autonomie and strength: is ou are?

Agnès E.

Senior Member
France, French
Bonjour à tous !

Dans la phrase :

The autonomy and strength wich is found in emotionally secure people is different from the autonomy and strength of insecure people.

Pourquoi is et non are ?
Comment, dans ce cas, traduire the autonomy and strength ?
 
  • RobInAustin

    Senior Member
    US English, French
    actually, in this case, it should be "are". "Autonomy and strength" = 2 items, so plural..."are" for the first case.
    However, many Americans are sloppy and so when there are several "individual" items, like here, say "is".

    The sentence should properly read" The autonomy and strength which ARE found in emotionally secure people IS different from ..."
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Bonjour Agnes,

    I'm not sure the sentence is grammatically correct, but I believe 'is' is used because autonomy and strength are considered synonyms. I know, I know, they're not, but that's the effect of the 'is'.

    The use of the singular in the following sentences is OK because the second noun replaces the first:

    The autonomy, or the strength, of the individual is astounding.

    The autonomy, the strenth of the individual is astounding.

    'Strength' is considered a more appropriate word that improves upon 'autonomy', and 'autonomy' grammatically drops from the sentence, although it's still present in the reader's mind.

    I think your sentence is trying to follow the same pattern, but the use of 'and' gets in the way and is awkward.
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    The autonomy, or the strength, of the individual is astounding.

    The autonomy, the strenth of the individual is astounding.
    Yes, Aupick, this is the way I understood it first. But then, I wondered why he did not just write it that way and I felt confused... :confused:
     

    la grive solitaire

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    I agree with Aupick; I think the author intended autonomy and strength to be quasi-synonymous, and it would have been better to have written, "The autonomy, the force, which is found" or (even better): The autonomy and force found in secure people is different than..."
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I do feel lost this time. :(
    Look at the following sentences (I'm quoting the whole paragraph):

    The autonomy and strength which is found in emotionally secure people is different from the autonomy and strength of insecure people. Very broadly, and without too much inaccuracy, we can say that insecure autonomy and strength is a strengthening of the personality as over against the world, in an either/or dichotomy in which they are not only quite separate, but also mutually exclusive, as if they were enemies. We might call this selfish autonomy and strength. In a world in which one is either hammer or anvil, these are the hammers.

    Do I have to understand that they were enemies means that autonomy is strength's enemy? and they both are the hammers, while one is refers to human beings in general and not to aspects of the personality?
    I'm really lost.
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    From this context, I'd say that the author is joining two psychological states into one concept, along the lines of 'obsessive-compulsive', 'passive-aggressive', 'manic-depressive', etc. Autonomy and strength are related and seem to be used in conjunction with each other in a similar way.

    Could the paragraph be read as saying 'the state of autonomy and strength' which is found...' and 'a diagnosis of insecure autonomy and strength...'?

    I understand 'autonomy and strength' as being the hammers, and the world as the anvil. I understand the personality as being the enemy of the world and vice versa.
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Ah thank you, Aupick. :)
    I was not sure; again, this was my first feeling but then... :(

    I'm still not sure about the hammers, nevertheless. I must think a bit further on this one.



    He changes the subjects of the verbs all the time, this is not very consistent. His sentences being usually much clearer and more consistent, I needed some (good!) advice.

    And I got it! :)

    Edit: Could "these are the hammers" refer to insecure people??
     

    JazzByChas

    Senior Member
    American English
    My take is thus:

    I belive these are the main points to which the author is referring:

    "strengthening of the personality as over against the world"

    I believe in the following sentence, the author is juxtaposing insecure and secure people:

    "In a world in which one is either hammer or anvil, these are the hammers."

    Therefore, the insecure people are hammers (who take an agressive, antogonist stance in this world to protect their insecurities), and the secure people are the anvils (who are secure enough to take the "blows" (insecurities) of the insecure people, or in general, whatever difficult circumstances they encounter.)
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Si ça aide à la rédaction, on pourrait parler de combinaison de force et d'autonomie
     

    JazzByChas

    Senior Member
    American English
    Agnes E. said:
    Bonjour à tous !

    Dans la phrase :

    The autonomy and strength wich is found in emotionally secure people is different from the autonomy and strength of insecure people.

    Pourquoi is et non are ?
    Comment, dans ce cas, traduire the autonomy and strength ?
    Et quant à la grammaire, je crois qu'en anglais, les mots, autonomy and strength faisent un sujet composé, donc ça fait un sujet singulier, et donc, a.m.a, on doit dire, "autonomy and strength is …." spécialement de cette contexte.

     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    D'où l'intérêt de la suggestion de Gil, Jazz :

    combinaison de force et d'autonomie
    qui permet de rendre cette idée en français.
    Bravo Gil ! :thumbsup: ;)

    Mais je ne connaissais pas cette règle de grammaire anglaise. C'est pourquoi j'ai tant hésité !
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hope you don't mind -- I've reposted in the English forum for further opinions, because now I'm curious. My initial reaction was NO! ARE! ARE! but I've been swayed by opinions of people I respect.... I completely agree that there are far better ways to say it, but as for the original itself -- hmmm.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Agnes E. said:
    D'où l'intérêt de la suggestion de Gil, Jazz :
    qui permet de rendre cette idée en français.
    Bravo Gil ! :thumbsup: ;)
    Un peu de pitié pour ma fausse modestie...;)
    Je crois qu'Aupick était sur la même piste lorsqu'il a écrit:

    Could the paragraph be read as saying 'the state of autonomy and strength' which is found...' and 'a diagnosis of insecure autonomy and strength...'?
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Kelly B said:
    Hope you don't mind -- I've reposted in the English forum for further opinions, because now I'm curious. My initial reaction was NO! ARE! ARE! but I've been swayed by opinions of people I respect.... I completely agree that there are far better ways to say it, but as for the original itself -- hmmm.
    However, a compound subject with and takes a singular verb when the subject as a whole refers to only one thing, or is considered as referring to only one thing. (Source)

    If you consider "autonomy and strenght" as referring to only one thing, then the singular verb is correct.
    I have yet to convince myself that they are the same thing...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Gil said:
    If you consider "autonomy and strenght" as referring to only one thing, then the singular verb is correct.
    I have yet to convince myself that they are the same thing...
    MAX CHUCKLE
    Strong sense of deja vu. I have just popped over from the English Forum where my last post on the parallel thread there made almost exactly this point:)
    And where Gil's suggestion to add "..the state of.." is matched as well:) :)

    We have come to a slightly different conclusion (I think).

    Click here to see into a parallel universe.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    panjandrum said:
    We have come to a slightly different conclusion (I think).

    Click here to see into a parallel universe.
    Thank you for the reference to the other universe. I have to accept the fact that I will never have "perfect pitch" in English. I cannot trust the way it sounds to me.:)
    On m'a déjà expliqué que les accords pouvaient être plus logiques que grammaticaux en anglais et surprendre mes oreilles francophones, ce que j'accepte et trouve intéressant.
    Qu'outre la logique, la fluidité de la phrase (my translation of fluency, please correct if it does not make sense:)) vienne tasser la grammaire, ça ajoute du piquant. Si tel devient l'usage, je devrai m'y faire...
     

    KristinaMaria

    Member
    Sweden/Swedish
    "Autonomie and strength" are in your example presented as mutually dependent "qualities" of the whole person. The narrator is foretelling that the (seemly) two aspects are just one and the same side of the coin, each reinforcing the other.

    It is not like the narrator is saying "milk and exercise are good for you" .... here one could not say "milk and exercise is good for you".... unless these were the only two qualities that the narrator believes are good for you. You can't have one without the other, the narrator is saying (with "is").

    You CAN have milk without exercise, however you CANNOT have Autonomie without strength.... at least that is what the narrator is trying to say with the choice of the singular instead of the plural.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    KristinaMaria said:
    You can't have one without the other, the narrator is saying (with "is").
    Je n'ai pu m'empêcher de penser à une chanson.
    Je remarque que Frank a dit "go" et non "goes"...

    Love and marriage, love and marriage
    Go together like a horse and carriage
    This I tell you brother
    You can’t have one without the other

    Please don't think it is a cheap shot...
    je crois que vous essayez de comprendre la langue anglaise tout comme moi.:)
     

    KristinaMaria

    Member
    Sweden/Swedish
    Sorry, my experience is (and the experience of the author you quote is) that "love and marrige" do NOT go together. In the song it says "go" (as in "they go".... thus they are separable concepts. Not one concept. They go together. They are two.

    To explain the difference take the following examples:

    Take Yin and Yang, for example. Yin and Yang are two words. BUT Yen and Yang IS one concept. You see. There is a situation ( the one I am describing) when it is fully appropriate to identify two objects in the singular (if and only when the two objects are inseparable.)

    "A couple is man and wife," for example

    As in "The two sides of the coin is the standard we are aiming for." NOT ARE because the standard is singular ... just as autonomie and strength IS something ( a particular quality) .... just as Yin and Yand IS something ( a concept) ....

    Any way, this and that is how I see it.
    KM
     

    JazzByChas

    Senior Member
    American English
    Agnes E. said:
    D'où l'intérêt de la suggestion de Gil, Jazz :



    qui permet de rendre cette idée en français.
    Bravo Gil ! :thumbsup: ;)

    Mais je ne connaissais pas cette règle de grammaire anglaise. C'est pourquoi j'ai tant hésité !
    À mois, je vais rester avec l’idée que “autonomy and strength” dan ce cas, sont exprimées de façon d’un sujet singulaire, comme s’ils sont la même chose, interchangeable, en quelque sorte. Une combination suggériait [would suggest] que les deux choses sont sont combinés, ou mélanges, qui faisent un nouvelle idée, mais dans ce cas, ils sont deux mots qui signifient (ou signifieraient=would signify) la même chose. C’est un difference subtil, mais necessaire.
     
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