FR: sentir le monde avancer

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Francogars, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Francogars New Member

    English - Canada
    Bonjour à tous,

    Je viens d'écouter la chanson « Je veux y croire » qui apparait dans le film, « Raiponce. »
    Je regarde les paroles et je suis confus à cause d'une ligne:

    « L'air est doux, je me réjouis de sentir le monde avancer »

    Pourquoi est-ce que le verbe « avancer » s'emploie sous forme de l'infinitif (sous forme infinitive?)?

    Merci d'avance!
  2. marget Senior Member

    Avancer suit un verbe de perception, sentir. Dans un tel cas, le verbe reste à la forme de l'infinitif.
  3. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    What form did you expect to see? :confused:

    We use an infinitive here in English too. Translated literally: "I rejoice to feel the world advance."

    Normal present tense would be "the world advances." This "advance" is actually a bare infinitive (as distinct from the to-infinitive). :)
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  4. Ceibita Junior Member

    English USA; Spanish HN
    I think one way to say it without the infinitif would be "je me réjouis de sentir le monde qui avance" or "je me réjouis de sentir que le monde avance". But it doesn't sound as good.

    J'entend la pluie tomber. I can hear the rain fall.
    Il a vu le chat s'échapper. He saw the cat escape.

    Fall and escape are infinitives in English too. Though we might also say, I can hear the rain falling. But in French you wouldn't say, la pluie tombant. The infinitif is the only thing that sounds correct in these sentences.
  5. Francogars New Member

    English - Canada
    Your reasoning makes sense to me.

    It's just that for me, "sentir" is not usually a verb that is followed by the infinitive form of another verb.
    Unlike "J'entend la pluie tomber," it seems weird to me to say, "Je sens le monde avancer."
    Instead, I would say, "Je sens que le monde avance."
  6. mkeys Senior Member

    Bilingual - English (USA) & Hebrew
    If it sounds weird, I think it's because in English we would expect the verb for sentir to be followed by a gerund (--ing word), not an infinitive: We would say, I feel the world approaching (or whatever the correct translation for avancer is, but you get my point). So in this sense French syntax and English syntax really aren't parallel.

    It's a mental adjustment - to hear the infinitive the way we would hear the gerund in the English context.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013

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