FR: Commentant et Synclair, et Dombasle, et Darblay

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by cavacava, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. cavacava New Member

    I'm uncertain about the use of Commentant in the below text. As it is followed by et + nom in a list it appears to be the name of someone, though I've not seen a name before that is the same form as a present participle. In your opinion is it a name, or am I reading it wrong?

    Que de choses alors il me faudrait apprendre,
    Si surtout, de vos mains acceptant un travail
    Qu'à peine je pourrais comprendre,
    Commentant et Synclair, et Dombasle, et Darblay,
    J'avais à conquérir au profit de la Flandre
    Ou la toison d'Espagne ou la toison d'Isley !

    Edit: I did run some searches for the name but haven't come up with anyone yet.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  2. moustic Senior Member

    near Limoges
    British English
    I don't think it's a name.
    The structure: "et... et..." allows you to insist on each element of the list.
    So I would translate it: Commenting on Synclair and Dombasle and Darblay ...
  3. janpol

    janpol Senior Member

    France - français
    Deux mots coordonnés par "et" ont la même nature, donc ce mot devrait être un nom mais on a du mal à imaginer que ce soit le cas... La construction de cette phrase n'est pas très claire, cependant je pencherais pour "commentant-participe présent " le "et" étant là seulement pour créer un effet d'accumulation (et, et, et), Synclair, Dombasle, Darblay sont donc des COD de "commentant"
  4. cavacava New Member

    Thank you moustic and janpo. So et is operating as a prepositive conjunction here. The author certainly likes to play with language - this particular piece in a somewhat self-depreciating address to members of a society - though maybe addresses in verse were common in the mid-19th century France. A prepositive I think is something different for him though, but maybe when I come back and scan for any metre it will become clearer why this was chosen.

    If you are interested, I believe that the people referred to are John Sinclair, Mathieu de Dombasle, and Auguste-Rodolphe Darblay. The topic is agriculture and these men were prominent names in the field during this time. Also, I couldn't find anyone here with the surname Commentant.
  5. JeanDeSponde

    JeanDeSponde Senior Member

    France, Lyon area
    France, Français
    Right on.
    See e.g Et mon frère et ma soeur ont des yeux bleus.

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