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!