French Understanding Conjunctions

Learn about conjunctions in French: their role in connecting words, phrases, and clauses, and examples of common French conjunctions.


The French word 'avant' is used similarly to the English word 'before'. This can reference time, for example 'Avant le dîner' means 'before dinner'. It can also be used to denote ranking or position, like 'Je suis avant toi dans la file' meaning 'I am before you in line'.

Example sentences with  avant
bien que

In French, 'though' can be translated to 'bien que'. It is often used in French to introduce a subordinate clause, just like in English. It conveys a contrast or contradiction between two statements. For example, 'Je veux aller, bien que je sois fatigué' means 'I want to go, though I am tired'. It is important to note that 'bien que' is always followed by the subjunctive in French.

Example sentences with  bien que

The French word 'comme' is used similarly to the English word 'like'. It can be used to make comparisons or express likeness between two things. It can also be used to describe how something is happening, similar to the English 'as'. Importantly, it does not carry the connotation of preference or fondness that 'like' does in English, for that the French use 'aimer'.

Example sentences with  comme

In French, 'comment' is used to ask 'how' in any situation. It is an adverb that inquires about the manner, way or means by which something takes place. It can be used in interrogative sentences, employ in indirect questions or often used rhetorically.

Example sentences with  comment

The French word 'depuis' is used in essentially the same way as 'since' is used in English. It can refer to the time that has passed since an event took place or it can represent the cause of an event. For example, ‘Je suis ici depuis mardi’ means 'I have been here since Tuesday.' However, unlike in English, 'depuis' can also be used to describe an action that has been happening continuously since a certain point, as in 'Je travaille depuis ce matin', meaning 'I have been working since this morning.'

Example sentences with  depuis

The French word 'mais' is used similarly to the English word 'but', acting as a conjunction to introduce a phrase or clause contrasting with what has already been mentioned. An example usage in a sentence: 'Je veux aller, mais je suis trop fatigué', which translates to 'I want to go, but I'm too tired'.

Example sentences with  mais

The French word for 'while' is 'pendant'. It is used in a similar way to the English 'while', indicating something that is happening at the same time as another action. It can also mean 'during' or 'for' when referring to a span of time. Examples include 'Je lis pendant que tu dors' which translates to 'I read while you sleep' and 'J'ai travaillé pendant trois heures' which means 'I worked for three hours'.

Example sentences with  pendant

The French word 'pour' is used in similar ways as 'for' is in English. It can be used to indicate the purpose or reason for something (I'm studying for the exam = J'étudie pour l'examen), and it can be used to indicate who something is intended for (This gift is for you = Ce cadeau est pour toi).

Example sentences with  pour

The French word 'quand' is used in similar context as 'when' in English. It is used to ask about a specific time or to refer to an unspecified time in the future or past. For example, 'Quand tu viens?' means 'When are you coming?'. It can also be used to indicate that something occurs simultaneously as something else, such as 'quand je lis, je suis calme' which means 'when I read, I am calm'.

Example sentences with  quand

The French translation for 'without' is 'sans'. This word is commonly used in French to indicate a lack of something or someone. Just like in English, it can be used in numerous contexts. For instance, you could say 'Je suis sans mon portable' to mean 'I am without my phone'.

Example sentences with  sans

The French word 'sauf' is used similarly to the English word 'except'. It is typically used as a preposition or conjunction in sentences to indicate an exception to the statement being made. For example, 'Tout le monde est venu, sauf Jean' means 'Everyone came, except John'.

Example sentences with  sauf

The French word for 'only' is 'seulement'. It is used in the same way the English word is used, to indicate singularity, exclusivity, or restriction in amount or quantity. For example, in the sentence 'Il y a seulement un livre sur la table' means 'There is only one book on the table'.

Example sentences with  seulement

The French word 'soit' is equivalent to the English word 'either'. In French, 'soit' is used to present two or more possibilities, similar to how 'either' is used in English. However, it's important to note the context while using 'soit' because it also means 'is' in conditional phrases or 'let it be' in certain contexts.

Example sentences with  soit
une fois

In French, the word 'une fois' is used to mean 'once'. It is often used to denote the occurrence of an action or event for one time. For example, 'Je suis allé à Paris une fois' which translates to 'I have been to Paris once'. Note that in French, numbers are very important in situating nouns, much like in English.

Example sentences with  une fois
Made with JoyBird