I came across this page on the French Wiktionary which leads with the following sentence:

Le vent a suscité beaucoup d’expressions populaires dont quelques unes sont détaillées ici car décrivant des phénomènes de vents ou s’inspirant de son comportement.

How exactly is the word 'car' being used here? I've always understood it as a word for "since", "as", or "because", but I have no clue how to reconcile that with the meaning and grammar/syntax of the above sentence.

If anyone can speak to whether this is just some obscure quirk of French grammar, a colloquial substitution of 'car' for another word, or maybe even a straight-up misuse of language (i.e. a typo), I would hugely appreciate the help – ça me donne pas mal de fil à retordre. Merci d'avance.

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    Intéressant ... The sense it suggests to me is "are detailed here as describing wind-related phenomena or being inspired by its behaviour". Such could be explained as a typo for comme or a calque of English as. But my knowledge is imperfect...
    – Luke Sawczak
    Feb 4, 2021 at 20:22
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    Very similar question: french.stackexchange.com/questions/36568/… Feb 5, 2021 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


The meaning is:

Some of these expressions are detailed here because they describe wind related phenomena.


Car: Conj. de coordination introduisant une prop. qui explique ou justifie ce qui vient d'être énoncé.

Décrivant is related to expressions populaires that way:

Quelques expressions populaires décrivant des phénomènes de vent ou sont comportement sont détaillées ici.

You might be confused by the fact the sentence starts by telling the wind inspired many expressions so the causality can be considered to be redundant. What was indended is to confirm or insist about the reason why they are listed there. The sentence might have read:

...dont quelques unes sont détaillées ici justement parce qu'elles décrivent des phénomènes de vents... (precisely because they describe...)

If what bothers you is the participe présent, the sentence is close to this one where the gerund is used in English:

some of them detailed here for describing wind-related phenomena...

This syntax is not used in spoken French. Here is a similar usage:

A qui s’adressent les Indemnités Journalières (IJ) ?
Aux professionnels de santé libéraux dont le confinement à domicile est recommandé car présentant certaines fragilités de santé les exposant à des formes graves du Covid-19

It is exactly equivalent to

...recommandé parce qu'ils (les personnels de santé concernés) présentent certaines fragilités...

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    The causality is clear, but the syntax feels odd. You had to transform some things to make it work in English — added a subject and changed the tense. The original sentence feels like it should be rendered "some are detailed here because describing wind-related phenomena". It's as new to me as to the OP that car can also fill this syntactic role, which I guess is equivalent to by virtue of or in light of: "are included here in light of (their) describing..." It would be really helpful to see some more typical examples of car being used this way to solidify the pattern.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Feb 4, 2021 at 20:49
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    This is clearer; merci.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Feb 4, 2021 at 22:51
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    @ZéhontéeBonteuse Again, with "since", you need to supply "they're" — that's the odd part.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Feb 5, 2021 at 2:08
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    @LukeSawczak Wouldn't for work with a gerund: "...detailed here for describing wind-related phenomena."?
    – jlliagre
    Feb 5, 2021 at 9:51
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    @jlliagre It would, and I suppose it's helpful to observe that for parallels car in its two usages, suggesting some kind of natural bridging of the syntactic functions...
    – Luke Sawczak
    Feb 5, 2021 at 13:37

The meaning of "car" is the usual one (because) and I believe it is an unhappy choice of the writer, who was perhaps at a loss for a proper term and in a hurry. Since the beginning of the sentence says that there exist many such expressions and that some have been chosen, the connecting word (car) says that the choice of expression relating to the wind has been made because they relate to the wind (roughly). Of course, that is not the right idea, the right connection being one of particularization. The following sentence is a possibility that makes sense of this sentence.

  • Le vent a suscité beaucoup d’expressions populaires dont sont détaillées ici quelques unes qui décrivent des phénomènes de vents ou qui s’inspirent de son comportement.

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