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Pleuvoir, to rain.

plu, rained. An impersonal verb, used only in the infinitive, past participle, and the third person singular of all tenses. There is no imperative. il pleut. il pleuvait. il plut. il pleuvra. il pleuvrait. qu'il pleuve.

qu'il plât. il a plu, it has rained. il avait plu, it had rained. In the figurative sense, this verb is also used in the third person plural : les balles pleuvaient de toutes parts, balls were raining (or pouring) from all sides.

Pourvoir à, to provide for. Same as voir, except Preterite, je pourvus ; Future, je pourvoirai; Condit., je pourvoirais; Subj. imperf., que je pourvusse.

The Pronoun le (so or it). In English, I am, we are, etc., may be used without other words in answer to a question; the French insert le, la, les, before the verb, to represent the word about which the question is asked.

(1) If the word is a substantive (or adjective used substantively, as le malade, the patient), use le, la, les, according to the gender and number of the substantive represented : Are you the daughter of this gentle- êtes-vous la fille de ce monsieur ? man? Yes, I am.

oui, je la suis. Are you the sick lady who sent for êtes-vous la malade qui m'a fait me? No, I am not.

appeler ? non, je ne la suis pas. (2) If the word to be represented is an adjective (or a substantive used adjectively), le alone is used : 1 Are you pleased, ladies? We all êtes-vous contentes mesdames ?

nous le sommes toutes. Are you a governess ?

êtes-vous gouvernante ? je le suis. 1 Another way to express the above rules : If the predicate in the question is an adjective or a substantive with a, the le is not declined; if it is a substantive with the, it is declined.



I am.

to be so,

Le is also used to represent a preceding adjective or participle, or even a clause, although the form of the sentence is not interrogative: – She is more modest than she was elle est plus modeste qu'elle ne formerly,

l'était autrefois. He is beloved because he deserves il est aimé parce qu'il est digne de

l'être. You have made more progress than vous avez fait plus de progrès que I hoped,

je ne l'espérais. 1. Asseyez-vous donc. 2. Donnez-vous la peine de vous asseoir. 3. Asseyez-vous sur ce banc, je vais vous montrer quelque chose de beau. 4. Me voilà assise, et prête à voir tout ce que vous voulez me montrer. 5. Où donc voulez-vous que je m'asseye ? Par terre ? 6. Avezvous pourvu ma chambre de toutes les choses nécessaires ? 7. Soyez tranquille, on y pourvoira. 8. Vous savez bien que votre mère pourvoit à tout. 9. Ne m'envoyez pas ces livres s'il pleut, ils seraient tout gâtés. 10. Envoyez-les-moi plutôt demain, je serai à la maison entre quatre et cinq heures. 11. Est-ce que vous êtes le monsieur qui vient de perdre une montre ? 12. Oui, monsieur, je le suis; je vous remercie de votre bonté. En effet c'est ma montre, et j'avais peur que je ne la revisse plus.

1. She sits down;1 she sat down; she was sitting down. 2. She is seated; she was seated; she will be

1 Observe that the reflective form is used here to express the act of sitting down, whilst the passive merely expresses the state.

It is well known that the French language was originally a development of the popular Latin spoken by the Roman soldiery, the colonists occupying Gaul, and the whole rustic population. This popular Latin showed a continuous tendency to decompose classical Latin, and among other decompositions the following two were accomplished facts in the sixth century : – 1. The present tense of the passive voice of amare, viz. amor, was transformed into sum amatus ; 2. The preterite of the active voice, viz. amavi, had become habeo amatum. This novel use of the past participle has been so universally


I am.

seated. 3. They had seated themselves; they would have seated themselves. 4. Let us sit down here; it is the only place (lieu) that we find where it does not rain. 5. It will rain; it will have rained; it would rain. 6. Why do you not give her the watch which you have promised her? 7. No, do not give it to her, give it to me ($ 76). 8. I am sure of it ($ 80); I am sure of him ($ 71). 9. You speak of it; you speak of her. 10. I am glad of it. 11. I shall not consent to it. 12. He has bought a great many novels, and will lend me a few. 13. Are you not a little lazy, Miss Jane? Unfortunately,

14. Are you this gentleman's daughter ? No, sir, I am not. 15. Are you the gentlemen who bought these horses? Yes, we are.

16. Wars are less numerous than they were. 17. He is more learned than I had thought. constant in the French mind that the past participle no longer implies by itself any idea of past as it did in classical Latin, but does so when combined with j'ai, tu as, il a, etc. Thus the classical cantavi became habeo cantatum in popular Latin, and j'ai chanté in French. In the same way, used with je suis, tu es, il est, etc., it expresses the present : the classical amor becanje sum amatus in popular Latin, in French je suis aimé.

Bearing this in mind, and also remembering that French pronominal verbs always take être in their compound tenses with the meaning of avoir, one can easily understand that je me suis blessé, meaning j'ai blessé moi. même, expresses a past action, whilst je suis blessé expresses a present state.

Observe, however, that if je suis sorti, parti, venu, etc., are used with a date expressed or understood, they express a past action, as, il est arrivé hier, he arrived yesterday, elle est partie le 15 de ce mois, she left on the 15th instant. If they are without a date expressed or understood, they express a present state ; je suis arrivé, I am arrived, il est sorti, he is out, elle est partie, she is away. je m'assieds, I sit down.

il se lève, he is rising. je me suis assis, I sat down. il s'est levé, he rose. je suis assis, I am seated or sitting. il est levé, he is up. il se couche, he goes to bed.

il se fâche, he is getting angry. il s'est couché, he went to bed. il s'est fâché, he got angry. il est couché, he is in bed.

il est fâché, he is angry.


Valoir, to be worth.


valu. je vaux, tu vaux, il vaut, nous valous, vous valez, ils valent. je valais, tu valais, il valait, nous valions, vous valiez, ils valaient.

je valus. je vaudrai. je vaudrais. que je vaille, que tu vailles, qu'il vaille, que nous valions, que vous valiez, qu'ils vaillent.

que je valusse.

No imperative.

The impersonal verb to be better is translated by valoir mieux :

que demain.


It is better to leave to-day than to il vaut mieux partir aujourd'hui


After valoir mieu and aimer mieux, than followed by an inf itive is translated by que de : It will be better to go away at once il vaudra mieux partir tout de suite than to wait an hour,

que d'attendre une heure. I like better to write to him than to j'aime mieux lui écrire que de lui speak to him,

parler. Savoir to know (by the mind). sachant. je sais, tu sais, il sait, nous savons, vous savez, ils savent. je savais, tu savais, il savait, nous savions, vous saviez, ils savaient. je sus. je saurai.

je saurais. que je sache, que tu saches, qu'il sache, que nous sachions, que vous sachiez, qu'ils sachent.

que je susse. sache, qu'il sache, sachons, sachez, qu'ils sachent.

Je ne sache pas is sometimes used for the negative of the first person singular of the present indicative.

Savoir must be used instead of pouvoir, when can means to know how, to have learned : He can read and write,

il sait lire et écrire. He knows how to read and write, Can you dance ? Do know how to dance ?

savez-vous danser ? you

} }

We may say, il peut écrire ; but the sense is, he is able to write (in spite of his sore fingers or hands). We say also, pouvez-vous danser ? but it means, are you able to dance (in spite of your sore foot) ?

Savoir is one of four verbs (8 116) which may be used negatively without pas or point; but when not to know means not to have learned, pas or point is used :I know not what to say,

je ne sais que dire. He does not know his lesson, il ne sait pas sa leçon. Do you not know it ?

ne la savez-vous pas ? I do not know how to swim,

je ne sais pas nager. The conditional je ne saurais, etc., may be used for the present je ne puis, etc. Only the meaning of the latter is more absolute : He is not able to do this,

il ne saurait le faire. He cannot do this,

il ne peut le faire. He does not know how to do this,

The Use of Disjunctive Pronouns (see $$ 32, 37, 71). Disjunctive pronouns 1 are used :

(1) In answer to a question : Who is speaking ? She is. qui parle ? elle, or c'est elle. Who brought that here? I did. qui a apporté cela ici ? moi, or

c'est moi. To whom did you speak? To him. à qui avez-vous parlé ? à lui.

(2) After reflective verbs : — I address myself to you,

je m'adresse à vous. Do not trust (yourself) to him, ne vous fiez pas à lui.

(3) When they are separated from the verb, either as subjects or objects, by some other word :He alone can understand you, lui seul peut vous comprendre. He is not so rich as they,

il n'est pas si riche qu'eux. He loves nobody but me,

il n'aime que moi.

1 They are called disjunctive because they are disjoined from the verb.

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