FR: sans que leur mari, père ou frère ne donnent leur accord

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Polder, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Polder New Member

    Farsi
    Hello,
    The following sentence is from an article in French that I'm reading at the moment:

    Elles ne peuvent pas quitter le pays sans que leur mari, père ou frère ne donnent leur accord.

    I have two questions:

    a. After using 'ou', why the plural form of the verb 'donner' is used here?

    b. I don't understand to whom does 'leur' in 'leur accord' refer to?

    I hope someone will explain this to me.
    Thanks in advance,
    Polder
     
  2. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    a. The plural form is correct as well as the singular when sujects are linked with ou while the plural form is compulsory when using et instead of ou , but here it would obviously change the meaning.

    b. Opting for a verb in the plural results in the use of leur that refers to either subject of donnent leur accord. Son could agree if the verb was in the singular form.

    Hope it helps.
     
  3. Polder New Member

    Farsi
    Thanks a lot for the explanation. But this raises a new question. If here the subjects are treated as plural, then shouldn't one say:
    .......leurs mari, père ou frère ne donnent .....
    ?
     
  4. Jeanne75 Senior Member

    French - France
    Hello,

    Regarding the verb it's the same as in English = until Peter or Paul agree (and not "agrees") and that is the case in your original sentence:
    leur mari, père ou frère ne donnent (plural) leur accord.

    Regarding "leur frère, leur père etc..." it means "le frère, le père etc" de ces femmes (elles). You might be surprised not to see plural here (as plural would be used in English) for "leur mari", etc and "leur accord". Maybe this could help:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2537859

    Cheers
     
  5. Polder New Member

    Farsi
    Hi,
    Thanks again. I will certainly have a look at the thread you mention.
    :)
     
  6. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Not exactly. :)

    Actually, when the coordinated subjects are mutually exclusive as it is the case here, the singular is usually used, but the plural is also possible.

    sans que leur mari, père ou frère ne donne son accord :tick:
    sans que leur mari, père ou frère ne donnent leur accord :tick:

    See also the thread sujets coordonnés par "ou" - accord in the Français Seulement forum.
     
  7. UjjiHHW New Member

    Urdu
    Merci beaucoup.
     

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