I'm reading an article on the web, which has the following sentence:

Ces constats tragiques faits, corrélés à des analyses que réalisent d’autres associations sur le terrain depuis longtemps, Michael Hobbes a interviewé de nombreux experts.

My attempt at understanding this sentence: I suspect that there is a subject/verb inversion around the "que". If I were to undo the inversion, I would rewrite that part of the sentence like this:

corrélés à des analyses que des autres associations réalisent sur le terrain depuis longtemps

My best guess at the whole sentence's meaning does not make much sense:

These tragic reports make [??], correlated by some analyses that some other associations carry out [present tense??] about this topic for a long time, Michael Hobbies interviewed some experts.

I don't understand "C'est constats tragiques fait". "These tragic reports make... [what do they make?? it isn't stated!]"

1. What does this sentence mean?
2. Is my inversion correct, including my choice of "des" as the article that precedes "autres associations"?
3. In the original sentence, what is the d' for? I would have expected an article like "les" or "des" instead, but not " d' "
4. Why is réalisent in the present tense? It sounds like it should be in the past tense. ("..that some associations have been carrying out for a long time..")

1 Answer 1


There are some phrases that seem difficult for you to parse (and I must confess that even I, a native speaker, had to re-read the whole sentence a couple of times to understand it...)

1) ces constats faits: you have to understand it as après que ces constats ont été faits or une fois que ces constats ont été faits. This turn of phrase can be found rather in written French. Ex: Le repas servi, nous avons commencé à manger = "une fois que le repas a été servi, nous avons commencé à manger".

2) que réalisent d'autres associations: you are right, there is an inversion of the verb and the subject

3) d'autres is indeed a contracted form for des autres. I suggest you look at this question on this topic: « Des autres » ou « d'autres » ?

As for réalisent: it is a French "indicatif présent" indeed, because it means the associations still carry out these analyses. Whether they have been doing so in the past or not is not relevant in French: it if is a valid statement for the current moment, the "présent" is the right tense.

In contrast, in English, you would have used indeed a present perfect, because they started carrying out these analyses somewhere in the past and are still doing so today... but that's just that French and English languages have different uses of tenses.

Let's take it the other way round: if it had been que les associations ont réalisées pendant (note: not depuis) longtemps, it would mean the associations have stopped carrying them out.

  • i feel silly for not realizing that "faits" is a past participle. my brain had thought it was just "faire" conjugated in the present tense, even though it obviously isn't! now it all makes sense. it will take a while for me to read the linked question about " d'autres ". i will ask here: would it have been incorrect if the writer instead wrote "des autres"?
    – silph
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:46
  • 1
    Yes, it would have been incorrect : that is the kind of mistake small children will do for instance.
    – Greg
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:51
  • i will have to carefully read the linked question to understand why, then :)
    – silph
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:52
  • 1
    If say aloud eg j'ai lu des autres livres, I feel it is something you may hear in the speech of some native speakers, but that would be immediately regarded as poor French.
    – Greg
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 14:55

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