My French is currently around level B1+ and I'm planning on spending 2-3 months in a French-speaking country and fully commit myself to improving my abilities. The goal is to have quite good proficiency afterwards (C1-ish).

Regarding my question, is there any good grammar book you can recommend that sums up all the necessary grammar for my goal? It should be compact and make it easy to look up stuff. I don't need pages full of pronunciation or the numbers...just a straightforward grammar would be nice.

  • Welcome to Language Learning Stack Exchange! Could you add whether the book should be in French or in another language? Also, should it only contain grammar or also grammar exercises?
    – Tsundoku
    Jan 23, 2018 at 11:45
  • @ChristopheStrobbe Thanks Christophe! Completely French would probably be the best, but English or German would work as well. I would prefer if it contains mostly grammar and no or hardly any exercises. I would like to use it more as a reference book, one where I can look up stuff that I'm not sure about. Not to learn new grammar.
    – hlzl
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:36

1 Answer 1

  • One of the classic grammars for learners of French is Nouvelle grammaire française by André Goosse and Maurice Grevisse (De Boeck, 1995, 396 pages). Size is 23.5 by 15.7 cm, so not "pocket size".
  • Bescherelle La grammaire pour tous (Hatier, 2012; 320 pages; 19.6 by 13.9 cm) is a bit more compact. It contains clear explanations and many commented examples. The book is available both in print and in PDF format.
  • If you want more than just grammar, you may also consider Bescherelle L'essentiel (Hatier, 2013; 432 pages; 22.7 by 15 cm), which is a bit less compact but which is intended as a reference work for grammar, spelling, conjugations, vocabulary and "expression".
  • For a pocket-size book, you might consider Grammaire du français by Delphine Denis and Anne Sancier-Château (Le Livre de Poche, 1997; 541 pages; 17.8 by 10.9 cm), which is apparently very systematic and goes beyond the basics (possibly beyond what you need for level C1).
  • The most recent recommendation I received in a course at level C1 was for a book that combined grammar explanations with exercises:

There are other reference works that delve deeper into the subtleties of French grammar, but that are aimed at university students and linguists. I have not listed these here.

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