Advanced search

Good little book for French verbs / grammar at GCSE level?

(20 Posts)
Sadik Sun 25-Sep-16 19:31:05

DD says she'd really like some old fashioned verb tables to memorise, because she finds it the easiest way to 'get' the correct endings rather than using the various online games/revision sites they're pointed towards.

I've got, somewhere, Mille et Un Points but I remember it isn't a patch on the Spanish equivalent, Punto por Punto. Does anyone have any recommendations for good book/s along these lines?

(We do also have a book of verb tables dating from either DH or my O level days, but it suffers from some rather alarming 80s inventive font usage, and as a result is rather hard to read/use.)

DandelionAndBedrock Sun 25-Sep-16 19:35:17

It is online rather than a book, but the verb2verbe website is fantastic.

Sadik Sun 25-Sep-16 19:38:59

That looks like a great resource - I'll point her towards it.

I think she partly wants a paper book so she can learn them on the bus / waiting for lessons etc - she's used to memorising mutation rules etc for Welsh so finds it an easy way to do it painlessly IYKWIM

DandelionAndBedrock Sun 25-Sep-16 19:58:06

I do. I'm just not sure they really exist anymore! DP had to learn French as an adult (for work) and we really struggled to find anything. I did get him a verb wheel, but it's a bit cumbersome and not the sort of thing you can just flick through.

I think the French people on my uni course had Bescherelle for English verbs, so that might be worth looking for. I assume there is a French one.

semideponent Sun 25-Sep-16 20:07:06

There is indeed a French Bescherelle and it's absolutely brilliant for verbs. I think DH bought it from Amazon.

Sadik Sun 25-Sep-16 20:29:51

Wow - that looks great, but possibly overkill for GCSE???

I may just buy another copy of Mille et Un Points - and maybe add this nice little laminated sheet which looks like it might be handy for quick memory prompts.

GregorSamsa Mon 26-Sep-16 08:02:36

I have gone the full retro and just ordered a copy of Whitmarsh's A New Simpler French Course off eBay for dd for exactly this same reason.

It is admittedly dull but very thorough and systematic, in contrast to most current text books that are obsessed with being relevant and interesting, but are very lightweight and confusing in their explanations of grammar, if they even cover it at all.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 26-Sep-16 08:20:21

DS2 (Year 10) chose this one and likes it because it has everything he needs. It's more of a reference book; they would not need to know everything in here at GCSE level.

Laniakea Mon 26-Sep-16 09:56:57

I've just ordered Whitmarsh too. Dd has just started revising - how any of them end up knowing anything is beyond me. There's no systematic teaching at all - verbs, tenses, grammar generally - it's all situational & rote learning afaics. I asked her about prepositions - nope they haven't done those either ... just learn them as they come up hmm

GregorSamsa Mon 26-Sep-16 10:32:01

I could rant about it for a very long time. Dd has just finished Y7 and after a year of twice-weekly lessons, I discovered to my horror that she is utterly unable to string together the simplest sentence, was unfamiliar with the most basic vocabulary items or prepositions, and had never heard of an -er verb, or the concept of conjugating a verb.

I have started urgent remedial action, but FFS. And this is a good school. I have sent a questioning email to the HoD, but received a very defensive waffly response blaming 'gaps in learning' on the primary schools. FFS.


On the upside, if any child manages to get through this system and wants to study a MFL at university, as long as they have halfway decent grade predictions, they will have every academic linguist in the country queueing up to be their new best friend.

GregorSamsa Mon 26-Sep-16 10:33:57

It's systemic throughout the UK MFL concept as well - I notice that Tricolore explains the French pronoun 'on' as meaning 'we'. Which is not incorrect in terms of meaning, but likely to be highly confusing to a beginning learner since 'on' behaves grammatically like the third person singular not the first person plural.

Not that the dc are expected to learn any of these helpful concepts... angry

Laniakea Mon 26-Sep-16 10:50:23

dd is in year 11 ... this is just about getting her through the exam. I expect by this time next year she'll know no french at all. What a waste of time!

Sadik Mon 26-Sep-16 12:32:12

The daft thing is that all the children have been taught Welsh in a systematic, old fashioned way, and are used to just memorising sheets of grammar rules, since there's really no other way of dealing with some of the the daft not entirely self-evident features of the language.

Bobochic Mon 26-Sep-16 12:52:12

Bescherelle isn't overkill - it's what French DC use to learn their verbs from, starting in primary school. It's an indispensable tool for anyone learning French.

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 26-Sep-16 14:13:39

Definitely recommend Bescherelle verbs as well - it's very easy to follow and would definitely suit Sadik's dd if she's already used to formal Welsh grammar books.
There's another one for improving your writing (mieux rediger) that has some sections at the beginning that explain why things are phrased the way they are. I think it might be a bit much for GCSE, though!
If you can get hold of it, there's a really great grammar book called 'Une fois pour toutes'. It's in French but straightforward and very thorough!

Sadik Mon 26-Sep-16 14:54:15

OK, will add Bescherelle and get dd to have a look at the grammar books mentioned & see what she thinks would be useful. Thanks all smile

relaxitllbeok Mon 26-Sep-16 17:15:43

Glanville Price is awesome but it's not little, and it would be hard to overstate by how much it's overkill for GCSE. Don't blame mumsnet if you get that one and your DD ends up going to university to read linguistics...

gastropod Mon 26-Sep-16 17:20:14

Bescherelle is all you ever need! I still have mine. It took me through school and university and post-grad.

Bobochic Mon 26-Sep-16 17:41:23

If you are a French speaker yourself, you can look at and buy workbooks by Chouette or Bescherelle that reinforce conjugation knowledge.

Sadik Mon 26-Sep-16 18:38:25

" it would be hard to overstate by how much it's overkill for GCSE" grin grin grin

I'm not sure dd is quite thinking of something at that level . . . I think the chances of her wishing to study MFL at uni are minimal, she just wants to pass her GCSE!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now