Images de page

que j'aie

C'est la plus belle fille qui ait She is the most beautiful girl that jamais existé.

ever existed. C'est l'homme le plus fort He is the strongest man that I

jamais vu. C'est une des affaires les plus dé- It is one of the most disagreeable

sagréables où jamais un honnête affairs in which an honest man homme se soit trouvé engagé. was ever engaged.

ever saw.

M. I have acquainted you, in the conversation on the adjective, what was meant by its regimen or complement. My object, now, is to acquaint you what kind of adjectives require the preposition de before their regimen or complementary word, and what others require the preposition à.

RULE VIII.- French adjectives, expressing plenty, satisfaction, desire, knowledge, &c. as well as adjectives having a contrary signification; and, in general, those followed, in English, by the prepositions of, from, after, with, by, &c. require the preposition de after them.EXAMPLES: Il a été comblé de politesses. He was loaded with kindnesses. Je suis privé de tout.

I am deprived of every thing. Il est très-avide de richesses. He is very greedy after wealth, Il est chargé de dettes.

He is deeply in debt. Vous n'êtes pas capable d'expli- You are not able to construe this quer cet auteur.

author. Elle est incapable de mensonge. She is incapable of an untruth. Je suis content de votre réponse, I am satisfied with your answer. Il est mécontent de sa femme. He is discontented with his wife, Je suis ravi de son rétablissement. i I am overjoyed at his recovery. Je suis exempt de crainte et de I am free from fear and danger.


Rule IX.-Adjectives which denote aptness, fitness, inclination, conformity, habit, disposition, &c. require the preposition à after them. – EXAMPLES: Il est propre à fout.

He is fit for any thing. Elle n'est propre à rien.

She is unfit for any thing. Cela est nuisible à la santé. That is hurtful to health. Cela est aisé à dire et mal-aisé à This is easy to say and difficult to faire.

do. Il est adonné à l'ivrognerie. He is addicted to drunkenness. Cela est-il conforme à la vérité ? Is that conformable to truth? Le vôtre est semblable au mien. Yours is like mine. Je suis sensible à vos bontés. I am sensible of your kindnesscs. Il est insensible à toutes les remon- | He is insensible to all the remon. trauces de ses amis.

strances of his friends.

Ce négociant est très-exact à ses | This merchant is very punctual in engagemens.

his engagements. Il est habile à tout faire.

He is skilful in every thing. Il est zélé à remplir ses devoirs. He is zealous in discharging his


A few adjectives are often followed, in French, by the preposition envers, which is then rendered, in English, by to.--EXAMPLES: Il faut être poli envers tout le We ought to be polite to every monde.

body. Ce maître est très-bon envers ses ! This master is very good to his esclaves.

slaves. Ce capitaine de corsaire est très- This privateer-captain is very cruel

cruel envers ses prisonniers. to his prisoners.

RULE X.-When numbers are followed by a noun and a past participle, in English, the preposition de must be put, in French, between the noun and participle, which agree in gender and number.- Ex-. AMPLES: Dans le dernier incendie, il y eut | In the last fire, there were twenty

ye vingt-sept maisons de brûlées, seren houses burnt, more than plus de cinquante personnes fifty people smothered, and a d'étouffées par les flammes, et great many buried under the un grand nombre d'ensevelies rubbish.

sous les ruines. Cette frégate a eu, dans le combat, This frigate, in the engagement,

soixante hommes de tués et bad sixty men killed, and eighquatre-vingts de blessés.

ty wounded. S. Are there not some difficulties concerning the adjectives, feu, nu, and grand?

M. Yes: 1st, the adjective feu, preceded by the article la, is feminine ; but, when it precedes that article, it is masculine.-EXAMPLES: Feu la reine, ou la feue reine, The late queen was an accom


plished woman. Observe, that this adjective has no plural.

2d. The adjective nu, when it precedes a noun, is invariable; but, when it follows, it agrees with it in gender and number.- ExAMPLES : Il lui parla nu-tête, ou la tête | He spoke to him, or her, barenue.

headed. Il va nu-pieds, nu-jambes; ou il va He goes bare-footed, bare-legged.

les pieds nus, les jambes nues. 3d. Grande, feminine, sometimes loses its e in pronunciation and in

était une

writing, before a few nouns beginning with a consonant, which is signified by an apostrophe being put over the place where the e should be.-EXAMPLES: Il est entré dans la grand' salle | He entered the great chamber of du palais.

the palace. Ce n'est pas grand chose. It is no great matter. Cette nouvelle lui fera grand' This piece of news will grieve him, peine.

or her, very much. Il eut grand peur, et moi aussi. He was very much afraid, and I

also. J'avais grand faim, et lui aussi. I was very hungry, and he also. Avez-vous fait grand' chère ? Had you a great entertainment ? Il hérite de sa grand mère et de He inherits from his grand-mosa granď tante.

ther and great aunt. La grand messe dura plus de | High mass lasted above four quatre heures.

hours. I conclude the syntax of the adjective by informing you, that adjectives used in the place of adverbs never vary.—EXAMPLES : Cot orateur demeura court, contre | This orator stopped short, conson usage.

trary to his custom. L'aînée de ces demoiselles chante | The eldest of these


ladies juste, la cadetle chante faux. sings in tune, and the youngest

sings out of tunt. Vous parlez trop vite et trop bas You speak too fast and too loro

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pour moi.

for me.


Rule XI.-In speaking of sovereigns and princes, the cardinal numbers are used in French, instead of the ordinal, as in English, except in alluding to the two first of the dynasty, when the ordinal number must be used.-EXAMPLES : Louis premier, fils de Charle-Lewis the first, son of Charlemagne, fut surnommé lé dé

magne, surnamed the bonnaire

Meek. Jacques second mourut en France, James the second died in France

le quatorze Septembre, mil sept on * the 14th of September, cent un.

1701. George trois fut couronné, le George the third was crowned

vingt-deux Septembre, mil sept the 22d of September, cent soixante et un.

1761. Henri quatre, roi de France, fut | Henry the fourth, king of France, assassiné

was murdered by Ravaillac. Charles cing, roi de France, fut Charles the fifth, king of France, surnommé le Sage.


[ocr errors]

par Ravaillac.

was suruamed the Wise.

* Ou is never expressed in French.

Observe, that, when speaking of Charles the fifth, emperor of Germany, and Pope Sextus the fifth, we say, Charles quint et Sixte quint, instead of Charles cing, and Sixte cinq.

We also make use of the cardinal number, instead of the ordinal, in speaking of all the days of the month, the first excepted.-ExAMPLE: La société s'assemblera le pre- The society will meet on the first,

mier, le deux, le dix-sept, et le the second, the seventeenth, and vingt-et-un de Juin.

the twenty-first of June.


I have now to make a few remarks concerning the numbers.

Ist. Unième, first, is used only after vingt, trente, quarante, cinquante, soirante, quatre-vingts, cent, and mille, as is exemplified in the following ExAMPLE: C'est la vingt-unième fois que je | It is the one-and-twentieth time lui écris.

that I have written to him.

[ocr errors]

2d. We say vingt et un, trente et un, and so on to quatre-vingts; but it is now customary to suppress the conjunction for the following numbers, and say, for instance, vingt-deux, &c. trente-deur, &c.

3d. Formerly, septante was said for soixante-dir; huitante for quatre-vingts, and nonante for quatre-vingt-dir. Those expressions have been very improperly banished from the language, as they keep up analogy in the formation of numbers, and thereby facilitate the exercise of the memory in numbering them. The first of these is now used only when speaking of the translation of the Bible by the seventy great interpreters, which we call la version des seplante. "The last is in use in geometry only.

4th, Cent, in the plural, is invariable, when followed by another number.-EXAMPLE: Ils étaient trois cent vingt. They were three hundred and


But, when it is preceded by one number, without being followed by another, it then takes an 8, the mark of the plural.--EXAMPLE: Il y en eut trois cents de tués. | There were three hundred killed.

Vingt, in quatre-vingts, is invariable, when followed by another number.-EXAMPLE:

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


But, should it be followed by a noun, then it also takes an 8.--EXAMPLE: La mienne ne me coûte que | Miue cost me only eighty gui.

quatre-vingts guinées.

Mille never takes the mark of the plural. --EXAMPLE: Dix mille hommes d'infanterie et Ten thousand infantry and four quatre mille de cavalerie.

thousand cavalry. In marking of dates we only write mih. - EXAMPLE: L'an mil huit cent quinze sera, à | The year one thousand eight hun

jamais, célèbre par le rétablisse- dred and fifteen will be for ment de l'augusté dynastie des ever distinguished for the restoBourbons.

ration of the august dynasty of the Bourbons.



The ordinal and collective numbers take the mark of the plural.EXAMPLE: Les quatre premières douzaines The four first dozen of eggs are

d'eufs ne valent rien: mais les good for nothing; but the vingt dernières sont excellentes. twenty last are excellent.

5th Onze does not require the elision of vowels before it, nor to be connected with the final consonant of the preceding word, as it is generally aspirated.-EXAMPLES: De onze enfans qu'ils étaient, il en Out of eleven children, four are est mort quatre.

dead. De vingt il n'en reste plus que Out of twenty, eleven only re

main. Lo onze, du onze, au onze de Septembre, Ils étaient onze. - J'irai le voir | They were eleven.—I shall go and sur les onze heures.

see him about eleven o'clock. Une, in the following mode of expression, sur les une heure, about one o'clock, is likewise aspirated like onze.

I here conclude the syntax of the numbers. My next care will bo to acquaint you with the use of some of the remaining articles or pronouns.

S. I find that, in the course of this lesson, you say nothing of the word demi.

M. I had forgot it, probably because it is a fractional number: but this does not excuse me, as nothing useful should be omitted. Demi is masculine when it precedes a noun feminine; but feminine when it comes after a noun of that gender. Thus it is said, une demie leure, half an hour; une heure et demie, an hour and a half.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« PrécédentContinuer »