French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. In 1539 it was declared an official language of France. It amounts about 300 million speakers across the world, 90 million of which are native speakers.
French is one of the six official languages and one of the two working languages of the United Nation Organization. It is the official language of 29 countries and many international organizations. French is the second most commonly studied foreign language in the world.
French is mainly written with the basic Latin alphabet (26 letters) supplemented by some diacritics and ligatures. One of the characteristics of French grammar as compared to many modern languages is the richness of its system of tenses and moods.
Modern French includes 10 parts of speech, 5 of which are variable (nouns, adjectives, determinants, pronouns and verbs) and 5 are invariable (adverb, preposition, conjunction, interjection and introducers). However, this richness usually comes down to the spoken language. Besides, an important part of French grammar (plural, conjugated persons) is noticeable in writing only. The French verb is characterized by certain morphological features; it varies in person, number, tense and voice; it possesses semantic properties: it may designate a state or an action; it has syntactic particularities, i.e. it represents the essence of the sentence. No sentence exists without it.
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