FR: saint XXX / Saint-XXX / St XXX - trait d'union, majuscule & abréviation

Pó de Pirlimpimpim

Member
Portuguese - Brazil
I have read in the Internet the both ways: with or without hyphen. And I have not found in any french grammar how is the use of hyphen in those cases. It is used in double names, like Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie, but how about Saint someone?

Thank you
 
  • Renaudbb

    Senior Member
    French
    The hyphen is needed if the "saint" is used as a street name, hospital name, building name, etc. but not for the "saint" itself.

    Examples :

    "La basilique Saint-Pierre est ainsi nommée en l'honneur de Saint Pierre".


    edit : ooops, too late :)
     

    anastasia0000

    Senior Member
    French
    Hello,

    When writing the name of a female Saint, I am not sure if the word "Saint" must agree in gender. I find references with and without the gender agreement, so I am confused.

    For example:

    Saint Catherine

    Saint Cathérine or Sainte Cathérine

    Thanks a lot if you can help me understand this!
     

    auptitgallo

    Senior Member
    English
    Very interesting, la banque de dépannage linguistique page on abbreviations (and a great name!) ; thank you, SwissPete.

    But now I'm wondering if this page is specifically French-Canadian? Are the rules on abbreviation and saint's names the same in metropolitan France, I wonder. Where should I go to check this, I also wonder... Language is an unending roundabout of complexities.
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    In French from France, "Saint" (St) is considered as an adjectif and, thus, takes the gender agreement:
    Saint Luc, Saint Marius, Saint Georges ("St")
    Sainte Lucie, Sainte Maria, Sainte Georgette ("Ste", always: wroten elision is not possible)

    [NB. Note, moreover, that a "-" is put when refeering to churches or places and not to the saints themselves.
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    The rule is that you will have to capitalize when refeering to a location. It is not so clear-cut if you refer to the person. Some do, some don't. Most don't (except, of course, if "saint(e)" comes at the beginning of a sentence).
    I would say that hyphenation should be avoided, as far as possible.
     
    Last edited:

    clairehelen

    Member
    English (USA)
    Thanks to everyone for the responses / guidance. And final last questions (I hope)...
    When using the abbreviation, do you use a period as well? (ex: "Paroisse St-Augustin" or "Paroisse St.-Augustin"; "Paroisse Ste-Anne" or "Paroisse Ste.-Anne"). And is a parish considered a "place"?
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    When using the abbreviation, do you use a period as well?
    No, because the last letter of saint, namely t, is included in the abbreviation. In French, an abreviation period shall be used only when the abbreviated word is truncated (e.g., "M." for monsieur, "av." for avenue, but "St" for saint, "bd" for boulevard). Anyway, unlike in English, the word saint(e) is usually not abbreviated in French.

    And is a parish considered a "place"?
    Yes it is. It is the name of the corresponding church. Thus, la paroisse Saint-Augustin is a short form of la paroisse de l'église Saint-Augustin.
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    I fully agree with Capello's answers: 1) a parish has to be considered as a place, as explained; 2) the abbreviation is not that common in France, except, maybe, if it is to design a specific day or feast (this last point opens an interesting compraison with French and English. See Shakespeare's famous Ajincourt address in Henry V).
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    clairehelen

    Member
    English (USA)
    Merci mille fois!! I am proofreading an index that has all sorts of variations (St.-, St., Saint-, Saint, etc.--and corresponding feminine forms) and I just did not know which way to go. They represent mostly parishes, places, and churches in France, Canada, and Louisiana. This helps a lot. But then the ones in Louisiana are in English (except the early ones, which come from the time when the parishioners spoke only French!!) So I have my work cut out for me. But this has helped enormously! This forum is a fabulous resource. Je vous en remercie tous!
     
    Top