The Everything French Grammar Book
eBook - ePub

The Everything French Grammar Book

All the Rules You Need to Master Français

Laura K Lawless

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  1. 304 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The Everything French Grammar Book

All the Rules You Need to Master Français

Laura K Lawless

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About This Book

The Everything French Grammar Book provides readers with easy-to-follow lessons on the rules, syntax, and sentence structure of the French language. From punctuation to pronouns, this handy reference walks readers through the basics of proper French speaking. Step-by-step instruction, fun reinforcement exercises, and clever mnemonic clues help readers master conjugation, tense use, and sentence structure quickly! Complete with verb charts, The Everything French Grammar Book is the perfect reference for the Gallic enthusiast.

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Chapter 1

Introduction to French

LEARNING FRENCH IS not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be extremely interesting and worthwhile. Whether you want to visit French-speaking countries, chat with native speakers who live nearby, or just learn more about the world, being able to speak French well will definitely make the experience more enjoyable.

French Language Classification

French is a Romance language, although that's not why it's called the language of love. In linguistic terms, “Romance” comes from the word Roman and simply means “from Latin.” The complete language family classification of French is Indo-European > Italic > Romance. Here are some things to know about the language classification of French:
  • Indo-European is the largest language family and contains most European, American, and Asian languages, including Latin, Greek, Gaelic, Polish, and Hindi.
  • Italic basically refers to Latin.
  • Romance languages are originally from Western Europe, although due to colonization, some of them are found all over the world. French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are all Romance languages.
Since Romance languages are all descended from Latin, they tend to be similar in many ways to one another. If you have already studied another Romance language, you will find that some French concepts are very easy for you because you already learned about them when studying a previous language.


How does the classification of English compare to that of French? The classification of English is Indo-European >Germanic> Western.

French Speakers

French is an official language in dozens of countries as well as in numerous immigrant communities in the United States and around the world. French is the second most commonly taught second language in the world, after English. French is the official language in:
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Central African Republic
  • Ivory Coast
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre)
  • France and its overseas territories
  • Gabon
  • Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, and Vaud (Swiss districts)
  • Guinea
  • Luxembourg
  • Mali
  • Monaco
  • Niger
  • Quebec (Canadian province)
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Senegal
  • Togo
French is one of two or more official languages in Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Switzerland, and Vanuatu.
French is also important, though not the official language, in a number of other countries. Whether as an administrative, commercial, or international language, or due to the reality of a considerable French-speaking population, French is also found in Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Dominica, Egypt, Greece, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, India, Italy (Valle d'Aosta), Laos, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Poland, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom (Channel Islands), United States (Louisiana, New England), Vatican City, and Vietnam.
All in all, in 1999, French was the 11th most common first language in the world, though the number of speakers is a little difficult to pin down. According to the Ethnologue Report, there are 77 million first language speakers and 51 million second language speakers. The Rapport sur l'état de la Francophonie dans le monde breaks the figures down a little differently, with 113 million Francophones (people who speak French fluently and regularly), 61 million “occasional” Francophones (who liv...

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