• French grammar
  • 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 -/-)
  • Multiple choice questions about the function of French words (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • 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]
  • 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]
  • Present tense in French [0/2]
  • Past tenses in French [0/13]
  • 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 -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French II (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • 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
  • The propositions in French

    What is a proposition in French ?

    A proposition is a part of a sentence containing a verb. A sentence can have one or several propositions. Therefore it is linked to the phrases in French. 

    It is a grammatical set organized around a verb, generally conjugated. In a sentence, each conjugated verb is therefore the core of a proposition: there are as many propositions than verbs.

    The French grammar has three types of proposition: 

    • Independent proposition
    • Main proposition
    • Incidental proposition 

    independent proposition in French 

    The independent proposition (French: la proposition indépendante) is linked to the simple phrases. It is a proposition which does not depend on any other proposition and of which no proposition depends. 


    proposition indépendante Traduction
    Il boit du lait (He is drinking milk)
    Le chat chasse la souris (The cat is hunting the mouse)
    Cendrillon est une princesse Disney (Cinderella is a Disney princess)

     A phrase can have many independent propositions. Then it is called: 

    • Coordinated independent proposition 
    • Juxtaposed independent proposition


    Proposition Independante Traduction
    Coordonnée Je ne comprends pas la leçon mais je peux faire l'exercice (I don't understand the lesson but I can do the exercice)
    Juxtaposée Ne t'en vas pas, ferme d'abord la boutique (Don't leave, close the shop first)

    enlightenedLearn more about these types propositions to use it in the composed phrase

    Main proposition in French 

    The main proposition (French: la proposition principale) is a proposition that does not depend on any other and upon which depends at least one subordinate clause

    It is the basic proposition to which the other proposals hang up. 


    Proposition principale Proposition subordonnée Traduction
    Léo a fui  quand il a vu ses parents (Leo ran away when he saw his parents)
    Marie a acheté une nouvelle voiture  lorsqu'elle a déménagé à Los Angeles (Marie bought a new car when she moved to LA)
    Elle se demande pourquoi je suis plus avec elle (She wonders why I left her) 

    Incidental proposition in French 

    The incidental proposition (French: la proposition incidente) also called "incise", appears in another proposition with which it is not coordinated and has no relationship of dependence. 

    It plays somehow the role of a parenthesis. Usually, It indicates that someone is reporting what somebody said. 

    The incise proposition can be placed whenever you want: at the beginning, in the middle or at the end


    • "Il faudrait trouver une autre solution" disait -il. (We have to find another way, he said)
    • Quoi qu'il en soit, je ne reviendrais pas sur ma décision. (Anyway, I won't reconsider my decision)
    • Le directeur, paraît-il, a déposé sa démission. (It seems that the CEO has submitted his resignation)

    Subordinate clauses in French 

    The subordinate clauses (French: les propositions subordonnées) are linked to the complex phrases. We say that a proposition is subordinate if it depends on another proposition (almost always a main). It completes the meaning. 

    There are four types of subordinate clauses: 

    • Relative subordinate clauses 
    • Conjunctive subordinate clauses 
    • Completive subordinate clauses
    • Circumstantial subordinate clauses

    Relative subordinate clauses in French 

    The relative subordinate clause (French: la proposition subordonnée relative) is part of the nominal group. It can not exist alone and is necessarily introduced by a relative pronoun.

    Its grammatical function is the complement of the name. The completed name is called antecedent and the pronoun agrees with it. 

    Let's analyze this sentence: 

    Je ne veux pas réveiller mon amie qui dort dans la chambre. (I don't want to wake up my friend who sleeps in my room)

    • The main proposition is "je ne veux pas réveiller mon amie"
    • The subordinate clause is "qui dort dans la chambre"
    • "Qui" replace "mon amie" so the antecedent is "mon amie"


    Proposition principale Proposition subordonnée relative Traduction
    Je parlais de l'enfant dont on a eu la garde (I was talking about the kid whom we have had the custody)
    Léa acheté les mêmes chaussures que j'ai porté à son anniversaire (Lea bought the same shoes that I wore at her birthday party)
    Pierre a rencontré l'homme 

    qui lui a sauvé la vie

    (Peter met the man who saved his life) 

    enlightenedNote that the relative subordinate clauses is not necessarily placed after the main proposition

    Conjunctive subordinate clause in French 

    The subordinate conjunctive proposition (French: la proposition subordonnée conjonctive) is a proposition which depends on a principal proposition and which is introduced by  a conjunction of subordination

    The conjunctive subordinate clause can be completive or circumstantial

    Recap: What is a subordinated conjunction in French ? 

    The conjunctions of subordination (French: les conjunctions de subordination) are invariable words. They can also be conjunctive phrases. 

    They connect two propositions: a main and a conjunctive subordinate whose grammatical function varies with the conjunction used.

    It belongs to the subordinate clause it introduces 

    Conjonctions de subordination que, quand, comme, si, lorsque, puisque, quoique
    Locutions conjonctives ainsi que, vu que, alors que, à moins que, après que, depuis que, aussitôt que, bien que, parce que, dès que, malgré que, pendant que, tandis que

    The completive subordinate clause in French

    The completive subordinate clause (French: la proposition subordonnée complétive) is a proposition which depends on a main proposition and which, in most cases, has a role of direct object complement. The completive subordinate clause can be conjunctive, infinitive or interrogative.

    The conjunctive is introduced by: 

    • que (that)
    • ce que


    Conjonction Proposition subordonnée completive Traduction
    Que Malia a beaucoup aimé la robe que je lui ai achetée (Malia really loved the dress that I bought for her)
    Ce que Il ne s'attendait pas à ce qu'il soit aussi distant (He wasn't expecting him to be this stant-offish)

    The infinitive has any introductory word and includes an infinitive verb. It is often a direct object of a verb of perception like voir, regarder, entendre..


    • Pedro sent Sandra s'éloigner de lui. (Pedro can feel Sandra driving away from him) 

    ​The interrogative is indirect and may be introduced by 

    • "si" if it's the total interrogation 
    • An interrogative, pronoun and adverb id it's the partial interrogation


    Interrogation Proposition subordonnée complétive Traduction
    Total Je ne vois pas si elle a raison  (I cannot see if she is right)
    Partial Dis moi pourquoi tu es parti (Tell me why you left)

    enlightenedYou can learn more about the two types of interrogation

    Circumstantial subordinate clauses

    The circumstantial subordinate clause (French: la proposition subordonnée circonstancielle) depends on a main proposition and has the function of circumstantial complement.

    It can be introduced by a subordinated conjunction or a verb conjugated in the past or present participle.


    Circonstancielle Proposition subordonée Traduction
    Conjonction de subordination J'ai visité la tour Eiffel quand j'ai été à Paris (I have been to the Eiffel tower when I was in Paris)
    Participle La travail fini, tout le monde rentra chez eux (Job is over, everyone went back home)


    Multiple choice questions about the propositions in French

    Fill in the blank exercise about the relative subordinate clause in French

    Completive vs circumstancial subordinate clause in French

    Fill in the blank exercise about the conjunctions of subordination in French