Images de page

There are many cases in which the participle qualifying and completing all at once, is not preceded by the preposition en; as in the following phrase: Comment voulez-vous que, diant pas, on devienne savait I Haw.can you expect, without stu

dying, to become learned? Etudiant both qualifies and completes: it is as if there were,

Comment voulez-vous que, lorsqu'on n'étudie pas, on devienne sayant?

Note, in general, that whenever, without en, the sense would be equivocal or ambiguous, this word must be expressed.

Rule III.When a participle present is employed, solely to qualify a substantive, and not to complete a verb, it ought not to be preceded by the preposition en; and it accomplishes this, when it can be rendered by qui, and the indicative of the verb; which construction is generally preferable to the participle present, especially if the participle present have a reference to a noun acted upon by the preposition à.-EXAMPLES: J'ai vu votre frère courant, ou qui| I saw your brother running at full

courait, à toutes jambes. speed. Apercevez-vous les matelots ra- Do you perceive the sailors row

mant, ou qui rament, vers la ing towards the coast?

côte? C'est une femme aimant, ou qui She is a woman that loves her aime, son mari.

husband. In the first place, courant merely qualifies the noun frère, and does not at the same time complete the verb j'ai vu; because we may say, j'ai vu votre frère qui courait à toutes jambes.

By placing en, therefore, before courant, the sense of the phrase would be changed. The participle would qualify the pronoun je, and would complete, at the same time, the verb, j'ai vu—j'ai vu votre frère en courant à toutes jambes; that is to say, j'ai vu votre frère, lorsque je courais à toutes jambes.

As you might be apt to impose gender or number on the participle present, as beginners often do, owing to many adjectives ending in ant,* such as charmant, obligeant, souffrant, &c. which assume gender or number, as the nouns to which they are subject require it, it is ne

• Of all the participles in ant, only those of the neuter or stationary verbs may vary. Thus we may say, Une humeur répugnante à la mienne—une étoffe appro. chante de la vôtre. But this rule is far from being general, as one could not say, des filles travaillantes a la terre; des personnes arrivantes de campagne. We might find, in some of our best poets, instances of participles present, both of active and stationary verbs, made variable; but this licence bas not been fully sanctioned by usage.

cessary for me to establish the material difference which exists between the real participle present and the adjective in ant. The former is a verb, because either it has a complement or it expresses a circumstance of time; and the latter has no complernent, at least direct, and expresses no circumstance of time.

It is true, that these adjectives were formerly participles present, and were then liable to gender or number, as may be noticed in some law terms; such as les gens tenans notre cour; la rendante compte: but, as the French language has since acquired a fixed character, by which the participle present is rendered invariable, we must conform to it. In a word, to distinguish the participle present from the adjective, which has the same termination, it suffices to kwow, that the verb étre connects itself well with the adjective ending in ant, but cannot, by any means, with the participle present.

Je suis prévenant. We may say Tu es charmant.

Il est séduisant.

Je suis lisant. We cannot say Tu es vendant.

Il est servant.

Almost every grainmarian admits, besides the participle present of a gerund, which is in reality only the participle present preceded by the preposition en. This denomination appearing to me, after mature consideration, quite superfluous, I have not adopted it. I conclude this account of the participle present by observing, that ayant and étant very seldom adınit before them the prepo

sition en.




Master. The question, when the past participle of a verb is declinable or when it is indeclinable, involves many difficulties; as even the first-rate grammarians appear divided among themselves on some of its points, wbile they have all supported their opinions by very ingenious reasons Our opinion on this subject will, I think, bé found conforinable to reason, and our principles adequate to the solution of the difficulties alluded to. If I do not always impart my motives for adopting one opinion and rejecting another, it is merely owing to the long process of reasoning necessary to support my doc rine ; as I could not presume to adopt an opinion, different from that of Vaugelas, Regnier, Condillac, Wailly, &c. without assigning reasons at full length for it. Besides, upon the whole, I consider, that however interesting these discussions may be to a critic, or a philologist, or a professed grammarian, they are by no means so to the learner, who cannot discover in them sufficient utility to compensate the loss of time he might have so much better employed, and the difficulty he experiences in the investigation of the subject.

To proceed, at the same time, with a certain degree of regularity and simplicity, I will consider the past participle conjugated,

1st, with étre,
2d, with avoir,
3d, with the reflective verb.

18t. Of the participle past, conjugated with étre. .

RULE I.-The past participle conjugated with Etre always agrees in gender and number with the subject of the verb.- EXAMPLES: Le crime est détesté; mais la vertu | Vice is detested; but virtue is not

n'est pas toujours aimée. always loved. Elle était, dans sa jeunesse, douée She was, in her youth, endowed d'une beauté ravissante.

with enchanting beauty. Les hommes vertueux sont estimés Virtuous men are esteemed even inème des méchaus,

by the wicked. Les femmes vertueuses sont respec- Virtuous women are respected by tées de tout le monde.

every body.

O toi, qui vois la honte où je suis descendue,
Implacable Vénub! suis-je assez confondue
Tu ne saurais plus loin pousser ta cruauté,
Tou friomphe est parfait, tes traits ont tolis posté.

Rule II.- When été, joined to one of the tenses of avoir, is fol. lowed by another participle, the latter is declinable.-EXAMPLES: Cette actrice a été applaudie du Tbis actress has been applauded parterre et des loges.

by the pit and boxes. Nous avons été trahis par ceux

We havo been betroyed even by même à qui nous avions été those to whom we had been recommandés.


M. As the declinability or indeclinability of the past participle, in the examples that will now follow, depends upon its being preceded by its direct complement, or upon its preceding its indirect complement, I give you a list of the complements direct, and another of the complements indirect, which always precede the past participle.

[blocks in formation]

2d. Of the past participle, conjugated with avoir.

RULE I.-The past participle is indeclinable, when it precedles its direct complement.--EXAMPLES: des nouvelles.

She bas received news, Nous avons trouvé cette pièce We found this piece interesting.

intéressante. Ces hommes ont rendu leurs ta- These men have rendered their lens célèbres,

talents famous.

Elle a reçu

Mânes de mon amant, j'ai donc trahi ma foi!

C'en est fait, et Gusman règne à januais sur moi. Rule II.—The past participle is declinable, when it is preceded by its direct complement, eren when it is followed by an adjective or another past participle.-EXAMPLES: Les nouvelles qu'elle a reçues. The news which she has received. La pièce que vous avez trouvée The piece which you found enterintéressante.

taining Les hommes que leurs talens ont The men whom their talents have rendus célèbres.

rendered famous. Il n'a pas eu le temps de faire He had no time to answer the

réponse aux lettres que vous letters you wrute him.
lui avez écrites.

Quels charmes ont pour vous des yeux infortunés
Qu'à des pleurs éternels yous avez condamnés!

On m'a blamé de l'en avoir pré- I have been blamed for informing

her of it.


Seigneur, vous m'avez vue attachée à vous nuire;

Dans le fond de mon caur vous ne pouviez pas lire. Le malheur t'a livrée, ô reine cou-, Misfortune has given thee, O courageuse, dans les mains de tes

rageous queen, into the hands bourreaux!

of thy murderers! Que je crains - mais, dis-moi, Bajazet t'a-t-il vue? Il nous a reçus avec beaucoup | He received us with much polite



Je reconnais l'erreur qui swus avait séduits. Je ne vous avais pas aperçue, I had not perceived you, madam,

madame, lorsque vous l'avez when you met her. rencontrée.

Oui, Roxane, il est vrai que je rous ai trompée. Y a-t-il long-temps que vous ne | Is it long since you saw them? lcs avez vus?

De sojus plus importans je l'ai vue agitée.
Je l'ai rendue horrible à ses yeux inhumains.
Le bruit de nos trésors les a tous attirés.

Que de peines ne me suis-je pas What trouble did I not give mydonnées pour vous !

self for you! Que de fatigues n'a-t-il pas soute. What hardships did he not bear!

nues! Que de folies n'a-t-il pas faites ! What pranks did he not play! Combien d'arpens de terre avez- How


of land have you vous achetés ?

bought ?
Pendant ces derniers temps, combien en a-t-on rus,
Qui, du soir au matin, sont pauvres devenus ?
Pour vouloir trop tôt être riches.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

RULE III.-The past participle is indeclinable, when preceded by its direct complement, and followed by an infinitive implying action on individnals mentioned in the phrase.—EXAMPLES: Les soldats que j'ai vu désarmer. | The soldiers I saw disarmed. Les vertus que j'ai entendu louer. | The virtues I heard praised.

« PrécédentContinuer »