Gentle French: French grammar as native speakers...
Gentle French: French grammar as native speakers really use it
Gentle French: French grammar as native speakers...
I am a professional writer in English and I speak fluent French. By fluent, I mean that I can carry on a conversation for hours at a time without ever being at a loss for words. You have probably heard that French is a difficult language to learn. The bad news is, unfortunately this is correct. The good news is, it is much easier to learn if properly approached. Much easier. If your objective is mainly to speak rather than to create chefs-d’oeuvres littéraires, then I believe you will find this book of considerable help.Objectively, English is an easier language than French because of its demonstrably simpler grammar. But don’t be misled. Certain characteristics of French are simpler than their equivalents in English. By rejoicing in French’s simplicities rather than focusing on its complexities, learning the language can be made more rapid and more enjoyable than you might have expected. Structurally, Gentle French is designed to achieve two principal objectives:1. Emphasize those characteristics of French that make it easier than English2. Simplify the undeniable complexities of French as much as humanly possible, particularly in terms of how native speakers think about their language when they are actually using it. We are all familiar with grammar books that enunciate a rule, then list 5 -10 exceptions where it doesn’t apply. It is facetiously said that in French, the exception is the rule. However, looked at properly, many of these so-called “exceptions” do follow the rule, or come closer to following it than their formal grammatical description might suggest. Exceptions are the principal factor that makes learning a language difficult. Separating “false exceptions” from real ones therefore should make the task considerably easier, which this book diligently tries to do.As another way to maximize understanding, Gentle French keeps grammatical terminology to an absolute minimum – and in fact changes it when conventional terminology would hinder understanding, rather than helping it. To achieve its objectives, the book is divided into five parts.1. The Psychology of Learning French This section proposes the proper psychological approach to learning French, and suggests a number of pedagogical artifices to make learning easier and more enjoyable.2. Seven Ways French Is Easier than English This section looks at the basic structure and logic of French to highlight fundamental features of French that are demonstrably easier than they are in English. 3. Essentials of French GrammarThis section looks at how the principles enunciated in Parts 1 & 2 work in practice. Constant emphasis is placed on the regularities of French and its similarities to English. To this end, it introduces a new way of categorizing grammar: 1) foundational grammar, 2) explicative grammar, 3) decorative grammar. 4. ParticularitiesThis section examines particular problems English speakers encounter in learning French, such as pronominal verbs, verbs conjugated with être instead of avoir, use of c’est, use of chez, silent letters, etc. It also suggests logical — or at least psychological — ways of dealing with these problems.5. Ready ReferenceThis section is a compendium of key reference materials such as basic grammatical terminology, conjugation of key irregular verbs, true friends (vrais amis), false friends (faux amis), common idiomatic expressions, special problems between French and English, etc. In short, the purpose of the book is to help you think in French, so you will better understand what is going on in the mind of native French speakers when words are actually coming out of their mouths. It is only when you truly begin to think like a Francophone that you can truly begin to speak like one.

Book Details


  • Educational
  • Nonfiction

Age Level: 

  • Adult
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