22

Apparently the verb pleuvoir can only be conjugated in the third person, but I don't understand why you would ever conjugate it in the plural. If Il pleut means It's raining, what does Ils pleuvent mean?

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    Dat's called a defective verb, by the way. – Nikana Reklawyks Nov 5 '12 at 22:00
26

You could use this form in a figurative way, when describing objects falling down or being thrown in big quantities. It can also be found in sport comments, usually tennis and maybe boxing, for example Les coups droits pleuvaient sur le Central (litterally Forehands were raining on the Central Court).

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    Hey...your highest rated answer is my highest rated question. This is destiny calling. – temporary_user_name Aug 27 '13 at 6:30
  • @Aerovistae :-D – Alexis Pigeon Aug 27 '13 at 7:25
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    No longer true. Guess destiny hung up before we could answer. – temporary_user_name Oct 10 '14 at 3:07
8

More accurately (IMO) coups is a common word for this, but many other terms expressing something abstract can also be used: insultes or injures is a common exemple in dictionaries too. The TLFi has a bunch of examples if you care to look at it.

1

Strangely several grammar books mention only the impersonal form of pleuvoir and not its figurative form (with ils).

On the contrary, webpages with conjugation usually give both of the possible conjugations. (e.g. https://leconjugueur.lefigaro.fr/conjugaison/verbe/pleuvoir_deuxieme-forme.html)

Le Nouveau Bescherelle: L'art de conjugeur adds as a footnote: Quoique impersonnel, ce verbe s'emploie au pluriel mais dans le sens figuré.

Les coups de fusil pleuvent.

Les sarcasmes pleuvent sur lui.

Les honneurs pleuvaient sur sa personne.

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