What does to mean in French

Sentence structure in the French language

What are the French sentence types?

Around French sentences to form, we have to consider certain rules. In French, as in German, there are different types of sentences: propositional sentences, negative sentences (negation), question sentences, main sentences and subordinate clauses, etc.

In this section we explain everything that is important when forming French sentences. With a click on the desired topic you get to the detailed explanation with exercises.


This area provides information on the word order in statements. In French we have to stick to the word order subject-verb-object and cannot swap subject and object as in German.

Le chien attrape la balle, the dog catches the ball.


We use negative sentences in French no ... pas and other adverbs of negation that always work in pairs. We explain when to use which word and where in the sentence it has to be.

Ever n ’ai rien dit. I didn't say anything.
Ever n ’ai pas de temps. I don't have time.


Here we explain what intonation questions, decision questions and questions with interrogative word are. We have put together a list of the most important question words in French.

Avez-vous faim? Are you hungry?
Quand partez-vous, when do you start?

Indirect speech

When we report what someone has said, we usually do not use the original wording (verbatim speech), but only reproduce the content accordingly - we use indirect speech.

Il a raconté qu’il avait passé ses vacances en Suisse.He told, he was on vacation in Switzerland.

Complex sentences

In French grammar, we call a sentence a complex sentence if it consists of at least two sub-clauses. Here you'll learn how to recognize the three types of clauses in French. You will also find explanations and exercises for the different types of subordinate clauses (relative, supplementary, adverbial, conditional and participle clauses).

C'est le garçon qui habite ici. This is the boy who lives here.
Il veut savoir s’il est tard. He wants to know if it's late.