The Intricacies Of French Grammar

It’s common knowledge that French is considered by many as the most romantic language in the world, and its popularity has led to a lot of people learning several words here and there. It is a safe bet that you know the French word Oui and its meaning. The same goes for Merci and Bonjour. Unfortunately, random words and phrases will do you no good if you find yourself in a situation where you need to communicate with a native French speaker; if you are really serious about the French language, you need to be able to speak in conversational French, and to do so, you need to learn French grammar.

I know that it can be hard mastering another language’s intricacies, especially since there are Americans who are having trouble mastering the grammar of their own language, much less a foreign one. But as they used to say, hardship is good for the soul. If you take the extra time and effort to master one of the best languages in the world, the results will be worth it. To set you off on the right track, here are some examples of how French grammar works:

When it comes to nouns, French nouns are given their own specific article depending on their gender; “le” is for the male article while “la” represents the female noun. However, there are certain nuances involved in this grammar rule. Particularly when it comes to the plural form of both male and female nouns. In this case, both “le” and “la” are pluralized as “les”, which means “the women” becomes “les femmes” and at the same time, “the men” becomes “les hommes”. Additionally, when a noun begins with a silent “H” or a vowel, both “la” and “le” will become simply “l’”. For example, “the shade” is “l’ombre” and “the bee” is “l’abeille”.

The French language places a lot of emphasis on gender, to the point that even their indefinite articles will denote it. For example, “a building” is “un batiment” and “a house is “une maison” – with “un” being a male article, while “une” represents female”. The article “some” on the other hand, is always “des” regardless of gender. For example, “des femmes” for some women and “des hommes” for some men.”

In a way, this extra emphasis on genders makes the French language a lot more concise and more efficient than other languages. Whereas simply saying “the kid” will leave the child’s gender vague, its French equivalent would require the speaker to denote the gender firsthand; “le gosse” if the kid is male, and “la gosse” if she is female.

These quirks in the French language are barely the tip of the iceberg, which just goes to show how fun it is to learn French. Add the fact that they can be quite useful especially if you plan on taking a month’s long trip to Paris, where you will need to converse with native French speakers if you plan on going outside of your hotel and befriending the locals.

Next Post »