FR: Guerriers de Vendée

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Glat64, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    Hi all,

    I have seen a book entitled Guerriers de Vendée and I'm confused at the missing La. Are we not told that in French we always have to use an article ?
  2. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    Alsace, France
    French - France, ♀
    à quelle règle fais-tu référence ?
    On dit par exemple les pairs de France et les montagnes de Savoie.

    Ici, j'imagine qu'on aurait pu dire vendéens.

    Tu as écrit "La Vendée" pour dire où tu te trouves ; Vendée tout court aurait suffit. :)
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  3. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    J'espère que non ! Sûrement pas "toujours" ... Vous habitez bien en Vendée, n'est-ce pas ? Dans le département de la Vendée, c'est-à-dire. Moi, c'est dans l'Isère (le département, pas la rivière), dans la région Rhône-Alpes. Ou bien en Isère, en Rhône-Alpes, on dit comme on veut.

    Un chant (d'ailleurs douteux) entendu dans l'armée disait : "Soldats de France, soldats du pays, nous remonterons vers les lignes ..."
  4. coursic Senior Member

    France French
    If it was "Les Guerriers de Vendée", they would be all the men from Vendée who went at war...
    Reading "Guerriers de Vendée", I expect to read something about some people from Vendée (and probably during the revolution)
  5. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    I translated it as Vendéen Warriors, or Warriors of the Vendée ? My point is that in all lessons I have come across we are told from the outset that French is clearly different to English with regard to the use of the article. Here's a couple of quotes from a Rocket French course for example....

    "Remember, in French all nouns need to be defined by "Le" or "La" even when you wouldn't do this with the English equivalent "the". For example in English you might say "there is steam coming out of the kettle", in French you would refer to steam as "la vapeur" and not "vapeur". It is important to know that without "Le" in front of "Soleil" and "La" in front of "Lune" the words are incomplete and incorrect ! Gender definition is at the heart of French communication, this is what gives the language balance and harmony as you learn to speak it and write it."

    The strange thing I find in this instance, is that in English the use of the article sounds necessary ! Warriors of Vendée just sounds odd (or maybe I'm thinking too much in French these days!)
  6. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    Perhaps some rules are just meant to be broken :) "Soldats de la France" me semble mieux aussi :eek:
  7. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    This is clearly too much. Un jet de vapeur s'échappe de la bouilloire, not *un jet de la vapeur. J'ai attrapé un coup de soleil, not *un coup du soleil, et trouvé une pierre de lune, not *une pierre de la lune.
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Guérriers de Vendée is parallel to Ambassade de France; yet one also says Ambassade du Danemark, des États-Unis, etc.

    I wonder if the choice of article or not in such titles is somewhat one of stylistics or what "sounds right."
  9. coursic Senior Member

    France French
    French grammar is meant to be tricky for Brits (... and sometimes for Frogs as well !) :D
  10. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    Eh bien, je suis ravi d'avoir posé la question. Je suis coupable d'avoir utisilé des phrases mauvaise comme ci-dessus !

    Merci à tous

    As an afterthought, I suppose what these language courses are trying to explain is shown well in this example ...

    La liberté et l'égalité sont très importantes. Liberty and equality are very important....French use of article.

    Un petit peu de liberté est importante. A little bit of liberty is important... French non use of article.

    The temptation for me before, would have been to say... Un petit peu de la liberté.... The irony is I have used just de "naturaly" in the past then corrected myself by wrongly adding the article!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  11. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    The version of the rule from your grammar text, Glat64, is patently absurd if you think about it for 3 seconds, because it is worded in such a way as to imply that French only ever uses the singular definite article! :p

    The idea that French nouns generally require a determiner, while English nouns may not, is a good starting point. It helps us English speakers remember that we can't say things like Histoire est intéressante :cross: or As-tu acheté lait ? :cross:, omitting the article as we would in English ("History is interesting," "Did you buy milk?"). Determiners are required in those French sentences!

    But this "every noun needs a determiner" idea is only the beginning. To this foundation, we must add several more layers. We must remember that there are many kinds of determiners beyond the ubiquitous definite ("the") and indefinite ("a/an") articles, including demonstrative adjectives ("this, that, these, those") and possessive adjectives ("my, your," etc.) French also has a partitive article, which English lacks (though we do sometimes use the words "some" and "any"). We must further recall that some French articles combine with prepositions in a way that can seem to make the article disappear, whereas it is in fact still "hidden" in the sentence in combined form (e.g., un jet de + de la vapeur = un jet de vapeur). We must also learn some set structures that are simply idiomatic (e.g., aimer + definite article to express likes and dislikes; être + name of a profession with no article unless the profession is modified, etc.) And we must learn a rather extensive set of rules that govern the usage of articles and prepositions with geographic place names.

    This last set of rules explains your Vendée example. When we say "from" + [a feminine country or region] in French, we use de without an article. Why? I don't have a good answer for you, except perhaps the observation that all of the rules for preposition and article usage with geographic place names seem to generate one single-syllable word before the place, or else an elision. De la would be two syllables.

    I hope it helps. :)
  12. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    Hi. I realise your point at the beginning but I was just targeting le and la in this instance. It must be daunting for a beginner when you are taught that French uses a singular definite article - whereas in many cases English does not - throw in the de + la, de + le rules etc - only to discover that there is often one rule for one construction and an entirely different one for another - for no apparent reason:confused:.

    A simple rule to follow (from what I've now seen) is that French follows exactly the same rules as English when a noun follows of or of the. Eg. The rules of the game...les règles du jeu. A cup of tea.... Une tasse de thé. A bottle of lemonade... Une boueteille de limonade - although I now fully expect someone to blow this little theory clean out of the water ! Ah well.... c'est la vie and thank you for your input Jann :)
  13. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    The rules of the game ... les règles du jeu, OK. But what about les règles du cricket ? No, the rules of that (linguistic) game cannot be that simple, unfortunately.
  14. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    I was hoping you would come up with a good example like this one, Mauricet, so that I could explain it. :)

    Cricket is a noun. In French, nouns generally need determiners. We clearly don't want a demonstrative or a possessive here, because that doesn't fit with our desired meaning, so we are left considering the usual line-up of articles: definite, indefinite, and partitive. Would it make sense to talk about the rules of "a" cricket? Clearly not, so we can eliminate the indefinite option. Let us consider the remaining two.

    Remembering that the partitive indicates some uncountable portion of a larger whole, does it make more sense to speak of the rules of "the" cricket or the rules of "some" cricket? The rules of cricket apply to all cricket that is played; they apply to the game of cricket, which is a specific and definite thing. Using the partitive doesn't make sense here, as we have no need to acknowledge a part of a whole. So we are left choosing the definite article in French, even though we would never say "the rules of the cricket" in English.

    Les règles de + le cricket --> Les règles du cricket

    (or at least that's one way of thinking about such things) :)
  15. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    That'll teach me to try and come up with a theory ! Thanks again :)
  16. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
  17. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
  18. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    Thanks Maître Capello, sorry to persue the issue again but I like to examine every nuance ! It's pretty damn confusing for us Anglais but I'm getting the gist !

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