45 Days of French – Day 26, continued…

I told you yesterday that I would finish up my treatment of Hour 12 of Alpha Teach Yourself French in 24 Hours (ATYF) today. This was a really hard lesson to finish, and not actually because of the lesson material. Rather, time just got away from me. I was able to read, but not take notes the first day, then the second day – yesterday – I was able to read, this time taking notes. But I was not able to post everything. And finally, on the third day, I can finish!

What is left falls into three categories, conjunctions, impersonal expressions and noun comparison. Before jumping into those, note two things:

  1. Rather than use a conjunction when two phrases share the same subject, French will turn this into a preposition and a verb in the infinitive or a noun. Apparently this feature of the language will receive more developed treatment in Hour 16…
  2. Where English prefers to have a definite subject, rather than impersonal constructions, French commonly creates impersonal constructions even when there is a definite subject!
    • Il est bon, votre travail. This is the common way of saying it in French conversation.
    • Votre travail est bon. This is a wooden representation one would get copying from English.


Followed by Indicative: Followed by Subjunctive:
  • quand when
  • lorsque when
  • alors que when, even though
  • tandis que while
  • pendant que while
  • et and
  • mais but
  • après que after
  • car because
  • parce que because
  • puisque since
  • where
  • à condition que on condition that
  • à moins que unless
  • afin que in order that
  • pourvu que in order that
  • avant que before
  • bien que although
  • quoique although
  • sans que without
  • de peur que for fear that
  • de crainte que for fear that
  • jusqu’à ce que until

Impersonal Expressions

Followed by Indicative: Followed by Subjunctive:
  • Il est sûr que… It is sure…
  • Il est certain que… It is certain…
  • Il est clair que… It is clear…
  • Il est évident que… It is evident…
  • Il est étonnant que… It is surprising that…
  • Il est faux que… It is false…
  • Il est mal heureux que… It is unfortunate…
  • Il faut que… It is necessary…
  • etc.

Impersonal Expressions
You might recall that comparisons based on adjectives have already been covered (as well as adverbial comparisons). That still leaves noun comparisons:

  • autant de…[que…] as many/as much x [as y]
  • plus de…[que…] more x [than y]
  • moins de…[que…] less x [than y]

The big differences to note are the presence of the preposition de, which will not change to agree (it is invariable), and the use of autant rather than aussi. Otherwise, piece of cake. Except… ATYF is not incredibly clear about the whether nouns should be singular or plural. Many of the examples use non-countable nouns, making the prototypical examples less then effective. My guess is that both plural and singular nouns are allowed with all these expressions. But I could be wrong (it is known to happen!).

Okay, enough French for one day.


About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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1 Response to 45 Days of French – Day 26, continued…

  1. Pingback: 45 Days of French | σφόδρα – exceedingly

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