1

We were talking about swarms of meteorites orbiting the Earth, and I said:

Quelque chose d'aussi gros si près de notre planète pourrait ...

On second thoughts, I'm not sure the entire phrase "(pro)noun + (d')aussi + adjective + si + adjective" qualifies as a nominal phrase and the subject in this sentence.

Needless to say, the following two are not grammatical, but I wonder if it is acceptable to place "d'aussi" and "si" like this after the pronoun "quelque chose"?

{x}: Quelque chose d'aussi gros d'aussi près de notre planète pourrait ...

{x}: Quelque chose si gros si près de notre planète pourrait ...

  • 1
    Using "aussi" twice sounds fine to me, but it's just "aussi" for the second one, not "d'aussi". (And what is {x} supposed to be? It looks like some automatic list numbering that didn't work) – Teleporting Goat Jul 20 '18 at 15:49
  • @TeleportingGoat My guess is {x} is here an X mark to state incorrect or dubious forms. French linguists often use an asterisk with the same meaning. – jlliagre Aug 22 '18 at 21:48
  • This doesn't answer the question as such, but the sentence you used in the first place is, from where I see it, the most usual way to ceonvey this meaning – Laurent S. Aug 24 '18 at 8:31
1

Yes, it works as a nominal phrase with chose as its core so might be simplified to:

Quelque chose pourrait...

However, given the fact a small pause is expected before si près, I would slightly modify it by adding a couple of commas:

Quelque chose d'aussi gros, si près de notre planète, pourrait...

or a coordinating conjunction:

Quelque chose d'aussi gros et si près de notre planète pourrait...

As gros is an adjective but près is an adverb, the sentence would be finer with using an adjective too instead of près:

Quelque chose d'aussi gros et si proche de notre planète pourrait...

You don't aggregate attributive adjectives without either separating them with commas or coordinating them with et in French. Here si près de notre planète might be removed without breaking the sentence grammar:

Quelque chose d'aussi gros pourrait...

Symmetrically:

Quelque chose de si proche de notre planète pourrait...

Finally, aussi is technically a comparative adverb (aussi gros que... means "as big as...") while in your phrase, it is used as an intensifier one ("so big", such a big).

This is a very common usage in French but if you want to strictly comply with the formal usage, that should be:

Quelque chose de si gros, si proche de notre planète, pourrait...

or

Quelque chose de si gros et si proche de notre planète pourrait...

  • That particular phrasing that came to mind on the spot was probably influenced by this construction with "avec": "Avec quelque chose d'aussi gros si près de notre planète, on ne peut pas ...". – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Jul 20 '18 at 15:39
  • Prepending avec doesn't change the need of at least a slight pause between gros and si près. – jlliagre Jul 21 '18 at 22:02
0

Quelque chose d'aussi gros si près de notre planète pourrait...

is completely right.

Quelque chose d'aussi gros si près de notre planète...

is what grammarians call "un syntagme nominal" in French and such constructions, called equivalently "nominal phrases" in English, can be quite long and involved and even contain clauses; see for instance this example, the nominal phrase in bold type:

Une petite voiture sans puissance et que personne ne voit sur les routes n'était pas ce dont elle avait particulièrement envie.

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.