Tag Archive | French Adverbs

Uses of the Subjunctive in Adverb Clauses

An adverb is a subordinate clause that modifies a verb much as an adverb does. Adverbial clauses are introduced by adverbial conjunctions that express time, cause, means, purpose, or consequences such as whenhowbecausein order thatprovided thatwhile, etc.

Certain French adverbial conjunctions are always followed by the subjunctive.

  • à condition que – on the condition that, provided that
  • à moins que – unless
  • afin que – so that, in order that (formal)
  • avant que – before
  • bien que/quoique – although, even though
  • de crainte que – for fear that
  • en attendant que – until
  • encore que – although
  • jusqu’à ce que – until
  • malgré que – in spite of the fact that, although
  • pour que – so that, in order that
  • pourvu que – provided that, as long as
  • sans que – without

Ce n’est pas la peine de nous réunir à moins que tout le monde lise les articles du journal électronique.

It doesn’t pay for us to have a meeting unless everyone reads the articles online.


Discutions le projet avant que le conseiller revienne.

Let’s discuss the project before the consultant returns.


Je vais télécharger ce logiciel bien qu’il soit un peu vieux.

I’m going to download this software even though it’s a bit old.


Pour que vous puissiez me contacter je vous donnerai l’adresse de mon compte email.

So that you can contact me, I’ll give you my email address.


Je vais allumer mon ordinateur pour que vous consultiez le tableur.

I’m going to turn on my computer in order for you to consult the spreadsheet.


Je te dirai tout ce qui m’est arrivé pourvu que tu ne racontes ça à personne.

I’ll tell you what happened to me as long as you don’t tell anyone.


Ton ordinateur ne va pas fonctionner sans que vous y installiez ce nouveau système d’exploitation.

Your computer won’t work without you installing this new operating system.


If the subjects of both clauses are the same, the subordinate clause is usually replaced by an infinitive.

Je ne peux pas commencer mon travail sans déboguer ce programme.

I can’t begin my work without debugging this program.


Qu’est-ce que je dois faire pour télécharger la base de données ?

What do I have to do to download the database?


Ne quittez pas votre ordinateur avant d’effacer tous ce fichiers.

Don’t leave your computer without deleting all those files.


Tu ne pourras pas devenir consultant à moins d’avoir un bon ordinateur portatif.

You won’t be able to become a consultant unless you have a good laptop.


I hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

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Comparative & Superlative Forms of Adverbs

 

Comparisons of Equality & Inequality

The following structures are used to express comparisons of equality or inequality:

Vous ne buvez pas autant que lui. (autant qualifies verb)

You don’t drink as much as him.


Il faudra le récompenser davantage. (davantage qualifies verb)

He’ll have to be rewarded more/given a greater reward.


Cette voiture roule aussi rapidement que l’autre. (aussi qualifies adverb in positive statement)

This car goes as fast as the other.


Il ne m’écrit pas si/aussi souvent que vous. (si or aussi qualifies adverb in negative statement)

He doesn’t write to me as often as you do.


Plus j’étudie ce livre, plus j’admire l’auteur. (plus introduces each clause)

The more I study this book, the more I admire the author.


Comparative Forms

The comparative form of the adverb is made by putting plus before the regular form:

Ce mot s’emploie plus couramment. | This word is more commonly used.

The adverb mal has the regular comparative form plus mal:

Mon oncle va plus mal. | My uncle is feeling/getting worse.

There are several common irregular comparative forms:

beaucoup | much

plus | more

bien | well

mieux | better

peu | little

moins | less


Superlative Forms

The superlative forms of the adverb is made by putting le before the comparative form. This applies to regular and irregular comparative forms. Since adverbs are invariable, le is used irrespective of the gender/sex and number of the subject of the verb.

Ma nièce a tout mangé le plus vite possible.

My niece ate everything as quickly as possible.


Les magasins vendaient ces articles le plus cher possible.

The shops sold these items at the highest price they could.


Wow, first day of June! Fast year this has been so far. I hope you all are doing well!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

 

The Superlative

In English, the superlative is expressed by adding -est to an adjective or adverb (ex: small → smallest; slow → slowest), or by adding the words “most” or “least” in front of the adjective or adverb (ex: beautiful → most beautiful; happy → least happy).

The superlative in French is expressed by placing the definite article and the words plus or moins in front of the adjective or adverb.

  • Je crois que c’est la région la plus pittoresque du pays.
  • I think that this is the most picturesque region in the country.
  • Eric est le plus grand élève de la classe.
  • Eric is the tallest student in the class.
  • Aurélie lit le plus vite.
  • Aurélie reads the fastest.

The form of the definite article (le, la, les) used depends upon the noun which follows, to which the adjective refers and with which it agrees in gender and number. However, the article is always le in adverbial superlative expressions.


Irregular Comparative and Superlative Forms

The comparative and superlative forms of the adjective bon (good) and the comparative of the adverb bien (well) are irregular in both French and English.

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

Adjective

Bon (good)

Meilleur (better, masculine)

Le meilleur (the best, masculine)

Meilleure (better, feminine)

La meilleure (the best, feminine)

Adverb

Bien (well)

Mieux (better)

Le mieux (the best)

  • Si nous allions à un meilleur restaurant, nous mangerions mieux.
  • If we went to a better restaurant, we would eat better.
  • Félicitations, je te souhaite le mieux !
  • Congratulations, I wish you the best!

Happy first day of December! As we get closer to wrapping up this year, I’d like to hear from you guys – what you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see more of. I want to make this blog work for everyone and their needs.

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Prepositions ‘Dessus’ and ‘Dessous’

Continuing along with prepositions from last post, we will be going over ‘dessus’, ‘dessous’, and related prepositions as requested by a reader.

Sur and Sous have corresponding adverbs: dessus (over it, on top of it, upstairs, over), and dessous (beneath it, underneath).

  • La chaise boîte. Ne mets pas ta valise dessus.
  • The chair is uneven. Don’t put your suitcase on top of it.
  • Tu vois tous ces papiers? La lettre est dessous.
  • Do you see all those papers? The letter is underneath them.

These adverbs have the compound forms au-dessus and  au-dessous.

  • habiter au-dessus/au-dessous
  • to live upstairs/downstairs

Au-dessus de and au-dessous de are compound prepositions:

  • les enfants au-dessus de dix ans – children over ten years old
  • il fait dix  degrés au-dessus de zéro – it’s ten degrees above zero
  • rien au dessus de 100 euros – nothing over 100 Euros
  • c’est au-dessus de mes forces – it’s too much for me
  • les jeunes au-dessous de dix-huit ans – young people under eighteen years old
  • être au-dessous de sa tâche – to be not up to one’s task
  • il croit que c’est au-dessous de lui de faire le ménage – he thinks that it’s beneath him to do housework

I hope this post will help clarify any confusion with these prepositions. 🙂 As always, you may leave any requests in the comments. Have a great week! And to those celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

A la prochaine !

Courtney

Lesson 30 – Comparison of Adjectives, Adverbs, Nouns, & Verbs

Leçon 30

An object or a person may be seen as having more, less, or the same amount of a characteristic as another object or person. To express this, French and English use comparative constructions.

To make comparisons of superiority, French uses the construction plus + adjective + que.

  • Le boulevard est plus large que notre rue.
  • The boulevard is wider than our street.

To make comparisons of inferiority, French uses the construction moins + adjective + que.

  • Mais le boulevard est moins large que l’autoroute.
  • But the boulevard is less wide than the highway.

To make comparisons of equality, French uses the construction aussi + adjective + que.

  • Le boulevard est aussi large que l’avenue de la République.
  • The boulevard is as wide as the Avenue of the Republic.

The adjectives bon and mauvais have irregular comparative forms:

bon(ne)(s) → meilleur(e)(s) mauvais(e)(s) → pire(s)
  • Ce restaurant est meilleur que l’autre.
  • This restaurant is better than the other one.
  • Le bruit est pire ici que dans mon quartier.
  • The noise is worse here than in my neighbourhood.

Adverbs are compared in the same way as adjectives.

  • Elle répond plus poliment que lui.
  • She answers more politely than he does.
  • Elle répond moins poliment que lui.
  • She answers less politely than he does.
  • Elle répond aussi poliment que lui.
  • She answers as politely than he does.

The adverbs bien and mal have irregular comparative forms: mieux (better) and pire (worse). Pire may be replaced by plus mal. The comparative of beaucoup is plus, and the comparative of peu is moins.

  • On dit que Mme Gautier enseigne mieux que M. Richard.
  • They say that Mrs. Gautier teaches better than Mr. Richard.
  • J’en doute. Ses étudiants écrivent pire (plus mal) que les étudiants de M. Richard.
  • I doubt it. Her students write worse than Mr. Richard’s students do.

When verbs are compared, autant replaces aussi in comparisons of equality.

  • Je travaille plus/moins que toi.
  • I work more/less than you.
  • Je travaille autant que toi.
  • I work as much as you.

The comparison of nouns resembles the comparison of verbs. De is used before the noun.

  • Il a plus/moins de soucis que nous.
  • He has more/fewer worries as we do.
  • Il a autant de soucis que nous.
  • He has as many worries as we do.

In comparisons, que may be followed by a noun, a stressed pronoun, a demonstrative or possessive pronoun, a prepositional phrase, or an adjective. For adjectives, the adjective functions as a noun.

  • La robe rouge est plus chic que le vert.
  • The red dress is more stylish than the green one.
  • Les petits enfants étudient autant que les grands.
  • The little kids study as much as the big kids.
  • Ce roman est moins intéressant que ceux de l’autre auteur.
  • This novel is not as interesting as the ones by the other author.

I hope you guys found this post to be helpful. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Have a great week!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Parts of a Sentence

Parts of a Sentence

In this grammar lesson, I will breakdown the basic elements of what makes up a sentence in French. In French grammar, words are classified into eight parts: the noun, the determiner, the adjective, the pronoun, the verb, the adverb, the preposition and the conjunction.


Noun

Le nom, en français, identifies a person, place, animal, thing, or an idea. Nouns can be proper (names of people, names of countries and cities, company names, etc.), or common nouns (things such as a book, a car, food, etc.). All French nouns have a gender, either masculine or feminine, and learning the gender for each noun is important in speaking French as all nouns have to have agreement with articles and adjectives.


Determiner

The determiner is an important noun modifier which introduces and provides context to a noun, often in terms of quantity and possession. In English, the determiner would be “the”, “a”, or “an”; in French, the determiner are articles – le, la, les, un, une, de, de la, du, and des.


Adjective

L’adjectif, en français, modifies a noun by describing it in size, color, and shape. In French, most adjectives follow the noun they modify. However, adjectives that describe beauty, age, number, goodness, and size all precede the noun. (C’est une belle journée, for example.)


Pronoun

Pronouns, or proper nouns, take the place of a noun. French pronouns are je, tu, il, elle, nous, vous, ils, elles, me, te, le, la, les, lui, leur.

I go into further detail on pronouns in Lesson 9.


Verb

In French, verbs are variable. They are affected by:

  • The person (the speaker, the addressee, or others: je, tu, il, nous
  • The number (singular or plural)
  • The gender
  • The tense (the present, past and future, etc.).
  • The aspect (how the time in which an event occurs is viewed: as complete, ongoing, consequential, planned, etc.
  • The mood (finite forms: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and conditional
  • The voice (a verb in the active or passive voice

Adverb

Adverbs provide information about the words they modify, such as when, where, how, how often, or to what degree something is done.

When a French adverb modifies a verb, it is placed after the conjugated verb.

Example: Je regarde souvent la télé le soir. – I often watch television in the evening.

 

When a French adverb modifies an adjective, it is placed in front of the word it is modifying.

Example: Nous avons très bien mangé. – We ate very well.


Prepositions

A preposition is a word that links nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence.

Here is a great list of French prepositions.


Conjunctions

Conjunctions are invariable words that are used to join words or clauses that have equal value: mais, ou, et, donc, or, ni, car

 

BONUS!

As a general rule, if you have a noun in French, there is virtually always an article in front of it. I have two older posts on articles here (part 1), and here (part 2).

 

I hope this was helpful to everyone! As always, I welcome comments of any kind. Have a great week!

À bientôt !

Courtney