Abstract : We present here a global view of the syntactic shapes of the elementary sentences of French. This paper constitutes a synthesis of the numerous observations made on a set of about 12,000 verbs studied in the framework of lexicon-grammar. The point of view is strictly formal, according to the now classical methodology developed by Z.S. Harris and N. Chomsky. No semantic notion is involved in the descriptive apparatus; in other terms, the metalanguage of the description is built from combinatorial notions applied to sets of words. This metalanguage is entirely derived from the basic concepts that emerged out of Z.S. Harris' work in syntax. Moreover, the approach is systematic: namely, for a given phenomenon, one has always attempted to reach a complete coverage of the description in a language.