Download Free PDF – The basics to read and write in French

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Learners: the easiest way to learn french
for pronunciation and vocabulary

The best way to learn a foreign language is to use the ‘mother-tongue’ method, it means you learn the basics before to read and write the language. It has the effect of increasing the fluency step by step. I suggest you to learn a variety of simple words (Ex: using flashcards have a look to previous articles for flashcards), the determinants, some simple pronouns, the numbers, the months, the days of the week.   

From the beginning and later sometimes as well (once you began to read a book, a novel), you can work with textbooks for children and intemediate level, or an app (for example: Duolingo), these are always nice resources to get new words from different topics, new sentences structure, and to refresh the language.

A very nice way is to read a text that you are familiar with, a text that you know the story in your mother tongue, so it is a reference to help you to go throug the same text in French. A better way is to use a parallel text, I love doing this, that is the most efficient way for me because you can easily make a back and forth between the two languages and getting a deep understanding of the target language, here is the French one. I suggest you to read several times the same part of the text so you can get the patterns of the target language and make links with the patterns of English, it good to improve your memory as well. Having an immersion-like feeling. And of course, buying an English to French dictionary (it can be an app (for example: Duolingo)) if you do not have an internet connection while you are reading.

Learning and improving your reading will improve your fluency in conversations as well, you will have better and deeper conversations with native french speakers.

Learners, beginners: best book to learn french vocabulary
for vocabulary

Basics words

First, before begin to read, you need to get a few basics words, to have a base, a departure point, a kind of a reference point.
Here are the days of the week:
Lundi → Monday
Mardi → Tuesday
Mercredi → Wednesday
Jeudi → Thusrday
Vendredi → Friday
Samedi → Saturday
Dimanche → Sunday

Here are the months of the year:
Janvier → January
Février → February
Mars  → March
Avril → April
Mai → May
Juin → June
Juillet → July
Aout → August
Septembre → September
Octobre → October
Novembre → November
Décembre → December

Here are the numbers until 10:
1 un → one
2 deux → two
3 trois → three
4 quatre → four
5 cinq → five
6 six → six
7 sept → seven
8 huit → eight
9 neuf → nine
10 dix → ten

Teacher, beginners: best books to learn french fast
for pronunciation

The basics of French grammar

The personal pronouns are the first to know:
Je → I
Tu → You
Il/elle → He/she
Nous → We
Vous → You
Ils/elles → They
And they are the most important pronouns because they are related to how to conjugate the verbs. Let us see with the example of an –er verb (1rst group) in the present tense:
To eat (Manger)
Je mange → I am eating
Tu manges → You are eating
Il/elle mange → He/she is eating
Nous mangeons → We are eating
Vous mangez → You are eating
Ils/elles mangent → They are eating

Then some simple determinants that you will see everytime you read a text.
The definite articles: le, la, les
le is masculine-singular and is placed before a masculine-singular word. Let us see some examples : le chien (the dog), le tabouret (the stool), le marteau (the hammer), le sac (the bag).
la is feminine-singular and is placed before a feminine-singular word. Let us see some examples : la chienne (the dog), la chaise (the chair), la boîte (the box), la chaussure (the shoe). 
les is plural so it is placed before a plural noun, this noun can be masculine or feminine. Let us see some examples: les chiens-les chiennes (the dogs), les chats-les chattes (the cats).

The indefinite articles: un, une, des
un is masculine and singular and it is placed before a masculine-singular word. Let us see some examples: un chien (a dog), un tabouret (a stool), un marteau (a hammer), un sac (a bag).
une is feminine and singular and it is placed before a feminine-singular word. Let us see some examples: une chienne (a dog), une chaise (a chair), une boîte (a box), une chaussure (a shoe). 
des is plural so it is placed before a plural noun, this noun can be masculine or feminine. Let us see some examples: des chiens-des chiennes (dogs), des chats-des chattes (cats). 

Speakers, students: best books to learn french with cd
for translation

The basics of conjugation

It is useful to get the main element of the French conjugation. We already saw an –er verb (from the 1rst group), let us see now an -ir verb (from the 2nd group) in the present tense :
To choose (Choisir)
Je choisis → I am choosing  
Tu choisis → You are choosing
Il/elle choisit → He/she is choosing
Nous choisissons → We are choosing
Vous choisissez → You are choosing
Ils/elles choisissent → They are choosing

And now, here is a -re verb from the 3rd group, in the present tense:
To wait (Attendre)
J’attends→ I am waiting  
Tu attends → You are waiting
Il/elle attend → He/she is waiting
Nous attendons → We are waiting
Vous attendez → You are waiting
Ils/elles attendent → They are waiting

Teacher, students: best books to learn the basics in french
for translation

Read a text/book suitable for your level, sometimes a higher level to have a challenge, and to see if you increased your level or not, sometimes a lower level to have the pleasure of understanding everything and see what did you store in your memory, to relax the brain, find some resources you like, a variety of topics that you have pleasure to read.

To read French a little bit everyday, like if you were in immersion into the language.

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Thank you for reading this article!
Thomas 😀

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