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French Linking Terms



The following terms will help you polish your written and spoken French. Use them when describing an event or retelling a story. These are necessary to ​MEMORISE​ because not only do they elevate your French, but they improve your overall fluency in the language. Please note this list will be available for download in PDF format. A link will be available later this week.


  • When you are about to recount an event, the following terms are important to know:

    • à priori: to begin with (used in conversation)

      • This phrase is often used when recounting an event.

        • Example: A priori, je ne pensais pas que le problème soit très grave mais je ne sais pas si les choses vont changer.

        • Example: A priori les deux petites filles semblaient perdues, mais elles ont retrouvé le bon chemin

  • pour commencer: to begin with

    • d’abord: first

    • au commencement: in the beginning

    • au début de l’histoire: at the beginning of the story

    • il était une fois: once upon a time


  • To proceed from one even to the next, the following terms are important to remember:

    • et puis: and then

    • ensuite: then, afterward, next

    • soudain: suddenly, all of the sudden

    • tout à coup: all of the sudden

    • alors: then, so



  • To conclude your story, remember the following terms:

    • à la fin: at the end

    • enfin: finally

    • pour finir: all in all, to conclude

    • pour terminer: to finish

    • bref: in short

    • en somme: to sum it up


  • To express an opposition use the following terms:

    • Cependant: however, yet

      • Example: Personne n’a cru Jean-Pierre; il disait cependant la vérité.

    • pourtant: but, yet

      • Example: La mer rest très froid; pourtant je veux nager.

    • néanmoins: nevertheless

    • en revanche: however

    • par contre: however

    • bien que: although

    • malgré que: although

    • malgré: despite, in spite

    • même si: even though, even if



  • When you want to link a general idea to a specific example use:

    • d’ailleurs: as a matter of fact



  • To insist on an idea, to confirm something, or to give a reason, use the following terms:

    • en plus: moreover, in addition

    • en fait: in fact, actually

    • afin que: so that

    • pour que: in order to

    • afin de (français écrit): in order to



  • To give a cause for an action:

    • à cause de: because of

    • parce que: because

    • car (français écrit): because

      • Example: Le roi était bien triste, car il ne savait plus quoi faire.



  • To explain the effect or the result of an action, use the following terms:

    • sinon: otherwise

    • par conséquent: consequently

    • donc: thus, therefore

    • de ce fait: as a result (used when writing only)

    • ainsi: thus, therefore (used in French writing)

    • forcément: as an obvious consequence

    • en vain: in vain

    • à force de: by dint of



  • When you want to link or compare one idea to another:

    • précisément: precisely

    • par rapport à: in relation to, compared to



  • When agreeing use the following terms:

    • volontiers: willingly, gladly

      • Example: Cécile: Veux-tu m’accompagner au cinéma? Hélène:Volontiers, mais il faut que tu m’attendes quelques minutes.



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