• French grammar
    0%
  • 1 French alphabet
  • 2 French pronunciation and phonetics [0/7]
  • 3 Nature and function of French words [0/23]
  • Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words (Score -/-)Free
  • Multiple choice questions about the function of French words (Score -/-)Free
  • 3.1 The subject in French [0/3]
  • 3.2 The apostrophe and apposition in French [0/2]
  • 3.3 The complement object in French [0/12]
  • 3.4 The circumstancial complement in French [0/2]
  • 3.5 The agent complement in French [0/2]
  • 4 French articles [0/9]
  • 5 French nouns [0/13]
  • 6 French pronouns [0/20]
  • Multiple choice questions about the pronouns in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 6.1 French personal pronouns - je, tu, il [0/3]
  • 6.2 French possessive pronouns - le mien, le tien [0/2]
  • 6.3 French reflexive pronouns - me, te, se [0/2]
  • 6.4 French demonstrative pronouns - celui, celle, ceux [0/2]
  • 6.5 French relative pronouns - qui, que, qu' [0/4]
  • 6.6 French indefinite pronouns - tout, chacun [0/2]
  • 6.7 French interrogative pronouns - qui, que, lequel [0/2]
  • 6.8 French adverbial pronouns - en, y [0/2]
  • 7 French adjectives [0/17]
  • Multiple choice questions about the epithet, attribute in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 7.1 Endings of regular and irregular French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.2 Comparative and superlative of French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.3 Placement of French adjectives [0/2]
  • 7.4 French possessive adjectives - mon, ton, son [0/4]
  • 7.5 French demonstrative adjectives - ce, cette [0/2]
  • 7.6 French indefinite adjectives - toutes, quelques [0/2]
  • 8 French adverbs [0/18]
  • Drag and drop exercise about the adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blank exercise about the regular form of the adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blank exercise about the irregular adverbs (Score -/-)Free
  • 8.1 Adverbs of place in French [0/2]
  • 8.2 Adverbs of time in French [0/2]
  • 8.3 Adverbs of manner in French [0/2]
  • 8.4 Adverbs of quantity in French [0/2]
  • 8.5 Adverbs of reason in French [0/2]
  • 8.6 Placement of adverbs in French [0/2]
  • 8.7 Comparative of French adverbs [0/2]
  • 8.8 Difference adjectives and adverbs in French [0/1]
  • 9 French prepositions [0/10]
  • 10 French verbs [0/135]
  • 10.1 Tenses and moods in French [0/63]
  • 10.1.1 Indicative in French [0/26]
  • 10.1.1.1 Present tense in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.1.2 Past tenses in French [0/13]
  • 10.1.1.3 Future tenses in French [0/11]
  • 10.1.2 Subjunctive in French (le Subjonctif) [0/11]
  • 10.1.3 Conditional in French (le conditionnel) [0/10]
  • 10.1.4 Imperative in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.5 Infinitive in French [0/4]
  • 10.1.6 Gerund in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.7 Present participle in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.8 Past participle in French [0/4]
  • 10.2 French auxiliary verbs (avoir, être) [0/11]
  • 10.3 Modal verbs in French [0/17]
  • Fill in the blank exercise for the modal verbs in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.3.1 Conjugation of pouvoir (can) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.2 Conjugation of devoir (should) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.3 conjugation of vouloir (want) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.4 Conjugation of savoir (to know) in French [0/4]
  • 10.4 Passive voice in French [0/4]
  • 10.5 Reflexive verbs in French [0/4]
  • 10.6 Irregular verbs in French [0/24]
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French II (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.6.1 Conjugation of venir (to come) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.2 conjugation of aller (to go) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.3 conjugation of faire (to do) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.4 conjugation of prendre (to take) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.5 conjugation of voir (to see) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.6 Conjugation of partir (to leave) in French [0/4]
  • 10.7 Regular verbs in French [0/8]
  • 10.8 Reported Speech in French [0/4]
  • 11 French sentence structure [0/25]
  • Multiple choice questions about the sentence structure in French (Score -/-)Free
  • 11.1 The phrases in French [0/5]
  • 11.2 The forms of phrases in French [0/7]
  • 11.3 The types of phrases in French [0/8]
  • 11.4 The propositions in French [0/4]
  • 12 French si clauses [0/3]
  • 13 French conjunctions and logical connectors
  • What is a compound noun in French ? 

    A compound noun (French: un nom composé) is a noun formed from several separate words most often by hyphens (-) but representing only one word. However, the general meaning of the compound noun does not always depend on the distinct meanings of each word that composes it, but on the general meaning given to that name.

    What are the French compound nouns ? 

    Here you find an overview of the most used compound nouns. 

    Compound nouns Translations
    Un abat-jour (lampshade)
    Un accroche-cœur (spit curl)
    Un aide-comptable (an assistant accountant)
    Un aide-cuisinier (an assistant cook)
    Un casse-noisette (a nutcracker suite)
    Un casse-tête (a brainteaser)
    Un cerf-volant (a kite)
    Un chasse-neige (a snowplough)
    Un chef-d’œuvre (a masterpiece)
    Un chef-lieu (administrative centre of an arrondissement)
    Un chien-guide (a guide dog)
    Un coffre-fort (a strongbox)
    Un loup-garou (a werewolf)
    Un marteau-pilon (a drop hammer)
    Un micro-ordinateur (a microcomputer)
    Un mandat-poste (a money order)

    Study this lesson together with a teacher

    Studying on your own is not effective since nobody guides you and you do not receive any feedback. Ask help from one of our professional teachers!

    Get a free trial lesson!
    View teachers

    How to form French compound nouns ? 

    To form compound nouns you have to connect two or three words together.

    These words can be separated by a hyphen or not. A compound word can be formed in different ways:

    • verb + noun
    • noun + noun
    • noun + genitive 
    • adjective + noun 
    • noun + adjective
    • verb + verb  

    Examples

    Functions Compound nouns Translations
    Verb + noun un amuse-gueule (An appetizer)
    Noun + noun un chou-fleur (A cauliflower)
    Noun + genitive un chemin de fer (A railway)
    Adjective + noun une plate-bande (A flowerbed)
    Noun + adjective un coffre-fort (A strongbox)
    Verb + verb savoir-faire (Knowledge)

    Plural of French compound names

    To form the plural of compound nouns, you must look at their composition for:

    • compound nouns in one word: the last word is in the plural 
    • noun + noun or adjective + noun and adjective + adjective: the two words are in the plural.
    • noun + genitive: the first word is in the plural. 
    • verb + noun: the verb agrees in the plural depending on the meaning of the noun
    • adverb + noun: the noun agrees in the plural and the adverb is always invariable

    Examples

    Functions Plural Translations
    one word des portefeuilles (Wallets)

    noun + noun

    adjective + noun

    adjective + adjective

    des portes-fenêtres

    des grands-mères

    des sourds-muets

    (French window)

    (Grandmothers)

    (Deaf-mute)

    noun + genitive des chefs-d'oeuvre (Masterpieces)
    verb + noun des lance-pierres (Slingshots)
    adverb + noun des arrière-boutiques (Back shops)

    enlightenedFor the verb + noun, the verb never agrees in the plural. 

    Most used French compound nouns

    Here you will find an overview of the singular and plural of the most used compound nouns: 

    Singular Plural Examples
    Une belle-sœur Des belles-sœurs (sisters-in-law)
    Un bouche-trou Des bouche-trous (stopgaps)
    Un boute-en-train Des boute-en-train (joker)
    Un bouton de manchette Des boutons de manchette (cuff links)
    Un bouton de rose Des boutons de rose (rosebuds)
    Un café-concert Des cafés-concerts (café where music-hall performances are given)
    Un café crème Des cafés crème (coffee with cream)
    Un casse-cou Des casse-cou (daredevils)
    Un casse-croûte Des casse-croûte (snacks)
    Un casse-noisette Des casse-noisettes (nutcrackers suite)
    Un cerf-volant Des cerfs-volants (kites)
    Un chef-lieu Des chefs-lieux  

    Exceptions and particularities

    1. If the first word of the compound nouns is franc or grand, it agrees in the plural just with a masculine noun

    Des grands-pères  → Des grand-mères

    2. When a compound noun starts with demi followed by a noun, the noun agrees in the plural

    Des demi-heures.

    3. When a compound noun starts with garde (noun) followed by a noun, the first word agrees but the noun agrees depending on the meaning

    Des gardes-malades 

    4. When a compound noun starts with garde (verb) followed by a noun, the verb garde does not agree. 

    Des garde-manger.