French / Year 5 and 6 / Understanding / Systems of language

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Curriculum content descriptions

Develop knowledge of grammatical elements such as tenses, and combine them with an increasing range of nouns, adjectives and adverbs to construct simple statements, questions and exclamations

[Key concepts: grammatical rules, patterns, exceptions; Key processes: classifying, discriminating, vocabulary building]


  • building a metalanguage to talk about grammar, using terms such as ‘tenses’ and ‘personal pronouns’, and identifying language elements and talking about how they are used
  • using all forms of the present tense of regular -er, -ir and -re verbs and of high-frequency irregular verbs such as avoir, être, aller and faire
  • becoming familiar with l’imparfait when encountered in familiar expressions and scaffolded language contexts, for example, Il était une fois…C’était…
  • using the indicative plus the infinitive (for example, J’aime jouer au tennis, il sait conduire) and le futur proche, for example, je vais partir
  • becoming familiar with and using with support le passé composé, for example, j’ai mangé trois biscuits, elle a dormi sous les étoiles
  • playing games such as ‘matching pairs’ to reinforce grammatical rules, for example, pairing nouns and subject pronouns (Jean travaille: il travaille; Marianne aime le fromage: elle aime le fromage) or a subject with a conjugated verb (nous parlons, tu manges)
  • using a range of nouns, including more unusual plural forms (for example, les bureaux, les choux-fleurs, mes grands-parents), more complex adjectives (for example, beau, belle, beaux, belles) and possessive forms (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes…)
  • formulating questions using est-ce que…, the inverted form of the verb, or changed intonation, for example, est-ce que tu as un chien? as-tu un chien? tu as un chien…?
  • understanding and using negative constructions (for example, tu ne viens pas ce soir?), including the use of de after a negative verb form, for example, je n’ai pas de photos
  • using exclamations to indicate agreement, disagreement, intention or understanding, for example, D’accord! Mais non! bien sûr; voilà!
  • using a range of adverbs to elaborate or accentuate meaning, for example, il parle si doucement; moi j’écoute attentivement
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
ScOT terms

Tense (Grammar),  Statements,  French language

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