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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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Week 4: Introducing grammar – what does French look like?

Introduction

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Figure 1 What does French look like?

Welcome to Week 4! By now you are hopefully feeling quite confident that you will be able to tackle learning French. You have thought about what learning French involves, with an overview of spotting words that you already know and learning new ones. You have read about the range of skills that language learners develop. You have also seen that there are a lot of cultural elements that are not only essential to ‘getting things right’ but interesting to learn in their own right.

There is one aspect of language learning that many people find challenging, however, and that is grammar. This difficulty often stems from the way it was taught at school. This week you are going to have a look at French grammar, and you’ll find it doesn’t have to be a chore, but it’s rather more like a tool to empower you. Knowing the right vocabulary is of course highly important, but if you can’t assemble words together into sentences, you won’t be able to communicate in French. Grammar is the set of principles that provides structure to language. Some of these principles are similar in different languages; others are very different. This week you will get a taster of what learning French grammar is like.