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French Grammar Practice: Top Tips and Resources

No matter how many words you learn, no matter how good your accent, if you don’t have a good understanding of French grammar, then you will never be able to truly master the language. The good news is that it’s not as hard as it first appears, so if you’re in need of some French grammar practice, look no further.

In this article, we’re going to delve into the most complex parts of French grammar, as well as give you all the tips and tricks you need to help you get the hang of it.

Where to start with French grammar practice

The key to learning French grammar is knowing the main differences between your native language and the French language, and then learning the most difficult areas. This should be your starting point.

Gendered nouns

In English, words are just words. What do I mean by that? I mean that they don’t have a gender. Nouns simply have a name, like a chair, a bag or a song. In French, on the other hand, nouns are gendered. Instead of a simple indefinite article like “a” or “an”, they have either a masculine article, “un” or feminine “une”. When referring to a specific object, we must use definite articles, like “the” in English. In French, this becomes “le” for masculine nouns, “la” for feminine nouns, and ”les” for plural nouns.

In the example below, masculine nouns are in blue, while feminine nouns are in red:

  • Le chat est entré dans la maison et s’est endormi sur le sol, près de la cheminéeThe cat went into the house and fell asleep on the floor, near the fireplace

Giving objects and abstract ideas a gender seems completely nonsensical to English-speakers, which is why it’s one of the most important aspects of French grammar to learn right from the get-go.

Gender agreement

In the English language, adjectives do not change according to who they are being used to describe. The same goes for verbs, as under no circumstances must we modify a verb depending on the subject’s gender. This is not the case in French, where the verb and adjective must agree with not only human subjects, but all gendered nouns. In the following examples, you will see the difference between the adjectives or verbs, in bold, depending on the gender of the nouns.

  • La fille brune et le garçon brun The brown-haired girl and the brown-haired boy
  • La femme est allée dans un magasin et l’homme est allé dans un autre – The woman went into one shop, and the man went into another
  • Il y a un tapis vert sur une moquette verte There is a green rug on a green carpet

Object complements

One of the hardest parts of the French language is without a doubt the direct object complement agreement, you may have heard of this referred to as a “COD”. The complement d’objet direct is the direct object of a verb, which can be identified by asking what? or whom? in relation to the verb.

What makes this area of grammar so mind-boggling is that the past participle of a verb must agree in gender and number with the direct object if it is a pronoun, and also if the direct object is a noun, but only when it comes before the verb in the sentence. I warned you it was confusing, didn’t I?

Let’s look at a few examples:

Original sentence 1

  • J’ai acheté la robe – I bought the dress

With COD pronoun

  • Je l’ai achetée – I bought it

Original sentence 2

  • J’ai vu les livres – I saw the books

With COD pronoun

  • Je les ai vus – I saw them

Original sentence 3

  • J’ai vu la voiture rouge – I saw the red car

With COD noun before the verb

  • Je l’ai vue – I saw the red one

French conjugation

Finally, when it comes to French grammar practice, we must talk about the basis of all grammar: verbs and conjugation. The French language has 4 moods: the indicative, subjunctive, imperative and conditional. Within these moods there are 13 tenses. On top of all that, there are over 200 irregular verbs which don’t follow the usual conjugation rules. These verbs don’t follow conjugation patterns, sometimes have unique stems, and often have irregular past participle forms, making them far more difficult than regular verbs, but extremely important to learn.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out this article with tips and resources for mastering French conjugation.

Now that we’ve touched on the trickiest parts of French grammar, are you ready to find out how you can become a grade A French student?

How to study French grammar with online resources

French grammar practice using social media

Since the launch of Facebook in the early 2000s, social media has not stopped growing. Nowadays, not a day goes by that you don’t hear about a TikTok trend or Instagram post. Why not make the most of the social media craze to help you learn French grammar?

From language nerds to experienced teachers, native speakers to French-fanatics, there are all kinds of influencers creating content every day, which can help you expand your knowledge. Try bitesize lessons on YouTube shorts or TikTok, or fun and informative reels on Instagram, to learn the key grammar rules and put them into practice.

Play games for French grammar practice

There’s no better way to learn a language than by having fun. When an activity is enjoyable, it triggers the release of dopamine, which enhances neural connections and facilitates information processing in the brain, thus improving your memory. That basically means that having fun while learning makes it not only a more positive experience, making you want to continue learning and motivating you, but it also enhances retention, resulting in remembering what you’ve learned more easily.

Playing games doesn’t mean you need to whip out Trivial Pursuit in French; that could put anyone off learning French grammar. Rather, download some French apps that are designed to help you learn while having fun.

Clozemaster is just one example of an app and website made with the user in mind. The simple concept of fill-the-gap sentences with multiple-choice questions can get you started with French grammar. After that, you will be ready to move on to writing full sentences, listening to the radio function and testing out other modes of play. The game-like interface makes the whole app feel fun and lighthearted, all while teaching you the essential parts of the language.

There are a multitude of apps for learning French grammar and vocabulary, so why not try a few and see which one suits you?

Audio resources for French grammar practice

You may have heard that one of the fastest ways to learn French is by listening. This is because no matter how much you practice speaking, reading, or writing, you will still struggle to have a real-life conversation in French if you haven’t worked on your listening skills. You may be wondering how listening abilities are related to learning grammar. Well, the two are not intrinsically linked, however, listening is still an amazing way to learn a new skill.

Passive learning, where you listen to an audio file without responding, and sometimes without even understanding it, is a way of learning with minimal effort. There are many grammar lessons available online, on podcasts, or CDs. You can put your earphones in and listen to these educational courses while you’re busy doing other things, or even as you fall asleep at night.

Passive listening isn’t the best way to learn grammar when practiced on its own, but it’s a great complement to other learning techniques to reinforce what you’ve already learned, or clarify any difficult areas of grammar.

French grammar practice with online friends

While you may not be able to walk out into the street and make friends with a native French person, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make French friends. You should take advantage of social networks to get to know other students and native French speakers to exchange knowledge and chat in French. They can help correct your grammar, and in exchange you can help them improve their English.

French grammar practice: the old-fashioned way


Do you remember using textbooks and grammar workbooks when you were in school? These kinds of books tell you the grammar rules and then provide French grammar exercises for you to practice what you’ve learned. This is a great way to reinforce each rule, but it does require discipline, because it’s easy for books to sit on a shelf gathering dust. One way to combat this is by setting a daily reminder on your phone to encourage you to sit down and study for 10 minutes every day.


Have you ever read an article about language learning that didn’t mention flashcards? There’s a good reason for that: Flashcards are awesome. If you’re wondering how to learn grammar using flashcards, simply write a sentence on one side containing a grammatical structure, and then write its explanation on the other side. Regularly review the cards and quiz yourself by playing flashcard games.

Flashcards are a simple yet effective way to tackle the toughest parts of French grammar; you can practice subjunctive French, relative pronouns, reflexive verbs and much more.

Find a pen pal

Having a pen pal is one of the oldest ways to learn a foreign language. This relationship, where two people communicate only via letters, is often used to practice reading and writing in a foreign language. Thanks to this written correspondence, people have been forming genuine friendships with pen friends for decades while learning a language and being introduced to a new country, culture and lifestyle. With the development of modern technology, pen pals have become less popular, but you can still find a language exchange partner by joining a dedicated penfriend website.

Top tips for French grammar practice

  1. Use a variety of resources: Download apps, play games, use textbooks, and more. Taking advantage of the resources available to you and using several different ones concurrently will maximize your learning potential.
  2. Stay motivated: It’s easy to be disheartened by the complex grammatical structures of French grammar, but if you take it one step at a time you will be conjugating verbs in the pluperfect tense and using the subjunctive mood in no time. Try to remember why you started out learning the French language, and remind yourself of the advantages of learning grammar. This should motivate you to carry on learning until you achieve your goals.
  3. Keep sessions short and focused: Short study periods lead to higher concentration and better retention. Choose one specific grammar rule, learn it, and practice it. Don’t spread yourself thin trying to tackle many different subjects at once, as this could lead to you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
  4. Have fun: At the end of the day, you’ve chosen to study French grammar, so you might as well enjoy yourself in the process. Playing games and meeting like-minded people are a great way to be entertained while learning French.
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