Video:Learn the French Parts of Speechwith Jihad Masmoudi
Understanding French sentence structure will make fluency so much easier. Learn about the parts of speech in French and their sentence placement in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Learn the French Parts of Speech
Bonjour I'm Jihad for About.com and today we are talking about the parts of speech in French. These ideas and more can be found on our French site.
French Sentence Structure
There are eight basic parts of speech and today we're going to give you tools to understand how the different actors in grammar like nouns, adjectives, and verbs interact.
The Major Parts of Speech in French
The noun most of the time is the subject of your sentence, the thing or person who is doing the action. It is also the object, on what the action is performed. La petite fille mange une pomme. The little girl eats an apple. Girl and apple are the nouns in this sentence.
The verb is the action in the sentence, what is happening. In the previous example, La petite fille mange une pomme, the action is mange. (eats)
The adjective modifies the noun, that means that it gives you information about the noun. For example: La petite fille porte une robe rouge. The little girl wears a red dress. In this example, thanks to adjectives, we know that the girl is little and the dress is red.
The adverb modifies the verb, it has the same relationship with the verb that the adjective has with the noun. So the adverb gives you information about the verb which is most of the time an action. Je parle lentement pour les nouveaux étudiants. I speak slowly for the new students. We know thanks to the adverb how the teacher is speaking.
The Secondary Parts of Speech in French
In French the article is always located before the noun or the adjective if an adjective comes before the noun. Je parle lentement pour les nouveaux étudiants. I speak slowly for the new students. In French the article gives you information about the number, singular or plural, and the gender of the noun, feminine or masculine.
The pronoun is the substitute for the noun, in case you don't want to repeat it, or if for any reason you don't want to use the noun in the sentence: La petite fille mange une pomme et elle porte une robe rouge. The little girl eats an apple and she wears a red dress.
The preposition comes before a noun group, meaning the noun, maybe an article, and sometimes an adjective. Je parle lentement parce que les nouveaux étudiants sont à table. I speak slowly because the students are at the table.
The conjunction connects the sentence in parts, giving you the possibility to add more information to the sentence. Je parle lentement parce que les étudiants sont nouveaux. I speak slowly because the students are new. Parce que allows you to give the reason why you speak slowly.
For more helpful and excellent information on speaking and learning French, check us out at About.com.