FR: Elle s'est coupé le doigt / Elle s'est coupée au doigt

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Senior Member
English US

I know both of these expressions are acceptable. I want to make sure the different verb endings are correct.

Elle s'est coupé le doigt.
Elle s'est coupée au doigt.

C'est correct?

Merci beaucoup d'avance
  • Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Ah yes, but whereas the second means she cut her finger (and now has a bleeding wound in it), the first could either mean this or, more seriously, that she has cut off her own finger :eek: (and the severed digit now lies in a pool of blood on the floor).
    Of course, chances are that you knew this already, but possibly some others may not.


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Bonjour Anna-Chonger,

    Oui, tout à fait ! D'ailleurs à bien y réfléchir, elle s'est coupée le doigt est bizarre car on se sait pas de quel doigt il s'agit ! Elle s'est coupé l'index/le majeur... serait plus judicieux je pense.

    Je ne sais pourquoi, mais par je me suis coupé le doigt, j'aurais tendance à songer à l'index, mais je suis curieux de savoir ce qu'en pensent les autres francophones.

    PS : In order to mean to cut off, I would say sectionner or amputer.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English
    Seems perfect to me :thumbsup: What else can I say? :( :)
    May I ask you to clarify please?
    As I understand it "Elle s'est coupé le doigt" is correct,
    but I am confused that you have accepted "Elle s'est coupée au doigt"

    The both are saying that "she has cut the finger of herself" therefore why should there be past participle agreement when the reflexive pronoun is indirect?


    Senior Member
    French - France

    Elle s'est coupé le doigt : le doigt is a direct object and s' is an indirect object (Elle a coupé le doigt à elle)

    Elle s'est coupée au doigt au doigt is a circumstancial complement and s' is a direct object (elle a coupé elle au doigt)

    Agreement is made between past participle and direct object, never between past participle and indirect object.

    Got it?


    Senior Member
    English, UK
    "Elle s'est coupée au doigt" = (literally) she has cut herself in the finger
    Hence, se is the preceding direct not indirect object as with elle s'est coupé le doigt, and agreement with the past participle is required.
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