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I understand that the idea surrounding quelconque(s) when it is placed after a noun is similar to n'importe quel i.e. the noun "doesn't matter".

For example,

Choisissez n’importe quel stylo que vous aimez. = Choose any pen you like.

According to CliffsNotes the difference between the two is that quelconque has a "further emphasis on 'any sort' or 'any kind'". For example,

Choisissez quelconque stylo que vous aimez. = Choose any pen you like.

But because of the word quelconque you can choose literally any type of pen e.g. a ball point pen, a brush pen, a technical pen, a quill.

My question is the following: according to CliffsNotes,

"when quelconque precedes the noun, it has a negative connotation."

However, they don't provide an example of this and so I don't know what they mean by this. So, could someone please create several examples.

Also, if my understanding on the difference between quelconque and n'importe quel is wrong, please can someone correct me.

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/french/french-ii/french-ii-indefinites-passive-voice/indefinite-adjectives

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Your first sentence is incorrect:

Choisissez n’importe quels stylo que vous aimez.

You'd rather ask:

  • Choisissez n'importe quel stylo.

  • Choisissez un stylo que vous aimez.

  • Choisissez n'importe lequel des stylos que vous aimez.

Your second sentence is incorrect too:

Choisissez quelconque stylo que vous aimez.

We do not use quelconque that way and I don't even find an idiomatic way to use quelconque with a sentence that would match "choose any pen you like". Quelconque doesn't work well with que vous aimez.

  • Choisissez un stylo quelconque que vous aimez. (?) Choose an ordinary pen you like.

But because of the word quelconque you can choose literally any type of pen e.g. a ball point pen, a brush pen, a technical pen, a quill.

Not that much. in France, un stylo is more than likely a ballpen.

My question is the following: according to CliffsNotes,

"when quelconque precedes the noun, it has a negative connotation."

I quite disagree. Quelconque has often a negative connotation regardless of its location.

While un nombre quelconque just means any number or whatever the number, the phrases une voiture quelconque, un homme quelconque, and un repas quelconque can all be pejorative.

Here are examples of quelconque usage:

Neutral:

- Si pour une raison quelconque, vous ne pouvez pas assister au spectacle, prévenez-nous.

- Choisissez six nombres quelconques entre un et quarante-neuf.

Slightly pejorative:

  • Vous savez que l'illustre savant polonais a déménagé la Terre de son piédestal au centre du monde pour en faire une planète quelconque tournant autour du Soleil. S'il en avait su davantage sur la taille du monde, il ne se serait pas arrêté là. Car le Soleil lui-même n'est pas le centre du monde, mais une étoile quelconque sur un bras de notre galaxie. Et la Voie lactée elle-même n'est qu'une galaxie quelconque parmi des milliards d'autres du même acabit. Bonnes nouvelles des étoiles, Jean-Pierre Luminet, Élisa Brune

Disparaging, comtemptuous:

- J'ai mangé un repas très quelconque dans ce restaurant.

- Elle a épousé un homme quelconque.

  • By the looks of it, my current understanding of quelconque is wrong. I cannot find any resources online that teach how quelconque is used as an indefinite adjective. Therefore, if you would be so kind could you please teach me about the indefinite adjective quelconque. – CubbyKushi May 1 '18 at 0:20
  • I did a bit of research and all pages I found that talk about indefinite adjectives do not list quelconque as one. The explanation provided here by @jiliagre is quite complete, I doubt you will find anything else. FYI: I am a native French speaker. – Nic3500 May 4 '18 at 15:55

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