Wiktionary:About French

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The template Template:policy-TT does not use the parameter(s):
1=Language considerations (French)
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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.

Modern French is a romance language descended from Vulgar Latin via Old French and Middle French. Modern French entries must be attested per Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion after 1610; before 1610 they are considered to be Middle French. The choice of this year is to align the English Wiktionary with the French Wiktionary on this matter.


  • The template {{fr-IPA}} should be used whenever possible.
  • In IPA transcription, the character /ʁ/ should be used to represent the phoneme typically written as ⟨r⟩ or ⟨rr⟩, regardless of the specific phone ([ʁ], [ʀ], [r], [ɾ], [χ], or whatnot) used in a particular region, time period, and/or word.
  • French words are not stressed—or more specifically, stress is not phonemic in French. Stress marks should never appear in French pronunciation transcriptions.
  • As the aspirated h and mute h aren't in the IPA, please use {{fr-asph}} and {{fr-muteh}} to express them.



The bulk of the French lexicon derives, unsurprisingly, from Latin. There are three ways for a Latin word to have made its way into French:

  • Direct inheritance into Old French and from there into the modern language.
  • Direct borrowing from Latin (at any stage of French).
  • Borrowing through another language (usually Italian, Spanish, regional languages of France, or English).

All three categories should be carefully distinguished when possible. For deciding between the first two, see Appendix:French_terms_inherited_from_Latin.

Parts of speech


Each French entry should have one or more part-of-speech headers and belong to the corresponding part-of-speech categories. Where possible, the headers Phrase, Idiom, Abbreviation, Initialism and Acronym should be avoided in favor of headers denoting true parts of speech. For example, UE (EU, European Union) is a feminine proper noun, so it should be listed under the Proper noun header and should use the {{fr-proper noun|f}} template.


  • Conjugation templates are available for almost all French verbs. See Category:French headword-line templates and Category:French verb inflection-table templates.
  • Reflexive and pronominal verbs
    • Reflexive forms should be given as separate definition lines on the standard non-reflexive infinitive page, with a {{lb|fr|reflexive}} tag.
    • Reflexive senses that are equivalent to passives should not be given separate definitions (this is a grammatical feature, not lexical feature), except for particularly frequent usages, or those where both verbs tend to translate to an ambitransitive English verb.
    • Pronominal verbs always used in the reflexive forms (s'esclaffer), or otherwise only thinly linked to the transitive meaning (se débrouiller) should use the {{lb|fr|pronominal}} template instead of {{lb|fr|reflexive}}, possibly even {{lb|fr|always|_|pronominal}}.
    • Idioms in the reflexive or pronominal form should be at the pronominal form, even though the verb itself is not.
  • Gérondifs (e.g. "en faisant") are included in conjugation tables but should not have their own entries, because they're always formed by en plus the present participle. Additionally, in the rare event that a gérondif should need to be mentioned, it should be described as the gérondif, with a link to gérondif and a parenthetical explanation along the lines of "the verbal adverb, sometimes called the 'gerund' or 'gerundive'".
  • Prepositions used with indirect transitive verbs can be indicated with {{+obj}}.

Lemmas and inflected forms


{{head|fr|noun plural form|g=f}}

# {{plural of|fr|table}}

The fr in the first parameter inserts a link directly to table#French rather than to table (the top of the page). |g=f-p and |g=f are considered equivalent for a plural, since plural of appears in the definition.

Plurals of nouns that do not have plural only meanings should be listed in Category:French pluralia tantum and not in Category:French nouns. Nouns that have plural only meanings should be listed in both; for example abois is the plural of aboi, but has a plural only meaning, so is also considered a noun.

For adjectives, only the masculine singular is categorized in Category:French adjectives, the feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural are categorized in Category:French adjective forms. This is true apart from when the feminine singular is identical to the masculine singular; in this case, the entry is classified as an adjective, and its plural as an adjective form. For example, jaune is categorized as an adjective, and jaunes as an adjective form.

It is not necessary to add |g= for adjective forms, as the gender inflection is listed in the definition (masculine plural of, feminine plural of). While there is no formal rule to remove such gender indications, doing so would comply with the French Wiktionary's policy (which is in no way binding to our French entries).

Masculine and feminine plural of should not be used, rather plural of (i.e. Template:plural of) should be.


Main appendix: Appendix:French spellings

French is only written in the Latin script. Each separate spelling must be attestable per WT:CFI#Attestation. Obsolete and archaic spellings should use the {{obsolete spelling of}} and {{archaic spelling of}} templates, pointing to the most common modern spelling of the word.

  • Accentless forms that are attestable in Early Modern French are allowed when they meet WT:CFI#Attestation, such as siecle which links to siècle.
  • Long s variants are not allowed, as ſ is considered a purely typographical variation of the letter s, not as a separate letter. So ſiecle should be entered as siecle.
  • The ligatures æ and œ are not considered identical to ae and oe. Again, all attestable forms are allowable. Words such as coeur as a variant of cœur are considered nonstandard, as the œ ligature is still recommended in Modern French.

Spelling reform


Forms added by the 1990 reform of French spelling are given as alternative forms where they are not used much. These reforms affected primarily compound and foreign words, some uses of diacritics, the use of single or double l and t in word endings as well as various aberrant spellings. Every effort should be made to verify which is the most common form in French, for example by searching Google Books.



See Category:Regional French for dialectical differences.

See: Quebec French on Wikipedia for Quebec considerations, and use {{lb|fr|Quebec}} to mark dialectical uses.



Anagrams conform to Wiktionary:Anagrams. Diacritics, spaces and punctuation are ignored, for example à and â are considered to be a, é è ê and ë are considered to be e, and so on.

More help


If you’re still stumped, please feel free to drop a question or comment on the talk page of an editor knowledgeable in French on the English Wiktionary, including the following:

See also CAT:User fr; not all accounts are active, however.

To do


For a list of tasks remaining to be done, please see:

See also