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Is the expression "bête chevronné" correct for "seasoned/experienced beast"? I was told I need an extra e.

  • Stéphane Gimenez has the correct answer here under, but I have my doubts about the idiom as a whole. I'm not sure how idiomatic "seasoned beast" is in English (having a bit of context might also help understanding if we're talking about an actual beast of a figurative one), but "bête chevronnée" looks like a poor word-to-word translation to me... – Laurent S. Dec 4 '18 at 12:46
  • @LaurentS: "seasoned beast" or "experienced beast" is totally unidiomatic in English. – Peter Shor Dec 9 '18 at 17:30
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You do. Adjectives agree with the gender (and number) of the nouns they qualify. Since bête is a feminine noun, the feminine form of the adjective is required, which in this case is spelled chevronnée, with an extra e.

The agreement is purely grammatical as “bête” (feminine) may figuratively refer to a person or live being, or entity of any biological or attributed gender.

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"Chevronné(e)" is used for persons, especially in the context of their professionnalism, and at that, only when their profession involves a rather important amount of knowledge; one will not ever say something like "une caissière chevronnée"; it means "fully skilled", "well versed in the subtleties of one's profession"; you could say , however, "un charpentier chevronné". It seems that what you mean is rather "une bête endurcie", that is a strong beast, trained to bear a burden without failing; in any case this corresponds more to "seasoned" than "experienced".

The added e is justified by the gender of "bête", which is a feminine word in French; in French there is a rule of agreement of a noun with its adjective, in gender and in number; e is added to obtain the feminine form of the adjective and s the plural; thus, if the beast were a donkey you'd write "un âne endurci ("âne" is masculine, so, no e); if there were several beasts you'd have to say "plusieurs bêtes endurcies" (first e and then s, never the other way).

  • You might have commented the question for clarification. There is no evidence beast represent an animal in the question; On the opposite, I have only seen seasoned applied to persons so beast should likely be understood as slang for "very impressive person", a meaning that can be found in French slang too (Ce gars là, c'est une bête en math). Bête chevronnée is nevertheless odd though. – jlliagre Dec 4 '18 at 0:45
  • @jlliagre No explicit evidence, true; inferred it could not be anything else than an animal; only meaning I can find that is related to humans, no slang: brute; true, use of "seasoned" acknowledged for persons only (and wood); no trace of "impressive person" for "beast"; familiar with "la bête !" in french argot (men with impressive muscles); nothing in the TLFi; I do find "personne très douée dans un domaine" in reverso; a figurative beast maybe; now, the answer's success or lack of it might make things clearer; would have asked precisions or abstained if not convinced "beast" an animal. – LPH Dec 4 '18 at 1:23
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  • Un charpentier chevronné ! Ah ha, c'est un comble ! – Stéphane Gimenez Dec 4 '18 at 14:24
  • @StéphaneGimenez Tranquillisez-vous, je ne vois ni la paille dans l'œil du voisin ni la poutre dans le mien, que le charpentier classique, auquel, il est vrai, on n'a plus trop à faire appel de nos jours! – LPH Dec 4 '18 at 15:15

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