FR: La difficulté qu'a posée leur religion

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by mysterio626, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. mysterio626 Junior Member

    United States
    English, Japanese
    In the given sentence, is there agreement between the past participle (posée) and the preceding direct object (difficulté) or is there no agreement? I am pretty sure there is, but I find the phrase structure to be unorthodox so that is why I ask:

    Deux élèves décrivent la difficulté qu’a posée leur religion dans leur scolarité.

    Thank you so much for any help! :)

  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    The direct object of the verb poser is la difficulté, which is represented and taken up by the relative pronoun que. Since que is standing in for a feminine direct object and preceding the past participle, the past participle must agree.

    The fact that you have inversion in this sentence (which is not incredibly common, but by no means "unorthodox" :p) does not affect the rules of past participle agreement.

    Ils décrivent la difficulté que leur religion a posée... :tick:
    Ils décrivent la difficulté qu'a posée leur religion... :tick:
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    A similar example was discussed recently here:
    la tournure qu'ont pris les choses

    Apparently the inversion does make a difference for native speakers (insofar as anyone can have any real intuitons about past participle agreement) but jann is right, the current rules do not take the position of the subject into account.
  4. mysterio626 Junior Member

    United States
    English, Japanese
    Thank you all so much for your comments! I wasn't quite sure whether in verb-subject inversions containing a preceding direct object, the past participle would still agree. So, I am happy it does.

    Merci encore. :)

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