French Language

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I speak French but French what?

A posting in the employment sub forum which will probably be removed drove me to ask this question that has always confused me.

 

It said:

 

Votre langue maternelle est le français?

 

And I thought should that be Française (langue) or does the maternelle follow the feminin la langue?

 

Parlez-vous Français is always said and not ? parlez_vous Française? so what is the objet masculin (if thats the correct term) if it isn't la langue?


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Re: I speak French but French what?

Unless i am totally wrong as usual. Francais is the noun and is masculine so does not take another gender. Maternelle follows langue.
JFB

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Re: I speak French but French what?

Yes. Langue is féminine (la langue) so it takes "maternelle" .

"Le français" because it is 'The French" (a separate noun) not 'french'  an adjective.

There is the phrase 'La langue française", but there it means 'french' and has to agree with 'langue'



The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: I speak French but French what?

The problem for me is having had no education in English grammar.

 

I dont know what a seperate noun is, I dont think you mean "the French" as in the French as a race as that would be les Françaises, its not "the French letter/language/whatever as it does not agree with the gender.

 

So what is "the French" or is it me getting hung up with my English logic?


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Re: I speak French but French what?

The French as in the French people is les français as the English people is les anglais.

Remember that the masculine is used when there is a mixture of genders, so males, females, trans, whatever all treated as masculineSmile [:)]

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: I speak French but French what?

Don't forget also that vowels take precedent over gender when referring to possessions. You will always refer to your ex as mon ex never ma ex. It's the same for friends and many objects spelled with an h.
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Re: I speak French but French what?

Thanks BritBret, I had worked that one out some while back and it has always confused me.

 

The French being masculin or feminin has had my sub-conscious brain working overtime every time I say it, I say it correctly but the brain wants to know why and resolve the enigma. plenty of people can explain it either "c'est comme ça!" or in grammatical terms which I dont understand, finally when it sinks in it is a light bumb momentIdea [I]

 

It was Mints explanation that gave me the Idea [I] this time, that and my Freudien slip of writing Les Francaises which I would not say in conversation.

 

Am I right in saying one could say or write Les Francaises if referring to an all female group? Say a womans hockey team in an international tournament?


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Re: I speak French but French what?

Mint wrote
Remember that the masculine is used when there is a mixture of genders, so males, females, trans, whatever all treated as masculine.

But Mint, trans is not a gender, its a mental disorder!! :-)
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