French Study Card

Basic to Intermediate

In this section, you will find easy-to-understand explanations of each grammar table to help you get the most out of your French Study Card.

You will find explanations of the layout, the content, and the grammar points with examples.

If you come across an English grammar word you are not familiar with, such as pronoun, verb tense, etc., feel free to check the
 Glossary section on the website.

Remember that you can use your French Study Card with any textbook you may be using.

The French Study Card displays 40 independent tables with the most important grammar categories such as pronouns, possessives, adjectives, verb tenses, as well as keywords and expressions. 



The Subject Personal Pronouns, or LES PRONOMS SUJET, determine the use of these colours in the card.

There are three main colours used in the grammar charts, yellow, purple and green.


As you can see, the table has three colours with two shades, light and dark. The light column shows you the persons in the singular, and the dark column shows you the persons in the plural form.


Always think of the Subject Personal Pronouns as the persons or things that do the action. In English they are the words I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they.

They are divided into firstsecond and third person, in singular and plural.

Think of the persons in terms of priority. The first person is the most important to you. This pronoun includes you on your own, I, or with someone else, we. These are represented in light and dark yellow.

The second level of priority is the one you are talking to, you, in singular or in the plural. These persons are represented in light and dark purple.

The third most important person is whoever is not in the room, he, she, it, they, These persons are represented in light and dark green.


1st person: I – je

2nd person: you – tu

3rd persons: heshe and it – il, elle, on


1st person: we – nous

2nd person: you – vous

3rd person: they – ils, elles


*2nd person singular: you (formal)– vous

 *It also means you singular but in a formal way. You conjugate it like a plural but it has a singular meaning.

Note that French has masculine and feminine pronouns. In English, you use the word they, whether it’s a group of men or a group of women. In French, you need to use the specific word according to the gender, ils or elles.

Get familiar with the colour pattern so you can easily find the word or ending you need.

The section below is intended to be a general explanation of grammar created for you to understand the layout of your card, in order to take full advantage of it. By no means should this section be considered a course on its own.

  • Les Pronoms Suject (Subject Pronouns) are the persons who do the action or the persons being described.


 Je suis Marie. I’m Marie.

Il est tres gentil. He’s very kind.

Elle habite au Canada. She lives in Canada.

Nous avons deux enfants. We have two kids.

  • Je changes to j’ before a vowel.


J’aime Paris.

  • On means someoneyouthey, we, or one. It’s commonly used in spoken French. Remember that on is a third person singular. That means that in your card, you need to refer to the light green colour for verb endings, prepositions, and other colour coded elements which need a specific word.


On mange quoi ce soir? What do we eat tonight?

On peut se garer ici? Can you park here?

This is a very important verb which you will be using all the time. It is also used as an auxiliary verb or helping verb so make sure you know it very well.

  • Être literally means to be(The conjugated forms: am, is, are.)

  • Être will allow you to express many different things such as your name, your nationality, your mood, among other things.

  • It’s also an auxiliary verb (a helping word) which will help you form other tenses like the Past tense or Passé Composé.

Remember to refer to the colours in the table to find the word you need to use depending on which person you are using in your sentence.


Je suis étudiant. I’m a student.

Nous sommes français. We are French.

Il est là-bas.  He’s over there.

  • You will notice that there are a few to be expressions that use avoir in French instead of être.


to be cold – avoir froid

to be afraid – avoir peur

  • Les Articles Définis or the Definite Article,  is the name for the word the in English.

  • In French, there are three different words to say the. This all depends if the word you are referring to is masculine, feminine or plural.

  • The articles have to agree with the number and gender of the noun. That means that you need to pay attention if the word you are referring to is masculine, feminine singular or plural.

Remember that nouns are words like apple, car, house, book, etc. You can also have abstract nouns like time, space, air.

  • le is used with masculine singular nouns.


 le matin – the morning

  • la is used with feminine singular nouns.


la maison – the house

  • les is used with masculine and feminine nouns in the plural form.


les matins – the mornings

les maisons – the houses

  • l’ is used with a masculine or feminine noun in the singular form when the noun begins with a vowel.


 l’étudiant – the student

  • Les Articles Indéfinis or  Indefinite Articles are the equivalent of a/an in English.

  • In French, there is a masculine, feminine and a plural form des, which means some.

  • Just like les Articles Définis, they need to agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.

  • Un is used with masculine singular nouns.


un livre – a book

  • Une is used with feminine singular nouns.


une voiture – a car

  • Des is used with plural masculine or feminine nouns.


des livres – some books 

des voitures – some cars

  • Note that un and une change to de/ d’ in negative sentences.


Tu n’as pas de soeur. You don’t have a sister.

  • The Demonstratifs point at out a person, object, idea or point in time. In English, they are the words: this, that, these, those.

  •  In French, they must agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.

  • Ce is used with masculine singular nouns that begin in a consonant.


Ce livre. This or that book.

  • Cet is used with masculine nouns beginning with a vowel.


Cet étudiant.  This or that student.

  • Cette is used with feminine singular nouns.


Cette chaise. This chair.

  • Ces is used with masculine and feminine nouns in the plural form.


Ces livres. These / those books.

Ces chaises. These / those chairs.

  • To show the relative distance between the speaker and the object you are talking about, add the suffix -ci (for something close) and – (for something further away).


Ce livre –ci. This book. 

Cette chaise –là.  That chair.

  • They can be translated as some in English. They indicate an unknown quantity of something, usually things that you can’t count. They are also used in food or drink.

  • du is used with masculine singular nouns.


du lait – some milk

  • de la is used with feminine singular nouns.


de la viande – some meat

  • de l‘ is used with masculine or feminine nouns beginning with a vowel.


 de l’eau – some water

  • des is used with plural nouns in masculine or feminine.


Des pommes – some apples

  • Note that dude la and de l’ change to de/ d’ in negative sentences.


Je ne veux pas de viande. I don’t want any meat.

This table in your card displays the Possessive Adjectives in masculine and feminine in the singular and plural form.

  • They are the words used to indicate to whom or to what something belongs.

  • The possessive needs to agree with the noun that is possessed, in gender and number.

  • The colours in the Possessifs table will help you identify the word needed for a specific person (first, second, third; singular or plural). Remember that the light colours indicate the singular persons and the dark ones the plural persons.

  • M stands for masculine. F stands for feminine and PL stands for plural.

  • mon, ma, mes mean my in English for a masculine, feminine and plural noun respectively.


mon père – my father

ma mère – my mother

mes amis –my friends

  • ton, ta, tes your (singular).
  • son, sa, ses: his or her.
  • notre, notre, nosour.
  • votre, votre, vos: your (plural and singular formal).  
  • leur, leur, leurs: their in English.   
  • *ma, ta and sa change to mon, ton, son when the following word begins with a vowel sound.


Mon amie Claire. My friend Claire.

This table displays the Possessive Pronouns in masculine and feminine in the singular and plural forms.

  • They are the words used to indicate to whom or to what something belongs.

  • The possessive needs to agree with the noun that is possessed, in gender and number.

  • The difference between possessives 1 and 2 is that a noun does not follow these words. It may be implicit, or it has been used before.

  • In English, they are similar to the words: mine, yours, his, hers, etc.

  • The colours in the Possessifs table will help you identify the word needed for a specific person (first, second, third; singular or plural). Remember that the light colours indicate the singular persons and the dark ones the plural persons.

  • M stands for masculine. F stands for the feminine.

  • The plural in masculine and feminine is formed by adding les…s

  • le mien, la mienne, les miens, les miennes mean mine in English for masculine, feminine and plural in masculine and feminine nouns respectively.

  • le tien, la tienne, les tiens, les tiennes mean yours in singular.

  • le sien, la sienne, les siens, les tiennes mean his or hers.

  • le nôtre, la nôtre, les nôtres mean ours.

  • le vôtre, la vôtre, les vôtres mean yours (plural).   

  • le leur, la leur, les leurs mean theirs in English.   


C’est le chat de Claude; c’est le sienIt’s Claude’s cat; it’s his.

 AMes parents sont américains. My parents are American.

 B: Les miens aussi. Mine too.

  • This is a very common expression in French. It means there is and there are.


Il y a un piscine. There is a pool

Il y a une château. There is a castle.

Il y a des enfents. There are some kids. 

  • This is a great expression to practise les articles indéfinis. (un, une, des)

  • Negative form: Il n’y a pas.


Il n’y a pas d’enfants. There aren’t any kids.

  • Interrogative form: Est-ce qu’il y a. 


Est-ce qu’il y a un piscine? Is there a pool?

  • Les Présentatifs are impersonal expressions used to show or introduce someone or something

  • c’est is used with a singular noun.


C’est mon livre. It’s my book.

  • ce sont is used with a plural noun.


Ce sont mes amis . They’re my friends.

  • c’est is commonly used for describing something or giving an opinion.


C’est normal! That’s normal.

These words are very straightforward, you just need to place the interrogative words at the beginning of the question.


Quand veux-tu partir ? When do you want to leave?

Quel livre cherchez-vous? Which book are you looking for?

This table displays 36 common Adjectives. They are given in the singular masculine form.

  • Adjectives in French have a masculine and feminine form, singular and plural. As a general rule, add an –e when an adjective refers to a feminine noun. If it ends in an unaccented –e, then the feminine form is the same.


joli – C’est une jolie ville. It’s a pretty city.

difficile – Une journée difficile. A difficult day. 

  • To form the plural, add an –to the masculine or feminine adjective.


Les petits enfents.  The small children. 

  •  In adjectives that end in –eux or –oux, the plural masculine is the same. The feminine is formed with the ending –euse in singular and –euses in the plural.


Le garçon heureux. The happy boy.

Les garçons heureux. The happy boys.

La fille heureuseThe happy girl.

Les filles heureusesThe happy girls. 

This table in your card displays the six Reflexive Pronouns, each in its own colour to identify each person.

  • Reflexive pronouns are used when the action is done and received by the subject.

  • The meaning in English is me myself, te yourself, se himself, se herself, nous ourselvesvous yourselves (pl), se themselves.

  • More French verbs need the reflexive pronoun than English verbs.

  • You can identify a reflexive verb by the reflexive pronouns se, which is placed before the infinitive.

  • To conjugate the verb, you remove se and add the Pronom Réfléxif. You conjugate the verb according to the person.


Se lever – to wash/shower

Je me lave. I wash (myself).

  • If the verb begins with a vowel, you need to use m’t’ or s’.


s’appeler – to be called

Je m’appelle. I call myself / My name is

The centre pages have plenty of information on verbs. To take full advantage of the French Study Card, it’s important to understand the layout and colour-coded system.

The main topic in this page is the Present Tense. This page has an upper and lower U table. The upper section contains 19 VERBES RÉGULIERS.

In the centre of the page, you will find the regular endings for the er, –ir and re verbs for each person in the colour coded system:

Your table displays all the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in Present for –er, -ir and –re regular verbs. 90% of French verbs end in –er. Learn this conjugation very well and you’ll be able to conjugate most of the verbs.


  • You use the present tense to talk about habitscurrent situations, facts and near-future plans.


Qu’est-ce que tu fais? Je mangeWhat are you doing? I’m eating.

Je retourne à Dublin demain. I’m going back to Dublin tomorrow.

John habite à Londres. John lives in London. 

Je finis à 18 heures. I finish at 6PM.

To form the Present tense is quite easy:

  • First, you need to get the infinitive of the verb. Your French Card has a top U table with 19 regular verbs. They end in –er, –ir and –re.


parler – to speak

finir – to finish

vendre – to sell

  • Remove the infinitive ending-er, –ir or –re. You are now left with the present stem: parl-, fin-, vend-.

  • Finally, add the personal ending shown in the centre of the card, according to your type of verb and the person you want to use it with.



Je parl(I speak)

tu parles (you speak)

il/elle/ons parle (he/she/one speaks)

nous parlons (we speak)

vous parlez (you speak)

ils/elles parlent (they speak)

Use the table called FREQUÉNCE on your table, to form complete personal sentences.

Remember to practise them out loud.


The bottom U table has  15 VERBES IRRÉGULIERS. On each box, you will find the verb in French, and its meaning in English. The first box on the bottom U table indicates the six endings for each person to use with the irregular verbs:

Each box in the U table shows the verb, the meaning in English, and the stems of the verb in bold. The first stem is for the singular persons, and the second stem is for the plural persons.


To conjugate any irregular verb, add the endings on the red box in the bottom U table to the stems given in the irregular verb boxes:


partir – to leave

par– (stem for: I, you, he, she, it)

part– (stem for: we, you, they)

je pars

tu pars

il/elle/ons part

nous partons

vous partez

ils/elles partent


FALLOIR- IL FAUT This is an impersonal verb. This means that it only has one grammatical person, the third person singular.

  • You only need to add the verb in the infinitive form.


Il faut manger. It’s necessary to eat.

This table displays 7 of the most common and most irregular verbs in French. They are very common so you should know them well. Each conjugation is shown in the colour that corresponds to each person.

This table shows the pronouns used to emphasize a subject. They are displayed in the colour coded system for easy reference.

  • They’re used after c’est or ce sont.


C’est lui qui habite à ParisIt’s he who lives in Paris.

  • To emphasize the subject.


Moi, j’habite à Miami. I live in Miami. 

  • When a sentence has more than one subject or object.


Michèle et moi ne travaillons pas. Michelle and I don’t work.

  • After prepositions.


après lui – after him

avec elles – with them

sans moi – without me

  • To ask and answer questions.


Qui va a la piscine? MoiWho’s going to the pool? Me!

 J’ai faim, et toiI’m hungry, and you?

This table displays the demonstrative pronouns in masculine, feminine, neuter in singular and plural.

  • The pronouns in the singular form mean this one, that one.

  • The pronouns in plural can mean these, those.

  • They replace a noun mentioned before, and they have to agree in gender and number with the noun they replace.

  • If you want to make it clear whether the nouns are near or far, you can add the suffix –ci (here, nearby)and – (there, far away)to the pronoun.


Quel film veux-tu voir? Celui-ciWhich film do you want to watch? This one? 

This table displays the Direct and Indirect Objects in the colour coded system.

  • The Direct or Indirect Object pronouns go before a conjugated verb.

  • If the verb affected by the person or thing doesn’t have a preposition after it, it’s a direct object.


J’ai mangé la pomme. I ate the apple.

Je l’ai mangé. I ate it. I ate it.

  • If the verb affected by the person or thing has a preposition after it, it’s an indirect object.


Est-ce que tu parles à ta voisine? Do you speak to your neighbour?

Oui, je lui parle. Yes, I speak to her. 

This table shows different ways of negating in French.

  • In French, a negative is normally made of two parts.

  • The word that you want to negate usually goes between the two parts.


Je ne fume pasI don’t smoke.

Je ne mange jamais de la viande. I never eat meat.

Je ne cherche personneI’m not looking for anyone.

The main topic in this page is the Passé Composé.

This page has an upper and lower U table. The upper section contains 14 verbs that are conjugated with être. The bottom U table has  19 verbs that are conjugated with avoir.

In the top U table, you will find infinitive verbs in French, aller. Their past participle underlined: allé, and their meaning in English, to go.

In the bottom U table, you’ll find infinitive verbs that are conjugated with avoir. The ending of the verb is underlined, manger, and the meaning is given in English, to eat.

In the centre of the page, you will find the regular endings for Passé Composé for the –er, –ir and –re verbs for each person in the colour-coded system:

  • This Passé Composé is used to express that an action in the past has been completed.


Tu es allée à Paris. You went to Paris.

  • The Passé Compossé is formed with the present form of être or avoir and the particple of the verb.

  • Most of the verbs are used with avoir. It’s best to memorise the verbs used with être.  Remember that the top U table gives you the verbs to use with êtreAnd the bottom U table displays some verbs you can use with avoir.

Forming the Past Participle of the verb:

  • To get the participle of the regular verbs, check if your verb ends in: –er, –ir or –re.


parler – to speak

finir – to finish

vendre – to sell

  • If it ends in er, remove the ending and add é.

  • If it ends in ir, remove the ending and add i.

  • If it ends in re, remove the ending and add u.


parler – parl + é = parlé

finir – fin + i = fini

vendre – vend + u = vendu

  • Irregular participles have to be memorised. Your card has a table called Irregular Past Participles with 24 verbs with their participle form.

Forming the Passé Composé with être:

  • Conjugate être in the present and add the participle of the main verb. The conjugation of être is in your card in the front page.

  • When you use the Passé Composé with être, the past participle needs to agree with the subject. You have to add –e if the subject is feminine and –s if the subject is plural.


Elles sont arrivés au restaurant. They arrived at the restaurant.

Elle est restée dans sa chambre. She stayed in her room.

Tu es allée à Paris (the person is a woman). You went to Paris. 

  • All reflexive verbs use être as the auxiliary verb to conjugate in the Passé Composé.


Je me suis lavée. I washed myself. 

Use the time expressions in the table called EXPRIMER LE PASSÉ to create longer sentences.

Forming the Passé Composé with avoir:

  • Conjugate avoir in present and add the participle of the main verb. The conjugation of avoir is on your card in the present section.


J’ai parléI spoke.

Nous avons finiWe finished.

Tu as venduYou sold.


This table displays 24 irregular Past Participles.

  • Conjugate the auxiliary avoir in the present, and add the irregular participle. The participle doesn’t have to agree with the subject.


J’ai eu une voiture. I had a car.

Elle a bu le café. She drank the coffee.

This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the Imperfect.

  • To form the Imperfect, you need to get the stem from the verb conjugated in the present with nous. Remove ons and add the imperfect ending from your table:

finir– to finish

nous finissons – we finish

finiss +

  • The Imperfect is used to express the repetition of an action in the past. The beginning and end of the action are not indicated.


L’année dernière, je travaillais avec Pierre. Last year I was working with Pierre.

  • It’s used for habitual actions. In sentences where used to is used in English.


J’étudais le Français à l’école. I used to study French at school.

  • To describe weather, time, age and feelings.


Il faisait chaud pendant l’été l’année dernière. It was hot during the summer last year.

Il était trois heures. It was three o’clock. 

Quand j’avais 10 ans. When I was 10 years old.

J’avais très faim hier. I was very hungry yesterday.

  • To express that two actions were happening at the same time in the past.


Pendant que tu étudiais, je regardais la télé. While you were studying, I was watching t.v.

This table displays all the conjugated forms for the verb être in Imperfect.

The verb être in Imperfect can’t be formed like the other verbs with the verb conjugated in the present with nous. This is an irregular verb, and you have to memorise it.


 Il était à la banque. He was at the bank. 

Tu étais un enfant sage? Were you a well-behaved child? 

This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in the conditional.

  • Would is the form used in English for the conditional. In French, there’s no word for would, so you need to use the following endings to form it.

  • To form the conditional, you need to add the endings on your table to the –ar and –ir verbs in Infinitive. For the –re verbs, remove the –e.

parler, finir, vendr +

Je parlerais  I would talk

tu finirais – you would finish

elle vendrait – she would sell

  • Some verbs have irregular stems. These are given in the table called IRREGULAR STEM IN FUTURE AND CONDITIONAL, at the back of your card.  You just need to add the endings to the stems given.


Je serais disponible si les conditions étaient plus favorables. I would be available if the conditions were  favourable.

  • The Conditional is commonly used to express polite requests.


Je voudrais de l’eau minérale, s’il vous plaît. I’d like mineral water, please. 

This table displays the endings needed to conjugate the verbs in Future.

  • The Future tense is used to indicate that an action will happen in the future.


Je te téléphonerai la semaine prochaine. I will call you next week. 

  • To form the Future, you need to add the endings to the –ar and –ir verbs in Infinitive. For the –re verbs, remove the last –e.

parler, finir, vendr +

Je parlerai  I will talk

tu finiras – you will finish

nous vendrons – we will sell

  • The future form is used with temporal conjunctions such as quand (when), dès que (as soon as), aussitôt que (as soon as), tant que (as long as).


Quand il voyagera en France, il mangera beaucoup de fromage. When he travels (will travel)  to France, he will eat a lot of cheese. 

  • Some verbs have irregular stems. These are given in the table called IRREGULAR STEM IN FUTURE AND CONDITIONAL, at the back of your card.  You just need to add the endings to the stems given.


Nous aurons bientôt notre propre maison. We will soon have our own house. 


  • You can use the time expression in the table called FUTUR EXPRESSIONS, to create complete sentences.

This table displays the verb aller conjugated, needed to form the Futur Proche.

  • The Futur Proche is used to express something that’s going to happen soon.

  • It’s formed with the present tense of aller + the infinitive of the main verb.


Elle va chanterShe’s going to sing. 

Nous allons travaillerWe’re going to work.

Ils vont voir Jerome. They’re going to see Jerome. 

  • Remember to use the time expressions that are in the table called FUTUR EXPRESSIONS at the back of your card.


Ils vont voir Jerome demain matin. They’re going to see Jerome tomorrow morning. 

Unlike English, nouns in French have a masculine and feminine gender. Some endings and categories can follow a pattern; however, there might be a few exceptions, so it’s advisable to learn the noun with an article.

This table in your card displays some masculine and feminine endings.

Masculine: –age

le fromage (the cheese)

Feminine: –ure

la chaussure (the shoe)

In French, some verbs are followed by the prepositions à or de. This table displays 12 common verbs with the prepositions.


Je vais téléphoner à Richard. I’m going to call Richard. 

Je joue de la guitare. I play the guitar.

  • The  Participle Présent refers to the ing form of a verb. However, in French, it’s used differently in English.

  • To express the Progressive form, use the Present simple instead.


He’s sleeping. Il dort or Il est en train de dormir.

  • Instead of the gerund, French uses the infinitive of the verb or a noun.


I love cycling. J’adore le cyclisme.

I love dancing. J’aime danser.

  • Use the Participe Présent with the preposition en to express that two actions are happening at the same time.


Claude s’est endormi en regardant la télévision. Claude fell asleep while watching the television. 

Paul écoute de la musique en faisant ses devoirs. Paul  listens to music while doing his homework. 

  • To form the Participe Présent, remove the ons ending from a conjugated verb in the present with nous, and add ant.


nous parlons

parl + ant = parlant

Il mange en parlantHe eats while he talks.

  • There are three verbs that have irregular conjugations:

être – étant

avoir – ayant

savoir – sachant

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