French Grammar Guide for non-francophones


Questions about Capitalization

Q: Should I write français or Français?

It depends. When you are referring to a language that is spoken, do not use a capital letter, for example, je parle le français; elle étudie l'anglais. However, if you are referring to a person then a capital is necessary, e.g.: on dit que les Français adorent le pain; je connais un Anglais d'Angleterre. The tricky part is that if you use an adjective referring to a person, it does NOT take a capital letter. For example, mon professeur est français, ma voisine est anglaise. As such, if the word is preceded by être it should probably begin with a lower case letter.

Q: Why is it Paul arrive vendredi and NOT Paularrive Vendredi?

Names of the week are not capitalized in French.

Q: Why is it Joseph pense que je suis gentil and NOT Joseph pense que Je suis gentil?

The word je is only capitalized at the beginning of sentence.


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