There are French grammar textbooks written in my native language. However, most of them are either too simple (containing not enough information) or too hard (contain many information but less systematic). I knew a little bit French and I can use English quite fluently.

Could you please recommend me some good grammar textbooks so that I can study on my own?


I found helpful the numerous recommendations from Department of French, University of Cambridge. It may help to commence with a grammar written in English first, and then once prepared, perchance you can try a grammar written in French?

  1. Grammars
    • Probably the best recent grammar of French written in English is:

*G. Price, L. S. R. Byrne & E. L. Churchill's A Comprehensive French Grammar , 4th edition, completely revised by Glanville Price, Oxford: Blackwell, 1999 (F3.E.60)

  • The following may also be of use:

H. Ferrar, A French Reference Grammar , 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1967 (F3.E.37 & F3.E.38, older ed. at F3.E.50)

R. Hawkins & R. Towell, French Grammar and Usage , London: Arnold, 1996 (F3.E.54) J.E. Mansion, A Grammar of Present-Day French , London: Harrap (old, but still very serviceable). (F3.E.41)

C. Abbadie, B. Chovelon, M-H. Morsel, L'expression française écrite et orale , Presse Universitaire de Grenoble, PFLUG.

  • If you are uncertain about basic grammatical points, the following may be useful:

T. Marriott and M. Ribière, Help Yourself to French Grammar, London: Longman, 1990 (F3.E.48)

  • Although the Department does not adopt a single course book, you may find the grammar sections in the following helpful:

Le Français en faculté: Cours de base, 2nd edition, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1986 (F3.E.44)

  • You will gradually need to get used to consulting French grammars written in French:

G. Mauger, Grammaire pratique du français d'aujourd'hui, langue parlée, langue écrite, Paris: Hachette, 1968 (published under the auspices of the Alliance Française) (F3.E.43)

H. Bonnard, Code du français courant, Paris: Magnard, 1984. (F3.E.52)

J. Ollivier, Grammaire française, 2nd edition, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1993 (F3.E.45)

  • The French themselves consult Grevisse; you may initially find this difficult to approach, but should find it increasingly helpful during your course:

Maurice Grevisse, Le Bon Usage , 12th edition, revised by André Goosse, Paris & Gembloux: Duculot, 1986 (F3.E.21;22; 30)

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For pronunciation, try this book (better not finish it !! or you may end up pedant) and master some vocabulary in this book and for grammar you can always do some books like this one. But the most of it,..try to engage conversations with a french speaker... There are some idioms not well mastered when reading books.

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I love collecting language grammar books in general, and by far one of my favorites is French Grammar and Usage by Hawkins and Towell. It is exceptionally well-organized and a pleasure to read, with lots of examples. It has perhaps the clearest explanation of the subjunctive that I have ever come across.

The one disadvantage for you is that it is has extra focus on difficult points of grammar for native English language speakers. Still, they're not explicit and I suppose you could simply skip those sections if you find it irrelevant.

Check it out with your favorite bookshop.

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I think it's better you read ALTER AGO or CAFE CREME are the best choice with so many example.

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  • 2
    These are complete text books meant to be used within a course and with the help of a teacher. Not really suited for self study. – None Dec 27 '13 at 13:32

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