Day 23 – the halfway point! Lesson 13 of Essential French (EF) covers a number of grammar points – some we have seen, and some not, at least, not in anything but passing examples. There’s not a lot of material, though. We’ll jump right in.
Irregular Past Participles
EF offers a number of examples to demonstrate past participles that are not formed from the infinitive based on the regular mechanism. However, all those (and more) were covered by ATYF on Day 20 , so I will simply refer you there.
Passé Composé in Être
EF uses a mnemonic device to help the reader remember the verbs that are conjugated with être. However, the conversation completely overlooks transitivity and action versus movement, features used by ATYF to make the situation understandable. The mnemonic is Dr. & Mrs. P. Vandertramp:
- devinir (devenu)
- revenir (revenu)
- venir (venu)
- naître (né)
- mourir (mort)
Now, ATYF chose to only list the “thirteen basic” movement verbs, which it equated to those basic verbs with compound constructions in être, leaving room for more through verbal prefixes. The list here adds revenir and devenir, which are simply prefix additions to venir (one of the basic 13). Also, I’m guessing rentrer was not included in the 13 because it is based on entrer (both being regular, as well). For the careful counter that still leaves a one verb difference, passer. I have no explanation for why ATYF chose not to cover this verb as one used with être.
But, Lesson 13 finally explains what Lesson 12 only described by example (and not clearly, at that). That is, Lesson 13 states what we learned yesterday in ATYF, that only past participles used with être to form the passé composé have to agree with the subject. However, EF adds something that ATYF did not ever even hint at: all reflexive verbs (not yet covered by either EF or ATYF) form the passé composé with être. And it may be all compounds, not just passé composé, but that is not as definitive based on the text so far.
Les Pronoms Relatifs – Relative Pronouns
Relative pronouns are used in English: who, what, which, whom, whose. This lesson shares two French words used similarly, qui, used for relative subjects, and que, used for relative direct objects. Of course, que “that” is used as a conjunction, also. Qui and que can be used to expand upon the descriptive information about a noun through verbal expressions.
From there, all that remains is vocabulary, mostly centered on giving and taking directions. Much of it has already been seen through examples in previous lessons. ATYF shared some of this vocabulary when it addressed addresses, things like une rue, un boulevard and une avenue.
Anyway, that is it for the day.