A number of French adjectives change meaning depending on whether they go before or after the noun.
French negative adjectives are used to negate or refuse nouns. Like other negative structures, negative adjectives have two parts.
Negative adverbs turn affirmative statements and questions into negative statements and questions. The most common English negative adverb is the word "not," but French is a little more complicated - quelle surprise !
Telling someone not to do something is called, logically enough, a negative command.
French negative pronouns (ne ... personne, ne ... rien
) replace and simultaneously negate nouns. They may be the subject or object of the verb they're used with.
French and English have five different types of numbers used for different purposes and with varying functions: they act like adjectives and/or nouns.
The placement of object, reflexive, and adverbial pronouns depends on which of the four main verb constructions they're used with.
When one thing happens before another, you can use the French past infinitive to talk about the earlier action. In English, the past infinitive is very stilted, so it's usually loosely translated into more idiomatic phrasing.
In English, we use 's
(apostrophe s) to indicate that one noun possesses another. The French equivalent is the preposition de
, with the order of the nouns reversed.
It's very common to have two verbs in a row in both English and French, as in J'aime danser
. The word order can get very complicated when additional grammatical structures like object pronouns and negation are introduced.
Si 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.
Word order with French verbs of perception depends on whether the infinitive has a subject and/or direct object, and whether these are nouns or pronouns.