Getting French, Pt.

7: French Notes
© 2010, T. Michael W. Halcomb | .::. Compiled by Sue Lubinksas

French Notes from Janet Ritch’s Reading French: A Guide for Students of Religion and Theology

ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS Comparatives (pp. 166-169) Comparing adjectives and adverbs: moins (adj./adv.) ... qui less..... than plus (adj./adv.) ... qui more... than aussi Adj./adv.) ... qui as... as Comparing nouns autant de.. (noun).. que as much/many... as moins de.. (noun).. que fewer... than plus de.. (noun).. que more... than *Que may connote “since” d’autant mieux ... que all the better ... as d’autant moins ... que all the less ... as d’autant plus ... que all the more ... as Meme, propre, and tout (p. 153-155; 183) meme adverb: “only” adj. before the noun: “same” adj. after the noun: “very” adj. after the disjunctive pronoun: “-self” lui-meme “himself” de meme que (conj.): “in the same way as” propre adj. before the noun: “own” adj. after the noun: “clean” noun masculine: “distinctive characteristic” propre a (adj.): suitable to, appropriate to tout Precedes the definite article of the noun: adj. sg.: “whole” adj. pl.: “all”

Without the definite article: “every” Adverb: “quite” Pronoun: “everything/all” Noun: “whole/all” When variations of tout or moi-meme emphasize a subject, they follow the verb in French Ils ont tous les cheveux noirs. They all have black hair Peu de when not used as a quantity (p. 164) When used before an adjective without de, peu turns the adjective into its opposite un detail peu precis an imprecise detail As soon as the indefinite article un is added, peu becomes a quantity again, even without de Elle a l’air un peu triste. She seems a little sad. ARTICLES AND PRONOUNS Articles with Days and Dates (pp. 96-97) The definite articles is translated “on the” or “in the” (except for en with l’an; in the year); the article may also suggest repetition “every” le lundi on Mondays, every Monday le deux avril on the second of April Conjunctive Pronouns: can be direct or indirect (pp. 146-147) They are always placed before all the other pronouns in front of the verb within the sentence, whether they signify a direct or indirect meaning; these forms are the same as the reflexive; in the reflexive sense (when the subject and the object are the same) se means him-/her-/oneself or themselves Ils me l’ecrivent. They are writing it to me. me te se nous vous se Contractions of Definite Articles (pp. 63-64) a (to, at, in): a + le = au (masculine) a + les + aux (plural) de (of, from, some): de + le = du (masculine)

de + les = des (plural) The partitive: du, de la, des can mean some, in which case it is not always necessary to translate it; in a question or a negative sentence, “some” may be better translated as “any” Demonstratives (pp. 70-72) This, These: ce, cet (masculine) cette (feminine) ces (plural) That, those: celui (masculine) celle (feminine) ceux (plural masculine) celles (plural feminine) Celui qui: The one who; He who (subject of the verb) Celui que: The one whom; He whom (object of the verb) Celui-ci: this one here, the latter Celui-la: that one there, the former Direct Object Pronouns (pp. 143-145) Are simply the definite articles without the nouns; placed before the conjugated main verb or the infinitive; le can be pleonastic Idiom: l’emporter sur; “get the best of,” “win out over,” “prevail over,” outweigh; do not need to translate le me te le, la nous vous les Disjunctive Pronouns (pp. 67-68) Are used for emphasis in the nominative case or as objects of prepositions, and only replace people moi (I or me) toi (you) lui (he, it, him) elle (she, her) soi (oneself, itself) nous (us) vous (you all) eux (them, masculine) elles (them, feminine) Indirect Object Pronouns (pp. 145-147) They are placed before the verb, but if both a direct object and an indirect object pronoun accompany the verb, the direct object precedes the indirect in the sentence

Elle la lui ecrit. She is writing it to him me te lui (he, she, it) nous vous leur (them) Possessive Pronouns (p. 68) Act as adjectives, agree in number and gender with the object possessed mon ma mes (m., f., pl., my) ton ta tes (your) son sa ses (his, her, its) notre notre nos (our) votre votre vos (your) leur leur leurs (their) Pronomial Adverbs (pp. 148-150) *y = a + noun Indicates the place to which someone goes or where someone is: “there,” “to it,” “on it,” “in it,” “at it,” etc. J’y vais. I am going there. *en = de + noun Place at the end of the translation: “some,” “any,” “of it,” “of them,” “from it,” etc. Il en revient. He is returning from there. When there are direct and indirect pronouns before the verb, y and en will be right before the verb or last within the sentence with respect to the verb (i.e. closest to the verb) Relative Pronouns (pp. 65-66; 116-118; 121-122) These pronouns are used when there is no explicit antecedent: ce qui = that which (subject of a subordinate sentence); what ce que = that which (direct object of the dependent clause); what ce dont = that of which; what tout ce qui = all that which; all that Dont = de + relative pronoun The most obvious use is in the possessive, but can include all the diverse meanings of de; usually will translate as “whose” Lequel (; Laquelle (; Lesquels (; Lesquelles ( = which?; whom; which

Antecedent can be a person or a thing; used as either subjects or objects of the verb; sometimes preferred over qui as objects of propsitions When combined with the prepositions a and de: auquel (; auxquels (; auxquelles ( = to whom/which duquel (; desquels (; desquelles ( = of/from/by whom/which qui and que (qu’): are invariable; que can also mean “that”; with the subjunctive form of the following verb, que signals a translation “may” or “let”; only que can drop the vowel “e” before a following vowel Qui: who, which; subject of a subordinate clause Que, Qu‘: whom, which; object of a verb in a subordinate clause that; subordinating conjunction If qui follows a preposition it must always be translated as a person, “whom” as the object of the preposition NEGATIVES The particle non is the word used for “no” or “not” which may be found alone, in place of “pas” or beside “pas” for emphasis; if with pas translate as “not” or “no” (pp. 112-113) Non plus used as a negative means “no longer”, but if it follows a negative verb (ne...pas), it is not equivalent to ne [verb] plus (no longer). Translate as: “either” or “neither” (p. 113) Ne by itself can be negative before: Cesser; Oser; Pouvoir; Savoir (COPS) (p. 116) IMPERSONAL CONSTRUCTIONS & Il y a *C’est and Ce sont (p. 98) Translated as: “it/ that/he/she is”; “there/those/they/these are”; the real subject will be found in the subordinate clause after qui or qui *Il est (p. 98) Synonym for the above: “There is” Impersonal expressions use either il or ce with est to make an impersonal comment on any given situation; if the adjective which completes the impersonal expression is followed by an infinitive, either a or de will link it to the infinitive and do not need to be translated *Falloir = It is necessary [to do something; infinitive]; It is necessary [“that;” que] + subjunctive (pp. 131-132) *Il y a + noun (at the beginning of a sentence) (pp. 97-98) “There is” or “there are” according to the noun following *Il y a + temporal quantity (at the end of a sentence) (pp. 99-100) “ago”: Nous avons vu le medecin il y a cinq minutes. We saw the doctor five minutes ago. *Il y a + time + que (introducing a verb) (p. 100) “for”: bring to the end of the sentence; the French verb in the present tense is translated into the English present perfect

Il y a deux heures que j’attends. I have been waiting for two hours. (There it is two hours that I have been waiting.) *Depuis (p. 100) Synonym for above; “for” or “since”: translate present tense of verb into the English present perfect *Il reste = There remains + infinitive (p. 133) Seek the real subject after the verb and discard the il; translate the infinitive as a passive Il reste trois livres a lire. Three books remain to be read. (There remain three books to be read.) il may also occur with etre “there is” Venir de + infinitive = “has”/”have just” or “had just” (pp. 133-134) The present tense in French is translated as “has/ve just” and the infinitive becomes a past participle, resulting in present perfect or pluperfect Je veins de rentrer du Canada. I have just returned from Canada Il venait d’entrer. He had just entered. Voici... que; Voila... que; Cela fait... que (p. 100) Here it is... that; There it is... that; That makes... that

VERBS AND PARTICIPLES Causative (pp. 203-205) *Faire as the auxiliary + infinitive (immediately following) Faire causes something to be done by someone other than the subject of the sentence: Read faire as a form of “to cause” “to have” “to make” Skip the infinitive Translate the direct object and its modifiers Return to the infinitive, usually translate as past participle An agent is introduced by a, par, or de Elle s’est fait aimer de lui. She made herself loved by him. She made him love her. *Note: Ne faire que [+verb]: “To do nothing but” or “to [verb] continually” can be expressed

using faire with ne...que; this is not the causative Tu ne fais que parler! You do nothing except talk! Compound Tenses (p. 130) *Auxiliary verb (etre, avoir) as an imperfect, future, or conditional + past participle Translate the auxiliary verb first and then add past participle accordingly; must treat the auxiliary verb etre with verbs of motion as if it were “have” Conditional (pp. 128-129) *Future root + imperfect endings -rais -rions -rais -riez -rait -raient Best translated as “would”; for pouvoir use “could”; for devoir use “should” A simple future may express a present fact which the author considers probable; such a future option which seems probable is best translated by the conditional and is found often in cases of avoir and etre Conditional Sentences: si (pp. 137-138) Protasis = present; I am Apodosis = future; I will be Protasis = imperfect, translate with simple past; I were Apodosis = conditional; I would be Protasis = pluperfect; had been Apodosis = past conditional; would have been Immediate Future: Aller (p. 80) * Progressive present tense of aller + infinitive Nous allons demander une explication. We are going to ask for an explanation Imperfect (pp. 127-128) *Root of the present participle + imperfect endings -ais -ions -ais -iez -ait –aient Literary Past or passe simple (pp. 175-177) -er verbs (donner/ donn) -ir; -re; -ire (venir/vin; suivre/suiv; dire/di) -ai -ames -is -imes -as -ates -is -ites -a -erent -it -irent irregular verbs -re; -oir; -oire; -ire; -ir -us -umes -us -utes

-ut –urent Modal Verbs (pp. 81-82; 207-208) *Devoir (to have to); Pouvoir (to be able, can); or Vouloir (to wish, want) + infinitive Note: Usage of devoir Present tense: “must,” “have to” Imperfect: “was to,” “had to” Compound past: involves an inversion of the word order; the main verb can no longer be expressed as a simple infinitive, but becomes a past participle Ils a du le faire. He must have done it. (He has must done it); “must have” is invariable the correct translation for both singular and plural verbs Compound forms in the pluperfect and future perfect use “had had” and “will have had” respectively Ils avaient du le faire. They had had to do it. Elle aura du le faire. She will have had to do it. Conditional: translate as “should,” even if it is the past when the auxiliary verb avoir marks the conditional tense; when avoir is in the conditional, the translation is “should have” Nous devrions le lire ce soir. We should read it this evening. On aurait du partir avant minuit. We should have left before midnight. Passe Compose (pp. 52-54) *Present tense of the auxiliary verb avoir or etre + past participle of the main verb Usually translated into English as the preterite form Verbs of motion or change form the passe compose using etre: aller, venir, antrer, sortir, arriver, partir, monter, descendre, naitre, mourir, rester, tomber Passive (pp. 187-191) *Conjugated form of etre + past participle The agent of the action is expressed after the prepositions par or de; French tends to avoid the passive: use the impersonal pronoun on when the agent is not known; make the verb reflexive, but the English translation is passive in this case Ce livre se vend partout. The book is sold everywhere. (The book sells itself everywhere.) Past Participles (pp. 48-49)

Used as adjectives: agree in number and gender with the noun they modify; normal mirror pattern in syntax; when a phrase depends upon the past participle, the past participle must remain in the French position Used as predicate adjectives after etre Present (pp. 43-45) -er verbs (donner) -ir; -re; -oir; -oire; -ire verbs (venir; savoir; croire; dire) -e -ons -(i)s -(iss)ons -es -ez -(i)s -(iss)ez -e -ent -(i)t or d -(iss)ent Present Participles (p. 50; 135) Do not usually agree in number and gender with the noun they modify Forms participial phrase with en which introduces an object which can be any person or thing of any gender or number: “in”, “by”, “while” A preposition which is followed by an infinitive is often translated as a present participle in English; same rule applies for past infinitives; pour makes an exception to this rule when it is translated as “to” or “in order to” before an infinitive Elle commence a lire apres etre entree dans la salle. She begins to read after having entered the room (after entering the room). Nous chantons pour faire plaisir. We are singing to give pleasure. Pronominal Verbs (pp. 192-196) Are accompanied by reflexive pronouns, but whose meaning is not necessarily reflexive; these verbs often connote a change of state, or gradual transformation of some kind which is expressed as “get” or “become”; they are conjugated with etre in the compound tenses Real Future (78-79) *Present endings of avoir + infinitive Always an “r” found before the endings, even in irregular verbs Reflexive Verbs (pp. 195-196) May be translated in three ways: 1. as a true reflexive 2. as a passive 3. with reciprocity (only in the plural forms of verbs) Subjunctive (pp. 213-226; 229-231) Used only when there is a change of subject between the principal clause and the subordinate clause; whenever a real subject is introduced in the secondary clause after verbs of desiring, emotion, subjective judgment, or will, the subjunctive follows the subordinating conjunction que, translated as: 1. “that”, at the beginning of a subordinate clause

2. “May,” “Let,” or “Would that” at the very beginning of a sentence Je veux qu’il vienne. I wish that he would come. Que ton nom soit sanctifie. May your name be sanctified. 3. Noun clauses introduced by certain indefinite pronouns which involve que and soit, the subjunctive of etre Qui que “whoever” Quoi que “whatever” Quel que “whichever” Note: the pronoun quiconque (whoever) does not require the subjunctive but still retains the indefinite meaning 4. Adjectival clauses: adjectives in the main clause followed by que Aussi (adj.)... que “however” Si (adj.)... que “as... as” Tout (adj.)... que “as... as” Includes superlative adjectives in the main sentence, because the assertion of something superlative is considered a subjective judgment and therefore hypothetical 5. Certain conjunctions (pp. 218-219) which always introduce a new subject and a verb in the subjunctive, many have a pleonastic ne before the subjunctive verb in the subordinate clause; without the pas has no meaning (aside from COPS) Note: the subjunctive verb after sans que is best translated as a present participle after the object pronoun of the subject Je voudrais sortir sans qu’il sache pourqoi. I would like to go out without him knowing why. Note: if que precedes two verbs in the subjunctive which or separated by “or” it means “whether” 6. Certain temporal conjunctions (p. 220) which express some doubt as to future outcome: the English suggestion of the subjunctive is unnecessary 7. Certain verbs (p. 223) when que introduces a change of subject; all of them express emotion, judgment, or necessity; translate freely, ranging from simple indicative to combinations expressing the subjunctive 8. Certain impersonal expressions (p. 224) Formation of the subjunctive: for all categories of regular verbs: the final consonant of the root (especially l, n or s) is doubled before the endings are added if not already doubled in the present tense -e -ions -es -iez

-e -ent Past Subjunctive: passe compose; the subjunctive forms apply to the auxiliary verbs which place the main verbs as past participles Je ne crois pas qu’il le lui ait donne. I do not think that he gave it to her. Imperfect Subjunctive: is built upon the third person of the literary past -er verbs (donner) -ir verbs (finir) -re verbs (connaitre) -sse -ssions -sse -ssions -sse -ssions -sses -ssiez -sses -ssiez -sses -ssiez --at -assent -it -ssent -ut -ssent In literary texts, the imperfect subjunctive follows a main verb in the imperfect indicative tense Elle voulait qu’il lut le second chaptire. She wanted him to read the second chapter. The subjunctive is best translated by the infinitive; it can also overlap with the conditional, using “would” Je doutais qu’il vendit sa maison. I doubted that he would sell his house.

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