Is French grammar harder to learn than Spanish grammar, and if so, how?
I’ve studied both languages as an adult with French to C2 and Spanish to B2.
Spanish grammar is significantly more complex/flexible than French as regards use of verb modes and tenses.
One immediate difference is that French considers the past historic or passé simple as obsolete, found only in literary and governmental documents.
However, Spanish retains those tenses in everyday use like in English cf.
I ate/I have eaten (EN) vs.
Comí/He comido (ES) vs.
J’ai mangé (FR) for both.
No Frenchman would dare say Je mangeai at the risk of being called ridiculously old fashioned or elitist.
French has only two subjunctive tenses, present and past (passé parfait) and their use conforms predictably to certain “rules” (more accurately, usage conventions).
French also still retains the imperfect and pluperfect subjunctive but they are very literary and outdated in usage (suranné or vétuste).
However, Spanish has six (6) subjunctive tenses, but in 8 forms (using venir to exemplify):
Spanish is deceptively “easy” to neophytes as its pronunciation is relatively straightforward, predictably linked to spelling/orthography/written form.
So, while it is easier to “get by” in Spanish for beginners, it takes a long time to perfect its grammar to a high level.
In addition, unlike French, there is no accepted dominant version of Spanish – so, you have to relearn the usage conventions, glossaries and expressions of each variety.
The main ones are Mexican, Iberian Castilian, Colombian/Andean, Argentine/Rioplatense (Plate Estuary) and Caribbean.
Pronunciation is harder, because a lot of written characters are not spoken.
That makes learning grammar harder as well.
But in fact, there are only few rules in french, that don't exist in Spanish as well.
If you speak both languages well and you compare them,they are quite similar.
I learnt french in theory for five years in school, but was unable to speak after that.
When i came to spain the french theory helped me a lot to learn spanish.
Later on I spent time in france again, walking on the camino Santiago in winter.
I met a french guy who spoke no english and we walked together for five weeks.
Now that i was fluent in Spanish and still remembered french pronounciation and grammar in theory, i became fluent in no time, because it worked to use Spanish words and sentence structures and pronounce them in a french way.
No grammar is intrinsically harder or easier than any other.
If that were the case, children learning their native language would progress at diffferent rates.
However, that is never the case.
The only differences in this regard are individual and never language-specific.
As adults, the degree of difficulty has to do mainly with how close two languages are.
For a French speaker, Spanish will be much easier than Russian, for example, just as Mohawk will be much easier than English for a native speaker of Onondaga.