The grammar requirements for GCSE are set out in two tiers: Foundation Tier and Higher Tier.
GCSE students will be expected to have acquired knowledge and understanding of French grammar during their course. In the exam they will be required to apply their knowledge and understanding, appropriate to the relevant tier of entry, drawing from the following lists. The examples in brackets are indicative, not exclusive. For structures marked (R), only receptive knowledge is required.
Students will be expected to develop and use their knowledge and understanding of this grammar progressively throughout their course.
3.3.1 Foundation Tier
singular and plural forms
definite, indefinite and partitive, including use of de after negatives
comparative and superlative: regular and meilleur
demonstrative (ce, cet, cette, ces)
indefinite (chaque, quelque)
interrogative (quel, quelle)
comparative and superlative
interrogative (comment, quand)
adverbs of time and place (aujourd’hui, demain, ici, là-bas)
common adverbial phrases
très, assez, beaucoup, peu, trop
personal: all subjects, including on
relative: que (R)
object: direct (R) and indirect (R)
position and order of object pronouns (R)
demonstrative (ça, cela)
interrogative (qui, que)
use of y, en (R)
regular and irregular verbs, including reflexive verbs
all persons of the verb, singular and plural
modes of address: tu, vous
impersonal verbs (il faut)
verbs followed by an infinitive, with or without a preposition
- imperfect: avoir, être and faire
- other common verbs in the imperfect tense (R)
- immediate future
- future (R)
- conditional: vouloir and aimer
- pluperfect (R)
- passive voice: present tense (R)
- present participle.
common prepositions eg à, au, à l', à la, aux; de, du, de l', de la, des; après; avant; avec; chez; contre; dans; depuis; derrière; devant; entre; pendant; pour; sans; sur; sous; vers
common compound prepositions eg à côté de; près de; en face de, à cause de; au lieu de
common coordinating conjunctions eg car; donc; ensuite; et; mais; ou, ou bien, puis
common subordinating conjunctions eg comme; lorsque; parce que; puisque; quand; que; si
220.127.116.11 Number, quantity, dates and time
including use of depuis with present tense
3.3.2 Higher Tier
Students entering for Higher Tier assessments will be required to apply all grammar and structures listed for Foundation Tier, in addition to the new grammar and structures listed for Higher Tier.
comparative and superlative, including meilleur, pire
comparative and superlative, including mieux, le mieux
use of y, en
relative: dont (R)
object: direct and indirect
position and order of object pronouns
demonstrative (celui) (R)
possessive (le mien) (R)
- passive voice: future, imperfect and perfect tenses (R)
- perfect infinitive
- present participle, including use after en
- subjunctive mood: present, in commonly used expressions (R).
including use of depuis with imperfect tense.
- Specification for first teaching in 2016 (628.0 KB)