Wednesday, 25 February 2009

La source, vous l’avez bouchée

I know that I am in a minority because I like grammar. I think that grammar is really important. Take the apostrophe which tells us so much. In Accrington there is a pub called ‘The Bees Knees’. The old sign had one apostrophe after bees and another one after knees. It told me that the knees belonged to more than one bee but it didn’t tell me what they were talking about – the bees’ knees’ what? Fleas?

I mention these knees because knowledge is power. Well I didn’t get a free drink at the pub but I am sure they must have been embarrassed by their sign. I will mention just one aspect of French grammar and then you too can feel good with this knowledge, There is a quote from Manon des Sources – ‘la source, vous l’avez bouchée’ It is a very important line in the film, but notice the final e on bouchée. Why is it there? Firstly you have to know your past participles – bouché. Then you have to know that there is agreement with avoir participles only when you have a preceding direct object. They have blocked the spring. You have to know the difference between direct and indirect objects, but if you need to write to someone (the someone is an indirect object as I write to them) then you will have the power of correct grammar behind your letter.

A bientôt

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