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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

French and Francophone Studies: Grammars & Usage Manuals

Finding More French Grammars

To find more French grammars, search the Catalog using the subject heading French Language Grammar.


French Grammars

Electronic Grammars at the Library

Collins French dictionary and grammar Online UIUC

Complete French Grammar: Online Version. UIUC Anne Hemingway. Dubuque, Iowa: McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning, 2007.

Laurent, Nicolas, Delaunay, Bénédicte. Bescherelle: La Grammaire pour Tous. Paris: Hatier, 2007. Available in PDF at:

~To find more, search the Online Catalog using the subject heading French Language Grammars and searching by SUBJECT.

Select Print Grammars

  • Laurent, Nicolas, Delaunay, Bénédicte. Bescherelle: La Grammaire pour Tous. Paris: Hatier, 2012.  Named after the famous nineteenth-century lexicographer and grammarian Louis-Nicolas Bescherelle, the series announced a new grammar volume with a three-pronged objective: help users differentiate between traditional and recently added grammatical forms, acknowledging that languages are living organisms, thus grammar being exposed to a deluge of new terms that users would need to understand and analyze. Then, the book helps you recognize the function of a form and analyze a phrase as well as gives you the tools to deal effectively with agreements and usages of tenses.
  • L'Hulillier, Monique. Advanced French Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.--The goal of this book "is to be as comprehensive as possible in its coverage of all the points of French grammar normally encountered by undergraduate students in French."  The focus is on formal rather than informal French. The grammar opens with a comprehensive introduction to various parts of speech, syntactical and grammatical functions, and pronunciation.
  • Rosenberg, Samuel N. et al. Harper`s Grammar of French. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.--Takes the student of French beyond basic grammar to more advanced structures, with copious examples and English translations. Chapters are arranged by parts of speech.
  • Riegel, Martin, Jean-Christophe Pellat and René Rioul. Grammaire méthodique du français. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994.--A grammar which incorporates modern linguistic theory, particularly in the last two parts: "Grammaire et lexique" and "Grammaire et communication." Gives up-to-date bibliographic citations for each topic.
  • Ball, Rodney. Colloquial French Grammar: A Practical Guide. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 2000.--This guide is intended to aid non-French speakers in navigating the intricacies of French colloquial grammar. The author offers grammatical help for a variety of social situations, ranging from those requiring extreme formality to those permitting a more relaxed approach. The chapters are divided into standard grammatical concerns: negatives, verbs, nouns, relative clauses, prepositions, etc. Users can test themselves with the exercises provided at the end of each section.


Usage Manuals

The Library has a number of manuals on the proper use of French words and phrases, which are called "usage manuals". To find them in the Library catalog, search for them by Subject using the search term French language Usage.

Select Usage Manuals

Manuel de stylistique française, Étude Pratique du Langage Affectif,  Jean-Jacques Richard. Genève: Slatkine, 2006. This textbook/workbook includes text-based activities following Ferdinand de Saussure's method to identify the right means of expression and the richness of French. Richard considered both French speakers as well as non-Francophone learners.

Using French: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Batchelor, R.E. & M.F. Offord. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.--This book goes beyond the scope of traditional grammars to include "faux amis and other aspects of lexis" as well as to reflect colloquial usage. A very complete resource, a good in-depth reference to supplement traditional grammars.

Using French vocabulary.  Jean H.Duffy. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.