Capitalization of Titles

French title capitalizationUnlike most areas of French grammar, the capitalization of French titles of books, movies, etc. does not follow a clearly defined set of rules. Instead, French title capitalization is inconsistent, with competing systems used by writers, publishers, and other authoritative sources.



Chéri, by Colette
Read the opening dialog of the 1920 romance novel Chéri, by Colette.



Les Fleurs du mal
Correspondances, from Les Fleurs du mal, is one of Charles Baudelaire's best-known poems. Read the original in French, and consider one possible translation.


Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac
Read the set description and opening scene of this classic French play, with side-by-side English translation.



Delphine, by Mme de Staël
Read the first few paragraphs of Madame de Staël's epistolary novel Delphine.



Formal Negation

French formal negationFrench has three negative constructions that are reserved for formal (usually written) French like literature and historical accounts.



Germinal, de Zola
Read the opening paragraphs of Émile Zola's 1885 masterpiece, Germinal.



Horace, by George Sand
Read the opening paragraphs of George Sand's Horace, a novel about friendship and student life in Paris written in 1841.




La morte amoureuse

La morte amoureuse
J'ai été pendant plus de trois ans le jouet d'une illusion singulière et diabolique. Moi, pauvre prêtre de campagne, j'ai mené en rêve toutes les nuits (Dieu veuille que ce soit un rêve !) une vie de damné, une vie de mondain et de Sardanapale.