FR: langue, littérature et culture française(s)

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by sebastien66, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. sebastien66 Member

    English - American
    Bonjour à tous !

    I have a question regarding the agreement of an adjective with three feminine nouns it follows and refers to.

    Here is the phrase from my CV which describes a year of study of French language, literature and culture.

    « Année scolaire intensive en langue, littérature et culture française »

    The question is whether « française » needs an « s ».
    My instinct is yes, but several French people I have asked, including my French born mother, say there should be no s.
    But she could cite no rule or reason.

    Thanks for your help. A rule for future reference would be very helpful.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  2. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    If française qualifies all three nouns and not just culture, then it must agree with them all and therefore must be in the plural:

    langue, littérature et culture françaises
  3. sebastien66 Member

    English - American
    Thanks Maître Capello!

    Your explanation makes perfect sense to me, and is exactly why I would add the « s ».
    However, it surprises me that 3 well-educated French people I know have suggested to me that the « s » should not be there.
    Is there any explanation for their response? Wondering if there are any other thoughts out there on this subject...?
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    In classical French, it was indeed possible to make the adjective agree with the closest noun only. Some authors used it relatively recently—although it could also simply be typos—but you should definitely not imitate them.

    Here are a few such examples:

    Ses moindres actions étaient d'une correction et d'une gravité admirable (Taine).
    Il s'épanche sans réserve avec une abondance, une sensibilité féminine qui fait sourire (Michelet).
    L'Académie royale de langue et de littérature française de Belgique (Valéry).
    L'être qui pouvait me jeter dans un désespoir et une agitation pareille (Proust).
    Se constituer une pensée et une conduite personnelle (Mauriac).
  5. sebastien66 Member

    English - American
    Merci encore Maître Capello pour votre aide...
    Je n'oserais pas me mettre côte-à-côte avec ces grands hommes de lettres ! ;)

    Toute fois, s'il y a chez nos lecteurs d'autres opinions sur cette question, cela m'intéresserais.

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