French voiceThe grammatical term voice refers to the relationship between a verb and its subject: whether it is active, passive, or pronominal (reflexive).


The Subjunctivisor!

The Subjunctivisor!The Subjunctivisor is an interactive tool that will advise you on whether to use the subjunctive or indicative with more than 275 French verbs, expressions, and conjunctions.


Semi-Auxiliary Verbs

French semi-auxiliary verbsSemi-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.

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Passive Constructions

French passive constructionsThe best-known passive construction is the passive voice, which has a verb performing on a subject (e.g., he is seen). But did you know that French has several other passive constructions that are just as important to recognize and use?


Historical Tenses

French historical tensesWhen writing about history, the tenses used in French and English aren't always the same. French prefers to use the present or even the future, while English tends to favor the past tense.


Compound Modal Verbs

Translating modal verbs into FrenchCompound modal verbs express perfect (in the grammatical sense of "completed") actions. These English constructions consist of a modal verb + have + past participle, while the French equivalent is usually a verb in a perfect tense or mood plus an infinitive.


Venir de – Recent Past

French recent pastYou can explain what happened in the recent past with the construction venir de + infinitive; for example, Je viens de terminer ce puzzle - "I (have) just finished this puzzle."


Passive Infinitive

French passive infinitiveAs its name so usefully suggests, the passive infinitive construction is used when the infinitive has a passive role, rather than an active one, as in livres à vendre - "books for sale."


Passé composé vs Imparfait

Passé composé vs imparfaitFrench videoWhen talking about the past in French, there are two different tenses that work together: the passé composé and the imparfait. Although English has verb forms that appear to be exact equivalents for each of these, they don't quite match up in the two languages. This video will help you understand when, why, and how to use each French tense.


Past Subjunctive

French past subjunctiveThe past subjunctive is the past tense of the subjunctive mood. The exact same verbs, expressions, and conjunctions that call for the subjunctive in the present require the past subjunctive in reference to subjectivity about something that happened in the past.