FR: La Liberté éclairant le monde

MrCatch22

New Member
English - America
I am learning French and am finally getting to where I can play around with more difficult grammatical concepts. I understand that ending a verb using "ant" generally means that two actions are taking place simultaneously, or one action occurs while another is happening. So here is where I am confused: the French name for the Statue of Liberty is <<La Liberté eclairant le monde>> and I would like to understand why we use "-ant" in this case, because if I were to translate the phrase "Liberty enlightening the world," I would say <<La liberté eclaire le monde.>> Is the use of "ant" poetic, or was it possibly used in the past but it's not now? Is there perhaps a rule I haven't studied yet that explains this usage? Thank you!
 
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    The -ant form in French is the present participle, which is similar to the -ing form in English. If you use éclaire, you're using a conjugated verb.

    La Liberté éclairant le monde = Liberty enlightening the world → noun phrase
    La Liberté éclaire le monde = Liberty enlightens the world → full sentence
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Yes, the title of the Statue of Liberty is indeed not a sentence but a noun phrase. The present participle here works as if it were a relative clause:

    La Liberté éclairant le monde ~ La Liberté qui éclaire le monde
    Liberty enlightening the world ~ Liberty, which enlightens the world
     
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