https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Charts for French grammar help!

With the goal of helping people learning French I've started, with a few other French natives and enthusiast seasoned learners, a compendium discussion to refer to other good discussions about French grammar, one tip at a time.

I've also posted a few charts I've found all around the web as explanations to other people's questions about specific grammar questions, as I find them most useful for my own language learning needs.

With all of that in mind, I thought it'd be a good idea to post a few charts with basic grammar knowledge in this discussion. Please upvote the ones you find most useful, so that people will see them first under here. Also, I will add more over time, so come back often and scroll to the bottom to see the new ones I added recently.

March 20, 2014

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Definite and indefinite articles. Here they are, separated by gender (masculine and feminine) and number (singular and plural).

Definite and indefinite articles

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Zari_Horowitz

What about "du"

March 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

What about it? You want to know why it's not in this chart?
Simple answer, because it's not an indefinite article.
Complete answer, du is the junction of de (a preposition) and le (which is in this chart). After verification, du is a partitive article that means "some". See my reply for a grammar explanation and examples on how to use it correctly, along with de la, de l', and des when the latter is used as a partitive article instead of an indefinite one.

March 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I've found it : du is a partitive article. Here's a grammar explanation (in French). Here's a similar article, but in English.

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Another irregular verb : faire (to do/to make), in the present of indicative tense. Pay attention to the 2nd plural person : vous faites, it's the one people struggle with (most people will instinctively say or write vous faisez, which is terribly wrong ;-)).

Conjugaison verbe faire

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98

What do you mean by "most people"?

April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I mean the second person plural is the tricky part. So if someone is to make a mistake, it's going to be with vous. I've heard many natives say vous faisez. Mostly kids still learning the grammar and less educated people.

April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ErgineRemy

Im studying verb faire! Help!!!

October 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Could you be a bit more specific? What do you want help with?

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Again an irregular (but important) verb : aller (to go) in the present of indicative tense.

Conjugaison verbe aller

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Verb conjugations : third group. Verbs in French are divided in 3 groups.

  • The first one, having the most verbs, contains almost all verbs ending in -ER. They all conjugate in the same way.
  • The second group consists of verbs ending in -IR that make -ISSANT in the present participle (like finir);
  • The third group is everything else. See below for a chart of a few regular forms of verbs in this group;

Conjugations of verbs in the 3rd group, present of indicative tense

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Articles. The question of when to use de and du comes back every few days in the French discussions. So here's a chart about different forms of article, including partitives (du, de la, de l', des).

It's easier to remember that :

  • au = à + le
  • aux = à + les
  • du = de + le
  • des = de + les

Do remember that, in a negative sentence, where you would have used the partitive (if it was positive), always use de, without definite article (never du / de la / de l' / des) : "Je n'ai pas de pommes."

Articles

March 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

French phonemes. These are all (I think) the sounds you need to know how to pronounce to speak French, with examples of words in which you can find them. Be careful : words taken from other languages, like English, may be pronounced differently by Frenchmen (most Quebeckers would pronounce them the same way an English speaker would). And some regions pronounce certain sounds or certain words differently.

French phonemes

April 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Some extra sounds : vowels with their English pronunciation closest equivalent!

French vowel sounds

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga

Is this for speakers with American accents, or English ? or elsewhere?

June 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I think it might be American, but I'm not sure it doesn't apply, at least a little bit, to other accents.

Also, there are some mistakes, or inaccuracies, in it, even for American English and about France French. I've explained them in this discussion, which is where I got this chart from. To make it short, the 3 'a' sounds should be separate because there are differences in the way they are pronounced, even if minimal. Same thing with the 'e' and 'eu' sounds.

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8

It applies to many accents. It would've applied to all the accents of English in the world if it were for consonants (un aspirated) but for vowels, it's different. For instance in the general America or English accent, may is said as meh-yy with a bit stress on 'y', but in the Indian accent may is said as plane and simple mey like in pay. I don't know if the above example is completely true but I have noticed it.

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

And some more : the nasal sounds. Thank you Aadit!

French nasal vowel sounds

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Verb conjugations : second group. Verbs in French are divided in 3 groups.

  • The first one, having the most verbs, contains almost all verbs ending in -ER. They all conjugate in the same way;
  • The second group consists of verbs ending in -IR that make -ISSANT in the present participle (like finir), see below for the 2nd group chart;
  • The third group is everything else.

Here's the conjugation for the second group, always in the present of indicative tense.

Conjugaison verbes du deuxième groupe

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Let's start with the basics : the conjugation of the two most useful verbs of the French language : the auxiliaries être (to be) and avoir (to have) in the present of indicative tense.

Être and avoir verb conjugations in the present tense

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta

Does "Ils/Elles sont" sound the same as "Ils/Elles ont" because of the liaison?

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

No they don't. "Ils/Elles sont" has a clear stop between subject and verb, and the "s" sound is "ss". In "Ils/Elles ont", the liaison makes the "s" sound like a "z".

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Khaur

I wouldn't say there is a clear stop between ils/elles and sont. In the part of France where I'm from at least...

In fact, colloquially the "l" is sometimes contracted out, so it ends up sounding [isson]/[esson] for être and [izon]/[ezon] for avoir.

The main clue here is [s] vs [z].

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I meant it as you don't pronounce both "s" (the one ending ils and elles and the one at the beginning of sont). It's just the "s" from sont that's pronounced. maybe I didn't express myself clearly. I should have said : there is no liaison.

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Verb conjugations : first group. Verbs in French are divided in 3 groups.

  • The first one, having the most verbs, contains almost all verbs ending in -ER, but one or two exceptions (I've seen aller and some ending in -YER, like envoyer, essayer, payer as exception so far). They all conjugate in the same way. See below for the chart;
  • The second group consists of verbs ending in -IR that make -ISSANT in the present participle (like finir);
  • The third group is everything else.

Without further ado, here's the chart for first group conjugations in the present of indicative tense :

conjugation of first group verbs in the present tense

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BettyBHancock

This is exactly what I need, thank you.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

You're welcome.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Possessive articles. Notice that in French, unlike English, the possessives agree with the object being possessed, not with the owner!

Possessive articles

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative pronouns

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Not a bad plan but I think that given the current structure of the forums it would simply get lost over time. It is probably better to store it in a place such as wikia (http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Category:French_for_English) or a similar resource.

Then it would be easily accessible and searchable.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Khaur

That, and the order will get messed up as the chronological order is not preserved here

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I never intended to keep them in a chronological order. I think putting them in the order of usefulness to the most people is a good thing. I even mentioned it in the original post.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga

And I agree with BastouXIII. Yes there is multiple orders that this information really needs to be addressed by. That is why it is good to create links between all this information. For so many reasons - that I am happy to elaborate on if relevant. So BasouXIII, I support you in what you are doing, and I am creating links that are relevant to my learning journey onto your threads. And I know you have also done likewise to mine. In this journey - there is not one path, nor one mentor - but many. Each journey is unique ;)
ps. just an idle thought of mine - it is the connections that matter in our minds - even more so than the nodes (points of information) .... I could not resist posting this - I hope you will excuse my digression.

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I know, we should probably put them there too. But there are still too many people unaware of the wiki and we created the list discussion for the purpose of keeping a reference to useful discussions as this one, provided people vote one of the two up (both reference the other, look in the first paragraph of this one).

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sabisteb

If you are from Germany, just buy them:

http://de.pons.com/produkte/pons-verben-auf-einen-blick-franzoesisch-978-3-12-560660-9/

http://de.pons.com/produkte/pons-grammatik-auf-einen-blick-franzoesisch-978-3-12-561899-2/

Very usefull. That's what I use. 6 laminated pages for grammer, 6 for verbs. That's all you need.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98

grammAr

April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/falke6

Thank you so much...this is very helpful.

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Personal pronouns. There are different types of personal pronouns, they can change if they are subject, reflected, tonic (emphasized), direct object (COD) or indirect object (COI). Here's the chart :

Personal pronouns

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AabLevellen

But it will be difficult for those not used to the french terms to decipher COI and COD. And their use need to be explained. But this chart sure is useful! :)

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

COD means complément d'objet direct (direct object complement)
COI means complément d'objet indirect (indirect object complement)

I believe the same concept of direct and indirect object exists in English. The information is also quite easy to find in many places online and in other Duo discussions. Here are two English pages explaining the French direct and indirect objects.

Edit : I added the definition of the acronyms. Hadn't understood what you meant at first.

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Demonstrative adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Samantha842424

we are suppose to conjugate the verbs into passé composé or l'imparfait. heureusement ses amies / être là / et elles / la consoler i have this Heureusement ses amies étaient là et elles l'ont consolé but it is telling me consolé is wrong and i dont know why

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Samantha842424

I figured it out consolé needs an e at the end because of the direct object la

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

Report it, Samantha842424. The sentence translates correctly to Fortunately her friends were there and they consoled her.

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Samantha842424

Not what I asked for but thanks I figured it out already.

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Irregular first group verbs : essayer (to try) and envoyer (to send), in the present of indicative tense.

Conjugation of irregular first group verbs

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Liam111923

hey, what determines the difference between "il" being he or she? plz help

May 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga

il is the pronoun for he.
elle is the word for she.

This Duolingo discussion may also interest you. il/elle/on-- what does on mean and how to use it

May 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Goetha

BastouXII, It is very nice of you to take the time to do all this. THANK YOU! I was going to ask you for the demonstrative pronouns, but I can see you have already posted a table about it. :-)

November 28, 2018
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