Today is the second blog in our grammar series. Last week we started with nouns, adjectives and verbs, and today we look at three more essential basic grammar terms, what they mean and how they are used with both English and French grammar.
Don’t get put off by grammar, instead get a good basic grasp of the terms and how to use them in English, and suddenly French grammar won’t seem quite so daunting as before.
Pronouns – Les pronoms
These words are used in the place of nouns.
I – Je
We – Nous
You (singular) – Tu
You (plural) – Vous
He/It – Il
She – Elle
They – Ils
Tip: These are just the basic pronouns, known as personal pronouns. There are many others in both English and French, such as his, hers, him, her, theirs, them, mine, yours, ours and so on.
Adverbs – Les adverbes
These words describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
He drives fast – Il conduit vite
The boy climbs slowly – Le garçon monte lentement
The very fat cat – Le très gros chat
The unusually tall tree – L’arbre inhabituellement grand
She eats quite prettily – Elle mange assez joliment
The man laughs loudly – L’homme rit bruyamment
She breathes deeply – Elle respire profondément
Tip: In English many adverbs end in ‘-ly’, some examples include, happily, slowly, loudly and softly; in French, this word ending is very often replaced with ‘-ment’, note the words above, profondément, bruyamment, lentement and more.
Articles – Les articles
These words add meaning to a noun, are you talking about any one of those things, or a specific one. To explain further I will give you an example, ‘I want an apple.’ (I want any apple), ‘I want the apple.’ (I want a specified apple).
A/an – une/un
The – La/le
The – les (plural)
Tip: The rules for using articles is very different in French and English. In English many nouns are not used with articles at all, for example the sentence ‘I like apples.’ in English requires no article, but in French that would read J’aime les pommes.’
In addition to that in French all nouns are either masculine or feminine, which is why there are two variations written above; in English grammar this is not a factor.
Well done on getting a basic understanding of the next three parts of speech. Understanding these well will give you a good head start in learning French grammar! In next week’s blog we will complete these basic grammar terms, with the final three parts of speech.