Nature and function of French words
The words (French: les mots) are classified into different categories. Every word in a sentence has a very specific role. This role is called "function".
Example: → Mon amie travaille en France (my friend works in France)
In this example, "amie" and "France" are nouns and "travaille" is the verb.
- "Mon amie" is undergoing the action with the verb "travailler", Its function is "subject of the verb" (sujet du verbe)
- "En France" indicates where the action is happening. Its function is "complement of the verb" (complément du verbe)
- 1.Grammatical category of French words
- 2.French determinants
- 3.French adjectives
- 4.French nouns
- 4.1.Types of nouns
- 5.French verbs
- 6.French pronouns
- 7.French conjunctions
- 8.French prepositions
- 9.French adverbs
- 10.Grammatical function of French words
- 11.1.Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words
- 11.2.Multiple choice questions about the function of French words
Grammatical category of French words
The grammatical nature (French: la nature grammaticale) of a word is the category to which it belongs. Indeed, all the words can be grouped in the same category according to the characteristics that are similar to them.
Among them you can find
The determinant (French: le déterminant) is part of the nominal group (the subject). It agrees in gender and number with the subject. It usually places in front of the noun, sometimes separed by a qualifying adjective.
- Ces belles chaussures. (These beautiful shoes)
- Mon enfant. (My child)
- Quel bel homme ! (What a beautiful man !)
There are many types of determinants:
|Articles||le, la, les, un, une, des, du, de la, de l'|
|Possesives||mon, ton, son, notre votre, leur|
|Demonstratives||cet, cette, ces,ce|
|Indefinite||tout, aucun, chaque, certains, plusieurs|
|Interrogatives||Quel ? Quelle ? Quelles ? Quels ?|
|Exclamatives||Quel ! Quelle ! Quelles ! Quels !|
|Cardinal numbers||sept, douze, un, quatre, cinq|
Adjectives (French: les adjectifs) describe the nouns or pronouns to which they refer. They agree in gender and number with the noun or pronoun they qualify.
The French has two types of adjectifs: the attribute (l'attribut du sujet) and the epithet (l'épithète du sujet).
- The attribute, which has direct links to the noun through a state verb (verbes d'états).
- The epithet, which has direct links to the noun.
|L'attribut du sujet||Elle reste jolie||(She remains beautiful)|
|L'étpithète du sujet||Une fille jolie||(A beautiful girl)|
The French state verbs are: être (to be), devenir (to become), paraître, passer pour, avoir l'air, sembler (to seem), demeurer, rester (to stay).
The noun (French: le nom) is a word that agrees in gender and number usually with a determinant that inform about it. It can also be used with an epithet adjective.
|Gender and number||Noun||translations|
|Ma||grande soeur||(my big sister)|
Types of nouns
- The common nouns (les noms communs), which use a tiny letter, and correspond to a concept and individuals.
- The proper nouns (les noms propres), which use a capital letter and has no meaning, it applies to a person, a place, an unique or collective things.
- The compound nouns (les noms composés), which are lexical units and operate autonomously. They can be united, a nominal phrase or separated by an hyphen (-) or an apostrophe (').
|Common nouns||un bureau||(a desk)|
chemin de fer
It has a stem and many endings. Therefore, it conjugates according to the group, the subject, the mood and the tense.
In grammar, there are
- Defective verbs, which do not conjugate in all personal pronouns and all tenses.
- Transitive verbs, which use a direct object.
- Intransitive verbs, which do not use a direct object.
- Verifier le résultat (Check the answer)
- Partir à Paris (Go to Paris)
The pronoun (French: le pronom) replace the noun. It can have all the grammatical functions of the noun.
- La femme qui m'a donné l'argent. (the woman that gave me the money)
- Celui-là part en Grèce. (This one goes to Greece)
- La nôtre est en vacances. (Ours is in holidays)
There are many types of pronouns, in the French grammar:
|Personal||je, tu, il, elle, on, nous, vous, ils, elles|
|Possessives||le mien, le tien, le sien, le nôtre, le vôtre, le leur|
|Interrogatives||lequel, duquel, auquel, laquelle, de laquelle, à laquelle|
|Demonstratives||celui, cela, celle, ceci, ce, ça|
|Relatives||qui, que, quoi, dont, où, lesquels, desquels, auxquels|
To distinguish from the possessive determinant, it is important that you write the circumflex accent in 'nôtre' 'vôtre'.
The conjunction (French; la conjonction) is an invariable word whose function is to join words, or groups of words.
There are two types of conjunction: the conjunctions of coordination (les conjonctions de coordinations) and the conjunctions of subordination (les conjonctions de subordinations), which function is to link two propositions: the principal sentence and the conjunction
|Subordinations||que, quand, comme, si, lorsque, puisque, quoique|
|Coordinations||mais, ou, est, donc, or, ni, car|
- Je souhaite que tu reste ici. (I wish you could stay)
- Je voulais partir à Rome mais il n'y a pas de vol pendant cette période. (I wanted to go in Rome but there is no flight during this period)
The preposition (French: la préposition) is an invariable word without a grammatical function in the sentence, but which makes it possible to join two words.
Some prepositions can also be used as an adverb like devant.
The are many types of prepositions:
- Those used as an complement to define the place, the way, the time, the goal, the state, the reason or the movement.
- Those used as a noun, a pronoun, an infinitive verb, an adverb or a group words.
|à, de, sans, pour, chez, dans,|
|entre, jusque, hors, par, vers, après, en|
- La maison à Samantha. (Samantha's house)
- Je pars chez ma mère. (I am going at my mom's)
- Je partirai après toi. (I will leave after you)
The adverb (French: l'adverbe) is an invariable word. Most of them serve to clarify or modify the meaning of a verb, an adjective, another adverb or a whole proposition.
- Je parle doucement. (I speak slowly)
- Il nettoie avec tant de force. (He cleans with so much strengh)
- Ils sont rentrés très tard, hier. (They came back very late, yesterday)
There are many types of adverbs
tard, alors, après, après-demain, aujourd'hui, auparavant, aussitôt, autrefois, avant, avant-hier, bientôt, déjà, demain, depuis, désormais, dorénavant
|Way||calmement, doucement, rapidement, ainsi, bien, comme, debout, ensemble, exprès, mal, mieux, plutôt, vite,|
|Place||loin, ailleurs, alentour, arrière, autour, avant, contre, dedans, dehors, derrière, dessous, dessus, devant, ici, là, où, partout, près proche.|
|Quantity||beaucoup, assez, autant, beaucoup, combien, davantage, environ, guère, mais, moins, pas mal, peu, plus, presque, quelque, si, tant, tout, tout à fait, tellement, très, trop|
Grammatical function of French words
Grammatical functions (French: la fonction grammaticale) are the role played by words in a sentence relative to other words. The same word can have different functions according to the sentences.
Among them you can find:
- The subject
- The complement
- The attribute
- The epithete
- The antecedent
- The apposition
- The apostrophe
- The expletive
|Sujet||Jeanne mange une pizza||(Joanne is eating a pizza)|
|Complement||Je vais à la pharmacie||(I am going to the pharmacy)|
|Attribut||Ils restent positifs||(They remain optimistic)|
|Epithète||Un bel homme||(A beautiful man)|
|Antécédent||Ma mère, elle est partie au marché||(My mom, she went to the market)|
|Apposition||La capitale de l'Italie, Rome accueille des réfugiés||(Italy's capital, Rome welcome refugees)|
|Apostrophe||Toi, dis nous ce que tu en penses ?||(You tell us what you think ?)|
|Explétif||Je crains qu'il ne se perde||(I am afraid he get lost)|
- Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words
- Multiple choice questions about the function of French words
Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words
Multiple choice questions about the function of French words
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Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
I would highly recommend Tove. Her lessons are fantastic and I learn exactly what I'm interested in. Tove is very friendly, our chemistry goes well together and I really enjoy being tought by her.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
Daniela is a very pleasant and brisk teacher who has the talent to make you feel at ease immediately. Her lessons are a nice mix of conversation and theory. Again and again it is a nice hour to look forward to !! Thank you Daniela !!
Dear Hilde, thank you very much for your words. I'm glad you are satisfied with our time together. I will continue to do my best to make you practice your beautiful Italian in a cheerful and peaceful way :-)
It is always a pleasure to have English lessons with Corinne. The lessons are always a lot of fun and extremely interesting concerning on current affairs and unfortunately the time always ends too early. Very recommended.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
Carmen is really prepared and very very nice. She takes you by the hand and introduces you to portuguese language in a really pleasant way. I learned 3-4 sentences already on the first lesson!
Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
Marissa is a very professional teacher who can put the student at ease. It is precise, effective and oriented towards achieving the objectives: highly recommended.
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I have had many lessons with Luisa and I always look forward to them. We begin by chatting about the past week's events and them move to Espresso which I find very useful as a good review of material I have done in the past. There is often additional words used I had not met before. Luisa is always a pleasure to talk with and is a kind and pleasant teacher. She corrects me gently and offers useful words or meanings when appropriate.
Dear Martin thank you so much ! It's my pleasure taking class with you. And thanks a lot for your suggestion about Us movies ( Just Mercy) or Us books
I had my first lesson a couple of days ago and everything went super good!
Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had.
She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day.
I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)
A prepared and kind teacher, ready to teach with patience and good humor. He provided me with very useful materials to study and review even after the lesson. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language with a smile. Thanks Silvia :)
Thank you so much for the Chiara review! It was a real pleasure to have this lesson with you. I wish you a nice trip with the German language!
The lesson with Celia was perfect! She was puntcual, kind and her teaching method is effective and funny.
She started the class with some "games" to get to know eachother and then we discussed about an article she provided. The time of the class passed really fast and I learned new vocabulary.
Thank you so much, Remark! I´m happy to know you enjoyed our lesson and I´m looking forward to having more in the near future! Cheers!
Ekaterina writes new words and sentences learnt during the lesson. She has got a very nice attitude and great accent! A pleasure to work with... yes, even in German!!!!!
Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!