La Grammaire en Clair

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Grammar has long been out of fashion and is considered boring, but it gives us the bricks with which to build our own sentences in a language. La Grammaire en Clair by Paul Rogers and Jeremy Long is the only book I have come across so far that brings an element of humour into the learning and practice of grammar.

Each grammar point is afforded either one or two pages, depending on its complexity. The book’s particular appeal stems in part from its use of comic strips for each topic, where the grammar being taught is used in context, often in several different ways. An explanation follows, and this sometimes includes a table showing, for example, the different ways that adjectives form their feminine and plural forms. Each section gives several exercises, graded in difficulty, to practice the grammar. The exercises themselves are often amusing and follow a story line, whilst introducing a good variety of vocabulary too.

The book gives comprehensive coverage of all basic rules of French grammar, such as the use of à, de, que, qui, and dont as well as adjectives, possessive pronouns and object pronouns. The essential verb tenses and moods are included, from present tense through imperatives, perfect, imperfect, pluperfect, future, conditional, past historic, the passive and present subjunctive. The perfect tense is given particularly thorough treatment, as perfect with avoir, perfect with être, reflexive verbs in the perfect and object pronouns with the perfect are all dealt with separately, leading onto a section that combines all of these. Formation of questions and negatives is also focused on.

A glossary is included at the end of the book, as well as a double-page spread that gives the most common irregular verbs in all the tenses covered.

La Grammaire en Clair would be valuable for students of GCSE or A Level French. For self-study, it could be used alongside a course that includes CDs or audio cassettes for pronunciation. It might be the ideal complement to Michel Thomas’s CDs, where the CDs focus on listening and speaking, and this book gives grammar practice in the form of written exercises. Its value is not to be underestimated, and the humorous touches make a refreshing change.

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La Grammaire en Clair: With Answer Key
by Paul Rogers, Jeremy Long

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Written by frangliz

I have a degree in Fine Art but never actually worked in that field. After almost two years in Paris, I moved to Cairo and spent many years there teaching English language and literature in schools. I came back to the UK in 1999 and now work with young children. I also tutor students of all ages in French, English or Maths. I enjoy writing reviews in my spare time; another hobby of mine is photography. I have two sons who are now grown up, both working in IT.

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