When you learn French, you’re going to spend a lot of time getting familiar with French grammar rules. For many people, the thought of learning grammar isn’t necessarily a pleasant one, and we can’t blame you if you think that way. But French grammar doesn’t have to be a chore to learn; in fact, with the right tools and teachers, it can be a low-friction endeavor and even a fun one! All languages have grammar, or rules that tell us how to use their individual elements (words) to build longer structures that convey meaning (sentences). Learning grammar is an essential part of learning any new language, and French is no exception! Luckily, once you start to learn how French grammar works, you’ll find out it’s not all that intimidating after all.

How Difficult Is French Grammar?

Is French Grammar Easy?

Many people choose to learn French over other languages because they’ve heard that French grammar is relatively easy to learn. While it’s true that French grammar rules aren’t necessarily hard, they do take patience and practice to master, just like with any new skill.

Some elements of French grammar are known to be more difficult for learners than others are — especially those elements that are more unfamiliar to native English speakers, like complex verb conjugations, a tricky concept many French learners have trouble mastering.

You might struggle with some aspects of French grammar and breeze through others. A lot of what you’ll find easy depends on the language or languages you already speak and how similar they are to French. And you can’t forget that everyone learns differently, so the parts of French grammar that give you trouble might be a piece of cake for someone else, and vice versa.


Is French Grammar Similar To English?

French grammar is similar to English grammar in many ways that make it fairly easy to make connections between the two languages. Both French and English have the same parts of speech — like verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and prepositions, for example — and the two languages often treat these parts of speech in the same ways.

But there are certain ways French grammar rules differ from those of English. You might have heard that unlike English, French is a gendered language, meaning each noun — not just every person — has an associated gender classification that shows up in the language. (More on that below.) And gender in French affects French adjectives, which change their endings to match the gender and number of the nouns they refer to.

As mentioned above, there’s also the topic of French verbs, which require a bit more manipulation to use correctly than English verbs do. French verbs are conjugated, which means they change their verb endings according to specific rules, Conjugation is somewhat of a foreign concept to many English speakers, making it a major point of difference between the two languages.

If all of this sounds a little confusing, don’t fret! Part of getting better at French is practicing French grammar rules that might not make much sense at first. But you’ll soon get the hang of them with just a little effort.

Introduction To French Grammar: What Are French Grammar Rules?

Along with French vocabulary, you’ve got to know French grammar to be able to use the language. In order to express ideas and form sentences in French, you need to understand and follow French grammar rules.

Basic French Sentence Structure

The primary parts of the French sentence are the subject, the verb and the object(s). For the most part, French grammar follows the subject-verb-object word order as English does. For example, in a sentence like Nous aimons nos voisins (“We like our neighbors”), the pronoun nous (“we”) is the subject, aimons (“like” or “love”) is the verb and nos voisins (“our neighbors”) is the object of that verb.

The order of other words in a French is generally the same as in an English sentence, with some exceptions. In French grammar, for example, adjectives usually follow the nouns they describe instead of coming before them, like they do in English. And object and reflexive pronouns like “him,” “themselves” and “us” must come before the verb in many cases.

But French can be a little more flexible, too, than English in the order of words in the sentence. In many cases you can even leave out the subject if the context and the ending of the verb make it clear who’s doing the action. And forming questions doesn’t often require moving around words and adding auxiliary words like “do” or “does” like English requires, though there are specific rules that must be learned.

Practicing French Grammar With Babbel

Learning French with French grammar exercises doesn’t have to be boring or anxiety-inducing at all. In fact, Babbel makes mastering French grammar interactive, engaging and much more fun!

Babbel’s French grammar exercises are designed to strengthen your skills in the four areas of language learning — reading, writing, speaking and listening — and make sure the content you’re learning is committed to your long-term memory. Helpful tips along the way help you reinforce what you’re learning by making connections in new ways. Try getting a handle on French grammar with a free Babbel French lesson!

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