1

A. Parfois, ce genre de coïncidences a tendance à s'enchaîner.

The example A uses "a" instead of "ont", so the "avoir" here agrees with the singular noun "ce genre", not with the "coïncidences".

B. Quel dommage que ce genre de soirées soient si rares.

On the other hand, the example B uses "soient" instead of "soit", so the "être" here agrees with the plural noun "soirées", not with the "ce genre". }

The verb following the phrase "ce genre de" should be in the singular or the plural? Which one is actually correct?

  • 1
    Are you sure you shouldn't write "Quel dommage que ce genre de soirées soit si rares." ? It may be a mistake from the author... – Random May 9 '16 at 15:36
  • These contradicting two sentences led me to believe that either of them uses the incorrect verb form, but I wasn't sure which one. Incidentally, I find it interesting that the "soit" is in the singular but the following adjective "rares" is in the plural. – pourrait Peut-être May 9 '16 at 15:49
  • Actually, all should be singular, I was only focusing on the verb, but cccg03 seems to be right. You see it if you use "animal" which becomes "animaux" on plural... It sounds weird to say "ce genre d'animaux"... but it may be a common mistake, even for natives... – Random May 9 '16 at 16:03
2

I think it's not realistic to think about formal “rules” in this(es) kind(s) of case(s). Rules are quite flexible or almost inexistent in practice.

However, the tendency is probably a plural agreement (with the gender of the entities) if you refer to entities of the same kind as the present one(s):

Ce(s) genre(s) de métaux sont maléables.

Ce(s) genre(s) de soirées sont en général très courtes.

In this case, you're free to consider only one precise kind or more than one.

And, even more likely, the agreement will be done with “genre” itself, if “genre” really refers to the kind(s) itself/themselves, not to a group/groups of entities which share a similarity.

Ce genre de libellule(s) n'a pas été répertorié.

Ces genres de libellule(s) n'ont pas été répertoriés.

In this case the number for the entities will likely depend on how many you picture in your head.

-1

Neither of your examples seems correct.

The noun following "ce genre de" should be singular (as it is in English) because "genre" is singular as well, and there should be no confusion in conjugating the subsequent verb.

Your examples should read:

Parfois, ce genre de coïncidence a tendance à s'enchaîner.

and

Quel dommage que ce genre de soirée soit si rare.

However, you can also say "ces genres de..." in which case your examples would be

Parfois, ces genres de coïncidences ont tendance à s'enchaîner.

and

Quel dommage que ces genres de soirées soient si rares.

  • The plural after de is discussed here: french.stackexchange.com/questions/6638/…, and here: french.stackexchange.com/questions/16039/… – Stéphane Gimenez May 9 '16 at 16:47
  • @StéphaneGimenez I noticed this question originally had been closed and marked as duplicate of those questions...why was it reopened if there are so many other similar questions? – cccg03 May 9 '16 at 17:07
  • I first closed it as a duplicate of the the one which ask whether the entities should be plural or singlar (not the verb), before I realized my mistake. About the other questions, it may not be obvious that ce genre de falls in the same category. But I agree it could be considered a duplicate (if most people think it is, it can be closed). – Stéphane Gimenez May 9 '16 at 17:36
  • @StéphaneGimenez Une des raisons pour lesquelles on réussit difficilement à clarifier c'est que les deux aspects s'imbriquent l'un dans l'autre c-à-d. 1- la marque sing/pluriel du complément du nom suivant genre et trucs similaires, qui est flottant mais prévisible à certains égards et 2- l'accord du verbe suivant genre et le complément ; et donc si on décide d'accorder avec le complément, alors 2 dépend de 1, et c'est croisé, d'où la difficulté de présenter. Merci. – user3177 May 10 '16 at 4:17

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