2

The question is on Il as highlighted below.

Ensuite il [le directeur de L’asile de vieillards] m’a dit qu’il assisterait à l’enterrement et je l’ai remercié. Il s’est assis derrière son bureau, il a croisé ses petites jambes. Il m’a averti que moi et lui serions seuls, avec l’infirmière de service. En principe, les pensionnaires ne devaient pas assister aux enterrements. Il les laissait seulement veiller : « C’est une question d’humanité », a-t-il remarqué. Mais en l’espèce, il avait accordé l’autorisation de suivre le convoi à un vieil ami de maman : « Thomas Pérez. »

Question

Does Il refer to le directeur or le principe? Or is it unclear?

(I don't think the question is critical to understanding the conversation. I imagine the answer is that it's unclear. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some cue available only to a native speaker definitely telling him that it was le directeur or le principe. Thanks.)

  • That's a lot of questions about L'Étranger :-) Il refers to the director, since "en principe" is an expression ; it somehow loses its noun status to become an adverb, just as "en fait" ou "en général" do. – Kyrio Oct 12 '15 at 10:22
7

Il refers to le directeur. Principe used with the expression en principe works like an adverb (it would mean "generally" or "usually"), and you will never refer to it with a pronoun.

0

It's very clear il refers to le directeur.
That same il is repeated a lot of times. The whole paragraph gives a impression that the narrator doesn't like that il.

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.