9 votes
Accepted

Was "inclusive writing" historically considered grammatically correct?

The wider definition of the écriture inclusive includes several writing changes. I believe the main one the Académie is warning against is the reintroduction of a ancient sign (the interpunct) to coin ...
  • 135k
7 votes

Proportion of Greek and Latin influences

It depends on how you count. If you count every word in a dictionary once, you will get a higher score for Greek words; a very infrequently used word will count as 1 just like a very frequently used ...
  • 693
6 votes

How are defunct spellings pronounced when read aloud?

I'm no expert in old French so I can't tell you if we should, but we'd definitely pronounce it as it is written, but following the pronunciation rules of modern French. So "déchiroit" would be ...
6 votes

Proportion of Greek and Latin influences

French is Latin mispronounced by German. The Wikipedia article has a longer story. The French Wikipedia article has a much longer, more complete story. A vast majority of French words come from Latin....
5 votes

Quelle est la difference entre "les chiennes blanc et noir" et "les chiennes blanches et noires"? Écrit-on "les vert olive" ou "les verts olives"?

Les chiennes blanc et noir = les chiennes ont chacune les 2 couleurs Les chiennes blanches et noires = les chiennes de couleur blanche et les chiennes de couleur noire.
  • 625
5 votes

Antique expressions "tourmenteroit" and "à-peu-près"

The scan you posted seems to be from a later reprint. Here is the same sentence from the 1710 edition of the Mémoires d'Anne d'Autriche : There is an additional archaism compared to your sample, ...
  • 135k
4 votes

How are defunct spellings pronounced when read aloud?

Cela dépend d'abord de la compétence du lecteur en matière de prononciation ancienne: s'il ne connaît pas les règles anciennes de prononciation, il n'y a aucun risque qu'il les utilise. Son choix ...
  • 7,666
4 votes

Meaning of “il n’y avoit que faire”

The expression qu'il n'y avait que faire is an old style, literary equivalent to qu'il n'y avait rien à faire, i.e. there was he had1 nothing (interesting) to do. TLFi − N'avoir que faire de N'...
  • 135k
4 votes

Please help me find this quote of Rousseau

To build upon @oldergod's answer: Though the quote is often attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, it is always unsourced (not attached to a book). As oldergod found out, the quote appears first in ...
3 votes

Please help me find this quote of Rousseau

Il semblerait que ce ne soit pas de Rousseau mais de Fénelon, Les aventures de Télémaque.
  • 575
2 votes

Antique expressions "tourmenteroit" and "à-peu-près"

Some recent knowledge I happened upon courtesy of @Gilles leads me to guess that tourmenteroit is an archaic conditional conjugation of tourmenter, and thus the opening words mean "Laffernas had ...
2 votes
Accepted

Understanding “Te confonde le Ciel de me parler ainsi !”

I think it is a mild imprecation, just as when you would say in English of ages past, "Confound me", "Confound the day you were born", etc. It is unusual to find the inversion "subject/verb" and not ...
  • 38.4k
2 votes

Proportion of Greek and Latin influences

It is a pity that Greek origin words in French are not mentioned as such. They are mostly referred to as Latin and it is really difficult for the researcher to trace back a word into its Greek origin....
2 votes
Accepted

Quelle est la difference entre "les chiennes blanc et noir" et "les chiennes blanches et noires"? Écrit-on "les vert olive" ou "les verts olives"?

Pour les chiennes, voir la réponse de Fréfré. Les verts olive : puisque vert est un nom commun ici. Des bleus clairs et foncés : des bleus clairs et des bleus foncés. Des bleus clair et foncé : ...
  • 135k
2 votes

Why use 'avoir' with 'hâte' instead of 'être'?

Avoir hâte is a set expression so you shouldn't try to analyze it word by word. It means to look forward1 which incidentally is also a set expression. TLFi: Hâte − Locution Avoir (grande, grand') ...
  • 135k
1 vote
Accepted

Est-ce correct de ne pas accorder le verbe "enseigner" dans la phrase: "elle s'est enseigné les maths"?

Non, l'accord ne se fait pas dans ce cas; la raison est qu'il y a un COD (maths) et qu'il se trouve après le verbe. Elle s'est enseigné les maths (« s' » est COI.) Les maths qu'elle s'est enseigné ...
  • 38.4k
1 vote

Meaning of “il n’y avoit que faire”

What you assume loosely is exactly what you should understand in my opinion. It seems to me that this usage of "que" is none other than "que" as "quoi" or more exactly "de quoi", "quelque chose", ...
  • 38.4k
1 vote

Conversion of "to look cool"

Trying to look can be translated as Essayer d'avoir l'air. But for the second part, it depends of the context: "in foreign language", does that mean you're doing as if you could talk it, ...
  • 743
1 vote

Antique expressions "tourmenteroit" and "à-peu-près"

The ancient conjugation of the imparfait used "oi" instead of "ai". So, we said, "je mangeois, tu mangeois, il mangeoit...". Moreover, "oi" was not pronouced "[oua]" as it is today, but "[ouè]". It ...
  • 2,288
1 vote
Accepted

Tense and mood of “comme si elles eussent essayé”

After having delivered hasty and thus unprecise analyses, I have calmly considered the problem you raised: It shows you're quite keen at French, because indeed you detected a mistake: I can affirm ...
  • 2,288

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