Spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Haiti,
Canada, French possessions in the Caribbean and South Pacific, and in
former colonies in Africa (including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad,
Gabon, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal,
Congo) and Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam). In places where the language has
become Creolized, as in Haiti, French is the standard form taught in
The written language
Sentence structure and word order
- No capital letters for nationalities,
languages, days, and months. 53.
Nouns and pronouns
- An adverb can occur between verb and object:
*I like very much clam chowder. 34b; 45e.
- Want is followed
by a that clause: *He wants that you leave now. 61c.
- Uses a clause structure where English uses
*He savored the sight of the flowers that blew gently in the
- A dependent clause with a noun subject uses
V-S order: *I knew what would decide the committee. 34b.
Verbs and verbals
- Some uncountable nouns in English are
countable and plural in French: *furnitures, hairs, luggages.
- Relative pronouns make no distinction between
human and nonhuman: *The girls which . . . 46a.
- Reflexive pronouns have the same form as
personal object pronouns for the first and second persons: *I
taught me to ski. 44h.
- In both French and Creole, no endings are
added to indicate possessive nouns (Žs). 48.
Adjectives and adverbs
- No ending on third person singular verb
French or Creole, and final -s is not pronounced.
- Has no equivalent of gerund (-ing form); uses infinitive
instead: *She asked me about to work on the weekend. 61d;
- Forms of be
are often omitted, particularly in
Haitian Creole. 38c; 41c; 61a.
- Haitian Creole does not distinguish past tense
and past perfect, and does not change the verb to indicate past
- The present perfect form is used in French for
simple past time: *He has left yesterday. 41f.
- French has no present progressive form. No
distinction is made between She
eats and She
is eating. 41e.
- French often uses and between two adjectives:
*A big and square box. 45f.
- In French, definite article is used with
singular or uncountable noun to state a generalization: *The
photography is an art. 60c; 60f.
- In Haitian Creole, no article is used for a
generalization with a singular noun: *Bird can fly. 60c.
- No article is used with a profession: *She is