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. 15
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un quart = a quarter
un cinqui` me = a ¬fth
e
un sixi` me = a sixth
e
un septi` me = a seventh
e
un huiti` me = an eighth
e
un neuvi` me = a ninth
e

332
439 Ordinal numbers



un dixi` me = a tenth, etc
e
When the fraction is above one, the following construction, using the de¬nite article
rather than no article as in English, is used “
Les deux tiers des lecteurs pr´ f` rent les articles sur les rapports sexuels =
ee
two thirds of the readership prefer articles on sexual relationships
Les trois quarts des parents ont contact´ le site interminist´ riel de
e e
protection des mineurs sur Internet = three quarters of parents have contacted the
interministerial site for the protection of minors on the Internet
un et demi = one and a half
deux et trois quarts = two and three quarters

Decimals
French uses a comma where English uses a decimal point and treats the numbers after
the comma as one complete number, not as separate units “
2,5 = deux virgule cinq = 2.5
0,54 = z´ ro virgule cinquante-quatre = 0.54
e
6,268 = six virgule deux cent soixante-huit = 6.268


439 Ordinal numbers
1st“10th
premier (m), premi` re (f) = ¬rst
e
deuxi` me, second = second
e
troisi` me = third
e
quatri` me = fourth
e
cinqui` me = ¬fth
e
sixi` me = sixth
e
septi` me = seventh
e
huiti` me = eighth
e
neuvi` me = ninth
e
dixi` me = tenth
e

11th“20th
onzi` me = eleventh
e
douzi` me = twelfth
e
treizi` me = thirteenth
e
quatorzi` me = fourteenth
e
quinzi` me = ¬fteenth
e

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A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



seizi` me = sixteenth
e
dix-septi` me = seventeenth
e
dix-huiti` me = eighteenth
e
dix-neuvi` me = nineteenth
e
vingti` me = twentieth
e


21st, 22nd, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 70th, 71st, 80th, 81st, 90th, 91st, 100th,
101st, 200th, 1,000th, 2,000th, 1,000,000th
vingt et uni` me = twenty-¬rst
e
vingt-deuxi` me = twenty-second
e
trenti` me = thirtieth
e
trente et uni` me = thirty-¬rst
e
trente-deuxi` me = thirty-second
e
soixante-dixi` me = seventieth, septanti` me in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada
e e
soixante-onzi` me = seventy-¬rst, septante et uni` me
e e
quatre-vingti` me = eightieth, huitanti` me in Switzerland
e e
quatre-vingt-uni` me = eighty-¬rst
e
quatre-vingt-dixi` me = ninetieth, nonanti` me in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada
e e
quatre-vingt-onzi` me = ninety-¬rst, nonante et uni` me
e e
centi` me = hundredth
e
cent et uni` me = hundred and ¬rst
e
deux-centi` me = two hundredth
e
milli` me = thousandth
e
deux milli` me = two thousandth
e
millioni` me = millionth
e
Vous etes la deuxi` me personne a me poser cette question = you™re the second
ˆ `
e
person to ask me that question
ee `
Le premier et le centi` me b´ b´ s a naˆtre le premier janvier recevront un
e ±
cadeau de l™hopital = the ¬rst and the hundredth baby to be born on January 1st will receive a
ˆ
present from the hospital


440 Telling the time
All times are introduced by il est = it is. The 24-hour clock is used for public purposes
but not always for more personal use. It is obligatory to use heures (except when it is
midi or minuit) when giving the time.

334
440 Telling the time



Hours
Quelle heure est-il? = what™s the time?
Il est une heure = it™s one o™clock
Il est midi / minuit = it™s midday / midnight
Il est quatre heures / seize heures = it™s four o™clock / four pm

Quarter past and quarter to the hour
Il est deux heures et quart = it™s quarter past two
Il est quatre heures moins le quart = it™s quarter to four
Il est huit heures quinze = it™s eight ¬fteen

Half past the hour
Il est cinq heures et demie = it™s half past ¬ve
Il est midi / minuit et demi = it™s half past midday / midnight
Il est neuf heures trente = it™s nine thirty

Other times
Il est sept heures cinq = it™s ¬ve past seven
Il est onze heures moins vingt = it™s twenty to eleven

12-hour clock versus 24-hour clock
The 12-hour clock speci¬es the time of day “ du matin / de l™apr` s-midi / du
e
soir and uses times with moins / et “
Il est quatre heures moins dix de l™apr` s-midi = it™s ten to four in the afternoon/pm
e
Il est dix heures et demie du soir = it™s half past ten in the evening
The 24-hour clock does not use moins / et nor does it specify the time of day; on the
other hand, it speci¬es the minutes after the hour “
Il est seize heures dix = it™s ten past four pm
Il est vingt-deux heures trente = it™s ten thirty pm, half past ten
Il est vingt-trois heures cinquante-cinq = it™s ¬ve to midnight

Precisely
Il est six heures pr´ cises / justes = it™s exactly six o™clock
e
Il est six heures sonnantes / pile = it™s dead on six o™clock

Approximately
Il est vers neuf heures / vers les neuf heures = it™s about nine o™clock
`
A environ dix heures, je t™appellerai = at about ten o™clock, I™ll give you a call

335
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



441 Dates
The date is always preceded by le, which is not contracted before numbers beginning
with a vowel or non-aspirate h. Apart from le premier, cardinal numbers are used with
dates. Names of months and days always begin with a lower-case letter.

Months
Quelle est la date aujourd™hui / On est le combien aujourd™hui? = what™s the
date today / what™s today™s date?
le premier juin = 1st June
le deux juillet = 2nd July
ˆ
le huit aout = 8th August
le onze septembre = 11th September
le trente et un octobre = 31st October

Years
2005 = deux mil / mille cinq
When giving a year including a hundred, it is necessary to say cent “
1950 = mille / mil neuf cent cinquante / dix-neuf cent cinquante
L™an is used to refer to speci¬c years, les ann´ es to decades “
e
l™an 2000
les ann´ es soixante = the sixties (numbers are invariable)
e


Days
Referring to a speci¬c day, no article is used “
Le match retour aura lieu samedi prochain = the return match will take place next
Saturday
Lundi, je laverai les serviettes de toilette et mon peignoir de bain = I™ll wash
my bathroom towels and my bathrobe on Monday
With a date, a de¬nite article is required “
Le match retour aura lieu le samedi 23 octobre / samedi le 23 octobre = the
return match will take place on Saturday 23rd October
Elle est n´ e mardi le 8 novembre = she was born on Tuesday 8th November
e
Otherwise use of the de¬nite article indicates an habitual occurrence “
Ils s™entraˆnent le lundi soir et le mercredi apr` s-midi = they train on Monday
± e
evenings and Wednesday afternoons


336
442 Miscellaneous matters



Le dimanche le culte a lieu a 10 heures et demie = on Sundays, the service is at half
`
past ten

Periods of the day / the year
The de¬nite article is used to indicate an habitual occurrence “
Je trouve dif¬cile de me lever le matin = I ¬nd it hard to get up in the morning
Elle fait la lessive le matin et le repassage l™apr` s-midi = she does the washing in
e
the morning and the ironing in the afternoon
L™´ t´ / en et´ , il faut ouvrir les fenˆ tres pour laisser entrer l™air frais = in
´e
ee e
summer you have to open your windows to let the fresh air in
Le printemps / au printemps j™aime ne plus porter les lourds vˆ tements de e
l™hiver = in the spring I like not having to wear heavy winter clothes any more


442 Miscellaneous matters
Cardinal numbers
Used with titles, except for ¬rst; English uses ordinal numbers consistently “
Francois I = Francois Premier = Francis 1st
¸ ¸
Louis XV = Louis Quinze = Louis 15th
Page and chapter numbers
a la page 36 = on page 36
`
au chapitre quatre = in chapter 4
Word order “ cardinal number + ordinal number or adjective in French but ordinal or
adjective + cardinal in English
Les cinq premiers mois tout s™est bien pass´ = everything went well during the ¬rst
e
¬ve months
Pendant les six derni` res semaines j™ai port´ ma queue-de-cheval tr` s
e e e
haut = for the last six weeks I™ve worn my pony-tail very high

Ordinal numbers
Used with districts of Paris
le seizi` me arrondissement / le seizi` me = the 16th arrondissement
e e
To express the number of times an action is repeated, fois = time(s) is used “
Pour la troisi` me fois, je te conseille de ne pas porter les talons de plus de
e
sept centim` tres = for the third time, I advise you not to wear heels more than seven centimetres
e
high
´e
Pour la eni` me fois, tais-toi! = for the nth time, shut up!
Je te l™ai dit cinq fois = I™ve told you ¬ve times


337
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Exercises
´
Ecrivez en mots les chiffres qui ne sont pas en italique dans les phrases
suivantes “
`
a Le nombre de bˆ tes malades est pass´ , en France, de 274 en 2001 a 137
e e
en 2003 pour un cheptel de 11 millions de tˆ tes.
e
b 4, 58 millions “ c™est, en Inde, le nombre de personnes infect´ es par le
e
virus du sida.
c Tous les Francais peuvent maintenant consulter les ¬ches
¸
biographiques de plus de 1 325 000 soldats morts pour la France pendant
la guerre de ™14“18.
d Entre 229 000 et 269 000 Francais sont victimes chaque ann´ e d™une
¸ e
infection alimentaire.
e Guy Lux, 83 ans, et Georges Coulonges, 80 ans, sont morts cette
semaine.
f Plus de 100 000 baladeurs devraient se vendre cette ann´ e, soit une
e
hausse de 250% en un an.




338
Chapter 12 Sentences and clauses


Sentences

443 Sentences
Sentences in writing
Sentences are very visible in writing “ they begin with a capital letter and end with a
full stop, question mark or exclamation mark “ and what comes next is usually another
sentence beginning with another capital letter and so on. When we write, we automatically
construct what we want to say out of sentences “ sentences are the building blocks of
connected language, and we use punctuation marks of various types to show where
sentences begin and end and how they hang together internally.

Sentences in speech
However, in speech, things are different. When we speak we are not so aware of forming
sentences “ our speech seems to ¬‚ow naturally, we do not think in terms of full stops
and commas, and we have little consciousness of passing from one sentence to another.
However, if we transcribe our speech into writing, and if we analyse what we say, we
would soon discover that the most convenient way of dividing it up is into sentences.
So, in order to discuss speech and how it is constructed, we need to have recourse to
the concept of the sentence and to realise that sentences underlie the way we express
ourselves in speech as well as in writing. There are of course differences between the two
modes of expression, and these will be pointed out in what follows.
Therefore, we can say that sentences constitute the normal unit into which what we
want to write or say is divided for communication.

The normal structure of a sentence
Normally, sentences consist of one or more clauses.
Sentences consisting of a single clause “
Dans ce dossier vous allez entendre beaucoup de choses rassurantes = in
this report, you™re going to hear a lot of reassuring things
Je suis tr` s content pour les joueurs = I am very happy for the players
e
Sentences consisting of two clauses “
Mon dermatologue m™a avertie: l™acn´ mal trait´ peut laisser des
e e
cicatrices = my dermatologist has told me “ badly treated acne can leave scars
On me trouve nulle, mais on ne peut pas me taxer de tricher = you may think
me useless, but you can™t accuse me of cheating
Si votre b´ b´ a soif, donnez-lui un biberon = if your baby is thirsty, give him a bottle
ee
Sentences consisting of three clauses “

339
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Lorsque quelqu™un bat mon record du monde, c™est encore plus excitant
car je fais tout pour le r´ cup´ rer = when someone breaks my world record, it™s even more
e e
exciting, because I do my utmost to get it back
ˆ
Lavez les pommes, pelez-les ou non selon les gouts et coupez-les en
lamelles = wash the apples, peel them or not according to taste and cut them into slices
Sentence consisting of four clauses “
´
Les etudes scienti¬ques montrent incontestablement que les oestrog` nes e
`
limitent la perte osseuse, mais la masse osseuse diminue a nouveau d` s e
qu™on arrˆ te de les prendre = scienti¬c studies demonstrate incontrovertibly that oestrogen
e
limits bone loss, but bone mass diminishes again as soon as you stop taking it
Sentence consisting of ¬ve clauses “
´
Il parle tr` s fort, il rit aux eclats, drague tout ce qui bouge, se mˆ le des
e e
conversations des autres = he speaks at the top of his voice, guffaws with laughter, chats up
anything that moves and interrupts other people™s conversations
However, some sentences may consist of a single word or phrase, units smaller than
a clause. Grammatically speaking, Salut! is as much a sentence as any of the above
examples “ see 444, 446, 453.


444 Sentence types
There are four types of sentence:
Declarative sentences which make statements “
Ma femme r´ serve toujours une place dans son lit pour son chien = my wife
e
always reserves a place in her bed for her dog
Dans les stations-service, on voit des af¬chettes interdisant les mobiles =
in petrol stations you can see notices forbidding the use of mobile phones (interdisant is not a ¬nite
verb according to the de¬nition given below; it is a present participle and as such does
not exhibit person, tense or mood)
Interrogative sentences which ask questions “
Que conseillez-vous? = what do you advise?
Ne serait-ce pas une facon de me manipuler? = would it not be a way of
¸
manipulating me?
Quelle est la diff´ rence entre le « bon » et le « mauvais » cholest´ rol? =
e e
what™s the difference between ˜good™ and ˜bad™ cholesterol?
Imperative sentences which give orders “
Ne transformez pas tout en n´ gatif! = don™t be negative about everything!
e
`
N™h´ sitez pas a peindre, une petite entr´ e par exemple, de la mˆ me couleur
e e e
du sol au plafond = don™t hesitate to do some decorating, a little entrance hall, for example, the
same colour from ¬‚oor to ceiling


340
446 Minor sentences



Apportez une touche de gaiet´ dans votre cuisine avec cet accroche-torchon
e
en bois peint! = introduce a touch of light-heartedness into your kitchen with this painted wood
duster-holder
Dansons sous la pluie = let™s dance in the rain
Exclamative sentences which convey exclamations “
Qu™elle est belle, cette ¬lle! = how beautiful that girl is!
Salaud! = blighter!


Sentence structure

445 Sentence structure
There are two sentence types “


Minor sentences and major sentences

446 Minor sentences
1 In speech, sentences are often left un¬nished, or the speaker may ¬nd it satisfactory
to express him- or herself with a single word or phrase. In this way, the speaker
avoids using major sentences or main clauses “ but the required sense is conveyed
successfully. It is not essential to speak in sentences to make oneself fully understood.
2 In written French, in journalistic French in particular, articles, reports and interviews
are often punctuated in idiosyncratic ways; in this way prominence may be given to
certain elements of what is being written. And if the writer is trying to imitate
speech, he or she will use similar techniques to those described above.
Minor sentences are sentences which do not contain a main clause. In other words,
they may consist of “
1 a subordinate clause “
ˆ
Pour etre star aussi jeune, il faut qu™il y ait eu un coach parental
derri` re. Parce que c™est souvent le d´ sir du parent qui pousse l™enfant
e e
subordinate clause
= to be a star so young, there has to have been a parent coach behind her. Because it™s often the
parent™s desire which pushes the child
` ˆ
A en croire les enfants le gouter est un de leurs repas pr´ f´ r´ s. ee e
` ˆ `
Encouragez-les a gouter. Des petits plats qui plaisent a nos enfants
subordinate clause
= If we are to believe our children, a snack is one of their favourite meals. Encourage them. Small
dishes that our children like
2 a phrase
`
A vos marques! = on your marks!


341
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Le monde a l™envers? Non, pas tout a fait = the world back to front? No, not quite
` `
´
Un choc! C™est le souvenir que je garde du premier baiser echang´ avec e
mon copain actuel = a shock! That™s the memory I™ve got of the ¬rst kiss I exchanged with
my current boyfriend
Simplement hors norme = simply out of the ordinary (advertisement)
3 a single word
Chouette! = great!
Bon! = ¬ne!
Comment? = what?

447 Major sentences
Major sentences are sentences that contain at least one main clause.
Major sentences fall into four sentence types:

1 Simple sentences
These consist of a single main clause
Chacun doit suivre la religion de son coeur = everyone must follow the religion of their
heart
Boire ou s´ duire, il faut choisir = you have to choose whether to drink or seduce
e

2 Compound sentences
These consist of at least two main clauses linked by a coordinating conjunction.
` `
Je m™int´ resse a d™autres choses qu™au tennis, comme a la mode, mais mon sport
e
main clause 1 main clause 2
reste ma seule occupation professionnelle = I™m interested in other things besides tennis, such as
fashion, but my sport remains my only professional occupation

3 Complex sentences
These consist of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses “
pratiquez l™hypnose = if he resists, use hypnosis
S™il r´ siste,
e
subordinate clause main clause

4 Compound-complex sentences
These consist of at least two main clauses and at least one subordinate clause
Je travaille comme une folle depuis que j™ai cinq ans et
main clause 1 subordinate clause 1 main clause 2a
si on parle d™un conte de f´ es a mon sujet, je ne le vis que cette ann´ e =
e` e
subordinate clause 2 main clause 2b

I™ve worked like someone possessed since I was ¬ve and if someone mentions a fairytale about me, I™ve
only been living it this year


342
449 Compound sentences



448 Simple sentences
The single main clause may be declarative, interrogative, imperative or exclamative “

Declarative
L™emploi de mannequins ramasseuses de balles est tax´ de sexisme par la e
´
secr´ taire d™Etat espagnole a l™´ galit´ des sexes = the use of models as ball girls is
`e
e e
criticised as sexism by the Spanish Secretary of State for sexual equality
`
A 18 ans, seule une personne sur cinq a encore toutes ses dents en bon
etat = at 18 only one person in ¬ve has still got all their teeth in good condition
´

Interrogative
Comment puis-je faire pour af¬ner mes hanches et mes jambes? = what can I
do to slim down my hips and legs?
Pourquoi les surfeurs ont-ils les yeux bleus? = why have surfers got blue eyes?

Imperative
Pour un maquillage facile, focalisez-vous sur les yeux, les pommettes et les
l` vres = to make yourself up easily, concentrate on your eyes, cheeks and lips
e
Pond´ rez vos r´ actions = weigh your reactions carefully
e e

Exclamative
C™est bon a la cantine scolaire! = it™s good in the school canteen!
`
Tout ca, c™´ tait pour rire! = that was just for a joke!
¸ e
Qu™a cela ne tienne! = never mind!
`


449 Compound sentences
A compound sentence consists of two or more main clauses, which may or may not
be linked by coordinating conjunctions. Compound sentences are more often than not
declarative, but may also be imperative, less often interrogative or exclamative.
Compound sentence consisting of two main clauses “
`
A 40 ans, le mˆ me r´ gime ne nous fait pas perdre un gramme et
e e
clause 1 clause 2
s™apparente a un vrai calvaire = at 40, the same diet doesn™t make us lose a gramme and
`
is just like torture
Compound sentence consisting of more than two main clauses “
ˆ eˆ
Sur sc` ne, je semble etre tr` s sure de moi, mais dans la vraie vie, je suis hyper-timide,
e
clause 1 clause 2
`
je ne trouve rien a dire, je deviens nerveuse, j™ai des noeuds au ventre
clause 3 clause 4 clause 5
= on stage, I seem to be very sure of myself, but in real life, I™m hyper-shy, I can™t ¬nd anything to say, I become
nervous, my stomach is all knotted up


343
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Compound sentence consisting of three main clauses without coordinating conjunc-
tions “
Je ne me plains pas du tout, je ne d´ sesp` re pas non plus, ce n™est pas un
e e
etat n´ gatif = I don™t complain at all, I don™t despair either, it™s not a negative condition
´ e


450 Complex sentences
A complex sentence consists of a main clause and at least one subordinate clause. Complex
sentences are more often than not declarative, less often imperative, interrogative or
exclamative.
The subordinate clause can precede, follow or be embedded in the main clause.
Main clause + subordinate clause
`
A 20 ans, on peut se permettre d™essayer un r´ gime fantaisiste, qui nous fait tout
e
main clause subordinate clause
de suite retrouver une taille de guˆ pe = at 20 you can allow yourself to experiment with a fanciful
e
diet, which gives you back your wasp-like waist straightaway
Freud appelle « transfert » le mouvement par lequel le patient revit un fragment
main clause subordinate clause
de son pass´ = Freud calls ˜transfer™ the movement by which the patient relives a fragment of his past
e

Subordinate clause + main clause “
ˆ
Si vous m™avez bien compris, j™ai du m™exprimer mal
subordinate clause main clause
= if you understood me easily, I must have expressed myself badly

Quoi qu™il arrive, gardez la tˆ te froide = whatever happens, keep cool
e
subordinate clause main clause

Main clause + embedded subordinate clause “
Un jour, une jolie Su´ doise, avec qui je sortais, m™a redonn´ con¬ance =
e e
main clause a subordinate clause main clause b
one day, a pretty Swedish girl I was going out with gave me back my con¬dence
` `´
Le mari et les beaux-parents, qui ont aid´ leur ¬ls a battre et a etrangler leur
e
main clause a subordinate clause
belle-¬lle, ont et´ inculp´ s de tentative de meurtre = the husband and parents-in-law, who
´e e
main clause b
helped their son to beat and strangle their daughter-in-law, have been charged with attempted murder

In addition, a second or subsequent subordinate clause can depend upon an earlier
subordinate clause “
Pour chasser nos kilos intelligemment, il n™existe pas une solution mais
main clause
´
plusieurs, parce qu™on ne maigrit pas de la mˆ me facon quand on est etudiante
e ¸
subordinate clause 1 subordinate clause 2
ou m` re de famille de trois ados = in order to rid ourselves of our extra pounds in an intelligent way,
e
there is no single solution but several, because we don™t slim in the same way when we™re students or the mother of
three teenagers


344
452 Coordinating conjunctions


`
A moins que votre linge soit vraiment tr` s sale, ne lavez pas vos beaux T-shirts
e
subordinate clause 1 main clause
` `
blancs a une temp´ rature sup´ rieure a 40 degr´ s, surtout s™ils sont en ¬bres
e e e
subordinate clause 2
` moins que vous n™ayez d´ cid´ — de vous fabriquer un T-shirt a la `
naturelles, a ee
subordinate clause 3
mode m´ trosexuel—— , tr` s moulant = unless your linen is really very dirty, don™t wash your lovely
e e
white T-shirts at a temperature over 40 degrees, especially if they™re natural ¬bre, unless you™ve decided to make
yourself a fashionable metrosexual T-shirt, very body-hugging

`
Note that the use of expletive ne is optional with a moins que “ not present in the ¬rst
case, it is inserted in the second “ see 417.
——
un m´ trosexuel = a heterosexual man very concerned about his personal appearance and
e
hygiene

451 Compound-complex sentences
As their name implies, these sentences combine the clause combinations associated with
a compound and a complex sentence. Compound-complex sentences are usually declar-
ative. The permutations are considerable.
Main clause + subordinate clause + main clause

´
Des millions d™ˆ tres humains rˆ vent d™une vie eternelle, et s™il pleut le
e e
dimanche apr` s-midi, ils ne savent pas quoi faire = millions of human beings
e
dream of eternal life, and if it rains Sunday afternoon, they don™t know what to do

Subordinate clause + main clause + subordinate clause + main clause

Quand nous sommes jeunes, nous d´ pensons notre sant´ pour faire
e e
fortune; et quand nous sommes vieux, nous d´ pensons notre fortune pour
e
nous refaire une sant´ = when we™re young, we expend our health to build a fortune; and when
e
we™re old, we spend a fortune to rebuild our health

Main clause + subordinate clause + main clause + subordinate clause + subordinate
clause + main clause

´
La femme epouse l™homme en esp´ rant qu™il va changer, et il ne change
e
´
pas, alors que l™homme epouse la femme en esp´ rant qu™elle ne changera
e
pas, et elle change = a woman marries a man hoping that he™ll change, and he doesn™t, whereas
a man marries a woman hoping that she won™t change, and she does

452 Coordinating conjunctions
The coordinating conjunctions in French are “ car, et, mais, ni, ou. Coordi-
nating conjunctions link clauses and elements of clauses at the same syntactic level,
whereas subordinating conjunctions show a dependence of what follows on what pre-
cedes. In other words, coordinating conjunctions link subject with subject, object with
object, adjective with adjective, adverb with adverb, clause with clause, whereas sub-
ordinating conjunctions link a subordinate clause with a clause of higher level in the
sentence.


345
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



car = for, because
The conjunction car is usually translated as for in English, but, since for sounds very
pedantic in English, in the examples of its use below it is translated by because “
linking elements “
`
La vision a distance des ¬lles est plus r´ duite que celle des garcons car
e ¸
plus petites en moyenne de 10 cm que les garcons = girls™ long distance sight is more
¸
reduced than that of boys, because they™re smaller than boys by 10 cm on average
linking clauses “
Dans ce m´ tier, vous vous sentez seule, car vous etes souvent a l™hotel = in
ˆ ` ˆ
e
this job, you feel lonely, because you™re often in an hotel
`
Je ne dirai pas que c™est moi qui ai lanc´ la mode du nombril a l™air, car je
e
ne veux pas qu™on en parle dans les journaux = I™m not saying I was the one who
started the trend of the exposed navel, because I don™t want it spoken about in the papers
`
Je l™aurais conseill´ de faire de la marche a pied, car la pratique de
e
randonn´ e contribue a densi¬er les os = I would have advised him to do some walking,
`
e
because walking helps make our bones denser
et = and
linking elements of a clause “
`
Voici un pantalon a porter avec un pull noir et une doudoune sans
manche = here™s a pair of trousers to wear with a black pullover and sleeveless body-warmer
Il leur parlait de la pluie, de leur famille et de la vie ch` re = he would talk to
e
them about the rain, their families and the high cost of living
Le nez a trois fonctions: ¬ltrer l™air, le r´ chauffer et l™humidi¬er = your nose
e
has three functions “ ¬ltering the air, heating it up and humidifying it
linking clauses “
Apr` s, nous nous sommes repli´ s en d´ fense et nous n™avons jamais pu
e e e
ressortir = afterwards we fell back into defence and we were never able to come forward
again
Pour moi, Matthieu est un fr` re et je ne peux vraiment pas lui en vouloir de
e
m™avoir fait souffrir ce soir = to me, Matthew is a brother and I can™t really bear him a
grudge for making me suffer that evening
mais = but
linking elements “
Charlotte Gainsbourg, fragile mais radieuse = CG, vulnerable but radiant
´
Les quinze diff´ rences entre hommes et femmes “ egaux mais pas
e
identiques = the ¬fteen differences between men and women “ equal but not the same

linking clauses “

Ah! ces sacr´ es emotions, elles nous font honte parfois, mais imaginez le
monde sans elles = ah! those blessed emotions, they make us ashamed at times, but imagine a
world without them


346
453 Clauses



Cette maladie est peu connue, mais toucherait 2 a 5% de la population =
`
this condition is not well known, but reputedly affects between 2 and 5% of the population
Il est epuis´ , je crois, mais cet album est parfait d™un bout a l™autre = it™s no
´ `
e
longer available, I think, but this album is perfect from start to ¬nish

ni = nor, or (see 426)
linking elements “
Elle n™a pas perdu pour autant son temps ni son argent = for all that she didn™t
waste her time or her money
Si vous vous maˆtrisiez parfaitement, vous ne seriez pas la mˆ me femme
± e
ni la mˆ me actrice? = if you were in complete control of yourself, do you think you wouldn™t be
e
the same woman or the same actress?
linking clauses “
Le plaisir vient dans sa vie par instants “ je ne les d´ cide pas, ni je ne les
e

programme pas = pleasure comes into your life in moments “ I don™t decide them nor do I
programme them

Note that, unlike English, there is no inversion after ni in French.

ou = or
linking elements “
´e
Internet, les associations d™anciens el` ves ou tout simplement l™annuaire,
tous les moyens sont bons pour renouer avec son pass´ = the Internet, old boy e
and old girl associations or quite simply the telephone directory are all useful ways of linking up with
your past
Ces femmes ont accueilli des enfants venus du Vietnam, du Mali ou
d™Ha¨ti = these women have welcomed into their homes children from Vietnam, Mali or Haiti
±
Rien n™est jamais tout blanc ou tout noir = nothing is ever completely black or white
linking clauses “
´
Mˆ me si les gens etaient rassurants ou essayaient de me rassurer, je
e
n™´ tais pas rassur´ e = even if people were reassuring or tried to reassure me, I wasn™t reassured
e e
ˆ
Ces symptomes s™effacent spontan´ ment ou peuvent rester invalidants
e
pendant plus de dix ans = these symptoms disappear spontaneously or can remain disabling
for over ten years



Clauses

453 Clauses
De¬nition of a clause
A clause consists of a single word or sequence of words which must contain a ¬nite
verb or verbal expression. A ¬nite verb is a verb which shows a person, a tense and a


347
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



mood “ see 1. A clause contains only one ¬nite verb “ consequently, there is one ¬nite
verb per clause, and there are as many clauses as there are ¬nite verbs.
Clauses consisting of a single word (verb) “ these very often involve commands “
Essayez! = try!
Arrˆ tez! = stop!
e
Clauses consisting of a sequence of words (verb or verbal expression) “
Asseyez-vous! = sit down!
Cet homme veut vous faire maigrir = this man wants to make you lose weight
Parce qu™il respecte les codes vestimentaires les plus classiques = because he
respects the most classic dress codes

454 Clause types
Clauses fall into two categories “ main clauses and subordinate clauses.

Main clauses
A main clause can act as a simple sentence (see below) “ a main clause is not introduced
by a subordinating conjunction (see below), as subordinate clauses are “
Les caprices du destin sont le sel de la vie (main clause 1; also = simple
sentence). Sans cela, les types brillants ratisseraient les meilleurs boulots
et les plus belles femmes (main clause 2; also = simple sentence) = the whims of
destiny are the salt of life. Without them, smart guys would scoop up the best jobs and the best-looking
women
L™intelligence est un mythe (main clause 1); la comp´ tence est r´ elle (main
e e
clause 2; also = compound sentence) = intelligence is a myth; competence is real

Subordinate clauses
A subordinate clause is dependent upon a subordinating conjunction which may be part
of a main clause or of another subordinate clause “
`
Je me suis mise a me moquer d™un coll` gue (main clause), que je trouvais trop
e
naze (subordinate clause) = I began to make fun of a colleague whom I found absolutely useless
e ´e
Mˆ me si ce n™est pas tr` s el´ gant (subordinate clause 1), j™ai cette manie (main
e
`
clause) qui m™oblige a faire toujours le mˆ me geste avant de me coucher
e
(subordinate clause 2) = even if it isn™t very elegant, I™ve got this habit that makes me always do the
same thing before going to bed
`
Quand une femme en est a vous dire (subordinate clause 1) pourquoi elle vous
`
aime (subordinate clause 2), c™est (main clause) qu™elle commence a se le
demander (subordinate clause 3) = when a woman reaches the point when she tells you why she
loves you, it™s because she™s beginning to wonder about it
If there is more than one subordinate clause in a sentence, each clause is introduced by
a subordinating conjunction, and not, as often in English, a conjunction before the ¬rst
clause only “

348
456 Causal clauses



Faites des enfants, parce qu™ˆ tre maman rallonge l™esp´ rance de vie et
e e
parce que les femmes ayant eu trois enfants ont un risque de d´ c` s de ee
10% inf´ rieur aux autres = have children, because being a mother increases life expectancy
e
and (because) women who have had three children have a 10% lower chance of dying than
others
See comments on quand 465 and si 458.

455 Types of subordinate clauses
The following types of subordinate clauses will be examined “ causal clauses, conces-
sive clauses, conditional clauses, consecutive clauses, ¬nal clauses, manner clauses, noun
clauses, time clauses, relative clauses.

456 Causal clauses
Causal clauses express the cause of something and are introduced by comme = as,
parce que = because, puisque = since; less common conjunctive expressions are etant ´
donn´ que = given that, vu que = seeing that.
e
In clauses introduced by these expressions, the verb is always in the indicative mood.

comme = as
Comme il s™agit de l™acte sexuel, il faut se rendre compte que le baiser
r´ ussi passe d™abord par l™´ change = as it™s a question of having sex, you have to realise
e e
that a successful kiss involves an exchange

parce que = because
` `
On ne peut pas se nourrir de la mˆ me facon a 20 et a la cinquantaine “ tout
e ¸
simplement parce que notre m´ tabolisme ralentit = we can™t eat in the same way
e
at 20 as we can in our ¬fties “ for the simple reason that our metabolism slows down
Il ne faut pas se priver de boeuf, parce qu™il n™est pas si gras que ca = you
¸
don™t have to deny yourself beef, because it™s not as fat as all that
´
Les etudes montrent qu™on trouve plus de cancers chez les gros carnivores,
parce qu™ils laissent moins de place aux l´ gumes verts = studies show that cancer
e
is more prevalent among big meat-eaters, because they leave less room for green vegetables

puisque = since
Puisque le Francais va of¬ciellement amorcer sa saison internationale ce
¸
soir, elle esp´ rait etre la a saluer son h´ ros = because the Frenchman is going to open
ˆ ``
e e
his international season of¬cially this evening, she was hoping to be there to greet her hero
Peu de gens consid` rent la voix comme quelque chose d™important,
e
puisqu™ils n™imaginent pas ce qu™on peut faire avec = few people consider the voice
as something important, since they can™t imagine what you can do with it

etant donn´ que = given that
´ e
´
Etant donn´ qu™ils ralentissent le vieillissement, forcez sur les fruits et
e
l´ gumes = given that they slow down the ageing process, go overboard on fruit and veg
e

349
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



vu que = seeing that
ˆ
Quelle est la pire drague que vous avez subie? “ Vu que je n™ai du me faire
draguer que deux fois dans ma vie, il n™y en a jamais eu de pire! = what was
the worst pick-up you™ve undergone? “ Seeing that I™ve only been picked up a couple of times in my life,
there hasn™t ever been a worst one!
´
Vu que je sortais d™une ecole catholique, j™´ tais innocente “ je ne l™ai mˆ me
e e
pas embrass´ = seeing that I came from a good Catholic school, I was innocent “ I didn™t even
e
kiss him

457 Concessive clauses
Concessive subordinate clauses are introduced by a number of subordinating conjunc-
tions which = although “ quoique, bien que, encore que, malgr´ que and a number
e
of other expressions equivalent to English words ending in “ever (eg however, whoever, what-
ever): qui que = whoever, quoi que = whatever (pronoun), quel . . . que = whatever
(adjective), ou que = wherever, etc; see 148, 153.
`
All these concessive conjunctions, pronouns and adjectives introduce clauses in which
the verb is always in the subjunctive mood.

bien que = although
Bien que vous ayez d´ cid´ de vous entretenir en faisant du sport, vous
ee
` ´
n™arrivez pas a trouver cette forme eblouissante que vous cherchiez =
although you decided to keep ¬t by doing some sport, you haven™t managed to ¬nd that dazzling physique
you were looking for
Bien qu™elle sache que j™ai des sous, ma copine n™en pro¬te pas = although she
knows I™ve got money, my girlfriend doesn™t take advantage of it

encore que = although
Encore que vous ayez des soucis juridiques et des contrari´ t´ s en tout
ee
genre, vous aurez un formidable soutien relationnel = although you™ve got all sorts
of troubles with the law and upsets, you™ll have tremendous support

malgr´ que = although
e
Malgr´ que l™horizon soit obscurci pour l™instant, il faut r´ gler vos affaires
e e
de coeur et tirer les choses au clair = although the horizon is dark at the moment, you
must put your love life in order and sort it out thoroughly

quel . . . que = whatever, ou que = wherever, etc
`
Il faut pouvoir vous sentir bien avec lui, quelles que soient les
circonstances = you have to be able to feel at ease with him whatever the circumstances
` `
Il faut garder a l™esprit que, ou qu™il soit, votre partenaire reste toujours
votre partenaire = you need to remember that, wherever he is, your partner is always your
partner
e`
D™aussi loin que mon avis puisse importer, j™ai d´ ja dit que l™important
n™est pas le commentaire mais l™acte = as far as my opinion may carry any weight, I™ve
already said that the important thing is not talking about it but doing it

350
458 Conditional clauses



quoi qui/que = whatever
Gardez la tˆ te froide, quoi qu™il arrive = keep cool, whatever happens
e
For other examples of these constructions, see 153.

quoique = although
Quoique 82% des hommes af¬rment mettre volontiers la table ou la
d´ barrasser, est-ce que vous ne trouvez pas un l´ ger d´ calage avec la
e e e
r´ alit´ ? = although 82% of men state that they are happy to set or clear the table, don™t you ¬nd a
e e
slight gap with reality?
Note the difference, only visible in written French, between quoique = although and
quoi que = whatever “
Quoique tu puisses me r´ pondre, je ne te parlerai plus = although you may write
e
back to me, I™ll not talk to you again
Quoi que tu puisses me r´ pondre, je pense toujours a toi = whatever you may say
`
e
in reply to me, I am always thinking of you

458 Conditional clauses
Conditional clauses suggest an hypothesis and are introduced mainly by si = if, but also
by a condition que = on the condition that, provided that, a moins que = unless, au cas
` `
ou = if, dans la mesure ou = in so far as, dans le cas ou = if, pour peu que =
` ` `
if, pourvu que = provided that, que . . . ou = whether . . . or, suppos´ que = supposing
e
that.
In clauses introduced by conjunctions ending in que, the verb is in the subjunctive
`
mood. In clauses introduced by si and expressions ending in ou, the verb is in the
indicative mood.

a condition que = on the condition that, provided that
`
`
Le sexe peut am´ liorer avec les ann´ es, a condition que l™on fasse preuve
e e
d™imagination et de t´ nacit´ = sex can improve over the years provided that you show
e e
imagination and tenacity
`
Ca change de routine et c™est tr` s excitant, a condition que cela ne devienne
¸ e
pas la norme = that changes your routine and it™s very exciting, provided that it doesn™t become the
norm

a moins que = unless
`
Ca va, a moins que votre pr´ f´ rence ne— soit la musique classique = that™s
`
¸ ee
OK, unless your preference is for classical music

`
Note that an expletive ne may be used in subordinate clauses introduced by a moins
que “ see 417.

au cas ou = in case
`
`
Choisissez un loueur qui disposent d™agences partout en Europe, au cas ou
vous en auriez besoin = choose a hire company with agencies throughout Europe in case you
need one

351
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



dans la mesure ou = in so far as
`
`
Dans la mesure ou vous voulez mettre vos boutons de manchette en
valeur, relevez l´ g` rement vos manchettes de costume = in so far as you want to
ee
show off your cuff links, pull the cuffs on your suit back slightly

pour peu que = if
Pour peu que la nature vous ait donn´ un organe en bonne et due forme,
e
votre voix peut faire des etincelles = if nature has given you a ¬rst-class organ, your voice
´
can make sparks ¬‚y

pourvu que = provided that
J™aime les parfums raf¬n´ s et discrets, pourvu qu™on ne s™en serve pas
e
avec exc` s = I like re¬ned, discreet perfumes, provided they™re not used excessively
e

que . . . ou = whether . . . or
Que la chute de vos cheveux soit d™origine hormonale ou h´ r´ ditaire, ce
ee
nouveau s´ rum en r´ activera la croissance = whether your hair loss is hormonal or
e e
hereditary in origin, this new serum will reactivate its growth
e` `
Que votre probl` me soit li´ a une incompr´ hension sexuelle ou a un
e e
enorme malentendu, seule une discussion peut eclaircir la situation =
´ ´
whether your problem is linked to a sexual misunderstanding or to a serious lack of general
understanding, only a discussion can shed light on the situation

si = if
Si l™on n™y fait pas attention, on prend 500 grammes chaque ann´ e = if you™re
e
not careful, you can put on 500 grammes every year
Leur mauvaise r´ putation n™est pas justi¬´ e si on prend les pr´ cautions
e e e
n´ cessaires = their bad reputation isn™t justi¬ed if you take the necessary precautions
e
Si vous laissez voir votre torse viril et poilu, vous passerez pour un
individu franchement ringard = if you reveal your virile, hairy chest, you™ll be taken for
someone really behind the times
Pratiquer dans un club reconnu par une f´ d´ ration vous couvre seulement
ee
si vous blessez quelqu™un = playing in a club recognised by a federation covers you only if you
hurt somebody
Although si normally = if, it is sometimes to be translated by even if, whereas “
Si cette con¬ture ne contient pas de sucre classique, elle n™est en revanche
pas all´ g´ e en calories = even if this jam doesn™t contain orthodox sugar, it isn™t, for all that,
ee
light in calories
ˆ ˆ ˆ
Si la schizophr´ nie ne peut pas etre gu´ rie, ses symptomes peuvent etre
e e
att´ nu´ s = even if schizophrenia can™t be cured, its symptoms can be reduced
ee
Si les v´ g´ taux crus apportent des vitamines, ils se comportent comme de
ee
v´ ritables petites rapes pour le colon = even if raw vegetables give us vitamins, they act
ˆ ˆ
e
like little graters on our colons

352
459 Consecutive clauses



Si 71% d™entre nous af¬rment se doucher tous les jours, les 3,8% qui ne
ˆ
prennent ni douche ni bain doivent, eux, etre adeptes de la toilette de
chat = whereas 71% of us contend that we take a shower every day, the 3.8% who take neither a
shower nor a bath must use the cat™s routine
When two or more conditional clauses are dependent upon the same main clause, the
second and subsequent clauses may be introduced by que rather than si “
Si je voulais un pain de chocolat et qu™il n™y en avait pas, ca cr´ ait un
¸ e
moment de panique = if I wanted a bar of chocolate and there weren™t any, that created a
moment™s panic
Si j™ai un mauvais jour et que je me retrouve sur une sc` ne devant des
e
milliers de personnes, j™oublie tout = if I™m having a bad day and I™m on stage in front of
thousands of people, I forget everything
But si can also be used in these circumstances, here for the sake of rhetorical
symmetry “
Si je savais comment me servir d™´ motions enfouies, si je savais comment
e
les canaliser, ca me rassurerait = if I knew how to use buried emotions, if I knew how to
¸
channel them, that would reassure me
As far as tense usage with si is concerned, it should be noted that the future, future
perfect, conditional and conditional perfect are never used in the si clause “ the other
tenses are regularly used.
For si = if, whether introducing indirect questions, see 482.

suppos´ que = supposing that
e
Suppos´ que vous ayez gagn´ six points dans notre enquˆ te, cela sugg` re
e e e e
que certaines zones d™incertitude persistent dans votre esprit = supposing
you™ve notched up six points in our investigation, that suggests that certain areas of uncertainty persist in
your mind
Suppos´ que vous aimiez que vos actions soient beaucoup plus rentables,
e
essayez de faire preuve de patience = supposing you™d like your stocks and shares to be
more pro¬table, try to be patient

459 Consecutive clauses
Consecutive subordinate clauses mark the consequence of something and are introduced
by the following expressions, all of which = so that “ de sorte que, si bien que, de
`
telle facon que, de telle mani` re que, de telle sorte que, a tel point que, si . . .
¸ e
que, tant . . . que, tel . . . que, tellement . . . que; d™autant (plus) que = all the
more because
The verb of the subordinate clause is always in the indicative mood.

d™autant (plus) que = all the more because
La salle de bains devient un endroit de lutte dans 23% des m´ nages, e
d™autant plus que 41% des Francais aiment se pr´ lasser dans leur bain une
¸ e
fois par semaine = the bathroom is becoming a warground in 23% of households, all the more
because 41% of the French like to relax in their bath once a week

353
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



Vous grignotez entre les repas, d™autant que vous avez des sautes
d™humeur et c™est votre facon de les g´ rer = you nibble between meals, all the more
¸ e
because you have mood swings and it™s your way of managing them

si . . . que = so that
Les campagnes antitabac ont eu un si grand succ` s en Grande-Bretagne
e
que le gouvernement propose de taxer la « malbouffe » = anti-smoking campaigns
have been so successful in Great Britain that the government proposes taxing unhealthy foods

tant . . . que = so many . . . that
Il y a tant de raisons pour lesquelles une premi` re rencontre peut tourner
e
court qu™il serait dommage de ne pas tenter la seconde fois = there are so many
reasons why a ¬rst meeting may come to a sudden halt that it would be a shame not to try again

tel . . . que = so . . . that
Votre frustration est telle que, parfois, vous brusquez les choses pour
obtenir la satisfaction = you get so frustrated that sometimes you rush things so as to get
satisfaction

a tel point que = to such an extent that
`
ˆ `
Areva a du restructurer ses entreprises a tel point que la compagnie a
ferm´ dix usines en France = Areva has had to restructure its enterprises to such an extent
e
that it has closed ten factories in France

tellement . . . que = so much . . . that
´e
J™ai et´ tellement bless´ e par des gens que je prenais pour des amis
e
qu™aujourd™hui je suis m´ ¬ante = I™ve been hurt so much by people I thought were friends
e
that nowadays I™m suspicious
´e ` `
Elle a et´ tellement mise en avant a un moment ou se construit sa
personnalit´ , que ca ne lui permet pas d™´ voluer d™une mani` re
e ¸ e e
harmonieuse = she has been so exposed at a time when her personality was being formed that it
doesn™t allow her to develop in a consistent way
Note the word order in the following example, where tellement has a causal and
consequential value “
Je me suis abonn´ e l™ann´ e derni` re tellement votre magazine me plaˆt = I
e e e ±
subscribed last year because your magazine appealed to me so much

460 Final clauses
Final clauses express the reason why something is done and are introduced by such
expressions as a¬n que, pour que, de sorte que, all of which = in order that, so that.
In clauses introduced by ¬nal conjunctions, the verb is always in the subjunctive
mood “ see 148.

a¬n que = in order that, so that
ˆ `
Laissez l™entre-cote se reposer une minute a l™air a¬n que les ¬bres se
d´ tendent = allow the steak to rest for one minute to let its texture settle
e

354
462 Noun clauses



pour que = in order that, so that
´ `
Il suf¬t qu™une etincelle se produise a cet instant pr´ cis, pour qu™une
e
catastrophe arrive = all it needs is for a spark to be produced at that precise moment in order for
a catastrophe to happen
Il n™en fallait pas plus pour que les m´ dias demandent l™interdiction de la
e
vente du boeuf = that was all it took for the media to demand a ban on the sale of beef

de sorte que = so that
`
Un homme qui se parfume a longueur de journ´ e, ca fait sourire “ est-ce

qu™il s™y adonne de sorte que nous le remarquions? = a man who puts on perfume
all day long makes me smile “ does he do it so that we notice him?
Note that when de sorte que is followed by the indicative it indicates a consequence “
see 459 “ and when it is followed by the subjunctive it indicates a purpose.

461 Manner clauses
Manner clauses indicate how something is done and are introduced by such expressions
as ainsi que = as, aussi . . . que = as, comme = how, as, de mˆ me que = same as.
e
The verb occurs in the indicative mood.

ainsi que = as
La comp´ tition des femmes va donc cruellement manquer de saveur, ainsi
e
que les reporters l™avaient pr´ vu = so the women™s competition is going to suffer from a
e
cruel lack of ¬‚avour, just as the commentators had predicted

aussi . . . que = as
` ´
La, l™atmosph` re est aussi l´ g` re que les pelotes de laine eparpill´ es sur la
e ee e
table = there the atmosphere is as light as the balls of wool scattered over the table

comme = how, as
Une femme qui peut s™habiller comme elle veut se sent plus libre = a woman
who can dress how she wants feels freer
Ils me traitaient comme si j™´ tais un dieu vivant = they treated me as if I was a
e
living god
Les crooners am´ ricains murmurent dans leur micro comme s™ils
e
faisaient l™amour a une femme = American crooners whisper into their mikes, as if they™re
`
making love to a woman

de mˆ me que = same as
e

Deux ans de cours de th´ atre ont, dit-elle, transform´ sa vie, de mˆ me e e
qu™ils lui ont appris a ne plus craindre le regard des autres = two years at theatre
`
school have, she says, transformed her life, in the same way as they have taught her not to be afraid of the
way other people look at her any longer

462 Noun clauses
Noun clauses are introduced by que and follow verbs of speech, verbs of emotion, of
comprehension, of knowledge. Whether or not que is followed by the indicative or

355
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



subjunctive mood depends upon the type of verb governing it. For those verbs which are
followed by the subjunctive, see 149, 150.

que + indicative mood “
ˆ
Quand elle m™appelle par mon nom de famille, je sais que j™ai du faire une
connerie = when she calls me by my last name, I know I™ve done something really stupid
J™ai l™impression que chaque partie de mon corps r´ agit = I get the impression
e
that every part of my body reacts
Elle m™a r´ pondu qu™elle avait rˆ v´ que j™´ tais mort = she told me she™d dreamt I
e ee e
was dead
Elle m™a dit que je lui manquais = she told me she missed me

que + subjunctive mood
On ne peut pas dire que l™arriv´ e du joueur portugais ait beaucoup apport´
e e
au club = you can™t say that the arrival of the Portuguese player bene¬ted the club very much
Il semble qu™il y ait dans ces cursus une vraie d´ rive = it seems that in these
e
programmes there is a tendency to depart from the point
Je suis content pour Pedro qu™il ait marqu´ contre Porto = I™m pleased that Pedro
e
scored against Porto
Il arrive que le choix de la mort soit un hymne a la vie = it happens that choosing
`
death is an anthem to life

463 Highlighting with c™est
Highlighting is the process that allows an element in a clause to be given more prominence
than normal. One way of achieving highlighting an element is to introduce it with
c™est . . . qui /que. C™est . . . qui is used when the highlighted element is the subject
of the clause; ce sont if the subject is plural; c™est . . . que when it is another part of
speech. See also 223.

c™est . . . qui
C™est le mauvais brossage des dents qui cause la mauvaise haleine = it™s bad
tooth-brushing that causes bad breath
Tahiti, c™est l™endroit qui offre des plages magni¬ques = Tahiti™s the place that
offers magni¬cent beaches
Ce sont leurs deux plus petits enfants qu™ils ont amen´ s avec eux = it™s their
e
two youngest children that they™ve brought with them

c™est . . . que
C™est avec Dominique qu™on va commencer ce rapport = it™s with Dominique that
we™re going to begin this report
C™est la premi` re fois qu™on va exposer les photos de Claude Berri = it™s the
e
¬rst time that Claude Berri™s photos will be on show

356
464 Relative clauses



`
Il semble que ce soit a partir de Toulouse que le virus s™est in¬ltr´ en e
France = it seems that it™s from Toulouse that the virus has been introduced into France

464 Relative clauses
Relative clauses provide more information about their antecedents and are introduced
by such pronouns as “
qui = who, which, that (subject)
que = whom, which, that (object)
dont = whose, of whom, of which
de qui = whose, of whom
duquel / de laquelle / desquels / desquelles = of which
preposition + qui /lequel, etc = preposition + whom
preposition + lequel, etc = preposition + which
`
ou =in which, where
In these cases the antecedent is a speci¬c noun “ compare ce qui, ce que, ce dont
below.

qui = who (subject)
Une femme qui peut s™habiller comme elle veut se sent plus libre = a woman
who can dress as she wants feels freer
L™autre aspect int´ ressant concerne les d´ butants, ceux qui signent leur
e e
premier contrat professionnel = the other interesting aspect involves beginners, those who

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