Any good grammar books to learn French?

I want to reach B1 / C1 level proficiency in French in 12 months.  Prior background in French is limited.

I am learning French primarily through Duo Lingo at the moment and supplementing that with watching French videos / TV series online to build listening skills. Will be going to italki at some point too to get some speaking experienc.e  

Wanted to have a book for grammar, and there are SO many suggestions on what to buy. I get confused and have spent hours on reddit trying to find the perfect one. Wondering first if anyone learnt French as an adult and so what were the two / three resources that you used. Any suggestion on grammar book would be helpful too. Thanks.  

Comments (8)

kinghamasaki, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As someone who speaks 6 different languages, the easiest and most time-effective way to learn any language is getting a private tutor. I'm not talking here about talking to some random native speaker, but someone who actually knows how to teach the language to foreigners.

For grammar the book I have found the most useful has been Grammaire Progressive du Français. There are 3 levels: beginner (A1), intermediate (A2-B1) and advanced (B2-C2). I used these books before I found my current tutor and even with her she still brings this book up to work on my grammar mistakes for my DALF C2 exam.

Best of luck mate!

wsomembersince09, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you. The grammar book that you mention is in french. How did you understand it in the beginning? And how much have you paid your private tutor for french classes to date? Just trying to see how much should I budget. I want to move fast. 

Been watching french in action series, extra french, but this all is supplementing duo lingo. 

kinghamasaki, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've always had French tutors helping me throughout my studies, so at the beginning when i didn't understand much they would just translate for me the book. For lower levels I paid 12€-15€/hour. Now I'm paying 25€/hour for my C2 prep classes (these are all prices for tutors based in Spain, where private lessons tend to be cheaper than in the UK for example).

wsomembersince09, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How long has it taken you to reach c2 level in french (in terms of hours / day or total years). How much total investment $$ have you put into the french private tutors during this time period? Seems like you've been studying the language pre university too 

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thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

not studying French but aim to make that my 4th language. for tutors, they have tutors for general conversation, CEFR exam prep, etc., that would be where I'd start. try multiple teachers, professional, non professional, etc., and see who you vibe with. I would also trust the tutor with a grammar book recommendation versus someone online. once you get into language learning you'll see there are a lot of charlatans out there and "language collectors" who can hail a cab or order food or talk about traveling in a language but can't do much else yet consider themselves fluent.

for cost, I've spent $4k on italki over the past 18mos and had at least 1 lesson a week, often 2-3 with many weeks having a lot more (e.g. getting ready to go abroad)

sounds like you're trying to fast track this, so if I were you I'd have 2-3 sessions on italki every week which will cost 10-30EUR/hr depending on the prof, and then supplement that with listening exercises (podcasts in French, LingQ, French TV/movies/YouTube) as well as reading (newspapers, books translated to French and written originally in French). 

on duolingo, I wouldn't make that my base. idk about French, but I've found tons of errors in their Italian and Spanish courses so I think it should be a good way for you to get new vocabulary as well as daily exposure to the language in a pinch, but I would make italki my focus (and no, they're not paying me, I just only reached fluency in Spanish that way and am biased because it's worked for me as well as some friends)

finally, practice in the wild. meet French people, do language exchange (someone who's native French trying to learn your native language, unstructured chat to help each other), and travel to French speaking countries and try to live in French. 

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CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just throwing out another vote for a private tutor. It really accelerated my Spanish and has made a huge difference as I've learned Italian. I found my Italian tutor on, which seems to be the same thing as iTalki. There is probably a mild correlation between price and quality (I tried a few tutors before settling on my current one that I've had for more than two years), but I think a fair price is about $20 - $25/hour.

The reality is that you need to be speaking the language a lot more than a few hours a week if you want to learn quickly. The biggest barrier I've seen to people learning languages is that they are afraid of making mistakes and therefore don't speak unless they are in a 'safe' environment. You need to put yourself out there and just talk, screw up, embarrass yourself, and move on. Eventually the errors will become less noticeable and you'll turn the corner, but it takes some pain to get there.

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thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ottimo che impari l'italiano compbanker! non sapevo che già parli lo spagnolo, siamo fratelli delle lingue

sono d'accordo, devi sbagliare per crescere, come in tutti i aspetti della vita. quanti giorni alla settimani practici l'italiano e anche lo spagnolo? ogni giorno? 2 o 3 volte? come equilibri la tua studia con le due lingue? è una cosa che provo di migliorare, è dificile parlare tutte e due lo stesso giorno

Latam_Papi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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