French grammar

For children and beginners



masculine: content (kohntahn)   glad

feminine + e → contente (kohntahnt)   glad

Possessive adjectives

  • sa (sah): his, her:

feminine gender:  la tablette (lah tahbleht)   tablet

sa tablette (sah tahbeht)   his / her tablet

  • son (sohn): his, her:

masculine gender: le téléphone (luh taylayfohn)   phone

son téléphone (sohn taylayfohn)   his / her phone


Definite articles

le père (luh pehr)   the father

l’ami (lahmee)   the friend

la mère (mah mehr)   the mother

l’amie (lahmee)   the friend (woman)

  • In the French language, there are two genders – masculine and feminine.

  • The gender can be determined by the article: le (luh) = the for masculine and la (lah) = the for feminine.

  • The definite article is used before a noun that denotes a specific object when the context is known. Therefore, we use them constantly because we often talk about what we know.

  • If the noun begins with a vowel, le (luh) = the, la (lah) = thel’ (l) = the

  • Masculine and feminine plural definite article : les (lay) = the:

les films (lay feelm)  the films

Indefinite articles

un mobile (an mobeel)   a mobile

une famille (ewn fahmeey)   a family

  • The gender can be determined by the article: un (uhn) =a for masculine, une (yoon) = a for feminine.
  • The indefinite article is used before a noun that represents an indefinite object when the context is unknown.
  • After c’est (seh) = this is and avoir (ahvwahr) = to have, the indefinite articles un (an) = a, une (ewn) = a are used:

C’est‿une famille. (seh ewn fameey)   This is a family.

Julie a une tablette. (zhewlee ah ewn tahbleht)   Julie has a tablet.


  • ne (nuh) … pas (pah) = not:

Elle ne parle pas. (ehl nuh pahrl pa)   She does not speak.

  • ne (nuh) before the verb and pas (pah) after the verb


Toulouse (toolooz)  Toulouse

à Toulouse (ah toolooz)   in Toulouse

Julie dit‿à Irina. (zhewlee dee ah eereena)   Julie says to Irina.

  • chez (shay) =  at (place):

chez toi (shay twah)   at your place

  • de (duh) referring to possession =  ‘s

la mère de Marina (lah mehr duh mahrinah)   Marina‘s mother

en janvier (ahn zhahnyay)   in January

Country (feminine): la France (lah frahns)   France

en France (ahn frahns)   in France 

Irina part en France. (eereenah pahr ahn frahns)   Irina is going to France.

pour moi (poor mwah)   for me


Personal pronouns

  • je (zhuh)   I
  • j’ (zh) + vowel / h   I
  • tu (tew)   you
  • il (eel)   he
  • elle (ehl)   she
  • nous (noo)   we
  • vous (voo)   you
  • ils (eel)   they

Stressed pronouns

  • moi (mwah) = me:

pour moi (poor mwah)   for me

pour toi (poor twah)   for you

  • lui (lwee) = him:

avec (avehk lwee) lui   with him 


    • You can form questions using:

interrogative words + verb + subject:

es-tu ? (oo eh tew)  Where are you?

Quand finis-tu ? (kahn feenee tew)   When do you finish?

Comment viens-tu ? (komahn vyan tew)   How do you come?

or interrogative words + subject + verb:

tu es ? (oo tew eh)   Where are you?

Quand tu finis ? (kahn tew feenee)   When do you finish?

Comment tu viens ? (komahn tew vyan)   How do you come?

  • Que (kuw) =  what + verb + subject:

Que lis-tu ? (kuh lee tew) What are you reading?

Qu’est-ce que vous lisez ? (keh suh kuh ву лизе)   What are you reading?


Present tense

  • First group = verbs ending in –er (ay)

Conjugation of the verb aimer (ehmay) = to like:

J’aim + e → aime. (zhem)   I like.

Tu aim + es → aimes. (tew ehm)    You like.

Il aim + e → aime. (eel ehm)   He likes.

Nous‿aim + ons → aimons (noo zehmon)   We like.

Vous‿aim + ez → aimez (voo zehmay)   You like.

Ils‿aim + ent → aiment (eel zehm)   They like.

  • Second group: some verbs ending in –ir (eer):

Conjugation of finir (feeneer) = to finish:

Je fini + s → finis. (zhuh feenee)   I finish.

Tu fini + s → finis. (tuw feenee)   You finish.

Il fini + t → il finit. (eel feenee)   He finishes.

  • Third group: all other verbs = irregular verbs = stem-changing verbs:

Conjugation of venir (vuhneer) = to come:

Je vien + s → viens. (zhuh vyan)   I come.

Tu vien + s → viens. (tew vyan)   You come.

Il vien + t → il vient. (eel vyan)   He comes.


  • Conjugation of the verb être (ehtr) = to be in the present tense:

Je suis. (zhuh swee)   I am.

Tu es. (tew eh)   You are.

Il, elle est. (eel ehl eh)   He, she is.

Nous sommes. (noo sohm)   We are.

Vous‿êtes. (voo zeht)   You are.

Ils sont. (eel sohn)   They are.

  • Conjugation of the verb lire (leer) = to read in the present tense:

Je li + s → lis. (zhuh lee)   I read.

Tu li + s →  lis. (tew lee)   You read.

Il, elle li + t → lit. (eel, ehl lee)   He, she reads.

Nous lis + ons → lisons. (noo leezohn)   We read.

Vous lis + ez → lisez. (voo leezay)   You read.

Ils lis + ent → lisent. (eel leez)   They read.

  • Conjugation of the verb parler (pahrlay) = to speak in the present tense:

Je parl + e → parle. (zhuh pahrl)   I speak.

Tu parl + es → parles. (tew pahrl)   You speak.

Elle parl + e → parle. (ehl pahrl)   She speaks.