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I'm a beginning learner and I'm looking for recommendations on a book or site with super-simple to understand French grammar rules. The thing is a lot of sources say stuff like "like an infinitive in English" but my English grammar is weak. I learnt English grammar intuitively so I have no clue about the terminology which makes technical French grammar books confusing. Any tips? Is there a source that explains the English a little bit and then moves on to the French?

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4 Answers 4

I like french.about.com, but I prefer using a French grammar book. I propose 2 books which I use everyday along with my main Café crème textbook.

C'est tout.

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Is the Dummies because really good or just okay? –  verve Jul 26 '13 at 23:53
    
@verve I believe that it's okay just for starting French. By these kinds of books learners are able to know a way and use the experiences of others. I suggest that after beginning, when you understood the basics, start using a native French grammar book and also use these books along with a main textbook. As I said, I am participating in a French class that our main books are Café crème book series. Bon courage! –  Mohsen Gh. Aug 3 '13 at 7:44
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@verve: My personnal feeling is that the Dummies one is not very good but you can try it online - won't have the sound of course. You can also try the BBC online course starting with the beginners' course. Among the online free resources there's also Bonjour de France, but all explanations are in French, even for beginners. –  Laure Apr 28 at 14:47

If you want to learn the basic grammatical terminology in English, you can simply type, for instance, infinitive into this very trusted dictionary, and you will thus be able to read a very simple explanation of the term you've been looking for.

Another site which explains, in very accessible terms, words such as infinitive, is this self-titled glossary.

Moving on to French, this online grammatical compendium may be the best starting point for any beginning learner like you.

And, of course, this site, where you will always have a decent explanation for everything else.

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You may have a look at http://www.frenchspanishonline.com it is free, there is a tutor to help you, you can drop him a line, many audio files and videos. The grammar part is really easy to understand and a ton of French expressions.

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If you need a grammar-based approach without too many phrases such as "personal pronouns" or "infinitive" without reminder of what it is, then try:

Lessons build on each other, and have:

  • explanations
  • audio
  • practice texts

Give it a go. Other sites based on "gamification" are: bussu.com, babbel.com, duolingo.com.

For flashcards I HIGHLY recommend quizlet.com.

Good luck! Learning a language is a long journey :) Enjoy it, don't force yourself!

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