FR: agreement of the past participle

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by marget, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. marget Senior Member

    Bonjour,

    I have been told that the agreement of the past participle was not always a rule in French grammar. Would anyone know when it came into effect?

    Merci d'avance!:)
     
  2. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    Paris
    English - UK
    see here

    http://www.tv5.org/TV5Site/lf/merci_professeur.php?id=2603

    He mentions a Clement Barot (Spelling) of the 16th Century who started this
    madness. At the end I think he mentions also that this guy was responsible for two things Syphilis and the PDO agreement and they were still working out which was worse.
     
  3. Seccotine

    Seccotine Junior Member

    Lille
    French/France
    Hello !

    Here's what I found, on Wikipedia, and from a communication by Jacques Chaurand at the university of Paris XIII in 2004 :

    Clément Marot, in 1558, wrote a verse saying "m'amour vous ay donnée" (I gave you my love), instead of "m'amour vous ay donné". This agreement was inspired to him by the Italian language, and at that time wasn't really considered as a rule stricto senso, more like a new way of writing, you could choose to follow or not.

    It became a rule with the edition of Wailly's Grammar in 1760, and was slightly altered and extended during the XIXth century to give the actual rules.
     
  4. Seccotine

    Seccotine Junior Member

    Lille
    French/France
    woops ! Too late ! :)
     
  5. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    Paris
    English - UK

    No it all adds to the knowledge...I didn't get the poet's name right so there that helps.
     
  6. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Writing? Was it still during the time where the e-muet of the participle was still pronounced? I mean, it occasionally affects liaison and such, no, and would be especially more so in that era?

    On the bright side, the growth of internet and IMing and the like might deprecate it in a century. :p
     
  7. Seccotine

    Seccotine Junior Member

    Lille
    French/France
    I don't know much about that time's pronounciation. But in the poem Marot wrote, he gives other examples of agreement of past participles :

    "Il fault dire en termes parfaicts,
    Dieu en ce monde nous a faicts"
    (...)
    "Et ne fault point dire (en effect)
    Dieu en ce monde les a faict:
    Ne nous a faict pareillement:
    Mais nous a faicts tout rondement."

    In those ones, it can't be just a matter of pronouciation, as two of the participles don't affect the rhyme at all...

    (other than that, I checked the date of release of the poem : it's in the first book of Les épigrammes, and I can't seem to find the date of publication. But Marot certainly wrote it before 1558, as he died in 1544... :p )
     
  8. marget Senior Member

    It appears tht the rule is not applied consistently, doesn't it?

    I appreciate all you help!:)
     
  9. Seccotine

    Seccotine Junior Member

    Lille
    French/France
    No, in fact, the poem is written to his students, and he explains what they should write and what they shouldn't :

    "Et ne fault point dire (en effect)" - And you shouldn't say :
    "Dieu en ce monde les a faict" - first example without the agreement of the participle
    "Ne nous a faict pareillement" - Nor should you say : second example
    "Mais nous a faicts tout rondement" - But instead : good example
     
  10. insanomonkey Junior Member

    Pennsylvania
    United States, English
    Hi. I just wanted to know whether you make agreement with the passé composé in just the être verbs, avoir verbs, or both être and avoir verbs? For example; vous êtes descendus, elles sont allées, etc. Just like these verbs, do you make agreement with the avoir verbs in the passé composé? Thank you very much, and bonné année!:)
     
  11. Bléros Senior Member

    Jax
    USA, English
    Yes, with both 'être' and 'avoir', except this goes for all tenses who use participles, not just the passé composé.

    -ALWAYS (well, most of the time) with être
    When verbs like aller and descendre are in the passé composé or any other compound tense, then they agree with the subject.

    -Claire et Amadine (elles) sont allées au cinéma.
    -Claire (elle) est partie ce soir.
    -Pierre et Michel (ils) sont sortis de l'école cet après-midi.
    -Pierre (il) est entré dans le restaurant.


    Reflexive verbs like se laver ('to wash') also agree with their subjects. However, when the se is the indirect object like in se demander (to ask oneself), the participles do not agree.

    -Nous nous sommes lavés.
    -Françoise (Il) s'est couchée.
    -Elle s'est demandé
    -Il s'est acheté un pull.

    -
    ALWAYS (well sometimes) with avoir and a direct object pronoun.
    When avoir is used, the direct object pronoun agrees with the participle. For example, la balle is a feminine word, and it is singular. So, if I said "He caught the ball," I would say in French, "Il a attrapé la balle". The attrapé does not agree with la balle because it is not a direct object pronoun, but if I said "He caught it," and "it" refers to the "the ball," I would say in French, "Il l'a attrapée". (This rule does not apply with the causative, that is faire + infinitive, nor does it apply to the indirect object pronoun lui.)

    -J'ai fait mes devoirs. -> Je les ai faits.
    -Vous avez eu la grippe. -> Vous l'avez eue.
    -Mon fils a passé un examen. -> Mon fils l'a passé.
    -J'ai fait Amélie laver la voiture. -> Je l'ai fait laver la voiture.
    -On a dit à Laure de ficher le camp. -> On lui a dit de ficher le camp.
     
  12. insanomonkey Junior Member

    Pennsylvania
    United States, English
    Oh, Thank you!!! :)
     
  13. BigRedDog

    BigRedDog Senior Member

    California, USA
    France, French
    In other word "avoir" implies agreement iff the direct object (not always a pronoun) is before the verb

    - Les devoirs que j'ai faits à la maison

    Note that:

    -J'ai fait Amélie laver la voiture. -> Je l'ai fait laver la voiture. (rather questionable but maybe correct)
    - J'ai fait laver la voiture à Amélie -> Je lui ai fait laver la voiture :tick:

     
  14. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    Hem ! I think you missed something Bleros !
    Let me begin with the beginning :
    Il a attrapé la balle / He caught the ball
    La balle (as well as the ball) is a direct object (accusative, if you know the word)
    Though "il a attrapé" is right. The past participle doesn't agree (with anything neither subject nor object) when the auxiliary is avoir,

    except : when the direct object is placed before the verb, which happens
    in different instances :
    Tu as vu la balle ? Il l'a attrapée !
    C'est la balle qu'il a attrapée
    (the relative pronoun stands for la balle)
    That's why your example was correct...
     
  15. Bléros Senior Member

    Jax
    USA, English
    Isn't that exactly what I said, though? The participle agrees with the direct object pronoun (le, la, les), and not the direct object.

    Another thing not to forget is that me, te, nous and vous are direct object pronouns too.

    -Ils nous ont
    vus.
    -Elle dit: Pourquoi m'as-tu heurtée ?
     
  16. Drechuin Senior Member

    France ; french

    But it doesn't explain "La pomme que j'ai mangée". The direct object is que, used for La pomme.
     
  17. BigRedDog

    BigRedDog Senior Member

    California, USA
    France, French
    Bléros, it has nothing to do with the fact that it is a pronoun. The key point is whether the direct object is before or after the verb.

    If the direct object is after the participle don't agree
    If the direct object is before the participle agrees.

    Simple! ;)
     
  18. iGarcon Junior Member

    Chennai, India
    India - Tamil
    "Past participles of verbs conjugated with avoir agree in gender and number with a preceding direct object noun, pronoun, or antecedent unless the direct object is linked to the infinitive and not to the conjugated verb." from 575+ French Verbs by Gail Stein.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

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