2

The question is on the pronoun "le" (highlighted) in this passage from Camus's The Stranger.

En me réveillant, j’ai compris pourquoi mon patron avait l’air mécontent quand je lui ai demandé mes deux jours de congé : c’est aujourd’hui samedi. Je l’avais pour ainsi dire oublié, mais en me levant, cette idée m’est venue. Mon patron, tout naturellement, a pensé que j’aurais ainsi quatre jours de vacances avec mon dimanche et cela ne pouvait pas lui faire plaisir. Mais d’une part, ce n’est pas de ma faute si on a enterré maman hier au lieu d’aujourd’hui et d’autre part, j’aurais eu mon samedi et mon dimanche de toute façon. Bien entendu, cela ne m’empêche pas de comprendre tout de même mon patron.

With the help of English translations, I am understanding it to mean "I have forgotten it while thus saying." For that to be correct, le would have to refer to it being Saturday today, and ainsi to asking for two days off. (I will post a separate question on pour.)

Assuming I am OK so far, I have this question:

If we replace le with ce, would that be grammatical or ungrammatical and, if grammatical, awkward or natural sounding?

My motivation for asking the question is: A grammar book has told me that ce is used for reference to a statement already made while le anticipates a statement to come. According to this, it being Saturday today (as already mentioned) would be ce. Examples from the grammar book:

Partir avant l'aube? C'est possible.

Il m'est difficile d'accepter sa proposition.

  • Really quick (somebody will have something more complete, I'm sure): "pour ainsi dire" is an idiom. "Ce" is OK when used as a subject ("*C'*est possible."). When used as a complement, you turn to "le/la/les" : "Je *l'*avais oublié." – Chop Sep 28 '15 at 5:23
3

This le is the clitic pronoun used for phrasal complements. Possessing no person, no gender and no number as such, they are pronominalized with the default value for each attribute : 3SG, M and SG.

  • Fumer tue, je le savais.
  • Paul est intelligent et Marie l'est aussi.
  • Georges a acheté son ticket hier, et Amélie le fera demain.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.