Our Top 12 Picks: Best Books to Accelerate Your French Learning

Embarking on a journey to master the French language? Discover the key to fluent communication with our comprehensive review of top self-learning French books accompanied by audio CDs. Let the adventure in language learning begin!

French language learning books with audios are a great way to learn French for beginners and advanced learners alike.

In this roundup, I delve into a selection of the best books for learning French available.

From structured courses to practice-oriented texts, this guide covers a variety of methods to accelerate your French learning journey, making it easier to pick the perfect book to fit your individual learning style and pace.

I have included both newer brands, and a few older ones that are no longer so current, but which I have found useful for learning in the past.

These texts are often the ones that have fallen prey to the multitude of language learning apps that introduce people to a language, to around an A1 level… but some of us prefer books and paper 🙂

Each book comes equipped with audio materials, either CDs or downloadable files, ensuring a well-rounded learning experience.

They offer a variety of exercises, activities, and lessons that cover all aspects of the French language, including grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Catering to both beginners and advanced learners, these books are chosen for their comprehensive approach, including a mix of both modern and timeless techniques.

TL:DR – Of all the books reviewed, the Practice Makes Perfect series is my personal favourite – it is just so extensive. The drills are great, the explanations make sense. In addition, all the books are available on Kindle, all have audio accompaniment, and they are still in publication.

The Best Books for Learning French with Themed Learning

Up until a decade ago, “Teach Yourself” and “Colloquial” brands of language kits were the ‘Go To’ of language learners in the English speaking world. They filled a niche of being a basic (roughly A1) introduction to the language, while still being comprehensive enough with vocabulary, grammar and theme to cover most basic needs.

The Teach Yourself brand has been my favourite since my first purchase in 1995, and continues to be, as an introduction to a language. I own several of their language kits (all pre-MP3 days!) I like that they give a reasonable foundation, without being too technical.

It was the only affordable option when I wanted to learn Dutch (pre-internet days), and after completing the whole book I had a solid enough grounding to get involved in Dutch-only speaking groups and grasp the gist of a conversation. It gave me the foundation I needed as someone immersed in the language, to grow my comprehension and speaking abilities.

There were also (and still are) other basic introductions to language, such as those published by Berlitz and other language schools.

These brands fill a niche of being a basic (roughly A1) introduction to the language, while still being comprehensive enough with vocabulary, grammar and theme to cover most basic needs when travelling or first moving to a country.

Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course (Teach Yourself)

The Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to get begin learning French.

The majority of TY courses typically lead you through an A1 level of the language. TY Complete French takes you quite a bit further.

The book is well-structured and provides a clear and concise introduction to the language. The audio materials are also of high quality and provide ample opportunities to practice listening and speaking.

Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course (Teach Yourself)

I highly recommend the Complete French Beginner to Intermediate Course (Teach Yourself) for those who want to learn French in a structured way using simply a book and audios. The course is well-organized and covers all the essential aspects of the language.

Each lesson is introduced with a mapping to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) from A1 Beginner to B1/B2 Upper Intermediate level of the CEFR guidelines. This way you know exactly what you have learned, and what is left to learn, if you are following a framework.

The biggest downside is that they seem to be falling prey to the surge in language learning apps, and the enormous corpus of language learning information on the internet, and are often no longer in print, or a few years old.

The audio for this course can be downloaded from the Teach Yourself Library app or streamed at library.teachyourself.com.

CONTENTS:

Complete French contents page one
Complete French contents page two

PROS:

  • The course includes a comprehensive book and audio materials, which makes it easier to learn French through reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • The exercises are well-designed and provide ample opportunities to practice the language.
  • Audios are available from the Teach Yourself Library app, and online.
  • The course is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate learners. Each lesson maps to the CEFR frameworks to show what you are covering.
  • Available on Perlego Online Library

CONS:

  • Some users may find the pace of the audio materials too fast, which can make it challenging to keep up with the lessons.
  • The book may not be suitable for those who prefer a more visual learning experience.
  • The course does not include any interactive features such as apps or web software, which could make learning more engaging.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

Colloquial French (Colloquial Series)

If you are looking for a beginner’s course in French, Colloquial French (Colloquial Series) might be the right book for you.

It comes with 2 CDs that contain dialogues, grammar points, and exercises to help you learn the language.

I found Colloquial French (Colloquial Series) to be user-friendly, and the dialogues are well-structured and relatable.

The book is structured into “Units,” which makes it easy to follow and learn. Each unit contains 2-3 dialogues, grammar points, and exercises. The dialogues are relatable and real-life situations, which makes it easier to remember the vocabulary.

I also like that the book focuses on colloquial French, which is the language spoken in everyday situations.

Colloquial French (Colloquial Series)

However, if I had to choose between the Colloquial and the Teach Yourself books, I would lean a little more toward Teach Yourself. I’m not sure what it is, but I like the feel of it more.

Nevertheless, if you are unable to locate a Teach Yourself kit, Colloquial is a reasonable “go to”.

Audio material to accompany the course is available to download free in MP3 format from www.routledge.com/cw/colloquials. 

CONTENTS:

PROS:

  • The book is structured into “Units” which makes it easy to follow and learn.
  • The dialogues in the book are relatable and real-life situations, which makes it easier to remember the vocabulary.
  • The book focuses on colloquial French, which is the language spoken in everyday situations.
  • Pronunciation is introduced using International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), so you can be sure you are learning it accurately.
  • Available on the Perlego Library

CONS:

  • The book only provides an introduction to the language so it will not be enough if you want to learn French to an advanced level.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

Berlitz French in 30 Days

The Berlitz French in 30 Days is a good option for anyone who wants to learn French quickly and effectively, and who finds a short term goal like 30 days motivating.

Berlitz French in 30 Days, 2014

The book and audio CD set includes a 288 page illustrated course book and one 60 minute audio CD of the dialogues, and is perfect for beginners who want to learn basic French phrases and vocabulary.

Quickly is, of course, the key word, given that this is a “30 day” approach. The vocabulary in the dialogues is very natural, and uses many common expressions.

Revision exercises give you an opportunity to practice each feature of the language as it is introduced: however, the exercises are not terribly exhaustive.

In order to properly drill the concepts you may need to add your own extra practice sentences or tasks.

Berlitz French in 30 Days is a great option for beginners who want to learn basic French quickly and effectively, enough to help you get around on a trip.

The book and downloadable audios are well-structured and easy to follow, and the course can be completed in just 30 days.

However, the set is definitely just an introduction. The lack of practice opportunities, and the swift introduction is not going to satisfy those who want to achieve fluency in French or who are looking for more advanced grammar and vocabulary lessons. Neither does it articulate into a more advanced course.

CONTENTS:

  • Day 1: At the station
  • Day 2: Dining In
  • Day 3: Welcome to Paris
  • Day 4: Shopping
  • Day 5: The Family
  • Day 6: Education
  • Day 7: Making friends
  • Day 8: Sightseeing
  • Day 9: Cafe culture
  • Day 10: Shopping
  • Day 11: Dining out
  • Day 12: At the station
  • Day 13: The ski trip
  • Day 14 A chance encounter
  • Day 15: Making calls
  • Day 16: Work experience
  • Day 17: The internship
  • Day 18: Going out
  • Day 19: Celebrations
  • Day 20: Driving in France
  • Day 21: The breakdown
  • Day 22: At the Doctor’s
  • Day 23 Camping
  • Day 24: Markets
  • Day 25: Making plans
  • Day 26: At the beach
  • Day 27: The meeting
  • Day 28: Finding work
  • Day 29: Goodbye
  • Day 30: Keeping in Touch

There are tests on the way through, and quizzes at the end of the books, as well as answers to the exercises through the book, and vocabulary

PROS:

  • The book is well-structured and easy to follow, with clear explanations and exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned.
  • The audio CD is a great addition to the book, providing clear pronunciation and a chance to practice speaking and listening to French.
  • The course is designed to be completed in 30 days, making it a great option for anyone who wants to learn French quickly.

CONS:

  • The audio CD can be frustrating at times, as each phrase is only said once and you may need to pause and repeat constantly in order to practice.
  • Being a “30 day” book, it moves quite quickly, and the activities can be quite brief.
  • The course does not cover advanced French grammar or vocabulary, so it is not suitable for those who want to achieve fluency in French.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

  • Title: Berlitz French in 30 Days
  • Author:  Berlitz Publishing
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Paperback: $19.99
  • Star Ratings: 4.3 out of 5.
  • Number of Ratings: 21 ratings.
  • Publication Date: 2014

The Best Books for Learning French with Grammatical Approaches

The Everything French Practice Book with CD

I highly recommend purchasing The Everything French Practice Book with CD for anyone looking to improve their French speaking and writing skills using a grammatical approach and significant drilling of concepts.

You will need at least a basic understanding of English grammatical terms, as they used to introduce the French grammar.

The Everything French Practice Book as a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their French language skills, but it should be used in conjunction with other learning materials for best results.

CONTENTS:

The Everything French Practice Book with CD

PROS:

  • The book offers practical techniques to improve your French language skills, and many opportunities to practice.
  • The CD included with the book is a great tool for practicing pronunciation and comprehension.
  • The exercises in the book are useful for reinforcing grammar and vocabulary, as well as listening to and grasping the French pronunciation.

CONS:

  • The book is not ideal for absolute beginners with no prior exposure to French as it moves quite quickly.
  • The book is heavily text- and translation- based, which may not suit those who prefer to learn by association with images.
  • Some users have commented that the binding of the book is not very durable and pages may fall out easily.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

Living Language French, Essential Edition: Beginner course

I recommend the Living Language French, Beginner Course for anyone who wants to take their time to learn French from scratch or improve their existing skills.

The course is comprehensive, user-friendly, and provides a variety of learning tools to suit your needs.

This is the first of three volumes, ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’. Completing all three Living Language French will get you to around an A2/B1 level of language.

The Living Language French is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be introduced to topics in a slow and measured pace, with plenty of opportunity for rehearsal.

PROS:

  • The course includes one coursebooks, three audio CDs, an online course, and apps to provide a complete learning experience.
  • The coursebooks are well-organized and easy to follow, and the audio CDs provide excellent listening practice.
  • The audio CDs are of high quality and feature native French speakers, which helps with pronunciation and listening comprehension.
  • The online course and apps provide additional practice and reinforcement of the material covered in the coursebooks and audio CDs.

CONS:

  • There is no online support provided by Living Language any more – the brand is not being continued.
Living Language French – Beginner Course
The Living Languages “Complete Edition” can also be found – this book is on Amazon France.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

New Courses for Self-Learners

French for Beginners: Learn French in 30 Days Without Wasting Time (Beginner to Advanced)

If you’re looking for a comprehensive self-learning French system with audio, the Lingo Publishing French course (Beginner to Advanced), starting with French for Beginners: Learn French in 30 Days Without Wasting Time is a great start.

It is followed up by books for Intermediate French and Advanced French, both designed around a 30 day format.

CONTENTS:

  • Learn a brief history of the French language
  • Discover the alphabet, accents, pronunciation tips, word order, etc.
  • See examples of all kinds of logical fallacies so you can laugh (inside) as your opponent gets stuck in them
  • Meet new people, learn noun genders
  • Learn travelling lingo
  • Go shopping in a French market and learn all about food
  • Go sightseeing with Martin
  • Have a house party – invitations, family members, and how to address them
  • Enjoy a restaurant excursion, talk with waiters and other diners
  • Discuss your past, time expressions, months/seasons
French for Beginners: Learn French in 30 Days Without Wasting Time (Beginner to Advanced)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0C1J1XKQ6?tag=learnlangua03-20
Intermediate French: The Fast-Track Guide to Mastering French in 30 Days

The book series is very thorough and provides useful tips and phrases for various situations. At the end of each chapter there are exercises to practise.

Absolute beginners should expect to see full paragraphs of French right from early in the first book. However, translations in English are right next to them, so don’t be scared off!

I would recommend French for Beginners to those who are ready to embrace learning, and progress quickly, whether they want to continue after the initial 30 days or not.

PROS:

  • The book provides a parallel text, so you can read it in French and English.
  • It covers a wide range of topics, including travel, dining, shopping, and more.
  • The exercises at the end of each chapter help to reinforce what you’ve learned.

CONS:

  • The book may be a little intimidating for absolute beginners, as it starts with full paragraphs in French.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Title: French for Beginners: Learn French in 30 Days Without Wasting Time
  • Authors: Lingo Publishing, Raoul Dumont
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Kindle Edition: $3.99 (or $0.00 with Kindle Unlimited)
    • Hardcover: $21.57 (1 New from $21.57)
    • Paperback: $13.69 (2 Used from $13.00, 4 New from $9.42)
  • Star Ratings: 4.0 out of 5 stars
  • Number of Ratings: 23 ratings
  • Publication Date: September 22, 2022

French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD

French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD is a comprehensively structured experience for anyone looking to learn French.

French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD

This book covers everything from basic grammar to intermediate vocabulary, making it a great resource for beginners and intermediate learners alike.

The CD is not included, but a download link is provided. It gives helpful audio exercises and pronunciation practice, making it easy to practice speaking and listening skills.

One of the best things about this book is its friendly, approachable tone. The authors do an excellent job of explaining complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand, making it a great resource for beginners and intermediate learners alike.

It’s important to know that this book mainly teaches everyday, informal French. This is great if you want to talk in everyday situations, but it might not be the best if you need to learn formal or academic French.

It also addresses differences between Canadian and ‘Metropole’ French.

Keep in mind, this book was published in 2012, so it doesn’t cover recent topics like the pandemic or ChatGPT. Despite this, the ‘Idiot’s Guide’ series is well-respected, and many learners find it helpful.

I highly recommend the French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD. It’s a comprehensive resource that provides a great foundation for language learners.

CONTENTS:

  • Introduction
  • Book I: Speaking in Everyday Settings
  • Book II: Exploring and Wandering About
  • Book III: Building the Grammatical Foundation for Communication
  • Book IV: Getting Down to Detail and Precision in Your Communication
  • Book V: Going Back in Time
  • Book VI: Appendixes

PROS:

  • The book covers a wide range of topics, making it a great all-in-one resource for learning French.
  • The included CD provides helpful audio exercises and pronunciation practice.
  • The book is easy to understand and written in a friendly, approachable tone.
  • The book includes information about Canadian French.
  • Available on Perlego Online Library

CONS:

  • The book is quite large and may be intimidating for some learners.
  • Some users have reported difficulties in hearing the audio on the CD.
  • The book is focused on informal, conversational French, which may not be suitable for all learners.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

  • Product Title: French All-in-One For Dummies, with CD
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Kindle: $21.00
    • Paperback: $26.00 – $29.49
  • Star Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars from 1,521 ratings
  • Goodreads Ratings: 4.0 out of 5 stars from 101 ratings
  • Publication Date: October 9, 2012

Easy French Step-by-Step

Easy French Step-by-Step

If you are looking for a starter self-learning French book with audio, then Easy French Step-by-Step is a great option.

I recommend it for beginners who want a solid introduction to French and enjoy practising as they learn. It covers approximately the A1 level of the Fench Language.

CONTENTS:

  1. First Elements of French
  2. The Verbs être and avoir, Subject Pronouns, and Negation
  3. Days and Months, Regular -er Verbs in the Present Tense, and Interrogatives
  4. Numbers, Dates, and Time and Regular -ir Verbs in the Present Tense
  5. Regular -re Verbs in the Present Tense and -er Verbs with Spelling Changes
  6. Expressing the Future with aller, Prepositions, and the Verb faire
  7. Irregular Verbs I and Verb + Verb Constructions
  8. Irregular Verbs II and Relative Pronouns
  9. Prendre and boire, the Partitive Article, and Object Pronouns
  10. Possessives, Demonstratives, Comparatives, and Adverbs
  11. Affirmative and Negative Expressions, Forming the Imperative, and Using Pronominal Verbs
  12. The Past and Future Tenses, the Conditional, and the Subjunctive Mood

Easy French Step-by-Step is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn French.

The book is well-structured, with each chapter building on the previous one, making it easy to follow.

The book covers a wide range of topics, including grammar, vocabulary, and conversation skills. It also includes exercises and quizzes to help you practice what you have learned. The exercises are challenging but not overwhelming, making it easy to stay motivated and engaged.

The explanations are clear and concise, with plenty of examples to help you understand the grammar rules.

The audio CD is a valuable addition, providing pronunciation practice and listening comprehension exercises, which are essential for developing your French language skills.

One of the downsides of the book is that it does not provide phonetic pronunciation for French words, which may be challenging for beginners. However, this is a minor issue, as you can easily find pronunciation guides online.

Another potential downside is that the book is entirely in English, which may not be suitable for those who prefer a more immersive approach.

Easy French Step-by-Step is an excellent investment for anyone who wants to start learning French. It is well-organized, easy to follow, and provides a comprehensive guide to learning the language. If you are looking for a self-learning French book with audio, then this is definitely one to consider.

PROS:

  • The book is well-organized and easy to follow, with clear explanations and examples.
  • The audio CD provides pronunciation practice and listening comprehension exercises.
  • The book covers a wide range of topics, including grammar, vocabulary, and conversation skills.

CONS:

  • The book does not provide written phonetic pronunciation for French words, which may be challenging for beginners.
  • The book is entirely in English, which may not be suitable for those who prefer a more immersive approach.
  • Some users found the book is quite dense and may require a lot of time and effort to complete.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:


The Multi-Book Sets for Learning French

The “Complete French” Course

Dylane Moreau, a French teacher with the YouTube channel “The perfect French with Dylane” has created, among others, a series of workbooks called “The Complete French Course,” each book focusing on a vital aspect of learning French. (You can find her complete Amazon catalogue here.)

“The Complete French Course” has five volumes covering French Pronunciation, Conjugation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Expressions & Idioms.

These well-crafted guides are tailored for learners at various levels. They offer organized lessons, audio tools for practicing pronunciation, and a range of exercises.

Whether you’re just starting or already an intermediate learner, this series is designed to help you master the intricacies of the French language in a comprehensive and effective way.

Here I have reviewed Moreau’s “The Complete French Vocabulary Course” and “The Complete French Grammar Course”.

The Complete French Vocabulary Course

If you’re looking for a comprehensive beginner self-learning French book with audio, The Complete French Vocabulary Course is really worth considering.

Learn 5000 words in context, including around 200 exercises, audios and video lessons provided on the author’s YouTube channel.

The Complete French Vocabulary Course

The book’s focus on context and real-life situations makes it more engaging and practical than other vocabulary books I’ve used in the past.

The exercises, audios, and video lessons are also a big plus, as they provide ample opportunities for practice and reinforcement. The audio recordings are clear and easy to understand, and the video lessons are informative and well-produced.

Key features of the book:

  • Varied Exercises: Approximately 200 exercises spread across 25 chapters to reinforce learning.
  • Audio and Video Lessons: These tools aid in improving pronunciation and listening skills by providing exposure to native speech.
  • Target Audience: The book is suitable for both beginners and intermediates, catering to a wide range of learners.
  • Purpose: Ideal for those learning French for business, travel, education, or personal interest, aiming to build confidence in French vocabulary.

The Complete French Vocabulary Course is a great resource for beginner French learners who want to expand their vocabulary and improve their overall language skills.

That being said, the book might be overwhelming for some beginners, as it assumes a little prior knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary. Additionally, the book’s length might be daunting for some learners, especially those who prefer shorter, more concise resources.

CONTENTS:

  1. Noun Gender and Plurals
  2. Describing People
  3. Emotions and Feelings
  4. Jobs and Professions
  5. Countries, Nationalities, Languages
  6. Colors
  7. Face and Hygiene
  8. Body Parts
  9. Winter and Summer Clothing
  10. Sports
  11. Animals
  12. Nature
  13. Vacation and Transportation
  14. City Life
  15. Weather
  16. Hobbies
  17. Technology
  18. Home and Housing
  19. Food, Drinks, Cooking
  20. Time, Measurements, Quantities
  21. French Prefixes
  22. French Suffixes
  23. Homophones
  24. English Words Used in French
  25. New Words in 2022

PROS:

  • The book covers 5000 words in context, making it easier to remember and use them in real-life situations.
  • The book includes around 200 exercises, audios, and video lessons, which are helpful for practicing pronunciation and grammar.
  • The book is well-organized, with words categorized by subject for ease of learning in context.

CONS:

  • Some readers felt the book might not be suitable for beginners, as it assumes some prior knowledge of French.
  • Some readers found the book’s layout and design to be a bit plain.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

  • Title: The Complete French Vocabulary Course: Learn 5000 words in context – Including around 200 exercises, audios and video lessons.
  • Author: Dylane Moreau.
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Kindle: $25.00.
    • Paperback: Ranges from $25.89 to $29.00.
  • Star Ratings: 4.7 out of 5.
  • Number of Ratings: 78 ratings.
  • Publication Date: February 16, 2022.

I would recommend The Complete French Vocabulary Course to anyone who is serious about improving their French language skills and wants a comprehensive, well-organized resource to help them do so.

Following on from this is Moreau’s …

The Complete French Grammar Course

The Complete French Grammar Course

The Complete French Grammar Course is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn French. The book is well-organized and covers all the essential topics you need to know to become proficient in French. The inclusion of audio and video lessons is a great bonus, as it allows you to practice your listening and speaking skills in addition to reading and writing.

One of the best things about this book is that it is suitable for learners of all levels. Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced learner, you will find plenty of useful information in this book. The exercises are well-designed and help you practice what you have learned in a variety of contexts.

While some users have reported difficulty accessing the audio recordings for the exercises, I found that the majority of the audio and video content worked well. Additionally, some of the exercises may include uncommon vocabulary or grammar, which can be frustrating for beginners. However, I believe that these exercises are still valuable for advanced learners who want to challenge themselves.

I highly recommend The Complete French Grammar Course to anyone looking to learn French. It is an excellent resource that will help you improve your French skills in a fun and engaging way.

CONTENTS:

Introduction

  1. The present tense of regular -er verbs
  2. The present tense of -ir and -re verbs
  3. To be and to have
  4. More irregular verbs
  5. Devoir and its many facets
  6. Pronominal verbs
  7. The passé composé
  8. The imparfait
  9. The futur simple and the futur antérieur
  10. The plus-que-parfait
  11. The present conditional and the past conditional
  12. Could, should, would?
  13. The present subjunctive and the past subjunctive
  1. The infinitive mood
  2. The present participle and the gerund
  3. The passé simple
  4. The passive voice
  5. Indirect speech
  6. The imperative mood
  7. Articles and nouns
  8. All the pronouns
  9. Adjectives and comparisons
  10. Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
  11. Adverbs and expressions of time, frequency, and location
  12. Numbers
  13. Pot pourri
  14. Review exercises

PROS:

  • The book includes 200 exercises, audios, and video lessons to help you learn French in a variety of ways.
  • The content is well-structured and easy to follow, making it perfect for self-study.
  • The book covers a wide range of topics, including pronunciation, conjugation, grammar, vocabulary, and expressions.

CONS:

  • Some users have reported difficulty accessing the audio recordings for the exercises.
  • A few exercises may include uncommon vocabulary or grammar that can be frustrating for beginners.
  • The book is quite heavy, which can make it less portable.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:


French Grammar Set – Fredric Bibard, Talk In French

Frédéric Bibard is the founder of TalkInFrench.com, a French language and culture website, and its accompanying YouTube channel. Among other books, he has written a two volume set of French Grammar textbook/workbooks.

French Grammar Textbook for Beginners

French Grammar Textbook for Beginners

“The French Grammar Textbook for Beginners” is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn French grammar quickly and effectively.

CONTENTS:
Day 1: Greetings (Les Salutations)
Day 2: The Articles (Les Articles)
Day 3: The Verb “Être” (Le Verbe “Être”)
Day 4: Negation (La Négation)
Day 5: There Is/Are (Il Y A)
Day 6: Asking Questions (Comment Poser des Questions)
Day 7: Simple Present (Le Présent Simple)
Day 8: The Quick Way to Express Past, Present, and Future (Une Manière Rapide d’Exprimer le Passé, le Présent et le Futur)
Day 9: “En” and “Y” (“En” et “Y”)
Day 10: Expressing Causes and Results (Comment Exprimer la Cause et la Conséquence)
Day 11: Directions and Locations (Directions et Emplacements)
Day 12: Using “Avoir” in the Perfect Tense (L’Emploi de l’Auxiliaire Avoir pour le Passé Composé)
Day 13: Using “Être” in the Perfect Tense (L’Utilisation de l’Auxiliaire “Être” pour le Passé Composé)
Day 14: The Imperfect Tense (L’Imparfait)
Day 15: The Imperative (L’Impératif)
Day 16: Comparative and Superlative (Le Comparatif et le Superlatif)
Day 17: Possessive and Demonstrative Adjectives (Les Adjectifs Possessifs et Démonstratifs)
Day 18: Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns (Les Pronoms Compléments d’Objet Directs et Indirects)
Day 19: The Subjunctive Mood (Le Mode Subjonctif)
Day 20: Conditionals (La Condition)
Day 21: Adverbs (Les Adverbes)
Day 22: Relative Pronouns (Les Pronoms Relatifs)
Day 23: Reflexive Verbs (Les Verbes Pronominaux)
Day 24: Time, Duration, and Related Expressions (Le Temps, la Durée et les Expressions Qui S’y Rapportent)
Day 25: Stressed Pronouns (Les Pronoms Accentués)
Day 26: Demonstrative Pronouns (Les Pronoms Démonstratifs)
Day 27: Numbers (Les Chiffres)
Day 28: The Present Participle (Le Participe Présent)
Day 29: “C’est” and “Il Est” (“C’est/Ce Sont” et “Il Est”)
Day 30: Singular and Plural Nouns (Les Noms au Singulier et au Pluriel)

The book is well-organized, with each lesson building on the previous one, making it easy to follow even for complete beginners.

The audio tracks are a great addition and help with pronunciation and listening comprehension, making it easier to get a feel for the language.

The exercises are varied and provide ample opportunity to practice what you have learned, making it easier to retain the information.

One potential downside of the book is that some of the explanations could be clearer, especially for those who are complete beginners.

Additionally, the book is quite dense, and some may find it overwhelming to work through. Finally, while the workbook provides plenty of exercises, it could benefit from more detailed explanations of the answers.

PROS:

  • The book is well-organized and easy to follow, with each lesson building on the previous one.
  • The audio tracks are a great addition and help with pronunciation and listening comprehension.
  • The exercises are varied and provide ample opportunity to practice what you have learned.

CONS:

  • Some of the explanations could be clearer, especially for those who are complete beginners.
  • The book is quite dense, and some may find it overwhelming.
  • The workbook could benefit from more detailed explanations of the answers.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

  • Title: French Grammar Textbook for Beginners
  • Author: Fredric Bibard, Talk in French
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Kindle: $14.90.
    • Paperback: $16.90
  • Star Ratings: 4.4 out of 5.
  • Number of Ratings: 759 ratings.
  • Publication Date: 2022

I highly recommend the French Grammar Textbook for Beginners to anyone who wants to learn French quickly and efficiently. With its well-organized lessons, audio tracks, and varied exercises, it is an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve their French grammar skills.

An additional bonus is that, it is followed up with …

French Grammar for Intermediate Level

French Grammar for Intermediate Level: The most complete textbook and workbook for French learners (French Grammar Textbook)

Bibard’s “French Grammar for Intermediate Level” is a logical next step after his beginners grammar book, for those who want to further improve their French grammar skills.

Like the beginner’s grammar, this book is well-structured, easy to follow, and provides ample exercises and examples to help you practice.

CONTENTS:
Day 1: The Infinitive Mood
Day 2: The Passive Voice
Day 3: Impersonal Verbs
Day 4: The Perfect Tense (Passé Composé) and the Imperfect Tense (Imparfait)
Day 5: The Pluperfect (Plus-que-parfait)
Day 6: Simple Future Tense
Day 7: The Three Conditionals in French
Day 8: The Historical Past Tense (Passé Simple)
Day 9: The Future Perfect (Futur Antérieur)
Day 10: The Difference Between the Simple Past and the Compound Past
Day 11: The Past Subjunctive
Day 12: Special Expressions with Subjunctive and Indicative
Day 13: Reciprocal Verbs
Day 14: Reflexive Verbs
Day 15: Idiomatic Pronominal Verbs
Day 16: Indirect Speech
Day 17: Indirect Speech – Balancing of Tenses
Day 18: Coordinating Conjunctions
Day 19: Subordinating Conjunctions
Day 20: Placement of Adjective
Day 21: Prepositions “De” and “À”
Day 22: Prepositions “Par,” “Pour,” and “En”
Day 23: Verbs with Prepositions “De” and “À”
Day 24: Expressing Objectives
Day 25: Expressing Opposition and Restriction
Day 26: Questions and Negatives in Compound Tenses
Day 27: Order of Double Object Pronouns
Day 28: Common Mistakes Made by English Speakers in French
Day 29: Word Choice – Savoir or Connaître
Day 30: Exclamatory Sentences

However, it may not be suitable for those who are already at an intermediate level or who prefer more visual aids in their learning.

PROS:

  • The book is well-structured and easy to follow, with 30 short chapters that cover all the essential topics of French grammar.
  • The author emphasises the importance of daily practice, providing ample exercises and examples to help you improve your skills.
  • The book comes with an audio module that you can purchase separately, which is a great addition for those who prefer to learn by listening.

CONS:

  • Some readers have commented that the book is more suitable for beginners rather than intermediate level learners.
  • The book only contains text and no images, which may not be ideal for visual learners.
  • The exercises can be repetitive, which may become tedious for some learners.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

  • Title: French Grammar for Intermediate Level
  • Author: Fredric Bibard, Talk in French
  • Formats and Prices:
    • Kindle: $14.90
    • Paperback: $15.11
  • Star Ratings: 4.4 out of 5.
  • Number of Ratings: 162 ratings.
  • Publication Date: 2021

Practice Makes Perfect

The “Practice Makes Perfect” series in French covers a wide range of topics, including grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversational skills. The books are structured to cater to different proficiency levels, making them suitable for beginners as well as more advanced learners.

The inclusion of practical exercises allows users to apply what they’ve learned and reinforce their understanding of the French language.

Basic French, Premium (Third Edition)

Practice Makes Perfect: Basic French, Premium Third Edition

Basic French, Premium (Third Edition) is a comprehensive and well-organized book that covers all the basics of French grammar and vocabulary.

The audio CD that comes with the book is a great addition and helps learners improve their pronunciation and listening skills.

The book is divided into 16 chapters, each of which covers a different grammar concept or vocabulary topic.

The exercises in each chapter are well-designed and provide a good mix of practice activities, including fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, and writing exercises. The answer key at the back of the book is a helpful tool for learners to check their progress.

One thing to note is that the book assumes some previous exposure to French, so complete beginners might find some of the exercises challenging. On the other hand, this IS a “Basic” French book… false beginners might find the exercises too basic.

Practice Makes Perfect: Basic French, Premium Third Edition is an excellent resource for beginners who want to learn French at their own pace. The book provides clear explanations of French grammar concepts and a good mix of practice activities, making it an effective tool for self-learning.

CONTENTS:
Introduction
I 1 Definite Articles · Family
2 Indefinite Articles · Around the House
3 J’ai and Je Veux · Animals
4 Il Y A · The Classroom
5 Subject Pronouns · Common -er Verbs · Regular -er Verbs · Days of the Week
Révision 1 Leçons 1–5

II 6 Clothing · -Er Verb Endings
7 -Ir Verbs · Food and Beverages
8 -Ir Verb Endings · Common -ir Verbs
9 Adjectives · Colors · Likes and Dislikes
10 Descriptive Adjectives · More Than
Révision 2 Leçons 6–10

III 11 Regular -re Verbs · Common -re Verbs
12 Asking Questions · Interrogatives
13 The Verb Être · Occupations
14 Possessive Adjectives · Using the Verb Être
15 The Verb Avoir · Inside the House
Révision 3 Leçons 11–15

IV 16 BAGS Adjectives · Locations
17 Moods and Emotions
18 Comment Ça Va? · Health and Fitness · Contractions with à
19 Vouloir · More Clothes
20 Numbers · Age · Expressions with Avoir
Révision 4 Leçons 16–20

V 21 Faire · Weather · Seasons
22 Expressions with Faire · Sports · Games · Music · Contractions with de
23 Telling Time
24 Aller · Transportation
25 Dire · Écrire · Lire · Things to Tell, Write, and Read
Révision 5 Leçons 21–25

VI 26 Pouvoir · Adverbs
27 Devoir · Two-Verb Constructions · Adverbs of Time
28 Two-Verb Questions · More Food
29 Comparative Adverbs and Adjectives · Comparisons
30 Prepositions + Verb · Il Faut · More Things in the House
Révision 6 Leçons 26–30

VII 31 Demonstrative Adjectives · Common Stem-Changing -er Verbs · Expressions of Time
32 Jeter · Appeler · The Forms of Vieux, Beau, Nouveau · Friends
33 -Er Verbs with E→è Stem Change · Prepositions: Location of Things and People
34 -Er Verbs with É→è Stem Change · More Prepositions (Place, Time, and People) · Parts of the Day
35 -Er Verbs with Y→i Stem Change · Near Future: Aller + Infinitive · Near Past: Venir de + Infinitive
Révision 7 Leçons 31–35

VIII 36 Direct Object Pronouns · Gifts
37 Savoir · Hobbies · Ne… Pas
38 Connaître · The Neighborhood · Countries and States
39 Savoir and Connaître
40 Using De and À Plus Noun · Adverbs of Negation
Révision 8 Leçons 36–40

IX 41 Irregular -ir Verbs: Sentir, Sortir, Partir, Dormir · Adverbial Phrases
42 Reflexive Pronouns · Reflexive Verbs · Parts of the Body · Feelings
43 Reflexive -er Verbs · Toiletries
44 Venir · Se Souvenir · The Object Pronoun En
45 Offrir · Personal Object Pronouns: Me, Te, Nous, Vous, Lui, Leur
Révision 9 Leçons 41–45

X 46 The Family of Prendre · Languages · Stress Pronouns · Prepositional Phrases
47 Near Future · Expressions of Future Time · The Pronoun Y · Prepositions
48 Near Past · Expressions of Past Time
49 Passé Composé with Avoir
50 Passé Composé with Être · Vacation Locales
Révision 10 Leçons 46–50

Révision Complète Leçons 1–50
Answer Key
Fun Facts Translations

PROS:

  • The book comes with an audio CD that helps with pronunciation and comprehension.
  • The exercises in the book are well-designed and provide a good mix of grammar and vocabulary practice.
  • The book is easy to follow and provides clear explanations of French grammar concepts.

CONS:

  • The book assumes some previous exposure to French, so it might not be suitable for complete beginners.
  • Some users might find the exercises too basic.
  • The book does not provide much cultural information about France or French-speaking countries.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

I highly recommend “Practice Makes Perfect: Basic French” for those who are looking for a self-learning French book with audio. This book is an excellent resource for beginners who want to learn French at their own pace.

After Basic French, the following books in the set are available:

  1. Complete French Grammar (Annie Heminway)
  2. French Nouns and their Genders Up Close (Annie Heminway)
  3. French Vocabulary (Eliane Kurbegov)
  4. French Sentence Builder (Eliane Kurbegov)
  5. French Pronouns and Prepositions (Annie Heminway)
  6. French Verb Tenses (Trudie Booth)
  7. French Problem Solver (Annie Heminway)

Or… you can purchase them in one book…

Complete French All-in-One, Premium (Third Edition)

Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French All-in-One, Premium Third Edition

“Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French All-in-One, Premium Third Edition” by Annie Heminway is your passport to mastering the intricacies of the French language.

This comprehensive guide covers a vast array of topics, from grammar essentials to nuanced conversational skills. Annie Heminway, an expert language instructor, takes you on a journey through 37 chapters, each designed to build your proficiency in French step by step.

Whether you’re grappling with verb conjugations, mastering pronouns, or delving into the art of French conversation, this book is your go-to resource.

Packed with practical exercises, key insights, and cultural nuances, it’s not just a language guide; it’s your companion in unlocking the richness of French literature and daily communication.

CONTENTS:

  1. Articles
  2. Basic Gender Endings: Masculin and Féminin
  3. More French Nouns and Their Gender
  4. Numbers
  5. Vocabulary: Thoughts, Feelings, Communicating, Home, Travel, Science, Leisure, and Technology
  6. Building Sentences
  7. Asking Questions
  8. Exclamations and Commands
  9. Independent Clauses and Subordinate Clauses
  10. The Present Tense of -er Verbs
  11. The Present of -ir and -re Verbs
  12. Être, Avoir, and Other Irregular Verbs
  13. The Immediate Future, the Immediate Past, and the Causative Form
  14. Pronominal Verbs
  15. The Passé Composé
  16. The Imparfait and the Plus-que-parfait
  17. The Simple Future and the Past Future
  18. The Present Conditional and the Past Conditional
  19. Could, Should, Would?
  20. The Present Subjunctive and the Past Subjunctive
  21. Prepositions
  22. The Infinitive Mood
  23. The Imperative Mood
  24. The Present Participle and Gerund
  25. The Simple Past, the Passive Voice, and Indirect Speech
  26. Pronouns
  27. Relative Pronouns
  28. Adjectives
  29. Adverbs
  30. Written French: Making Transitions and Written Correspondence
  31. Verb Transfers and Confusing Verbs
  32. Whatever, Whenever, Wherever: French Oddities and Fun with Prepositions
  33. French in Conversation: Meeting People
  34. French in Conversation: Making Conversation and Making Plans
  35. French in Conversation: Discussing Current Events
  36. French in Conversation: Asking for Help
  37. A Taste of French Literature
    Appendix A French Pronunciation
    Appendix B Grammatical Terminology for Verbs
    Appendix C French Verb Tables
    Appendix D French-English / English-French Glossary
    Answer Key
    Translations

PROS:

  • The audio component is a great feature that helps with pronunciation and listening comprehension.
  • The book covers a wide range of topics, from basic grammar to advanced vocabulary.
  • The exercises are challenging but manageable, and the answer key is helpful for self-correction.

CONS:

  • Some readers have reported issues with the physical layout of the book, such as mixed-up chapters.
  • The book may be too advanced for complete beginners.
  • The title “All-in-One” may be misleading, as the book may not be a logical progression from beginner to advanced.

PRODUCT INFORMATION:

The Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French All-in-One, Premium Third Edition is a fantastic resource for those who are serious about learning French on their own. The inclusion of an audio component and comprehensive exercises make it a valuable tool for language learners.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best French language learning book with CDs, there are a few key features that you should consider to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

Firstly, it’s important to consider the level of the book. Some books are designed for beginners, while others are more advanced. It’s important to choose a book that matches your current level of French proficiency, as this will ensure that you are not overwhelmed or bored with the material.

Another important feature to consider is the quality of the audios. Look for books that come with high-quality audio recordings, as this will help you to develop your listening and speaking skills. It’s also worth considering whether the CDs/MP3s come with a transcript or translation, as this can be a valuable learning tool.

In addition to the level and quality of the book and CDs, it’s also important to consider the structure and format of the material. Look for books that are well-organised and easy to follow, with clear explanations and examples. It’s also worth considering whether the book includes exercises or activities to help reinforce your learning.

Finally, it’s worth considering the price of the book and CDs. While it’s important to invest in a high-quality product, it’s also important to choose a product that fits within your budget. Look for books that offer good value for money, and consider purchasing second-hand or older editions to save money.

When choosing a French language learning book with CDs, it’s important to consider the level, quality, structure, and price of the product. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you choose a product that will help you to develop your French language skills effectively and efficiently.

Cate is a language enthusiast sharing her language learning journey here. Apart from her native English (albeit 'Strine'*!), as an adult she has also learned Auslan (Australian Sign Language) to approximately a C1 level, Dutch to around B1/2, French to around A2, and has a smattering of other languages.

B.A. (Anthropology/Marketing), Grad. Dip. Arts (Linguistics), Grad. Cert. Entrepreneurship & Venture Development, (CELTA).

Auslan Interpreter (NAATI), and general Language Nut.

*For more information on 'Strine', visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strine