Look and Listen... | Regardez et écoutez ...


Elements of a Sentence | Les éléments d'une phrase

The Parts of Speech | Les classes de mots

French grammar usually classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the noun, the determiner, the adjective, the pronoun, the verb, the adverb, the preposition and the conjunction.

Noun |

Le nom

  • A noun | un nom is a word that identifies a person, an animal, a place, a thing, or an abstract idea.

  • A noun can be a proper noun | le nom propre (France, Robert, Oreo, Pierre-Oh and Pierrette) or a common noun | le nom commun (une ville, une personne, un biscuit, des mascottes).

  • In French, nouns have a gender (masculine [m.] or feminine [f.]) and a number (singular [s.] or plural [pl.]).

  • A noun is always in the third person singular or plural.



Determiner | Le déterminant

  • A determiner | un déterminant is a word that precedes, introduces and modifies a noun.

  • There are two types of determiners:

articles | les articles(e.g., le, une, des) and

adjectives | les adjectifs non qualificatifs (e.g., mon, cette, chaque, deux).

  • In French, determiners agree in gender (masculine [m.] or feminine [f.]) and in number (singular [s.] or plural [pl.]) with the nouns that they modify.


Adjective | L’adjectif

  • An adjective | un adjectif is a word that modifies a noun by describing it in some way: shape, color and size.

  • In French, most adjectives follow the noun they modify. However, there is a small group of adjectives that normally precede the noun. These adjectives may be categorized as adjectives of beauty, age, numbers, goodness, and size.

  • In French, adjectives agree in gender (masculine [m.] or feminine [f.]) and in number (singular [s.] or plural [pl.]) with the nouns that they modify.


Pronoun |

Le pronom

  • A pronoun | un pronom is a word that replaces or to substitutes a noun or noun phrase.

  • In French, pronouns agree in gender (masculine [m.] or feminine [f.]) and in number (singular [s.] or plural [pl.]) with the nouns or noun phrase they substitute.


Verb |

Le verbe

  • A verb | un verbe is a word that denotes an action or a state of being.

  • A verb is conjugated.

  • In French, verbs are variable. They are affected by :

the person (the speaker, the addressee, or others:

I, you, he, we | je, tu, il, nous),

the number (singular [s.] or plural [pl.]),

the gender (masculine [m.] or feminine [f.]),

the tense (the present, past and future|

le présent, le passé et le futur),

the aspect (how the time in which an event occurs is viewed:

as complete, ongoing, consequential, planned and so on | l’aspect inchoative où l’action commence, l’aspect duratif où l’action dure, l’aspect résultatif/terminatif où l’action est achevée et l’aspect itératif où l’action se répète),

the mood (finite forms: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and

conditional and non-finite forms: infinitive, participle and gerund | modes personnels: l’indicatif, l’impératif, le subjonctif, le conditionnel and les modes impersonnels: l’infinitif, le participe, le gérondif),

and the voice (a verb in the active or passive voice |

la voix active, passive ou pronominale).


Adverb | L’adverbe

  • An adverb | un adverbe is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

  • In French, adverbs are invariable words. They do not agree in number or in gender.


Preposition |

La préposition

  • A preposition | une préposition is a word that links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence.

  • In French, prepositions are invariable. They do not agree in number or in gender.


Conjunction |

La conjunction

  • A conjunction | une conjonction is a word that links words or groups of words.

  • In French, conjunctions are invariable. They do not agree in number or in gender.