A Short Course in Reading French by Celia BrickmanA Short Course in Reading French by Celia Brickman

A Short Course in Reading French

byCelia Brickman

Paperback | December 4, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 235 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


This textbook teaches the basics of French grammar, reinforcing its lessons with exercises and key practice translations. A systematic guide, the volume is a critical companion for university-level students learning to read and translate written French into English; for graduate scholars learning to do research in French or prepping for proficiency exams; and for any interested readers who want to improve their facility with the French language. In addition, A Short Course in Reading French exposes readers to a broad range of French texts from the humanities and social sciences, including writings by distinguished francophone authors from around the world.

The book begins with French pronunciation and cognates and moves through nouns, articles, and prepositions; verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; a graduated presentation of all the indicative and subjunctive tenses; object, relative, and other pronouns; the passive voice; common idiomatic constructions; and other fundamental building blocks of the French language. Chapters contain translation passages from such authors as Pascal, Montesquieu, Proust, Sartre, Bourdieu, Senghor, Césaire, de Certeau, de Beauvoir, Barthes, and Kristeva. Drawn from more than two decades of experience teaching French to students from academic and nonacademic backgrounds, Celia Brickman's clear, accessible, and time-tested format enables even beginners to develop a sophisticated grasp of the language and become adept readers of French.

There is an answer key for translation exercises and for non-copyrighted translation passages available to professors and teachers who have assigned this title in a class. Please provide your name, title, institution, and number of students in the course in an email to coursematerials@columbiauniversitypress.com.
A native of Montreal, Celia Brickman earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and is the director of the Hyde Park Language Program, where she has been teaching French to graduate students and others for more than twenty years.
Title:A Short Course in Reading FrenchFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pagesPublished:December 4, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231156774

ISBN - 13:9780231156776

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

A. Guide to pronunciation
B. Cognates
Chapter 1: Nouns
1.1. Gender of Nouns and the Principle of Agreement
1.2. Articles
1.3. Gendered Nouns
1.4. The Plural of Nouns
1.5. Prepositions
1.6. Contractions of Prepositions with Definite Articles
1.7. Partitive and Negative Uses of DE
1.8. The Multiple Meanings of DES
Chapter 2: Verbs
2.1. Infinitives and Verb Families
2.2. Subject Pronouns
2.3. Present Tense/Présent de L'indicatif of -ER verbs
2.4. Translation of Present Tense/Présent de L'indicatif
2.5. The Negative Form of the Present Tense
2.6. Two Important Irregular Verbs: AVOIR
2.7. A Third Irregular Verb: ALLER
2.8. Formation of Simple Questions
2.9. Present Tense / Présent de l 'Indicatif of -RE and -IR verbs
2.10. Another Important Irregular Verb: FAIRE
2.11. The Historic Present
Chapter 3: Adjectives and Adverbs
3.1. Adjectives
3.2. Adverbs
3.3. Comparative and Superlative Forms of Adjectives and Adverbs
3.4. Translation Passage: Le Corbeau et le renard
Chapter 4: Reflexive Verbs
4.1. Reflexive Pronouns and the Formation of Reflexive Verbs
4.2. The Negative Form of Reflexive Verbs
4.3. Various Ways in Which to Translate Reflexive Verbs
Chapter 5: The Imperfect / l'Imparfait
5.1. Explanation of the Tense
5.2. Formation of the Imparfait
5.3. Translations of the Imparfait
5.4. AVOIR and ÊTRE in the Imparfait
5.5. The Negative Form of the Imparfait
5.6. Reflexive Verbs in the Imparfait
5.7. Translation Passage: La Charte de Médecins Sans Frontières
Chapter 6: Past Participles /Les Participes Passés
6.1. Formation of Past Participles
6.2. Past Participles as Adjectives
6.3. Past Participles as Predicate Adjectives
Chapter 7: Le Passé Composé / The Compound Past
7.1. Explanation of the Tense
7.2. Rules Governing the Formation and Translation of the Passé Composé
7.3. The Passé Composé in the Negative Form
7.4. AVOIR and ÊTRE in the Passé Composé
7.5. The Passé Composé Used Together with the Imparfait
7.6. The Passé Composé with Adverbs
7.7. Past Participles Used As Predicate Adjectives in the Present Tense Compared with Past Participles Used in the Passé Composé to Form the Past Tense
7.8. Translation Passage: Le Petit Chaperon rouge
Chapter 8: Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns
8.1. Recognizing Objects in Transitive Sentences
8.2. Direct Object Pronouns: Meaning and Placement
8.3. Le
8.4. Direct Object Pronouns in the Passé Composé: Placement and Agreement
8.5. Indirect Object Pronouns: Meaning and Placement
8.6. The Partitive Pronoun EN
8.7. The Pronoun Y
8.8. The Order of Object Pronouns When There Are More Than One of Them
8.9. Translation Passage: La Belle au bois dormant
Chapter 9: Additional Forms of the Negative
9.1. General Pattern
9.2. Irregularities in Various Forms of the Negative
9.3. Translation Passage: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789
Chapter 10: More Irregular Yet Common Verbs
10.1. VENIR (to come) and TENIR (to hold)
10.2. -OIR Verbs
Chapter 11: Impersonal Pronouns
11.1. Demonstrative Pronoun CE
11.2. Demonstrative Pronouns CECI and CELA
11.3. Demonstrative Pronoun CELUI
11.4. The Impersonal Pronoun IL
11.5 Impersonal Verbs
11.6. The Various Uses of QUE
11.7. Translation Passage: Léopold Sédar Senghor
Chapter 12: The Future and Conditional Tenses / Le Futur Simple et le Conditionnel
12.1. The Future and the Conditional Stem
12.2. The Future Tense / Le Futur Simple: Endings
12.3. The Near Future / Le Futur Proche
12.4. The Conditional Tense /Le Conditionel
12.5. Translation Passages: Aimé Césaire
Chapter 13: Present Participles and Imperatives
13.1. Present Participles
13.2. Imperatives
13.3. Negative Imperatives
13.4. Imperatives with Disjunctive Pronouns and Object Pronouns; and
Reflexive Imperatives
13.5. Translation Passage: Louis Riel
Chapter 14: The Passive Voice
14.1. The Passive Voice Formed by the Past Participle as a Predicate Adjective
14.2. Use of Reflexive Verbs to Form the Passive Voice
14.3. The Translation of the Subject Pronoun ON and Its Use to Form the Passive Voice
14.4. Translation Passage: Marcel Mauss
Chapter 15: Le Passé Simple / The Past Definite
15.1. The Passé Simple of -ER Verbs
15.2. The Passé Simple of -RE and -IR Verbs
15.3. Translation Passage: Louis Hémon
Chapter 16: Relative and Interrogative Pronouns and Adjectives
16.1. Relative Pronouns QUI and QUE
16.2. Uses of the Adjective QUEL
16.3. The Relative and Prepositional Pronoun LEQUEL; the Prepositional Pronoun QUI
16.4. The Relative Pronoun DONT
16.5. The Interrogative Pronouns LEQUEL
16.6. Questions Formed with Both Interrogative and Relative Pronouns QUI and QUE
16.7. Translation Exercise: Michel de Certeau
Chapter 17: More Compound Tenses
17.1. Le Plus-que-parfait / The Pluperfect
17.2. Le Futur Antérieur / The Future Perfect
17.3. Le Conditionnel Passé / The Conditional Perfect
17.4. Le Passé Antérieur
17.5. Translation Passage: Montesquieu
Chapter 18: The Causative FAIRE
18.1. the Causative FAIRE
18.2. Translation Passage: Emile Durkheim
18.3. Translation Passage: Claude Lévi-Strauss
Chapter 19: Le Subjonctif / The Subjunctive
19.1. When Is the Subjunctive Used in French?
19.2. The Four Tenses of the Subjunctive
19.3. Translation Passage: Molière
19.4. Translation Passage: Blaise Pascal
Chapter 20: Modal Verbs and Other Common Idiomatic Verbal Constructions
20.1. Modal Verbs
20.2. Other Idiomatic Verbal Constructions
20.3. Translation Passage: Alexis de Tocqueville
20.4. Translation Passage: Roland Barthes
Chapter 21: Changes of Tense with Idioms of Time
21.1. DEPUIS
21.3. Translation Passage: René Descartes
21.4. Translation Passage: Marcel Proust
Chapter 22: Common Idiomatic Expressions
22.1. TOUT-Grammatical Functions and Meanings
22.2. Idioms with TOUT
22.4. Combinative Conjunctions ETET; OUOU; SOITSOIT; NINI
22.5. Idioms with METTRE / MIS
22.6. The Several Meanings of MÊME
22.7. The Several Meanings of SI
22.8. The Several Meanings of ENCORE
22.9. Translation Passage: Pierre Bourdieu
22.10. Tranlsation Passage: Simone Weil
Chapter 23: Configurations of the Infinitive
23.1. Verbs Followed by the Infinitive
23.2 The Infinitive After Prepositions
23.3. The Infinitive After the Preposition APRÈS
23.4. The Infinitive After Adjectives
23.5. The Infinitive After Nouns
23.6. Translation Passage: Achille Mbembe
Chapter 24: Some Verb Families
24.1. -OIR Verbs
24.2. Families of Verbs Whose Members Are All Conjugated in the Same Way
Chapter 25: Further Translation Passages
25.1. Victor Hugo
25.2. Gustave Flaubert
25.3. Gabrielle Roy
25.4. Jean-Paul Sartre
25.5. Simone de Beauvoir
25.6. Albert Camus
25.7. Paul Ricœur
25.8. Édouard Glissant
25.9. Roger-Pol Droit
25.10. Julia Kristeva
25.11. Nicolas Bourriaud
25.12. Michel Tremblay
25.13. Patrick Chamoiseau
25.14. Abdourahman A.Waberi
Pronoun Chart
Indicative Verb Tense Chart I
Indicative Irregular Verb Tense Chart I
Indicative Verb Tense Chart Ii
Indicative Irregular Verb Tense Chart Ii

Editorial Reviews

A simple but scholarly introduction to French, this book fosters learning basic structures necessary to understand written French in no time. What is more, it offers an excellent foundation for those who wish to go beyond the basics and develop skills in oral understanding and speaking French. The ideal resource for those seeking access to written French.