French Grammar Guide for non-francophones


Questions about Spelling

Q: Why is it le mois d'avril and NOT le moi d'avril?

The word moi means "me"; the word mois means "month" (this word is both singular and plural).

Q: Can I write belle soeur?

Yes, but only if you mean "beautiful sister". If you mean "stepsister" or "sister-in-law", then write belle-soeur with a hyphen.

Q: Why is it recevoir and NOT reçevoir?

Only use the cedilla to make an "s" sound before the letters "a", "o" and "u" (e.g.: reçu); it is never found before "i", "y" or "e" as in recevoir).

Q: Why is it ça me dérange and NOT sa me dérange?

The word sa means "his/hers"; use ça (or cela) to mean "that".

Q: Why is it je peux t'aider and NOT je peu t'aider?

The word peu means "few"; the je form of pouvoir is peux.

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