Home French Language Written French: Get Good at Placing Pen to Paper with This Complete Information

Written French: Get Good at Placing Pen to Paper with This Complete Information

Written French: Get Good at Placing Pen to Paper with This Complete Information


written french

You’re sitting in a café in Paris, pencil in hand to put in writing the following nice French novel.

However the place do you begin? How do you construct your French writing abilities to develop into proficient at written French? 

I’m right here to let you know in regards to the totally different facets of written French and share some helpful tips to get you writing with confidence very quickly.


Why Studying Written French Is Totally different from Studying Spoken French

Mastering written French is important for many who wish to develop into fluent in French. It’s actually a ability of its personal—many individuals say that written French is virtually its personal language. As such, with written French, you need to deal with a special ability set. Listed below are a number of the main variations you’ll encounter with written French versus spoken French:

You Don’t Need to Fear About Listening

College students typically discover written French simpler than spoken French. It is because there are plenty of French-English cognates—or, phrases that look related in each French and English.

Even newbie college students can have a look at a textual content in French and guess the which means of many phrases. It’s the difficult French pronunciation that journeys up English-speaking learners! So, when studying written French you may deal with grammar with out stressing an excessive amount of about listening comprehension.

Written French Isn’t Phonetic at All

There’s a slight caveat to what I simply mentioned. Studying French could also be a breeze for English audio system, however writing in French is in no way intuitive. French is a kind of languages that isn’t spoken because it’s written.

Typically lengthy phrases will solely have one or two syllables when pronounced. Typically a phrase will finish in a consonant you could’t presumably hear! So, for those who’ve been principally studying French by means of video and audio immersion, be ready: you’ll need to put some effort into studying French spelling.

Written French Contains “Literary” Tenses

Typically, in school you’ll be uncovered to the verb tenses which are used when talking: the passé composé, the imparfait and so forth. So you could be stunned to discover tenses such because the passé easy whenever you learn, particularly in older or extra superior texts.

These tenses might not be coated in school, however you’ll discover loads of on-line sources to follow them by yourself.

Grammar Is Far Extra Vital

You is perhaps asking: “Isn’t grammar essential for spoken French as nicely?” Effectively, sure. However the distinction is that for those who make a mistake whereas talking, it’ll shortly be forgotten. In the event you make a mistake in your writing, say in a report for work or a time period paper for sophistication, it’ll be there endlessly. That is why you need to make complete grammar follow a part of your mission to be taught written French.

Ideas and Methods for Enhancing Written French

A serious flaw of many French courses is the lack of long-form writing. College students do plenty of sentence-long workout routines, for positive, however in actuality, that’s not how individuals have a tendency to put in writing of their native language. Fortuitously, with a wealth of web sources obtainable at your fingertips, training written French is a breeze. However the place do you have to start?

Search for a French-speaking Penpal

You might have heard this tip earlier than. Your instructor could have even made you discover a penpal as a homework project. It is because really writing with one other particular person is a good way to get used to writing in real-world situations. What’s extra, native audio system can appropriate your errors, and you can also make an important good friend within the course of.


Among the greatest websites for locating a penpal embody InterPals, arguably the most important web site devoted to discovering penpals in different international locations, and MyLanguageExchange.com, which is like InterPals however targeted on language studying. On each of those websites, when making your profile, you may specify your native language and the language you’re studying.

Be a part of French-language Boards

au jardin logo

Boards are an important useful resource for studying written French. They provide some very distinctive benefits, that are totally different from what you’ll get from classroom workout routines or a penpal relationship.

In the event you discover a discussion board for a selected pastime or curiosity that you just get pleasure from, you may be taught plenty of vocabulary particular to that topic. For instance, for those who like gardening, you may try AuJardin.org.


In these boards, you’ll be taught plenty of French slang, which is a double win! Like with a penpal relationship, boards practice you to make your French comprehensible to different French audio system, which is improbable follow.

In the event you’re in search of a normal chat group the place you may discuss something and all the pieces, try /r/france, Reddit’s largest French-speaking discussion board. From there, you’ll discover hyperlinks to smaller French-speaking subreddits (boards) for each curiosity conceivable.

Apply Written Translations

Sure, the thought of written translations sounds very… nineteenth century. However hear me out. Translation is coming again into favor as a language acquisition approach, and it has actual advantages for starting and superior learners.

There are some nice translation workout routines on the market the place you may translate to French and verify your work. One other methodology is to translate Wikipedia articles and verify how you probably did by evaluating your translation to the official French article.

When you’re a sophisticated speaker you may even volunteer as a translator or discover work as one. Translation is without doubt one of the greatest strategies to follow your written French as a result of to finish translation you’ll have to analysis each grammar and vocabulary. Translation helps you be taught the nuance of the French language, comparable to when you need to resolve how one can translate a selected phrase primarily based on context.

Learn, Learn, Learn

Certainly you’ve learn French earlier than, both in classroom workout routines or in homework. However now’s the time to go above and past what’s required. If you wish to write French nicely, it’s essential know the way it’s written. And which means you need to learn.

Attempt to spend at the very least quarter-hour a day studying one thing that pursuits you. That might be a French newspaper or some French quick tales. Take the time to lookup phrases you don’t perceive, however don’t fear if there are heaps you don’t know. That’s the way you be taught extra vocabulary.

Do a Every day Writing Immediate

Writing prompts are a good way to get your artistic juices flowing. For instance, you can begin with the query: “In the event you may’ve been born in any decade, which might you select?” Set a timer, sit down and simply write no matter involves thoughts in French. After, you may return and verify for grammar and spelling.

Writing prompts assist you follow writing essays, so that they’re nice follow for standardized French exams. In addition they assist you to be taught vocabulary about numerous matters. Among the greatest websites for locating free writing prompts are A Vos Plumes! and The Every day Put up.

Important Instruments for Your Written French Toolbox

None of us are consultants, and all of us want sources to verify our grammar and lookup phrases. These are a number of the greatest on-line help sources obtainable for writing in French.



The primary software you want to your written French is a complete dictionary.

Though there are some nice traditional dictionaries on the market, I truthfully don’t keep in mind the final time I seemed up a phrase in a bodily dictionary, and my guess is you don’t both. WordReference is hands-down one of the best on-line dictionary obtainable. Each French phrase comes with its translation to English, its gender and a few instance sentences.

You possibly can even lookup expressions and slang phrases. Top-of-the-line options of WordReference is its energetic discussion board. On the backside of every dictionary definition web page, you could find consumer questions pertaining to the phrase you seemed up. That is nice for studying how a phrase can be utilized otherwise relying on the nation.


FluentU’s genuine movies current vocabulary phrases in context, so you may learn the way French is de facto utilized by native audio system. Interactive subtitles make it straightforward to observe alongside and verify the definitions of unfamiliar phrases, and you may follow these new phrases in flashcards and personalised quizzes.

Though FluentU is a video-oriented useful resource, it’s nice for bettering writing abilities as a result of it teaches phrases in context.

Have you learnt a phrase however you’re undecided how one can use it? Merely look it up in FluentU’s video dictionary to seek out the definition in addition to tons of contextual instance sentences performed inside movies in our video library. Realizing the nuances of vocabulary may also help your writing sound extra like that of a local speaker.



BonPatron will be an absolute life-saver for French writers. With BonPatron, you may copy and paste total passages of written French and see all of the grammatical errors you made. Not solely does BonPatron spotlight the errors you made, it additionally explains why every one is a mistake and even suggests alternate options. It’s surprisingly detailed and may even appropriate accents and conjugation errors.



Talking of context, Linguee is a superb useful resource for trying up total sentences or passages in French. If you realize the definition of a phrase however you don’t perceive its context, kind it into Linguee’s translation dictionary.

Linguee then scours the web to seek out all references of that phrase inside sources which have already been translated between English and French. That approach, you may see the French phrase inside the context of a sentence, side-by-side with the identical sentence translated into English.

Google Search


What? I’m recommending Google?! That’s proper. Google search is a tremendous software for checking your grammar.

You possibly can search any French phrase in quotes, which can return solely web sites the place that actual phrase is used. Then, have a look at the variety of outcomes to gauge if the phrase is written appropriately. In the event you get plenty of outcomes, which means native audio system write the phrase in that approach.

That is particularly good for hammering out the nitty-gritty particulars of language studying, comparable to article utilization.

For instance, think about you wish to say “be taught to …” however you don’t know if it’s appropriate to say apprendre à or apprendre de. Simply go to Google and kind “apprendre à programmer” (be taught to program), which provides over 1,000,000 outcomes. You’ll see that apprendre de programmer” solely returns solely about 12,000 outcomes. Realizing nothing else, you may moderately conclude that it’s appropriate to say apprendre à programmer (be taught to program).


If you’re a author at coronary heart, studying written French would be the most gratifying a part of studying the language.

With the best instruments and methods in hand, you can also be a part of the ranks of Proust and Sartre—or simply end your time period paper on time.