Using the French Complement Circonstanciel Grammar Tips

using the french complement circonstanciel grammar tips

The Complement Circonstanciel also known as a Circumstantial Complement is a type of complement in French Grammar that gives people further information about the circumstances in which the action of the verb is taking place. It helps people understand the context and the meaning of the sentence you’re using.

Most common Circumstantial Complements and their meanings

Some of the most common Complements Circontanciels you’ll see being used by native speakers are avec, dans, sans, pour, and par.

They can help you indicate the purpose of an action, the location or time of an event, or the company of the subject.

  • avec(with): this is used to indicate the company of the subject or the means of how the action is performed.

Je vais aller au cinéma avec mon copain.

I’m going to the movies with my boyfriend.

  • dans(in): this is used to show the location or time of an event.

Elles vont arriver dans dix minutes.

They’re getting here in ten minutes.

  • sans(without): it indicates the absence of something or someone in the sentence.

Il a fait son devoir sans aide.

He did his homework on his own.

  • pour(for): it explains the purpose, the reason, or even the recent recipient of an action.

It a fait tout ça juste pour moi.

He did all of this for me.

  • par(by): helps us know the agent of the action, the means, the instrument, or the source of something.

Ce livre a été écrit par un célèbre auteur.

This book was written by a famous author.

Tips to help you use them correctly

One way you can spot Circumstantial Complements is to look for prepositions (just like the ones we put right above) that are followed by a noun or a pronoun.

Keep an eye out for the context as a whole because this can help you understand the meaning of the circumstantial complement you need to use.

Speaking of the context of the sentence, you have to pay attention to the verb you’re using in it and think about the additional information that you have to express for people to understand the sentence.

Always be aware of the subject of the verb and the preposition to make sure that they match in number and gender.

You’re ready to use these Complements Circonstanciels with ease

As we come to the end of this lesson, we really hope that you understand the function and use of the Circumstantial Complements as it is one of the strongest tools to become a proficient French speaker and even writer. So, put your knowledge to the test as practice makes perfect.

Learn more about the Complément d’objet direct (COD) me,te,le,la, nous, vous, les

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