French Grammar Glossary active voice when the subject performs an action.

adjectivea word that modifies a noun or a pronoun.grand, petit
adverba word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.Je lis souvent. J’ai beaucoup dormi. Je suis allé(e) rapidement à l’école.
antecedenta word or group of words to which a relative pronoun refers.
articlessmall words that are generally classified as adjectives. They indicate that a noun or noun substitute will follow.
auxiliaryverb one of two elements needed to form a compound tense. Also called a helping verb.J'ai aller chez Tom, Je suis allé
cardinal numbersthe numbers we use for counting.
cognateswords that are the same or similar in both French and English.
conditionala mood that expresses what a subject would do under certain circumstances.
conditionnel passéa mood that expresses what a subject would have done under certain circumstances.
conjugationthe action of changing the ending of the verb so that it agrees with the subject noun or pronoun performing the task.être: je suis, tu es, il est, ils sont, nous sommes, vous êtes
definite articlean article that indicates a specific person or thing: the house.l'homme, la femme, le fil
demonstrative adjectivean adjective that precedes nouns to indicate or point out the person, place, or thing referred to: this, that, these, or those.
demonstrative pronouna pronoun that stands alone to indicate or point out the person or thing referred to.
direct objectanswers the question whom or what the subject is acting upon and may refer to people, places, things, or ideas. May be a noun or pronoun.
exclamationa word or phrase used to show surprise, delight, incredulity, emphasis, or other strong emotion.
false friendswords that are spelled the same or almost the same in both languages but have entirely different meanings and can be different parts of speech.
futurea tense that expresses what the subject will do or is going to do or what action will or is going to take place in a future time.
futur antérieura tense that expresses what the subject will have done by a future time.
genderindicates whether a word is masculine or feminine.
idioma particular word or expression whose meaning cannot be readily understood by either its grammar or the words used.
imperativea verb form used to give commands or make requests.
imperfecta past tense that expresses a continuous, repeated, habitual or incomplete action, situation, or event in the past that was going on at an indefinite time or what used to happen in the past.
indefinite adjectiveexpresses any, no, other, certain, some, each, the same, several, some, all, etc.chaque, quelque, tout
indefinite articlerefers to persons and objects not specifically identified.
indefinite pronounexpresses any, no one, none, other(s), other one(s), certain one(s), some, each one, everyone, the same one(s), one, several, someone, anyone, some, a few, something, anything, nothing, all, everything, anything, etc.
independent (stress) pronouna pronoun used to emphasize a fact and to highlight or replace nouns or pronouns.
indicativea verb tense that states a fact.
indirect objectanswers the question to or for whom the subject is doing something and refer only to people. May be a noun or pronoun.
infinitivethe basic "to" form of the verb.pouvoir, dormir, assessoir
intonationthe act of asking a question by inserting a rising inflection at the end of the statement.
inversionthe reversal of the word order of the subject pronoun and the conjugated verb in order to form a question.je peux voir la menu => puis-je voir le menu?
nouna word used to name a person, place, thing, idea, or quality.la chaise, la femme, la table, la chemise
partitivean article asking for an indefinite quantity (part of a whole: some or any).
passé composéa tense that expresses an action or event completed in the past.
passé simplea past tense that occurs primarily in formal, literary, and historical writings expressing a completed action.
passive voicewhen the subject is acted upon.
past conditionala tense that expresses what the subject would have done under certain conditions.
past participlea verb form expressing an action that has occurred in the past.
pluperfect or plus-que-parfaita tense that expresses what the subject had done.
prepositiona word used to relate elements in a sentence: noun to noun, verb to verb, or verb to noun/pronoun.
present participlea verb form ending in -ing that expresses an action that is taking place.
present tensea tense that expresses what is happening now.
pronouna word that is used to replace a noun (a person, place, thing, idea, or quality).
reflexive verba verb that shows that the subject is performing the action upon itself.
relative pronouna pronoun that joins a main clause (a clause that can stand alone) to a dependent clause.
subjectthe noun performing the action of the verb.
subjunctivea mood expressing wishing, emotion, doubt, denial.
verba word that shows an action or state of being.