4
  • Enragées comme elles sont, elles feront ...

  • Comme elles sont enragées , elles feront ...

I think both mean "because they are furious", but is the first sentence more emphatic than the second sentence? Is this word order used in conversation too, as well as in writing?

6

Yes, the first is more emphatic. Emphasis is on “enragées”, and comes from the construction around “comme”.

  • The first one insists on the furious part. The implication is that someone else, even someone being “reasonably” furious, would not do “…”. But them are so furious that they will do “…”. It places a strong emphasis on them being much more furious than one would expect, so they are likely to do unexpected things.

    I guess a better translation would be “They are so furious, they will…”

  • The second one has no emphasis. It merely states the fact they are furious, and proceeds to deduce an expected outcome of them being furious.

Interestingly, the word “comme” here is used with two close but different meanings:

  • In first sentence, the construction it is used in can introduce either a causality or an opposition, with an emphasis on the adjective. This construction is always built like this: “[adjective] comme [subject] [verb ‘être’], …”
  • In the second sentence, it is a regular subordinating conjunction that expresses causality with no additional meaning. Used like this, it is synonym of “puisque”.

Both sentences work in conversation.
In writing, though both work, I believe the first would be better style, conveying more meaning in the same amount of words. That does not mean you should use it instead of second one though, unless you want the emphasis on the adjective.

  • 2
    Je dirais en effet que la première phrase ne veut pas vraiment dire « parce qu'elles sont furieuses », mais peut-être : « elles sont furieuses (je vous l'affirme), et elles feront ... » ou « étant furieuses, elles feront ... » La causalité n'entre que par la relation entre les deux propositions. Mais c'est peut-être de la pédanterie alors. – Luke Sawczak Jun 26 '17 at 23:33
  • @LukeSawczak Dans la première phrase, le "furieuses comme elles sont" sous-entend qu'on savait déjà (plus ou moins) qu'elles étaient furieuses, mais qu'elles sont à un tel niveau de "furiosité" que... Ce n'est pas juste dire "elles sont furieuses, donc...", c'est plutôt "elles sont tellement furieuses que ..." – Teleporting Goat Jun 27 '17 at 16:42

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.