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French Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about French grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak French and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words French and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in French.

Prepositions - French
and et Audio
above au-dessus Audio
under sous Audio
before avant Audio
after après Audio
in front of en face de Audio
behind derrière Audio
far from loin de Audio
near près de Audio
in dans Audio
inside à l'intérieur Audio
outside à l'extérieur Audio
with avec Audio
without sans Audio
about sur Audio
between entre Audio
but mais Audio
for pour Audio
from à partir de Audio
to à Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - French
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] je mange sans couteau Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] elle vit près de l'église Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] il est plus grand qu'elle Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] il est venu avec son petit chien Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] pouvez-vous venir avec moi ? Audio

Negation in French

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - French
I understand you
[affirmative form] je vous comprends Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] je ne vous comprends pas Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] ce n'est pas le mot correct Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] ne me quittez pas Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] aucun problème Audio

Negative Sentences - French
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] je ne parle pas français Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] elle n'est pas allée en allemagne Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] il ne peut pas nous voir Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] elle ne peut pas jouer aux échecs ? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] nous n'arriverons pas en retard Audio

Questions in French

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - French
how? comment ? Audio
what? quoi ? Audio
who? qui ? Audio
why? pourquoi ? Audio
where? où ? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - French
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] où habitez-vous ? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] parle-t-elle chinois ? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] combien est-ce ? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] je peux vous aider ? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] quel est votre nom ? Audio

Adverbs in French

It's time to learn the adverbs in French. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - French
now maintenant Audio
yesterday hier Audio
today aujourd'hui Audio
tonight ce soir Audio
tomorrow demain Audio
soon bientôt Audio
quickly rapidement Audio
slowly lentement Audio
together ensemble Audio
very très Audio
almost presque Audio
always toujours Audio
usually habituellement Audio
sometimes parfois Audio
rarely rarement Audio
never jamais Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - French
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] me comprenez-vous maintenant ? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] j'ai besoin d'aide immédiatement Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] elle est très intelligente Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] je t'aimerai toujours Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] pouvons-nous apprendre l'allemand ensemble ? Audio

Pronouns in French

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in French. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - French
I je Audio
you tu (friendly), vous (polite) Audio
he il Audio
she elle Audio
we nous Audio
they ils (masc.), elles (fem.) Audio

Object Pronouns - French
me moi Audio
you vous Audio
him lui Audio
her elle Audio
us nous Audio
them les Audio

Possessive Pronouns - French
my mon Audio
your ton (sing.), votre (sing. polite), vos (plur.) Audio
his son Audio
her sa Audio
our notre Audio
their leur Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - French
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] je suis ton ami Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] vous parlez très vite Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] il a trois chiens Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] elle peut parler allemand Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] nous n'arriverons pas en retard Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] ils ont acheté du lait et du pain Audio

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - French
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] pouvez-vous me dire votre nom ? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] je vais vous donner de l'argent Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] elle lui a écrit une lettre Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] ils lui ont rendu visite hier Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] peut-elle nous aider ? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] il leur a donné de la nourriture Audio

Possessive Pronouns - French
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] je m'appelle maya Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] votre frère vit ici Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] sa mère nous fait à manger Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] son hobby est la lecture Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] notre rêve est de visiter paris Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] leur maison n'est pas loin Audio

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - French
this is my house voici ma maison Audio
that restaurant is far ce restaurant est loin Audio
these apples are delicious ces pommes sont délicieuses Audio
those stars are shiny ces étoiles sont brillantes Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the French grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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