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FR: cartes rechargeables ou de valeur(s) préétablie(s) - accord

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by mariposa14, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. mariposa14 Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Hello,

    I am trying to determine what agreement I need in this sentence: "Cartes rechargeables ou de valeur(s) préétablie(s)." I wasn't certain if I needed agreement in "valeur préétablie" because of the "de" but I was hoping for confirmation. Merci beaucoup!
     
  2. Jeanne75 Senior Member

    French - France
    Hi,

    In general in French you would not use plural: "Cartes rechargeables ou de valeur préétablie".

    Another example:
    Pierre et Paul pourront tous les deux exprimer leur opinion => Pierre and Paul will both be given the possiblity to express their opinion
    s
    The plural (s) is required in English, but generally not used in French.

    Cheers

     
  3. mariposa14 Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Hello,

    Thank you very much for your help! Keeping your suggestion in mind, should I change "Cartes rechargeables" to singular?
     
  4. Jeanne75 Senior Member

    French - France
    Hi,

    Generally speaking no. Eg:
    Les clients peuvent choisir entre des cartes rechargeables ou (des cartes) à / de valeur préétablie.

    The principal noun and adjective are plural, the complement in the nominal group is singular.

    Basically in French you would think in terms of "each" and not in terms of "total":
    - there are several cards (plural), each has one value (singular)
    - there are two people (plural), each has one opinion (singlular)

    Whilst in English you implicitely think that there are several cards so several values (plural) / two people so two opinions (plural).

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  5. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    This is what I was wondering: Would it make a difference if there is only one predetermined value or if there are instead multiple possible values?

    I would understand "cartes de valeur préétablie" as meaning "many cards you can buy, each having a worth of $10." (Peter and Paul each have one personal opinion that they will present.)

    But if you can choose between $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 cards, then I would expect "cartes de valeurs préétablies." (You could say, for instance, "Pierre et Paul pourront tous les deux expliquer leurs raisonnements" if they both have multiple possible arguments, right?)

    Is this right?
     
  6. Jeanne75 Senior Member

    French - France
    Hi Lucas-sp,

    Actually you are right, French is ambiguous...

    For the cards:
    - If you say "de valeur pré-établie" it could mean that the cards all have the same value or that each one has a different value. According to me this is the more common way of saying it.
    - If you say "de valeurs pré-établies", it's correct too but less common. You kind of highlight the fact that there are several choices.

    Regarding: Pierre et Paul pourront tous les deux expliquer leurs raisonnements
    - To me would basically mean that each has several "raisonnements", so the plural would be due to the fact that each of them has several "raisonnements" - and not that in total they have one + one = two "raisonnements".
    - It could also be used to highlight that their two "raisonnements" are totally different - but again that would not be the first reading without context.


    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  7. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Thanks for confirming that. It's true that as a native English speaker it is difficult to understand how "de valeur préétablie" can refer to several different values, but I would agree that the singular would definitely be more common in French.
     

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