The major inflections (“désinences verbales”) of ordinary verbs are: S (works) ING (working) ED (worked)

1. Rules of pronunciation of verb inflections
VOICELESS CONSONANTS (« CONSONNES SOURDES ») t p f s k  (shoes) t (church)  (cloth), (mouth) CORRESPONDING VOICED CONSONANTS (« CONSONNES SONORES ») d b v z g  (measure)  (judge)

ð (this), (that)
w l ŋ (king), (ring) n m

h  The sound [t] is pronounced without the vibration of the vocal cords. It is said to be a voiceless sound. With the vibration of the vocal cords my [t] would become a [d] (voiced sound). We can oppose likewise [p] and [b], [k] et [g], [f] and [v], [s] and [z] [] and [], [t ] and [], etc.  The consonant sounds [l[ [n] [m] [w] [ ŋ] are voiced but have no voiceless equivalent. Likewise the voiceless consonant sound [h] has no voiced equivalent.  All vowel sounds are voiced (their production always requires the vibration of the vocal cords).  While pronouncing ‘s’ and ‘ed’ inflections, the general rule requires that a voiceless sound follows another voiceless sound and a voiced sound (voiced consonant or any vowel sound) another voiced one. EG. Since the final sound of “stop” is voiceless ([p]), the ‘s’ inflection of “stops” is pronounced [s]. For the same reason the ‘s’ of “opens” is pronounced [z] (voiced) instead of [s] (voiceless): the final sound of “open” ([n]) is voiced.  The ‘ed’ inflection is pronounced [t] for verbs whose infinitive ends with a voiceless sound (stopped, laughed, sniffed, asked) but it is pronounced [d] for verbs whose infinitive ends with a voiced sound (voiced consonant or any vowel sound): opened, called, cried, agreed, travelled, etc.

 For verbs whose infinitive ends with a [t] or a [d] sound, the ‘ed’ inflection is pronounced [id]: wanted, added, rented, patted, waded etc.  The final sound of the following adjectives also is [id], even though they don’t end with a [t] or a [d]:

Beloved Naked Blessed (bienheureux) Ragged (en haillons) Cursed (maudit) Rugged (rugueux) Dogged (obstiné) Sacred Jagged (déchiqueté) Wicked Learned (cultivé, érudit) Wretched (misérable) NB: (These are different from the past participle of the verbs to bless, to curse, etc.)

2. Single or double consonant before ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ inflections?
 The rule (a) Sit ⇒ Sitting (e) Develop ⇒ Developing ⇒ Developed ⇒ Permitting ⇒ Permitted ⇒ Reading (b) Permit (f) Read ⇒ Visiting ⇒ Visited ⇒ Recurring ⇒ Recurred (c) Visit (g) Recur ⇒ Concealing ⇒ Concealed (d) Conceal (h) Consider ⇒ Considering ⇒ Considered

A single consonant letter at the end of the base is doubled before ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ inflections when two conditions are met: 1.- This consonant is preceded by one, and only one, vowel. 2.- The final syllable is stressed Condition 1 (only one vowel) is met in (a), (b), (c), etc., but not in (d) and (f). Condition 2 (final syllable stressed) is met in (a), (b), (f) and (g), not in (c), (e) (h). The two conditions (= doubling) are met in (a), (b) and (g). Remember that condition 2 is always met with monosyllabic verbs: (a) and (f) for instance.  The exceptions Condition 1 is not met for “dial” and condition 2 is not met for “cancel”, “counsel”, “model”, “signal”, “worship”, “handicap”, “kidnap”. In American English where the rule is generally respected, the final consonant is not doubled for these verbs. But it generally is in British English. “Canceled” “worshiping”, “dialed” “kidnaping” are usually American whereas “cancelled”, “worshipping”, “dialled”, “kidnapping” are rather British. “Programme” (“programming”, “programmed”, without however condition 2 being met) is used in both American and British English, while “program” (“programing”, “programed”) is quite exclusively American.  Verbs ending with c Their ‘ed’ and ‘ing’ forms are always preceded with ck, be their final syllable stressed or not: Panic ⇒ panicking Traffic ⇒ trafficking  Some verbs ending with s … Some verbs those base ends with ‘s’ have their ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ forms spelt with one or two ‘s’ To bias ⇒ biased / biased / biasing / biassing To bus ⇒ bused / bussed / busing / bussing ⇒ focused / focussed / focusing / focussing To focus


Hit Profit Submit Suffer Refer Order Differ Confer Stain Remember Transfer Commission Rape dispel Signal Recruit Blur Open Convert exert handicap disdain murmur murder

Admit Develop Kidnap Rebel Function Edit Worship Swim Transmit Stab Deter Recur Hasten Travel Sin Cancel Recover focus excel Grip Record Traffic panic label




[m]. sciences. bees. [v]. Phonetics Gymnastics. [p]. the plural is morphologically regular (there is no additional ‘e’) and only phonetically irregular (only the pronunciation changes to become [iz]): bridge ⇒ bridges judge ⇒ judges horse ⇒ horses). [ð]) and vowel sounds. [l]. [n].) Mathematics Linguistics Ethics  Some games. [g]. etc. etc. [w]. diseases. [f]. NUMBER: SINGULAR AND PLURAL OF ENGLISH NOUNS a) The regular plural: ‘s’ added to the base a bee ⇒ bees a cat ⇒ cats a chair ⇒ chairs knob ⇒ knobs a pot ⇒ pots a dog ⇒ dogs  The ‘s’ inflection is pronounced [s] after non sibilant voiceless consonants ([t]. . [k]. knobs. c) Irregular plural with major orthographical alterations calf ⇒ half ⇒ loaf ⇒ thief ⇒ self ⇒ shelf ⇒ (But: belief ⇒ calves halves loaves thieves selves shelves beliefs) child ⇒ ox ⇒ foot ⇒ tooth ⇒ woman ⇒ mouse ⇒ goose ⇒ children oxen feet teeth women mice geese phenomenon ⇒ criterion ⇒ datum ⇒ medium ⇒ crisis ⇒ analysis ⇒ thesis ⇒ phenomena criteria data media (French: “les médias”) crises analyses theses d) Nouns whose plural is similar to the singular (invariable nouns) A sheep ⇒ many sheep a swine ⇒ many swine a craft ⇒ many craft A means ⇒ many means a series ⇒ many series a species ⇒ many species e) Singular invariable nouns (no plural nouns)  -ics nouns (subjects. etc. pots.  The ‘s’ inflection is pronounced [z] after non sibilant voiced sounds: voiced consonants ([d].THE ENGLISH NOUN 1.  When in a singular noun the hissing or hushing sound ends in ‘e’. dogs. EG. cats. chairs clothes b) Irregular plural of nouns ending in sibilant or hushing sounds (“sifflantes” et “chuintantes”)  After a sibilant or hushing sound the ‘s’ inflection of the plural becomes ‘es’ and is pronounced [iz]: box ⇒ boxes ash ⇒ ashes match ⇒ matches. EG. NB: Because they wrongly think that “clothes” is the plural of “cloth” (the two words don’t mean the same!) some people pronounce “clothes” [kluðiz] whereas the correct pronunciation of the word is [kluðz] (and that of “cloth” is [kl]). [b]. [•] [›].

For instance. cook. I refer to the police as an institution (one entity).Summation plurals: trousers shorts spectacles scales Cattle (“the cattle are …”) poultry vermin stairs funds wages scissors jeans. depending on the intended meaning. For instance when I say “The police are talking to some eye-witnesses”. the following English notions don’t accept the plural (they can’t be counted in English): Luggage baggage information advice furniture knowledge business Anger behaviour courage leisure chess shopping fun Research photography fruit fish progress homework traffic NB: We can say however “3 fishes” when we refer to particular individuals (“yesterday I caught 3 fish” or “3 fishes”).  Plural invariable nouns (no singular nouns) .  Other plural-only nouns ending in “s” Goods Contents (table of contents = table des matières) morals Damages (in the legal sense of money: to claim damages) accommodations Archives bowels clothes customs premises (lieu. 2. etc. cousin. etc. “The Netherlands was…”. singer. “The police have sealed off the area”. Jew (sometimes the female Jew is called “Jewess”) b) Differentiated gender . a male/female teacher.Draughts (jeu de dame) Barracks (caserne) billiards (le billard) measles (rougeole) crossroads (carrefour) works (usine) gallows (le gibet). “There should be more police patrolling the streets of Saint-Louis”. “The family is/are terribly shocked by the news”. person. etc. doctor. I refer to the policemen or policewomen (several entities). “fruits” when we use the term figuratively (“the fruits of my work”) or when I refer to the species (“mango and banana are tropical fruits”). “The Philippines has…”. inhabitant. “The Senegalese government is/are determined to take up the challenge”. Likewise I can say either “The family has accepted to pay the ransom” or “The family have accepted to pay the ransom”. police. Italian. friend. local)  The case of the “collective” nouns Some nouns referring to collective notions (family. We generally use the plural when referring to the members of the group. But when I say: “The federal police is complaining that…”. government.  “Noncount” nouns (also called “uncount nouns” or “uncounts”) (=“noms indénombrables”) Many notions which except the plural in a tongue may not accept it in another. GENDER IN ENGLISH a) Dual (non differentiated) gender (“genre indéterminé”) “Dual gender” refers to the cases where the male and the female bear the same name or title EG.  Names of countries “The United States is …”. etc. while many of their French equivalents accept the plural.) are used either as singular or as plural nouns.

c) Gender of names of countries and cities  As geographical units. they usually have the neutral gender: “it…”.  Some compounds are made by adding a subject to the verb A hangman a watchdog a playboy  Some compounds are made by adding the subject to an “ing” verbal noun A firing squad. MAKING COMPOUND NOUNS (“noms composés”)  Some compounds are made by adding a deverbal noun to the subject A headache a toothache rainfall earthquake Landslide beestings nightfall heartbeat Sunrise sunset. etc.  Some compounds are made by adding an “ing” verbal noun to the object Air-conditioning brainwashing sightseeing . Its area is much larger than…  As political and economic units. etc.  Morphologically unmarked gender The name of the male is morphologically different from that of the female Boy ⇒ girl Monk ⇒ nun gander ⇒ goose father ⇒ mother nephew ⇒ niece ⇒ cow bull bachelor ⇒ spinster ⇒ bitch dog ⇒ mare stallion king ⇒ queen ram ⇒ ewe cock ⇒ hen NB: Remember that “bitch” is often used very pejoratively in informal or colloquial English (= “une putain”).Senegal has developed her production…  The female gender is also sometimes given to names of vehicles and ships . they often have the feminine gender . etc. it is the name of the male which seems to derive from that of the female: the male is marked: Widow (female) ⇒ widower (male) bride (female) ⇒ bridegroom (male) cat (female) ⇒ tomcat (male).The Titanic sank not long after she was built. “its…” France is quite large. 3. Morphologically marked gender The name of the female seems to derive morphologically from that of the male: Hero ⇒ heroine god ⇒ goddess waiter ⇒ waitress Prince ⇒ princess host ⇒ hostess tiger ⇒ tigress Lion ⇒ lioness actor ⇒ actress poet ⇒ poetess In some cases. a washing machine.  Some compounds are made by adding a deverbal noun to the object A birth-control a haircut a handshake a self-control.

 Some compounds are made by adding an adverbial noun to an “ing” verbal noun A hiding-place a waiting room a walking machine A sewing machine a frying pan a cooking pot  Some compounds are made by adding a noun to an adjective A blackboard a madman a blackbird (un merle) grey matter a hothouse .

people sometimes use the complement where the subject is “normally” required. that you are trying to impress them (cf. etc. etc. the use of the French “imparfait du subjonctif”!) 2. themselves. itself. it. This is more profitable for you and me (you and me = complements. (Vous pouvez le faire vous-même.) She granted herself a three-day leave. yourselves. they. (In classical and biblical English: thee [ði:] c) Reflexive pronouns: myself. (… et lui-même…) . The personal pronoun: subject or complement? Beware! - She is older than I (instead of “She is older than me”.PERSONAL PRONOUNS The main English personal pronouns are: a) Subjects: I. (Je superviserai personnellement le travail. It is I who bought the flowers (I = subject).) He shot himself in the head. it we.)  But in informal English. (He and I are old buddies. himself.  In some cases the reflexive pronouns are not actually reflexive but serve to emphasize the subject: - I myself will supervise the work. one another.) 1. herself. “It is I who bought the flowers”.Lui et moi nous sommes de vieux copains. your interlocutors may judge that you are pedant. (They don’t know.Eux ils ne savent pas.  Contrary to French. him.) Of course.  Remember however that there are social contexts where when you say “She is older than I”. “It is me who bought the flowers”. in English the personal pronoun is generally not repeated . them.Toi et ton médecin vous avez …(You and your doctor have…) . etc. yourself. we were obliged to do it ourselves.) They delighted seeing themselves on the tv. us. you. Two subjects: She ⇒ I). It is inappropriate to use personal pronouns in this way in a piece of academic work.. (In classical and biblical English: thou [ðau]. tu le sais = mais toi si. In classical and biblical English: thyself [ðai 4self] d) Reciprocal pronouns: each other. She as a subject requires the use of another subject for the second term of the comparison: I. Nobody but he has campaigned for the abolition of death penalty (he = subject: “personne d’autre que lui n’a fait campagne…”). “You and me are brothers”. It is common now to hear people say “She is older than me”. but you do!) . mais toi. one. he she.) b) Complements: me. her.) His uncle and himself criticized the deal. Reflexive pronouns  We use reflexive pronouns to express the idea that the subject is at the same time the object of the action: the sender is the receiver: - You can do it yourself. (Elle s’est offert un congé de trois jours. I thought her to be older than me (Two complements: her ⇒ me). (Il se tira une balle dans la tête. (… de le faire nous-mêmes. ourselves. you.

. . Reciprocal pronouns: “each other”. depending on the context.They were very critical towards each other / one another.For seven months this man and his wife avoided talking about each other / one another. the two expressions are generally interchangeable: . You were expected to come earlier (on s’attendait à ce que vous …).  In today’s English. One doesn’t easily confess one’s faults. . infra.  The French “on” can also be translated by using the English definite personal pronouns “we”. The tower of Gaston Berger could be seen from here (on pouvait voir la tour de …). . (On peut le penser). 4. (on n’admet pas ce type d’accoutrement…)  The French “on” can also be translated by using the English impersonal pronoun “one” One can’t feel at ease in this family (“On ne peut pas se sentir à l’aise…”). . (… de laisser sa voiture…). Translation of the French impersonal pronoun “on”  The French impersonal pronoun “on” can be translated into English by using the passive turn - He is believed to be more amenable to compromise than his brother (on pense qu’il est plus disposé …).It is not prudent to leave one’s car in this street at night. (On n’avoue pas facilement ses fautes). “English spoken here” (“ici on parle Anglais”). .One doesn’t easily confess one’s faults.They finally accepted each other’s proposals (… acceptèrent l’un les propositions de l’autre / les uns les propositions des autres). From that day one could easily understand why she was… (“A partir de ce jour on comprenait facilement pourquoi elle …”. (On ne sait jamais). . (Cf. the translation of the French impersonal pronoun “on”).Such an assertion may make one believe that… (… peut faire penser que…).  “One” can be used as a personal pronoun (“impersonal” pronoun).We used each other’s cars (chacun prit le véhicule de l’autre). “you”.Tyson and Tapha Guèye have been challenging each other. .) One can think so.3. (On n’avoue pas facilement ses fautes). .Wade and Djibo have been accusing each other / one another of high treason.The schoolboys threw their satchels and started chasing one another.One never knows. “they” or by using “people”.One can think so. it is better to make up one’s mind immediately.) One never knows when she will be back (“On ne sait jamais quand est-ce qu’elle …”. This way of dressing is not allowed in the …. .In such a context. .  The reciprocal pronouns accept the genitive case . . (On peut le penser). (… se décider …). “one another”  Originally “each other” was used for two subjects and “one another” for more than two: .You can meet at one another’s rooms (… les uns dans les chambres des autres).

” The speaker is normally not included in the “on”. It is clear that “on” means here “vous” ou “tu”: “vous semblez préoccupé(e) aujourd’hui”. who is “on”? No precise answer is possible. La Russie et les États-Unis s’espionnaient régulièrement. The speaker is included in the “on”. Est-ce lui ou elle qui a préparé ce plat ? On ne doit pas accuser le capitaine sans preuve.). Vous aussi vous le savez. nous nous entendons très bien. when somebody says: “On raconte qu’il la fréquente secrètement”. Here “on” means: “quelqu’un”). On est toujours fier de ses propres exploits. ils n’aiment pas le soupou kandié. Je parle chinois mieux qu’elle.  The French “on” can also be translated by using “somebody” or “someone” - Somebody is making a noise outside (“On fait du bruit dehors”. Here people can smell the rain long before it arrives. Ni elle. etc. Peut-être qu’eux ils pourront retrouver le voleur. On raconte dans la ville qu’elle sera candidate. (“Dans ce campus on organise …. Aimons-nous les uns les autres.”. He or she does not belong with the people who organize concerts.) All of a sudden we can see an elephant in the distance. They organize too many concerts in this campus.- We can go now! (“On peut partir maintenant !” Here the French “on” can be replaced by “nous” : “nous pouvons partir maintenant”. Ils étaient assis l’un en face de l’autre. NB: Whenever there is any doubt about the entity referred to in French as “on”. Je me disais que ça suffisait. it is more prudent to translate it by using the passive form (instead of using “we”. “they”. Crois-tu que lui il peut les convaincre ? Ils s’imaginaient déjà champions d’Afrique.). The use of the passive form is then required: “he is said to visit her secretly”.). Bizarre… Elle parlait toute seule. “…rain can be smelt …. Elles se sont injuriées toute la nuit.) What’s wrong? You seem to be worried today! (“Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas ? On semble préoccupé(e) aujourd’hui !”. nous nous l’adorons.) Translation Exercise: Translate the following French sentences into English. Lui et moi. Ils ne se parlent pas depuis deux mois. . En voyageant on devrait toujours avoir sa carte d’identité avec soi. Somebody is waiting for you in the living room (“On t’attend dans le salon”. For example.) Here you can smell the rain long before it arrives (“Ici on sent la pluie longtemps avant …”. ne sait ce qui se passe. (“Tout à coup on aperçoit …” Here too “on” means “nous”: “… nous apercevons…”. Est-ce lui ou elle que tu accuses de vol ? Ce sont eux qui ont tout fait. ni lui. Eux. Here I express a general truth which could also be rendered in English by: “… people can smell…”.

Ils se tuèrent dans un accident.- On voit bien d’ici la tour de l’université. Toi tu es bon. C’est ça ! Ils déchirèrent l’un les habits de l’autre. Pourquoi ne peut-on pas interdire cela ? Il n’a consulté personne : ni eux. . Vous les saint-louisiens. ni moi. On peut chasser le gibier ici. moi je suis méchant. vous vous prenez pour les plus civilisés.

S. animal(s) or thing(s) we are referring to - The boy is coming. . etc.THE ARTICLES In English we have three types of articles: the definite (the). They are opening the bridge tomorrow (my interlocutor knows which bridge I am talking about) Are you spending the night in the university (this specific night: tonight). further). Compare with: “a boy is coming”: any boy). the USA.I’ll visit the Pyramids on Christmas.I love the Pope. (But: King Mohamed VI.  “The” is used before some nouns referring to only one person. I went to see the headmaster (there is only one headmaster in the school). The heir The intelligent The NGOs The hour The eve The ear However “the” is pronounced [ð] before the following words which do not begin with a vowel sound.He is the doctor  The is also pronounced [ði] when one hasn’t found yet the right word to use after the article . . . The “specific name” can be a planet.The Koran is sacred. . an element or an atmospheric phenomenon.R. The red car stopped and its driver fired instantly (this car was mentioned before). to specific persons. I met yesterday the woman who sold you the pyjamas (not any woman. . the hair.He stood by the … the kind of shed they were using for … 2. the snow. The air The honour The earth The MPs The honest… The umbrella The N. animal or thing. the weather.The Grand Sérigne has died.  The is also pronounced [ði] when it is emphasized: . the wind. one thing or group. the rain. MAIN USES OF THE ENGLISH DEFINITE ARTICLE “The” can be used when we refer to a specific person. and when we are sure that our interlocutor(s) understand which person(s). the ewe.H.A. etc. the moon. etc. before specific names or proper nouns . the hotel. President Clinton.The King arrives today. animals or things.  “The” is used before some count nouns used in the singular to refer to something more general . the indefinite (a/an) and the partitive (some/any) articles. A THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: “THE” 1 PRONUNCIATION:  “The” is pronounced [ði] before a vowel sound The ocean The I. For instance.The sun. but a specific one). (Everybody understands me. Cf. the European. the year. the one…. the sea. but with a consonant one: the universe.

call both their country and their river “The Gambia” (“Welcome to the Republic of The Gambia”).  “The” is used before singular nouns referring to musical instruments. .I never took the train between Saint-Louis and Dakar. etc.  “The” is generally used in time expressions . the names of their peaks are generally used without the definitive article: Kilimanjaro (the peak of The Kenya). But we say: “man is…”.  “The” is used before some nouns referring to means of communication or transportation functioning as a system.The cheaper the better (le moins cher est le meilleur). whereas in American English people generally say “The Senegal River”. plus elle devient vilaine à mes yeux = plus je la trouve vilaine).The more it rains. . “The Niger River” etc.) . I saw it on the television.  The is used before comparative adjectives or adverbs in expressions like these . “cats”. I prefer the cat. . .This book is the least expensive of all.Yes.He had a fever in the afternoon.The more she tries to be beautiful the uglier I find her (plus elle essaie d’être belle.- He often appears on the screen (the screen = cinema in general).The telephone is not very reliable here.In the past Assane was a taxi driver. . mountains: The Senegal (river) The Gambia The Mediterranean The Nile The Alps The Atlas The Himalayas The Kenya NB  “The River Senegal”.No. “The River Niger” are rather British.  While “Senegal” is the country and “The Senegal” the river (this is the general rule in English).)  “The” can be used before nouns referring to species or human types . (But: “… doesn’t play tennis”. bus. (But: “I travel by train.Do you like the dog? .Cécile promises to consider it in the future. plus les paysans…). . .  If the names of mountains are used with the definite article.Françoise is the funniest girl on the campus. . 3 “THE” IS NOT USED BEFORE:  Abstract undefined nouns .  “The” is used with superlative adjectives . etc. (We can also say here: “dogs”. the happier the peasants get (plus il pleut. “woman likes…”). Everest (the peak of The Himalayas). “The Mississippi River”.  “The” is generally used before names of rivers.Youssou doesn’t play the organ. One must respect the law (the law = the system of laws). exceptionally. the Gambians.

days of the week.)  Nouns referring to illnesses . “the plague” (la peste). (Il vit un homme sortir du…) . etc. “a” is pronounced [ei] and “an” [æn] when they are accented (mark of emphasis) . etc. . etc.She boasted that she could speak Arabic. .Bread (but: “the loaf of bread”). mais pas le champion des champions !) 2 USES OF THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE  The indefinite article is used when we mention someone or something unknown to the interlocutor (and possibly to the speaker).I find history more interesting than geography. (Remember: “He plays the piano”. B. salt. In each of these two examples I am not referring to summer in general. iron. . FORMS AND PRONUNCIATION: “a” [] is used before a consonant sound and “an” [n] before a vowel sound. rubbish. Buckingham Palace. etc. travel.A boy is coming (compare with “the boy is coming). etc.He plays chess.One can notice an upsurge of malaria NB: In the past. or when we mention them for the first time. etc.  Things considered as an amount or compound rather than a separate unit when they are undefined .  Nouns referring to games . . Here I am referring to a specific truth: the truth about the particular problem we are dealing with now.  Nouns referring to seasons.- - Truth is sometimes hard to accept. The Champs Élysées. . .)  Nouns referring to streets or monuments . The Rue Blanchot.I prefer summer to spring.) Intelligence doesn’t suffice here. (But I must say: “I want to know the truth”. Japanese and Joola.You are not the [oi] champion but just a [æn] champion.He plays basket ball.He suffers from bronchitis. air. (But: “the summer I spent here…” Or: “the summer was too rainy”. Oxford Street.He saw a man coming out of the store and called him. (Tu es certes un champion. THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE: “A” (“AN”) 1.  Nouns referring to subjects of study or languages . . water. dust. NB: But “the” is used before names of French streets or monuments preceded in French by the definite article: The Eiffel Tower. but to a specific one.Trafalgar Square.Influenza is not to be neglected. etc. We can say for the same reasons: The Pompidou Avenue. people used to say: “the measles” (la rougeole). “He plays the guitar”.

(C’est une merveille de femme.He has a guilty conscience (il a mauvaise conscience). . toothache.This Senegalese man is much of a tea-drinker.A cat is usually a good friend (= “cats are usually…”.She is behaving as a lady.What a cold day! . .Such a boy is crazy. might also be used in this case).)  It is used after “such” and “what” in the following examples .He is a teacher in a department of the university. (Compare with “She is the cashier of the store” where there is just one store in the area and just one cashier in it.He was in an awful situation. or “the cat is usually…”). is accused of .)  It is also used when we refer to one of a number of possibilities .It is a pity she can’t understand how wrong she is (c’est dommage qu’elle …). .I never suspected that he could buy such a big house.I have a headache (or sore throat. .  It is used after link verbs (copulas) (“verbes d’état”) to introduce a complement . .His father has become a drunkard. .I can’t.She is a cashier in a store (… une caissière dans un magasin). the indefinite article is often used . (…un enseignant dans une section de…)  The indefinite article is also used before such uncounts as: pity. an engineer from Kébémer.).This idiot of an apprentice is harassing me. relief. (… un grand buveur de thé.She is a marvel of a woman. shame. animal or thing to make a general statement about all people or animals or things of that type (but the plural. etc.They will never succeed in making a computer think.) . (…ressemble à un éléphant.He walks with a stick. I am in a hurry (… je suis pressé).My old witch of a mother-in-law has arrived. (Ma vieille sorcière de belle-mère …) . mess.  It is used before an apposition noun: ..  The indefinite article is also used in the following expressions . fuss.What a shame! (Quelle honte!) .- The huge grey shape over there looks like an elephant. .He looks like a fool.A perfect liar. .His uncle. (Cet idiot d’apprenti…) . she pretended that the drug was not hers. . disgrace.  The indefinite article can be used with a noun when we use an individual person.  After a preposition. .In his capacity as a doctor..) .I am an innocent person. .I cannot travel on an empty stomach (… voyager le ventre vide). hurry. or “the”. etc. . . . he decided that…  It is often used after “of” in the following type of expression .

There are some 10 laps to go (Il reste encore quelques 10 tours de piste). I cannot help both of you at a time (or: “at once”. “ANY” “Some” and “any” also are indefinite articles.Would you like some cold drink? (I offer this to my guest and expect him/her to accept.  “Some” most often appears in affirmative statements . . .- We have a right to complain (… le droit de nous plaindre).I saw some students in the restaurant some minutes ago.” Or: “On frappe…” .Somebody is knocking at the door. (… à environ 90 km d’ici. You are supposed to set an example (… donner l’exemple)  It is used after “many” in a written (and very formal) style. THE PARTITIVE ARTICLES: “SOME”. (“Quelqu’un ….Many a time he rejected our proposals.Can you give me some copies? (I would be disappointed if you refused. It is then used before uncounts and plural count nouns.Bring me some pineapple please! (… un peu de…) This is also the case for its compounds: somebody. “at the same time”).It took me some years to discover that she had a child.Are you looking for something? (I expect: “yes.).Malick. 2 ANY  “Any” is used before plural nouns or uncounts when we are referring to a quantity of something which may or may not exist (it expresses then doubt or supposition: it conveys then the notion of “n’importe lequel”) . “many”. C. .)  “Some” and its compounds “somebody” and “someone” can be used in questions that expect an affirmative answer or are requests and offers in question form .Rosso is some 90 kilometres away. something: .) .There is some chance that he succeeds. They are often referred to as “partitive articles” 1 SOME “Some” is usually used to indicate that there is a quantity of something or that there are a number of things or people without being precise.Is somebody coming to lunch today? (Offer again. prefers grammar to any other subject.) . like any other student. .)  “Some” can also be used to mean quite a large quantity of something (“some” means then quite the same as “several”. .I must take something for this cough.You can come any day you want.) .  “Some” is also used before numbers to show that you are not being totally accurate . We are going to a concert tonight (or: “to a restaurant”). put an end to this farce! (… mets fin à … / … mets un terme à …). Let us make a fire (… du feu). (… quelque jour que tu choisiras) . Please. I am”). (Je dois prendre quelque chose contre cette toux. I was at a loss (… embarrassé). .You must stay here for some time (… un certain temps relativement long). Don’t make a noise (… du bruit). Have you got a light? (… du feu). etc. (Il y a des chances que…) .

It has then a negative connotation (the person who asks the question is not very optimistic). Compare with (2) “Do you have some cigarettes left” (Est-ce qu’il te reste quelques cigarettes ?). . I don’t have any cold drink at all to give to my guest and hope him/her to answer: “no. (… toute grande salle conviendra.Don’t worry about: any large room will do. . . .Would you like any cold drink? (Compare with “would you like some cold drink”? Maybe when I use “any”. The tone of (1) is more pessimistic than that of (2). thank you”.There were hardly any buses that day (Il n’y avait pratiquement pas de….)  “Any” is also used in negative statements to say that something does not exist (or in affirmative statements which convey however a negative idea) .) . Il y avait à peine…). Compare with “Are there some jobs that women can’t do?” which implies that a positive answer can’t be totally dismissed.  “Any” is also used in questions asking whether something exists or not.You can eat “ceebu jën” in any Senegalese house. when we don’t want to mention a specific person or thing. (…dans toute maison…) . .Are there any jobs that women can’t do? (The feminist person who asks this question hints that such jobs don’t exist.I have never found there any lions (je n’y ai jamais trouvé de lions).- If you need any book. . let me know.Nobody in this classroom knows any Chinese (Personne dans cette classe ne parle tant soit peu le Chinois). .There was not any bread left /There were not any cakes left (Il n’ y avait plus de pain/gâteaux)  “Any” can be used with singular count nouns to talk about someone or something of a particular type.(1) Do you have any cigarettes left? (Ne te reste-t-il pas quelques cigarettes ?).

(… des histoires drôles. the English qualifying adjective is invariable.) (Titre du tout nouveau Président des USA avant sa prestation de serment. next. • Grandma used to tell many funny stories.) • We discovered that it was the only restaurant available there. (… que c’était le seul restaurant disponible sur place)  These –ible and –able adjectives can also be postpositive when followed by a prepositional phrase . last. the qualifying adjective may also be placed after the noun or pronoun: Things English Remembrance of Things Past Paradise Lost Prometheus Unbound “Business International” Choses/affaires anglaises A La recherche du temps perdu (œuvre de Marcel Proust). first last next adjectives • This was the wisest solution possible (= wisest possible solution) (C’était la solution la plus sage possible.) Le président d’université ( ≈ recteur) désigné Les États Généraux Le corps politique De toute éternité (de temps immémorial) L’Église Militante Une bagarre générale L’Asie Mineure Être le diable incarné  In a very sophisticated literary English (especially in books titles).)  But in some cases the English qualifying adjective is postpositive. Shelley) (Une émission économique de CNN)  Postpositive qualifying adjectives also include some –ible and –able adjectives qualifying nouns which follow words such as first. B. Le Paradis Perdu (œuvre de John Milton) Prométhée Délivré (œuvre de P. THE PLACE OF THE QUALIFYING ADJECTIVE: WORD ORDER  Contrary to the French qualifying adjective. This is the case for some fixed traditional expressions.THE ENGLISH QUALIFYING ADJECTIVE I.  In English the qualifying adjective is generally prepositive (placed before the noun or pronoun which it qualifies).) • She always cooks spicy dishes. only and superlative adjectives. ( … des plats épicés. most of which are translated from French: Blood royal Heir apparent The Princess Royal The Poet Laureate A court martial The sum total The Inspector General The Attorney General The President Elect The Vice-Chancellor Designate The Estates General The body politic From (or since) time immemorial The Church Militant A battle royal Asia Minor To be the devil incarnate sang royal héritier présomptif La Princesse Royale (fille aînée du souverain) Poète officiel du souverain une cour martiale Le total de l’addition L’inspecteur Général (A peu près équivalent au Ministre de la Justice aux USA.

opposite. COMPOUND QUALIFYING ADJECTIVES 1. the whole compound “olive-green” qualifies the cloth. II.• This medicine is suitable to pregnant women. (Il a acheté une étoffe vert-olive. etc. (Les enfants qui étaient présents le trouvèrent …) • All the students concerned are requested to attend the meeting. completes or modifies the meaning of the second which is therefore more important.. (Ma présente visite dissipera toute tension. adverbs. But what each of these means then is different from what it means when used before the noun.  A noun can also play the role of qualifying adjective. • He bought an olive-green cloth. The two elements can be either adjectives or nouns. participles. But in this compound there is a kind of semantic internal hierarchy which sets “green” as the chief element of the compound: “olive” tells us what kind of “green” we have. . present.)  Postpositive adjectives also include: concerned. The school year An eye-witness eye A cabinet reshuffle The world economy World Festival of Negro Arts Tear-gas (or teargas) Tear A border or family dispute Road-traffic Road An air-disaster air L’année scolaire Un témoin oculaire Une remaniement ministériel L’économie mondiale Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres Gaz lacrymogène Un différend frontalier ou familial Trafic routier Une catastrophe aérienne III. It then sometimes corresponds to a French adjective. Compare: • My present visit will diffuse any tension. In “He bought an olive-green cloth”. (Tous les étudiants concernés…) • The exams were very hard and concerned students pleaded for clemency (… et les étudiants inquiets plaidèrent pour la clémence). Definition and semantic links A compound qualifying adjective is a combination of two words – generally linked with a hyphen – playing the role of qualifying adjective.OTHER WORDS PLAYING THE ROLE OF QUALIFYING ADJECTIVES  Present and past participles (especially those with a passive meaning) can play the same role as the qualifying adjective and be used as such.) • The children present found it very funny.) The first element of the compound determines. etc. A frightening beast A written exercise A stifling heat The stolen goods Une bête effroyable Un exercice écrit Une chaleur étouffante Les marchandises volées. involved. (Les femmes enceintes peuvent prendre ce médicament.

made (handmade) bag A home-made (homemade) car A well-brought (well-educated) boy well-educated A well-known story A remote-controlled device To be tongue-tied A far-fetched expression An air-conditioned room A time-honoured habit A self-taught / self-made / person A horse-drawn plough An ill-advised man Un sac fait à la main Un véhicule de fabrication locale Un garçon bien éduqué Une histoire célèbre Un appareil télécommandé Rester muet Une expression tirée par les cheveux Une pièce climatisée Une vieille habitude Un autodidacte Une charrue à cheval Un homme mal conseillé 5. gêné... Être sans problèmes / Qui ne tombe pas en panne Un magasin hors-taxe (dans les aéroports.. une nuit aussi noire que le charbon. par exemple) Une guerre qui dure un an Une pile (ou batterie) qui ne contient pas de mercure une vérité qui va de soi.2.. Un étudiant qui travaille dur. etc.When the second element of the compound is an adjective A brand-new camera An olive-green cloth a sky-blue piece of material a navy-blue car An ice-cold night To be sea-sick (or seasick) To be home-sick (or homesick) To be self-confident a coal-black night To be trouble-free A duty-free shop A year-long war A mercury -free battery a self-obvious / self-evident true To be self-conscious Un appareil photo flambant neuf. Une étoffe vert-olive un tissu bleu ciel. .When the second element is a present participle (with an active meaning) A nice-looking woman A never-ending quarrel A heart-breaking experience A hair-raising spectacle A hard-working (painstaking) student painstaking A tight-fitting / close-fitting shirt A long-standing dispute A mouth-watering meal Une belle femme Une querelle interminable Une expérience déchirante Un spectacle à faire dresser les cheveux sur la tête. Être timide. 3.When the second element is a past participle with an active meaning A well-read person A well-travelled person A short-lived friendship A plain-spoken person Une personne qui a beaucoup lu (cultivée) Une personne qui a beaucoup voyagé Une amitié éphémère Une personne qui a son franc-parler. une voiture bleu marine. Être sûr de soi (être plein d’assurance). Une chemise étroite Une vieille dispute Un plat alléchant / appétissant 4. Une nuit glaciale Avoir le mal de mer Avoir la nostalgie de chez soi.When the second element is a past participle with a passive meaning A hand.

The Scarlet Letter. Un borgne.6..Other types of qualifying compounds several types of expressions with compound forms can play the role of qualifying adjectives: A one-way street A two-day visit A second-hand mobile phone An unheard-of story A top-secret mission A short-range / long-range missile A day-to-day chore A plain-clothes policeman A happy-go-lucky boy An up-to-date machine Une rue à sens unique Une visite de 2 jours Un téléphone cellulaire d’occasion Une histoire sans précédent Une mission top secrète Un missile à courte portée / longue portée Un corvée quotidienne Un policier en civil Un garçon insouciant Une machine à la mode .) 7.When the second element is a noun with an –ed suffix A dark-skinned / fair-skinned girl A one-eyed /one-legged [legid] person To be left-handed / right-handed A fair-haired woman High-heeled shoes To return empty-handed An empty-headed girl A low-necked dress A U-shaped piece of metal A four.storied (storeyed) building Gold-framed spectacles A blue-eyed girl A short-sighted person A long-sighted man An old-fashioned car Cold-blooded person A kind-hearted man To be narrow-minded / open-minded A big-nosed man A double-edged knife A single-breaded / double-breasted jacket Une fille au teint noir / teint clair. une évaporée Une robe décolletée Un morceau de métal en forme de U Un bâtiment à trois étages (et non quatre !) Lunettes à monture en or Une fille aux yeux bleus Un myope Un presbyte Une voiture démodée / ancienne Une personne froide (insensible) Un homme qui a bon cœur Avoir l’esprit étroit / ouvert Un homme au gros nez Un couteau à double tranchant Une veste droite / croisée NB We can use this type of compound adjectives to form adverbs: She accepted it half-heartedly (halfheartedly) We supported him whole-heartedly (wholeheartedly) I wrote the letter absent-mindedly (absentmindedly) Elle l’accepta sans enthousiasme Nous l’avons soutenu avec enthousiasme J’ai écrit la lettre distraitement “A throng of bearded men. intermixed with women…” (From Nathaniel Hawthorne. in sad-colored garments and gray.. steeple-crowned hats. un unijambiste Être gaucher / droitier Une blonde Des chaussures à talons hauts Revenir bredouille (les mains vides) Une fille écervelée.

French. The Whites.Substantivized adjectives used as nouns Qualifying adjectives can be used almost as nouns (substantivized or nominalized adjectives). The rich and the poor The dead and the wounded The blind and the deaf The young and the old The happy few The handicapped / the disabled The unemployed The military The left-handed / The right-handed Les riches et les pauvres Les morts et les blessés Les aveugles et les sourds Les jeunes et les vieux L’élite Les handicapés Les chômeurs Les militaires (l’armée) Les gauchers / Les droitiers  Some of these substantivized adjectives can however have the mark of the plural (“s”) The Blacks..  Adjectives from country or continent names are always spelt with an initial capital letter (whereas in French only the noun is spelt in this way). the Senegalese government (Senegalese = adjective). The Coloureds Blacks Whites The Reds The Greens The drunks The under-tens Les Blancs. always begin with a capital letter. the French like wine (French = noun: the people). the adjective is morphologically and phonetically different from the noun .45 train The do-it-yourself (DIY) department A down-to-earth attitude A life-and-death combat A matter-of-fact idea A hand-to-mouth life A live-and-let-live attitude A winner-take-all electoral system A we-are-not-amused expression A life-size (= life-sized) picture Toilettes réservées aux dames Un restaurant de classe Le train de 9 h 45 Le rayon bricolage Une attitude réaliste Un combat à mort (désespéré) Une idée terre-à-terre Une vie au jour le jour Une attitude de tolérance réciproque Un système électoral majoritaire Un air pincé (un air de « ça ne me fait pas rire ») Un portrait grandeur nature 8. the French educational system … (French = adjective). however. etc. Then they don’t generally have the mark of the plural (the “s”).-Adjectives from names of countries or continents  Generally adjectives and nouns from country names look and sound alike: The Senegalese like tea (Senegalese = noun: the people). Asian. Senegalese. African.  For some country names. be they nouns or adjectives. les Noirs. les gens de couleur Les Rouges (les communistes) Les Verts (les écologistes) Les ivrognes Les moins de 10 ans 9. American. Japanese. English.Ladies-only toilets A first-rate restaurant The 9.

the United Arabs Arab Emirates. etc.COUNTRY Spain Scotland Poland Denmark Sweden Finland Afghanistan Benin Côte-d’Ivoire Israel Kuwait Lebanon Luxembourg Madagascar The Netherlands Pakistan Turkey The UK Iraq NOUN (THE PEOPLE) A Spaniard / The Spaniards A Scot / The Scots ADJECTIVE REMARKS Spanish Scottish Polish Danish Swedish Finnish Afghan Beninese Ivorian Israeli Kuwaiti Lebanese Luxembourg Malagasy Dutch Pakistani Turkish British Iraqi “a Scottish” instead of “a Scot” is pejorative A Pole / The Poles A Dane / The Danes A Swede /The Swedes A Finn /The Finns An Afghan (or an Afghani) Beninese Ivorian Israeli Kuwaiti Lebanese Luxembourger Malagasy Dutch Pakistani Turk Briton Iraqi  “Arab” can be either a noun (the Arabs) or an adjective (the Arab countries. etc. “Arabian” is generally used to refer to the Peninsula (The Arabian Gulf.). “Arabic” is the name of the language (I speak no Arabic at all).). . The Arabian Arabian Desert.

Comparison to the higher degree (“comparatif de supériorité”).The risk of accident is higher during the Magal than ever.) angry ⇒ busy ⇒ dirty ⇒ tiny ⇒ easy ⇒ silly ⇒ happy ⇒ angrier busier dirtier tinier easier sillier happier friendly ⇒ heavy ⇒ lucky ⇒ pretty ⇒ steady ⇒ lovely ⇒ likely ⇒ clever ⇒ friendlier heavier luckier prettier steadier lovelier likelier cleverer  Some adjectives form their higher degree comparative either by “er+ than” or by “more … than”. further.  2nd case: long adjectives (more than one syllable): more + adjective + than . Cf. .“… there can be no nobler nor more ambitious task for America to undertake on this day of a new beginning than to help shape a just and peaceful world…” (USA President Jimmy Carter’s 20 January 1977 inaugural address.COMPARATIVES AND SUPERLATIVES A. .Antoine is taller than Omar. . (The comparative to the higher degree of the “y” mono.COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS There are 3 types of comparison: . .Comparison to the same degree (“comparatif d’égalité”). The latter seems to be gaining ground in today’s English: common ⇒ cruel ⇒ gentle ⇒ pleasant ⇒ simple ⇒ shallow ⇒ likely ⇒ polite ⇒ stupid ⇒ remote ⇒ commoner ⇒ crueller ⇒ gentler ⇒ pleasanter ⇒ simpler ⇒ shallower ⇒ likelier ⇒ ⇒ politer stupider ⇒ remoter ⇒ more common more cruel more gentle more pleasant more simple more shallow more likely more polite more stupid more remote .The dress you wore at the conference is more beautiful than this one.We decided that it was more interesting for us to visit the exhibition than to watch the match. Comparison to the higher degree  The general rule  1st case: short (monosyllabic) adjectives: (radical + er) + than .or disyllabic adjectives is irregular.Comparison to the lower degree (“comparatif d’infériorité”) 1. .)  Exception: some two-syllabic (disyllabic) adjectives “behave” like monosyllabic ones  This is especially the case for disyllabic adjectives ending in “r’ or “y”.

. the final “y” becomes “ier”. etc. angry ⇒ angrier.The colonial rule proved really devastating to many African intellectuals. (Vous devez rendre vos devoirs le vendredi matin au plus tard). late ⇒ later (chronology: “plus tard”). many ⇒ more: there are many people: more people than yesterday.obscure ⇒ subtle ⇒ quiet ⇒ solid ⇒ frank ⇒ obscurer subtler quieter solider franker ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ more obscure more subtle more quiet more solid more frank Today it is more common to say “more common”.I am tired: I can’t go further in my research. . ces derniers.He is as good as Alioune.Please come back later: I am very busy now. Comparison to the same degree  To make a comparison to the same degree. In these examples. ces dernières “). figuratively: deeper. etc.). old ⇒ elder (for family members only. we use the expression “as…as”. etc.Kébémer is farther than Thiès. Please come later (= plus tard). Other instances of irregular forms:  Good ⇒ better than… Bad (or ill) ⇒ worse than… far ⇒ farther than… (geographical distance).For further explanations. no matter how long the adjective is. (Plus loin : plus éloigné) . heavy ⇒ heavier. . far ⇒ further than… (geographical distance or used abstractly. .This is repeated further in the book.Kébémer is further than Thiès. please contact M. late ⇒ latter (on the list. . none of these rules is absolutely respected. always singular: « ce dernier. “Veuillez revenir plus tard …” .I saw three girls and four boys: the former were singing and the latter were dancing (… les premières chantaient et les derniers dansaient. etc. ces derniers ne pouvaient pas …) . etc. for aesthetic reasons some authors can say things like “more strong”. For instance. “more mad”. . than to say “commoner”.You must hand in your assignments not later than Friday morning. “more wealthy”. and never with “than”): my elder brother/sister.) old ⇒ older (general): he is older than I am. (Plus loin : plus en avant : je ne peux pas aller plus loin…) .  Irregular forms of comparison to the higher degree  We already mentioned happy ⇒ happier. In effect.  In fact. cette dernière. “more subtle”.) much ⇒ more: there is much wind today: more wind than yesterday. 2. (Plus loin : plus éloigné) . Dixon. (Pour plus de détails. etc. “subtler”. the latter couldn’t come to terms with … (… En effet.

He is not as good as Alioune / not so good as Alioune. (Moussa est comme Astou : il est aussi gourmand qu’elle. we use “not as… as” or “not so…as”.He is not so intelligent as Alioune / not so intelligent as Alioune.That day he behaved like a real gentleman. .“The Microsoft® Windows®XP operating system unlocks the power of your PC to let you eXPerience photos. Examples: . but acted as if he were: “comme un vrai gentleman”= “comme l’aurait fait un vrai gentleman”.That day he behaved as a real gentleman.In my capacity as a doctor. nouns or personal pronouns. Examples: . .As a principled man. (He was not one. il ne pouvait pas…). some people sometimes use like where they should use as.Feel free to design the building as you want it! (…comme vous le voulez. for instance. (… comme sa mère le faisait chaque matin. and entertainment like never before”.  For the negative form of comparison to the same degree. .She tried to voice her feelings as clearly as she could.Feel free to design the building like you want it (normally: “… as you want it”). qui se ressemblent s’assemblent).I consider (= regard) this incident as a very useful moment in our relationship (…comme étant …) There are situations where we can use either as or like.) .) .…exactly like her mother used to do every morning (normally: “… as her mother.) This way of using “like” is grammatically inappropriate. he could not condone these acts (en tant qu’homme de principe. exactly as her mother used to do every morning.He is like everybody else: stop blaming him then! (Il est comme tout le monde…) We can use as to compare two adjectives or adverbs.Moussa is like Astou: he is as greedy as she (is).The river became then as dry as a stone.As the saying goes.  Comparison. (Presentation advertisement for Windows XP on Hotmail. This is very frequent in informal American English.”).) . .) . . birds of a feather flock together (comme le dit l’adage. “As” can be used to introduce a title or a professional occupation: .. NB In colloquial English. depending on what we mean. no matter how long the adjective is . Examples: . . (He was a real gentleman: “comme un vrai gentleman” = “en tant que vrai gentleman”. (… aussi clairement qu’elle le pouvait) We also use as to introduce a clause used as the second term of the comparison (no matter where the clause is located in the sentence). contrast and similarity: “as” or “like”? We use like when the two terms of the comparison are names. I order that…(en tant que médecin/en ma qualité de… je…). video.She put everything away and kept the key in the Compare: .) . music. (… aussi sec qu’un caillou.- He is as intelligent as Alioune.) .

“meilleur” is a comparative : “I will find there a better friend. In informal English. (“… la plus inintelligente ….He is the least committed Nigerian writer of his generation. and “the most …” instead of “more…than”. In this sentence. mon dieu … In this sentence. the most beautiful of all.).… less beautiful than …  Dealing with quantities. etc. some people sometimes use “less” even for the plural (“… less people…”).SOME TRANSLATION HEADACHES…  Mind the translation of the French superlatives and comparatives into English! In French. But this news may not be the last!) much ⇒ most 2. Lower degree superlatives For the lower degree superlative. we use “the least…) however long the adjective is: .… less tall than … . . late ⇒ last/latest (the latest news is bad = most recent news.Moussa is taller than Demba (comparative).I know little Spanish and less German.” .Your car is the least fast. people usually say “the slowest” (even though the two don’t mean exactly the same. the worst of all. Comparison to the lower degree  To compare to the lower degree. (… la plus grande personne que j’ai jamais rencontrée”). superlatives and comparatives sometimes look alike . we can use “less” for the singular and “fewer” for the plural: . Compare: “the least beautiful” and “the ugliest”!) C. we can use “less … than” no matter how long the adjective is: . . . instead of “the least fast”.There is less milk in this pot. Compare: . animal or thing is above or below everybody or everything else (the best of all. B. mais maintenant.He is the tallest person I ever met.3. NB. . 1. . .”). Higher degree superlatives  The rule is quite the same as that of the comparatives but we have “est” inflection instead of “er”. . “meilleur” is a superlative : “… my best friend”.SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS We use the superlative to mean that a person. “Least” is rarely used for short adjectives and adverbs.Tu n’es pas gentil.She is the most unintelligent woman who ever existed. So. mais ce n’est pas grave : arrivé là-bas je trouverai un meilleur ami.  Irregular forms of superlatives Good ⇒ best Bad (ill) ⇒ worst (not worse!) far ⇒ farthest/furthest old ⇒ oldest/eldest (he is the oldest boy in the class/he is our eldest brother/he is my eldest son).Moussa is the tallest of the class (superlative).There are fewer people on the beach today than yesterday.Elle était ma meilleure amie.

 Translation of “d’autant plus que …” (Cf.Sooner or later (tôt ou tard).  Sometimes the French superlative can be translated in two different ways depending on the context .The bigger car has broken down (comparative).The younger generation (la jeune génération). Le premier est gentil mais le dernier est un monstre (two superlatives in French).) . le Bas Falémé. . but there are only two).… le jour le plus long (superlative : “the longest day”). . the Lower Falémé (le Haut Nil. the French superlative corresponds to an English comparative .  If there are only two elements to compare.I am (all) the more surprised as/since/because he promised to vote for Diouf. In English it is either: -“The last news is bad”..The upper/lower jaw (English implicit comparison) (“La mâchoire supérieure/inférieure”: French adjective). - Le véhicule le plus grand est tombé en panne (superlative.Of course we were very worried. .Le véhicule le plus grand est tombé en panne (superlative. a simple French adjective (or adverb) corresponds to an English comparative . but the latter is a monster (two comparatives in English). la Haute-Volta. The former is kind. when the series of pieces of news has ended: there is no more news to come. . D’autant plus que le médecin…) . . All the more so as/since/because the Doctor refused to reveal… (Nous étions bien sûr inquiets. when I mean “the most recent piece of news” in a context where other pieces of news are likely to follow.The Upper Nile.  When there is an implicit idea of opposition between two elements.Les dernières nouvelles sont mauvaises. etc.… un jour plus long (comparative : “a longer day”). the rules of comparison with short/long adjectives.) The biggest car has broken down (superlative). or: -“The latest news is bad”. and there are more than two. the Upper Volta. (Je suis d’autant plus surpris(e) que …) .


) .Ndèye Daba has two sons and each has been jailed twice at least (= each of them has been….) Compare again: .. etc. them.They are each sentenced to death. ..) In (2). Compare: every . .Wade gave clear instructions to each minister.I remember that each/every boy was asked to bring his own lunch.Every/each student knew that they could be chosen. we emphasize that the gifts were given to the participants considered individually. when we refer to a pair of persons or things: each every . (… tous les jours…) . We use every when we refer to all of the members of the group taken as a whole.) B. and never every.I had a 30-minute meeting with the boss every day.) .According to the students. separately: a gift was given to participant A. another to participant B. (2) Every participant received a valuable gift. we mean that all participants received gifts. In (1). (Instead of “his/her”. every . their.SOME INDEFINITE PRONOUNS. not the participants taken individually. I consider the group. (… chaque jour…)  We use each. I think that every person in this house knows what happened last night. . ADJECTIVES AND ARTICLES A. (… à chaque ministre : à chacun d’entre eux.I hope we will each receive top marks.  However each can be used after a plural subject: .Each of the boys has confessed. each/every minister). to refer back to a noun or name used with each and every.  Each and every are generally used with singular nouns (each/every participant. « On a donné un cadeau précieux à chacun des participants ». (Instead of “he/she”.Wade gave clear instructions to every minister.SOME PLURAL INDEFINITE PRONOUNS AND ADJECTIVES: MORE THAN TWO . (« Chaque participant a reçu un précieux cadeau ».Yes. (« Tous les participants ont reçu un cadeau précieux ».He studied in both UCAD and UGB and in each he spent more than 3 years. “Wade gave clear instructions to all ministers”). another to C. .) .Every/each girl knew that she could be chosen. For plural nouns we use all (or people) instead of each or every (we could say: “all participants received valuable gifts”. For this reason we have a singular verb after each (or each of ) and every.“EACH” AND “EVERY”  We generally use each when we refer to the individual members of a group.) .I remember that each/every pupil was asked to bring their own lunch.(… à chaque ministre : à tous les ministres. In a context where the gender is not specified (man or woman) we use they. Compare: - (1) Each participant received a valuable gift. each day spent in Sanar is a day in paradise.

This is why I didn’t meet either. (… both Utilisez toutes les deux! Ainsi les choses …) EITHER We use either (or either of) in this context to mean that what we are saying is equally applicable of to element (or entity) A and element (or entity) B. This is very informal English. Its “opposite” is none (none of).) . (“… sont tous ses compagnons favoris”. You can find a similar passage in either book. Mind cholera! Wash both hands before eating.) All is used in these examples to refer to a plural subject.) Are both of you staying home? (= Are you both staying home)? (Est-ce que vous restez tous les deux ?) I have the impression that you suspect them both (= both of them). (Il me présenta à Ousmane et Déguène que je pris de prime abord pour des…) These two machines are at your disposal. (“… l’un ou l’autre de ces deux chemins…”. (… dans chacun des deux livres = dans l’un ou l’autre). but I came back earlier than expected. (“…ils somnolaient tous/toutes”. both of whom I at first took for American tourists. . either - Turn right or left: you can go either way / either way leads you to the market.”). (“Il se débarrassa de chacune de ses deux épouses et …”. They were both drunk (or “both of them were…”).The party was so dull that they were all sleepy.None of the students I talked to knows the right answer (= none of them knows …) (“Aucun des étudiants à qui j’ai parlé ne connaît la bonne réponse.Since they were all sleepy. whereas with either. - I bumped into Babacar and Antoine.) It appears that both of them received a large amount of money. none of them could drive us back home. PLURAL: TWO ELEMENTS (DUO): “BOTH. He introduced me to Ousmane and Déguène.PLURAL: MORE THAN TWO ELEMENTS: “ALL” All Examples: . What do you prefer? Youssou Ndour or Oumar Pène? – Either would be OK. .) Please.) I planned to talk to Aïda and Nogoye. of . NB sometimes people use none of with a plural verb: “None of the students I talked to know (plural) the right answer”. (= “I didn’t meet either of them. (“… Ils étaient tous les deux ivres”. choice is possible between element A and element B. Use both! Thus things will go faster.Cats and dogs are all his favourite pets. to mean that what we are saying is applicable to these two elements or entities put together. EITHER” BOTH We can use both (both of) to talk about two elements or entities together.”) (… je n’ai rencontré ni l’un ni l’autre). with both the two elements are concerned together. Both cats and dogs are his favourite pets. I think. (Chacun d’entre eux me conviendrait = l’un ou l’autre me conviendrait). speak to both your wives before it becomes too late! He got rid of both wives and flew to Italy. (“… sont tous ses …”.

Don’t say: “I don’t like neither of them”. . ni dans l’autre livre).Youssou Ndour or Oumar Pène? – I like neither of them (“… ni l’un. when I say “People gathered both on either side of the street”. etc.You can find a similar passage in neither book (… ni dans l’un. either doesn’t mean side A or side B. NB: Pay attention not to use the “double negation”. ni l’autre”. . NEITHER In this context neither is the “opposite” of either.NB Sometimes either means almost the same as both. “You can’t find … in neither book”. For instance.) . but side A and side B.


) 2 –The indefinite adjectives LITTLE and FEW a little. plenty of pilgrims. The latter are therefore better in formal English (in an academic piece of work for instance). (… par bon nombre d’étudiants. (In very informal English. a large number. you can’t shout at me like that (Quelle que soit la somme que je vous dois. of of number plenty of. of • There were a lot of pilgrims. plenty of. (… beaucoup de temps dans cet endroit malsain). a great many of. like many.The indefinite adjectives MUCH and Compulsory revision: count and uncount nouns.QUANTITIES. even though it is semantically the equivalent of many. lots of pilgrims.) • The proposal was rejected by many a student. a great deal of when referring to an uncount noun. very boring indeed. A few people attended it but left before the end. much . of NB . (Quelques personnes y assistèrent…) Little and few (without the indefinite article a) are used to emphasize how small the quantity or size is. however. little much • There is a little bread on the table. lots of.-SOME QUANTIFIERS 1.) a few. (Beaucoup de gens pensent que …) No matter how much I owe you. FIGURES AND NUMBERS I. • • • • I’m afraid you can’t keep so much milk in this small fridge (… autant de lait dans…) How much time will you need for that? (Combien de temps vous faudra-t-il …?) Many people believe that he is guilty. (… beaucoup de riz…) • Many cannot normally be replaced by a great deal of (the use of which is generally restricted to uncount nouns) but can be replaced by a lot of. like much. etc. Compare: . is used with count nouns. MANY  Much is used for singular uncount nouns and many for plural count nouns. etc.Remember that lots of is normally only used with plural count nouns. many • Many a time Wade repeated this promise in his inaugural address. of of • I can’t spend a lot of time in this filthy place. • There is plenty of milk in this area during the rainy season. (A plusieurs reprises Wade … au cours de son discours d’investiture. “lots of money”.)  Many a – a rather literary expression – is always used with a singular noun. a large number of pilgrims. It is however less formal than “ many” or of many “much”. etc. is used with uncount nouns. je ne vous permets pas de …)  Much can be replaced by a lot of. (Il y a un peu de pain sur la table. (… beaucoup de lait…) • The Senegalese people eat a great deal of rice. few many • Yes. a great many of..“a lot of” can be used with both count and uncount nouns. people can say: “lots of time”.

) bear an accent on their first syllable. The comma is generally not used. etc.447). Few people attended it … (Seules quelques rares personnes … = Il y en avait vraiment peu. • (2) The PM promised that Dakar-Dem-Dikkë will receive one hundred buses before October. (2. In both sentences we have “…que Dakar-Dem-Dikkë recevra cent bus…” However.447 two thousand four hundred and forty-seven. • 2. Compare: • (1) The PM promised that Dakar-Dem-Dikkë will receive a hundred buses before October. what is meant in (1) is very close to “…une centaine de bus…” and in (2) to “… exactement cent bus…” Of course. etc. eighty-three. and a hundred or a thousand when we cannot or don’t want to be exact. hundred. thousand and million accept the plural only when followed by “of” (“des Dozen hundred douzaines de…”. Otherwise they are invariable singular cardinals.• • • • There was a little bread on the table.) bear generally two accents. cardinals  PRONUNCIATION AND SPELLING PROBLEMS seven eleven twelve thirteen thirty [sevn] [i4levn] [twelv] [4›c:4ti:n] [4›c:ti] fourteen [4f]:4ti:n] forty [4f]:4ti] twenty-one eighty-three sixty-six -ty cardinals (thirty. • More than two thousand refugees are taken care of by the local Red Cross..000. These are called cardinal numbers (or just cardinals).CARDINAL NUMBERS To refer to exact numbers of people or things. fourteen. we can say either “a million CFA Francs” or “one million CFA Francs”.447) and the dot before the decimal part of a figure (2.  We generally use and to introduce the dozens and/or the units following “hundred”. Notice the spelling of four/fourteen/forty and the hyphen for twenty-one. “hundred”.000 CFA Francs” (which refers to a precise quantity). “thousand”. etc.). sixty. ou ou  “A HUNDRED PEOPLE” OR “ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE”? We say one hundred or one thousand when we can or want to be very precise. • 523: five hundred and twenty-three. etc.) A few people attended it … (Quelques personnes y assistèrent). etc. “thousand”. II.). • Thousands of refugees are taken care of by the local Red Cross. It is exactly the reverse in French. “two”. the –teen syllable). the latter is more formal. fifteen. (Il y avait un peu de pain…) There was little bread on the table. In some cases –teen cardinals have just one accent (on the last syllable. forty. (Des milliers de …) . we use numbers like “one”. whereas –teen cardinals (thirteen. (Plus deux mille réfugiés sont pris en charge par la Croix Rouge locale. “des centaines de….  Dozen. NB English uses the comma to separate thousands from hundreds. when reading “1. millions from thousands. “million”. etc. etc. However. (Il y avait peu de pain… = Il n’y avait que peu de pain.

Edward IV (“Edward the Fourth”). • Two fours are eight. numbers of bus lines. (Mon numéro de portable est le …) • She has bought a gorgeous Peugeot 607. Variations of use sometimes occur both ways: “Zero” can be heard in British English and “o” [cu] in American English. one two three five eight ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ first (1st) second (2nd) [4sekcn] third (3rd) fifth (5th) [fif›] eighth (8th)[eit›] nine twelve twenty fifty ninety ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ninth (9th) [nain›] twelfth (12th) [twelf›] twentieth (20th) [4twentic›] fiftieth (50th) [fiftic›] ninetieth (90th) [naintic›] Regular forms: the -th suffix is added to the base form (that of the cardinal).. etc. • My mobile phone number is 625 05 08 (“six two five o five o eight” in British English and “six two five zero five zero eight” in American English.) • The early fifties (or: “early 1950ies” or: “early 1950s”). • 4. second. however.  For telephone numbers. (Le début des années 50. “six zero 7” in American English. Pope John-Paul II (“John-Paul the Second”). th th Reminder: François I (“François the First”). 0 is read zero in American English and nought [n]:t] in British English. (“Six o seven” in British English. etc. (Deux fois quatre égale huit. 0 is read “love” in both American and British English . ten ÷ th tenth. hundred ÷ hundredth. 0 is read nil in British English and still zero in American English • Ndiambour beat Gorée by 2-0 (“two nil” in British English “two zero” in American English). NB The mentioned differences between American and British English do not amount to an absolute rule. ORDINAL NUMBERS We use ordinal numbers to indicate the ranks or positions occupied by people or things in a series or sequence: first. (Le Ndiambour a battu Gorée par deux à zéro. Four ÷fourth.) (Elle a acheté une somptueuse Peugeot 607. NB Beware word order! “Les trois premières pages du livre” becomes in English “The first three pages of the book”. (Likewise “Les deux autres invités” becomes “The other two guests”. etc.  In decimal numbers.06 is read “four point nought six” in British English and “four point zero six” in American English. III. etc. Here are the major irregular ordinals.) In tennis. love • Pit Sampras is leading 2-0 (“two love”). “Les trois plus .)  For sports results. 0 is read o [cu] in British English and still zero in American English. seventh. thousand ÷ thousandth. etc.Other cardinal numbers can have a plural in some especial circumstances where they are used as nouns. the late seventies (“1970ies” or “1970s”). others don’t. Some ordinal numbers have a regular form or/and pronunciation. la fin des années 70.

pennies The American system $6 = “six dollars”. 50p = “fifty pence” or “fifty p”. $7. .) But some people. IV.. the pence pence penny plural is pennies.70 = “three pounds seventy pence” or “three pounds seventy” or just “three seventy”. especially in a very formal – literary – style. But this is quite exceptional. “pence” is the plural of penny. may write “The three first pages of the book” (as in French).COUNTING MONEY The British system £10 = “ten pounds” £3.grandes villes” becomes “The biggest three cities”.50 = “seven dollars and fifty cents”. NB In “50 pence”. When I refer to the coins worth a penny each.

[l]. (J’ai assisté aux cours de Mme Burns. [®]. [•].You can’t image how boring the girls’ party was. .) • But sometimes they are spelt in the “zero genitive” manner (even though the pronunciation of the inflection remains the same: [iz] Jones’ dog never barks at night. . Remember then that the ‘s’ is read [iz] (sibilant): . This is the case in (2) and (5). • It is pronounced [iz] when the final sound of the noun is a sibilant (“consonne sifflante ou chuintante”): [s]. [z]. (singular common noun). .I attended Mrs Burns’s [b:niz] lectures.THE MARKS AND PHONETICS OF THE GENITIVE CASE (= POSSESSIVE CASE)  Nouns and names not ending in ‘s’ (be they singular or plural nouns!): Apostrophe + S: . (… à quel point la fête des filles était ennuyeuse…) .(6) I didn’t attend the women’s conference (plural noun. (4). . • It is pronounced [s] when the final sound of the noun is one of the following voiceless consonants (“consonnes sourdes”): ([t]. [g]. [®uniz dg] (Le chien de Jones n’aboie pas ….(2) The President’s promises are not easy to keep.(9) The police haven’t found yet some of Tiger’s accomplices. [¥].(3) George’s piano is more modern than mine (proper noun). (Les inquiétudes des habitants…) .(10) Jean-Paul Diaz’s party claims to have been cheated. [v]. (La visite de l’actrice a coïncidé avec…)  Proper names ending in ‘s’: apostrophe + s or “zero genitive” • Generally we apply to them the rule applicable to nouns not ending with ‘s’: apostrophe + ‘S’. [n]. [f]. according to the final sound of the noun.The inhabitants’ worries are not justified. • It is pronounced [z] when the final sound of the noun is one of the following voiced consonants (“consonnes sonores”): [d]. . . . [].  Pronunciation rules The ‘s’ inflection in these examples is pronounced differently.) .(7) Unfortunately I couldn’t accept my niece’s suggestions. (8) and (9).(1) The boy’s room is not tidy. I attended Mrs Burns’ lectures.(8) To my mind.. . This is the case in (1). This is the case in (3). [] or when the final sound of the noun is a vowel sound (all vowel sounds are voiced).THE EXPRESSION OF POSSESSION A. Bob’s style is more original.The actress’ visit coincided with my leave. [k]. but not ending in ‘s’!). [p]. . (6). [m].(4) Maybe only Mr Watch’s friends believe so. [b]. [t•]. .Jones’s dog never barks at night. (7) and (10).(5) They have been thinking of postponing the Pope’s visit.  Plural common nouns and common nouns of persons ending in ‘s’: Apostrophe only (“zero genitive”) .

(… chez son oncle).At arm’s length (à bout de bras). Jesus’ teachings. For instance.Ousname and Dieynaba’s parents.) NB Remember that the English “of” is not always the equivalent of the French “de”. etc.  The incomplete genitive is often used when we refer implicitly to a place such as a shop. [diz] Socrates’ philosophy is very wise. .. [ tiz] Moses’ laws.The people of Saint-Louis still remember that day. . we normally use “… of” instead of the ’s genitive to mark possession: . (Instead of Saint-Louis’s people. considered closer to men than to things and are therefore somehow personified). “un tableau de Picasso” “a painting by Picasso”. .She has broken the leg of my table. distance or date A week’s holiday (un congé d’une semaine). .Notre-Dame’s was full of believers. . .Are there many people in the hairdresser’s? (… le salon de coiffure).) .• Greek names of more than one syllable ending in ‘s’ and biblical names ending in ‘s’ are also often spelt in the “zero genitive” manner (and of course pronounced with the [iz] final sound): I’ve read three of Euripides’ plays. “un roman de Sembène” becomes in English “a novel by Sembène”.She has gone to the chemist’s ( = “the chemist’s shop). “une fille de Louga” “a girl from Louga”. a hospital. .The cat’s tail.  The genitive case can also be used to express duration.  The genitive case is also used in such fixed or traditional expressions as: . (… à la pharmacie).It is possible that he left his uncle’s ( = his uncle’s house)at noon.The lion’s share (la part du lion). [ziz] A. . The latter is translated in several ways into English.Art for art’s sake (de l’art pour l’art). a house. .This is dog’s food! For other nouns. France’s flag. a cathedral.  The genitive case is also used for personified neutral nouns Senegal’s parliament. for one reason or another. according to the contextual meaning. (= La Cathédrale Notre-Dame était …) . (Instead of “the table’s leg”.THE USES OF THE GENITIVE CASE  The genitive case is generally used for persons’ names (or names of animals which are. . etc. a church.  The genitive doesn’t mean the same in the following examples: .My friend’s advice. a school.A bird’s eye view (vue à vol d’oiseau). (They share these parents). (Each of them has his/her own parents). etc. .Ousmane’s and Dieynaba’s parents.

- A ten minutes’ break (une recréation de dix minutes). especially among journalists and politicians. etc. The Harrison family (instead of “Harrison’s family” or “The Harrisons”). The barber shop (instead of “the barber’s”). The Bush foreign policy (instead of “Bush’s foreign policy”). A 30 kilometres’ drive (un parcours en voiture de 30 kilomètres). Last night’s storm (l’orage d’hier nuit).). Today’s England (l’Angleterre de nos jours / d’aujourd’hui. A moment’s rest (un repos de quelque temps). The Kabila rebellion (instead of “Kabila’s rebellion”).  A noun or a group of nouns can sometimes replace the genitive (this is more frequent in American English). Last Monday’s Wal Fadjri (le Wal Fadjri du lundi dernier). A 2 miles’ walk (une promenade de 2 miles). .


would. nor future.MODAL AUXILIARIES  Language serves not only to exchange simple pieces of information. they have no inflection (“s” or “–ed”). Compare: . offering. etc. preferences. suggesting. must. expressing our wishes. complete. they are auxiliaries (in the same way as “do” and “have”). English and “cannot” or “can not” in Amer. I can drive a car. This is why they are sometimes called “semi-modals”. ought to. For that. (…je saurai conduire …) Of course. This is why they are often referred to as defective verbs (they are deficient in tenses.  “Dare” and “need” can be used either as “normal” verbs or as modals. This is the case for “must” and “ought to” for instance: All that time I kept on reminding him that he must be careful (must = past. CAN  Its negative form is “cannot” in Brit.) 1. the paraphrase “to be able to” can also be used in the present and the preterite (he can / he is able to he could / he was able to. etc. but to do such things as requesting.). will. we use a group of very useful verbs called modals or modal verbs (can. This is why these modals are also called modal auxiliaries.  The modals have no inflection at their third person singular: he wants/he can. nor subjunctive.  They have neither present perfect. We use these periphrastic expressions for instance to express a future.  Some of them have a second (preterite) morphological form: can/could. she weeps/she may.  They are never used with the auxiliary “do”: He does not know / He may not go. whose meaning they modify. The other modals have no second form but can have a past. speculations. All that time I kept on reminding him that he ought to be careful (ought to = past). . etc. When used as models. could. doubts. nor continuous (“ing”) form. etc. to know how to. The modals are always used with other verbs which they accompany. But very often “can” is used to express a general or permanent ability (or a permanent faculty) whereas “to be able to” is used in the present or the preterite to express a specific achievement. . etc.). English.  “Can” can be used to express a physical or intellectual or professional ability or a natural faculty: - Sarah can speak (could speak) Russian. shall.In a few months I will be able to/know how to drive a car. might. may/might will/would shall/should. should. Its contracted form is “can’t” and its preterite “could”. “devait”). may. (Intellectual ability or natural faculty?) Can you cook chips? (Intellectual or professional ability) He can/could kick penalties.I think that he cannot (could not) carry this trunk In this case “can” can be paraphrased by the use of the expressions: to be able to. So.

Now you can open the window (now this is allowed). . durable ability. (Ils pourraient … s’ils avaient quitté…)  It can also be used to make a polite request (more polite than “may”) or a suggestion - Please.. could I have a cup of tea? (I owe respect to my interlocutor.v. That day she was able to cook “domoda” unassisted. - I can hear / could hear a curious noise (J’entends / j’entendais un bruit…) Can you smell the delicious scent of…? (Sens-tu / Sentez-vous le parfum…) I couldn’t understand what she was up to. feel. The river could easily overflow.) What can he be thinking of? (A quoi peut-il être en train de penser ?) -  “Can” can express the idea of permission (it is then less formal than “may”) - At that time only he could speak to the Damel (was allowed to …) Can I use your pencil? (talking to a friend.- She can/could cook (“Elle peut/sait permanent. (“Ce jour-là elle a pu/su préparer le “domoda” toute seule”): one day’s specific performance.No! They can’t behave in this way! (this is inadmissible). pouvait/savait faire la cuisine”): general. (“le fleuve pouvait déborder facilement : c’était possible”). taste. At the end the boy could drive (“… savait conduire.) 2. smell.) (S. The boy was able to drive his father’s car to take the almost dying man to the nearest clinic. -  “Can” can also be used to express a possibility.p. it can be replaced by “to be allowed to”.) and to understand The “can” doesn’t appear then in the translation into French.  “Can” generally accompanies verbs expressing involuntary perception (hear. When “can” expresses the idea of permission. puis-je …) Could you show me the classroom C 03? - . NB: In this case the negative form expresses a prohibition: - You cannot/could not smoke here (this is/was forbidden). . a fellow: I don’t have to be very polite). (Je ne comprenais pas ses intentions. can be used to express a condition - They could arrive now if they left early.”) general ability. COULD  “Could”. etc. (“Le garçon a su/a réussi à …”): one day’s exploit. the preterite form of “can”. a likelihood - She can say again that she forgot the appointment (“Elle peut encore dire [il est possible qu’elle le dise]”). It can rain today (the probability is greater than in “it may rain today”. see.

He may be ill (= He might be ill.“All rights reserved. we can use “may” + past infinitive to express an uncertainty. too formal (in official notices. (Il se peut qu’il ne commence pas maintenant. Cf. .5 megabytes”. we can say “… may not” but we generally use “must not” (or cannot) because “… may not” is sometimes ambiguous. MAY Its preterite is “might”. (Il se peut qu’il …) .)  Referring to the past. (Il n’est pas permis de … Il est interdit de …) . “may not” used to express a prohibition is rather archaic.) If only we could have tested it before. “to be permitted to”. (Il se peut qu’ils ne viennent pas aujourd’hui. Compare: .) It is then advisable to say.These books may not be taken out of the library. for instance).  “Could” + past infinitive can be used to express a missed opportunity (in an affirmative sentence). its equivalents are “to be allowed to”.If I may say so … (Si je puis dire…) .She may have lost the toolkit (Il se peut qu’elle ait perdu le trousseau.They may not come today.(2) He may not start now. an uncertainty (“epistemic possibility”). The total combined attachments may not exceed 1. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means …” (On the copyright page of many books). (Dommage que nous n’ayons pas pu l’essayer avant. Examples: .) (Vous pouvez … = Vous êtes autorisé à …) In this case. (Yahoo.“You may attach a maximum of three files.- Perhaps we could wait for them here (if you are kind enough to allow us to wait in your house).  “May” can be used to express a possibility. instead of (2): “He must not start now” (or: “He is not allowed to…”). - Wonderful birds! You could have brought your camera! (Tu aurais pu … et c’est file attachment procedure.He may have forgotten the appointment (il se peut qu’il ait oublié …) .) .Students may choose the topic they want (… peuvent choisir… = y sont autorisés).May I ask you a question? (Puis-je …? = est-ce que vous m’y autorisez ?) .) .) (… Le total … ne doit pas dépasser ….You may borrow my car if you want (tu peux / vous pouvez… = je l’autorise). (Il n’est pas autorisé à commencer maintenant. .) 3.  To express a prohibition. = ce n’est pas autorisé. .) .They may have gone to the Magal (il se peut qu’ils soient partis…)  “May” can be used to express permission .com file attachment procedure. further).(1) He may not start now.“You may attach a maximum of three files” (Yahoo. . Indeed. .

(… qui pourrait éventuellement avoir une information.I thought (that) you might need a knife. sometimes only the context (or the tone!) can tell whether “might” expresses a reproach or a suggestion.  “Might” can also be used to express a suggestion or a reproach in affirmative sentences. It is not the past form of “You may come” (in the sense of “You are allowed to come”). Achebe.May the Lord have mercy on your soul! (Just before execution. Actually. There is more uncertainly with “might” than with “may”. Of course. .It might rain this afternoon (il se pourrait que…). .Strange as (= Strange though) it may seem. (… vous pourriez avoir besoin de … = c’est possible. Anthills of the Savannah).) .It may rain this afternoon (il se peut que…).Might I tell you something? But “You might come” does not express permission. . ils ne peuvent pas …) 4. “May” can be used to express a wish in a formal style .“Chris plunged into the crowd looking for someone who might have coherent information” (C.May the best win! (= Let the best win!) (Que le meilleur gagne!) . they can’t … (Aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître.They might accept him (ils pouvaient l’accepter … Léger reproche). the border between suggestion and reproach is extremely narrow. . But remember to use “may” in a formal style (in your essays and dissertations).) (Que le Seigneur ait pitié de ton âme !)  “May” can be used in subordinate clauses of concession . . “might” is much more used in today’s oral language than “may”.You might begin now (vous pourriez … Je vous le suggère). .His father said that he might go out (he was allowed to go out).May God bless you ! (= God bless you!) . MIGHT  “Might” can be used to express possibility. quite ceremonious . “Might” can only play this role in the interrogative form “Might I tell you something?” or in the indirect speech: .) NB: to express possibility or uncertainty. uncertainty. It is then too polite. “It might rain this afternoon” is today more usual than “It may rain this afternoon”.  “Might” can be used for permission.

Of course.The Talibans are insisting that they are determined never to hand Ben Laden over to the Americans.The USA might have signed the treaty. “… qu’il devait …”).You might have warned the doctor. (Les Talibans réitèrent leur détermination à ne jamais livrer Ben Laden aux Américains. an uncertainty. our facial or corporeal expressions. logical: people must not be surprised.They might have received the letter (ils auraient peut-être reçu…).“Lionel Jospin [former French Premier] might have lost his majority” (… aurait pu… = l’a échappé de justesse). 5. as well we might be (or: “as well we might”). a hypothesis concerning an event situated in the past .They might have failed their exams (Ils auraient pu… ils l’ont échappé de justesse). etc. this sentence could also mean: “He was likely to go out”. NB: Sometimes people use “could” + past infinitive to mean the same: “they could have failed…”  “Might” + past infinitive can also express a doubt. Each modal can or may mean several things depending on these linguistic or non linguistic factors. . an obligation . . (… auriez dû…) . The Scarlet Letter. For instance.“Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans.) . . the cultural environment we live in. a probability. he might have seen in this beautiful woman […] an object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity…” (From Nathaniel Hawthorne. MUST  The same form can be used to refer to the past (“I kept on reminding him that he must be careful”. sometimes the tone we use.You might never have married him (Tu aurais pu ne jamais l’épouser… heureusement pour toi). .) (Si d’aventure il y avait un Papiste [ = un Catholique] dans la foule de Puritains.  “Might” + past infinitive is used to express the idea that people narrowly escaped danger: .  “Must” can express a necessity. as well they might (or: “as well they might be). ce qui n’était pas surprenant. tell more or better than the properly linguistic tools – the modals. ce qui n’a rien d’étonnant). (Nous étions tous abattus lorsqu’il acheva son ignoble discours.We were all dejected when he terminated his despicable speech. the whole sign systems. celui-ci aurait probablement vu dans cette jolie femme …)  Might” + past infinitive can also be used to express reproach . Bear in mind the fact that meaning is generated by the overall communicational context. for example – we use in our daily interactions.  “Might” can be used with “well” (“as well”) to express the idea that what happened is understandable.

you will.People are shouting. The meaning would be slightly different if the journalist said: “I can see that…”. Our team must have won the cup.Tomorrow you will have to go and fetch wood.You have to read this book (the order may come from somewhere else: your father. choice. “I remark that…”. obligation or whatsoever (I / We shall go. if any.) Now “shall” is generally reserved to modal constructions. etc. we can use “to have to” or “to be obliged to” . Today people generally use “will” everywhere (I will. (Elle est sûrement la sage femme. (…tu devras… / … vous devrez…) But “must” and “to have to” don’t mean exactly the same. Compare: . Their negative forms “must not” and “don’t have to” mean totally different things. This is the case for “Je vois que…” in French which could rightly be replaced by “Je constate que…”.They must tell us our marks.  To express the same idea in the future. (… a sûrement…) .She must be the midwife. “colourless” future. . the teacher. “shall” is very scarcely used in the “plain future”.You must not call her (tu ne dois pas l’appeler: “obligation négative” : interdiction). SHALL Its contracted form is “shan’t”  “Shall” and “will” may not be used as modals.  “Must” can also express a quasi-certainty. (Elle doit l’avoir connu …) 6.You must return immediately (tu dois / vous devez …) . Compare: . 1 Here “I see that…” (instead of “I can see that…”) means: “I notice that…”. (Vous avez dû…) . Maybe I just convey it to you). .  But in today’s English. (“…il a sûrement quelque chose à dire à ce sujet. we will. You/He/She/They will go).) .You must read this book (I order it: the source of the order is definitely me).She must have known him for years (I see that she teases him).“I see1 that the president [George Bush (senior)] has stood up so he must have something to say about this” (the journalist refereeing the Bush/Perot/Clinton presidential debate in 1992). This means a future without any trace of suggestion. .You don’t have to call her (= you don’t need to …) (tu n’es pas obligé de l’appeler : absence d’obligation). etc.  “Shall” used as a modal often refers to contexts where the subject has little..You must have waited for a long time (I can notice that you are tired). but to express the “plain”.)  “Must” + past infinitive expresses the same idea with reference to the past . a high probability or a logical conclusion .

challenge. in Biblical English.You shall be cold if you wear this!  “Shall I…?”.Open the door.) . “He will not come” may mean here: “il ne viendra pas” (“il ne refuse pas.Shall we go the movies tonight ? (I ask their opinion.You shall return this book before June 1st.. .We shall enjoy having tea with you.Thou shalt obey thy parents (Biblical order in classical English. a constraint.1 of the American Constitution). (Order.) .They shall have to admit that they are wrong. a consent.We have invited him but he will not come (… mais il ne veut pas …)2. . will you? (… s’il vous plait). 2 “He will not come” may of course be ambiguous here.) (Tu mourras [inéluctablement] un jour).  “Will” generally expresses a will. a promise. (It will be too difficult to them not to admit it. .) (= “you must…”) . This is why we have invited him but he will not come”. (In The Guardian.You shall die one day. a challenge .“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States. a choice. Why?) . (Oui!) (“Yes I shall” would be very inappropriate in this context. .) (Voulez-vous que je vous aide… ?) . (You can’t escape it.) (Promise.) 7. mais il n’en a pas la possibilité”).1 Sect.“Tony Blair shall have to count with the trade unions”.Will you visit us on Christmas? (Voulez-vous … ? . Consider carefully the context to see whether “will” (or “will not”) expresses a plain or “coloured” future.) .Wilt thou have this woman to be thy lawful wedded wife? (At the church.) .You shall receive your gift. In Challah.Shall I help you.?) .Yes I will. . WILL Its contracted form is “won’t”. Madam? (I offer to help.) (= Et si on allait au cinéma ce soir ? [Qu’en pensez-vous ?])  “Shall” can also be used to express an order. a threat.“We shall overcome!” (Martin Luther King’s followers.Yes we will.)  “Shall” can be used to express sensations and feelings in situations like these: . (Volontiers. “Shall we…?” serve to offer a service or ask the interlocutor’s opinion: . (Promise.) (Voulez-vous prendre pour épouse…. This is the case in a context like this: “He is too busy. which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (Art.) (… sera bien obligé de compter avec les syndicats. .

The guests should have told us that they don’t eat “ceebu jën”. .I coughed so that she should notice me (… afin qu’elle …).“She nipped the candles.The students shouldn’t boycott the restaurant (… ne devraient pas …) .I want him to spend the holidays with us in Kolda.You should have worn you green dress (tu aurais dû…). . but Youssouf will fail.  “Should” can be used in subordinate clauses to express: • A goal .“The defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld will neither confirm nor deny reports that the Pentagon is now using armed but unmanned drones …” (on CNN. (… a décline l’invitation). . .We switched off the light so that father should not see us (… pour que …).)  “Should” + past infinitive expresses a regret or a reproach for a past action (when it is too late to give advice) . “must”) . (…devrait cesser de fumer.You should accept her proposal (Vous devriez …) . (= “… lest father might see…”) .I don’t know about Marième.You will be Doudou’s son.I think that your father should stop smoking. “must”: “You must be …”) (Tu es certainement…) .Accidents will happen (il arrive toujours des …) . .  “Will” can also express a quasi-certainty (cf. of habit. (Ils vont se rendre compte à coup sûr…) .) • An order or a suggestion . (Cf. of custom. of mania . . (Graham Greene. (Le ministre de la défense… n’a voulu ni confirmer ni démentir les allégations (des médias surtout) selon lesquelles le Pentagone utilise maintenant des drones armés mais sans équipages …)  “Will” can also be used to express the idea of repetition.They will realize how sod Yacine Diagne is. SHOULD Should is the preterite of shall  “Should” is often used to express a toned down moral advice. (… mais Youssouf lui va …) 8. 19 October 2001..If you will pay the money. unfortunately he will not. I will be very grateful (si vous acceptez de payer …) . so that the wick should not leave a smell”.We switched off the light lest father should see us (… de peur que …).The chairman shouldn’t have refused to give him the floor (… n’aurait pas dû…).He will wake up at 7 and sing Rap songs (il faut qu’il se réveille toujours à 7 h pour…). while US forces fight in Afghanistan).

I propose that we should go out (= that we go out) (je propose que nous sortions) . .They would not vote for him.) ..I would (originally: I should) be disappointed if you refused to resign (conditional). bewilderment. this use of “would” can be ambiguous. probability .He thought that we would miss the plane because of the bottleneck (future in the past). a choice. .I offered to show him the way but he would find it by himself (il voulait le trouver…) .I kicked the door open and. • A necessity . (… devrait être télévisé en direct.)  “Should” can also be used in exclamations or interrogations to express surprise. an agreement (for past actions. Compare the last example with the following: . NB: Of course.  “Should” can be used to express likelihood. WOULD  It is the preterite of “will” and as such can serve to express a will.The judge ordered that he should be kept (= he be kept) in prison. despite his noisy campaign.) . people would not accept him.“I wish it would rain down” (Phil Collins’s song).I advised him to play midfield but he would not (… mais il a refusé / ne voulait pas). Remember what we said above about “he will not come”.The match should be broadcast live.I wish (that) you would confess your misdeeds (je souhaite que vous…). despite his noisy campaign. she would suspect the maid. it generally replace “should” in today’s English: . . In this case. selon toute vraisemblance. They would not vote for him. .It is indispensable that they should bring the lorry.Did she discover the corpse earthier. .How should I imagine that it was him? . Consider carefully the context before deciding whether “would” expresses a condition or a past will. .He should visit the park before coming back (Il devrait visiter le parc… = normalement. (Condition instead of past will: “… Ils ne voteraient pas …”)  “Would” can be used after “wish” to express what we would like things to be in the future .  “Would” can be used to express the conditional mood or a future located in the past. whom should I discover lying on my bed but a thief? 9.If his brother didn’t come to his rescue. etc.

“to”. “hardly”.He dare not (= daren’t) touch it (he “doesn’t dare” is extremely scarce).Dare you meet him alone? . .They would be around Ngaay Mexe now. (… est certainement …) 11. . (Ils doivent être …) 10. Used as a defective verb. .This film ought to be very funny. (… il a sûrement…) . (dare = past: “personne n’osait…”)  In assertive contexts.He was so angry that nobody dare tell him the truth.  “Would” can also be used to express the likelihood of an expected or predictable event (very similar then to “must” or “will”).Oughtn’t we pay him a visit? (Ne devrions-nous pas…?) . I would have bought this car. more and more people now blend the modal and the “ordinary” constructions. . (Tu devrais …) .Occasionally the birds would make a noise among the woods on the other side of the Great River. “dare” is generally an ordinary verb and is thus used with “do”. (… avait la manie de …) . etc.After the inquiry he ought to discover the truth. has inflections. has no inflection (neither “s” nor “-ed”) and generally has no auxiliary constructions: . Normally it is defective only in the interrogative and negative forms (or in sentences containing a restrictive term: “only”. “dare” is of course used without “to”.You ought to obey him.  “Ought to” can be used to give advice (it is then almost equivalent to “should” but the moral connotation is often stronger with “ought to”). etc).  “Would” can be used for repetitive actions which took place in the past (it is then very similar to “will”) .I reminded them that they ought (= past) to revise their lessons. However..DARE  Dare can be either a defective verb or an “ordinary” one. (… est sûrement / normalement …) .That man coming there would be your uncle.Adji Sall would bang the door any time she came back.He would drink a cup of tea before going to bed.  “Ought to” can also express a likelihood (it is then very similar to “should”) .Had I known.OUGHT TO It is the sole modal auxiliary which accepts “to”. .

but with “need” I generally expect a negative answer. (Here the “ordinary” “need” may be used: “They don’t need to read the book”). .(2) Need you use a computer for that? NB: The answers to these questions can be for (1) .Yes.  “Need” is used as a modal (and in the negative form) to express the idea that it is not necessary to do something or to behave in a way. I must (my interlocutor is perhaps a bit surprised).) .)  “Need” is used as a modal and in the interrogative form to mean an obligation. .“Nwego. .Yes. a necessity.(1) Need I bring my drink? (Here “need” is almost equivalent to “must”. . you must.You need not (needn’t) worry: she will manage (Ce n’est pas la peine de s’inquiéter : elle pourra s’en sortir. (C.) (Ce n’est pas la peine d’avoir le complexe …) Here “need not” means almost the same as “you must not” (vous ne devez pas avoir le complexe…) or “you should not” (vous ne devriez pas avoir le complexe…) . ce n’est pas la peine”).“You need not be ashamed that you live in Shanty Town” (From Alan Paton. 12. you don’t have to”) (I expected this answer: I am relieved!) And for (2) .. .Does Mbaye Jacques dare leave the “PS”? (instead of “dare to leave…”). .They do not dare ask for me (instead of “don’t dare to ask” or “dare not ask”). Arrow of God.NEED  The rules mentioned above about “dare” are generally applicable to “need”. These “confusions” are now widely accepted. (I usually don’t expect this answer: I am disappointed). something like: “Non. .No. Achebe. the Beloved Country. you needn’t (= “No.No. Cry. I needn’t (= I don’t have to). . you need not wait to collect the utensils”.They needn’t read the book.


habitual In progress. She wakes up at 7. In fact. is going on while I mention it). continuous. (This is the room where he permanently sleep. non perfective Repetitive. TENSE Present Preterite (past) Present Present Present Present Preterite (past) ASPECT Permanent Punctual In progress. etc. “She has been sleeping”. But when I say “he died”.THE PRESENT 1. “we were crossing”.TENSES The notions of “tense” and “aspect” (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) The earth moves round the sun. They are talking to the policeman. non perfective aspect (the action. - Senegal is smaller than Germany. He died in July 1991. the perfective aspect (the action. (This situation is unlikely to change. “They are talking”.) Can you speak Haoussa? (The ability to speak a language is generally permanent. I refer to actions. She has been sleeping for three hours. This is the major reason why francophone people tend to wrongly translate “Que fait-il ? Il mange ?” by “What does he do ? Does he eat?” or “Elle enseigne ici depuis deux ans” by “She teaches here for (or since!) two years”.) (Compare with: “he is sleeping in this room” where the speaker tells what is happening now.) . the simple present is used in English almost exclusively in the following three cases:  The simple present can be used to express permanent truth (“state present”). durative). durative (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6 (7) In the examples mentioned above. progressive (continuous. in progress. event or state has finished: it has been done or has already happened). perfective In progress. It can be punctual (when referring to something which happened once and was not durative). non perfective. “she wakes up”. events or states. The past also has its aspects. event or state is in progress [“progressive” or “continuous” aspect].The simple present The simple present is much more frequent in French than in English. Habitual or repetitive aspect. events or states which are totally located in the past. durative Finished. Each of them corresponds to an aspect of this present: permanent aspect (“general truth”). are all expressions of present actions. I have found my case. “The sun moves”.. “I have found”. We were crossing the river when it started raining. A.) He sleeps in this room.

These too don’t “normally” admit a progressive form. the French notion of “être en train de …”) The roof is leaking and the wind is howling Kids are crying ‘cos the sheets are cold And me. (Compare with: “Her father has said that…” or “Her father is saying that…”. She wakes up at 7 o’clock. . the progressive form can be used. I’m getting stronger by the minute My wife’s expecting. to feel. What they mean can’t be a durative process. “The Roof is Leaking”. etc. She refuses to sign the paper. (Je sens d’ici un délicieux “maafe”). Ex. El Hadj crosses the ball.) Here “says” and “agrees” express the father’s durable or definitive position or opinion. Fadiga heads it … goal! 2. I advise you not to follow him. etc. Of course. It is called so because it refers to situations happening now (“continuous”. (Je vois venir un fantôme).:. It describes actions.)  The verbs expressing an involuntary perception (to see. add some salt. or “normally”. but I hope she can wait (From Phil Collins.) She thinks that she is innocent.) Things fall apart. We can’t normally say: “I am smelling…”. They don’t normally accept the notion of “être en train de…” - I can see a ghost coming. peel the onion.) -  It can also be used to express a habit. realise) or the affective verbs (want.- Her father says that he agrees to pay off the fine. This can be considered as a type of “permanent truth”. to sound [in the sense of “to seem”]. prefer. I can smell a delicious “maafe” from here. remember. the notion of “être en train de…”.The progressive present  It is also called “present continuous” or “durative present” or “real present”. “I am hearing …”. love.) don’t generally. It describes non-perfective events. However. not involuntary perception). wonder. postures. understand. Neither do such verbs as the verbs of cognition (know. to smell. (Son père dit qu’il accepte de payer intégralement l’amende.The dog is feeling much better today (physical condition. are aspects of this present). to taste [in the sense of “to taste like…”]. to hear. but not finished yet. etc. behaviours taking place now (Cf. believe. (Durable or definitive standpoint. specific contexts. admit a progressive form.  It can also express instantaneous actions: - I pour some vinegar. the border between “permanent truth” and “habit” or “repetitive action” is sometimes very narrow: - Water boils at 100°c. in some special. suppose. a repetitive action (“habitual present”). those started. hate). (Durable situation. dislike. like. “durative”.

) “Ezeulu was still hearing in his mind the voices of the children of Government Hill when…” C. “ I met her yesterday”). below”) - I have waited for this moment for ten years. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon (instead of “I look forward…”) (At the end of a letter: “En attendant le plaisir de recevoir vos nouvelles. However.)  The progressive present can be used to tone down a statement: - I must be leaving now (instead of “I must leave now” which may sound abrupt).) (Nous humons… ) Wait: Nabou is tasting the wine for you. (J’ai attendu … pendant … ) I have been waiting for this moment for ten years. we can say: “They have always invited him”. (I have seen or heard it. smell/sniff. etc. listening again to…) Of course. - They have called. hear/listen. sentir/humer. Only the result matters: it has been done. cf. (Cf. We can. in all circumstances. “for/ since /ago”. since her husband died. (They have done it: here I don’t care about the “when?”. entendre/écouter. In some circumstances what has happened can be seen. (Intentional perception. Compare see/look. (I can see it.- Then Madjiguène started feeling my pockets (= caressing suspiciously).  We use the present perfect to mention something that happened in the past for which we cannot. it has happened. (Cela fait 10 ans que j’attends…) She has been crying for a week now. the “when?” has no importance. can be noticed or remarked. In fact. to specify the circumstances. The specification of the moment when the event happened requires the use of the preterite instead of the present perfect (“They called last night”. Are you seeing Soumbédioune today? (= visiting). I can remark it. Achebe. say: I am looking at … I am listening to …. The referee has whistled the kick-off. je vous prie d’agréer. state a specific time. We are smelling delicious flowers in here.) NB: We can never say: “They have called last night”. (“Hear” is used figuratively here: reliving. or don’t want to. etc. Diatou is coming over there.. “I have met her yesterday”. in French: voir/regarder.) I have met her. etc. “She has left for ever” because “always” and “for ever” do not refer to a specific moment. Arrow of God. because these are verbs of voluntary perception.The present perfect  Generally the present perfect expresses a past action in relation to the present (perfective aspect of the present tense). She has plaited her hair.  We can use the present perfect to talk about something that started in the past and is still going on (we can also use the present perfect continuous in this case. …") 3.) The government has accepted the deal. (Elle pleure depuis maintenant …) She hasn’t finished cooking her “dëxin mbëpp” (Elle n’a pas fini…) . I am sniffing …. (Intentional perception.

(Au mois d’octobre prochain. she will have lost her credibility. With “will have risen”. cela fera 4 ans que je le connais. - Next October. to emphasize how long something has been going on until a particular moment in the future. cela fera 3 ans que nous étudions à l’université de Saint-Louis. your two wives will have been fighting for hours. (L’été prochain.THE PAST . we will have been studying in the university of Saint-Louis for 3 years. It is constructed by use of shall or will + have + past principle. She will soon have forgotten the incident. (Avant de se rendre compte de son erreur et se corriger.) In a few days we will have been married for 7 years. (Elle aura bientôt oublié l’incident). I shall/will have known him for four years.- How long have you been thinking about it? (Cela fait combien de temps que vous… ?) You have been sick since you came back from Kolda.THE FUTURE PERFECT The future also can have its perfective aspect: the future perfect  We can use the future perfect to say that something will be done or completed before a particular moment in the future. I shall have met her by the weekend.) By the time you come back.) Next Summer. - The sun will have risen before we reach Saint-Louis (… se sera levé avant que nous…).) -  The future perfect can also be used to express duration.) C. (Avant ton retour. Before she realizes her mistake and corrects herself. Compare with: “The sun will rise before we reach Saint-Louis (… se lèvera avant que nous …).) The match will have ended before 7pm.  We can use the present perfect to indicate that the action or situation is very recent (it has just finished): - Not lucky! They have just left!  The same idea can sometimes be conveyed by the present perfect continuous: We have been watching a film (nous venons de voir …) B. Compare with: “She will soon forget the incident” (elle oubliera bientôt…). (Vous êtes malade depuis…)  We can also use the present perfect to refer to the amount of time an action or a state lasted in the past: He has lived here for 2 years (he doesn’t live here any longer). the idea of anteriority is more strongly expressed.. (Le match se sera terminé avant 19 heures = avant 19 heures le match se sera déjà terminé. cela fera 7 ans que nous nous sommes mariés.. elle aura perdu sa crédibilité. tes épouses se seront mises à se battre pendant des heures. (Dans quelques jours. (Je l’aurai rencontrée d’ici le weekend).

(Nous voyagions beaucoup …. (… qu’il la quitterait en août). je ne …) I wish I knew him before. Cry. again the French “imparfait”) - She could not come: her head was aching badly. When did you last eat chicken?  We can also use the simple past to talk about past repetitive actions. - He finally confessed that he was leaving her on August. (cf. The “particular moment” is a more or less definite date. He abandoned this job when his father died. the Beloved Country. (… lui demandait de…) They were always quarrelling. (Nous achetions… = nous avions l’habitude…) We travelled a lot when we were younger. il passait son temps avec …).) b. (cf. “While Kumalo was waiting for Msimangu to take him to Shanty Town. in French the contrast between “imparfait” and “passé simple”): - I was watching the Tyson/Fadam wrestling match when she knocked at the door.  The modal preterite expresses a supposition. In fact. (Je regrette de ne l’avoir pas connu auparavant). NB. - They called last night. c. a future in the past. in the indirect speech in particular.) (Pendant que Kumalo attendait que Msimangu le conduisît à …. (Ils se querellaient toujours. I would not … (à votre place.The continuous (progressive) past (progressive preterite)  We use the progressive form of the preterite to talk about continued stages or repeated actions in the past.)  We use it also to contrast a situation with an event which happened just after that situation existed (cf. = nous en avions habitude. a wish or a regret: - If I were you. the author could write here: “he was spending the time”.The simple past (simple preterite)  We can use the simple preterite to indicate that something occurred at a particular moment in the past. (… lui faisait terriblement mal. What were you doing when the police rushed in? (Que faisiez-vous /étiez-vous en train de faire lorsque la police entra précipitamment ? …) -  We can also use the progressive form of the preterite to express.The past perfect (or pluperfect) . Here the preterite must be translated by the “imparfait” because of the durative nature of the described process : to spend the time. (Je regardais … lorsqu’elle frappa à la porte). he spent the time with Gertrude and her child”.) Everybody was asking him to stop quarrelling. the French “imparfait”) - Every month we bought a sheep for our picnic. (From Alan Paton.a.

They went out after/when/as soon as they had finished rehearsing (…dès qu’ils eurent fini…) . a) The action or event or situation may be still going on: “depuis” ⇒ “cela dure combien de temps?” In French. (Cela fait une éternité que cette maison est vide.The dog has not been barking at night for a week. I wish you had revealed it earlier. • I can use either the simple present perfect: - It has rained here for 3 months. - What they had been promising proved absolutely false.= notre calvaire se poursuit. “IL Y A DE CELA…”: “FOR” “SINCE”. the corresponding tense is either the simple present or the “passé compose”. a regret. “AGO”  FOR “For” is used to express the duration of an action. (Nous n’avons pas mangé de la viande depuis plus d’un an. -  We can use the past perfect to talk about an action or a situation which was still going on at a particular moment in the past: When I knew him. “When they had all gathered. Things Fall Apart. We haven’t eaten meat for more than a year. (Quand ils furent tous rassemblés. (Ce qu’ils promettaient s’avéra faux.) That house has been empty for ages. TRANSLATION OF “DEPUIS …”. le Blanc commença…)  We can use the past perfect to emphasize the recentness and the duration of a continuous activity which took place before a particular time in the past. How long had they been married when they divorced?  The modal past perfect serves to convey a supposition. an event or a situation. (Il a plu ici pendant 3 mois. (… n’a pas aboyé la nuit depuis…) NB: We can also say “it is …since” (or sometimes: “it has been … since”) to mean “for”: . We use the past perfect to indicate that a past event or situation occurred before a particular time in the past: anteriority in the past: - We arrived and discovered that she had died. Chinua Achebe.) The Dean had been discussing the problem with our delegates. D. I wish I had been able to keep my promise. the white man began to speak to them”. he had been the principal of the school for 3 years.) How long has she been mad? (Depuis combien de temps est-elle folle ? = Elle l’est toujours).) or the progressive present perfect (make sure then that the verb we use accepts this form): We have been studying music for two years now (nous étudions… depuis maintenant…) How long have you been trying to jump 2 metres ? (Depuis combien de temps essayez-vous …) • - .


It is two years now since we have been studying music. It is 3 months since she has been mad.

b) The action or event or situation is over, but maybe it is very recent or its consequences are still visible or otherwise perceptible: simple present perfect. (Combien de temps cela a-t-il duré?)

He has lived here for 5 years (he is no longer here, but maybe he has just left or for one reason or another he is not totally “absent”: something remains…). (Il a habité ici pendant 5 ans.) How long have you stayed in the park ? (The visit has just ended.) (Combien de temps êtes-vous restés …)

c) The action or event is over, and I want to totally separate it from the present, to isolate it in the past: we use then the preterite (Combien de temps cela a-t-il duré, ou dura-t-il?)

He lived here for 5 years. (His living here is presented as an old business. Compare with : “he has lived here for 5 years” which implies proximity with the present.) He ruled the country for 8 years (Il a dirigé … pendant… = il dirigea …). How long did you work in the factory ? (Combien de temps as-tu … ou : …travaillas-tu…) “You were married and for long time did not have a child” (Flora Nwapa, Efuru).  SINCE

a) When do we use since? We use “since” to refer to a more or less precise date in the past, when an action or event or situation started. The “more or less precise date” can be an event. (“Depuis” = date = “depuis quand” ?). We then use the simple or progressive present perfect, depending on the context (cf. above, with “for”). In French we generally use the simple present.

(1) The cabinet has been meeting since 9 am (le cabinet est en réunion depuis 9 heures.) (2) She has been crying since she failed at her exams (elle pleure depuis qu’elle …) (3) You have been drinking since the girl has been serving beer. (Tu bois depuis que la fille sert…) (4) Your parrot hasn’t spoken (= hasn’t been speaking) since we arrived. (… n’a pas parlé depuis notre arrivée). (5) Since when haven’t you eaten meat? (Depuis quand n’avez-vous pas mange = ne mangez-vous pas….)

b) What tense to use after since ? After “since”, we use the preterite, the present perfect or the pluperfect depending on whether the action or state introduced by “since” is present or past, durative or punctual, etc. In (2) (“She has been crying since she failed”), the failure is not durative, can’t be a durative process (we can’t normally say: “she has been failing…”). This is true for (4) where the fact of arriving is not durative. But in (3) (“You have been drinking since the girl has been

serving beer”), “since” is followed by a durative action: both the drinking and the serving are durative. In (5) (“Since when haven’t you eaten meat?”), the situation of having not eaten meat is going on (therefore we could say: “since when haven’t you been eating meat?)  AGO We use “ago” to refer to the amount of time elapsed since an action, event or situation ended “depuis” = durée = depuis que cela a pris fin = il y a de cela …). We then use the preterite (so do we in French). We can also use a modal + past infinitive with “ago”.)

He lost his job 3 months ago. (Il a perdu … depuis…) He died three weeks ago (American English: “He was dead three weeks ago”). (Il est mort il y a de cela 3 jours). (Compare with: “He has been dead for three weeks” where “dead” is an adjective.) I ate meat more than a year ago. (Compare with: I haven’t eaten meat for more than a year) The MPs last met one month ago. (Cela fait un mois que les députés ne se sont pas réunis.) They must have found the solution some time ago (modal + past infinitive + ago). Ils doivent avoir trouvé la solution il y a de cela un certain temps.) “You should have done it a long time ago” (a British official about the Northern Ireland crisis, on CNN, August 8 2001.) (Vous auriez dû le faire depuis longtemps.)


We can also use “it is … since” to mean “ago: It is more than a year since I last ate meat (= I ate meat more than a year ago). It is three weeks since he died (= He died three weeks ago).

 FOR, SINCE AND THE “PAST IN THE PAST” We can use “for” (duration) or “since” (starting point) and the pluperfect (past perfect) to refer to actions or events or situations which happened in the past before other past actions or events. (We can also use “ago” with modal + past infinitive in the same context.)

When I met him at Louga, a month ago, he told me that he and Évelyne hadn’t spoken to each other for two years. (Lorsque je l’ai rencontré … il y a de cela … il m’a dit que lui et Évelyne ne s’étaient pas parlé depuis deux ans.) Antoine had been looking after the cattle since he arrived there (or: “since he had arrived…”). The room was messy. The children must (or might) have been playing inside. When I came to the university, I had already been reading English for 7 years. (Or: … it was already 7 years since I had been reading English). (… j’apprenais déjà l’anglais depuis 7 ans). They discovered that all the gates had been locked some days before. (They discovered that it was some days since all the gates had been locked.) The people of Thiès had been voting for him since they learnt (or had learnt) that he was…



What we call in this course “causative structures” corresponds to the French notion of “faire faire quelque chose”. A.- ACTIVE INFINITIVE 1.- Make/have/let + Object + bare infinitive (infinitive without “to”) complementation We can use this type of causative structure to express the idea that the subject causes something (the object) to happen, or causes someone (the object) to do something or behave in a certain manner. We use for that the causative verbs to make, to let and to have. TO MAKE - His behaviour makes me believe that he is somewhat inebriated. (... me fait penser qu’il est quelque ivre.) - What made Arafat protest so vehemently? (Qu’est-ce qui a amené Arafat à protester si véhémentement ?). - This story made us laugh all the night long. (... nous a fait rire ...) - It is important to make the Senegalese people accept this sacrifice. (... de faire accepter ce sacrifice par les Sénégalais / ... d’amener les Sénégalais à accepter ...) NB: In the passive form, “make” must be used with a to-infinitive - The Senegalese people were made to accept this sacrifice. (On a fait accepter ce sacrifice par les Sénégalais.) - I was made to believe that “Le Joola” tragedy was due to fate. (On m’a fait croire que la tragédie du « Joola » ...) TO HAVE “Have” conveys more strongly than “make” the sense that the object is somehow forced/obliged to do something or behave in a certain manner. - They wanted to have him chair the meeting (Ils ont voulu / voulaient l’amener à / le convaincre de présider la réunion. (This is slightly different from “... to make him chair the meeting”.) - We can by no means have her cook the dinner tonight. (Nous ne pouvons absolument pas / en aucune manière lui faire préparer le dîner ce soir.) - We will try to have the town council postpone the meeting. (Nous essayerons de convaincre la mairie de reporter la réunion.) TO LET - I don’t understand why they don’t let him talk. (… pourquoi ils ne le laissent pas parler). - Iba Der has let his party’s spokesman say that he won’t join the government. (… a fait dire par le porte-parole de son parti…) - You shouldn’t let the thief go! (Tu ne devrais pas laisser partir le voleur !) 2.- Cause/get + Object + to- infinitive (infinitive with to) complementation We can use “to cause” instead of “to make” and “to get” instead of “to have” to say almost the same. In these cases, the object is followed by a to-infinitive: TO CAUSE

Generally we use “have” when the subject of the sentence is not responsible for what happens or has no control over it. the boy eventually fell down and got his left leg broken.We can by no means get her to cook the dinner tonight. The referee/he) causes something to be dealt with (to be done. The last case. . for instance) by someone else (the dentist. We use “get” when the subject involves himself/herself in the action. . In (4). the subject. the referee will order the match to start. We then use either “have” or “get”.They wanted to get him to chair the meeting. will take measures.This story caused us to laugh all the night long. (… s’est fait / se fit casser la jambe gauche). (Je suis persuadé que nous arriverons à lui faire restituer le trousseau de maquillage volé. Ibou can be blamed or pitied for what happened to something belonging to him (the book)..It is rumoured that her pregnancy caused her to be so erratic. (On raconte que sa grossesse l’a rendue tellement nerveuse. This structure is also used to say that something belonging to the subject is affected in some way... will not perform the action herself.PASSIVE INFINITIVE: 1. . In (3). .) (3) Ibou got his book torn apart (s’est fait déchiqueter le livre).I am confident that we will get her to bring back the stolen make-up kit.His behaviour causes me to believe that he was somewhat inebriated. “to blame or be pitied”.) B. . In (2). (… qu’elle se fera arracher trois dents demain matin …) (2) The referee says that he will get the match started immediately.) TO GET .-We can use “have” instead of “get” when we prefer to insist on the result of the action rather than on the action itself or its performance. generally corresponds to situations where “something belonging to the subject is affected in some way”. .Have/get + object + participle complementation (past participle) - (1) Daba said sadly that she will have her three teeth pulled out tomorrow morning. for instance). In (1). for instance) or is to blame or be pitied for it (in an accidental occurrence.What caused Arafat to protest so vehemently? . we can blame the boy or feel sorry for him for what happened to something belonging to him (the leg). Daba.. (L’arbitre dit qu’il fera débuter le match immédiatement. NB: 1. the football players). will not have control over the action.We will try to get the town council to postpone the meeting. The … got his left leg broken. - The referee says that he will have the match started immediately. intervenes directly in it or otherwise causes it to happen (by taking appropriate measures. Ibou had his book torn apart. We can use this type of causative structure to express the idea that the subject (Daba/she. (4) Because of his stubbornness.

.I can assure you that you will have your suit ironed. regardless of how much or to what extent the subject is or is not involved in the performance of the action. . For this reason “have” is sometimes used in formal English and “get” in informal English. . (… je me suis fait examiner les yeux dans cette clinique).) .She said she wanted this door closed for good.She says that she will not have her husband spoken to in so rude a manner. to feel.“Will not” + “have” or + object + past participle we can use “will not” followed by “have” (never “get”) in this type of causative structure to mean that we don’t allow something to happen to somebody or something: - I will not have my reputation smeared by such naughty accusations. see. 4. (Elle dit qu’elle ne permettra pas que l’on s’adresse à son mari sur un ton aussi vulgaire. I wonder why. . (… a laissé entendre qu’il n’admettra pas que le pays …) OTHER EXAMPLES OF USE OF “HAVE” AND “GET”.Last April I had/I got my eyes tested in this clinic. prefer/don’t prefer..Well. want/don’t want. (Or: … “this door to be closed…”) (… que cette porte soit fermée pour de bon).) . understand. obey. .They said that they arrived only to see the windows smashed.) Laurent Gbagbo has hinted that he will not have the country partitioned. (… tu as (vous avez) dû l’entendre se faire battre par son mari = tu as (vous avez) dû entendre son mari la battre). (… tu te feras couper les cheveux. (Je n’accepterai pas que cette populace malpropre pollue ma maison.They don’t need this matter discussed in public.Make + oneself + past participle This construction is generally used with the verbs: to hear. (… qu’il n’acceptera pas que son régime …) 3.I would like (I’d like) my hair plaited (or “braided”) before Tabaski (Or: … “to be plaited / braided …”) . etc. (… on te repassera le costume) . (Or: … “to be discussed …”) (… que cette affaire soit débattue en public).2. . but I heard him called “ngot”! (Or: “… to be called …”) (… j’ai entendu les gens l’appeler “ngot”). 3.I felt myself scorned.) I won’t have my house polluted by this filthy mob. .) .They insisted to have (or get) all the three rebels sentenced to death.. need/don’t need) or perceptual verbs (perception verbs: to hear.President Lansana Konté says that he won’t have his regime wrongly accused of violating human rights. (Je me suis senti méprisé.-“Have” is sometimes said to be more suitable in formal English and “get” to be reserved to informal English. (Je n’admettrai pas que ma réputation soit ternie par des accusations aussi méchantes.Tomorrow you will have your hair cut.Volitional or perceptual verbs + object + -ed participle complementation We can also have the passive infinitive causative construction with volitional verbs (verbs expressing what I like/dislike.) ..I know you were not sleeping: you must have heard her beaten by her husband. respect. (Ils ont tenu à ce que les trois rebelles soient condamnés à mort.) .

(Ce n’est pas en brutalisant les gens que tu obtiendras qu’ils te respectent / obéissent.) .- You can’t make yourself respected / obeyed by bullying people. (… que l’imam ne pouvait pas se faire entendre. Or: “… que tu te feras respecter/obéir d’eux.) There was so much noise in the mosque that the Imam couldn’t make himself heard / understood.

achievement of the action (out). Or: “D’un coup de pied (the manner) le garçon ouvrit la porte (the result). through. Can you swim across the river = “peux-tu / pouvez-vous traverser le fleuve (the result) à la nage” (the manner). on. about.) Examples They have built a bridge across the river. on. with. to. They walked to the fair = “ils se rendirent à la foire (result. by. by. to. and English prepositions: in. outcome. etc. back. the way in which something has been achieved (he runs) then the result. . away. into. destination) à pied (manner). for. MAJOR ADVERBS AND PREPOSITIONS USED IN PHRASAL AND PREPOSITIONAL VERBS A c r o s s Meanings conveyed Going from one side to another On the opposite side (road. (And not “ils marchèrent à la foire”!) There are mainly two types of multi-word verbs: the phrasal verb (lexical verb + adverb) and the prepositional verb (lexical verb + proposition). - He runs out = “Il sortit (the result) en courant (the manner)”. etc. about. Both the manner and the result must be clearly stated in the translation of the phrasal verb into French. Remember that English adverbs include: off. up. at. I saw a corpse lying across the street. … Then you turn left: my house is just across the street. Generally the adverb can be placed before or after the object ( The rebels pulled down the walls / The rebels pulled the walls down) whereas the preposition can only be placed before the object (They aimed at the lioness / They aimed the lioness at). across.PHRASAL AND PREPOSITIONAL VERBS MANNER-RESULT CONSTRUCTIONS MANNER He runs The boy kicked the door Can you swim We blackmail her They walked RESULT out open across the river? into obedience to the fair In this kind of multi-word verbs. we have the expression of the manner. Notice however that sometimes the result comes before the manner in French. (And not: “Pouvez-vous nager à travers le fleuve”!) We blackmailed her into obedience = “nous l’avons fait obéir (the result) en exerçant un chantage sur elle” (the manner). (And not: “Il courut dehors”!) - The boy kicked the door open = “Le garçon ouvrit la porte (the result) d’un coup de pied the manner)”. etc. down.

He was jogging along the riverside. for instance) We will fight them back. In return (reply to an attack. beside Forward movement. We frightened the thief away. along He couldn’t put together his watch which came apart. hit her back! back back “America strikes back” (CNN headline. To be in a different place. I back earlier time heard a voice and looked back. That event dates back to the back 12th Century. How far along are you with your essay? Don’t forget to bring the children along. Everybody keep back! back back Push this table back against the wall. The police are trying to hold the crowd back.A l o n g A p a r t A s u n d e r A w a y In the same direction as. position or situation To put in or into the appropriate or usual place He ran away. Continuously or repeatedly or busily B a c k Return to previous place or condition or an Give me my money back! She will come back tomorrow. She lay back in the chair. Debris of the plane were scattered along the runway. back Farther away in distance . The boy used to hide the money away in the trunk. asunder force This terrible accident tore his life asunder. asunder A civil war is tearing this beautiful country asunder. progress. If she hits you. The ceremony was going along when it started raining. The water in the pot boiled away away During Ramadan they while away the day in this mosque I coughed away all the night. away away She gives away all her valuable belonging. It’s dangerous. Arame has been washing away the heap of dirty clothes. She put the cleaned utensils away in the cupboard. when the first US back missiles hit Afghanistan). I will pay you back for what you did. Diminishing gradually completely gone until mostly or The snow was melting away. apart Things fall apart Together with Into small pieces Separated into pieces. please stand back. generally by a mighty The explosion blew the building asunder.

We’re going down town this afternoon. someone has left a place F r o m I n From outside. It has been translated into French. in To show when an activity makes something Fill in the application form… complete The text is finished but the pictures will be pasted in later. place. down one Get some hot soup down you and you’ll feel better. Along They sailed the boat down the river towards the sea. . Make somebody change from one position. We talked them into the project. Something is removed or taken away or He was booed from the stage. I pushed her into the car. I n t o Movement and entry He rushed into the room. We drove down this lane to Gossas. Come in! in in in The walls fell in on them. entering We showed him in. I beckoned him in. Distance from the speaker or from a central My family live down in Ziguinchor. influence) Make something change from one condition or She chopped the cucumber into pieces. We knocked some sense into her mind. The damaged bridge gave in. The van burst into form to another flames.D o w n In or towards a lower position from a higher A car knocked her down. opinion or behaviour to another (by force or I frightened him into confession.

. will you? Switch on the lights. We talked on and on… on Please go on. She run off with the money. Let us move onto the next something (on + to) discussion item. In such a way as to separate. The baby was jumping on in the car. He jumped onto the wall. The sheep are loaded onto the trucks. Something is removed or removes itself from He took off his coat. Move on please. isolate.O f f Not operating because it is not switched on Being away from a place or position Please turn the lights off. something A police special unit sealed off the area. Stopped or cancelled or abandoned The meeting initially due today has been called off. Bernard alone drank off 10 bottles. I’ll join you later. To stop intrusion. The garden has from the rest been fenced off. This spray kills off all crawling used ( almost equivalent to “up”). insects. The off horse race was rained off (stopped because of rain). Completely absent because of being killed or I have paid off all my debt. the on ambulance is arriving. The noise scared off the burglars. He fell off the horse. off I must get off soon. starting to operate O n t o Forward movement resulting in a position on Get back onto the good track. You must get off the bus here. shut off all the 3 doors! off In such a way as to get rid of something Why not go out and walk off part of the couscous? Go to bed to sleep off your headache! Don’t mind! Laugh their remarks off! off Let’s hang on a little longer. Very promising start! Carry on! on O n Not stopping In a way which results in forward movement To show when something is operating or Turn on the TV set. I am off to Mexico in March. The plane took another thing off at 5 pm.

The epidemic is out allegedly spreading out. Leave them fight their dispute out between them. Showing the destination Showing an extreme state or condition We drove to Dakar in the night. Again! You’ve torn your shirt to pieces! It was a terrible night. Her words kept running through my mind.O u t ( o u t o f ) Movement resulting in an outside position. I will cross your name out. a long distance Open or flat or extending or expanding Unconscious or sleeping T h r o u g h T o Among or between a number or amount of They walked all the day through the woods. opinion or We talked him out of the project. The police kept the crowd out. She out took too tablets and went out (vanished). She passed out (vanished). We drove through the tunnel. We met them 30 km out of Kaffrine. . He spread the mat out on the floor. He threw her clothes out the window. My time / my money /my out patience is running out. I was bored to tears. out out They live out in the countryside. people or something Movement from one side to another He elbowed his way through the crowd of fans. out I will hand out the assignments tomorrow. Until something is removed or disappears If you miss the class. During a period of time. Go out! out out out Come out! out Make somebody leave a position. Then she flew to Brussels. the flowers are opening out. He ran out. She was looking out at the sea. The situation is complex but I’ll manage to sort it out. out He cried out. Look. or the end of it To emphasize the loudness of a sound Far away. out Tyson knocked him out. He pulled out his pocket inside out. He sent out letters to all participants. They used out a lot of water to put the fire out. This made us laugh out. from the beginning to It rained through (=throughout June and into the 1st half of throughout) the end of the event (= throughout) July. out He hammered the nail out. She frightened the boy out behaviour for another (by force or influence) of his wits. Movement away from a central point Solution to a problem. I supervised the project trough to its completion. They were out at sea.

pick your clothes up and put them away. to occur. “Sublime Mensonge” is coming up next. Together Tightly Broken or cut or folded into smaller pieces We gathered up our belongings and ran off. You must mix up all these ingredients. Cut the paper up into pieces. I will catch them up. to Don’t worry. “So I was marched out and off down the corridor towards the Wing Chapel” (A. So as to be equal in quality or achievement. up The bomb blew the car up. When are you going to pay up the money you owe me? NB: Remember that in a result-manner structure. to the completion (almost She alone drank up this bottle. Wrap this parcel up. The big car drew up to us and the driver got off. Very near. etc. value. Tomorrow we will drive/fly to our home city. Something strange has come to make appear.U p Towards a higher position. the result can also be expressed by means of an adjective: Examples: “He worked himself free”. up They are putting up new buildings in the area. I think that it’s Papa Bouba who headed the ball into the net. up To an end. All these concessions will eat up our national sovereignty. number or Astou. the children are sleeping. Don’t bring up this issue here. It’s difficult to keep up up be at the same level with all the new developments. Can you do my shoelaces up for me? Tie up the top of the bag. up Write you suggestion on a piece of paper and then fold it up. You will end up in prison. We have used up all the money. Burgess) . This road level leads through the jungle and up into the Andes. or moving to a short distance of With her gun she walked up to the cashier and demanded somebody or something. TRANSLATE THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES INTO FRENCH - He broke into the restaurant. “He kicked the door open”. Will you speak up. I jumped up and started shouting. to make visible up in your house. money. “He shot two rebels dead”. She limped up the hill. to appear. to become visible. Speed up the up process! To exist. equivalent to “off”). “He read himself blind”. Get up! up In or into a vertical position To a greater degree. Add up the column of figures. I think that he then shied away. Madam? It is heating up in here! Don’t up turn the TV up. in order to increase You stand up! Shocked. Then I beckoned them out.

the poor man crawled into his car.) Please wait a minute. Cry. The conductor (= “receveur de bus”) helped the blind woman up. The rest were shot dead. Be careful! Or else you will read yourself blind! Show her in. I think she bribed him away from his decision to close the restaurant. “The miner ran towards the wood. (From Alan Paton. I found that she was waiting up for me. and drove back to Johannesburg”. The angry fans booed Oumar Pène from the stage. She got up. Greene. You don’t need to worry yourself into breakdown. stretched and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. will you? I’ll see you to the door. The police clubbed the striking students into submission. picked it up and ran into the forest”. Wounded. This happened the year he was voted out. - - - - .- He limped up the hill. (G. but we had to walk him home. I talked her out of the marriage (or: “into the marriage”). Go on! Shake her awake! Two policemen grabbed me but I eventually succeeded in working myself free. Dazzled. with these few rags. Many refugees starved to death. “… he threw her out into the cold. He ran back. “… and his steward ran out with a torch to light him in”. (From a short story. I groped my way along the corridor. Don’t let me down! Nafi lulled the baby to sleep. It was very dark. Come out!/Go out! Come in!/Go in! Come up!/ Go up Come upstairs!/Go upstairs. They laughed us out of the project.) Satan lured Eve into eating from the forbidden tree. Ndèye Astou was so hungry that she licked the dish clean. the Beloved Country. I called my dog in order to frighten the thief away. Suddenly he thought of the stick. The Heart of the Matter) “The IRA is bombing its way into the headlines” (BBC). I will see you off at the bus stop. He ran past me without seeing me.

(From Alan Paton. He however struggled to his feet and staggered away. The army pushed the rebels back across the border into their stronghold.) Baaba Maal succeeded in elbowing (or shouldering) his way through the crowd of fans. The noise is now dying down. the Beloved Country. “It was foolish to go through the kitchen.- The hunters’ shouts frightened the lion out of its lair (or den). My God! You are yawning your head off! Then I hammered the nail out. - - . past the stain on the floor. “He wildly crushed the cockroach (= “cafard”) out of existence”. up the stairs that led to the bedroom”. Cry.

 Other verbs do (normally) never have an object complement. (L’enfant ne sait pas encore parler. The verb team Tour groups which describe these actions or events are said to be transitive verbs (to need. to hesitate. etc.”.). “The boys prefer swimming”. laid) is a transitive verb (“He laid the mat on the ground”) and to lie (lay. We can’t normally say “to die somebody or something or to die to somebody. To rise and to arise are intransitive whereas to raise is transitive. These include: to die. to shine.TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS  Some actions or events involve. to work.) • (6) Stop playing the fool! (Arrêtez de faire l’imbécile !) fool What “to speak” means in (1) is different from what it means in (2). to build. are called object complements. We can say: “he shouted his innocence” (“to shout” means here to assert vehemently). etc. “biology”. etc. etc.. Now I understand what daddy was trying to explain”. . to speak to. “what daddy was trying to explain”. (L’enfant ne sait pas encore parler Soninke. to prefer. (“it”. etc. to lie. (One can notice that many verbs verbs which are normally always intransitive describe physical state or behaviour and sound production.. to sleep. to arrive.) • (3) Her heart was beating very fast (Son cœur battait très rapidement. These verbs are said to be intransitive verbs. “Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tour”. what “to beat” means in (3) is different from what it means in (4). etc. “I need it”. to swim.) • (4) Why did you beat the child? (Pourquoi avez-vous battu l’enfant ?) child • (5) Our national side is playing today. The nouns or noun groups which follow these verbs and which are answers to the questions: “what?” “who?” “to what?” “to whom?”.). to disappear. to rise.  Remember that to lay (laid. to cry. to shout. to ache. “She used to study biology it here”.OBJECT COMPLEMENTS I.  Many verbs (the vast majority) can be used either transitively or intransitively according to what they mean in the context we use them. Compare: • (1) The child can’t speak yet. 1I. (Notre équipe nationale joue aujourd’hui.)  Some normally intransitive verbs can be used transitively when used figuratively.) • (2) The child can’t speak Soninke yet.DIRECT AND INDIRECT OBJECT COMPLEMENTS  Object complements are said to be “direct” when they follow immediately the transitive verb (I like music) and “indirect” when they are linked to the verb by means of a preposition (I music listen to music)  Some verbs require a direct object complement in French. “swimming”. lain) an intransitive one (He lay down and slept. etc. etc. swimming explain “We are speaking to the whole team”. other persons or things which are in one way or another affected by these actions or events.). to fall. For other verbs it is the reverse. but an indirect one in English. etc. in addition to the subject. “the Eiffel Tour”) or a complements noun group (“to the whole team”) or a pronoun (“it”) or an infinitive (“swimming”) or a clause (“what daddy was trying to explain”). Likewise “to run” does not mean the same in “to run 10 km” and in “to run a restaurant”. The object complement can be either a noun (“biology”.

) something. nourriture. Je m’adresse à vous (= Je vous parle). Écouter quelque chose. faute…) Respecter. veiller sur (personne. livre Approuver une décision. gaze at. health I don’t need your help. her She deeply resented your observation. help They boarded the train together. To listen to something. you We hesitantly entered the room.) S’occuper de. Ne fais pas attention à ce qu’il dit. coming I don’t doubt his frankness. chose Opérer un patient. Ils lui font confiance (= à elle.) Aimer quelque chose (s’y intéresser)  Verbs may require indirect complements in both languages. chose Désigner quelqu’un du doigt. They trust her. etc. patient Espionner quelqu’un. I am addressing you. something To look at (stare at. Ils sont montés ensemble dans le / à bord du / train. Assisterez-vous à la messe cet après-midi ? Buvons à sa santé. Viser un lion. décision S’expliquer quelque chose. chose Regarder quelque chose. This suits/fits/becomes Marième. but with different linking prepositions: To depend on To think of To think about To attend to To laugh at To wonder at To believe in To profit by / gain by / benefit from To live on To answer for To abide by (the law. chose Espérer quelque chose. lui Ceci convient à/va à/sied à Marième. room Don’t mind what he says! says We used to patronize Mohamed’s shop INDIRECT OBJECT VERBS IN ENGLISH To wait for somebody (but: to await something). frankness She resembles a ghost.) Elle s’est profondément offusquée de votre remarque. quelqu’un Payer quelque chose (marchandises. train Tu ne lui résisteras pas (= résister à elle). franchise Elle ressemble à un fantôme. se conformer à . observation Obey your parents! parents Answer my questions! questions I didn’t expect her coming.DIRECT OBJECT VERBS IN ENGLISH … BUT INDIRECT OBJECT VERBS IN FRENCH We approached him. bagages. venue Je ne doute pas de sa franchise. etc. remarque Obéis à tes parents ! Réponds à mes questions ! Je ne m’attendais pas à sa venue. ghost Will you attend the mass this afternoon? Let’s drink his health. something To point at somebody To aim at a lion To comment on a book To approve of a decision To account for something To hope for something To operate on a patient To spy on / to pry on somebody To pay for something To care for something Nous nous approchâmes de lui. etc. Nous sommes entrés dans la pièce d’un pas hésitant. Mohamed … BUT DIRECT OBJECT VERBS IN FRENCH Attendre quelqu’un (to await sth = s’attendre à qqch). dit Nous nous ravitaillions dans la boutique de Mohamed.) de Rire de S’étonner de Croire à Profiter de Vivre de (argent. You will not resist her. Je n’ai pas besoin de votre aide. for instance) Dépendre de Penser à (y penser légèrement.) Penser à (réfléchir sur la question : c’est plus profond. etc. ou envisager de …. lion Commenter un livre.) Répondre de (acte.

to send.O.) shirt In each of these examples the indirect object is put immediately after the verb and the direct object after the indirect one (V + I.O. it . construction. In this case. to pay.O. him). to show. construction.O. (Je lui a acheté une belle chemise. + D.O. etc.O. construction.To remonstrance with To relate to / connect with To prevent somebody from Faire des remontrances à Établir une relation avec Empêcher quelqu’un de… de III.) Anna • She failed to introduce us to her father.O. + D. François I taught music to her. children In these examples..) father In these examples.O. but the former (“Give it to me”) is more so. The second complement is generally the one which we want to put emphasis on. emphasis is on the indirect object (François.. it would be incorrect to say: “… and forwarded Anna it”. Moussa. the way. (Elle ne nous a pas présentés à son père. to award. the indirect object is introduced by to or. construction when the direct object is a pronoun: • I received the letter and forwarded it to Anna.) • She promised to give François the keys.. (J’ai reçu la lettre que j’ai réexpédiée à Anna. to tell. They are said to be ditransitive (to write. sometimes. (Il a promis de remettre les clefs à François. • • • •  She promised to give the keys to François. to lend. students • I bought a beautiful shirt for each of my aunt Arame’s lovely children.) way • I bought him a beautiful shirt. “…to introduce her father us”.O.DITRANSITIVE VERBS: ORDER AND CONSTRUCTION Some verbs admit two-complement constructions. . + I. + I..O. construction). shirt François her. it would be awkward to say: “Please show the group of visiting students the way”. NB “Give it to me” and “Give me it” are both correct. to teach. to offer. a beautiful keys music way shirt) and in the V + D.) music • Please show Moussa the way. • Please show the way to the group of visiting students. her Please show the way to Moussa I bought a beautiful shirt for him In fact.) keys • I taught her music.O.O. shirt  We also generally use the V + D. The me it me latter (“Give me it”) is rather informal. (Veuillez montrer le chemin à Moussa. owing to the length of the indirect object. + I. construction when the indirect object is relatively long. + I. In the V + I. music. the order of utterance of the complements depends on the intended meaning. (Je lui ai appris la musique. “I bought each of my aunt Arame’s lovely way children a beautiful shirt”. by for. her Moussa him  We can be compelled to use the V + D. to give.. emphasis is on the direct object (the keys. It is however possible to put the direct object before the indirect one and have therefore a V + D.

need • The President presented each player with a big house. etc. “they described me the landscape”. to describe. (Il reprocha à l’enfant son imprudence. (idem). These verbs are: to explain. to borrow.-TWO-COMPLEMENT COMPLEMENT CONSTRUCTION: PERSON + INDIRECT Examples • He blamed the boy for his carelessness.) . bank But one can never say: “I explained Jacqueline the lesson”. • I’ve provided her with whatever equipment she needs. IV. me • He said he was obliged to borrow money from the bank. (Le Président offrit à chaque joueur…) house • Stop plying us with your silly questions (Arrêtez de nous embêter avec vos questions idiotes. needs • I’ve supplied her with whatever equipment she might need. (Nous leur avons confié le travail. One can therefore say: • I explained the lesson to Jacqueline. etc. (Je lui ai fourni tout l’équipement …).) job • We entrusted them with the job (idem). Certain verbs can never have two direct complements.) carelessness • We trusted them with the job. Jacqueline • They described the landscape to me.

aloft there to the royal mast-head.. If the commas are missing or misplaced. I go as a simple sailor. The car suddenly stopped: we were out of gas and 20 km away from Louga (explanation).General presentation  The comma . the units of meaning of the sentence become confused.” is followed by The square brackets […]  The suspension points (also called “ellipsis”) one dot. Examples: - When I was younger. B. They are of two types: - The parenthesis (plural: -theses) (…) … (NB: In all languages. “etc..  In some cases. grammar. Examples: C. the sentence usually becomes either meaningless or extremely difficult to understand.WRITING & METHODOLOGY PUNCTUATION AND TYPING RULES I. Example: Delete or displace commas in a sentence and ask you partner to read and understand. when I go to sea.  The period (better known as “full stop”): . right before the mast. The punctuation signs A. Without these pauses. French.. . etc. I used to hunt the deer here. ( From Moby Dick). literature. They are of two types in English - single (simple) quotation marks ‘….The colon  We can use it to introduce a list or an explanation: She easily got all her credits (“uv”): translation. plumb down into the forecastle.  The hyphen (‘trait d’union’) good-looking  The dash (‘tiret’) Terry – his uncle – didn’t see the importance of …  The quotation marks.  The colon :  The semicolon . No. never three..’ (or inverted commas) double quotation marks “…”  The question mark ?  The exclamation mark !  The brackets.The comma  The comma is used to make reading pauses between the units of meaning of the sentence. (list). missing or misplaced commas cause the sentence to mean something totally different from the original intention.

. 2) The dash: - (1) He repeated – what else could he do? – that it was not him. It is better not to write this: - She claims that while in Saint-Louis she studied: astronomy.The quotation marks  « ………….) .. you can get them on your computer keyboard by typing the number 174 [opening quotation mark] or 175 [closing quotation mark] while pressing down the ALT key. . The colon is generally disallowed immediately after a proposition or a verb. (Or: she went to all these places: Mbour. etc. Besides.) D. There never is a space before and after the hyphen. sewing. The double commas introduce and end a quotation within a quotation. the dash is longer than the hyphen. there is no second dash when the end of the comment coincides with that of the sentence: (3) and (4). . E. the commas can replace dashes.. etc. etc. cooking. ». for instance. (In case of need. We could do it in (2).) (Microsoft Word® automatically selects the French or the English quotation marks according to the manually or automatically selected language: French or English. I think – confirmed it. .There is a space before and after the dash. etc.The hyphen and the dash 1) The hyphen: - a short-wave radio . Examples: .Three-quarters of the students attended the course on punctuation. Touba.: the latest versions of Microsoft Word®) take this difference into consideration and automatically transform a hyphen into a dash when you leave a space before.In some cases. These are French quotation marks. Banjul.The dash introduces and ends a comment. - . Touba. Some modern word-processing programmes (ex. … she went to Mbour. (3) I have not obtained yet a clear statement from the lawyer – the man who wore the dark gown. We should write instead: … she studied the following subjects: Astronomy. (2) The other minister – Robert Sagna. Touba. . The hyphen is used to form compound elements (“éléments composés”): compound nouns for instance. (4) They gave him a prize for getting top marks – and a certificate as well. an additional piece of information. etc.The parentheses play quite a similar role (French often “prefers” parentheses to dashes. English the reverse).In English the simple commas generally introduce and end reported words.Of course.She claims that during the summer holidays she went to: Mbour.

NB: In French. Aïda. Jupiter. Diop.  Important words in the titles of books. Venus. . In English. II.  Days of the week and months of the year (but usually not the seasons): . (Generally people capitalize the first word and all the nouns and adjectives. initial capitals are used for:  Proper nouns: Moctar. . Mars. the earth. ‘We are happy that you have left him…’ (From Efuru). the Dow Jones.Here it starts raining from late spring: from June.The Cambridge Guide to the English Literature. the initial capital is everywhere required. Africa. Ici il commence à pleuvoir à partir de la fin du printemps : à partir de juin.’ He eventually told us that he ‘didn’t meet [his] father there’. another woman took over. Senegal. the Japanese government.Things All Apart. One can notice that double marks are more used in American English and single marks in British English. only the names are capitalized: never the adjectives (un Africain. (Originally this person said: “I didn’t meet my father there”. you can get them on your computer keyboard by typing the number 174 [opening quotation mark] or 175 …). (But: the sun. etc. F. Examples: - He said: ‘I would rather spend the holiday with Adama [his brother who teaches music] than stay in this rotten place. un Japonais. Capitalization In addition to marking the beginning of a sentence. she explained.The brackets  I can use the square brackets to insert my personal comment (an explanation for instance) in a reported speech (a direct quotation).)  Names of planets (generally the earth. headlines of newspapers. . I am Senegalese.. NB: Sometimes people use double commas for a single quotation. ‘At that time we were watching “Secrets de Famille” in the living room’.) . continents: . le roman africain. the Senegalese music.She will be back on Monday. NB: In French the days of the week and the months of the year are not written with an initial capital (unless they be at the beginning of the sentence): Il sera là le lundi.- ‘You are right’. .the African novels. the moon. etc. etc. le gouvernement japonais). Example : (In case of need.)  The square brackets can also be used to play the role of parentheses within parentheses. etc. the Middle Ages.British and Irish Political Drama in the Twentieth Century. the sun and the moon excepted)  Adjectives deriving from names of countries. etc.

As to the comma and the period. titles of books are underlined. for instance at the beginning of a chapter. In English. La Vie et l’œuvre de Victor Hugo. many secretaries don’t know: be then very careful when you give them an English text to type. 1). Thanks to this system. Nigeria Magazine. the closing parenthesis will come after the full stop at the end of that sentence. Sometimes some people capitalize just the first word: Discours de la méthode. There are important differences between the French and the English typing rules (which.NB: . like in (2). generally only the first two words of the title are capitalized: Le Monde s’effondre. Italicising  In handwriting. not before. Essays in Criticism.  When using a typewriter or a computer. but never underlined. . K. the closing parenthesis comes before the period (1). a part or section. etc.  When quoting from an article published in a book. 1959. 3) The parenthesis and the period: which comes first at the end of a sentence? Examples: . . Otherwise. ‘Graham Greene’s Rhetoric’. while ending a paragraph and starting a new one. 1981. Ulli. Lagos. Les Théories du pouvoir.(1) … and he promised to thoroughly assess the situation (which he'd better do).In French. In English there is a space after. it is possible to distinguish names of characters from the novels or plays bearing their names. . W. you must: . you can do that in some cases. 2) Spaces: before or after the punctuation sign? Examples: . (In case of need. Other typing rules. III.Either indent: this is the most common procedure. Examples: GRANSDEN. titles of books are italicised (written in italics). you can get them on your computer keyboard … while pressing down the ALT key. never before the semicolon.) When the opening parenthesis is at the beginning of a sentence.I noticed that they did not like each other. January.Or skip a line (then without an indentation). unfortunately.(2) … quotation marks. In English you can’t do both at the same time . 4) The paragraph: how to begin it? In French. the title of the article is put between quotation marks and that of the book written in italics. it was only later that I discovered that… In French there is a space before and after the semicolon.Ce jour-là il quitta tôt . the question and exclamation marks. "A year of sacred festivals in one Yoruba town". in both French and English. This rule applies to the colon. BEIER. il tenait à être à Dakar avant midi. there is a space after. your “mémoire” for instance!). a paragraph always begins with an indentation (called “alinéa” in French: a small space after the right margin) and paragraphs are generally separated by a skipped line.

mainly to shorten a text.NB: In French. . people sometimes use the English system (indenting without skipping a line).

1. We can use tags to tone down answers (to avoid short, abrupt answers). Ex. - Are you satisfied with his proposal? - Yes, we are (instead of just “yes!”, which would sound too brusque). - No, we are not (instead of just “no!”). NB: In these examples the comma after “yes” or “no” is optional (= Yes we are - No we are not).


Is the river deep here? I think it is ( je crois que si). Or: I think it is not (je crois que non). Madam, must I read the whole text? (Madame, dois-je …) I’m afraid you must. (Oui, hélas) Is not Djibo a sharp man? (Djibo n’est-il pas un homme malin ?) Yes, he is (Si !) or: - No, he is not (Non!) Don’t you prefer PBS? Yes, we do (Si!). Or: No, we don’t (non!)



NB: Mind the change of modals in negative answers. Ex. The students may keep the books until further notice (may = are allowed to) Ex.:

Yes, they may. No, they cannot. (In this example “may not” would be ambiguous.) I think that we must queue up here (=line up here) to welcome our glorious team. Yes, you must (Oui, il le faut = Oui, vous devez le faire, etc.) No, you need not. Or: - No, you don’t have to (Vous n’êtes pas tenus de le faire).

2. We can also use a tag to emphasize an answer
Wilt thou have this woman to be thy lawful wedded wife? (Voulez-vous prendre pour épouse ….?) I will. (Oui !) I will not. (Non !) Do you think that Abdoulaye Wade will run for another term? (Croyez-vous que … briguera un autre mandat ?) I don’t (Certainement pas !). Or : - I do (Certainement !). People said that I am not entitled to represent you. (On a dit que je ne suis pas …) You are ! (Mais si !)


3. We can also use tags to mean that we are surprised to realize the truth of what we are told:
Ex.: -

She is elected chairperson of our club. So she is (Tiens ! C’est vrai !). (The information is correct and I have just realized it.) They have stopped their six-week strike. – So they have (Tiens! C’est vrai !) Henceforth, you can sleep in my room every other day (= every two days = tous les deux jours.) – So I can.


4. We can use tags to mean that our surprise turns into astonishment…
Ex.: You won’t believe me, but Gorgolu has got a second wife. Has he? (Or: Oh, has he?) (Vraiment?). I never sit here at night. Don’t you? (Vraiment?)

5. Translations of “Moi aussi”, “Moi non plus”
You must first make sure that you can use them properly in French: “Moi aussi” is a confirmative reply to an affirmative statement, “Moi non plus” to a negative one. Ex. - Je croque la kola. – Moi aussi. - Je ne croque pas la kola. – Moi non plus (you can’t say here : « Moi aussi »).

She received a standing ovation. (Elle a eu droit à une acclamation debout.) So did he. (Lui aussi.) We are not at all worried. Neither are we (Nous non plus). Or: “We aren’t either”. Or: “Nor are we” (but this sounds rather literary or archaic). We can’t get this radio here. (Nous ne pouvons pas capter cette radio ici.) Neither can the inhabitants of Bissau. (Les habitants de Bissau non plus.) Here we don’t play Rugby. Or baseball either. (Ici nous ne jouons pas au Rugby. Ni au baseball non plus.)



6. Translations of “Moi si”, “Moi non”
Ex. :

Here nobody eats “baasi salte” (Ici personne ne …) I do. (Moi si.)


“vous savez ? ». etc. does one? (Avec elle. personne ne sait … Pas vrai ? / N’est-ce pas ?. vous savez ?) Of course. Are you? (Et vous?). He never drank tea after lunch.- I like Viviane (= Viviane’s music) I don’t. n’est-ce pas ?) . “Pas vous ?” - I am from Rufisque. I don’t. ». “one” as personal pronoun is sometimes repeated in the tag. didn’t we? (Nous avons gagné le match. « bien sûr. (Moi non). Example: - With her. “nobody”. Does she? ? (Et elle?). we use a plural personal pronoun in the tag. n’est-ce pas ?) In this campus. we are (… nous si). nobody knows how to dance “jalgati”. do they? (Dans ce campus. n’est-ce pas? = n’est-ce pas que nous avons gagné le match ?) You’ve behaved like a donkey. Or: Doesn’t she (Pas elle?). 1992). “somebody”. didn’t they? (Tout le monde éclata de rire. - We won the match. non ?) I am not the most stupid girl of the English Department. If you are not aware of AIDS.) Somebody was shouting then.) I Can’t drive. n’est-ce pas ?) They bombarded all the training camps. Or : Aren’t you ? (Pas vous?) I always wake up at 7. « non ? ». - Everybody burst out laughing. (Certains croient au protectionnisme.Have you? Or: Haven’t you? (… Et vous ? Or : Pas vous ?) 8. Je crois à la libre concurrence. bien sûr ! (= avouez-le = n’est-ce pas ?) NB: With statements introduced by “everybody”. The “Colloquial query” (also called “question tag”): “n’est-ce pas?”. but my sister can. - - 7. I believe in free fair trade…” (George Bush [senior]. Moi non. didn’t they? (Ils ont bombardé tous les camps d’entraînement. am I? (Je ne suis pas la fille la plus stupide de la Section d’Anglais. n’est-ce pas ?) Besides. could we? (… nous ne pouvions pas les rattraper. we couldn’t catch them up. etc. weren’t they? (Quelqu’un criait alors. on ne sait jamais. one never knows. - -The students of our Department have decided to boycott the test. Translations of “Et vous ?”. “Some believe in protection. haven’t you? (Vous vous êtes comporté comme un âne. his friends did (mind tenses!) (… ses amis si). (… mais ma sœur si). .

I can help you if you want me to. For mysterious reasons his wife asked him to vote for Dièye but he said he preferred not to. Sir.) They wanted to block the road and burn a second lorry. (Oui. or just: “I did”). I did”. je crois qu’il l’était…). but you should not. but I wish I hadn’t. - - . I think he was. Elliptic constructions: when we don’t want to repeat … - He was terribly disappointed. but we advised them not to. but you don’t have to. This is shorter than: “Yes I think he was terribly disappointed”.9. do you think that we can help her? Yes you can. mais il ne l’a pas encore fait.”) Didn’t he give you the money he promised? He said he would. (Si. but he didn’t yet. Yes.) Did you eat the dish she cooked for you? (Avez-vous mangé…?) Yes (or : “Yes. (Il disait qu’il le ferait. mais je regrette de l’avoir fait. (Or: “Yes you can.

)  After “yes”. (Je le souhaite. can I speak? (Monsieur. infinitive • Some instructions or warnings require the imperative mood in English.Yes. chien méchant). it is better to use “may” instead of “let”: .Let him try on the shirt: two possible meanings: a.Translate the following sentences into Arabic (Traduire les phrases …) .Let us start.Be kind with your brother. 2.Don’t eat this fruit.) . (Ne fais pas attention à ce qu’il dit.Let him tell you what is wrong. etc. . .) .p. (English is more courteous than French here. .Keep cool and dry (conserver dans un endroit frais et sec = au frais et au sec).) • Some English imperatives correspond in French to a variety of fixed expressions: .  Other persons: let… . .Don’t let them accuse him without tangible evidence. instruction. (Qu’il vous dise…) . .May the dog and the cat become friends. suggestion.) laissez-le (laisse-le) essayer la chemise. (Que les garçons passent devant.Sir.God said: Let there be light (que la lumière soit). do.) .Please forward (on a mail) (faire suivre. (Commençons. warning.Let me tell you. (Qu’on ne raconte pas…) . .Don’t mind what he says.) . whenever this is what you mean : Let him try on / allow him to try on. but the infinitive in French. puis-je parler ? . sur un emballage) . . (This is clearer than “let the dog and …”)  Translation problem: imperative vs.) qu’il essaie la chemise. . Negative imperative: advice.Let he (or she) who doesn’t understand raise his (her) hand (que celui ou celle qui n’a pas compris lève la main). b.Store in a cool and dry place (meaning the same).Hands up! (Mains en l’air ! = Haut les mains! ) . people sometimes use an elliptic (incomplete) imperative.Show me the picture.) (“Fragile”. etc.v.THE IMPERATIVE MOOD 1.Let the boys lead the way. s.  Translation problem: ambiguity of “let”: . But when we mean a wish instead of an order. (Qu’ils ne l’accusent pas …) .Look out! (Attention!) .Give her my regards.Don’t let this story be told in my room. prohibition. . advice.Keep away from (= out of) the reach of children (ne pas laisser à la portée des enfants). Affirmative imperative: order. The confusion could be avoided by replacing “let” with “allow” or “authorize”.“Handle with care” (on a packing cardboard. (Je vous en prie).Stop thief! (Au voleur!) .  Second person (singular or plural): . .Que le chien et le chat deviennent des amis. (Mes amitiés à …) .Mind the dog (Attention.

. montrons-lui comment ça marche)..Shall I type your second letter? (A secretary to her boss. for instance by emphasizing the “not”. NB: In this case.  With the negative imperative also it is possible to have elliptic answers . ⇒ (instead of: “Don’t eat this fruit”) . . etc.Don’t let me repeat it (Que je ne le répète pas = Il ne faut pas me le faire répéter).. . .Mind not what she says. . . .Don’t you tell Diouf everything Tanor told you (Ne raconte surtout pas…).Do drink this sorrel syrup (buvez donc ce sirop d’oseille « bisaap »). . .  The emphatic effect can also be obtained in the negative form.Do let us show him how it works! (Oh. if the complement is a noun. Or by using “you”: .Do never think that … 3. pour voir !). “somebody”) in front of the verb (in a rather informal English) gives more strength to the order.Do NOT repeat it (Défense absolue de le répéter). si c’est ça que tu préfères !).) (Dois-je taper/saisir votre …) . (Ne pense jamais que …) .Somebody remind me the question! (Que quelqu’un me rappelle …). (Ne passons pas toute la nuit à en parler. if you prefer! (A jealous girl speaking).You dance with Nafi. we put it after “not”. .Don’t let my uncle know what I am doing here.You read! (Lis ! Ou bien: lisez !).Never think that I am afraid of you. ⇒ (instead of: “Don’t mind what she says”).Eat not this fruit . archaic) style. .You stay where you are! (Vous. .Do be kind! (Soit gentil !). . ce n’est pas la peine. Je crois que …)  In a very formal (classical. people sometimes make negative imperatives without the auxiliary “do” (this is more common in American English): . the instruction. I think I have changed my mind. (Non. you tell the police how … (… dites à la police…)  We can obtain a similar result with the use of “do”. .Don’t. Emphatic imperative  The use of “you” (and sometimes “everybody”. . ⇒ Let not my uncle know …  We can also form a negative imperative by putting “never” before the verb: . . “I Have a Dream”).Let us not talk about it ⇒ (instead of: “Don’t let us talk about it”).You dare! (Ose un peu. (Danse donc avec Nafi.Everyone stay where they are! (Que personne ne bouge!).)  Translation problem In the last 4 sentences too the use of “let” may be ambiguous (Don’t allow them to accuse …).Don’t let us talk about it all the night long. ne bougez pas de là).As you witnessed the accident.“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair” (Martin Luther King.Do come to my party! (Venez… je vous en prie).

(It is also called “optative subjunctive” because it is generally used to express a wish.) THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD Though having a totally different meaning (certainty vs. “Mandative” subjunctive  The “mandative” subjunctive is generally used in subordinate “that-clauses” (“I propose that…”. mainly in independent clauses. It is the reverse in American English.I insist that the match start now. imparf.I whish that the visit take place after Easter. indicat. Present subjunctive a.) (J’insiste sur le fait que nous …) .Suffice it to say that… (=Let is suffice…). . a suggestion. (Quoiqu’il en soit.“Hallowed be Thy name.Be that as it may.Perish the thought ! (Loin de moi cette pensée!) .I propose that she should be our spokeswoman. que Ta volonté soit faite….: . or “could” instead. the “putative” “should” is generally more used than the subjunctive.) c.) Ex.) .) (J’insiste afin que nous …) . (Il est probable qu’il l’obtienne.I insist that the match be started now. 92).It is very likely that he obtain it. the indicative and the subjunctive moods differ morphologically from each other only with “be” and the 3rd person singular.) to express an order. . It is “would”. . “The Prime Minister proposes that the plan should be finalized before Christmas” is more British. In British English. ⇒ imparf. Thy will be done …” (in The Bible). que Ton règne vienne.It is likely that he should obtain it. Other uses of the present subjunctive .Heaven forbid that I (should) accept such a thing! (Que Dieu me garde de …) . .) .Far be it from me to … (Loin de moi l’idée de …) . “Formulaic” subjunctive The formulaic subjunctive is used in some special expressions.) . advice. (Je propose qu’elle soit notre porte-parole. (Subjunctive. (Subjunctive. a necessity. We use then the present subjunctive regardless of the tense of the principal clause (whereas in French we would have. . we are very confident. uncertainty). Thy kingdom come.I insist that we start now. a proposal. a request. Nov.: .“The opposition demanded that the policy be reversed” (BBC Radio 4.She wishes she could travel with us. “… that the plan be finalised before Christmas” is more American. .Ex. Ex. (Subjunctive.It was compulsory that you show your licence. for instance. (Indicative. («Que Ton nom soit sanctifié.) NB: Bear in mind that “should” is never used with “wish”. (Je souhaite /J’aimerais que la visite ait lieu après Pâques. …) .  In these examples the subjunctive mood can be replaced by the “putative” should (or “would” or “could” for “wish”): . ») . There are two forms of subjunctive: the present and the past.) .I propose that she be our spokeswoman. . (Vous étiez tenus de montrer votre permis.The devil take you! (Que le diable t’emporte.I wish that the visit would take place after Easter.I insist that we start now. Subjonct). etc. (Elle souhaite/ aimerait voyager avec nous.: .God bless you! (Que Dieu vous bénisse). 1. “She ordered that …”.Be it noted that this rule … (Notez bien que …) . But this is not an absolute rule: “The opposition demanded that the policy be reversed” was heard on the BBC! b.God save the Queen (= May God save the Queen).

concession. . .If he were to call (= If he should call). we use the past perfect modal instead of the preterite modal).) (Je souhaite qu’il gagne. order. she might think) you don’t love her. “It is high time”. then … (Si telle est votre position …) . .It is high time they stopped this performance. (The modal preterite of the other verbs is morphologically the same as their “ordinary” preterite. We can use the present subjunctive in the following cases to express doubt. I would buy this house (A votre place …. because it uses only the “were” form of the verb “to be”. tell him that… (Potential.) (Je regrette qu’il n’ait pas gagné. (Potential. vous lui dites que…) . regret.: .If I had been you. In these examples. ( … de peur qu’elle …) 2. However it is possible to regret now facts which preceded the moment in the past we refer to. (Unreal. Compare: .Talk to her lest (= for fear that) she think (= she should think. I would have bought this house.) Ex.If this be so … (S’il en est ainsi …) . the subjunctive (the modal preterite) is not actually a past tense. etc.I would rather he died before that. the wishes and regrets which I express are “located” in the past (“l’irréel du passé”).. Si j’étais vous…) . in 1994) we had won the battle (which happened in 1991).If this be your position.I wish (= now.Suppose everybody were to shout his name.) (S’il appelle. tell him that… (Hypothetical.I wish I could speak Pulaar. etc. preference. but a mode of the present (wish. (J’aimerais comprendre le Pulaar. (Il est grand temps qu’ils arrêtent…) . Past subjunctive  It is also called “were-subjunctive”.If I were you (informal English: “If I was you”).I wish Ngagne wins (or win) (= would win).)  We can use the subjunctive mode to refer to facts totally situated in the past (in this case. condition.I wished we had won the battle.  The expressions “I would rather” (originally more correct than: “I had rather”). . supposition. can sometimes be followed by a past subjunctive: .I wished the film had started earlier.) (Si d’aventure il appelait…) .I wish (that) we won the battle.  The hypothetical. j’aurais acheté…) . . . (A votre place.Be this as it may … (Quoi qu’il en soit …) .I wish Ngagne won.I wished (= then. dites-lui que … Quand il appellera.I wish (that) the film started earlier.If he calls. unreal past subjunctive should not be confused with the potential indicative: . etc.) . (Je préférerais qu’il mourût avant cela…) . “It is about time”. (Je regrette que nous n’ayons pas remporté la bataille).) It is hypothetical or "unreal" (“l’irréel du présent”).) . today) we had won the battle (which happened in 1991) before the enemy got his new tanks (in 1992). This “were” is referred to as “modal preterite”. (A supposer que tout le monde se mette à crier son nom ?)  In these examples.

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