Adjectives

French adjectivesOne of the eight parts of speech, adjectives are a type of modifier. They serve the same purpose in French and English, but they are very different in two respects.

   

Adverbial Pronouns / Pronominal Adverbs

French adverbial pronounsAs you might guess from their name, adverbial pronouns are caught between two worlds: they are pronouns in the sense that they replace nouns, and at the same time they are adverbs representing a place, a quantity, or the object of a proposition. French has two adverbial pronouns: en and y.

   

Agreement with Direct Objects

French agreement with direct objects Most French verbs are conjugated with avoir as their auxiliary verb in compound tenses and moods, and therefore do not require agreement with their subjects. But avoir verbs do need agreement in a very specific construction: the past participle must agree with the direct object when it precedes the verb.

   

Direct Objects

French grammarA direct object is a noun, whether person or thing, that someone or something acts upon or does something to. In both French and English, direct objects are often replaced with direct object pronouns (COD): me, te, le, la, nous, vous, les.

   

Double Pronoun Order

French word orderSometimes one pronoun just isn't enough. A sentence might need both a direct and indirect object, or a reflexive pronoun as well as an adverbial. When this happens, word order becomes an issue: how do you know which pronoun to place first? It's actually pretty easy, once you learn the rules.

   

Imperative Mood

French imperativeIt's imperative to understand the imperative mood if you want to give orders, make requests, express desires, provide recommendations, offer advice, and prohibit actions.

   

Indirect Objects

French grammarAn indirect object is a person that someone or something does something to indirectly. In both French and English, indirect objects are often replaced with indirect object pronouns.

   

Infinitive

French infinitiveThe French infinitive, which always ends in -er, -ir, or -re, serves as the name of any given verb. It's what you look up in dictionaries and verb conjugation tables, so it's important to learn the infinitive of every new verb you see or hear.

   

Inversion

French inversionThe normal word order in French and English is subject + verb, as in vous êtes - you are. Both languages also have what is known as inversion, where the verb and subject pronoun switch places, resulting in êtes-vous - are you. In English, inversion is used only to ask questions, but in French it has several different purposes.

   

Inversion with je

French inversionInversion with the first person singular je is a little trickier than with other subject pronouns. It's also very formal and therefore rare, so one of those grammar concepts you need to recognize but not necessarily use.

   

   

Magnetic Poetry

French magnetic poetryMagnetic poetry is a fun little tool you can use to learn and practice French. 500 magnets with words and parts of words help you to express yourself in a unique and creative way.

   

Manquer

Manquer - to missThe regular -er French verb manquer means "to miss," which seems straightforward enough, and yet it causes no end of confusion due to a strange turnaround it requires in a certain construction. Don't miss this lesson!

   

   

Negative Adjectives

French negative adjectivesFrench negative adjectives are used to negate or refuse nouns. Like other negative structures, negative adjectives - also called indefinite negative adjectives - have two parts.