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Collins
French

Crammar

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PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

Lorna Knight

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Michela Clari

MANACING EDITOR

Maree Airlie

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CONTRIBUTORS

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neither the presence nor absence of such designation should be regarded as affecting the legal status

should be regarded as affecting the legal status of anv trademark.

Di Larkin

We would like to give special thanks to

Di Larkin, Foreign Languages Consultant,

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CONTENTS
CONTENTS
Foreword for language teachers Introduction for students Glossary of grammar terms Nouns
Foreword for language teachers
Introduction for students
Glossary of grammar terms
Nouns

Using nouns

Gender

Forming plurals

Articles

Different types of article

The definite article: le, la, l' and les The indefinite article: un, une and des The partitive article: du, de la, de l'and des

partitive article: du, de la, d e l'and d e s Adjectives Using adjectives Making adiectives
Adjectives
Adjectives

Using adjectives Making adiectives agree Word order with adjectives Comparatives and superlatives of adjectives Demonstrative adjectives: ce, cette, cet and ces Possessive adjectives

Indefinite adjectives

c e s Possessive adjectives Indefinite adjectives 25 27 32 34 37 39 4'l Pronouns 42

25

27

32

34

37

39

4'l

Pronouns

Pronouns

42
42

Personal pronouns: subject

43

Personal pronouns: direct object

47

Personal pronouns: indirect object .

49

Emphatic pronouns

51

Possessive pronouns

54

en and y
en and y

56

Using different types of pronoun together Indefinite pronouns

59

60

Relative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns

62

65

The three coniugations

69

The present tense

T h e present t e n s e
T h e present t e n s e

71

The present tense: regular -er (first conjugation) verbs The present tense: regular -ir (second conjugation) verbs The present tense: regular -re (third conjugation) verbs The present tense: spelling changes in -er verbs The present tense: irregular verbs

72

74

76

78

82

The imperative

85

The imperfect tense The future tense The conditional 92 FOREWORD FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS 98 105
The imperfect tense
The future tense
The conditional
92
FOREWORD FOR LANGUAGE TEACHERS
98
105
The perfect tense
111
The pluperfect tense
1't9
The fosy Leorning French Crommar is designed to be used with both young
The passive
122
The present participle
12s
and adult learners, as a group reference book to complement your course
book during classes, or as a recommended text for self-study and
homework/coursework.
lmpersonal verbs
127
The subjunctive
129
Verbs followed by an infinitive
Other uses of the infinitive
133
The text specifically targets learners from ab initio to intermediate or CCSE
level, and therefore its structural content and vocabulary have been matched
"t37
to the relevant specifications up to and including Higher CCSE.
Negatives
138
The approach aims to develop knowledge and understanding of grammar and
Questions
How to ask a question in French
142 your learners' ability to apply it by:
142
146
Question words
r defining parts of speech at the start of each major section with
examples in English to clarify concepts
Adverbs
',52
e
How adverbs are used
1s2
minimizing the use of grammar terminology and providing clear
explanations of terms both within the text and in the Glossary
'152
How adverbs are formed
o
illustrating all points with examples (and their translations) based on
Comparatives and superlatives of adverbs
Some common adverbs
Word order with adverbs
155
157 topics and contexts which are relevant to beginner and intermediate
course content
160
Prepositions
162 The text helps you develop positive attitudes to grammar learning in your
How prepositions are used
162
classes by:
i, de and en
163
o
giving clear, easy-to-follow explanations
Some other common prepositions
Prepositions consisting of more than one word
Prepositions after verbs
Prepositions after adjectives
17'l
o
177
prioritizing content according to relevant specifications for the levels
178
.
sequencing points to reflect course content, e.g. verb tenses
183
o
highlighting useful Tips to deal with common difficulties
Conjunctions
"184
.
et mais, ou, parce que and si
Some other common conjunctions
The conjunction que
Numbers
184
summarizing Key points at the end of sections to consolidate
learning
186
187
In addition to fostering success and building a thorough foundation in French
188
grammar, the optional Grammar Extra sections will encourage and challenge
your learners to further their studies to higher and advanced levels.
Time and date
Some common difficulties
The alphabet
Main index
190
193
198
199
Verb tables
1-94
Verb index
95-105
Note on trademarks
Entered words which we have reason to believe constitute trademarks have been
designated as such. However, neither the presence nor the absence of such designation
should be regarded as affecting the legal status of any trademark.
the presence nor the absence of such designation should be regarded as affecting the legal status
INTRODUCTION FOR STUDENTS rtp lf you are in doubt as to which form of you
INTRODUCTION FOR STUDENTS
rtp
lf you are in doubt as to which form of you to use, it is safest to
Whether you are starting to learn French for the very first time, brushing up on
topics you have studied in class, or revising for your CCSE exams, the fosy
use vous and you will not offend anybody.
Leorning French Grommor is here to help. This easy-to-use guide takes you
through all the basics you will need to speak and understand modern,
everyday French.
Key points sum up all the important facts about a particular area of grammar,
to save you time when you are revising and help you focus on the main
grammatical points.
Newcomers can sometimes struggle with the technical terms they come across
when they start to explore the grammar of a new language. fhe Eosy Leorning
Key
points
French Crammor explains how to get to grips with all the parts of speech you
will need to know, using simple language and cutting out jargon.
y' Wittr masculine singular nouns + use un.
y'
Witn feminine
singular
nouns i use une.
The text is divided into sections, each dealing with a particular area of
y' witn plural nouns r
use des.
grammar. Each section can be studied individually, as numerous cross-
references in the text point you to relevant points in other sections of the book
for further information.
y'
un, une and des * change to de or d'in negative
sentences.
(
tne indefinite article is not usually used when you say what
Every major section begins with an explanation of the area of grammar
jobs people do, or in exclamations with quel.
covered on the following pages. For quick reference, these definitions are also
collected together on pages viii-xii in a glossary of essential grammar terms.
lf you think you would like to continue with your French studies to a higher
What is a verb?
level, check out the Grammar Extra sections. These are intended for advanced
students who are interested in knowing a little more about the structures they
A verb is a 'doing' word which describes what someone or something
will come across beyond CCSE.
does, what someone or something is, or what happens to them, for
exampfe, be, sing, live.
Orammar Extra!
lf you want to use an adjective after quelque chose, rien, quelqu'un and
Each grammar point in the text is followed by simple examples of real French,
personne, you link the words with de.
complete with English translations, helping you understand the rules.
quelqu'un d'important
someone important
Underlining has been used in examples throughout the text to highlight the
grammatical point being explained.
quelque chose gl'int6ressant
something interesting
rien d'amusant
nothing funny
l lf you are talking about a part of your body, you usually use a word like
my or his in English, but in French you usually use the definite article.
Finally, the supplement at the end of the book contains Verb Tables, where 93
important French verbs (both regular and irregular) are declined in full.
Tourne la tete i gauche.
ll s'est cass6 le bras.
Turn your head to the left.
He's broken his arm.
Examples show you how to use these verbs in your own work. lf you are
unsure of how a verb declines in French, you can look up the Verb Index on
J'ai mal d la gorge.
l've got a sore throat.
pages 95-1 05 to find either the conjugation of the verb itself, or a cross-
reference to a model verb, which will show you the patterns that verb follows.
ln French, as with any foreign language, there are certain pitfalls which have
to be avoided. Tips and Information notes throughout the text are useful
reminders of the things that often trip learners up.
We hope that you will enjoy using the Eosy Learning French Grqmmor and fnd it
useful in the course of your study.
CON|UNCTION a word such as and, window?' -'He did.' Also called GLOSSARY OF GRAMMAR TERMS
CON|UNCTION a word such as and,
window?' -'He did.' Also called
GLOSSARY OF GRAMMAR TERMS
becouse or but that links two words
stressed pronoun.
or phrases of a similar type or two
ENDING a form added to a verb, for
ABSTRACT NOUN a word used to
example, wolk, have, be, go. Compare
parts of a sentence, for example,
refer to a quality, idea, feeling or
with infinitive.
experience, rather than a physical
CARDINAL NUMBER a number used
Diqne and I hove been friends for
yeors.; I left because I was bored.
example, go-> gogg and to
adjectives and nouns depending on
whether they refer to masculine,
object for example, size, reoson,
hoppiness. Compare with concrete
in counting, for example, onet seven/
feminine, singular or plural things.
ninety. Compare with ordinal
noun.
ADf ECTIVE a 'describing' word that
number.
CLAUSE a group of words containing
CONSONANT a letter of the
alphabet which is not a vowel, for
example, b, f, m, s, y etc. Compare
with vowel.
EXCLAMATION a word, phrase or
sentence that you use to show you
are surprised, shocked, angry and so
tells you more about a person or
thing, such as their appearance,
a verb.
COMPARATIVE an adjective or
on, for exampfe/ Wow!; How dore
CONSTRUCTION an arrangement of
you!; What o surprise!
words together in a phrase or
colour, size or other qualities, for
adverb with -er on the end of it or
sentence.
FEMININE a form of noun, pronoun
example, pretty, blue, big.
ADVERB a word usually used with
verbs, adjectives or other adverbs
more or /ess in front of it that is used
or adjective that is used to refer to a
DEFINITE ARTICLE the word the.
to compare people, things or actions,
living being, thing or idea that is not
Compare with indefinite article.
for example, slower, less importont,
classed as masculine.
more corefully.
DEMONSTRATIVE ADTECTIVE one of
that gives more information about
when, where, how or in what
FUTURE a verb tense used to talk
the words this, thot, these and those
about something that will happen or
used with a noun to point out a
circumstances something happens,
will be true.
for example, quickly, happily now.
COMPOUND NOUN a word for a
living being, thing or idea, which is
made up of two or more words, for
GENDER whether a noun, pronoun
example, tin-opener, roilway stotion.
particular person or thing, for
example, this woman, thot dog.
AGREE (to) to change word endings
or adjective is feminine or masculine.
CONCRETE NOUN a word that refers
according to whether you are
referring to masculine, feminine,
singular or plural people or things.
DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUN one of
IMPEMTIVE the form of a verb used
to an object you can touch with your
hand, rather than to a quality or
the words this, thqt, these and those
when giving orders and instructions,
used instead of a noun to point out
for example, Shut the door!; Sit down!;
idea, for example, ball, map, opples.
people or things, for example, Ihot
AGREEMENT changing word
Dont go!
Compare with abstract noun.
looks fun.
endings according to whether you
are referring to masculine, feminine,
IMPERFECT one of the verb tenses
DIRECT OBTECT a noun referring to
singular or plural people or things.
the person or thing affected by the
action described by a verb, for
used to talk about the pasf especially
in descriptions, and to say what was
APOSTROPHE s an ending ('s) added
CONDITIONAL a verb form used to
talk about things that would happen
or would be true under certain
conditions, for example, I would help
to a noun to show who or what
exampfe, She wrote her nome.; I shut
the window. Compare with indirect
happening or used to happen, for
example, I used to walk to school; It
you if I could. lt is also used to say
someone or something belongs to,
was sunny at the weekend. Compare
what you would like or need, for
object.
for example, Danielle's dog, the
with perfect.
doctor's wife, the book's cover.
ART|CLE a word like the, o and an,
example, Could you give me the bill?
CONIUGATE (to) to give a verb
different endings according to
which is used in front of a noun. See
DIRECT OBTECT PRONOUN a word
such as me, him, us and them which
is used instead of a noun to stand in
whether you are referring to I, you,
IMPERSONAL VERB one which does
not refer to a real person or thing
and where the subject is represented
also definite article, indefinite
for the person or thing most directly
by it, for example, lt's going to ioin;
they and so on, and according to
article and partitive article.
affected by the action described by
It's 10 o'clock
AUXILIARY VERB a verb such as be,
hove and do when it is used with a
main verb to form tenses, negatives
and questions.
whether you are referring to past
present or future, for example, I hove,
she had, they will hove.
the verb. Compare with indirect
object pronoun.
INDEFINITE ADIECTIVE one of a
small group of adjectives used to talk
EMPHATIC PRONOUN a word used
about people or things in a general
instead of a noun when you want to
way, without saying who or what
BASE FORM the form of the verb
CONfUGATION a group of verbs
which have the same endings as each
other or change according to the
emphasize something, for example,
ls this for me?; 'Who broke the
they are, for example, several, oll,
without any endings added to it, for
same pattern.
every.
me?; 'Who broke the they are, for example, several, oll, without any endings added to it,
for example, Whsls hoppening?; PART OF SPEECH a word class, for INDEFINITE ARTICLE the words
for example, Whsls hoppening?;
PART OF SPEECH a word class, for
INDEFINITE ARTICLE the words o and
person or thing. Compare with
an. Compare with definite article.
singular.
Who's coming?
exampfe, noun, verb, odjective,
preposition, pronoun.
INDEFINITE PRONOUN a small
group of pronouns such as
everything, nobody and something,
which are used to refer to people or
things in a general way, without
saying exactly who or what they are.
INVARIABLE used to describe a form
which does not change.
POSSESSIVE ADf ECTIVE one of the
PARTITIVE ARTICLE the words sorne
words m1q your, his, her, its, our or
or eny, used to refer to part of a
their, used with a noun to show that
IRREGULAR VERB a verb whose
thing but not all of it, for example, ,
forms do not follow a general pattern
or the normal rules. Compare with
one person or thing belongs to
another.
Have you got Sny money?; l'm going
regular verb.
to buy some breod.
INDIRECT OBf ECT a noun used with
POSSESSIVE PRONOUN one of the
words mine, yours, hers, his, ours or
MASCULINE a form of noun,
verbs that take two objects. For
pronoun or adjective that is used to
refer to a living being, thing or idea
that is not classed as feminine.
PASSIVE a form of the verb that is
used when the subject of the verb is
theirs, used instead of a noun to
example, in I gove the carrot to the
show that one person or thing
the person or thing that is affected
robbit, the rqbbitis the indirect object
and carrot is the direct object.
belongs to another.
by the action, for example t we were
PREPOSITION is a word such as af,
told.
Compare with direct object.
INDIRECT OBIECT PRONOUN when
a verb has two objects (a direct one
NEGATIVE a question or statement
which contains a word such as not,
never or nothing, and is used to say
PAST PARTICIPLE a verb form which
for; with, into or from, which is usually
followed by a noun, pronoun or, in
is used to form perfect and
pluperfect tenses and passives, for
and an indirect one), the indirect
object pronoun is used instead of a
noun to show the person or the
thing the action is intended to
benefit or harm, for example, me in
that something is not happening, is
not true or is absenf for example,
Engfish, a word ending in -ing.
Prepositions show how people and
I never eat meot; Don't you love me?
NOUN a'naming'word for a living
example, wotched, swum. Some past
participles are also used as adjectives,
for exampfe, a broken watch.
things relate to the rest of the
sentence, for example, She's of home;
a tool fel cutting gross; lt's from Dovid.
being, thing or idea, for example,
PERFECT one of the verb tenses used
PRESENT a verb form used to talk
womary desk, hoppiness, Andrew.
He gave me q book and Cqn you get
to talk about the past especially
about what is true at the moment
me a towel? Compare with direct
NUMBER used to say how many
about actions that took place and
what happens regularly, and what is
object pronoun.
things you are referring to or where
something comes in a sequence. See
were completed in the past.
happening now, for example, /'m o
Compare with imperfect.
INDIRECT QUESTION used to tell
student; I trqvel to college by train; l'm
someone else about a question and
introduced by a verb such as osk, tell
or wonder, for example, He osked me
also ordinal number and cardinal
number.
studvino lonauqses.
PERSON one of the three classes: the
first person (1, we), the second person
PRESENT PARTICIPLE a verb form
OBTECT a noun or pronoun which
(you singular and you plural), and the
ending in -ing which is used in
whot the time wos; I wonder who he is.
refers to a person or thing that is
third person (he, she, it and they).
INFINITIVE the form of the verb with
English to form verb tenses, and
which may be used as an adjective or
PERSONAL PRONOUN one of the
fo in front of it and without any
affected by the action described by
the verb. Compare with direct
a noun, for example, What ore you
group of words including l, you and
endings added, for example, to wolk,
obiect, indirect object and subject.
doing?; the setting sun; Swimming is
to hove, to be, to go. Compare with
OBIECT PRONOUN one of the set of
they which are used to refer to
yourself, the people you are talking
easy!
base form.
pronouns including me, him and
PRONOUN a word which you use
ADIECTIVE a
to, or the people or things you are
talking about.
instead of a noun, when you do not
INTERROGATIVE
them, which are used instead of the
question word used with a noun to
need or want to name someone or
PLUPERFECT one of the verb tenses
ask who?, whqfT or which? for
example, Whqt instruments do you
noun as the object of a verb or
preposition. Compare with subject
something directly, for example, lf,
pronoun.
used to describe something that had
happened or had been true at a
you, none.
ploy?; Which shoes do you like?
INTERROGATIVE
PRONOUN one of
ORDINAL NUMBER a number used
to indicate where something comes
point in the past, for example, /'of
PROPER NOUN the name of a
person/ place, organization or thing.
forqotten to finish mv homework.
the words who, whose, whom, what
and which when they are used
instead of a noun to ask questions,
in an order or sequence, for example,
first, fifth, sixteenth. Compare with
PLURAL the form of a word which is
used to refer to more than one
Proper nouns are always written with
a capitaf letter, for example, Kevin,
cardinal number.
Glasgow, Europe, London Eye.
nouns are always written with a capitaf letter, for example, Kevin, cardinal number. Glasgow, Europe, London
QUESTION WORD a word such as why, where, who, which or how which is used
QUESTION WORD a word such as
why, where, who, which or how which
is used to ask a question.
described by the verb, for example,
My cqt doesn't drink milk. Compare
NOUNS
with object.
REFLEXIVE PRONOUN a word
SUBTECT PRONOUN a word such as
What is a noun?
ending in -self or -selves, such as
l, he, she and theywhich carries out
A noun is a 'naming'word for a living being, thing or idea, for example,
myself or themselves, which refers
the action described by the verb.
Pronouns stand in for nouns when it
womont happiness, Andrew.
back to the subject, for example,
He hurt himself.; Toke care of ypunell.
is clear who is being talked about, for
example, My brother isn't here ot the
Using nouns
REFLEXIVE VERB a verb where the
subject and object are the same, and
moment. He'll be back in an hour.
D In French, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. This is called their
where the action 'reflects back' on
Compare with object pronoun.
gender. Even words for things have a gender.
the subject. A reflexive verb is used
with a reflexive pronoun such as
SUBTUNCTIVE a verb form used in
certain circumstances to express
D
Whenever you are using a noun, you need to know whether it is mascullne
myself, yourself, herself, for example,
I wqshed myself.; He shaved himself.
REGULAR VERB a verb whose forms
some sort of feeling, or to show
doubt about whether something will
happen or whether something is
or feminine as this affects the form of other words used with it, such as:
o
adiectives that describe it
o
articles (such as le or une) that go before it
follow a general pattern or the
true. lt is only used occasionally in
.
normal rules. Compare with irregular
verb.
modern English, for example, /f /
pronouns (such as il or elle) that replace it
were you, I wouldn't bother.; So be it.
t)
RELATIVE PRONOUN a word such as
SUPERLATIVE an adlective or adverb
For more informotion on Adjectives, Articles or Pronouns, see pages 25, 12
and 42.
thot, who or which, when it is used to
with -esf on the end of it or mosf or
link two parts of a sentence together.
/eosf in front of it that is used to
D
compare people, things or actions,
SENTENCE a group of words which
You can find information about gender by looking the word up in a
dictionary. When you come across a new noun, always learn the word for
usually has a verb and a subject. In
writing, a sentence has a capital
for example, thinnesL most quickly,
the or o that goes with it to help you remember its gender.
leqst interesting.
o
le or un before a noun tells you it is masculine
letter at the beginning and a full
stop, question mark or exclamation
mark at the end.
SINGULAR the form of a word which
SYLIABLE consonant+vowel units
o
la or une before a noun tells you it is feminine
that make up the sounds of a word,
for example, co-the-dral (3 sylloble),
D
We refer to something as singular when we are talking about just one of
im-po-ssi-ble (4 syllobles).
them, and as plural when we are talking about more than one. The singular
is used to refer to one person or
TENSE the form of a verb which
shows whether you are referring to
is the form of the noun you will usually find when you look a noun up in the
thing. Compare with plural.
dictionary. As in English, nouns in French change their form in the plural.
STEM the main part of a verb to
the past, present or future.
)
which endings are added.
VERB a 'doing'word which describes
Adjectives, articles and pronouns are also affected by whether a noun is
singular or plural.
STRESSED PRONOUN used instead
of a noun when you want to
what someone or something does,
what someone or something is, or
emphasize something, for example,
ls this for me?; 'Who broke the
window?' -'Hs did.' Also called
what happens to them, for example,
be, sing, Iive.
Remember that you have to use the right word for the, o and
so on according to the gender of the French noun.
VOWEL one of the letters o, e, i, o or
emphatic pronoun.
u. Compare with consonant.
SUBIECT the noun in a sentence or
phrase that refers to the person or
thing that does the action described
by the verb or is in the state
a sentence or phrase that refers to the person or thing that does the action described
2 Nourus Nourus 3 Gender ',21 Nouns referring to animals tr Nouns referring to people
2 Nourus
Nourus 3
Gender
',21 Nouns referring to animals
tr
Nouns referring to people
l Most nouns referring to men and boys are masculine.
> ln English we can choose between words like bull or cow, depending on the
sex of the animal we are referring to. In French too there are sometimes
separate words for male and female animals.
un homme
a man
un taureau
a bull
un roi
a king
une vache
a cow
F Most nouns referring to women and girls are feminine.
Sometimes, the same word with different endings is used for male and
une fille
a girl
female animals.
une reine
a queen
un chien
a (male) dog
) When the same word is used to refer to either men/boys or women/girls,
its gender usually changes depending on the sex of the person it refers to.
une chienne
a (female) dog, a bitch
un camarade
a (male) friend
rrp
une camarade
a (female) friend
When you do not know or care what sex the animal is, you can
un Belge
a Belgian (man)
usually use the masculine form as a general word.
une Belge
a Belgian (woman)
Words for other animals do not change according to the sex of the animal.
Grammar Extn!
Just learn the French word with
its gender, which is always the same.
un poisson
Some words for people have only one possible gender, whether they refer to a male
a fish
or a female.
une souns
a mouse
un b6b6
a (male or female) baby
un guide
a (male or female) guide
11] Nouns referring to thinqs
une personne
a (male or female) person
une vedette
a (male or female) star
D In English, we can sometimes make a word masculine or feminine by
changing the ending, for example, Englishngn and EnglishwpmsL or prince
and princess. In French, very often the ending of a noun changes
depending on whether it refers to a man or a woman.
) ln English, we call all things - for example, toble, cor, book, apple - 'i( . ln
French, however, things are either masculine or feminine. As things do not
divide into sexes the way humans and animals do, there are no physical
clues to help you with their gender in French. Try to learn the gender as
you learn the word.
L There are lots of rules to help you:
un Anglais
an Englishman
o words ending in -e are generally feminine (une boulangerie a baker's;
une banque a bank)
une Anglaise
an Englishwoman
o words ending in a consonant (any letter except e, e, i, o or u) are
un prince
a prince
generally masculine (un a6ropo{ an airporf un film a film)
une princcssc
a princess
D There are some exceptions to these rules, so it is best to check in a
un employ6
a (male) employee
dictionary if you are unsure.
une employ6e
a (female) employee
+ For more informotion on Masculine snd feminine forms of words, see poge 7.
For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii.
snd feminine forms of words, see poge 7. For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see
4 Nourus Nourus 5 ) These endings are often found on masculine nouns. -on I
4 Nourus
Nourus 5
)
These endings are often found on masculine nouns.
-on
I
un
champignon a mushroom
Masculine ending
Examples
un ballon a ball
le citrgn the lemon
-age
un villaqe a village
BUN
un voyagg a journey
une maison a house
un 6tage a floor
le fromage cheese
la saison the season
> The following types of word are also masculine:
BUT:
une image a picture
une page a page
la plage the beach
. names of the days of the week, and the months and seasons of the year
-ment
un appartement a flat
le lundi
septembre prochain
le printemps
Monday
next September
Spring
un b6timent a building
le ciment cement
un vGtement a garment
o the names of languages
le frangais
French
le portugais
Portuguese
-olr
un mirqL a mirror
un couloir a corridor
Tu
apprends le frangais depuis How long have you been learning
combien de temps?
French?
le sqL the evening
un mouchoir a handkerchief
o
most metric weights and measures
-sme
le tourismc tourism
le racisme racism
un gramme
a gramme
un mdtre
a metre
un kilomitre
a kilometre
un cadeau a present
un chapeau a hat
o
English nouns used in French
un gdteeu a cake
le football
football
le rideau the curtain
un tee-shirt
a tee-shirt
BUT:
un sandwich
a sandwich
la peau skin
lleau water
D These endings are often found on feminine nouns.
-eu
un leu a oame
Feminine endinq
Examples
-anGe
la chance luck, chance
-ou
un cheu a cabbage
-anse
une danse a dance
le genou the knee
-ence
la patience patience
-rel
le cahier the exercise book
-ense
la d6fense defence
un quaillel an area
BUT:
un escalier a staircase
-ton
lc silence silence
une r6gion a region
-tn
un magas!4 a shop
une addition a bill
un jardin a garden
une r6union a meeting
un dessin a drawing
le vin the wine
la circulatlon traffic
BUT:
BUT:
-t6
la fin the end
une main a hand
un avion a plane
une sp6cialit6 a speciality
-ti6
la moiti6 half
BUT:
un 6t6 a summer
le p6t6 p6t6
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
moiti6 half BUT: un 6t6 a summer le p6t6 p6t6 For further explanation of grammatical terms,

6 Nourus

Nourus 7

6 Nourus Nourus 7 Grammar E><tra! A few words have different meanings depending on whether they

Grammar E><tra!

A few words have different meanings depending on whether they are masculine or feminine. These are the most common:

Masculine

un livre un mode un poste
un livre
un mode
un poste

Meaning

a book

a method

a set

(TV/rodio)'

a post

(job);

an extension

(phone)

Example

un livre de poche a paperback le mode d'emploi
un livre de
poche
a paperback
le mode
d'emploi

the directions

for use

u n poste d e professeur a teaching job un poste de professeur a teaching job

Feminine Meaning Example une livre a pound une livre sterling a pound sterling la mode
Feminine
Meaning
Example
une livre
a pound
une livre
sterling
a pound
sterling
la mode
fashion
d la mode
in fashion
la poste
posr
mettre
the post
quelque
office
chose i
la
poste

to post

something

un tour a turn; faire un tour une toul
un
tour
a turn;
faire un tour
une toul

a walk

to go for a walk

tower

Eiffel t h e the

Eiffel Tower

Key points
Key
points

y' Vtost nouns referring to men, boys and male animals are masculine: most nouns referrinq to women. oirls and female

y' animals are feminine. The endiig of a French- noun often changes depending on whether
y'
animals are feminine. The endiig of a French- noun often changes
depending on whether it refers to a male or a female.
Generally, words ending in -e are feminine and words ending in a
are masculine, though there are many exceptions to
;;,:t""T:.",
y' These endings are often found on masculine nouns:
y' These endings are often found on masculine nouns: y' -age, -ment, -oir, -sme, -eau, -eu,
y'
y'
-age, -ment, -oir, -sme, -eau, -eu, -ou, -ier, -in and -on. -ance, -anse, -ence, -ense,
-age,
-ment, -oir, -sme, -eau, -eu, -ou,
-ier,
-in and -on.
-ance, -anse, -ence, -ense, -ion, -t6, -ti6.

Oays of the week, months and seasons of the year are masculine. So are languages, most metric weights and measures, and English

y' These endings are often found on feminine nouns:

nouns used in French.
nouns used in French.

For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii.

of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii. 4l Masculine a n d feminine f o r
4l
4l

Masculine and feminine forms of words

D In French there are sometimes very different words for men and women,

and for male and female animals, just as in English.

un homme une femme un taureau une vache un neveu une nidce
un homme
une femme
un taureau
une vache
un neveu
une nidce

a

man

a woman

a bull

a cow

a nephew

a niece

> Many masculine French nouns can be made feminine simply by changing

the ending. This is usually done by adding an -e to the masculine noun to form the feminine.

to t h e masculine noun t o form the feminine. un aml a (male) friend
un aml a (male) friend une amie a (female) friend un employ6 a (male) employee
un aml
a (male) friend
une amie
a (female) friend
un employ6
a (male) employee
une employ6e
a (female) employee
un Frangais
a Frenchman
une Frangaisg
a Frenchwoman

> lf the masculine singular form already ends in -e, no further e is added.

form already ends in -e, no further e is added. un 6live une 6live un camarade
un 6live une 6live un camarade une camarade un colldgue
un 6live
une 6live
un camarade
une camarade
un colldgue

une colldgue

a (male) pupil

a (female) pupil

a (male) friend

a (female) friend

a (male) colleague

a (female) colleague

f r i e n d a (male) colleague a (female) colleague rtp lf a masculine

rtp

lf a masculine noun ends in a vowel, its pronunciation does not

change when an -e is added to form the feminine. For example,

ami and amie (meaning friend) are both pronounced the same.

lf a masculine noun ends with a consonant that is not pronounced, for example, -d, -s, -r or -t, you DO pronounce that consonant when an -e is added in the feminine. For example, in 6tudiant (meaning

student), you cannot hear the U in 6tudiante, you can hear the t.

i n 6 t u d i a n t (meaning student), you cannot hear the
8 Noutrts Nouls 9 Forming plurals Ttp t I Plurals ending in -s Some masculine
8 Noutrts
Nouls 9
Forming plurals
Ttp
t
I
Plurals ending in -s
Some masculine nouns, such as voisin (meaning neighbour), end
in what is called a nasal vowel and an -n. \Mth these words, you pronounce
> In English we usually make nouns plural by adding an -s to the end
the vowel 'through your nose' but DO NOT say the n. When an -e is
(gorden + gardens; house'+ houses), although we do have some nouns
added in the feminine - for example, voisine - the vowel becomes a
normal one instead of a nasal vowel and you DO pronounce the n.
which
are irregular and do not follow this pattern (mouse - mice;
child *
children).
trl
Some other patterns
rtp
l Some changes to endings from masculine to feminine are a little more
complicated but still fall into a regular pattern.
Masculine
Feminine
Remember that you have to use les with plural nouns in
Any adjective that goes with the noun has to agree with
any pronoun that replaces it.
ending
endinq
Example
Meaning
-f
-ve
un
veut/une veuve
a widower/a
widow
* for more information on Adjectives, Articles ond Pronouns, see
-x
-se
pages 25,12 and 42.
un 6poux/une 6pouse
un dansegr/
a husband/a wife
-eur
-euse
a (male) dancer/
une danseuse
a (female) dancer
Most French nouns also form their plural by adding an -s to their singular
-teur
-teuse
un chanteur/
a (male) singer/
form.
-trice
une chanteuse
a (female) singer
un acteul/unc acldce
an actor/an actress
un jardin
a garden
-an
-anne
un paysan/
a (male) farmerl
des jardins
gardens
une paysannc
a (female) farmer
une voiture
-ten
-tenne
a car
un Parisiea/
a (male) Parisian/
une Parisienne
a (female) Parisian
des voitures
cars
-on
-onne
un lion/une lionne
a lion/a lioness
un h6tel
a hotel
-er
-ere
un 6trange/
a (male) foreigner/
des h6tels
hotels
une
6trangire
(female) foreigner
the youngest (male)
child
a
-et
-ette
le cadet/la cadette
> lf the singular noun ends in
-s/ -x or -2, no further -s is added in the plural.
the youngest (female)
un fils
a
son
child
des fils
50n5
-el
-elle
un professionnel/
a (male) professional/
une vorx
une professionnelle
a voice
a (female) professional
des voix
voices
Key
points
un nez
a nose
y' ly'rany masculine French nouns can be made to refer to females
by adding an -e. lf the masculine singular form already ends in
des nez
noses
l/
l4
Plurals ending in -x
The following nouns add an -x instead of an -s in the plural:
y'
-e, no further e is added.
tne pronunciation of feminine nouns is sometimes different from
that of the corresponding masculine nouns.
Other patterns include:
)
-ve
-x + -se
*
. nouns ending in -eau
-f
-teur * -teuse or -trice
-an, -en and -on > -anne
-er *
-Ere
-et
+ -ette
un chapeau
a
hat
-eur + -euse -enne and -onne
-el -
-elle
des chapeaux
hats
For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii.
-enne and -onne -el - -elle des chapeaux hats For further explanation of grammatical tems, please
10 Nourus Nourus 11 o most nouns ending in -eu rtp un jeu a game
10 Nourus
Nourus 11
o
most nouns ending in -eu
rtp
un jeu
a game
jeux
The plural of un eil (an eye) is des yeux (eyes).
des
games
o
a FEW nouns ending in -ou (MOST nouns ending in -ou add -s as usual)
un bijou
a jewel
3I Plural versus singular
des bijoux
jewels
D A few words relating to clothing are plural in English but NOT in French.
un caillou
a
pebble
un slip
pants
des cailloux
pebbles
un short
shorts
un pantalon
trousers
un chou
a
cabbage
des choux
A few common words are plural in French but NOT in English.
cabbages
les affaires
business
un genou
a knee
les cheveux
hair
des genoux
knees
desrenseignements information
un hibou
an owl
des hiboux
owls
Grammar E><tra!
un joujou
a
toy
When nouns are made up of two separate words, they are called compound nouns, for
des joujoux
toys
un pou
a louse
example, les grands-parents (meaning grandparents), des ouvre-boites (meaning tln-
openers). The rules for forming the plural of compound nouns are complicated and it is
best to check in a dictionary to see what the plural is.
des poux
lice
'y'
rrp
tutostFrench nouns form ,nt?rtoo,,lrjitl, adding an -s to their
Adding an -s or -x to the end of a noun does not usually change
the way the word is pronounced. For example, professeur and
professeurs and chapeau and chapeaux sound just the same when
you say them out loud.
singular form. lf the singular noun ends in -s, -x or -2, no further
-s is added in the plural.
y'
Most nouns
ending in -eau or -eu add an -x in the
plural.
y' trrtost nouns ending in -ou take an -s in the plural, with a few
l lf the singular noun
ends in -al or -ail, the plural usually ends in -aux.
y'
un journal
a
newspaper
exceptions.
lI the singular noun ends in -al or -ail, the plural usually ends in
-aux.
-
des journaux
y'
newspapers
naaing an -s or -x to the end of a noun does not generally affect
the way the word is
pronounced.
un animal
an animal
y'
lfew common words are plural in English but not in French, and
des animaux
animals
vice versa.
un travail
a
job
des travaux
jobs
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
versa. un travail a job des travaux jobs For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see
ARncus 13 The definite article: le, la, l'and les ARTICLES t The basic rules What
ARncus 13
The definite article: le, la, l'and les
ARTICLES
t
The basic rules
What is an article?
ln English, an article is one of the words the, a, and on which is given in
> In English we only have one definite article: the. In French, there is more
than one definite article to choosefrom. All French nouns are either
front of a noun.
masculine or feminine and, just as in English, they can be either singular or
plural. The word you choose for the depends on whether the noun it is
used with is masculine or feminine, singular or plural. This may sound
Different types of article
complicated, but it is not too difficult.
D There are three types of article:
t f
For more informotion on Nouns, see page 1.
o the definite article: fhe in English. This is used to identify a particular
thing or person.
Singular
with masculine noun
le (l')
with feminine
noun
la (l')
l'm going to the supermarket.
Plural
les
les
That's the woman I was talking to.
o the indefinite article: a or on in English, some or any (or no word at all) in
the plural. This is used to refer to something unspecific, or that you do
not really know about.
le and la change to l'when they are used in front of a word
ls there a supermarket near here?
I need a day off.
starting with a vowel and most words starting with h.
.
> le is used in front of masculine singular nouns.
the paltllyc article: some or any (or no word at all) in English. This is
le roi
the king
used to talk about quantities or amounts.
le chien
the dog
Can you lend me some sugar?
le jardin
the garden
Did you buy any wine?
Do you like chocolate?
> la is used in front of feminine singular nouns.
la reine
the queen
la souris
the mouse
la porte
the door
f is used in front of singular nouns that start with a vowel (a, e, i, a, or u),
whether they are masculine or feminine.
I'ami
(masculine) the friend
leau (feminine)
the water
f'6tage (mqsculine) the floor
[]
Note that l' is also used in front of most words starting with h but
some others take le or la instead.
llh6pital
the hospital
le hamster
the hamster
la hi-fi
the stereo
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
le hamster the hamster la hi-fi the stereo For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see
14 Anncus Anrrcus 15 When i is followed by les, the two words become aux.
14 Anncus
Anrrcus 15
When i is followed by les, the two words become aux.
rtp
aux maisons
to the
houses
It is a good idea to learn the article or the gender with the noun
aux 6tudiants
to the students
when you come across a word for the first time, so that you know
whether it ls masculine or feminine. A good dictionary will also give
you this information.
When ir is followed by la or l', the words do not change.
i la bibliothdque to/at the library
dr l'h6tel
to/at
the hotel
les is used in front of plural nouns. whether they are masculine or feminine
and whatever letter they start with.
les chiens
the dogs
les portes
the doors
le and la change to l' when they are used in front of a word
starting with a vowel and most words starting with h.
les amis
the friends
les h6tels
the hotels
3 I
Using de with le,
la, l' and les
a
Note that you have to make the noun plural too, just as you would
in English. In French, as in English, you usually add an -s.
>
The French word de is translated into English in several different ways,
+
For more information on Forming plurals, see poge 9.
including of and from. There are special rules when you use it together with
le and les.
rrp
t )
For more information on the preposition de, see poge 166.
t
When les is used in front of a word that starts with a consonant, /
> When de is followed by le, the two words become du.
you DO NOT say the s on the end of les: les chiens the dogs.
When les is used in front of a word that starts with a vowel, most
words starting with h, and the French word y, you DO pronounce
the s on the end of les. lt sounds like the z in the English word zip:
du cin6ma
from/of the cinema
des professeurs
from/of the teachers
> When de is followed by les, the two words become des.
f es amis the friends, lefh6tels the hotels.
des maisons
from/of the houses
des 6tudiants
from/of the students
E
Using i with le.la.l'and les
D When de is followed by la or l', the words do not change.
de la bibliothique from/of the library
)
The French word ir is translated into English in several different ways,
including ot or to. There are special rules when you use it together with le
de I'h6tel
from/of the hotel
and les.
+
For more informqtion on the preposition d, see page t 63.
T'P
)
When i is followed by le, the two words become au.
le and la change to l' when they are used in front of a word
starting with a vowel and most words starting with h.
au cin6ma
aux professeurs
to/at the cinema
to the teachers
For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii,
professeurs to/at the cinema to the teachers For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages
16 Anncus Amcles 17 lf you are talking about a part of your body, you
16 Anncus
Amcles 17
lf you are talking about a part of your body, you usually use a word like my
Key
points
or hrs in English, but in French you usually use the definite article.
y' Wtfr masculine sinqular nouns , use le.
y'
Tourne la t6te d gauche.
Turn your head to the left.
Wittr feminine singular nouns , use la.
ll s'est cass6 le bras.
He's broken his arm.
y' Wi|h nouns starting with a vowel, most nouns beginning with h
and the French word y , use l'.
J'ai mal d la gorge.
l've got a sore throat.
y'
tntn
plural nouns ' use les.
> ln French you have to use the definite article in front of the names of
y' i+ le=au
countries, continents and regions.
i+les=aux
la Bretagne
Brittany
de+le=du
l'Europe
Europe
de+les=des
La France est tris belle.
France is very beautiful.
J'ai achet6 ce poster au Japon.
I bought this poster in
Japan.
Je viens des Etats-Unis.
I come from the United States.
E Using the definite article
L The definite article in French (le, la, l' and les) is used in more or less the
same way as we use fhe in English, but it is also used in French in a few
places where you might not expect it.
[J Note that if the name of the country comes after the French word
en, meaning to or in, you do not use the definite article. en is used
with the names of countries, continents and regions that are
feminine in French.
} The definite article is used with words like prices, flu and time that describe
qualities, ideas or experiences (called abstract nounS) rather than something
Je vais en Ecosse le mois prochain. l'm going to Scotland next
month.
that you can touch with your hand. Usually, the is missed out in English
with this type of word.
ll travaille en Allemagne.
He works in Cermany.
Les prix montent.
J'ai la grippe.
Prices are
rising.
I )
For more information on the preposition en, see page 168.
l've got flu.
)
Je n'ai pas le temps. I don't have time.
You often use the definite article with the name of school subjects,
languages and sports.
@ trtote that there are some set phrases using avoir, avec or sans
Tir aimes les maths?
Do you like maths?
followed by a noun, where the definite article is NOT used.
J'apprends le frangais depuis trois l've been learning French for
ans.
three years.
avoir faim
to be hungry (literally to have hunger)
avec plaisir
Mon sport pr6t6r6, c'est le foot.
My favourite sport is football.
with pleasure
sans doute
probably (lite ra lly. wi thout d o u bt)
[J Note that the definite article is not used after en.
Gomment est-ce qu'on dit'fils'
How do you say 'fils' in English?
} You also use the definite article when you are talking about things like coffee
or computers thatyou can touch with your hand (called concrete nouns) if
en anglais?
Sophie est nulle en chimie.
Sophie's no good
at chemistry.
you are talking generally about that thing. Usually, the is missed out in
English with this type of word.
Je n'aime pas le caf6.
I don't like coffee.
L When you use the verb parler (meaning to speak) in front of the name of
the language, you do not always need to use the definite article in French.
Les ordinateurs co0tent trds cher. Computers are very expensive.
Tu parles espagnol?
Les professeurs ne gagnent pas
beaucoup.
Teachers don't earn very much.
ll parle bien I'anglais.
Do you speak Spanish?
He speaks English well.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
Do you speak Spanish? He speaks English well. For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see
18 Anncus Anncus 19 ) You use le with dates, and also with the names
18 Anncus
Anncus 19
) You use le with dates, and also with the names of the days of the week and
The indefinite article: un, une and des
the seasons when you are talking about something that you do regulady or
I
t
that is a habit.
The basic rules
Elle part le 7 mai.
She's leaving on the seventh of May.
Je vais chez ma
grand-mdre
I go
to
my grandmother's on
le dimanche.
Sundays.
> In English we have the indefinite article o, which changes to an in front of a
word that starts with a vowel. ln the plural we say either some, any or
nothing at all.
@ Note that you do not use the definite article after en.
D In French, you choose from un, une and des, depending on whether the
noun is masculine or feminine, and singular or plural.
En hiver nous faisons du ski.
In winter we go skiing.
with masculine noun
with feminine noun
L You often find the definite article in phrases that tell you about prices and
Singular
un
une
rates.
Plural
des
des
6 euros le kilo
>
un is used in front of masculine singular nouns.
3 euros la pidce
un rol
On roulait d 100 kilomitres
a king
d l'heure.
6 euros a kilo
3 euros each
We were doing 100 kilometres an
hour.
un chien
a dog
un jardin
a garden
Key
points
>
une is used in front of feminine singular nouns.
y' The definite article is used in French with:
une reine
a queen
. abstract nouns
une souris
a mouse
. concrete nouns (when you are saying something that is true obout
une porte
a door
.;:[fi^z':::l
des is used in front of plural nouns, whether they are masculine or
feminine, and whatever letter thev start with.
. countries/ continents and regions
r school subjects, languages and sports
des chiens
(some/any) dogs
des souris
(some/any) mice
des amis
(some/any) friends
: ::;:t"t the week and the seasons (when you are tolking obout
something that you do regularly or thot is a habit)
[J
Note that des is also a combination of de + les and has other
. prices and rates
meanings, such as saying who something belongs to or where
something is from.
+
For more information on des, see poge 166.
T'P
When des is used in front of a word that starts with a consonant
(any letter except o, e, i, o or u), you DO NOT say the s on the end
of des: des chiens (some/ony) dogs,
When des is used in front of a word that starts with a vowel, and
most words starting with h, you DO pronounce the s on the end.
lt sounds like the z in the English word zip: des amis (some/any)
friends, des h6tefs (some/ony) hotels.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii,

20 Amcus

A
A

The indefinite article in negative sentences

} f n English we use words like not and neverto indicate that something is not happening or is not true. The sentences that these words are used in are

called negative sentences.

I don't know him. I never do my homework on time.

) In French, you use word pairs like ne

time. ) In French, you u s e word pairs like ne pas (meaning not) and
pas (meaning not) and ne
pas (meaning not) and ne

jamais (meaning never) to say that something is not happening or not true. When un, une or des is used after this type of expression, it has to be changed to de.

Je n'ai pas de v6lo.
Je n'ai pas de v6lo.

I don't have a bike.

Nous n'avons pas de cousins. We don't have any cousins.

+ For more information on Negotives, see page 138.

r0p most words starting with h. Je n'ai pas d'ordinateur.
r0p
most words starting with h.
Je n'ai
pas d'ordinateur.
I don't have a computer.
I don't
have a computer.

de changes to d' in front of a word starting with a vowel and

ll n'y a pas d'horloge dans la salle.There isn't a clock in the room.

dans la salle.There isn't a clock in the room. Orammar Et<tra! There are some very common

Orammar Et<tra!

isn't a clock in the room. Orammar Et<tra! There are some very common adjectives, like beau,

There are some very common adjectives, like beau, bon and petit, that can come BEFORE the noun instead of after it. When an adjective comes before a plural noun, des changes to de.

J'ai regu de beaux cadeaux. Gette r6gion a de trds jolis villages,
J'ai regu de beaux cadeaux.
Gette r6gion a de trds jolis
villages,

I got some lovely presents.

This area has some very pretty villages.

+ For more information on Word order with odjectives, see page j2.

r3 r The meaninq of des English, depending on the sentence. Some
r3 r The meaninq of des
English, depending on the sentence. Some

F des can mean different things in is often the best word to use. J'ai un chien, deux chats et des souris. Tu veux des chips?

chien, deux chats et des souris. Tu veux des chips? l've got a d o g

l've got a dog, two cats and

some mice.

Would you like some crisps?

For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii,

Anrrcus 21

grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii, Anrrcus 21 lrr questions and negative sentences des means any,
grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii, Anrrcus 21 lrr questions and negative sentences des means any,

lrr questions and negative sentences des means any, or is not translated at

all.

Tu as des frires? ll n'y a pas deufs. Avez-vous des timbres? Have you got
Tu as des frires?
ll n'y a pas deufs.
Avez-vous des timbres?
Have you got any brothers?
There aren't any eggs.
Do you have stamps?
T'P
As an English speaker, you will know what sounds right in
your own language. The important thing to remember is that des
can NEVER be missed out in French, even if there is no word in
English.
4l Using the indefinite article
> The indefinite article is used in French in much the same way as we use 4
some and ony in English, but there are two places where the indefinite
article is NOT used:
o with the adjective quel (meaning what a), in sentences like
O,uel dommage!
What a shamel
Ouelle surprise!
What a surprise!
Ouelle bonne id6e!
What a good idea!
,)
For more information on quel, see page 148.
o when you say what jobs people do
ll est professeur.
He's a teacher.
Ma mdre est infirmidre.
My mother's a nurse.
T'P
When you use c'est (to mean he/she is), you DO use un or une.
When you use ce sont (to mean they are), you DO use des.
G'est un m6decin.
Ge sont des acteurs.
He's/She's a doctor.
They're actors.
Q For more information on c'est ond ce sont, see poge 65.
Key
points
y' wtn masculine singular nouns + use un.
y'
Wttr feminine singular nouns ) use une.
y'
y'
witfr plural nouns - use des.
un, une and des - change to de or d' in negative sentences.
y'
tne indefinite article is not usually used when you say what jobs
people do, or in exclamations with quel.
y' tne indefinite article is not usually used when you say what jobs people do, or
22 Anncus Anncus 23 The partitive article: du, de la, de l' and des D
22 Anncus
Anncus 23
The partitive article: du, de la, de l' and des
D des is used in front of plural nouns, whether they are masculine or feminine
and whatever letter they start with.
tr
The basic rules
des g6teaux
(some/any) cakes
)
du, de la, de l' and des can all be used to give information about the
amount or quantity of a particular thing. They are often translated into
des lettres
(some/any) letters
des h6tels
(some/any) hotels
English as some or any.
@ Note that des is also a combination of de + les and has other
)
In French, you choose between du, de la, de l'and des, depending on
whether the noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.
meanings, such as saying who something belongs to or where
something is from.
with masculine noun
with feminine noun
+ For more information on des, see poge 166.
Singular
du (de l'l
Plural
des
de la (de l')
des
te
The partitive article in negative sentences
D In French, you use word pairs like ne
pas (meaning not) and ne
rrp
jamais (meaning never) to say that something is not happening or not true.
de + le and de la change to de l'when they are used in front of a
word starting with a vowel, most words starting with h, and the
In this type of expression, du, de la, de l' and des all change to de.
Nous n'avons pes de beurre. We don't have any butter.
French word y.
Je p
mange iamais de viande. I never eat meat.
ll n1y a pas de timbres.
There aren't any stamps.
)
du is used in front of masculine sinoular nouns,
du beurre
(some/any) butter
t) For more information on Negatives, see poge 138.
du jus d'orange
(some/any) orange juice
@ Note that du is also a combination of de + le and has other
meanings, such as saying who something belongs to or where
most nouns starting with h.
something is from.
ll n'a pas d'argent.
He doesn't have any money.
+
For more informotion on du, see page 166,
ll n'y a pas d'horloge dans la salle. There isn't a clock in the room.
)
de la is used in front of feminine singular nouns.
de la viande
de la margarine
(some/any) meat
(some/any) margarine
Grammar Ertra!
de l' is used in front of singular nouns that start with a vowel and
There are some very common adjectives, like beau, bon and petit, that can come
nouns starting with h, whether they are masculine or feminine.
de l'argent (masculine) (some/any) money
BEFORE the noun instead of after it. When an adjective comes before a plural noun, des
< hanges to de.
de l'eau (feminine) (some/any) water
J'ai regu de beaux cadeaux.
I got some lovely presents.
de l'herbe (feminine) (some/any) grass
Cette r6gion a de trds jolis villages. This area has some very pretty villages.
t :)
For more informotion on Word order with odjectives, see poge 32.
For further explanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii.
24 Anncus tr The meaning of du. de la. de l'and des ADJECTIVES } onyt
24 Anncus
tr
The meaning of du. de la. de l'and des
ADJECTIVES
}
onyt
du,
de la, de l' and des are often translated into English as some
?r
there are times when no word is used in English to translate the French.
but
What is an adjective?
ll me doit de llargent'
He owes me (some) money.
An adjective is a 'describing'word that tells you more about a person or
l'm going to buy (some) flour and
Je vais acheter de la farine et
thing, such as their appearance, colour, size or other qualities, for example,
du beurre pour faire un gdteau'
butter to make a cake.
pretty, blue, big.
Est-ce qu'il y a des lettres Pour
moi?
Elle ne veut pas de beurre.
Are there any letters for me?
Using adjectives
She doesn't want any butter'
Je ne prends Pas de lait.
I don't take milk.
D Adjectives are words like clever, expensive and sl//y that tell you more about
a noun (a living being, thing or idea). They can also tell you more about a
rrp
pronoun, such as he or they. Adjectives are sometimes called 'describing
words'. They can be used right next to a noun they are describing, or can
Remember that du, de 14 de l' and des can NEVER be missed
out in French, even if there is no word in English.
be separated from the noun by a verb like be, Iook, feel and so on.
a clever girl
an expensive coat
Key points
a silly idea
y'
wittr masculine singular nouns + use du'
He's just being silly.
y'
Wth feminine
singular
nouns + use de la.
y' Wth singular nouns starting with a vowel and some nouns
t )
For more information on Nouns and Pronouns, see pqges 1 and 42.
*
beginning with h
use de l'.
y'
Wtn
plural nouns
des'
'use
y'
du, de la, de l'and des ' change to de or d'in negative
> In English, the only time an adjective changes its form is when you are
making a comparison.
sentences.
She's cleverer than her brother.
That's the silliest idea I ever heard!
D In French, however, most adjectives agree with what they are describing.
This means that their endings change depending on whether the person or
thing you are referring to is masculine or feminine, and singular or plural.
un mot frangais
une chanson frangaise
des traditions francaises
a French word
a French song
French traditions
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii'xii'
26 Ao.lecnvrs Ao.lecnves 27 ) In English we put adjectives BEFORE the noun they describe,
26 Ao.lecnvrs
Ao.lecnves 27
) In English we put adjectives BEFORE the noun they describe, but in French
you usually put them AFTER it.
Making adjectives agree
ll
The basic rules
un chat noir
a black cat
+ For further information, see Word order with adjectives on poge 32.
D In dictionaries, regular French adjectives are usually shown in the masculine
singular form. You need to know how to change them to make them agree
with the noun or pronoun that they are describing.
Key
points
y' Most French adjectives .han# [r'"ir]orr, according to whether
D To make an adjective agree with the noun or pronoun it describes, you
the person or thing they are describing is masculine or feminine,
simply add the following endings in most cases:
y'
singular or plural.
In French adjectives usually go after the noun they describe.
with masculine noun
with
feminine noun
Singular
-e
Plural
-s
-es
un chat noir
a black cat
une chemise noire
a black shirt
des chats noirs
black cats
des chemises noires
black shirts
A
Making adiectives feminine
> With most adjectives you add an -e to the masculine singular form to make
it feminine.
un chat noir a black cat -+ une chemise noirc a black shirt
un sac lourd a heavy bag --+ une valise lourde a heavy suitcase
> lf the adjective already ends in an -e in the masculine, you do not add
another -e.
un sac jaune a yellow bag > u
chemise jaune a yellow shirt
un gargon sage a good boy + une fille sage a good girl
l
Some changes to endings are a little more complicated but still follow a
regular pattern. Sometimes you have to double the consonant as well as
adding an -e. On the next page there is a table showing these changes.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
Aolecrves 29 28 Aolecnvps L Some very common adjectives have irregular feminine forms. Example Meaning
Aolecrves 29
28 Aolecnvps
L Some very common adjectives have irregular feminine forms.
Example
Meaning
Masculine ending
Feminine ending
new
-f
-ve
neuf/neuve
Masculine form
Feminine form
Meaning
heureux/heureuse
hapPy
-se
blanc
-x
blanche
white, blank
-el
-ere
cher/chire
dear, expensive
doux
douce
soft, swee! mild, gentle
-an
-anne
paysan/paysanne
farming, country
faux
fausse
untrue
-en
-enne
europ6en/euroP6ennt
European
favori
favorite
good, right
favourite
-on
-onne
bon/bonne
frais
fraiche
cruel/cruelle
cruel
fresh, chilly, cool
-el
-elle
gentil
gentille
-eille
pareil/pareille
similar
nice, kind
-eil
grec
Greek
-et
-ette
net/nette
clear
grecque
-dte
complet/comPlite
complete, full
gros
grosse
big, fat
long
longue
un bon repas a good meal -) de bonne humeur in a good mood
rong
nul
nulle
un homme cruel a cruel man -) une remarque cruelle a cruel remark
useless
roux
tousse
red, red-haired
seG
sdche
dry, dried
rw
turc
turque
Turkish
lf a masculine adjective ends in a vowel (o, e, i, o or u), its
pronunciation
does not change when an -e is added to form the
example, ioli and iolie are both pronounced the same'
ieminine. For
mon spoft favori my favourite sport -+ ma chanson favorite my
favourite song
un ami grec a Creek (male) friend + une amie grecque a Greek
lf a masculine adiective ends with a consonant that is not
(female) friend
pronounced,
when an -e
such as -d, -s or -t you DO pronounce that consonant
is added in the feminine. For example, in chaud
A very small group of French adjectives have an extra masculine singular
(meaning hot, worm), you cannot hear the d when it is said out loud;
form that is used in front of words that begin with a vowel (a, e, i, o or u)
in the feminine form chaude, you can hear the d sound'
This is also true when you have to double the consonant before the
-e is added, for example, gros (meanin g big, fot), where you cannot
hear the s, and the feminine form grosse, where you can hear the s
and most words beginning with h. These adjectives also have an irregular
feminine form.
Masculine form in
Masculine form in
Feminine
Meaning
front of a word
beginning with a
consonant
front of a word
beginning with a
vowel or most
form
sound.
such as bon (meaning good) or italien
Some masculine adjectives,
.
words beginning
(meaning ltalion), end in
what is called a nasal vowel and an -n' With
with h
ih"r"
*Jtdt, you pronounce the vowel 'through your nose' Uy- d.o.
beau
bel
belle
lovely, beautiful,
not say the n. When the consonant is doubled and an -e is added in
the feminine - bonne, italienne - the vowel becomes a normal one
instead of a nasal vowel and you do pronounce the n'
good-looking,
handsome
fou
fol
folle
mad
nouveau
nouvel
nouvelle
new
vreux
vieil
vieille
old
un bel appartement a beautiful flat
le Nouvel An
New Year
un vieil arbre
an old tree
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii'
30 Aorecnvrs Ao;rcrvrs 31 tr + Making adiectives plural Invariableadiectives > With most adjectives you
30 Aorecnvrs
Ao;rcrvrs 31
tr
+
Making adiectives plural
Invariableadiectives
> With most adjectives you add an -s to the masculine singular or feminine
singular form to make it plural.
un chat noir a black cat + des chats noirs black cats
> A small number of adjectives (mostly relating to colours) do not change in
the feminine or plural. They are called invariable because their form NEVER
changes, no matter what they are describing. These adjectives are often
made up of more than one word - for example, bleu marine (meaning
une valise lourde a heavy suitcase - des valises lourdes heavy suitcases
novy blue), or else come from the names of fruit or nuts - for example,
orange (meaning orange), marron (meaning brown).
Ttp
des chaussures maron
brown shoes
une veste bleu marine
When an adjective describes a masculine and a feminine noun or
pronoun, use the masculine plural form of the adjective.
a navy blue jacket
La
maison et le iardin sont
The house and garden are
beautiful.
Key points
-
beaux.
y'
Sophie et son petit ami sont
trds gentils.
Sophie and her boyfriend are
very nrce.
fo make an adjective agree with a feminine singular noun or
pronoun, you usually add -e to the masculine singular. lf the
adjective already ends in an -e, no further -e is added.
y'
Several adjectives ending in a consonant double their consonant
as well as adding
-e
in
the feminine.
lf the masculine singular form already ends in an -s or an -x, you do not
add an -s.
y' beau, fou, nouveau and vieux have an irregular feminine form
and an extra masculine singular form that is used in front of
un fromage frangais a French cheese - des fromages frangais French
words that begin with a vowel and most words beginning with h:
cheeses
bel, fol, nouvel,
vieil,
un homme dangereux a dangerous man -) des hommes dangereux
y' To make an adjective agree with a masculine plural noun or
dangerous men
lf the masculine singular form ends in -eau or -al, the masculine plural is
usually -eaux or -aux.
y'
pronoun, you usually add -s to the masculine singular. lf the
adjective already ends in an -s or an -x, no further -s is added.
t tne adjective ends in -eau or -al, the masculine plural is usually
-eaux or -aux.
le nouveau professeur the new teacher + les nouveaux professeurs
the new teachers
y' To make an adjective agree with a feminine plural noun or
pronoun,
you
le r6le principal the main role * les r6les principaux the main roles
usually
add
-es
to the
masculine
singular.
y' Some adjectives relating to colours never change their form.
rrp
Adding an -s or an -x does not change the pronunciation of a
word. For example, noir and noirs sound just the same, as do
nouveau and nouveaux.
When the -s or -x ending comes before a word starting with a vowel
or most words starting with h, you have to pronounce the s or x on
the end of the adjective. lt sounds like the z in the English word zip.
les anciens 6ldves
de grands h6tels
the former pupils
big hotels
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
32 Aruecnvrs Word order with adiectives tr The basic rules
32 Aruecnvrs
Word order with adiectives
tr
The basic rules

Aouecnvrs 33

Ttp dernier (meaning /ost) and prochain (meaning nexf) go AFTER nouns relating to time, for
Ttp
dernier (meaning /ost) and prochain (meaning nexf) go AFTER
nouns relating to time, for example, semaine (meaning week) and
mois (meaning month). Otherwise they go BEFORE the noun.
la semaine demiire
last week
la demidre fois que je t'ai vu
the last time I saw you
la semaine prochaine
la prochaine fois que j'y vais
next week
the next time I go there
Grammar Extra!
When certain adjectives are used with certain nouns, they take on a meaning you
cannot always guess. You may need to check these in your dictionary and learn them.
Here are a few:
mon petit ami
les petits pois
my boyfriend
peas
les grandes vacances the summer holidays
une grande personne an adult, a grown-up
]d
Using more than one adiective
D In French you can use more than one adjective at a time to describe
someone or something. lf one of the adjectives usually comes BEFORE the
noun and the other usually goes AFTER the noun, the word order follows
the usual pattern.
une icgnc femme blonde
un nouveau film int6ressant
a young blonde woman
an interesting new film
> lf both adjectives usually come AFTER the noun, they are joined together
with et (meaning ond).

>> when adjectives are used right beside the noun they are describing, they

go BEFORE it in English. French adiectives usually go AFTER the noun'

I'heure exacte
I'heure exacte

la page suivante

the right time

the following page

)> Adjectives describing colours, shapes or nationalities always go AFTER the

noun.

des cravates une table ronde un mot frangais
des cravates
une table ronde
un mot frangais

rouges red ties

a round table

a French word

) Some very common adiectives usually come BEFORE the noun'

une belle journ6e B o n n e chance! journ6e Bonne chance!

lovely, beautiful, good-looking, handsome

good, right

short

tall, big, long, great big, fat high

youn9

pretty

long

bad, poor

better

new

small, little

first

old

a lovely day

Cood luck!

small, little first old a lovely day C o o d luck! T h e r

There is a small

group

of common adjectives whose meaning changes

f c o m m o n adjectives whose meaning changes Meaning an antique chair an

Meaning

an antique

chair

an expensrve

dre55

a clean

handkerchief

depending on whether they come before the noun or 9o after it'

Adjective Example before Meaning noun ancten un ancien a former colldgue colleague cher Chire Julie
Adjective
Example before
Meaning
noun
ancten
un ancien
a former
colldgue
colleague
cher
Chire Julie
Dear lulie
propre
ma propre
MV OWN
chambre
bedroom
Example after noun un fauteuil ancien une robe chdre un mouchoir propre
Example after
noun
un fauteuil
ancien
une robe chdre
un mouchoir
propre
un homme mince et laid a thin, ugly man une personne intelligente et dr6le an
un homme mince et laid
a thin, ugly man
une personne intelligente et dr6le an intelligent, funny person
Key
points
y' Most French adjectives go after the noun they describe.
y'
Some very common adjectives usually come before the noun:
bon,/mauvais, court/long, grand/petit, jeune/nouveau/vieux,
gros,
haut, beau,
joli,
premier,
meilleur.
y' The meaning of some adjectives such as ancien, cher and propre
varies according to the position in the sentence.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii'
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii'
according to the position in the sentence. For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages
34 Ao.rpcnves Gomparatives and superlatives of adiectives tr Making comparisons using comparative adiectives What is
34 Ao.rpcnves
Gomparatives and superlatives of adiectives
tr Making comparisons using comparative adiectives
What is a comparative adjective?
A comparative adjective in English is one with -er on the end of it or
more or /ess in front of it, that is used to compare people or things, for
example, slower, Iess important, more beautiful.

} ln French, to saythatsomething is easier, more expensive and so on, you use

Cette veste est olus chdre.
Cette veste est olus chdre.

pfus (meaning more) before the adjective.

Cette question est plus facile. This question is easier.

This iacket is more expensive.

L To say something is less expensive, less complicoted and so on, you use

)

)

moins (meaning /ess) before the adjective. /ess) before the adjective.

Gette veste est moins chdre.

e s t e e s t m o i n s c h d r

This iacket is less expensive.

a less complicated plan

un projet moins compliqu6

To introduce the person or thing you are making the comparison with, use que T o i n t r o d u c e t h e person o (meaning fhan).

Elle est plus petite que moi. Cette question est premidre. que la
Elle est plus petite que moi.
Cette question
est
premidre.
que la

plus facile

She's smaller than me.

This question is easier than the first one.

To say that something or someone is as

use aussi

que. ll est aussi inquiet Cette ville n'est pas aussi grande que Bordeaux.
que.
ll est aussi inquiet
Cette ville n'est
pas aussi
grande que Bordeaux.

que moi.

os something or someone else,

He's as worried as me.

This town isn't as big as Bordeaux.

Ao.lecrves 35

a a le guide le plus utile la question la plus facile les plus grands
a
a
le guide le plus utile
la question la plus facile
les plus grands h6tels
les plus petites voitures

la plus with feminine singular adjectives

les plus with plural adjectives (for both masculine and feminine)

the most useful guidebook

the easiest question

the biggest hotels

the smallest cars

> To say that something or someone is the leqst easy, the leost pretty, the leost

expensive and so on, you use:

o o o
o
o
o

le moins with masculine singular adjectives

la moins with feminine singular adjectives

les moins with plural adjectives (for both masculine and feminine).

le guide le moins utile Cette question est la moins the least useful guidebook This
le guide le moins utile
Cette
question est la moins
the least useful guidebook
This question is the least easy (or
facile.
the hardest).
les mois les moins agr6ables the least pleasant months
les moins belles photos
the least attractive photos
rtp
)
/
When
the adjective comes AFTER the noun, you repeat the
definite article (le, la or les).
les mois les moins agr6ables the least pleasant months
When the adjective comes BEFORE the noun, you do not repeat the
definite article.
les moins belles photos
the least attractive photos
Q for more information on Word order with adjectives, see poge 32.

D In phrases like the biggest hotel in London and the oldest person in the village, you use de to translate ln.

le plus grand h6tel de Londres
le plus grand h6tel de Londres

the biggest hotel in London

la personne la plus Ag6e du village the oldest person in the village

plus Ag6e du village the oldest person in the village For more information on de and

For more information on de and du, see poge 166.

Inegular comparative and superlative adiectives
Inegular comparative and superlative adiectives

Just as English has some irregular comparative and superlative forms - better instead of 'more good', and worst instead of 'most bod' - French also has a few irregular forms.

A Making comparisons using superlative adiectives What is a superlative adiective? A superlative adjective in
A Making comparisons using superlative adiectives
What is a superlative adiective?
A superlative adjective in English is one with -esf on the end of it or
most ot leostin front of it, that is used to compare people or things, for
example, thinnest, most beoutiful, least interesting.
I )
} ln French, to say that something or someone is easiest, prettiest, most
s l
expensive and so on, you use:
>
o le plus with masculine singular adjectives

For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii'xii'

36 Aorrcrves Ao.lecnvEs 37 Adjective Meaning Demonstrative adjectives ce, cette, cet and ces Comparative Meaning
36 Aorrcrves
Ao.lecnvEs 37
Adjective
Meaning
Demonstrative adjectives ce, cette, cet and ces
Comparative
Meaning
Superlative
Meaning
bon
meilleur
better
le meilleur
9ooo
the
best
mauvats
bad
prre
worse
le pire
the worst
plus mauvais
le plus
What is a demonstrative adjective?
A demonstrative adjective is one of the words this, thot, these and those
used with a noun in English to point out a particular thing or person, for
mauvais
example, this womon, thot dog.
petit
small
moindre
smaller,
le moindre
the smallest
plus
petit
lesser
le plus petit
the leas!
the slightest
In French you use ce to point out a particular thing or person. Like all
J'ai une meilleure id6e.
ll ne fait pas le moindre effort.
l've got a better idea.
He doesn't make the slightest effort.
adjectives in French, ce changes its form depending on whether you are
referring to a noun that is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.
Masculine
Feminine
Meaning
Singular
ce (cet)
cette
this
T'P
that
Choose the right form of the adjective to match the noun or
pronoun, depending on whether it is masculine or feminine, singular
or plural. Don't forget to change le to la or les too in superlatives.
Plural
ces
ces
these
those
rtp
Grammar Ertra!
cet is used in front of masculine singular nouns which begin with
a vowel and most words beginning with h.
bien and its comparative and superlative forms mieux and le mieux can be both
adjectives and adverbs.
cet oiseau
this/that bird
lf est bien, ce restaulant. (=adjective) This restaurant is good.
cet hOpital
this/that hospital
Elle va mieux aujourd'hui, (=odverb) She's better today.
Q For more informotion on Adverbs, see poge 152.
ce comes BEFORE the noun it refers to.
Combien co0te ce manteau? How much is this/that coat?
y'
_
To compare people or things in French you use plus + adjective,
Key points
Comment s'appelle cette
What's this/that company called?
entreprise?
moins + adjective
or aussi
que.
Ces livres sont trds
y' than in comparatives corresponds to que.
int6ressants.
These/Those books are very
interesting.
y'
French superlatives are formed with lellalles plus + adjective and
Ces couleurs sont jolies.
These/Those colours are pretty.
le/la/les moins + adjective.
l/
in
after superlatives
corresponds
to de.
y' bon, mauvais and petit have irregular comparatives and
lf you want to emphasize the difference between something that is close to
you and something that is further away, you can add:
superlatives: bon/meilleur/le meilleur, mauvais/pire/le pire,
o -ci on the end of the noun for things that are closer
petit/moindre/le moindre.
Prends cette valisqqi.
Take this case.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
38 Aorecnves Ao.recnves 39 o -lir on the end of the noun for things that
38 Aorecnves
Ao.recnves 39
o -lir on the end of the noun for things that are further away
Possessive adjectives
Est-ce que tu reconnais cette
Do you recognize that person?
personnel!i?
What is a possessive adjective?
frr tnglish a possessive adjective is one of the words mv yourl
his, her, its,
belongs to
Key
points
rur or their used with a noun to show that one person or thing
,rnother.
y' Theadjective ce corresponds io thrs and thatin the singular, and
these and thosein the
plural.
y' Theforms are ce and cette in the singular, and ces in the plural.
Here are the French possessive adjectives. Like all French adjectives, these
cet is used with masculine singular nouns beginning with a vowel
agree with the noun they refer to.
and most
words beginning with h.
with masculine
with feminine
with
plural
noun
Meaning
y' You can add -ci on the end of the noun for things that are closer,
singular noun
singular noun
(masculine or feminine)
or -li for things that are further away, to emphasize the difference
between them.
mon
ma (mon)
mes
my
ton
ta (tonl
tes
your
son
sa (sonl
ses
his
her
its
one's
notre
notre
nos
our
votte
votre
vos
your
leur
leur
leurs
their
rrp
You use mon, ton and son with feminine singular nouns in front
of words that begin with a vowel and most words beginning with h.
This makes them easier to say.
mon assiette
my plate
ton histoire
your story
son erreur
mon autre s@ur
his/her mistake
my other sister
D Possessive adjectives come BEFORE the noun they describe.
Voild mon mari.
There's my husband.
Mon frdre et ma s@ur habitent
i Glasgow.
My brother and sister live in
Clasgow.
Est-ce que tes voisins vendent Are your neighbours selling their
leur maison?
house?
Rangez vos affaires.
Put your things away.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
40 Aouecrves Ao.lecrves 41 rw Indefinite adjectives Possessive adjectives agree with what they describe, NOT
40 Aouecrves
Ao.lecrves 41
rw
Indefinite adjectives
Possessive adjectives agree with what they describe, NOT with the
What is an indefinite adjective?
person who owns that thing. For example, sa can mean his, her, its
and one's, but can only ever be used with a feminine singular noun.
Arr indefinite adjective is one of a small group of adjectives that are used
to talk about people or things in a general way without saying exactly
who or what they are, for example, severol, oll, every.
Paul cherche sa montre.
Paul cherche ses lunettes.
Gatherine a appel6 son frdre.
Catherine a appel6 sa s(Eur.
Paul's looking for his watch.
Paul's looking for his glasses.
Catherine called her brother.
Catherine called her sister.
In French, this type of adjective comes BEFORE the noun it refers to. Here
are the most common French indefinite adiectives:
Masculine
Feminine
Masculine
Feminine
Meaning
) The equivalent ol your in French is ton/taltes for someone you call tu, or
votre/vos for someone you call vous.
singular
singular
plural
plural
autre
autre
autres
autres
other
+ For more information on the difference between tu ond vous, see page 43.
chaque
chaque
every, each
meme
meme
memes
memes
same
@ Note that possessive adjectives are not normally used with parts of
quelques
quelques
the body. Use le, la, l' or les instead.
tout
toute
tous
toutes
some, a few
all, every
J'ai mal d la main.
My hand hurts.
J'ai d'autres projets.
l've got other plans.
+ For more informotion on Articles, see poge 12.
J'y vais chaque ann6e.
J'ai le m6me manteau.
I go every year.
I have the same coat.
Key points
(
The French possessive adjectives are:
. mon/ton/son/notre/votre/leur
in the masculine singular
o ma/ta/sa/notre/votre/leur in the feminine singular
ll a quelques amis d Paris.
ll reste quelques bouteilles.
ll travaille tout le temps.
He has some friends in Paris,
There are a few bottles left.
He works all the time.
. mes/tes/ses/nos/vos/leurs in the plural
{ Possessive adjectives come before the noun they refer to. They
agree with what they describe, rather than with the person who
rrp
owns that thing.
You can also use tout to talk about how often something happens.
t/
You use mon, ton and son with feminine singular nouns when
tous les jours
the following word begins with a vowel. You also use them with
tous les deux jours
most words beginning with h.
1/
Possessive adjectives are not normally used with parts of the body.
Use le, la, l' or les instead.
[)
Note that these words can also be used as pronouns, standing in place
of a noun instead of being used with one. chaque and quelques have
a slightly different form when they are used in this way.
t )
For more information on Pronouns, see page 42.
Key points
l/
tne most common French indefinite adjectives are autre, chaque,
m€me, quelques
and tout.
y' tney come before the noun when they are used in this way.
For further oxplanation of grammatical tems, please see pages viii-xii.
Pnoruourus 43 Personal pronouns: subiect PRONOUNS What is a subject pronoun? What is a pronoun?
Pnoruourus 43
Personal pronouns: subiect
PRONOUNS
What is a subject pronoun?
What is a pronoun?
A subject pronoun is a word such as l, he, she and they, which performs
the action expressed by the verb. Pronouns stand in for nouns when it is
A pronoun is a word you use instead of a noun, when you do not need
clear who is being talked about for example, My brother isn't here qt the
or want to name someone or something directly, for example, it, you,
moment. He'll be bqck in qn hour.
none.
Usinq subiect pronouns
l
1" I
There are several different types of pronoun:
o
D Here are the French subject pronouns:
Personal pronouns such as l, you, he, her and they, which are used to
refer to yourself, the person you are talking to, or other people and
things. They can be either subject pronouns (1, you, he and so on) or
obiect pronouns (him, her, them and so on).
Singular
Meaning
Plural
Meaning
je (i'l
nous
we
o
tu
you
vous
you
Possessive pronouns like mine and yours, which show who someone or
il
he
ils
they (masculine)
something belongs to.
it
o
lndefinite pronouns like someone or nothing, which refer to people or
things in a general way without saying exactly who or what they are.
elle
she
elles
they (feminine)
it
o
Relative pronouns like who, which or fhot, which link two parts of a
on
one
sentence together.
(we/you/they)
.
Demonstrative pronouns like thrs or those, which point things or people
out.
o
Je pars en vacances demain.
Nous habitons d Nice.
l'm going on holiday tomorrow.
We live in Nice.
Reflexive pronouns, a type of object pronoun that forms part of French
reflexive verbs like se laver (meaning to wosh) or s'appeler (meaning fo
be colled).
rtp
+
For more information on Reflexive verbs, see poge 88.
je changes to j' in front of words beginning with a vowel, most
words beginning with h, and the French word y.
o The two French pronouns, en and y, which are used in certain
constructions.
J'arrive!
l'm just coming!
Bon, j'y vais.
Righf l'm off,
o The pronouns qui? (meaning who?, whom), que? (meaning whot?),
quoi? (meaning whot) and lequel? (meaning which one), which are
used in asking questions.
2l tu or vous?
+
For more information on Questions, see poge 142.
> ln English we have only one way of saying you. In French, there are two
words: tu and vous. The word you use depends on:
)
Pronouns often stand in for a noun to save repeating it.
I finished my homework and gave it to my teacher.
o
whether you are talking to one person or more than one person
o
whether you are talking to a friend or family member, or someone else
Do you remember Jack? | saw him at the weekend.
> lf you are talking to one person you know well, such as a friend, a young
)
Word order with personal pronouns is usually different in French and
person or a relative, use tu.
English.
Tu me pr6tes ce CD? Will you lend me this CD?
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
Pnoruourus 45 44 Pnoruourus ) lf you are talking to one person you do not
Pnoruourus 45
44 Pnoruourus
) lf you are talking to one person you do not know so well, such as your
il is also used to talk about the weather, the time and in certain other set
phrases, often in the same way as some phrases with it in English.
teacher, your boss or a stranger, use vous.
ll pleut.
Vous pouvez entrer. You may come in.
ll est deux heures.
ll faut partir.
It's raining.
It's two o'clock.
We/You have to go.
lf you are in doubt as to which form of you to use, it is safest to
ifs (meaning they) and elles (meaning they) are used in the plural to talk
about things, as well as about people or animals. Use ils for masculine
use vous and you will not offend anybody.
nouns and elles for feminine nouns.
lls
vont appeler
ce soir.
D lf you are talking to more than one person, you have to use vous, no
matter how well you know them.
'Oi sont Anne et Rachel?' *
Vous comprenez, les enfants? Do you understand, children?
'Elles sont d la piscine.'
'Est-ce qu'il reste des billets?'
They're going to call tonight.
'Where are Anne and Rachel?'-
'They're at the swimming pool.'
?re there are any tickets left?' -
[J
Note that the adjectives you use with tu and vous have to agree in
'No, they're all sold.'
the feminine and plural forms.
-'Non, ils sont tous vendus.'
'Tu aimes ces chaussures?'-
'Non, elles sont affreuses!'
'Do you like those shoes?'- 'No,
they're horrible!'
Vous 6tes certain, Monsieur Are you sure, Mr Leclerc?
Leclerc? (mo scu li n e si ng u I o r)
Vous 6tes certains, les enfants? Are you sure, children?
lf you are talking about a masculine and a feminine noun, use ils.
Oue font ton pdre et ta mire
What do your father and mother do
(masculine plurol)
quand ils partent en vacances? when they go on holiday?
'Oi sont
le poivre et la
'Where are the pepper and the
moutarde?'-'lls sont d6jdr sur
mustard?' - 'They're already on the
Grammar Ertra!
la table.'
table.'
Any past participles (the form of the verb ending in -6, -i or -u in French) used with €tre
4l on
in tenses such as the perfect also have to agree in the feminine and plural forms.
Vous 6tes oartie quand, Estelle? When did you leave, Estelle?
D on is frequently used in informal, everyday French to mean h/e.
(feminine singular)
On va i la plage demain.
Estelle et Sophie - vous 6tes
Estelle and Sophie - when did you
parties quand?
(feminine plurol)
On y va?
We're going to the beach tomorrow.
Shallwe go?
leave?
on can also have the sense of someone or they.
+ For more informotion on the Past participle, see poge 111.
On m'a vol6 mon polte-monnaie. Someone has stolen my purse.
On vous demande au t6l6phone: There's a phone call for you.
tr
illelle and ils/elles
}
In English we generally refer to things (such as table, book, cor) only as it. In
French, il (meaning he, it) and elle (meaning she, it)are used to talk about
rrp
a thing, as well as about a person or an animal. You use il for masculine
nouns and elle for feminine nouns.
on is often used to avoid a passive construction in French.
On m'a dit que tu 6tais malade. I was told you were ill.
ll est d6jd parti.
He's already left.
* For more informotion on the Possive, see poge 122.
Elle est actrice.
ll mord, ton chien?
Prends cette chaise. Elle est
She's an actress.
Does your dog bite?
Take this chair. lt's more
plus confortable.
comfortable.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viiS-xii.
46 PRoruourus Pnoruourus 47 ) You can also use on as we use you in
46 PRoruourus
Pnoruourus 47
) You can also use on as we use you in
general.
English when we mean people in
Personal pronouns: direct object
On peut visiter le ch6teau en
You can visit the castle in the
616.
5Ummer.
What is a direct object pronoun?
A direct object pronoun is a word such as me, him, us and them, which is
D'ici on peut voir les c6tes
used instead of the noun to stand in for the person or thing most directly
From here you can see the French
frangaises.
affected by the action expressed by the verb.
coast.
Ttp
, 1l Using direct obiect pronouns
The form of the verb you use with on is the same as the illelle
form.
D Direct object pronouns stand in for nouns when it is clear who or what is
being talked aboug and save having to repeat the noun.
l've lost my glasses. Have you seen them?
4 For more informotion on Verbs, see poges 69-1 37.
'Have you met Jo?'-'Yes, I really like her!'
D Here are the French direct object pronouns:
Key
points
y' tne French subject pronouni ire: je (j'), tu, il, elle, on in the
Singular
Meaning
Plural
Meaning
singular,
and nous, vous,
ils,
elles in the
plural.
me (m')
me
nous
u5
y' to say you in French, use tu if you are talking to one person you
te (t'l
you
vous
you
know well or to a young person. Use vous if you are talking to
le (l')
him
les
them (mosculine
one
person
you
do not know so well or to more than
one person.
it
ond feminine)
y' il/ils (masculine singular/plural) and elle/elles (feminine
singular/plural) are used to refer to things, as well as to people or
la (l')
her
it
animals. il is also used in certain
set
phrases.
y' lf there is a mixture of masculine and feminine
nouns, use
ils.
y' on can mean we, someone, you, they, or people in general.
lls vont nous aider.
Je la vois.
They're going to help us.
I can see her/it.
It is often used instead of a passive construction.
'Tu aimes les carottes?'-
'Non, je les d6teste!'
'Do you like carrots?'- 'No, I hate
them!'
E
like i or de, or when you want to emphasize something.
Note that you
cannot use direct object
pronouns after a preposition
+ For more informotion on Emphotic pronouns, see poge 51.
T'P
me changes to m', te to t', and le/la to l' in front of words
beginning with a vowel, most words beginning with h, and the
French word y.
Je t'aime.
Tu m'entends?
Can you hear me?
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
48 Pnoruourus PRoruourus 49 D ln orrk'rs and instructions telling someone to do something, moi
48 Pnoruourus
PRoruourus 49
D ln orrk'rs and instructions telling someone to do something, moi is used
Personal pronouns: indirect object
instr,,rrl of me, and toi is used instead of te.
Aidez-mo_i!
Help me!
What is an indirect object pronoun?
Assieds-toi.
Sit down.
When a verb has two objects (a direct one and an indirect one), the
indirect object pronoun is used instead of a noun to show the person or
le is rornetimes used to refer back to an idea or information that has already
thing the action is intended to benefit or harm, for example, me in He
been given. The word lf is often missed out in English.
gove me a book; Can you get m9. o towel?
'Ta chemise est trds sale.'-
'Your shirt's very dirty.'-
'Je l9 sais.'
'l know.'
1l Using indirect obiect pronouns
C.l Word order with direct obiect pronouns
L The direct object pronoun usually comes BEFORE the verb.
> lt is important to understand the difference between direct and indirect
object pronouns in English, as they can have different forms in French:
Je t'aime.
o
an indirect object answers the question who to/for? or to/for
Les voyez-vous?
I love you.
Can you see them?
whaf?
Elle ne nous connait pas.
She doesn't know us.
He gave me a book. -
object pronoun)
Who did he give the book to? + me (=indirect
@ Note that in orders and instructions telling someone to do something,
the direct object pronoun comes AFTER the verb.
Can you get me a towel? '+ Who con you get o towel for? + me
(=i ndi rect ob j ect p ro no
u n)
Asseyez-vous.
Sit down.
o
D In tenses like the perfect that are formed with avoir or €tre and the past
participle (the part of the verb that ends in -4 -i or -u in French), the direct
object pronoun comes BEFORE the part of the verb that comes from avoir
or 6tre.
if something answers the question what or who, then it is the direct
object and NOT the indirect oblect
He gave me a book. + What did he give me? + a book (=jjyssl
object)
Can you get me a towel? + Whot cqn you get me? + a towel (=direct
ll m'a vu.
He saw me,
object)
} When a verb like vouloir (meaning to want) or pouvoir (meaning to be oble
to, can) is followed by another verb in the infinitive (the 'fo'form of the
verb), the direct object pronoun comes BEFORE the infinitive.
D Here are the French indirect object pronouns:
Singular
Meaning
Plural
Meaning
ll voudrait la revoir.
Puis-je vous aider?
He'd like to see her again.
Can I help you?
me (m')
me, to me, for me
nous
us, to us, for us
te (t')
you,
to you, for you
vouS
you, to you, for you
points
lui
Key
leur
them, to them, for them
y' The French direct object pronouns are: me (m,), te (t,), lella (t,)
him, to him, for him
it, to it, for it
(mosculine ond feminine)
in the
singular,
and
nous, vous,
les
in
the
plural.
lui
her, to her, for her
y' Except in orders and instructions telling someone to do
it, to it, for it
something, the direct object pronoun comes before the verb.
ll nous 6crit tous les jours.
He writes to us every day.
lls te cachent quelque chose.
They're hiding something from you.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii,
PRoruourus 51 50 PRotrtoutrts rq Emphatic pronouns me changes to m' and te to t'
PRoruourus 51
50 PRotrtoutrts
rq
Emphatic pronouns
me
changes to m' and te to t' in front of words beginning with a
vowel, most words beginning with h, and the French word y.
What is an emphatic pronoun?
An emphatic pronoun is used instead of a noun when you want to
emphasize something, for example ls this for me?
livre.
ll m'a donn6 un
He gave me a book.
Tu m'apportes une serviette? Can you get me a towel?
1l Using emphatic pronouns
The pronouns shown in the table are used instead of the preposition i with
a noun.
l'6cris i Suzanne. l'm writing to Suzanne. -+ fe lui 6cris. l'm writing to her.
Donne du lait au chat. Give the cat some milk. -+ Donne-lui du lait. Give
) In French, there is another set of pronouns which you use after
prepositions, when you want to emphasize something and in certain other
cases. These are called emphatic pronouns or stressed pronouns.
Singular
Meaning
Plural
Meaning
it some milk.
mot
nouS
we
I
Some French verbs like demander i (meaning to osk) and t6l6phoner i
me
u5
(meaning to phone) take an indirect object even though English uses a
toi
you
vouS
you
direct obiect.
lui
he
eux
they (mosculine)
ll leur tril6phone tous les soirs. He phones them every evening.
him
them
On the other hand, some French verbs like attendre (meaning to wait for),
chercher (meaning to look for) and regarder (meaning to /ook ot) take a
direct object even though English uses an indirect obiect.
elle
she
elles
they (feminine)
her
them
sol
oneself
Je les attends devant la gare. l'll wait for them outside the station.
$ourself, ourselves
E
Word order with indirect obiect pronouns
Je pense souvent a toi.
C'est pour moi?
I often think about you.
ls this for me?
)
The indirect object pronoun usually comes BEFORE the verb'
Venez avec moi.
Come with me.
Dominique vous 6crit une lettre. Dominique's writing you a letter'
ll a besoin de nous.
He needs us.
ll ne nous parle pas.
He doesn't speak to us.
ll ne veut pas me r6pondre. He won't answer me.
soi (meaning oneself is used with the subiect pronoun on and with words
like tout fe monde (meaning everyone) or chacun (meaning each one).
ll faut avoir confiance en soi.
@
Note that in orders and instructions telling someone to do
You have to have confidence in
yourself.
something, the indirect obiect pronoun comes AFTER the verb.
Tout le monde est rentr6 chez Everyone went home.
Donne-moi ga!
Give me that!
soi.
KeY
Points
y' fhe French indirect object pionouns are: me (m'), te (t'), lui in
4 When to use emphatic pronouns
the
singular,
and nous, vous, leur in the plural.
> Emphatic pronouns are used in the following circumstances:
y' Except in orders and instructions telling someone to do
o after a preposition
something, the direct object pronoun comes before the verb.
C'est pour-mqi?
ls this for me?
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii-xii.
Pnoruouus 53 52 PRoruourus o for emphasis, especially where a contrast is involved Toi, tu
Pnoruouus 53
52 PRoruourus
o for emphasis, especially where a contrast is involved
Toi, tu ressembles d ton pdre, You look like your father, she
mais elle non.
doesn't.
ll m'6nerve, lui!
He's getting on my nerves!
o
on their own without a verb
'Oui a cass6 la fen6tre?'-'Lul.' 'Who broke the window?' -
'Je suis fatigu6e.'-'Moi aussi.' 'l'm tired.' - 'Me too''
o
after c'est and ce sont (meaning it ts)
C'est toi, Simon?
Ge sont eux.
ls that you, Simon?
It's them.
9
For more informotion on c'est and ce sont, see page 65.
o
in comparisons
Tu es plus jeune que moi.
ll est moins grand que toi.
You're younger than me.
He's smaller than you (are).
.
when the sublect of the sentence is made up of two pronouns, or of a
pronoun and a noun
Mon pire et elle ne
s'entendent pas.
My father and she don't get on.
Grammar Extra!
You can add -m€me or -m6mes to the emphatic pronouns when you particularly want
to emphasize something. These forms correspond to English myself, ourselves and so on
Form with -m6me
Meaning
mot-meme
myself
toi-m€me
yourself
lui-m€me
himself, itself
elle-m€me
herself, itself
soFmeme
oneself $ourself, ou rselves)
nous-memes
ourselves
vous-meme
yourself
vous-memes
yourselves
eux-meme5
themselves (m a scu I in e)
elles-mGmes
themselves (feminine)
Je I'ai fait moi-m6me.
I did it myself.
Elle l'a choisi elle-m6me.
She chose it herself.
For further explanation of grammatical terms, please see pages viii'xii.
54 Pnoruourus PRoruourus 55 Possessive pronouns Grammar Ertra! What is a possessive pronoun? A possessive
54 Pnoruourus
PRoruourus 55
Possessive pronouns
Grammar Ertra!
What is a possessive pronoun?
A possessive pronoun is one of the words mine, yours, hers, his, ours or
Remember that ir with the definite article le becomes au, and i with les becomes aux,
\o:
thelrs, which are used instead of a noun to show that one person or thing
d + le mien + au mien
befongs to another, for example, Ask Carole if this pen is hers.
i + les miens + aux miens
d + les miennes + aux miennes
) Here are the French possessive pronouns:
Tu pr6fdres ce manteau au mien?
Do you prefer this coat to mine?
Masculine
Feminine
Masculine
Feminine
Meaning
Remember that de with the definite article le becomes du, and de with les becomes
des, so:
singular
singular
plural
plural
de + le mien +
du mien
le mien
la mienne
les miens
les miennes
mrne
le tien
la tienne
les tiens
les tiennes
yours
de + les miens + des miens
de + les miennes r des miennes
le sien
la sienne
les siens
les siennes
his
J'ai oubli6 mes cl6s. J'ai besoin
l've forgotten my keys. I need
hers
des tie