrated in France? This page has links to everything you could possibly want to know.

   

Conditional Mood

French conditionalIn 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.

   

Food

Food
Food is a necessity, and can also be a source of great pleasure. Being about to talk about French food will come in handy while shopping, dining, traveling, and entertaining friends, so check out this lesson about French food, including the basic food groups and related vocabulary. Bon appétit !

   

   

Mardi Gras

Mardi gras vocabulary
Mardi Gras is an annual celebration of extravagance and (over)indulgence before Lent. Because Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," is tied to Easter, the date changes every year.

   

Passé composé

Passé composéThe passé composé is the most important French past tense, and just to make things interesting, it has three possible English equivalents.

   

Passé composé vs Imparfait

Passé composé vs imparfaitThe trickiest aspect of the two most important French verb forms is that they often work together, juxtaposed not only throughout stories, but even within individual sentences. Understanding the contrasting relationship between the passé composé and imparfait is essential to communicating in French.

   

   

Si Clauses: Conditionals

French si clausesSi clauses, also known as conditionals or conditional sentences, are if-then constructions that express a condition to be met in order for a certain result. They are divided into three types, depending on whether the condition is likely, unlikely, or impossible.