At first glance you may wonder what this blog has to do with learning French. Well grammar applies to all languages and when you don’t understand the basic grammar terms in your own language it makes it very hard to study grammar in a new language. You end up trying to understand grammar instead of trying to understand French.

For that reason, I highly recommend brushing up the basics of grammar before getting into the more advanced forms of French grammar.

OK let’s go!

Nouns – Les noms

These words name persons, places and things.


House – La maison

Car – La voiture

Cat – Le chat

England – L’Angleterre

France – La France

Christine – Christine

John – John

Tip: In French all nouns are arbitrarily either masculine or feminine. Note above la/le, this does not exist in English and is an extra thing to learn for all French nouns.

Adjectives – Les adjectifs

These words describe nouns.


The big house – La grande maison

The red car – La voiture rouge

The fat cat – Le gros chat

The tall tree – Le grand arbre

The beautiful fountain – La belle fontaine

The interesting story – L’histoire intéressante

The funny person – La personne drôle

Tip: In English the adjective comes before the noun, but in French this is not always the case, notice ‘the red car’ above in French is written ‘the car red’.

Verbs – Les verbes

These words show action or state of being.


To be – Être

To run – Courir

To cry – Pleurer

To feel – Sentir

To know – Savoir

To calculate – Calculer

To drive – Conduire

Tip: Verbs change a lot depending on who and when you are talking about. For example, the English verb ‘to be’, changes to ‘I am’, ‘you were’, ‘he will be’ and so on. This means it is very important to first learn the infinitive (those listed above), and then move on to learning the various forms.

OK that is the first three basic grammar forms. In the next blog we will look at some more basic grammar!