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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Inde = in India, en Indon´ sie = in Indonesia, en Malaisie = in Malaysia, en
e
Nouvelle Cal´ donie = in New Caledonia, en Nouvelle Z´ lande = in New Zealand, en
e e
Tha¨lande = in Thailand
±
in the Middle East
´
en Arabie S´ oudite = in Saudi Arabia, en Egypte = in Egypt, en Jordanie = in
e
Jordan, en Syrie = in Syria
in the Americas
en Argentina = in Argentina, en Bolivie = in Bolivia, en Colombie = in Colombia, en
Guyane = in Guyana, en R´ publique dominicaine = in the Dominican Republic, en
e
Uruguay = in Uruguay
If the name of the country is quali¬ed, en is replaced by dans and the de¬nite article.
This applies to both masculine and feminine names of countries “
dans la Roumanie de l™` re post-Ceausescu = in post-Ceausescu Romania
e
dans le Japon contemporain = in contemporary Japan

2 With names of islands and island states
Usage is more variable “
`
a
a Chypre = in Cyprus, a Cuba = in Cuba, a Madagascar = in Madagascar, a
` ` ` `
Majorque = in Majorca, a Malte = in Malta, a (l™ˆle) Maurice = in Mauritius, a
` `± `
Singapour = in Singapore, a Sri Lanka = in Sri Lanka
`
`
a la
a la Dominique = in Dominica, a la Jama¨que = in Jamaica, a la R´ union = in
` ` `
± e
R´union
e
aux
aux Antilles = in the West Indies, aux Bahamas = in the Bahamas, aux Bal´ ares = in
e
the Balearic Islands, aux Malouines = in the Falklands, aux Philippines = in the
Philippines
en
en Corse = in Corsica, en Sardaigne = in Sardinia, en Sicile = in Sicily
`
a or en
a / en Ha¨ti = in Haiti
` ±
`
a la or en
a la / en Guadeloupe = in Guadeloupe, a la / en Martinique = in Martinique
` `

3 With names of French regions and departments
With masculine names
dans
dans le Centre = in the Centre, dans le Poitou = in the Poitou, dans le Rhone = in the
ˆ
Rhˆne
o

280
393 Prepositions with place names



but en Anjou = in Anjou, en Limousin = in the Limousin
dans le Berry = in the Berry, dans le Gard = in the Gard, dans le Jura = in the Jura
With feminine singular names “
en
en Bretagne = in Brittany, en Corr` ze = in the Corr`ze, en Normandie = in
e
e
Normandy, en Provence = in Provence, en Saone et Loire = in Saˆne et Loire, en
ˆ o
Vend´ e = in the Vend´e
e
e
dans la
dans la Charente = in the Charente, dans la Haute-Garonne = in the Haute-Garonne,
dans la Marne = in the Marne
With feminine plural names
dans les Alpes Maritimes = in the Alpes-Maritimes, dans les Hautes-Pyr´ n´ es =
ee
in the Hautes-Pyr´n´es, dans les Landes = in the Landes
ee
4 With names of British counties
dans
dans le Nottinghamshire, dans le Suffolk, dans le Yorkshire
exception aux Cournouailles = in Cornwall

5 With names of American states
dans
dans la Louisiane, dans le Texas, dans l™Utah

6 With names of towns preceded by the de¬nite article
au Havre = in le Havre, au Mans = in le Mans, au Touquet = in le Touquet
a la Rochelle = in la Rochelle
`

from
With names of countries
With masculine names beginning with a consonant “
du
venir du Danemark, venir du B´ nin, venir du Bangladesh
e
With masculine names beginning with a vowel “
d™
venir d™Irak, venir d™Iran, venir d™Isra¨ l
e
with feminine names “
de
venir d™Albanie, venir d™Afrique du Sud, venir d™Afghanistan

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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Exercises

1 Les pr´ positions qui relient
e

R´ ecrivez les phrases suivantes en ajoutant dans le blanc, si c™est
n´ cessaire, la pr´ position qui convient “
e e
´
a J™aimerais . . . avoir des conseils pour m™aider . . . eradiquer ce
probl` me.
e
b Parfois un enfant hausse le ton parce qu™on ne le laisse pas
suf¬samment . . . s™exprimer.
c Ag´ e de 22 ans, je suis atteinte . . . une maladie du syst` me nerveux.
e e
d J™aimerais que quelqu™un me dise les effets secondaires . . .
craindre.
e Cela arrive, mais il s™agit . . . cas tr` s rares.
e
f Lorsque je dois . . . faire un gros saut dans le v´ lo acrobatique, je
e
cherche d™abord . . . maˆtriser le stress dans ma tˆ te “ cela m™aide . . .
± e
le passer.
ˆ
g Il a beau . . . etre la plus grande star francaise “ il fait toujours de tr` s
¸ e
gros efforts pour plaire . . . ses admiratrices.
h Les voleurs et politiciens ripoux ont toujours b´ n´ ¬ci´ . . . une
ee e
certaine consid´ ration de la part du public.
e
i C™est une mode qui plaˆt . . . jeunes ¬lles comme . . . femmes plus
±
ˆe
ag´ es.
j Comment est-ce que vous pouvez . . . aider votre enfant . . . vaincre le
b´ gaiement “ reformuler les mots apr` s lui de facon correcte, sans lui
e e ¸
demander . . . les r´ p´ ter. Vous devez vous amuser . . . faire ensemble
ee
des bruits avec la bouche.
k Il ne manque jamais . . . raconter ses conquˆ tes. e
l Ces lentilles sont faciles . . . poser et . . . enlever.
m On se promet . . . reprendre une activit´ physique, histoire . . . garder
e
la forme, . . . s™a´ rer et . . . s™occuper . . . soi.
e
n Pour s´ duire, une femme peut . . . passer beaucoup de temps . . .
e
s™apprˆ ter.
e
o J™´ prouve un besoin terrible . . . dormir apr` s le d´ jeuner.
e e e
p On m™expliquait que je ne risquais pas . . . devenir st´ rile. e
q Les b´ n´ ¬ces des lavages du nez ne sont plus . . . d´ montrer.
ee e
r Est-ce qu™il a tendance . . . augmenter le son de la t´ l´ vision?
ee
s Cette r´ action permet . . . ceux qui sont dot´ s . . . une peau
e e
ˆ
d´ licate . . . r´ sister . . . la brulure du soleil.
e e
t Leur usage convient tr` s bien . . . jeunes ¬lles, car ils s™adaptent . . .
e
leur style de vie.
ˆ
u J™ai impression que les coussins ont besoin . . . etre secou´ s et e
tapot´ s, et je ne me prive pas . . . le faire.
e
v Je ne m™adonne . . . ce vice compulsif avec n™importe quoi “ j™ai une
pr´ f´ rence pour les tickets de cin´ ma!
ee e
w Si vous avez aval´ seulement une quantit´ in¬me d™essence, du lait ou
e e
un verre d™eau suf¬ra . . . le diluer.
´
x Tu devrais eviter . . . prendre l™avion si vous avez un rhume.

282
Exercises



ˆ
y Vous en sortez plutot bien, compte tenu . . . vos petites mauvaises
habitudes.
z Finalement, mes parents se sont d´ barrass´ s . . . moi.
e e
2 Les pr´ positions qui forment les locutions pr´ positives
e e

R´ ecrivez les phrases suivantes en ajoutant la pr´ position qui convient.
e
Quelquefois plus d™une pr´ position conviendrait.
e
a La natation peut se pratiquer . . . allure mod´ r´ e, . . . douleur ni
ee
essou¬‚ement mˆ me si l™on reprend . . . une p´ riode . . . inactivit´ .
e e e
b J™ai pris trois comprim´ s . . . jour, une prise . . . sang . . . semaine au
e
d´ but et puis une . . . mois . . . la suite.
e
c Nous avons domin´ . . . la majeure partie du match, . . . le terrain . . .
e
Milan.
d Vous avez le choix . . . deux formules. La premi` re assure votre enfant
e
seulement lorsque l™accident survient . . . les activit´ s organis´ es . . .
e e
l™´ tablissement ou . . . le chemin . . . l™´ cole. Elle est obligatoire . . . les
e e
voyages organis´ s. e
e . . . leur second b´ b´ , nombre de femmes ne retrouvent pas leur
ee
ventre « d™avant », . . . la gym.
f . . . la salle de ¬tness et d™autres clubs, les propositions ne manquent
pas. On choisit . . . ses besoins.
g Les salari´ s ont droit . . . quatre jours . . . cong´ lorsqu™ils se marient,
e e
trois jours . . . la naissance ou l™adoption . . . un enfant, un . . . le
mariage . . . un enfant, deux jours . . . le d´ c` s du conjoint et un
ee
jour . . . le d´ c` s du p` re ou de la m` re.
ee e e
`
h Je consid` re que je vis a peu pr` s normalement, . . . les contraintes
e e
dues au traitement.
i . . . une situation comme celle-ci, une partie des soins vous sera
rembours´ e. e
j . . . l™esprit, il voyage lui aussi . . . votre randonn´ e “ on part . . .
e
tension, mais on rentre apais´ , serein.
e
k . . . les tout-petits, les produits alcoolis´ s sont . . . proscrire. Une
e
mˆ me quantit´ de produit appliqu´ e . . . un b´ b´ aboutit . . . des
e e e ee
concentrations . . . cinq fois sup´ rieures . . . son faible poids.
e
l Le chignon existe . . . la nuit des temps.
m Elle portait une veste . . . jean surpiqu´ . . . dentelle . . . un jupon . . .
e
coton.
ˆ
n Il est conseill´ d™agir pr´ cocement . . . l™age . . . 3 ans.
e e
o Une directive europ´ enne applicable . . . France . . . le d´ but de l™ann´ e
e e e
a renforc´ les normes . . . qualit´ de l™eau.
e e
´
p . . . la douleur postop´ ratoire, elle varie . . . 2 et 4 . . . une echelle de
e
10.
q J™aime passer . . . le miroir . . . la salle de bains.
r C™est . . . pantalon . . . coton noir et . . . tee-shirt qu™elle est arriv´ e.
e
s L™op´ ration . . . anesth´ sie g´ n´ rale dure . . . deux heures.
e e ee
t Les coiffeurs s™y r´ signent . . . bonheur.
e
u Les Parisiens, . . . deux buts spectaculaires ont battu Porto.
ˆ
v . . . un controle sanguin, j™ai d´ couvert que je souffrais . . . une
e
anomalie physique.

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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



w Il ¬gure . . . les meilleurs super-l´ gers mais il fait ¬gure d™inconnu . . .
e
France.
`
x La comp´ tence . . . le plaisir, le talent . . . la joie ne servent a rien.
e
y Souvent . . . l™acheteur compulsif, l™achat se fait . . . la honte et . . .
une grande solitude.
z 76% des hommes se tournent . . . leur partenaire pour chercher
soutien . . . une situation dif¬cile.




284
Chapter 9 Adverbs and adverbial
expressions


394 The role of adverbs
The role of an adverb is to modify the meaning of a word, a phrase or a sentence.

Characteristic of adverbs
Adverbs are invariable in form (but see 480 for tout as adverb of degree).

Types of adverbs
adverbs of manner
adverbs of time
adverbs of place
adverbs of degree
adverbs of af¬rmation and negation
interrogative adverbs
adverbs as connectors


395 Formation of adverbs
Only a small sample of examples is given below.

1 By adding “ment to the masculine form of the adjective “
This category includes those adjectives which do not distinguish masculine from feminine
ˆ
gender and those ending in “´ , “i, “u (see 3 below) or “u “
e
absolu + ment = absolument = absolutely
ais´ + ment = ais´ ment = easily
e e
ambigu + ment = ambigument = ambiguously
atroce + ment = atrocement= atrociously
deuxi` me + ment = deuxi` mement = secondly
e e
ˆ ˆ
du + ment = dument =duly
gauche + ment = gauchement = awkwardly
modeste + ment = modestement = modestly
poli + ment = poliment = politely
vrai + ment = vraiment = truly


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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



2 By adding “ment to the feminine form of the adjective
actif > active + ment = activement = actively
dernier > derni` re + ment = derni` rement = lastly
e e
fou > folle + ment = follement = madly
grossier > grossi` re + ment = grossi` rement = coarsely
e e
l´ ger > l´ g` re = l´ g` rement = lightly
e ee ee
premier > premi` re = premi` rement = ¬rstly
e e
public > publique = publiquement = publicly
tel > telle + ment = tellement = so
total > totale + ment = totalement = totally
exception “ gentil > gentiment = kindly

ˆ
3 A small number of adjectives in “u form their adverb in “ument
assidu > assidument = assiduously
ˆ
continu > continument = continuously
ˆ
cru > crument = crudely
ˆ

4 Adjectives ending in “ant or “ent form their adverb in “amment or
“emment
abondant > abondamment = abundantly
brillant > brillamment = brilliantly
constant > constamment = constantly
fr´ quent > fr´ quemment = frequently
e e
n´ gligent > n´ gligemment = negligently
e e
prudent > prudemment = prudently
violent > violemment = violently
exception “ lent > lentement = slowly
Notamment = notably, pr´ cipitamment = precipitously have no corresponding
e
adjectives “ see 7 below.

5 Adverbs derived from past participles used as adjectives
aveugler > aveugl´ + ment = aveugl´ ment = blindly
e e
forcer > forc´ + ment = forc´ ment = necessarily
e e
pr´ ciser > pr´ cis´ + ment = pr´ cis´ ment = precisely
e ee ee

6 Other adjectives forming their adverbs in “´ ment
e
conforme > conform´ ment = in accordance with
e

286
395 Formation of adverbs



´ ´
enorme > enorm´ ment = enormously
e
intense > intens´ ment = intensely
e
obscur > obscur´ ment = obscurely
e
profond > profond´ ment = profoundly
e


7 Adverbs with no corresponding adjective
bri` vement = brie¬‚y
e
gri` vement = seriously
e
See also 4 above.

8 Adjectives used as adverbs without any change of form
bas = low, as in parler bas = to speak quietly
bon = good, as in sentir bon = to smell good, tenir bon = to hold ¬rm
chaud = hot, as in servir chaud = to serve hot
cher = dear, as in couter cher = to cost dear
ˆ
ch` rement = dearly (but not involving money) “
e
une ind´ pendance ch` rement acquise = an independence acquired at great cost
e e
(politically, emotionally, intellectually, etc)
clair = clear, as in voir clair = to see clearly
court = short, as in s™arrˆ ter court = to stop abruptly, s™habiller court = to dress in
e
short skirts
droit = straight, as in aller tout droit = to go straight ahead
dur = hard, as in travailler dur = to work hard
ferme = ¬rm, as in tenir ferme = to hold fast
fort = loudly, strong, as in crier fort = to shout loudly, sentir fort = to smell strong
frais = cool, as in servir frais = to serve cool
gros = a lot, as in perdre / risquer gros = to lose/risk a lot
haut = aloud, high, as in lire haut = to read aloud, parler haut = to speak loudly,
viser haut = to aim high
juste = accurately, as in deviner juste = to guess accurately
lourd = heavily, as in peser lourd = to weigh heavily
mauvais = bad, as in sentir mauvais = to smell bad
net = plainly, point blank, as in parler net = to speak plainly, refuser net = to refuse point
blank


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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



9 Using d™une mani` re, d™une facon, d™un air
e ¸
Most of the adverbs illustrated above derive from relatively short adjectives; to avoid
a rather clumsy, multi-syllabic adverb, the expressions d™une mani` re + adjective or
e
d™une facon + adjective may be used “
¸
d™une facon indescriptible = in an indescribable fashion
¸
d™une facon ridicule = in a ridiculous way
¸
d™une mani` re extraordinaire = in an extraordinary way
e
d™une mani` re fantaisiste = in an eccentric manner
e
D™un air + adjective may be used in a similar way “
d™un air soupconneux = in a suspicious way
¸
d™un air surpris = in a surprised way


10 Adverbial phrases
In the section on prepositional expressions a large number of adverbial phrases were
illustrated. Here are some very common ones “
au maximum = to the utmost
a la fois = at the same time
`
a l™heure = on time
`
a part = separately
`
a peu pr` s = almost
` e
`
a qui mieux mieux = outdoing the other
au fur et a mesure = as you go along
`
a cot´ = beside
` ˆe
cote a cote = side by side
ˆ `ˆ
de bonne heure = early
de plus belle = with renewed vigour
de temps en temps / de temps a l™autre = from time to time
`
d™habitude = usually
du mˆ me coup = by the same token
e
en arri` re = behind
e
en avance = early
en avant = in front
en bas = down(stairs)
en dehors = outside


288
397 Position of adverbs



en g´ n´ ral = in general
ee
en haut = up(stairs)
en particulier = especially
en retard = late
en vain = in vain
et ainsi de suite = and so on
mot a mot = word by word
`
n™importe ou = anywhere
`
n™importe quand = at any time “ see 245, 246
par ailleurs = in addition
par contre = on the other hand
par hasard = by chance
sans cesse = constantly
tout a coup = suddenly
`
tout a fait = quite
`
tout a l™heure = in a moment, a moment ago
`
tout de suite = immediately
tout d™un coup = suddenly


396 Meaning of adverbs
As with most words, some adverbs have more than one meaning and may belong to more
than one of the types of adverbs listed below “
ainsi = in the same way is both a connector and an adverb of manner.
alors = then is an adverb of time and a connector
aussi = so as a connector, = also as an adverb of degree


397 Position of adverbs
Adverbs are placed in different positions according to the part of speech being modi¬ed “

1 With a verb
With simple tenses the adverb normally follows the verb “
Le calcium est surtout pr´ sent dans le lait = calcium is especially present in milk
e
Elle egalisa rapidement = she equalised quickly
´
L™huile d™olive peut aussi aider a ramollir les ecailles = olive oil can also help
` ´
soften scaly skin


289
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Sa nouvelle vie lui convient parfaitement = her new life suits her perfectly
With compound tenses the adverb is normally placed between the auxiliary and the
past participle “
´ `
La gestion electronique des documents a peu a peu remplac´ le document e
papier = electronic management of documents has gradually replaced paper documents
Les pellicules sont parfois accompagn´ es de d´ mangeaisons et
e e
surviennent g´ n´ ralement en p´ riodes de stress = dandruff is at times accompanied
ee e
by itching and generally occurs at times of stress
Elle avait bien attaqu´ le match en dominant largement Sprem au premier
e
set = she had attacked the match well by easily dominating Sprem in the ¬rst set
J™ai quand mˆ me r´ ussi a constituer une equipe de quatre personnes = all
` ´
e e
the same I™ve managed to get together a team of four people

2 With an adjective, the adverb normally precedes the adjective
Il est absolument indispensable de maˆtriser la langue francaise = it™s
± ¸
absolutely indispensable to master French
Ce traitement de la peau n´ cessite une utilisation de produits de soins
e
parfaitement adapt´ s a votre sensibilit´ = this skin treatment requires use of care
e` e
products that are perfectly adapted to the sensitivity of your skin
Mˆ me pour des questions tr` s compliqu´ es, on peut trouver des r´ ponses
e e e e
tr` s simples = even for very complicated questions you can ¬nd very simple answers
e

3 With an adverb, the adverb normally precedes the adverb
S´ chez tr` s doucement vos cheveux = dry your hair very gently
e e
Bien bizarrement, tous les gens oublient quelque chose chez toi = very
strangely, everyone forgets something in your house
Il ne monte jamais plus sur les tables de l™amphi pour af¬rmer qu™il existe
= he never climbs on the lecture room tables any more in order to prove he exists
The principles set out illustrate the normal practice as far as the positioning of adverbs
is concerned. However, if the adverb is being highlighted or is accompanied by another
adverb it may follow the adjective “
´ ´
Etre prof dans une ecole maternelle est epuisant nerveusement et
physiquement = being a nursery school teacher is tiring both nervously and physically
Certain adverbs tend to be more mobile than others, especially those of time, those
that are relatively long, and those consisting of prepositional expressions.

Time
´
Demain on etudiera toutes les familles d™aliments et leurs propri´ t´ s ee
nutritionnelles = tomorrow we™ll study all categories of foodstuffs and their nutritional properties
Hier nous avons laiss´ la voiture pour suivre un chemin abrupt = yesterday we
e
left the car to follow a steep track

290
398 Adverbs of manner



Les autres invit´ s vont pratiquer VTT, escalade et ski d™hiver demain = the
e
other guests are going to do some mountain biking, climbing and skiing tomorrow
Une page dans l™histoire du club a et´ tourn´ e hier = a page in the history of the
´e e
club was turned yesterday
Long adverbs and adverbial expressions
On peut se tromper mutuellement et, de la mˆ me mani` re, on peut se
e e
quitter = you can cheat on each other mutually and, in the same way, you can split up
When a number of adverbs occur in the same sentence, they are usually organised
according to length, the shortest closest to the verb, the longest furthest away “ but again
considerations of rhythm, logic, emphasis and style may decide otherwise “
L™agence nous propose de fournir de quoi vivre nos aventures [1] sans
anxi´ t´ , [2] en parfaite s´ curit´ = the agency proposes supplying us with the wherewithal to
ee e e
live out our adventures without anxiety and in complete safety
ˆ `
[1] Sur le parvis de l™Hotel de Ville, [2] dans la nuit de samedi a dimanche,
il a parl´ du jeu = on the square outside the Town Hall, on Saturday“Sunday night, he spoke
e
about the game
e`
Il fonctionnera [1] avec sa propre personnalit´ , [2] avec sa capacit´ a
e
ecouter les autres = he™ll carry on with his own personality and his ability to listen to others
´

398 Adverbs of manner
These adverbs describe the way in which something is done and are extremely
numerous.
They answer questions introduced by comment, such as “
Comment l™a-t-il fait ? = how did he do it?
A number of the most common adverbs of manner are short words, that do not end
in “ment “
ainsi = thus
bien = well
debout = standing
ensemble = together
expr` s = deliberately
e
mal = badly
mieux = better
pis = worse
plutot = rather
ˆ
vite = quickly
volontiers = willingly
Many others do end in “ment “

291
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



attentivement = attentively
brusquement = abruptly
cyniquement = cynically
doucement = gently
ef¬cacement = ef¬ciently
fermement = ¬rmly
gaiement = gaily
heureusement = happily
intelligemment = intelligently
joliment = prettily
librement = freely
mollement = idly
nonchalamment = nonchalantly
ouvertement = openly
pr´ cipitamment = precipitously
e
richement = richly
solidement = solidly
tranquillement = quietly
unanimement = unanimously
vaillamment courageously
There is virtually an in¬nite number of adverbial phrases of manner, including those
mentioned in the section on formation of adverbs and discussed under prepositional
expressions “
a dessein = on purpose
`
a grande vitesse = at top speed
`
a la fois = at the same time
`
a tort = wrongly
`
avec enthousiasme = enthusiastically
de tout son coeur = whole-heartedly
en connaissance de cause = with full knowledge of the facts
en n™h´ sitant pas = by not hesitating
e
en utilisant toutes ses forces = by using all his strength
par erreur = in error

292
399 Examples: adverbs of manner



sans attendre = without waiting
tout droit = straight ahead
together with similes introduced by comme = like
dormir comme un loir / une souche = to sleep like a log
etre malade comme un chien = to be as sick as a dog
ˆ
etre soul comme une grive / un Polonais = to be as drunk as a lord
ˆ ˆ
rire comme un bossu = to laugh like a drain

399 Examples of adverbs of manner
`
Ceux qui ne savent pas s™habiller a la mode ne demandent pas mieux que
d™ˆ tre conseill´ s = those who don™t know how to dress fashionably can™t do better than ask for
e e
advice
Lors d™un divorce, le juge doit m´ ticuleusement veiller aux int´ rˆ ts de
e ee
chacun des epoux = during a divorce, the judge must meticulously pay attention to the interests of
´
each spouse
Nouez la ¬celle solidement = tie a tight knot in the string
˜Philtre d™amour™ est un vaporisateur que l™on glisse facilement dans son
sac = ˜Philtre d™amour™ is a spray that you can easily slip into your bag
´
Si la soupe vous paraˆt trop epaisse, rallonge-la id´ alement avec un reste
± e
de bouillon = if the soup seems too thick, thin it ideally with some of the left-over stock
Les doutes elle les chasse avec un revers de la main = she brushes away doubts
with the back of her hand
L™auteur d´ crit sans empathie la m´ canique ravageuse d™une
e e
manipulation mentale qui paralyse la victime = the author describes without
empathy the destructive mechanism of mental manipulation which paralyses the victim
Cette version oscille all` grement entre les genres: chansons, cirque,
e
com´ die = this version oscillates merrily between various genres “ song, circus, comedy
e
Maintenez chaque tube en place en tordant soigneusement le ¬l de fer au
dos du tableau = hold each tube in place by carefully twisting the wire at the back of the
picture
R´ parez votre capital jeunesse en att´ nuant visiblement rides et ridules
e e
grace a un extrait de ginkgo = restore your youthfulness by visibly reducing wrinkles and ¬ne
ˆ`
lines with an extract of ginkgo
`
Il montre a la fois l™´ tendue de son talent comme acteur comique et son
e
exp´ rience comme producteur de ¬lms = he demonstrates at one and the same time the
e
extent of his skill as a comic actor and his experience as a ¬lm director
Elle s™est pr´ sent´ e comme une sacri¬´ e, docile comme un phoque,
e e e
r´ sign´ e comme une actrice qui ne trouve pas de roles = she came across like
ˆ
e e
someone being sacri¬ced, docile like a seal and resigned like an actress who can™t ¬nd a part

293
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



400 Adverbs of place
Adverbs of place indicate where an event takes place and answer the question“
Ou est-ce que cela a eu / aura lieu ? = where did / will that happen?
`

Typical adverbs and adverbial expressions are “
a dix kilom` tres = 10 kilometres away
` e
a droite / a gauche = on the right / on the left
` `
ailleurs = elsewhere
a Paris = in Paris
`
au-dedans = on the inside
au-dehors = on the outside
au-dessous = below
au-dessus = above
au loin = in the distance
autour = around
chez moi = at home
ci-dessous = below
ci-dessus = above, aforementioned
dedans = inside
dehors = outside
derri` re = behind
e
dessous = underneath
en bas = down below
en dessous = underneath (indicating static position)
en haut = up above
ici = here
la = there
`
loin = far away
par-dessous = underneath (indicating movement)
partout = everywhere
pr` s = nearby
e

Expressions introduced by dans “
dans la chambre = in the bedroom

294
402 Adverbs of time



Expressions introduced by pr` s de “
e
pr` s de la r´ sidence universitaire = near the hall of residence
e e
Note “
ailleurs = elsewhere, but d™ailleurs = moreover (unless it is being used to mean from
elsewhere) and is a connector.

401 Examples of adverbs of place
Je veux passer toute ma vie ici avec toi = I want to spend all my life here with you
Le dernier concours s™est d´ roul´ a Anvers hier = the last competition took place in
e`
e
Antwerp yesterday
La, ces douze pays seront group´ s dans trois groupes = there, these twelve
` e
countries will be divided into three groups
Il faut que je me relance, que j™aille partout pour trouver ce qu™il me
manque = I™ve got to get myself going again, I™ve got to go everywhere to ¬nd what™s missing in my
life
Servez avec des croutons aill´ s dessus = serve with garlic croutons on top
ˆ e
´e ´
Des tiroirs ont et´ plac´ s dessous pour eviter ce fameux d´ sordre des salles
e e
de bains = drawers have been placed underneath to avoid that notorious untidiness of bathrooms
Dans les intervalles, glissez des plantes vivaces = in the spaces slip in some hardy
plants

402 Adverbs of time
These adverbs indicate the time at or during which an event takes place and answer the
question “
Quand est-ce que cela est arriv´ / arrivera ? = when did / will that happen?
e
Typical adverbs and adverbial expressions are “
actuellement = at present
alors = then, at that time
apr` s = afterwards
e
apr` s la naissance de mon b´ b´ = after my baby™s birth
e ee
a pr´ sent = at present
`e
aujourd™hui = today
auparavant = beforehand
au printemps = in the spring
aussitot = immediately
ˆ
autrefois = in the past
ˆ
bientot = soon

295
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



d™abord = ¬rst of all
d´ ja = already
e`
demain = tomorrow
demain matin = tomorrow morning
depuis = since then
d` s lors = from then on
e
d´ sormais = from now on
e
en ce moment = at the moment
encore = still, again
en f´ vrier = in February
e
en¬n = ¬nally
en hiver = in winter
en retard = late
ensuite = afterwards
fr´ quemment = frequently
e
hier = yesterday
imm´ diatement = immediately
e
jamais = ever
longtemps = a long time
maintenant = now
mercredi soir = Wednesday evening
parfois = at times
pr´ c´ demment = previously
ee
prochainement = soon
quelquefois = sometimes
r´ cemment = recently
e
six semaines plus tard = six weeks later
soudain = suddenly
souvent = often
sur-le-champ = straightaway
tard = late
tot = early
ˆ

296
403 Comments: certain adverbs of time



toujours = always, still
tout a coup = suddenly
`
tout a l™heure = soon, a moment ago
`
tout de suite = immediately
and the ordinal numbers “ premi` rement, deuxi` mement, etc.
e e

403 Comments on certain adverbs of time
Encore and toujours cover similar semantic domains as well as distinct ones “

encore = still
J™ai encore ton d´ bardeur = I™ve still got your top
e
Une transmission de la maladie de la vache folle aux humains est encore
possible = the transmission of mad cow disease to humans is still possible

encore = again
Je lui ai encore demand´ de me prˆ ter le cd = I asked him again to lend me the CD
e e
Elle s™est encore vex´ e quand j™ai fum´ a la maison = she got angry again when I
e`
e
smoked in the house

encore + noun / adverb = still more, even (with a comparative)
Je prendrai encore du vin, s™il vous plaˆt = I™ll have some more wine please
±
Le silence apporte encore du poids a vos propos = silence adds still more weight to
`
what you say
C™est encore mieux si vous le faites comme ca = it™s even better if you do it like that
¸

toujours = still
Elle est toujours la = she™s still there
`
Si tout se passe bien, a 90 ans, vos os seront toujours en bon etat = if
` ´
everything goes well, your bones will still be in good condition when you™re 90

toujours = always
`e
Je vais toujours a l™´ tranger pour mes vacances = I always go abroad for my holidays
Une voix de crooner rocailleuse mais toujours emouvante = a crooner™s voice,
´
gravelly but always moving
For word order with toujours, see 210.
Tard and en retard = late, but with different connotations “ tard bears no negative
meaning “
J™aime me lever tr` s tard le samedi = I like getting up very late on a Saturday
e
Je rentrais tard de la boˆte quand deux mecs qui traˆnaient dans la rue se
± ±
sont approch´ s de moi = I was coming home late from the nightclub when two guys who were
e
hanging about in the street approached me

297
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Only en retard carries the connotation of being behind time “
Il m™a dit que si je continuais d™arriver en retard il me virerait = he told me
that if I kept on arriving late he™d ¬re me
´ e`
Je devenais de plus en plus anxieuse parce que le train etait d´ ja en retard
d™une demi-heure = I was becoming more and more anxious because the train was already half
an hour late

404 Examples of adverbs of time
Ce sera alors au juge d™´ valuer les cons´ quences = then it will be up to the judge to
e e
assess the consequences
Cette capacit´ a tenir son service sera la clef de son match aujourd™hui =
e`
this ability to hold his service [in tennis] will be the key to his match today
Mes parents sont divorc´ s depuis six ans = my parents have been divorced for six years
e
D´ sormais, j™appr´ cie qu™on ne me trouve plus moche = from now on I™m very
e e
pleased that no one ¬nds me ugly any more
Quinze minutes d™entraˆnements musculaires et cardio-vasculaires [1] le
±
´
matin permet de maigrir et de gagner en energie [2] pour toute la journ´ e e
= ¬fteen minutes of muscular and cardio-vascular exercises in the morning help you lose weight and
gain energy for the whole day
Les deux hommes ne s™´ taient pas parl´ depuis samedi midi = the two men
e e
hadn™t spoken since midday Saturday
Depuis la loi Madelin, ces cotisations sont d´ ductibles des revenus = since
e
the ˜loi Madelin™ these subscriptions are deductible against your income
Maintenant je suis dans tous les journaux = now I™m in all the papers
J™ai toujours aim´ les cochons = I™ve always liked pigs
e

405 Adverbs of degree
Adverbs of degree indicate the intensity with which an action expressed by the verb is
undertaken, or the intensity with which a quality expressed by an adjective or adverb is
perceived. Adverbs of degree answer questions introduced by combien? = how much?
Typical adverbs are “
absolument = absolutely
a peine = hardly
`
a peu pr` s = almost
` e
assez = enough
au moins = at least
aussi = also
autant = as much
beaucoup = much, a lot

298
406 Comments: certain adverbs of degree



bien = really
compl` tement = completely
e
de loin = by far
d´ mesur´ ment = disproportionately
e e
encore = still, again
enorm´ ment = enormously
´ e
enti` rement = entirely
e
immens´ ment = enormously
e
juste = just
mˆ me = even
e
moins = less
particuli` rement = particularly
e
peu = little
plus = more
plutot = rather
ˆ
presque = almost
si = so
tant = so much
tellement = so, so much
terriblement = terribly
totalement = totally
tout(e) = quite, completely
tout a fait = completely
`
tr` s = very
e
trop = too, too much
un peu = a little, a little bit
vraiment = really, truly


406 Comments on certain adverbs of degree
Assez and trop “ when followed by an in¬nitive, the preposition pour is used to intro-
duce it “
Il a assez de talent artistique pour s™attirer le respect des autres en faisant
des caricatures des profs = he has enough artistic talent to attract the others™ respect by
drawing caricatures of the teachers

299
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Ces chaussures sont trop serr´ es pour marcher confortablement = these shoes
e
are too tight to walk comfortably in

Presque never elides the ¬nal “e before a vowel (except in the compound une
presqu™ˆle = peninsula)
±
Tout “ when used as an adverb, tout varies for number and gender before feminine
adjectives beginning with a consonant, and varies optionally if a feminine adjective
beginning with a vowel or non-aspirate h is involved, but not in other circumstances (that
is not in masculine plural) “
Le message doit etre tout simple = the message must be quite simple
ˆ
Les hommes tout seuls attendent celles qui s™imposeront a eux = men who are
`
completely alone wait for women who will impose themselves on them
Ch´ rie, tu es tout / toute irr´ sistible = darling, you™re quite irresistible
e e
Entre, la maison est toute vide = come in, the house is quite empty
Elles ont une beaut´ toute froide = they™ve got a really cold beauty
e


407 Examples of adverbs of degree
Merci de me r´ pondre “ je suis assez press´ e = thank you for answering, I™m in quite
e e
a hurry
´
Si l™on epouse quelqu™un qu™on n™aime pas assez, cela tourne vite au
calvaire = if you marry someone you don™t love enough, it will soon become a nightmare
Les bijoutiers vous accordent leur savoir-faire aussi longtemps que vous
gardez votre bijou = the jewellers will give you their expert advice for as long as you keep the item
of jewellery
Nous avons un tr` s bon indice de satisfaction = we have a very good record of
e
satisfaction
Il sont r´ mun´ r´ s entre 75% et 100% du SMIC, soit un peu plus que ce que
e ee
pr´ voit la l´ gislation = they are paid at a rate between 75% and 100% of the minimum
e e
wage, in other words a little bit more than is laid down by legislation
Il joue un patron de salle de gym totalement m´ galo = he plays the completely
e
megalomaniac owner of a gym
On est juste amoureux “ ou en est le mal? = we™re just in love “ what™s wrong with
`
that?
Il a b´ n´ ¬ci´ de quarante-huit heures de repos presque complet = he pro¬ted
ee e
from forty-eight hours of almost complete rest
Un peu moins nombreux que les organisateurs ne l™esp´ raient = a little less
e
well-attended than the organisers were hoping for
Etre gˆ n´ e par l™attitude de son petit ami en public, est-ce donc l™aimer un
ee
peu moins? = being embarrassed by the attitude of your boyfriend in public, does it mean you love
him a little less?
300
409 Comparative / superlative adverbs



Les fans lui apport` rent une dose suppl´ mentaire d™´ nergie bien
e e e
n´ cessaire pour passer le prochain obstacle = the fans gave him an extra dose of
e
energy, very necessary to overcome the next obstacle
Je me sens vraiment respect´ e = I feel really respected
e


408 assez, autant, beaucoup, bien, tant, tellement, trop
These adverbs of degree can also function as quanti¬ers modifying nouns “
Elle a recu assez de conseils pour savoir comment se comporter dans cette
¸
situation = she™s had enough advice to know how to act in such a situation
Je ne savais pas que cela couterait autant d™argent que cela = I didn™t know that
ˆ
that would cost as much money as that
Pour obtenir un effet graphique, il faut beaucoup de ¬‚eurs de couleurs
diff´ rentes = in order to obtain a graphic effect, you need a lot of ¬‚owers of different colours
e
Bien des chemins les plus escarp´ s demandent une dur´ e d™au moins cinq
e e
heures = many of the steepest tracks require at least ¬ve hours
Apr` s tant de recherches, on peut en¬n conclure qu™une femme avec un
e
long nez et un gros visage doit opter pour les cheveux longs ou au carr´ = e
after so much research, we can conclude that a woman with a long nose and fat face should go for long or
square-cut hair
Nous avons eu tellement de probl` mes que nous avons d´ cid´ de nous
e ee
s´ parer = we™ve had so many problems that we™ve decided to split up
e
Tout le monde est d™accord, nous importons trop de produits et n™en
exportons pas assez = everyone agrees “ we import too many products and don™t export enough


409 Comparative and superlative forms of adverbs
The comparative forms of most adverbs in French are created by placing plus, moins
or aussi before the adverb; the superlative by placing le plus or le moins before the
adverb “
Le psychiatre va plus loin = the psychiatrist goes further
´
Pour eviter les pieds empestants, changez vos chaussettes plus
r´ guli` rement = to avoid stinking feet, change your socks more regularly
e e
Il le dit d™autant plus facilement qu™il faisait partie de ceux qui avaient
refus´ de tirer = it was all the easier for him to say it because he was among those who refused to
e
shoot
Elle a d´ cid´ d™agir au plus vite = she decided to act as quickly as possible
ee
Ce rem` de bloque moins ponctuellement les manifestations corporelles
e
gˆ nantes = this treatment blocks embarrassing physical manifestations less selectively
e
ˆe
Il y a beaucoup d™autres chanteurs assez ag´ s qui continuent, mais ils
chantent moins bien = there are lots of other fairly old singers who carry on, but they sing less
well
301
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



´ ˆ
S™ils etaient aussi lachement li´ s aux causes honorables que lui, ils
e
n™auraient pas accompli grand™chose = if they were as loosely linked to noble causes as
him, they wouldn™t have achieved very much
However, a very small number of adverbs of degree have special comparative and superla-
tive forms “

beaucoup = much
Plus = more; le plus = the most
ˆ
Ne mangez que des trucs bons, on brule plus quand on diversi¬e les mets
= only eat good-quality stuff, you burn up more when you vary what you eat
Ne sautez aucun repas “ on stocke deux fois plus le repas suivant = don™t skip
meals “ you stock up twice as much at the next meal
For the comparison of adjectives, see 257.
English the more . . . the more . . . is conveyed by plus . . . plus in French (see 201); as
far as word order is concerned with adjectives, in French plus precedes the verb and the
adjective follows it
´
Une etude a montr´ que plus la main est situ´ e bas sur la fourchette, plus
e e
la personne est grosse = a study has shown that the lower you hold your fork, the fatter you are
ˆ
Plus vous etes angoiss´ , plus vous tremblez, et plus vous tremblez, plus
e
vous angoissez a l™id´ e que l™on s™en apercoive = the more anxious you are, the more
` e ¸
you tremble, and the more you tremble, the more anxious you become that people are noticing
Plus j™avancais, plus je r´ alisais que c™´ tait moi et non les autres qu™il
¸ e e
fallait comprendre = the older I got, the more I realised it was myself and not others that I had
to understand

bien = well
Mieux = better; le mieux = best
Vous etes arriv´ a vous connaˆtre ? “ Mieux qu™avant = you™ve managed to get to
ˆ e` ±
know yourself ? “ Better than before
ˆ ˆ
La digestion commence en machant “ alors, machez et vous dig´ rerez e
mieux = digestion begins with chewing “ so, chew and you™ll digest your food better
Ce n™est pas votre cas! “ Tant mieux! = that™s not your style! “ So much the better
Sur quels vols mange-t-on le mieux ? = on what ¬‚ights do you eat best?
Elle a dans´ le* mieux de la salle = she danced the best in the room
e
* le not la (agreeing with elle), because mieux is an adverb and not an adjective.
Moins bien = less well, le moins bien = least well, aussi bien = as well are formed
normally “ but plus bien is not possible.

mal = badly
has a double set of comparative and superlative forms “
plus mal / pis = worse; le plus mal / le pis = the worst

302
410 Adverbs of af¬rmation, negation, doubt



The forms with mal are the normal forms “
Il a jou´ plus mal que d™habitude = he played worse than usual
e
Cela va de plus en plus mal maintenant “ elle ne me parle mˆ me pas = e
things are going from bad to worse now “ she doesn™t even speak to me
Il a organis´ son horaire le plus mal du monde “ il est compl` tement
e e
epuis´ = he™s organised his timetable in the worst possible way “ he™s completely worn out
´ e
Il s™est d´ fendu le plus mal des candidats = he performed the least well of the
e
candidates

Pis is limited to a small number of ¬xed expressions “
Elle ne te prˆ te pas attention “ tant pis pour toi! = she doesn™t pay any attention to
e
you “ hard luck on you!
Tout va de mal en pis = everything™s going from bad to worse
Si vous ne faites rien, la situation va aller de mal en pis “ if you don™t do
something, things will go from bad to worse

peu = little
Moins = less; le moins = the least
Tricot, poterie ou peinture, peu importe l™activit´ , ca fait un bien fou =

knitting, pottery or painting, it doesn™t matter which activity, it does you a tremendous amount of
good
On rit moins qu™on aurait pens´ devant cette com´ die peu r´ ussie = we
e e e
laughed less than you would have thought at this not very successful comedy
Elle a peu d™imagination = she™s got little imagination
Si vous avez moins d™un kilo a perdre, oubliez les r´ gimes, amusez-vous =
` e
if you™ve got less than a kilo to lose, forget diets, enjoy yourself
Le corps supporte de moins en moins bien d™ˆ tre priv´ de nourriture = our
e e
bodies cope less and less well with being deprived of food
Je l™aime le moins du tout = I like it the least of all


410 Adverbs of af¬rmation, negation and doubt
Typical adverbs are “
bien entendu = of course
bien sur = of course
ˆ
certainement = certainly
certes = certainly
evidemment = obviously
´
non = no

303
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



oui = yes
peut-ˆ tre = perhaps
e
probablement = probably
sans aucun doute = without a doubt
sans doute = probably
si = yes
vraisemblablement = probably

oui and si
Oui is used to say yes to af¬rmative yes/no questions, whereas si is used to say yes to
negative yes/no questions, contradicting the expected answer “
Tu l™as fait? “ Oui = have you done it? “ Yes
Tu ne l™as pas fait ? “ Si = you haven™t done it? “ Yes (I have)
Oui = so in the following type of expressions “
J™esp` re que oui = I hope so
e
non = no, not “ see 428.
J™apprends a dire non = I™m learning to say no
`
J™esp` re que non = I hope not
e
Evidemment que non = obviously not
The strength of the reply may be reinforced by adding
mais “
mais oui / mais si = de¬nitely
mais non = de¬nitely not
Note that merci can be used = no thank you “
Tu veux des sels de bain pour ton anniversaire ? “ Merci = would you like some
bath-salts for your birthday? “ No thank you

411 Examples of adverbs of af¬rmation, negation and doubt
Une assurance « tous risques » couvre bien sur les frais m´ dicaux =
ˆ e
comprehensive insurance certainly covers medical expenses
Mon amie m™a dit que le chocolat est probablement la cause de mon acn´ e
= my friend has told me that chocolate is probably the cause of my acne
Sans aucun doute une botte noire, pointue et ¬ne, ca titille l™inconscient
¸
masculine = beyond a doubt a black, pointed, slender boot titillates the masculine subconscious
Si vous ne faites rien, la situation va vraisemblablement empirer = if you
don™t do anything, the situation will probably get worse


304
413 Adverbs as connectors



Ne serait-ce pas une facon de me manipuler ? “ Un peu, sans doute =
¸
wouldn™t that be a way of manipulating me? “ A little, probably
Votre poids varie, mais vous ne changez pas de r´ gime alimentaire “ ceci
e
pourrait bien entendu etre un symptome de la r´ tention d™eau = your weight
ˆ ˆ e
varies but you haven™t changed your eating habits “ this might of course be a symptom of water
retention

412 Interrogative adverbs
The interrogative adverbs are “
combien? = how much, how many?
comment? = how?
ou? = where?
`
pourquoi? = why?
quand? = when?
These are discussed in 479.

413 Adverbs as connectors
The role of a connector is to indicate the connection between what is being said and
what was said before. Connectors are not integrated into the clause but express some
evaluation or comment on the speaker™s/writer™s part.
Typical connectors are “
ainsi = in the same way
alors = so
au contraire = on the contrary
au / du moins = at least
aussi = thus
autrement dit = in other words
cependant = yet
c™est-a-dire = in other words
`
d™ailleurs = besides
de toute facon / mani` re = anyway
¸ e
en cons´ quence = consequently
e
en effet = in effect
en fait = in fact
en g´ n´ ral = in general
ee
en revanche = on the other hand


305
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



en somme = brie¬‚y, in a nutshell
evidemment = obviously
´
heureusement = fortunately
malheureusement = unfortunately
n´ anmoins = nevertheless
e
or = now
par cons´ quent = consequently
e
par contre = on the other hand
plutot = rather
ˆ
pourtant = however
puis = then
quand mˆ me = even so
e
seulement = only
soit = so be it

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