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patronage capable of making it flourish.- Birds inf-1 les fleurir
cette protection ₤.
build their nests with admirable 1art and
nid m. avec un
une adresse f.
were only men who
ancien m. ind-2 ne que des
(had distinguished themselves) by s'étaient distingués
extraordinary 1valour or
+ Note.-It is only when les is an article, that the contraction of de les into des takes place. The same rule applies to de le, and to a le, à les.
§ II. PLACE OF ADJECTIVES.
Some Adjectives are placed before the noun, and some after it; others are either put before or after, according as taste or ear may require. However, it may be laid down as a rule that the French more generally place the Adjective after the noun.
ADJECTIVES WHICH ARE PLACED BEFORE THE NOUN.
1. Adjectives of one syllable, as beau, bon, grand, gros, etc., generally precede their substantive. We say, un BEAU jardin, un BON ouvrage, un GRAND chapeau, un SAINT personnage, etc.
2. Plural Adjectives generally unite harmoniously with substantives beginning with a vowel; as, BRILLANTS atours. It is the same with the Adjectives which, although singular, terminate with an x which is pronounced like an s; as, HEUREUX artifice, etc.
(See Remark 5th, page 218.)
Have you seen the beautiful lake of Geneva ?-The Loire lac m. Genève
is a fine river. -You arrive at a good moment.
make great use
un usage m.
of opium.-The big fishes
gros poisson m.
He is an old soldier.-My dear friend, you are mistaken.—
ADJECTIVES WHICH ARE PLACED AFTER THE NOUN.
The Adjectives which are placed after the substantive
1st, Adjectives which express names of nations; as, Le gouvernement ANGLAIS, the English government; La révolution FRANÇAISE, the French revolution.
REMARK.-When the name of a nation is an adjective, it does not require a capital letter in French, but it takes one if it be a substantive. So we write: La nation française, anglaise, espagnole, italienne, allemande. And, with a capital, un Anglais (an Englishman), un Espagnol (a Spaniard), etc.-(ACAD.)
English bravery; Spanish gravity; Italian policy; Roman
beauty; German music; Dutch
mœurs f. pl. prussien
f.t troops; Swedish soldiers; Chinese ceremonies.-The French troupe f. suédois soldat chinois monarchy began under Pharamond, in the year 420.-That monarchie f. ind-3
en ľ an
young German requests you to inscribe your name in his prier ‡ d'inscrire
2dly, Adjectives denoting colour are placed after the noun; as, un habit NOIR, a black coat; une robe BLANCHE, a white dress; un ruban BLEU, a blue ribbon.
In poetry and in a figurative sense, Noir may be placed before the substantive; as, un NOIR attentat, a black crime.
↑ See pages 30 and 31.
See Part. Observ. page 32.
Some compound words; as, rouge-gorge, a Robin-redbreast; du blancmanger, blancmange, can scarcely be considered as exceptions to this
Note. The student should impress himself well with the two foregoing rules, which are perhaps the most important on the position of the adjective, being directly the reverse of the English construction, and any deviation from either of these two rules would appear ludicrous, and at once stamp the speaker or writer as an unskilled French scholar.
blue eyes.-The Spanish soldiers wear
a red art. cockade. (Here is) a beautiful statue of white marble.— cocarde f. - f. blanc marbre m. The marigold is a yellow flower.-Saddle my black horse.—I souci m. jaune
shall put on my brown coat, and my American boots.
mettre Almost all the trees of Florida,
américain botte f. particularly the
art. Floride f. en particulier
cedar and the green oak, are covered with a white moss. cèdre m.
vert chêne m.
3rdly, Adjectives formed from the present participle of verbs, are, generally, placed after the substantive; as,
Un ouvrage divertissant.
An entertaining work.
But, Adjectives formed from the past participle are always placed after the substantive; as,
Un homme instruit.
A well-informed man.
(That is) an amusing book. The smiling images of
Theocritus, Virgil, and Gessner, excite in the soul a gentle
Grateful people (are like) those fruitful lands art. reconnaissant personne f. ressemblent à 2fertile 1f. which give more than they receive. He has made
An affected simplicity is a refined étonnant progrès m. pl. affecté † f.
4thly, Adjectives are placed after the substantive, when expressing some physical or natural quality, such as chaud, hot; froid, cold; humide, damp; and when expressing form, as une table carrée, a square table.
5thly, Adjectives of several syllables seldom go well before substantives of one syllable; so, instead of saying les champêtres airs, rural airs; les imaginaires lois, imaginary laws, say les airs champêtres, les lois imaginaires.
6thly, When two or more adjectives qualify the same noun, they are almost always placed after that noun. So, instead of adopting the English construction, ces deux rivales et guerrières nations, those two rival and warlike nations, say ces deux nations guerrières et rivales.
Will you give me some warm water ?-Bring me some cold chaud
milk. Put it on the round table.-Never sleep in a damp lait m. coucher
on divise en
room.- 2Arts 1(are divided) into liberal Arts and mechanical m. mécanique Arts.-The king of Spain is styled the Catholic king.-She appeler catholique has an harmonious voice.-She is a good and charitable woman. voix f. C
-He is an amiable and virtuous man.
↑ See Observations, pages 30 and 31.
FINALLY, the placing of a great many Adjectives, before or after the substantive, holds so much to the genius of the French language, that from their being placed before or after, often depends the meaning of the substantive; and usage dictates so imperiously the law, that by infringing it we would not be understood.
LIST OF ADJECTIVES
which impart a different meaning to the noun, according as they are placed before, or after it.
Des honnêtes gens, respectable people.
Mauvais air, a vulgar appear
Une méchante épigramme, a
Un homme bon, a good man.
Un homme brave, a brave man.
Une voix commune, a common voice.
Une clef fausse, a wrong key.
Une porte fausse, a false door.
Un fou furieux, a furious madman.
Un homme grand, a tall man.
L'air grand, a noble look.
Un homme honnête, a polite
Des gens honnêtes, polite people.
L'air mauvais, an ill-natured look.
Une épigramme méchante, a wicked epigram.
Du mort bois, wood of little Du bois mort, dead trees
Morte eau, ebb tides.
Le nouveau vin, the wine newly come.
De nouveaux livres, other books.
Eau morte, still water.
Des livres nouveaux, new