1

I can't figure out why here in my first sentence le participe passé agrees with les violonistes, but in the second it doesn't agree with les airs. I thought it should agree in both cases, since the COD is placed before the verb. What am I not seeing?

1) Les violonistes que j'ai entendus jouer sont habiles.

2) Les airs que j'ai entendu jouer étaient mélancoliques.

4

This is a tricky one: the past participle doesn't agree in the second sentence because the complement isn't doing the action defined by the infinitive. For example, following the same principle, you should write:

Les pièces (de théâtre) que j'ai vu jouer

And NOT

Les pièces que j'ai vues jouer

Reference

  • @LPH thanks for fixing my English :-) I knew something was wrong as I was writing it but couldn't put my finger on it :-) – Laurent S. May 25 at 19:00
  • As far as the principle goes it's perfect, resolved; when it comes to the syntax I'm less sure this type of sentence is quite legitimate. There is no problem when a subject for the infinitive is added: "Les airs que j'ai entendu les musiciens jouer étaient mélancoliques."; there is no doubt that the COD is "musician" or from another point of view the infinitive clause. However, when that COD/SUJET is removed, there is a transitive verb without an object (voir) and you might be groping for one (that leading you to "que") and no subject for the infinitive; all of that is very disturbing. – LPH May 25 at 19:32

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.