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The questions I write here were inspired by trying to understand answers to this question that I had asked earlier.

Note: if you read this long question, you will see that I probably have a great deal of confusion! Unfortunately, my confusion is so broad that it might make this question inappropriately too broad for StackExchange. You are welcome to answer only a few sections; it would be too overwhelming for anyone to try to answer all the sections.


I recently watched an interview, where a woman says:

La menace, c'était vraiment de contracter le virus, surtout près de ma date d'accouchement. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive rendue à l'hôpital.

There are many ways I might try to reword the bolded sentence. For each rewording, I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct, or how the meaning changes.

A) Rewording using "une fois que", to make an exactly equivalent sentence.

    1. (Original) Donc j'avais peur de tester positive rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.

Are (2) and (3) 100% grammatically correct, and equivalent in meaning to (1) ? (Admitting that (2) might be a regionalism?). The rest of this question assumes that the answer is "yes", and uses (3) as my "standard" form.

B) Why is the futur simple used?

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.

Some English translations might be:

  • "So, I was afraid to test positive, at the time I arrived at the hospital", or
  • "So, I was afraid to test positive, upon arriving at the hospital", or
  • "So, I was afraid to test positive, when I arrived at the hospital.

None of these English sentences sound like they use the future tense! Using the future tense, I might say: "So, I was afraid to test positive, when I will arrive at the hospital", which isn't grammatical in English.

Can you explain why French uses a future tense here?

C) Changing the futur simple into the présent

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital.

My understanding is that (3) seems to use the future simple. Is (4) grammatically correct? If no, why not? If yes, is the meaning the same as (3)?

Also, I tried to make (4) the présent version of (3). But (4) looks like its in the passé composé! Is (4) actually ambiguous, in that it can be interpreted as being the "présent of être" + adjective, as well as in the "passé composé of arriver" ?

D) Changing the futur simple into the passé composé

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que j'ai été arrivée à l'hôpital.

Is (5) grammatical? Does it have the same meaning as (3)?


E) "Se être" vs "Se rendre"?

It was suggested that (2) is a regionalism, and that (6) below is more standard French.

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je me serai rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je me rendrai à l'hôpital.

But I don't understand the structure of (6); (2) uses être in the future simple; (6) seems to use "se être" in the future simple; and (7) uses "se rendre" in the future simple.

Are (6) and (7) equivalent?


F) Quand vs Une Fois Que

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive quand je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.

What is the difference in meaning between (3) and (4)?

(This is probably already answered by the following comment given in my earlier question:

There is roughly the same difference between quand and une fois que as between "when" and "once", I would not use quand in your example because I think it important to show the immediacy of the action. You might also be interested by this: Can “once” mean “when”?.

)

G) Quand vs The Gerund

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive quand je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive en arrivant à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive en étant rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive en étant arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive en me rendant à l'hôpital.

Are all of these grammatical? Are (9), (10), and (11) equivalent?


H) Se rendre (in the passé composé) vs Être arrivé / Être rendu (être in the present + adjective)

An answer contrasted "Je me suis rendu" (indicates movement, "I went to the hospital") with "Je suis rendu" (indicates state, "I arrived at the hospital). I wanted to try directly inserting these into the sentence I'm rewording:

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je me suis rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je suis rendue à l'hôpital.

Are (13), (4), and (14) grammatical?

I) Putting the sentences in (H) into a tense that corresponds with the original sentence's tense

(H) explains the nuance between "Je me suis rendue" (I went to the hospital) vs "Je suis rendue" (I arrived at the hospital), to explain that DeepL's translation is correct, but it lost nuance:

DeepL translates the following equivalent sentences:

    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive rendue à l'hôpital.
  • 2. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai rendue à l'hôpital.
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital.

into "So I was afraid to test positive when I went to the hospital."

DeepL would have been better to have kept some nuance, by instead translating it as: "So I was afraid to test positive when I arrived at the hospital"

I'm trying to figure out how to apply the contrasted "Je suis rendue" and "Je me suis rendue", with how "Je suis rendue" corresponds with the original sentence:

  • If "Je suis rendue" ("Être" in the present, + rendu) corresponds to (2) above ("Être" in the future simple, + rendu),
  • does "Je me suis rendue" ("Se Rendre" in the passé composé) corresponsd to (15) below ("Se Rendre" in the présent)?
    1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je me rends à l'hôpital.

and does (15) mean "So, I was afraid to test positive when (or once?) I was going to the hospital" (ie, indicating movement, instead of state) ?

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  • None of these sentences are strictly grammatical, de tester positive being an anglicism...
    – jlliagre
    Jul 25 at 13:43
  • @jlliagre i was thinking of changing it to "d'être testée positive", but i figured that it was more clear to stick with the original in the interview!
    – silph
    Jul 25 at 13:47
  • You have too many questions here in one. But your main error is with rendre: se rendre quelque part, for to go somewhere. Je suis rendue à l'hôpital is not I arrived at the hospital. It would mean: I was given back to the hospital.
    – Lambie
    Jul 25 at 17:50
  • This: "An answer contrasted "Je me suis rendu" (indicates movement, "I went to the hospital") [RIGHT] with "Je suis rendu" (indicates state, "I arrived at the hospital) [WRONG]". is wrong.
    – Lambie
    Jul 25 at 17:52
  • @Lambie Ne sois pas si sûre de toi. Ce n'est pas parce que tu ne connais pas une tournure qu'elle n'existe pas ou qu'elle est fausse.
    – jlliagre
    Jul 25 at 19:42
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You are right being confused by the future tense. In that sentence, what would have been acceptable is the conditionnel passé (aka futur antérieur du passé):

Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serais rendue à l'hôpital.

or, to stick to a French I'm more familiar with:

Donc j'avais peur d'avoir un test positif (or d'être testée positive) une fois que je serais arrivée à l'hôpital.

but que and a verb is not really needed and I'd rather write:

Donc j'avais peur d'avoir un test positif un fois arrivé(e) à l'hopital.


Here is a feedback to all your sample sentences:

  1. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive rendue à l'hôpital Correct, regional.
  2. [...] une fois que je serai rendue à l'hôpital. → que je serais rendue: Regional.
  3. [...] une fois que je serai arrivée à l'hôpital. → que je serais arrivée : mainstream French
  4. [...] une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital. → Not very idiomatic
    You'd rather say: J'ai eu peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital. (different meaning: I didn't thought about it before)
  5. [...] une fois que j'ai été arrivée à l'hôpital. → Not grammatical
    J'ai été arrivée never works: "I was arrived" ??
  6. [...] une fois que je me serai rendue à l'hôpital.je me serais rendue
  7. [...] une fois que je me rendrai à l'hôpital. → Not grammatical (tense mismatch)
    You might say: Donc j'aurai peur de xxx un fois que je me rendrai à l'hôpital. (different meaning)
  8. [...] quand je serai arrivée à l'hôpital. → Same as 3.
  9. [...] en arrivant à l'hôpital. → Correct
  10. [...] en étant rendue à l'hôpital. → Regional
  11. [...] en étant arrivée à l'hôpital. → Questionable That would mean the test was performed before or during the trip to the hospital and the result given as soon as I arrived.
  12. [...] en me rendant à l'hôpital. → Correct
    During the trip, I was afraid of what the test result would be.
  13. [...] une fois que je me suis rendue à l'hôpital. → Questionable I was afraid only after being arrived there.
  14. [...] une fois que je suis rendue à l'hôpital. → Same as 4.
  15. [...] une fois que je me rends à l'hôpital. → Not grammatical
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  • oh no. You're saying that "Je serais rendue" isn't the futur simple at all, but instead the futur antérieur du passé. In my French Grammar studying, I always skipped studying about verb tenses, esp uncommon tenses. googling "future antérieur" brings me to a grammar site I used a lot: lawlessfrench.com/grammar/future-perfect , and it says that the future perfect is indeed used with une fois que. I wonder if half of my confusion comes from not having known about the futur antérier until now, and thinking that it was the futur simple instead...
    – silph
    Jul 25 at 15:03
  • No je serai rendue is the futur antérieur but was wrong, I changed it to je serais rendue (conditionnel passé but also futur antérieur du passé)
    – jlliagre
    Jul 25 at 15:05
  • When user None wrote their answer in my previous question, they also suggested that "une fois que je serai rendue à l'hôpital" is correct! Maybe this is a common mistake that's easy to miss, for native French speakers (the same way that us anglophones sometimes make grammatical errors, too)? At any rate, it's good that you alerted me to the existence of the future antérier. It's probably relevant to half of these questions.
    – silph
    Jul 25 at 15:10
  • Oh, I just see that you changed your comment after I responded. So, "Je serai rendue" is not the futur simple, but instead is the futur antérieur; and "Je serais rendue" is the futur antérier du passé?
    – silph
    Jul 25 at 15:12
  • 1
    On second thoughts, 4 is acceptable. I still think 7 is wrong because it considers an event that happen in the past to be a consequence of an event that will happen in the future. Something like: When I will go to the hospital, I was afraid of being tested positive. You probably need a time travel machine for that to work ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Jul 25 at 22:44
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A) 1/ The original sentence is not good French in several respects.
2/ (2) is an improvement: "une fois que" makes more explicit the time relationship between the actions.
3/ (3) shows an additional amelioration over (2): "serai rendue" is incorrect as it should be "me serai rendue"; at least "serai arrivée" is correct, but from the point of view of using the proper vocabulary, only.

(2) and (3) are not grammatically correct: there is a matter of tense that makes them incorrect, but since you examine tenses in detail in what follows I'll take that up as you raise the question.
The word "rendu" as an adjective is a recent addition to French (rendu, adj.); nevertheless, it is not used here according to its meaning; this is so because you say that at the end of trip to express the idea that your destination has been reached. The verb using "rendre" which has to do with going places is the pronominal verb "se rendre", which means strictly "to go".

B) The tense is not correct merely in virtue of a matter of correspondence.
As the word is an adjective, it can be considered that the tense is the future simple. But that is not the right tense.

The tense and mood are usually the same as in the main clause; so the right phrasing (grammatically) is as follows.

  • Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que j'arrivais à l'hôpital. (She was due to spend some time in a hospital.) [1]
  • Donc j'ai peur de tester positive une fois que j'arrive à l'hôpital. (She is due to spend some time in a hospital.)
  • Donc, j'aurai peur de tester positive une fois que j'arriverai à l'hôpital. (Semantically, this is not possible since she is already afraid while speaking, but the next sentence makes sense, and illustrate the general principle.)
  • J'ai une bonne formation d'infirmière. Donc, je n'aurai pas peur de faire des erreurs une fois que j'arriverai à l'hôpital.
  • J'avais une bonne formation d'infirmière. Donc, je n'ai pas eu peur de faire des erreurs une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital.

A much better option than using [1] above consists in using a future in the past (ref;).

  • Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que j'allais arriver à l'hôpital.

Nevertheless, if the action of arriving at the hospital is hypothetical, then the "conditionnel" is the mood to use ("présent" and passé").

  • Non, je ne voulais pas aller à l'hôpital, il y avait certains dangers. Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je serais arrivée à l'hôpital.
  • Non, je ne veux pas aller à l'hôpital, il y a certains dangers. Donc j'ai peur de tester positive une fois que j'arriverais à l'hôpital.

C) "(3)" is wrong. "(4)" is not correctly described; the présent form that corresponds to "je serai arrivée" (which includes "arriver" in the "futur antérieur") is "j'arrive", not "je suis arrivée" ("passé composé") . "(4)" is grammatically correct, but semantically wrong (discussed in the next section), not equivalent.

D) No question in the light of "B)"

E) You are quite correct as far as the choice of verb goes, see "A)". In (6) you are not using the verbal locution "être rendu" where "rendu" is an adjective but the verb "se rendre" (pronominal), and, therefore, this is the "future antérieur", where "rendue" is the past participle.
No, of course (6) and (7) are not equivalent since the tenses are different.

F)

(TLi) Une fois que Marque l'antécédence en insistant sur le caractère accompli ou perfectif du procès. Synon. après que.

This locution can be taken as synonymous to "quand", since it means "après que".

(TLFi) 1. [Pour marquer la simultanéité avec le fait exprimé par le verbe de la princ.] Au moment où, dans le temps que. Synon. lorsque (lang. écrite).
a) [Le verbe de la sub. marque un intervalle clos (au passé simple, au fut., au prés. hist., à un temps comp. signifiant l'antériorité temp.) ou s'y réfère]
♦ Quand il entra dans la chambre conjugale, MmeBombard n'y était pas.
♦ Quand j'ai vu mes méthodes confirmées par l'expérience, je n'ai eu qu'une hâte.

I believe you could use "quand" instead of "une fois que".

G) "(9)" and "(11)" are grammatically correct; "(8)" and "(10)" are not (wrong tense in "(8)", but that is all (grammatically)). Only "(9)" is equivalent to "(8)" from the strict point of view of semantics.
You are mixing sub-standard "être rendue" and "se rendre"; the meanings are not the same. The gerund in French is used to express simultaneity, cause, and condition and so may be ambiguous.

H) Those sentences are correct grammatically (provided the non-standard form "suis rendue" is taken as standard). The "passé composé" would also be correct in the main clause.

  • Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital.
  • Donc j'ai eu peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital.

However, you change the point of view. Whereas by means of

  • "Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que j'arrivais à l'hôpital." (a1)

and

  • "Donc j'ai peur de tester positive une fois que j'arrive à l'hôpital." (b1)

the person speaking is saying "I was afraid (then) that when I would get to the hospital (later) I would test positive" ((a1)) and "I am afraid (now) that when I get to the hospital (later) I should test positive." ((b1)), when using

  • Donc j'avais peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital. (a2)
  • Donc j'ai eu peur de tester positive une fois que je suis arrivée à l'hôpital. (b2)

they are saying in both cases ((a2) and (b2)) "From the time I reached the hospital I was afraid of testing positive."

I) The fact that DeepL does not recognize the pseudo adjectival construction "être rendu" is one more proof that the word is recent addition, that is not used much.

I'm trying to figure out how to apply the contrasted "Je suis rendue" and "Je me suis rendue", with how "Je suis rendue" corresponds with the original sentence:

  • If "Je suis rendue" ("Être" in the present, + rendu) corresponds to (2) above ("Être" in the future simple, + rendu),
  • does "Je me suis rendue" ("Se Rendre" in the passé composé) corresponds to (15) below ("Se Rendre" in the présent)?

Your reasoning in first recognizing a contrast between the two forms and secondly in trying to establish a correspondence is rather impenetrable, but I'll try to make the most I can out of it.

("Être" in the present, + rendu) ("Être" in the future simple, + rendu)
suis rendu ----->serai rendu
me suis rendu ----> me rends
Yes, some verbal form does correspond to "rendue" in "(2)" because, somehow, there is a more or less acceptable ellipsis of such a form, and of a form such as the additional one you supplied, but according to my answer it is not "suis rendu"; it is "étais rendu" (provided we accept this locution as standard). What you appear to be doing is to think that the two forms, the standard one and the sub-standard are related, semantically and/or grammatically; they are not; they are only related insofar as someday, someone amputated the usual form "me suis rendu" of its pronoun, shifted the sense from "going" (action) to "arrived" (state) and so ended up with a form with no verb to fall back on, thus forcing an adjectival interpretation of "rendu". There is nothing more to relate one to the other but this mere process of grammar emanant.

No, "(15)" is not correct.

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  • wow, thank you for taking the time to write this. i will carefully read it, over the next two days. i likely will ask for a few points of clarification afterwards, but i'm now realizing that the questions i ask here are beyond my level (tenses and verbs have always been my weak area), and so the best i can hope for is some clues to get partial understanding. your post will very likely give me a lot of clues to get some new understanding.
    – silph
    Jul 25 at 23:19
  • Don't worry about tenses if you don't forget to read "solid" French texts regularly.
    – LPH
    Jul 25 at 23:22
  • 1
    So Verlaine wrote "bad, incorrect and sub-standard French" ? TLFI: rendu II. − Adjectif A. − Arrivé à destination. *Le temps de se dire bonjour (...) et nous partons, de manière à être rendus, à 1 heure moins le quart (...) au passage Verdeau (Verlaine, Corresp., t. 1, 1864, p. 14). Vous n'aviez qu'à prendre par la crête: vous étiez rendu en cinq minutes ! (Vercel, Cap. Conan, 1934, p. 162).*
    – jlliagre
    Jul 26 at 8:37

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