<<

. 9
( 19)



>>

However, in the case of bien des = many, des links the pronoun to its complement “
see below.
Closely connected to quantifying pronouns are the numeral nouns, une douzaine =
dozen, une vingtaine = score, une centaine = about a hundred “ see 437.
The issue at stake with quantifying pronouns is whether, when the pronoun is subject
of a verb, the verb should agree with the pronoun (which is usually singular in form) or
the complement (which is usually plural).
Practice is to make the verb agree with the complement “ a plural complement attracts
a plural verb, a singular complement a singular verb.
This sometimes leads to seeming anomalies, when the complement is not speci¬ed or
is understood, since, in such cases, a singular pronoun will be accompanied by a plural
verb.


243 Examples of quantifying pronouns
Pronouns with plural complements
Beaucoup des photos contenues dans cette collection sont etonnantes =
´
many of the photos in this collection are stunning
Plus de la moiti´ des femmes ont moins de pˆ che en automne“hiver = more
e e
than 50% of women feel low in autumn“winter
Un grand nombre de jeunes veulent faire des prouesses = a large number of
youngsters want to do something outstanding

189
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



La majorit´ de nos solutions sont adapt´ es pour prot´ ger vos proches en
e e e
cas d™accidents = the majority of our solutions are designed to protect those close to you in case of
an accident
J™ai vu quantit´ de gens feuilleter les livres de grammaire dans les
e
librairies = I™ve seen lots of people lea¬ng through grammar books in the bookshops
Peu de gens ont voulu croire que le danger est ecart´ = very few people accepted
´ e
that the danger was over
La tˆ te d™une petite ¬lle d´ capit´ e dans un accident roule sur la chauss´ e “
e e e e
certains vomissent, d™autres d´ tournent leur regard = the head of a little girl,
e
decapitated in an accident, rolls onto the road “ some throw up, others look away
Moins de femmes sourdes que de femmes entendantes sont mari´ es = fewer
e
deaf women than those with hearing are married
Si un proche meurt d™une crise cardiaque en faisant l™amour, on oublie
facilement de pr´ ciser qu™il n™´ tait pas avec sa l´ gitime “ c™est le cas de la
e e e
moiti´ de Allemands tr´ pass´ s dans ces conditions = if a relative dies from a heart
e e e
attack while making love, specifying that he wasn™t with his legitimate partner is easily overlooked “
such is the case with half the Germans who pass away in such circumstances
On a pris plus de la moiti´ de leurs ballons = we picked up more than half their balls
e

Pronouns with singular complements
Beaucoup du maquillage qu™on ach` te ici est fabriqu´ en Espagne = a lot of
e e
the make-up you buy here is made in Spain
La majeure partie de la population est contre une nouvelle expansion de
l™UE = most of the population is against a further expansion of the EU
Il voulait remettre un peu d™ordre a son appartement = he wanted to tidy up his ¬‚at
`

244 La plupart
La plupart is only used with plural nouns “ except in the combination la plupart du
temps = most of the time
La plupart du temps je pr´ f` re etre seul = most of the time I prefer to be alone
ee ˆ
La plupart des journaux ont reproduit cette histoire = most of the papers printed
that story
La plupart pensent qu™ils tiennent le destin entre leurs mains = most believe
that they hold their destiny in their hands
La plupart [des billets] ont et´ lou´ s quinze jours auparavant = most were sold
´e e
a fortnight ago
La plus grande / majeure partie de replaces la plupart de before a singular
complement “ see 243.

245 Inde¬nite pronouns and related expressions
The majority of these involve the phrase n™importe followed by a relative pronoun or
adjective.

190
Exercises



chacun / chacune = everyone, n™importe qui = anyone, n™importe ou = anywhere,
`
n™importe comment = anyhow, n™importe lequel = any one
These expressions cannot be followed by a relative clause. For example, if it is necessary
to translate English anyone who thinks that into French, n™importe qui cannot be used;
instead qui que ce soit qui pense ca has to be used “ see 153.
¸
Neither can quiconque = whoever, anyone be followed by a relative pronoun or adjec-
tive, but it can be used to translate anyone who thinks that “ quiconque pense ca
¸
For chaque, see 272.

246 Examples of inde¬nite expressions
Chacun pour soi = everyone for himself
Chacun devrait savoir que la baisse des fumeurs en France est moins
importante chez les hommes que chez les femmes = everyone should know that the
decrease in smokers in France is less for men than for women
Je lui dis de ne pas me lire. Il y a le choix, n™importe qui “ n™importe qui
sauf son ¬ls = I told her not to read me. There™s a choice, anyone “ anyone but her son
Il y a un moment de la vie quand on se sent vraiment seul “ n™importe quel
premier jour d™ann´ e scolaire = there are times in your life when you feel really lonely “ for
e
example, the ¬rst day back in any new school year

A partir du moment ou ca n™a pas march´ , elle a fait un peu n™importe
e
quoi, comme une junior sans exp´ rience = from the moment that didn™t work, she
e
behaved a bit anyhow, like a junior without experience
Tu peux venir me chercher a n™importe quelle heure du soir = you can come and
`
fetch me at any time this evening
Mettez-les n™importe ou = put them anywhere
`
`
Tout est calcul´ en fonction de l™image qu™elles veulent donner a on ne sait
e
qui = everything is calculated in terms of the inage they want to present to goodness knows who
Il a demand´ a je ne sais qui de l™aider = he asked somebody or other to help him
e`
Le vol a et´ report´ a je ne sais quand = the ¬‚ight™s been postponed till goodness knows
´e e`
when


Exercises


1 R´ ecrivez les passages suivants en changeant tout ce qui a rapport aux
pronoms personnels comme il vous est indiqu´ “e
tu > vous
a Ce qui s™est pass´ pour ton amie aurait pu arriver n™importe quand.
e
Tu n™as pas contraint ton amie, tu l™as simplement encourag´ e. Tue
ˆ ` ˆe
peux etre ¬` re d™ˆ tre a ses cot´ s et de la soutenir.
e e
b Cette ann´ e, tu organises le r´ veillon du jour de l™an chez toi et tu as
e e
`
envie de pro¬ter de la fˆ te sans passer ton temps a faire des
e

191
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



aller-retours entre la table et la cuisine. Alors, adopte la formule
`
buffet. Tu pourras ainsi pr´ parer tes plats a l™avance et la soir´ e sera
e e
d´ tendue pour toi.
e

vous > tu
`e
c Vous voici a pr´ sent dans un climat de grande sensibilit´ , et votre vie
e
relationnelle et intime sera la plus touch´ e. Votre rythme de vie risque
e
d™ˆ tre boulevers´ apr` s une rencontre, et certains contacts pourraient
e e e
ˆ
jouer un role important dans l™aboutissement de vos projets.
`
D™heureuses perspectives s™offrent a vous.
d Vous allez vous d´ penser sans compter, en relevant de nombreux d´ ¬s.
e e
Vos d´ marches sont men´ es avec une d´ termination qu™on ne vous
e e e
connaˆt pas, et vous prenez des d´ cisions importantes en ce qui
± e
concerne vos parents ou vos amis. Vous orientez ainsi votre vie sociale
`
et affective conform´ ment a vos aspirations.
e

je > elle et puis je > il
e ´e
e J™ai l™impression que mon identit´ a et´ remise en question. Je
`
n™arrive plus a faire de projets, ma vie est comme suspendue. C™est
terrible car je ne suis pas de nature d´ pressive, j™aime la vie, j™ai un
e
e`
compagnon formidable, je suis tr` s attach´ e a mes animaux. Je me
e
`
sens terriblement seule face a ce probl` me.
e

vous > elle

f Vous avez eu la main un peu lourde sur la pince a epiler. R´ sultat, vos
e
sourcils sont beaucoup trop ¬ns, votre regard n™est plus aussi
ˆ
envoutant et votre visage a perdu en caract` re. En attendant que les
e
`
poils repoussent, vous devez vous mettre a vos pinceaux. Pour
´
redessiner et etoffer tout ca, utilisez un crayon. Choisissez toujours
¸
une teinte proche de la couleur de vos cheveux, pas trop sombre, pour
ne pas durcir votre regard.

je > il
ˆ
g Je gagne tr` s bien ma vie, alors c™est normal que je paye des impots et
e
`
que ca pro¬te aux autres. Et plus tard a mes enfants. J™aurais pu
¸
`e
partir a l™´ tranger comme beaucoup de sportifs, mais j™ai toujours dit
ˆ
que si j™avais d´ cid´ de payer des impots en France, c™est parce que ma
ee
famille et moi avons une qualit´ de vie que je ne trouverais pas
e
ailleurs.

elles > nous
` ´
h Il ne voulait pas savoir ce qu™elles ont fait, ou elles etaient ni de quoi
elles ont parl´ .
e

2 R´ ecrivez les passages suivants en remplacant on par d™autres
¸
pronoms ou en utilisant d™autres strat´ gies de remplacement “
e
a Un teint qui atteint la perfection? On en rˆ ve toutes.
e
b Pourquoi ne pas faire les corv´ es avec une copine: on se sent moins
e
seule et on s™en amuse. Tout de suite on est moins tendue.

192
Exercises



` e`
c A peine est-on de retour des vacances que l™on a d´ ja l™impression
d™avoir perdu le b´ n´ ¬ce qu™elles avaient apport´ ou pire de n™ˆ tre
ee e e
jamais parties.
d Pour cet examen, on voit apparaˆtre l™image du squelette sur l™´ cran.
± e
Sur le tableau de l™´ cran on rep` re diff´ rentes courbes de couleur.
e e e
Ainsi on peut analyser diff´ rentes parties du squelette que l™on sait
e
plus fragiles que d™autres.
e Se sentir belle et s´ duisante lorsque l™on est ronde, c™est la mission de
e
Taillisime qui vous propose des mod` les jusqu™au 58. Adieu la lingerie
e
tristoune et vieillotte quand on a la chance d™avoir un d´ collet´ e e
g´ n´ reux!
ee

3 R´ ecrivez les passages suivants en remplissant les blancs du pronom
qui convient “ pronom d´ monstratif, possessif, personnel ou relatif.
e
`
Notez que quelquefois il y a plus d™un blanc a remplir “
a Il faut connaˆtre ses emotions, pour mieux . . . tenir compte.
±
b Le bon cadeau est un autre langage que l™inconscient percoit comme ¸
`
positif, et . . . peut amener . . . . . . recoit a tomber amoureuse.
¸
c Elle porte un gros carton sur . . . est coll´ e une longue plume rose.
e
d Dans le ¬lm, il s™agit de deux jeunes ¬lles, comme le titre . . .
indique.
ˆ
e Quelquefois . . . . . . se trompent sur nos gouts . . . trouvent un int´ rˆ t. ee
f La fatigue est la manifestation d™un blocage qui empˆ che l™´ nergie de
e e

circuler. Bonne nouvelle, . . . ne demande qu™a etre d´ bloqu´ e.
e e
g Listez une dizaine de petites joies. Chaque jour piochez dans la liste
pour . . . . . . offrir trois.
´ `
h Mes d´ sirs evoluent avec le temps, je . . . laisse venir. Je . . . crois a
e
fond et j™imagine des plans pour . . . r´ aliser.
e
´
i Tu connais Am´ lie “ quand on a des fesses comme . . . . . . , on evite le
e
cuir rouge!
j On attendait avec une in¬nie curiosit´ le livre . . . il allait raconter
e
une autre de ses passions: l™Afrique.
k Mˆ me sans les muscles, tu peux . . . arriver.
e
l Rien ne vous empˆ che de prendre une vraie collation quelques
e
´
heures apr` s le r´ veil: . . . vous evitera le coup de barre de ¬n de
e e
matin´ e.
e
` ˆe
m Il . . . dit « Inutile de . . . faire un cadeau, . . . avoir a mes cot´ s est
e`
d´ ja le plus beau des pr´ sents imaginables. » Je ne sais jamais
e
quoi . . . offrir.
`
n Les gentils font partie de cette cat´ gorie-la, . . . . . . n™utilisera jamais
e
vos faiblesses pour . . . tirer pro¬t, . . . . . . ne . . . enviera jamais
votre magni¬que petit copain ou vos succ` s. e
o Il faut choisir une tonalit´ qui se superpose le plus exactement
e
`
possible a . . . . . . .
ˆ
p Il est issu d™une famille de petits entrepreneurs de batiments. . . . a
exerc´ toutes sortes de petits boulots.
e
e` ´
q J™ai commenc´ a travailler sur des eglises et des discoth` ques e
gon¬‚ables, . . . on m™a demand´ s de cr´ er.
e e


193
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



r 2,92 milliards d™euros, c™est la somme d´ pens´ e en un an par les
e e
Britanniques pour l™achat de coca¨ne, . . . la consommation a
±
augment´ de plus de 200% ces trois derni` res ann´ es.
e e e
´e
s Le pr´ sident a et´ consult´ sur la r´ forme du S´ nat . . . souhaitent
e e e e
bon nombre des s´ nateurs.
e
`
t La victoire de la jeune Belge n™a rien a voir avec le style des
``
Am´ ricaines. La ou . . . af¬chent des parents envahissants et peu
e
´ ´
sympathiques, Justine evoque la ¬gure emouvante d™une m` re e
disparue alors qu™elle avait 13 ans.
u C™est un accessoire que les femmes ach` tent pour le plaisir
e
“ . . . . . . mais aussi . . . de leur partenaire.
`
v Pensez a . . . lancer dans un programme d™activit´ s physiques.
e
Pr´ f´ rez . . . de plein air.
ee
e`
w On va . . . offrir des cadeaux. Ca, je . . . avais d´ ja pens´ , mais c™est
¸ e
bon de . . . . . . r´ p´ ter.
ee
x Ce sont des personnes avec . . . j™avais sympathis´ es dans mon
e
`
ancien travail . . . . . . ont signal´ un poste a prendre.
e
ˆ
y Toute perte est irr´ parable. Et le monde dans . . . l™enfant aurait du
e
vivre n™est plus le mˆ me monde.
e
z J™ai vu B´ atrice au « Bon March´ »: une vendeuse . . . a dit qu™elle . . .
e e
a vendu un string.
` ˆ ` ˆˆ
aa Son p` re se heurte a . . . . . . aurait pu etre, a . . . . . . aurait du etre,
e
`
a . . . . . . n™est pas et ne sera jamais.
bb Cette situation peut t´ moigner d™un probl` me au niveau des relations
e e
ˆ
personnelles. . . . peuvent etre dif¬ciles ou inexistantes.
ˆe
cc Elle a du d´ monter la douche en bois construite sur son toit, . . . la
pr´ sence gˆ nait le voisinage.
e e
dd Quant aux cadeaux, . . . . . . “ je . . . . . . donnerai plus tard, quand on
e `e
sera en tˆ te a tˆ te.
ee 25 raisons d™aimer No¨ l . . . vous n™auriez pas pens´ .
e e




194
Chapter 7 Determiners


247 Determiners
Determiners are those syntactic items which precede and qualify a noun.
They comprise the de¬nite (le, la, les), inde¬nite (un, une, des) and partitive (du,
de la, des) articles, the demonstrative adjectives (ce, cet, cette, ces), the possessive
adjectives (mon, ma, mes, ton, son, notre, votre, leur, etc).



The articles

248 The three articles
The de¬nite article corresponds, mostly, to English the and basically refers to something
or somebody that has already been or is implicitly identi¬ed and speci¬ed.
Elle donne a LA tourn´ e electorale un air de psychoth´ rapie = she brings an
` e´ e
atmosphere of psychotherapy to the electoral trail
Tunisie “ LE rˆ ve m´ diterran´ en = Tunisia “ the Mediterranean dream
e e e
Longtemps propos´ s comme une panac´ e AUX troubles de LA m´ nopause,
e e e
LES traitements hormonaux sont mis sous surveillance = for a long time seen as
a panacea for the problems of the menopause, hormonal treatment is being investigated
Cent ans en bleu “ tous LES matches, tous LES joueurs, LES stars, LES
epop´ es, LES capitaines, LES s´ lectionneurs DU foot francais = a hundred years
´ e e ¸
in blue “ all the matches, all the players, the stars, the legends, the captains, the selectors of French football
The inde¬nite article corresponds, mostly, to English a, an, some, and basically refers
to something or someone that has not yet been identi¬ed or speci¬ed; it introduces a
new, countable noun into a conversation or piece of writing “
UN corps sans vie a et´ trouv´ = a lifeless body has been discovered
´e e
UNE vaste enquˆ te a et´ entam´ e sur le dopage = a wide-ranging investigation has
´e
e e
been undertaken into drug taking
Ce fut UNE parodie de justice, UNE mascarade de proc` s = it was a parody of
e
justice, a masquerade of a trial
D´ ¬nition d™UN oiseau “ UN animal au corps recouvert de plumes, dont
e
les membres ant´ rieurs sont des ailes, dont la tˆ te est munie d™UN bec = the
e e
de¬nition of a bird “ an animal with a body covered with feathers, the front limbs of which are wings,
the head of which is supplied with a beak
UNE omelette est faite d™oeufs battus et cuits a la poˆ le = an omelette is made
` e
from beaten eggs cooked on a stove

195
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



In the plural, it refers to an unspeci¬ed number of countable items “
DES soldats am´ ricains ont et´ envoy´ s au point chaud = American soldiers have
´e
e e
been sent to the hot spot
Il vend DES fromages de toutes les r´ gions de France = he sells cheeses from all
e
over France
La t´ l´ accomplit parfois DES miracles . . . cin´ matographiques = from time
ee e
to time the telly performs miracles . . . cinematographic miracles
The partitive article also corresponds to English some and is used with mass nouns;
basically it refers to objects or people envisaged as part of a whole; quite often no article
is used in English in such cases.
Votre journ´ e type est “ on boit DES verres, on fait DU shopping “ a typical day
e
for you “ having a few drinks, shopping
´
Pour eviter les soucis de la constipation, il suf¬t, la veille au soir, de mettre
DES pruneaux dans DE L™eau et de la boire le lendemain = to avoid constipation
problems, all you have to do is to put some prunes into some water overnight and drink it the next day
N™oubliez pas de manger DU fruit chaque jour = don™t forget to eat some fruit every
day
Comment peut-on faire un dessert aussi d´ licieux et aussi pratique avec
e
juste DU lait, DES oeufs frais, DU sucre, DU caramel et un peu DE vanille!
= how can you make such a delicious and practical dessert with just milk, fresh eggs, sugar, caramel
and a little vanilla!
Later we discuss instances where no article is used “ in such cases the term zero article
seems appropriate; see 258.
The similarities and differences between the French and English systems will be dealt
with in 251“257.

249 Forms of the three articles
The articles vary in form for gender and number (singular and plural). The gender
distinction applies only in the singular; in the plural, the forms may be masculine or
feminine. The plural of the inde¬nite article and the partitive article are the same “ des.

msg fsg plural

de¬nite article le la les
inde¬nite article un une des
partitive article du de la des


When the forms le, la would occur before a word beginning with a vowel or mute h,
the vowel in the article is deleted. If du would occur in a similar situation, it becomes
de l™ “
le garcon but l™adolescent, l™homme
¸
la ¬lle but l™adolescente, l™h´ ro¨ne


196
250 Position of the articles



du lait but de l™alcool, de l™humour
de la bi` re but de l™eau, de l™huile
e
When an aspirate h is involved, the forms do not change “
le hibou, la haie, du houx
`
When the preposition a precedes the de¬nite article, it merges with it to form au in
the masculine singular and aux in the plural “
le lit ’ au lit
les lits ’ aux lits
les chaises ’ aux chaises
The same applies when the preposition de precedes the de¬nite article “ the same
forms are produced as for the partitive article “
le lit ’ du lit
les lits ’ des lits
les chaises ’ des chaises

250 Position of the articles
The article is usually the ¬rst element in the expression of which it is part “
Pelez LE poireau et LA carotte = peel the leek and the carrot
UN produit qui donne UNE sensation de l´ g` ret´ = a product that gives a feeling of
ee e
lightness
Vous pouvez aussi constituer DES petites haies ravissantes = you can also plant
charming little hedges
Je ferai DU potage pour le d´ jeuner = I™ll make some soup for lunch
e
En lachant DU lest sur le deuxi` me point = by making concessions on the second point
ˆ e
LA chair a saucisse, coup´ e AU couteau, avec de L™huile d™olive de Sicile =
` e
sausage meat, cut with a knife, with olive oil from Sicily
However, if in an expression involving the de¬nite or, less commonly, the inde¬nite
article, the adjective tout / tous / toute / toutes = all, every is also included, this
precedes the article “
Peut-on se laver les cheveux tous LES jours = is it all right to wash your hair every
day?
Tout LE monde est d™accord = everyone is in agreement
Tous LES murs sont couverts de peintures = all the walls are covered in paintings
C™est toute UNE histoire = it™s quite a story
But if the tout quali¬es an adjective, it follows the article and precedes the
adjective “
C™est UNE toute autre histoire = it™s quite another story
For tout, see 272.

197
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



251 Differences between French and English usages of the
articles “ article in French where none is used in English: 1
As stated above, in the majority of cases, English and French use the articles in the same
circumstances.
However, there are a few differences that need to be noted “ however (again!), it is all
too clear that usage ¬‚uctuates, as will be illustrated in the following sections.
Consequently ˜No article™ means normally no article, and ˜Article™ means normally an
article!
Article in French
where none is used in English 1 “
with nouns denoting classes of items “
LE tabac est mauvais pour la sant´ = tobacco/smoking is bad for your health
e
LE vin peut am´ liorer votre bien-ˆ tre = wine can improve your sense of well-being
e e
LES l´ gumes sont bons pour vous = vegetables are good for you
e
LES passagers sont pri´ s de se pr´ senter a la porte num´ ro 4 = passengers are
`
e e e
requested to proceed to gate number 4
La Chypre, la ou LES mirages ont une autre consistence = Cyprus, where mirages
``
assume a very different texture
Pour LES porcs, il y a tr` s peu de subventions = for pigs, there are very few grants
e
with abstract nouns “
Elle cherche LA beaut´ , LE bonheur, LE succ` s = she™s searching for beauty,
e e
happiness, success
Il aime LA linguistique, LA musique, LE jardinage = he likes linguistics, music,
gardening
Elle cherche LE bonheur qu™apporte LE succ` s = she™s searching for the happiness
e
that success brings
However, an inde¬nite article is used when reference is made to a particular, but un-
de¬ned, instance of the concept denoted by the abstract noun “
UN silence lourd est tomb´ sur la foule = a heavy silence fell on the crowd
e
Je pr´ f` re UNE beaut´ form´ e par la maturit´ = I prefer beauty formed by maturity
ee e e e
and a de¬nite article when the reference is to a speci¬c, de¬ned instance “
Pour supprimer les rides, il faut provoquer LA d´ contraction de la peau =
e
in order to eliminate wrinkles, it is necessary to make your skin decontract [cause the decontraction
of your skin]
Jadis dispensateurs du s´ same r´ publicain de L™ascension sociale = in days
e e
gone by dispensers of the French Republic™s ˜open sesame™ to social advancement
and the partitive article when abstract qualities are attributed to people or things “
Il faut montrer DE LA tol´ rance envers ceux de religions diff´ rentes = you
e e
have to demonstrate tolerance towards people with a different religion

198
253 Article in French, none in English: 3



Avoir DU courage quand le danger menace est tr` s dif¬cile = having courage
e
when danger threatens is very dif¬cult

252 Article in French where none is used in English: 2
With names of countries and regions
Most names of continents, countries, islands, regions and rivers are accompanied by the
de¬nite article “
continents (all feminine)
l™Afrique = Africa, l™Am´ rique du Nord = North America, l™Asie = Asia, l™Europe
e
= Europe
countries
masculine
le Br´ sil = Brazil, le Canada = Canada, le Chili = Chile, le Danemark = Denmark,
e
le Japon = Japan, le Niger = Niger, le Portugal = Portugal, le Zimbabwe =
Zimbabwe
feminine
l™Afrique du Sud = South Africa, l™Angleterre = England, la Chine = China, la
France = France, la Grande-Bretagne = Great Britain, la Libye = Libya, la
Russie = Russia, la Tunisie = Tunisia
A l™extrˆ me partie orientale de LA Sib´ rie, cette p´ ninsule de la taille de LA
e e e
France = at the eastern extremity of Siberia, that peninsula the size of France
L™Islande a bondi du Moyen Age au 21e si` cle = Iceland has leapt from the Middle
e
Ages to the twenty-¬rst century
Note “ no article is used with Isra¨ l = Israel “
e
Il a et´ accuse par Isra¨ l de n´ gationnisme = he has been accused by Israel of negative
´e e e
thinking
islands
Usage varies with the names of islands.
with article
la Barbade = Barbados, la Corse = Corsica, la Guadeloupe = Guadeloupe, le
Ha¨ti = Haiti, la Jama¨que = Jamaica, la Sardaigne = Sardinia, la Sicile = Sicily
± ±
without article
Chypre = Cyprus, Corfou = Corfu, Cuba, Ibiza, Java, Madagascar,
Majorque = Majorca, Malte = Malta, Ta¨wan
±
For a more detailed discussion of the usage of the de¬nite article and prepositions with
regions, rivers, French departments, American states and British counties, see 393.

253 Article in French where none is used in English: 3
With names of languages “
Nous apprenons LE roumain = we™re learning Romanian

199
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



LE francais, L™espagnol, LE portugais et L™italien sont tous des langues
¸
romanes = French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are all Romance languages
Le Canada a deux langues of¬cielles “ L™anglais et LE francais = Canada has
¸
two of¬cial languages “ English and French
Note “ with parler the article is normally not used “
On parle anglais ici = English is spoken here
However, as soon as there is some quali¬cation of the noun, an article is usually used
Elle parle bien LE maltais = she speaks Maltese well
Il parle UN francais impeccable = he speaks an impeccable French
¸

With various sets of nouns “
names of seasons “
Je pr´ f` re LE printemps a L™automne = I prefer spring to autumn
`
ee
L™´ t´ tout le monde se pr´ cipite a la cote = in summer everyone rushes to the coast
` ˆ
ee e
names of substances, products “
L™h´ ro¨ne est une drogue tr` s dangereuse = heroin is a very dangerous drug
e± e
LE jus de pamplemousse prend particuli` rement soin de votre corps et
e
mˆ me de votre esprit = grapefruit juice takes special care of your body and even your mind
e
names of illnesses “
Mon traitement contre LA migraine m™a fait grossir “ the treatment I™ve had for
migraine has made me put on weight
LE psoriasis peut se confondre avec LA dermatite = psoriasis may be confused with
dermatitis

Special cases
to translate last, next in expressions of time “
L™ann´ e derni` re = last year (LA derni` re ann´ e = the last year)
e e e e
LA semaine prochaine = next week (LA prochaine semaine = the next week)
with names of the days of the week to indicate a habitual action; the name of the day is
retained in the singular “
Les permanents de nos agences recoivent une formation LE mercredi = the
¸
permanent members of staff from our agencies are given training every Wednesday
LE jeudi on visite le restaurant Tivoli avec sa belle terrasse = every Thursday
we go to the Tivoli with its beautiful outside seating
See also 438 for usage with fractions.

254 Differences between French and English usages of the
articles “ no article in French where there is one in English
No article in French “ zero article “ where there is one in English
in appositions
where one noun is used to supply more information about a preceding one “

200
255 Different article in French from English



Alain, ¬ls cadet de Jean-Luc = Alain, the younger son of Jean-Luc
Alphonse Daudet, auteur d™un nombre de livres remarquables = Alphonse
Daudet, the author of a number of remarkable books
Leclerc, supermarch´ num´ ro un de France = Leclerc, the number one supermarket in
e e
France
Le dernier miracle en date vient de l™Italie, pays fertile en apparitions = the
latest miracle comes from Italy, a country much given to apparitions
But, it should be noted that the article may also be used in these situations.
Thierry Defforey, actionnaire de Carrefour, Francois Dalle, L™ancien ¸
patron de l™Or´ al, Roger Zannier, LE roi du vˆ tement pour enfants = Thierry
e e
Defforey, a share-holder in Carrefour, Fran¸ois Dalle, (the) ex-boss of l™Or´al, Roger Zannier, the king
c e
of kids™ clothes
Summary “ usage is mixed, with the article being more commonly used when a more
speci¬c reference is being made.

ˆ
To indicate a person™s profession or status with such verbs as etre,
devenir, rester, nommer “
Elle est rest´ e c´ libataire toute sa vie = she remained a spinster all her life
ee
Il est devenu journaliste = he became a journalist
Note “ if the noun is quali¬ed in any way, the article is used, ie when the noun ceases
being general and becomes particular “
Il est devenu UN journaliste c´ l` bre = he became a famous journalist
ee
Elle est LA meilleure m` re du monde “ she™s the best mother in the world
e

With the exclamative quel, etc = what a
Quelle surprise! = what a surprise!
Quel dommage! = what a shame!
Quel d´ but pour la jeune actrice! = what a start for the young actress!
e

With par = per
Ils le font deux fois par semaine = they do it twice a week
Ca fait dix euros par personne = that comes to ten euros a person / per person
¸

255 Differences between French and English usages of the
articles “ a different article in French from English
De¬nite article in French vs inde¬nite in English
to indicate quantities, prices, ratios “
Les oranges sont a 6 euros LE kilo = oranges are 6 euros a kilo
`
Combien? “ 7 euros LE tube = how much? “ 7 euros a tube
Au prix de 0,34 euros LA minute = at a cost of 0.34 euros a minute

201
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



De¬nite article in French vs possessive adjective in English
with parts of the body “
Debout, LES bras le long DU corps, montez LA jambe vers LE buste, en
plaquant LE genou sur LA poitrine = standing upright, with your arms by your side, bring
your leg up towards your chest, pulling your knee into your torso
Ces maillots de bain soutiennent LES seins, gomment LES rondeurs, font
LE ventre plat et LA cuisse longue = these swimsuits support your breasts, smooth out your
bulges, ¬‚atten your stomach and make your legs look longer
Allongez-vous sur LE dos, LES bras en croix, LES paumes au sol, LES
jambes a 90 degr´ s = lie on your back, with your arms crossed, your palms facing downwards,
` e
your legs at a right angle
Note “ when an action is performed upon your own or someone else™s body, an indication
of whose body it is is provided by using an indirect object pronoun “
Elle s™est fait masser LE dos tout doucement = she had her back massaged very
gently
Quand faut-il se faire op´ rer AU genou? = when should you have a knee operation / an
e
operation on your knee?
Petits conseils pour bien se laver de LA tˆ te AU pied = advice on washing yourself
e
thoroughly from head to toe / your head to your toe
However, the possessive adjective may also be used in these situations “
Croisez vos bras = fold your arms
Si votre genou est arthrosique = if your knee is arthritic
D´ rouiller ses articulations, toni¬er ses muscles “ pour avoir la forme,
e
rien ne vaut une bonne s´ ance de gymnastique douce = loosen up your joints, tone
e
up your muscles “ to keep in good shape, there™s nothing like a good session of gentle exercise
The possessive adjective is normally used when the body part is subject of the verb “
En trente ans nous avons grandi “ nos jambes se sont allong´ es = in thirty
e
years we™ve got bigger “ our legs have grown longer
Mes cheveux ne sont plus aussi bruns qu™il y a cinq ans = my hair is no longer as
brown as it was ¬ve years ago
` ´e
A la ¬n d™un et´ pass´ sous le soleil, vos cheveux ont besoin de se
e
ressourcer = after a summer spent in the sun, your hair needs to be restored
When reference to a body part is general rather than speci¬c, the de¬nite article is
used “
Les cheveux blancs ne sont pas uniquement l™apanage de l™age = white hair is
ˆ
not just the prerogative of age
Summary of usage “ when the reference is to a body part in general, the de¬nite article
is normally used; when the reference is more individual, the possessive adjective is more
commonly used, especially when the body part is subject of the verb.

202
257 Differences in articles with lists of nouns



256 Differences between French and English usages of the
articles “ usage with titles
Monsieur and Madame plus a title or ˜job description™ are frequently used in French
as a form of address. In such cases the de¬nite article is inserted after Monsieur or
Madame. There is no equivalent in English.
Monsieur le Maire = Mr Mayor
Madame la directrice = the principal / the head
Monsieur le directeur des ¬nances = the ¬nance director
Madame la ministre de l™int´ rieur = the Home Of¬ce minister
e
With names of kings, queens and popes, French and English usages differ, English using
an article whereas French does not “
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth deux) = Elizabeth II (Elizabeth the second)
Benoˆt XVI (Benoˆt seize) = Benedict XVI (Benedict the sixteenth)
± ±
Titles followed by a proper name require an article in French “
Le Pr´ sident Chirac = President Chirac
e
Le professeur Collard = Professor Collard
Le docteur Decaux = Dr Decaux
But not for the names of saints or barristers “
Saint Paul, Sainte Agn` s
e
Maˆtre Verg` s
± e


257 Differences between French and English usages of the
articles “ lists of nouns
In English, in lists of nouns, the de¬nite article is usually used before the ¬rst noun, but is
not repeated thereafter, unless the noun is quali¬ed or is speci¬c in denotation. In French,
the article is regularly repeated before each noun “ although in journalism quite often
no articles are used at all.


Articles
Il suit le surgissement des nouvelles h´ r´ sies: LE Flower Power du
ee
mouvement hippie, LA ¬` vre anti-soci´ t´ de consommation des jeunes
e ee
Francais, LE printemps de Prague et LA brutale r´ plique sovi´ tique = he
¸ e e
traces the emergence of the new heresies “ the Flower Power of the hippy movement, the
anti-consumer-society fever of the French youth, the Prague spring and the brutal response of the Soviet
government
`
Cela n™aidera pas ces pays pauvres a lutter contre L™empoisonnement des
gros carnivores, LE braconnage et LE paturage sauvage = this won™t help these
ˆ
poor countries to ¬ght against the poisoning of large carnivores, poaching and illegal grazing

203
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



No articles
`
Absence de ¬ches de paie, contrat de travail bidon et recours a des
int´ rimaires non d´ clar´ s sont les principales infractions enregistr´ es =
e e e e
lack of pay slips, bogus contracts and use of undeclared temporary staff are the main offences recorded
Les femmes ont ce m´ rite de « cibler » des pratiques connues qui
e
`
r´ pugnent a nos moeurs et nos lois: mariages forc´ s, contraintes et
e e
d´ voiements de l™ « honneur » machiste des p` res et des fr` res = the women
e e e
have the merit of targeting those known practices which offend our traditions and laws “ forced
marriages, constraint and corruption of the macho honour of fathers and brothers

258 Zero article
In many cases, nouns are not preceded by a determiner. We have already seen this with
ˆ
nouns in apposition, names of profession following etre, etc; see 254. This state of affairs
may be described as involving the zero article. Apart from those already mentioned, the
most common circumstances are the following “

noun + preposition + noun
The prepositions most frequently used in this way are “
`
a
une carte a m´ moire = memory card
`e
une cuill` re a caf´ = tea spoon
e` e
une imprimante a jet d™encre = ink-jet printer
`
une planche a voile = wind-surfer
`
une robe a volants = ¬‚ounced dress
`
de
la gestion de patrimoine = personal portfolio management
un placement d™attente = short-term investment
une robe d™´ t´ = summer dress
ee
une salle de bains = bathroom
une tasse de caf´ = cup of coffee
e
en
une chemise en coton = a cotton shirt
un escalier en colimacon = spiral staircase
¸
un mouchoir en papier = paper handkerchief
une occasion en or = golden opportunity
un toit en ardoise = slate roof
sous
la mise sous cloche = putting on the back-burner


204
258 Zero article



past participle + noun
Une table d´ cor´ e de ¬‚eurs = a table decorated with ¬‚owers
e e
Une action d´ pourvue de sens = an action without any meaning
e
Un champ entour´ de barbel´ s = a ¬eld surrounded with barbed wire
e e
Habill´ de jeans = wearing jeans
e
Une cave remplie de bons vins = a cellar full of good wine


adverbial expressions consisting of preposition + noun
a gauche / a droite = on the left / on the right
` `
a port´ e de main = within reach
` e
avec dif¬cult´ = with dif¬culty
e
avec plaisir = with pleasure
en et´ = in summer
´e
en route = on the way
par insouciance = out of carelessness
par minute = per minute
sans effort = effortlessly
sans h´ sitation = without hesitation
e
sans piti´ = without pity
e
When the noun is quali¬ed in some way, the inde¬nite article is used “
par une insouciance incroyable = with unbelievable carelessness
avec un plaisir consid´ rable = with considerable pleasure
e
However, with grand, the zero article is often retained “
avec grande dif¬cult´ = with great dif¬culty
e


set phrases
avoir besoin = to need
avoir faim = to be hungry
avoir honte = to be ashamed
avoir sommeil = to be tired
demander pardon = to ask for forgiveness
faire d´ faut = to be lacking
e
faire plaisir = to give pleasure


205
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



rendre service = to help
tenir tˆ te = to defy
e


259 When des becomes de
1 When a plural adjective precedes the noun
DE belles opportunit´ s peuvent faire naˆtre DE beaux projets = good
e ±
opportunities can produce good projects
Il y a DE simples r` gles pour eviter ces malaises = there are some simple rules to
´
e
avoid such discomfort
DE jolis pulls en coton = pretty cotton jumpers
Les Belges fabriquent D™excellents chocolats = the Belgians make excellent
chocolates
Les bact´ ries b´ n´ ¬ques que contient le yaourt chassent D™´ ventuelles
e ee e
bact´ ries n´ fastes = the bene¬cial bacteria in yoghurt eliminate possible harmful bacteria
e e
However, when the adjective and noun are regularly used together and form a sort of
unit in themselves, this rule does not apply “
Il y avait DES jeunes ¬lles qui attendaient que le groupe de rock quitte le
batiment = there were some girls waiting for the rock group to leave the building
ˆ
Apporte-moi DES petits pois = get me some peas
Il fait DES petits pains aux grains de pavot = he makes bread rolls with poppy seeds
But if an evaluative adjective precedes the noun as well, the rule is reapplied “
Il fait DE magni¬ques petits pains aux grains de pavot = he makes fantastic bread
rolls with poppy seeds
In ordinary speech the rule is less and less often observed.


2 Preposition de + inde¬nite or partitive article des
Quite often grammatical logic would require a combination of the preposition de and the
inde¬nite or partitive article des. In such circumstances, the article and the preposition
coalesce to form a single de “
D´ corez DE framboises, DE feuilles de menthe = decorate with strawberries and mint
e
leaves
La combinaison d™un r´ gime alimentaire et DE soins hebdomadaires la
e
s´ duisent = she is delighted by the combination of a diet and weekly care
e
e`
Cette r´ p´ tition annuelle D™inondations d´ sastreuses am` ne a s™interroger
ee e
sur leur origine = this annual event of disastrous ¬‚oods prompts us to think about what causes
them
Pour avoir autant DE b´ n´ ¬ces que dans un yaourt nature, il faudrait que
ee
vous consommiez deux ¬‚acons DE lait = to have the same amount of calcium as in a
natural yogurt, you would have to consume two cartons of milk

206
259 When des becomes de



This only applies to the preposition de; with others, the inde¬nite article appears in its
full form “
L™utilisation de ce bon pour un autre achat que celui mentionn´ donnera e
lieu a DES poursuites = the use of this coupon for a purchase other than that stated will lead to
`
legal proceedings being taken

Grace a DES propri´ t´ s remarquables, il agit la ou est le probl` me = thanks
ˆ` ``
ee e
to remarkable properties, it acts where the problem lies

Je travaille sur DES nouvelles que j™esp` re bien publier = I™m working on some
e
stories which I™m very hopeful of being able to publish


3 After quanti¬ers and similar expressions
Expressions of quantity involved are “ assez = enough, autant = as much, as many,
beaucoup = many, much, a lot of, combien = how much, how many, moins = less, peu =
little, few, un peu = a little, plus = more, tant = as much, so much, as many, so many, trop
= too much, too many.
Other expressions denote the idea of grouping objects or people together, of describing
quantities of anything.
Beaucoup D™´ tudiants aimeraient leur propre voiture = lots of students would like
e
their own car
Une trentaine DE potiers, D™artisans, D™artistes de renom et de talent =
about thirty well-known and talented potters, craftsmen and artists
J™ai pris deux mois DE vacances = I took two months™ holiday

Bon nombre DE soldats libyens seront form´ s par des instructeurs italiens
e
= a large number of Libyan soldiers will be trained by Italian instructors
Des tonnes DE d´ chets s™accumulent tous les jours = tons of rubbish pile up every
e
day
Vous pouvez emporter de jolies boˆtes DE galettes bretonnes = you can take
±
away pretty boxes of Breton galettes
Certaines associations D™aveugles se focalisent sur un seul m´ tier = certain
e
organisations for blind people concentrate on a single profession
Exceptions “ bien des = many, encore des = still more
It should be pointed out that when any of the quanti¬ers mentioned above are
combined with the de¬nite articles, the de contracts with the article to becomes
des “
Beaucoup DES investissements promis n™ont pas vu le jour = many of the
promised investments did not see the light of day
´
La fourmi electrique est tellement agressive qu™elle menace beaucoup DES
ecosyst` mes fragiles du pays = the electric ant is so aggressive that it threatens many of the
´ e
country™s fragile ecosystems

207
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



260 More de “ use of inde¬nite and partitive articles with a
negative expression
In such cases, the article, whether singular or plural, becomes de (see 416, 427) “
Je n™ai pas DE carottes, ni DE poireaux = I haven™t got any carrots or leeks
Il n™y a pas DE centre equivalent en Belgique = there isn™t an equivalent centre in
´
Belgium
Ces minidoses sont calcul´ es de facon de ne pas laisser DE traces d™EPO
e ¸
synth´ tique dans les urines des athl` tes = these minidoses are calculated in such a way
e e
that no trace of synthetic EPO is left in the athletes™ urine
Le calecon “ il n™a plus rien DE vulgaire et se retrouve sous une mini-jupe
¸
= there™s no longer anything vulgar about pants “ wear them under a mini-skirt
Je renouvelle cette s´ ance deux fois par an, quand le produit n™a plus
e
D™effet = I repeat this session twice a year when the product no longer has any effect
ˆ
This does not apply when etre is used in a de¬ning sense; in such cases the full form of
the inde¬nite or partitive article is preserved “
En revanche, ce ne sont pas DES concentr´ s de lait comme les yaourts = on
e
the other hand, they™re not milk concentrates like yoghurt
Ce ne sont pas DES endives mais DES poireaux = they™re not endives but leeks

261 Repetition of article
The articles are repeated before each noun in a series unless it is considered that the
nouns form a single unit.
Ajoutez LES poireaux, LA menthe, DU sel, DU poivre et UN peu d™eau = add
the leeks, the mint, salt, pepper and a little water
´
Pour LES lampes et veilleuses [= the lighting as a whole], evitez les ampoules
` ˆ
a forts amp´ rages qui risquent de provoquer DE graves brulures et DES
e
incendies [= separate dangers] = for lamps and nightlights, avoid those with a high ampage
which might cause serious burns and ¬res
D™autres saveurs ont pris le relais, comme LA lavande, LA rose ou
L™oeillet = other scents have taken over such as lavender, rose or carnation
In lists, even of only two items, which do not seem to form a single unit, this principle is
not always observed “
ˆ
Jusqu™alors sous la forme de pates, cr` mes ou poudres exclusivement,
e
c™est en 1879 que le premier savon rond apparaˆt dans l™histoire = until then
±
only in the form of pastes, creams or powders, it was in 1879 that the ¬rst round soap made its
appearance in history

262 Which article?
Although the de¬nite and inde¬nite articles in English and French have many similarities
in terms of their use, there are still many occasions when knowing which article to use
in French is a major dif¬culty. The best way to overcome this dif¬culty is to observe

208
264 Key



the articles you hear and see in spoken and written French respectively and decide for
yourself whether you would have used them in the same way, and attempt to discern and
deduce the principles behind their use.
In the following example of written French, all cases where an article is used and also
those where no article precedes a noun are denoted by a number or asterisk. In the next
section the reasons for the use or non-use of the article are explained.

263 La1 nouvelle Athenes
`
Du2, 5 13 au3,5 29 aout, la4 Gr` ce accueille les1 28e olympiades d™10 et´ . Pour
ˆ ´e
e
1 1
´e
l™ ev´ nement, la capitale s™est embellie et remodel´ e e
1
«Ce que les Ath´niens ont entrepris dans leur ville est digne des travaux d™Hercule », s™exclame Anna
e
Iliokratidou,8 directrice de l™1 Of¬ce national du2 tourisme hell´ nique. Depuis sa d´ signation
e e
of¬cielle, le 5 septembre 1997, comme cit´ hˆ te des Jeux de l™ et´ 2004 , Ath` nes vit au3
5 8 2 2 a
eo ´e e
rythme des pelleteuses, dans un d´ cor surr´ aliste d™ echafaudages, de tranch´ es, de9 gravats et
2 6 9 9
e e ´ e
9 1
de palissades. Mais le r´ sultat est l` . En¬n, presque.
e a
« Il y a eu du cafouillage au d´but des2 travaux, mais, a quatre mois et demi de la1 c´r´monie d™10 ouverture,
7 3
e ` ee
les Ath´niens mettent les11 bouch´es doubles. Tout ce qui est n´cessaire au3 bon d´roulement des2 ´preuves sera
1
e e e e e
8
vraisemblablement op´rationnel. Ce qui a ´t´ fait est colossal», souligne Xavier de Neuville,
e ee
pr´ sident-directeur g´ n´ ral d™H´ liades,8 voyagiste of¬ciel des2 Jeuxb . Ce n™est pas rien.
e ee e
1
Outre les installations sportives (six nouveaux stades ont et´ construits), Ath` nes a entrepris
´e e
une restructuration radicale de son espace urbain: cr´ ation d™un p´ riph´ rique de 73 km,12
6 12 6
e e e
construction de 8 km de9 lignes de10 m´ tro et de 24 km de10 tramway, entre le1 centre et
e
Glyfada,12 construction d™un6 nouvel a´ roport international a la1 p´ riph´ rie de la1 ville et mise
e ` e e
en place d™une voie ferr´ e pour le raccorder au centre ville, une autoroute, des2 routesc , la1
11 6 3 6
e
modernisation du r´ seau t´ l´ phonique, un6 village olympique . . . Le1 tout, pour un6 budget
2
e ee
total avoisinant 4,5 milliards d™9 euros.
Ce qui est d´ j` op´ rationnel (l™1 a´ roport international Elefterios Venizelos ouvert en 2001,
ea e e
l™und des2 plus performants d™10 Europe, alors que l™1 ancien d´ tenait le record des2 retards, deux
e
nouvelles lignes de m´ tro, la voie Attique qui, depuis six mois, contourne le1 nord de la1
10 1
e
ville . . .) am´ liore d´ j` notablement le1 quotidien. Tant celui des2 habitants que celui des2
e ea
touristes.
Des6 quartiers branch´ s a la1 mani` re occidentale surgissent. Gazi, tout proche de l™1 agora,
e` e
o` la1 municipalit´ vient de reconvertir un6 hangar de l™1 ancienne usine a10 gaz en10 centre
u e `
culturel (Metropolis) o` se succ` dent expositions d™ art contemporain, conf´ rences,12
10 12
u e e
12
spectacles.
Technopolis, un6 parc culturel d´ di´ a la1 musiquee (c™est ici qu™aura lieu le1 traditionnel
e e`
10 10
Festival de jazz en mai) qui avait d´ j` investi cette friche industrielle depuis trois ans, envisage
ea
de doubler son espace.12 Restaurants branch´ s,12 bars a la1 mode,12 discoth` ques,12 terrasses de10
e ` e
caf´ ont aussitˆ t ¬‚euri dans les environs, ouvrant et fermant au rythme des2 tocades. Dans le1
1 3
e o
quartier de Psiri, a cˆ t´ du2 cimeti` re du2 C´ ramique (la1 plus ancienne n´ cropole de l™1 Attique),
` oe e e e
des galeries d™ art investissent les anciens entrepˆ ts de grossistes. Des restaurants et des6
6 10 1 10 6
o
tavernes d™o` s™´ chappent des odeurs de brochettes s™installent dans des6 maisons a moiti´ en10
6 10
ue ` e
ruine, un6 cin´ ma de10 plein air occupe une6 friche. Le Figaro 13 mai 2004
e


264 Key
1
de¬nite article with speci¬ed noun
2
de combined with le, les with speci¬ed noun
3
`
a combined with le, les with speci¬ed noun
4
de¬nite article with name of country

209
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



5
de¬nite article with date
6
inde¬nite article with previously unspeci¬ed noun
7
partitive article with unspeci¬ed amount of mass noun
8
noun in apposition
de + quantity
9

preposition + noun with adjectival value
10
11
idiom
12
noun in list

Cases requiring particular comment
a
Jeux de l™´ t´ 2004 “ the de¬nite article is used here, in contrast to les 28e
ee
´e
olympiades d™´ t´ earlier, because in the current case et´ is quali¬ed by 2004,
ee
whereas in the earlier case it is not; it is used generically.
b
voyagiste of¬ciel des Jeux “ although voyagiste is quali¬ed by of¬ciel, in which
case one might expect an article to be used (le voyagiste of¬ciel), it seems as if the
whole expression voyagiste of¬ciel is being considered as the name of a
profession.
c
une autoroute, des routes “ in this long sentence, there is ellipsis of construction
d™ before these two nouns.
d
l™un “ the de¬nite article has been inserted before un for reasons of euphony,
speci¬cally, to separate the un of 2001 from the following inde¬nite article and thus
avoiding an awkward repetition of the same syllable.
e
e e`
un parc culturel d´ di´ a la musique “ normally a noun in apposition is not
preceded by an article “ see examples with 8 ; however, because parc is quali¬ed by
e e`
d´ di´ a la musique, an article becomes necessary.


Demonstrative determiners

265 Demonstrative determiners “ demonstrative
adjectives “ the forms
These are equivalent to English this, that, these, those.

The forms

this, that
masculine singular ce, cet
these, those
masculine plural ces
this, that
feminine singular cette
these, those
feminine plural ces


The form cet for masculine singular is used before a word, noun or adjective beginning
with a vowel (it is triggered into operation like the adjectives bel, fol, mol, vieil for
beau, fou, mou, vieux “ see 195).
`
Occasionally, the adjectives are combined with -ci, -la to indicate and empha-
`
sise proximity or remoteness; the -ci, -la is added to the noun modi¬ed by the
adjective.

210
266 Examples: demonstrative adjectives




this
masculine singular ce, cet . . . -ci
` that
ce, cet . . . -la
these
masculine plural ces . . . -ci
` those
ces . . . -la
this
feminine singular cette . . . -ci
` that
cette . . . -la
these
feminine plural ces . . . -ci
` those
ces . . . -la


This does not occur so often as with the demonstrative pronouns. For demonstrative
pronouns, see 237“239.

266 Examples of demonstrative adjectives
ce
Pour soulager un peu votre peine, nous vous envoyons 24 cannettes de ce
breuvage = in order to relieve your distress, we™re sending you 24 cans of that brew
Un site consacr´ aux sandales port´ es avec des chaussettes. Ce site
e e
dispose d™une collection photographique enorme = a website devoted to sandals
´
worn with socks. This website disposes of an enormous collection of photographs
Vous trouverez tous les renseignements dans ce num´ ro ou sur notre site =
e
you™ll ¬nd all the details in this number or on our website

cet
Si vous voulez faire un peu d™argent cet et´ = if you want to make a bit of money this
´e
summer
´e
Toute boisson au cola contient E338 “ pour les chimistes cet el´ ment a
plusieurs noms = any cola drink contains E338 “ chemists know this element by several names

ces
Ces tacticiens hors pair ont des convictions solidement ancr´ es, et la e
passion chevill´ e au corps = these master tacticians have solidly anchored convictions and
e
boundless passion
Je peux vous dire que ces jeunes gens, surdou´ s intellectuellement, sont
e
fragiles et compl` tement d´ sarm´ s face a des situations dif¬ciles = I can tell
`
e e e
you that these youngsters, super-smart intellectually, are fragile and completely at sea when faced with
tricky situations

ce . . . ci
S™il r´ ussit ce nouveau challenge-ci, il y gagnera une grande con¬ance en
e
lui = if he succeeds in this new challenge, he™ll gain a great deal of self-con¬dence

`
ce . . . la
` e`
Tout a commenc´ un vendredi 13 “ ce jour-la la ¬lle de ses rˆ ves c` de a ses
e e
avances = everything began one Friday 13th “ that day the girl of his dreams yielded to his advances

211
A STUDENT GUIDE TO FRENCH GRAMMAR



`
ces . . . -la
`
Ces clients-la supportent si mal certains de leurs membres qu™ils se font
amputer par pur mal-ˆ tre = those patients have so little tolerance of certain of their limbs that
e
they have themselves amputated by pure despair

cette
Grace a cette machine vous allez pouvoir faire votre propre barbe a papa =
ˆ` `
thanks to this machine you™ll be able to make your own candy ¬‚oss
Cette ann´ e ca peut etre vous = this year it could be you
ˆ

Cette tache originelle, le scrutin de 2004 n™aura pas r´ ussi a l™effacer = that
`

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