French Grammar

Welcome to the first part of our free French grammar lessons.


French Articles

Definite Articles

Here are the French definite articles. Notice that there are different forms based on number and gender. Remember that articles are used to specify the application of a noun.

The forms of the definite article in French

le (l') is the masculine singular definite article.
les is the masculine plural definite article.


la (l') is the femnine singular definite article.
les is the feminine plural definite article.

Indefinite Articles

Here are the French indefinite articles. Notice that there are different forms based on number and gender.

The forms of the indefinite article in French

un is the masculine singular indefinite article.
des is the masculine plural indefinite article.


une is the feminine singular indefinite article.
des is the feminine plural indefinite article.

Additional Notes:

1. After any negative verb except for être, the indefinite article [un/une/des] will become "de".

Asking Questions

There are 3 ways to ask a question in French.

1. To ask a simple yes or no question, simple use this formation:

est-ce que  + _____________________?


2. To ask an information question, you can use this formation:

 "question word" + est-ce que + __________________?

Question Words in French

to whom?
à qui?
qu'est-ce que?


3. You can also ask a question when speaking by making your voice rise at the end of a sentence.


Subject Pronouns

Here are the French subject pronouns. The second chart shows the English equivalents.

  singular plural
1st-person je nous
2nd-person tu vous
3rd-person il/elle/on ils/elles

  singular plural
1st-person I we
2nd-person you (informal) you (plural, as well as formal singular)
3rd-person he, she, one/we/they they (masculine)/they (feminine)

Conjugating Verbs in French

To conjugate the simple present tense in French, you simply take the stem of the verb and add the appropriate ending. Verbs are divded into separate groups based on their ending. For example, the "-er" verbs all end in "-er". Therefore, they are conjugated by removing the "-er" from the end of the verb and adding one of the following endings:

  singular plural
1st-person e ons
2nd-person es ez
3rd-person e ent


For the verb "parler" the stem would be "parl".

Je parle français.   I speak French.
Tu parles français.   You speak French.
Elle parle français.   She speaks French.
Nous parlons français.   We speak French.

Irregular Verbs in the Present Tense

Here is a listing of irregular verbs in the simple present tense that are very commonly used.

être ("to be")

  singular plural
1st-person suis sommes
2nd-person es êtes
3rd-person est sont

avoir ("to have")

  singular plural
1st-person ai avons
2nd-person as avez
3rd-person a ont

aller ("to go")

  singular plural
1st-person vais allons
2nd-person vais allez
3rd-person va vont

faire ("to do"/"to make")

  singular plural
1st-person fais faisons
2nd-person fais faites
3rd-person fait font