3.3 Grammar

AS and A-level students will be expected to have studied the grammatical system and structures of the language during their course. Knowledge of the grammar and structures specified for GCSE is assumed.

In the exam students will be required to use, actively and accurately, grammar and structures appropriate to the tasks set, drawn from the following lists. The mention of an item in these lists implies knowledge of both its forms and its functions at an appropriate level of accuracy and complexity.

The lists are divided into AS and A-level. The examples in italics in parentheses are indicative; they serve to illustrate the part of speech or structure that the student must know and do not represent an exhaustive specification of the required grammatical knowledge. For items marked (R), receptive knowledge only is required.

A-level students will be expected to have studied all grammar and structures that appear in the lists for both AS and A-level.

AS grammar



Singular and plural forms


Definite, indefinite and partitive




Comparative and superlative

Use of adjectives as nouns (eg le vieux, les Anglais)

Demonstrative (ce, cet, cette, ces)

Indefinite (including autre, chaque, même, quelque)

Possessive (mon, ma, mes, etc)

Interrogative and exclamatory (quel, quelle, quels, quelles)


Cardinal (eg un, deux)

Ordinal (eg premier, deuxième)

Expression of time and date


Formation of adverbs in -ment

Comparative and superlative

Interrogative (including combien (de), comment, , pourquoi, quand)


(including assez, beaucoup, moins, plus, la plupart, plusieurs, presque, tant, très, trop)


Personal: subject, including on

Object: direct and indirect

Disjunctive/emphatic personal, as subject and object: moi/moi-même, etc

Position and order


Relative (including qui, que, dont, lequel etc, auquel etc, ce qui, ce que)

Demonstrative (celui, celle, ceux, celles; and celui-ci/celui-là etc)

Indefinite (including quelqu’un, quelque chose)

Possessive (le mien etc)

Interrogative (including qui, que, quoi)

Use of y, en


Conjugation of regular -er, -ir, -re verbs, modal verbs, principal irregular verbs, including reflexive verbs

Agreement of verb and subject

Use of il y a

Modes of address (tu, vous)

Impersonal verbs

Constructions with verbs

Verbs followed by an infinitive (with or without a preposition)

Dependent infinitives (faire réparer) (R)

Perfect infinitive

Negative forms

Interrogative forms

Use of tenses:

  • present
  • perfect (including agreement of past participle)
  • imperfect
  • future
  • conditional
  • future perfect
  • conditional perfect
  • pluperfect
  • past historic (R).

Use of the infinitive, present participle (eg en arrivant) and past participle

Verbal paraphrases and their uses (including aller + infinitive, venir de + infinitive)

Passive voice:

  • present tense
  • other tenses (R).

Subjunctive mood: present (common uses, for example, after expressions of possibility, necessity, obligation and after conjunctions such as bien que)


All prepositions, both simple (eg sous) and complex (eg au-delà de)


Coordinating conjunctions (eg et, ou, mais)

Subordinating conjunctions


Use of negative particles (eg ne...pas, ne...personne, ne...que)

Use of ne with negative subjects (eg Personne n’est venu)



Word order

Inversion after speech

Other constructions

Time expressions with depuis and il y a

Comparative constructions

Indirect speech

Discourse markers

(eg Au contraire, En fait)


(eg alors, bon)

A-level grammar

In addition to the vocabulary listed in the AS grammar list, students of A-level will also be expected to study the following:


Dependent infinitives (faire réparer)

Passive voice: all tenses

Subjunctive mood:

  • perfect tense
  • imperfect tense (R).

Word order

Inversion after adverbs