I was curious about resources (in particular free internet resources) that other people use on this site to research their answers to French usage/grammar questions. I am primarily interested in reputable references beyond what a basic Google search could yield.

I found these (several are overlapping in scope):

For frequency of usage of words, expressions in books:

This one is the "ultimate" for usage, but it is not free. There is an online version too:

This is one that all students in France know about, mostly for conjugations, but it now covers orthography and grammar too:

This one is a free resource geared towards learning French, containing exercises, dictionaries, conjugation tools and more:

A list of words that can be used for computer processing:

A "lexique" with some statistical data:

Scanned dictionaries, including old ones:

  • dicfro
    40 online searchable dictionaries including 18 Old French dictionaries.

  • Gallica The digital library for online users of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and its partners. To this days it has more than 6 million digitized materials of various types: books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, cartoons, drawings, prints, posters, maps, manuscripts, antique coins, scores, theater costumes and sets, audio and video materials. All library materials are freely available.

  • La Grande Grammaire du Français
    Published in 2021. Includes data from contemporary written French, but also data from spoken corpora and regional or non standard French. Throughout the grammar, a simple phrase structure grammar is used, in order to maintain a common representation.
    Print and online subscription (many institutions will have subscribed)

What other similar resources exist out there? In particular, I am interested in resources/data about the frequency of usage of words, expressions, etc. in France.

  • 2
    I don't post answers, but: (a) littre.reverso.net/dictionnaire-francais (b) linguee.fr (c) fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionnaire:Page_d%E2%80%99accueil
    – Catomic
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 16:57
  • @Catomic - thanks - I'll add some of your links to my post so it's easily visible for people coming to this page.
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 17:05
  • 1
    Is it possible to make wiki posts on French SE ? This one could be a good subject. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 19:18
  • @TeleportingGoat - please upvote if you like the question :-)
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 19:50
  • 1
    Resources lists are not questions and should be wiki answers on Meta. The list should be classified by type or resource and preferably with a description.
    – None
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 9:01

6 Answers 6


Great idea !

I think you have absolutely to add https://www.projet-voltaire.fr/

As a french, I personally used it when I have doubt

  • 1
    Legit and useful - adding it :-)
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 19:51
  • 1
    I think Frank should refrain from adding this private (for profit) resource to his list.
    – GAM PUB
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 17:46
  • After reading your comment, I would said that's wrong because Projet Voltaire had some blog article that talk about somes common mistakes as " ça / ca / sa " or " à / a " and more exemples, but I searched those articles and they seem to not exist anymore, so if you want to delete this ressource, I will be totally agree. You can replace it with francaisfacile.com
    – shudent
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 18:30
  • Hmmm - yeah, if it's for profit, it's not too great. I'll probably replace with francaisfacile.com then. Thanks for letting me know.
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 18:52
  • As a french? I think private here is no good.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 20:32

I use a number of the resources you listed as well, perhaps most often Linguee.

I'm sure you're aware of this because of its prominence on Google searches, but my personal list also includes WordReference. It has a few very helpful features, including easily disambiguated definitions that differ by part of speech, precise sense, formality level, etc., as well as frequent collocations. Most entries also include a link to one or more forum posts at the bottom where people of varying closeness to the language offer their opinions on grammar and usage questions. It also includes the Collins dictionary, pronunciation, and conjugation ready to hand. One of the weak points in its reliability is its example sentences, though. Since you mentioned that you're looking for resources that deal with usage in particular, the number of WR forum posts about a given entry can be a good indicator, in my experience, for estimating the appropriateness of a particular term, and perusing a few threads and taking the average opinion in them can help balance out any one site's analysis of a question.

Of course, the principle of taking large samples from a wide variety of sources and gleaning any consistencies you can find after cancelling out the nonsense applies no matter the resource. :)

I'm not sure if you have to deal with technological subjects in your French usage, but I also find Microsoft's bidirectional Language Portal a handy reference for frequent computer terms. They have a bunch of variations of each term listed by program.

  • I have added WordReference.
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 3:29

La nouvelle version du DVLF vient de sortir : https://dvlf.uchicago.edu

Voici l'annonce qu'a fait l'équipe :

The ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago is delighted to announce the release of version 2.0 of the Dictionnaire Vivant de la Langue Française (DVLF). The DVLF is an experiment in French community lexicography. While the DVLF offers many traditional lexicographical resources, including definitions from several historical French dictionaries, it also allows users to add words, definitions, usage examples, and other types of information to the site. Additionally, the DVLF features a tool that provides users the opportunity to vote on the perceived quality of example sentences taken from the project's corpus and, in the process, rank the examples in real time.

The new version of the DVLF offers a much improved service with faster performance, new collocation and associated words data, expanded examples, and a new responsive web UI. We invite you to visit the site, and we welcome your feedback at [email protected].

Thank you,

The DVLF Development Team (Tim Allen, Charles Cooney, Clovis Gladstone) and ARTFL (Dir. Robert Morrissey, Asst. Dir. Mark Olsen)

Je n'ai pas trop utilisé cette ressource, mais après avoir fait un premier essai je crois qu'elle sera utile.

  • Très clair avec beaucoup d’exemples d’emplois contemporains qui ouvrent l’accès à un langage soutenu
    – Personne
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 8:56

Je crois que aucun n'a mentionné le site Orthonet.


Je le trouve vraiment super.

  • 1
    Intéressant pour la saisir l’environnement des mots, qui les emploie, toutes les analyses qui se rattachent à un mot, le choix du code phonétique excepté.
    – Personne
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 8:56


Un guide linguistique franco-québécois et pour les expressions du monde francophone.



Usito, un dictionnaire conçu au Québec pour tous les francophones et francophiles intéressés par une description ouverte du français.

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