Page images
PDF
EPUB

§ 17. When the sentence following être is the real subject of that verb, and begins the phrase in French, it has to be translated by il, and the preposition de or the conjunction que are placed before the second verb, as :

It is ridiculous to speak in that way
Il est ridicule de parler de la sorte
It is ridiculous you should speak in that way
Il est ridicule que vous parliez de la sorte

It would be a mistake to say c'est ridicule, &c., because the meaning is, parler de la sorte est ridicule, or parler de la sorte est ridicule pour vous.

But if être is only followed by an adjective, we use ce for it, as :

You spoke in that way; It was ridiculous
Vous parliez de la sorte ; c'était ridicule

§ 18. The undeclinable word en is properly an adverb of place, but may be taken as a pronoun, inasmuch as it is governed by verbs, which it precedes or follows according to the rules on the position of pronouns, and also because it answers to the English pronouns it and then, governed by the prepositions of or from (see THIRD French Book, $$ 143–146). Therefore, if in a sentence of two members a cardinal number or an adverb of quantity stand by themselves in the second member, that is without being followed by any other word, we must in French always place en before the second verb, as :

1. I have twenty books, but he was fifty

J'ai vingt livres, mais il EN a cinquante

2. We did eat five apples, but you ate Too MANY

Nous avons mangé cinq pommes, mais vous en avez mangé TROP

In both phrases en is used because of them is understood.

§ 19. Often in English we use emphatically the demonstrative adjectives these, those, when in French the definite article alone is used, as :

1. Lore those people who love you

simez les gens qui vous aiment

2. They ask favours from THESE idols who cannot even hear them

Ils demandent des faveurs aux idoles qui ne peuvent même les entenelre

But if no noun comes after these, those, they are used as pronouns in both languages, as :

1. Love those who love you

Aimez ceux qui vous aiment § 20. In French the demonstrative pronoun ce is always used before a relative pronoun, answering to the English “ what” (see THIRD FRENCH Book, $$ 155— 157), as :— 1. What troubles me, what I blame and what I complain of, 18 not

WHAT you are thinking about
CE QUI me tourmente, CE QUE je blâme, CE DONT je me plains, n'est

pas CE À QUOI vous pensez

§ 21. Possessive pronouns in the masculine gender are often used substantively to denote one's own relations, friends, supporters, &c., also for “my own,” &c. (see THIRD FRENCH Book, $ 150), as :

1. OUR MEN began the attack

LES NÔTRES commencèrent l'attaque

2. He has contributed nothing of his own

Il n'y a rien mis DU SIEN

§ 22. An adjective in English is hardly ever employed

by itself in addressing people, but is generally used with a pronoun, as YE WICKED, fear the last day. In French we omit the pronoun, because the adjective is used as a substantive, and a pronoun would be unnecessary; we say, therefore, MÉCHANTS, craignez le dernier jour. But if the ye belongs to the verb, and is not a mere exclamation, the pronoun is used in both languages, as : YE, WICKED, shall surely be punished, MÉCHANTS, VOUS serez punis assurément.

$ 23. Sentences like such a rich man may be translated in two ways, un homme TELLEMENT riche, or un homme si riche, because the indefinite adjective TEL cannot modify an adjective of quality, its corresponding adverb tellement, or the adverb si, so, being substituted for it. But sucH, TEL, can very well modify a noun, hence such a man, un TEL homme, would be right (see THIRD FRENCH Book, $ 113).

VERBS.

§ 24. Several verbs are active in English, and neuter in French. As active verbs only can have a passive voice, we must take care not to translate the English literally; for example, I am PLEASED is in French je suis CONTENT, and not je suis plu, because plaire, to please, is a neuter verb in French, but active in English ; hence also, I was much pleased with his brother must not be translated J'ÉTAIS beaucoup PLU avec son frère, but son frère m'a beaucoup plu. We have not BEEN hurt has not to be translated nous n'avons pas été nui, but on ne nous a pas nui.

PREPOSITIONS.

§ 25. Prepositions join nouns or pronouns to other nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs, and show the relation existing between them. As French nouns have no cases, all the different accidents of the nouns must be expressed by prepositions. Great care must be taken to use them correctly, as they are often very puzzling to the student (see SECOND FRENCH Book, $ $ 231—234). We will give a few of these cases.

ABOUT. § 26. About has a great many different meanings in French. We only give a few examples :

1. His soldiers were about him

Ses soldats étaient autour de lui
2. He took me about the middle

Il me prit par le milieu du corps
3. Why does he keep such people about him ?

Pourquoi garde-t-il auprès de lui de pareilles gens ?
4. About the third hour

Vers la troisième heure
5. He is about twenty

Il a vingt ans environ
6. He never carries money about him
· Il ne porte jamais d'argent sur lui
1. A man about the middle size

Un homme de taille moyenne
8. His coat hangs about him like a sack

Son habit pend après lui comme un sac
9. He is somewhere about the house

Il est quelque part dans la maison

By. $ 27. By is not always translated by par, but often by other prepositions. A few examples follow :

1. The coat made by lamp-light was sent me by ten o'clock L'habit fait à la lueur de la lampe me fut envoyé à dix

heures
2. By birth

By force
De naissance

De force
3. By taking revenge

En se vengeant
4. Take example by him

Prenez exemple sur lui
5. By your description of the town

D'après la description que vous faites de la ville
6. He is shorter by a whole head

Il est plus court de toute la tête
7. I was drying by the fire

Je me sèchais auprès du feu
8. He kept so much money by him

Il gardait tant d'argent par devers lui
9. What hour is it by your watch

Quelle heure est-il à votre montre 10. He began by counting

Il commençait à compter

FOR. § 28. For is not always translated by pour, but often by other prepositions. A few examples follow :

1. In reward for my services

En récompense de mes services 2. As for him

Quant à lui

« PreviousContinue »