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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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