Let’s take a moment to discuss ways to learn French grammar without falling down into the endless, overwhelming abyss. You know the abyss I’m talking about, I hope? When you start trying to figure out the difference in use between “de” the preposition and “de” the partitive article. Then 30-40 minutes later resurface from your study more confused and overwhelmed than ever.
Yeah, that’s the endless abyss.
Let’s avoid that because it doesn’t help with your Flow. And it’s just annoying. Here’s how to do it.
1. Learn by listening
It’s really interesting that we think for some reason that learning French (or any language) has to come through crazy study and reading of all the technicalities of grammar and vocabulary. Some people do learn very well by reading and can just spit out anything they read.
However, if you aren’t one of those people, you may actually want to start with listening. Learn French grammar just like you learned the grammar of your first language: by hearing it. Not only does this help you hear the pronunciation of the words and the flow of the grammar, but it helps you develop an ear for the French language. This ear for the language will help you better in the long run than simple reading of a text book.
But I digress. You can read more about how to succeed at learning French naturally here.
When you hear how the grammar fits in every day conversation, you’ll be able to use it more naturally even if you don’t understand all the specific rules and methods why this works. I highly recommend this method because it will not only help you master French grammar, but it will also help you master French conversation. Trust me, it is entirely possible to be a French grammar master and still lack the skills for French conversation.
Trust me, I actually hired a French grammar master as a tutor once whose conversational skills were lacking. That relationship didn’t last very long.
2. Learn in bite-sized amounts specific to your level
Instead of trying to take in the amass of grammar information on blogs and website, slow down and learn little-by-little at your own level.
So many websites out there include large amounts of information about French grammar and all the exceptions and that can get SO overwhelming. Remember, these sites primarily target high-intermediate and advanced students who just need a reminder about all the rules.
These websites are not intended to take you step-by-step through learning at your level.
But don’t fret. There is a place for you to learn in small portions each day.
KwizIQ is a wonderful website that is designed to map our your specific level and give you 10-question quizzes to help you learn. When you answer incorrectly, you can open up a small box with a short explanation that is very specific to your proficiency in the French language.
Every grammar topic is divided out by proficiency level and you can learn everything in small amounts.
Go ahead, test it out here:
3. Speak Up
All your learning and progress will do you no good unless you practice saying it!
I mean, unless you want to become bilingual only in your head.
I thought the point of a language was so that we could communicate with others? Right?
Part of being able to speak the language is practicing saying the words so your speaking muscles can create a muscle memory. Then it will be easier and faster to say the next time around.
So create your French muscle memory and get started using the grammar you are learning in complete sentences.
Always remember, it doesn’t matter what others think about you. Just look at your own progress and how far you have come. Speak loud and proud!
**DISCLAIMERS: This post may contain links to affiliate content. Please note that I always recommend products that are in your best interest and not mine. Please also know that I am not a native French speaker and my pronunciation is not perfect, however, I can definitely help you improve your pronunciation and get to a point where you can converse with native speakers and they can fine-tune your pronunciation.