Questions from Brickman (A Short Course in Reading French)

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
What about the origin of 'y' in J'y vais? Is it similar?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I think that must be from ibi or possibly hic. I've got to check.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
Thanks for that. Your answers to Callaina's question and mine clears up a childhood mystery for me from school French.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
It says you just stole a Greek letter and put it in there to fill up your sentences.
 

Quintilianus

Civis Illustris
French is an awful language but both those pronouns are quite nice and I'd count them among the nicest features of French.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Quintilianus

Civis Illustris
Is this a case of familiarity breeding contempt, Frenchman? ;)
Renewed familiarity then.
Just got back to it these last months after some years without reading too much in French. It was borne in upon me that I couldn't consider it as fine a language as say English, and I've taken a strong dislike to it. Was it just a foreign language I wouldn't mind but being mine it has put some strain on my mind (and well sanity... ) especially since I can't be numbered among clever chaps and never shall be able to acquire fluently any other language, as my attempts at writing in English show.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I was for some time, and I guess I still am in some ways*, in the clutches of the "familiarity breeds contempt" thing, however I've acquired greater interest in and appreciation for French over maybe the last couple of years.

*For instance, most novels I read are in English, and my preferred language of writing is English, not French. As far as the latter fact is concerned, though, I guess it isn't merely due to familiarity breeding contempt but also simply to there being more English speakers with whom I can and want to share.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
was for some time, and I guess I still am in some ways*, in the clutches of the "familiarity breeds contempt" thing, however I've acquired greater interest in and appreciation for French over maybe the last couple of years.
Stockholm syndrome.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
In my first years as a Latinist, I used to despise English somewhat in comparison to Latin. But that has totally stopped now. I've grown to love English more and more.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
In my first years as a Latinist, I used to despise English somewhat in comparison to Latin. But that has totally stopped now. I've grown to love English more and more.
More than Latin? ;) :p
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Kind of both, apparently. Actually from hic, but with the meaning influenced by ibi. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/y#French
Thanks for that. Your answers to Callaina's question and mine clears up a childhood mystery for me from school French.
For me as well...so that's why we always had to say what sounded like "eegrek" when we were reciting the alphabet in French.

It always made me think of an egret, and I would sort of picture the letter standing on one leg with a curved neck (the "U") like an egret...I had a good imagination :D
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I'm not sure I understand the syntax of this sentence. (It's from an essay by Durkheim on Les formes élémentairs de la vie religieuse.)

C'est donc l'action qui domine la vie religieuse par cela seul que c'est la société qui en est la source.

...It is therefore action which rules the religious life, through that [fact?] alone, that it is society which is the source of it [of the religious life, I assume he means].
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Clemens

Civis Illustris
What is the referent of your "it"? The French "il s'agit" is impersonal (= agitur). If you turn it into a personal construction in English, I guess your subject should be "they" (= the questions).
Why not “it’s a matter of” or “it’s a question of” for il s’agit de, or some other English impersonal construction?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I'm now tackling le subjonctif. Though most uses of it are pretty familiar from Latin, its use in clauses that depend on superlative adjectives or seul/premier/dernier is new to me (e.g. Marie est la plus jolie demoiselle que je connaisse). I suppose it must be an extension of Latin clauses of characteristic, but is the precise reasoning behind this known?
 
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