Toolbox | Trousse

Conjunctions | Les conjonctions

A conjunction links words or groups of words.

There are two types of conjunctions used in the French language: coordinate and subordinate

Coordinating Conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction joins words and groups of words of equal value
(nouns + nouns, verbs + verbs, independent clause + independent clause).

Some of the most commonly used coordinating conjunctions in French are:

car | for, because

Pierre-Oh met son chandail, car la météo annonce du froid.
Pierre-Oh puts on his sweater because the weather is cold.


et | and

Pierre-Oh aime les pommes et les bananes.
Pierre-Oh likes apples and bananas.


ni ... ni | neither ... nor

Pierrette ne mange ni des pommes ni des bananes.
Pierrette eats neither apples nor bananas.


ou | or

Aimes-tu les pommes ou les bananes?
Do you like apples or bananas?


donc | so, thus

La météo annonce du froid, donc, Pierre-Oh met son chandail.
The weather is cold, so Pierre-Oh puts on his sweater.


mais | but

Pierre-Oh aime les pommes mais il n’aime pas les oranges.
Pierre-Oh likes apples but he does not like oranges.


or | so, now

Les fruits sont bons pour la santé, or, Pierre-Oh mange des fruits.
Fruits are good for your health, so, Pierre-Oh eats fruits.


Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction joins an independent clause to a dependent clause (independent and dependent). An independent clause is any clause that can stand alone to form a grammatical sentence. A dependent clause cannot stand alone and depends on the main clause in order to form a complete thought.

The main French subordinating conjunctions are:

comme | as, since

Pierre-Oh et Pierrette sont amusants comme nos mascottes de notre site Web.
Pierre-Oh and Pierrette are fun as our mascots on our website.


puisque | since

Puisque il fait si beau, nous irons à la plage.
Since the weather is beautiful, we will go to the beach.


quand | when

Appelle-moi quand tu arrives.
Call me when you arrive.


lorsque | when

Pierre-On se lève lorsque le réveil matin sonne.
Pierre-Oh wakes up when the alarm clock rings.


que | that

Il est évident que Pierre-Oh aime manger.
It is evident that Pierre-Oh likes to eat.


si | if

Si Pierre-Oh était riche, il t'achèterait ce jeu.
If Pierre-Oh was rich, he would buy you this game.


A conjunctive phrase is a group of two or more words that function as a conjunction.
French conjunctive phrases usually end in que and are usually subordinating conjunctions.

Some commonly used conjunctive phrases in French are:

afin que | so that

Écoute-moi afin que je puisse t'expliquer le mot.
Listen to me so that I may explain the word.


parce que | because

Pierre-Oh aime manger de la pizza parce que c’est bon.
Pierre-Oh likes to eat pizza because it is good.


tandis que | while, whereas

Pierre-On travaille tandis que Pierrette s'amuse.
Pierre-Oh is working while Pierrette is having fun.


depuis que | since

Depuis que Pierre-Oh mange beaucoup de fruits, il a plus d’énergie.
Since Pierre-Oh eats a lot of fruit, he has more energy.


pendant que | while

Pendant que
j'y pense, notez mon adresse éléctronique.
While I am thinking about it, jot down my email address.