French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

CONJUNCTIONS (e.g.: et, mais, ou)

An Overview of Conjunctions

Conjunctions are used to link two similar grammatical structures. For example, et links two nouns (mon frère et ma soeur), while que links two verb phrases (je veux que tu viennes).

Here are some points to keep in mind when writing with conjunctions:

et  ("and"):

  • do not confuse this with est, which is a form of the verb être;
  • when using a conjoined structure, like moi et mon frère ..., the following verb should be in the "nous" form (e.g.: Moi et mon frère arrivons demain).

mais ("but"):

  • make sure it is preceded by a comma.

que ("that"):

  • unlike English, this is required after verbs like savoir, vouloir, croire, etc.

si ("if"):

  • if it is followed by il or ils, write s' (e.g.: s'il vous plaît);
  • do not use the conditional after si (use the imperfect, the present or the future instead).

ou ("or"):

  • this word means "or". Don't confuse it with , which means "where".


Alors, Donc, Enfin, Cependant, Pourtant:

  • When used at the beginning of a sentence, these words should be followed by a comma.
Verb conjugation:
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