Table of Contents
§79. Disjunctive Pronouns
As the Author says, “disjunctive” pronouns are “disjoined” from the verb, in that they show up elsewhere than immediately before the verbs; those that do appear before the verb are called “conjunctive” (conjoint, conjonctif), meaning they form a unit with the verb. Conjunctive pronouns cannot be stressed; disjunctive pronouns are stressed, which explains why, phonetically, they evolved differently. For instance, the [e] of the Latin word “me,” when unstressed, develops into the lax, colorless vowel [ə]. Contrariwise, the same sound [e], stressed, retains its character and goes through these stages: [e > ej > oj > we > wa], giving us today:
- the conjunct form me, pronounced [mə], and
- the disjunct form moi, pronounced [mwɑ]
Because the disjunctive pronouns receive greater emphasis, they can also be called emphatic or tonic pronouns.
Amongst the uses the Author gives for the disjunctive pronoun, he does not talk about how it can be used to “reinforce” a conjunctive pronoun. Conjunctive pronouns, whether subject or object, cannot be stressed (sauf exception). But what if you really really want and need to stress such a pronoun? The French solution is: give the pronoun twice, once in its usual conjunct position and another time as a disjunctive pronoun.
A. Reinforced subject
- “I don’t know!” = Je ne sais pas, moi. OR: Moi, je ne sais pas.
- “You are vulgarians, but we are sophisticates.” = Vous, vous êtes des goujats, mais nous, nous sommes des gens sophistiqués.
With an emphasized third-person subject, you can dispense with the “conjunct” form, and simply come down hard on the tonic form:
- “She is a biologist, but he is a chemist.” = Elle est biologiste, mais lui est chimiste.
- “Bernard is an atheist.” = Bernard, lui, est athé.
- “Bernard is an atheist, too.” = Bernard, lui aussi, est athé.
- “You’re an idiot too!” = Toi aussi, tu es idiot!
B. Reinforced direct object
- “They took me in for questioning!” = On m’a interpellé, moi!
- “As for us, they kicked us out the door.” = Nous, ils nous ont boutés par la porte.
C. Reinforced indirect object
- “You dare to say that to me!” = Tu oses me dire ça à moi!
À lui and à elle can be used to remove the ambiguity of 3rd-person forms:
Person A: Ils lui ont écrit. (They wrote to hurrim.)
Person B: À qui? À lui ou à elle? (To whom? To him or to her?)
Person A: Ils lui ont écrit à elle. (They wrote to her.)
Person A: Prends son livre. (Take hizzer book.)
Person B: Quel livre? Son livre à lui, ou son livre à elle? (Which book? His, or hers?)
Please, please learn that when certain personal verb forms occur without the corresponding subject pronoun (the tu, nous, or vous), you are dealing with the imperative!!! Not unlike English, which uses the same device to indicate the command-form!
|Tu prends le plateau.
(You take [Thou takest] the tray.)
|Prends le plateau!
(Take the tray!)
|Nous prenons l’argent.
(We take the money.)
(Let’s take the money!)
|Vous prenez la soupe.
(You have the soup.)
|Prenez la soupe!
(Have the soup!)
In addition, as the Author says, you drop the -s of the tu form with –er verbs—
|Tu regardes la téle.
(You watch TV.)
|Regarde la télé!
—and aller (which looks like an –er verb in some of its forms):
|Tu vas à ta chambre.
(You go to your room.)
|Va à ta chambre!
(Go to your room!)
—and other verbs that look like an –er verb in this form:
|ouvrir: Tu ouvres la porte.
(You open the door.)
|Ouvre la porte!
(Open the door!)
|cueillir: Tu cueilles les roses de la vie.
(You pluck the roses of life.)
|Cueille les roses de la vie!
(Pluck the roses of life!)
—including the verb avoir, which uses the subjunctive to form the imperative, and the subjunctive forms are: j’aie, tu aies, on ait, nous ayons, vous ayez, ils aient, so that the imperatives of this verb are
Être, likewise, uses the subjonctive forms (but the tu-form keeps its –s):
For more on the subject see the excellent Language File Imperative Mood.
The Author does not burden you with the information that pronoun objects that normally go before the principal verb (they’re conjunctive, after all) are placed after the affirmative imperative, thus:
Pronouns Back to Before
|Tu laisses la clef. > Tu la laisses.
(You leave the key. > You leave it.)
|Laisse la clef! > Laisse-la!
(Leave the key! > Leave it!)
|Ne laisse pas la clef! > Ne la laisse pas!
(Don’t leave the key! > Don’t leave it!)
Pronoun objects me and te will take on their emphatic forms:
|Tu me donnes une tranche de gâteau.
(You give me a slice of cake.)
|Donne-moi une tranche de gâteau!
(Give me a slice of cake!)
|Tu t’assieds sur le lit.
(You sit on the bed.)
|Assieds-toi sur le lit!
(Sit on the bed!)
The –s of those tu-forms that disappeared in the imperative will reappear if y or en immediately follows the verb:
|Tu vas au tableau noir.
(You go to the blackboard.)
|Va au tableau noir!
(Go to the blackboard!)
|Tu y vas.
(You go there)
|But: Tu ne vas pas au tableau noir.||Ne va pas au tableau noir!|
|And: Tu n’y vas pas.||N’y va pas!|
|Tu manges des oeufs.
(You eat some eggs.)
|Mange des oeufs!
(Eat some eggs!)
|Tu en manges.
(You eat some.)
§ 81. Aussi
You will be doing yourself a favor if you learn the various functions and meanings of aussi.
See the very helpful Language File Aussi, the Many Meanings of.
On The Author’s Note on the Circumflex Accent
The author tells you far less than you need to know, in my opinion. However, I will save what I have to say for another occasion.
1. Bonaparte was leaning (supporting himself) against (on) a mantle-piece (fireplace) taller than he was.
2. “Everything has been an illusion for me for a long time,” he said.
3. “I [emphasized] don’t know what must be done,” the teacher answered (reprit).
4. She hastened to close the door behind her.
5. Great men are strong, but chance is stronger than they.
7. La Fayette, scarcely 20 years old, himself chartered a vessel that he loaded with arms.
8.. The traveler, having learned that his horse didn’t want any oysters, ate them himself.
9. The arms of the starfish are easily regenerated; if one of them is trapped (Literally, “finds itself taken”), the animal frees itself by abandoning it.
10. The king did not like the astrologer, who did what he, the king, could not do.
11. There is (Behold) Mme Dupont: this is her opinion.
12. There is (Behold) Mr Leblanc: this is his opinion.
13. Let us examine the results of this physics (“physical”) experiment.
14. Let us suppose (that there is) an event whose probability we want to calculate.
15. Please have this information confirmed.
16. Adjust this instrument before trying it (out).
17. Let’s go to the movies. Let’s take the car rather than the subway.
18. Forget about (Literally, “Leave aside”) your complex theories.
19. Be aware / Be advised / Know / Learn / that most plants are autotrophic with regard to vitamins.
20. Don’t forget to write (the final version of) the report by tomorrow.
Rédiger, rédacteur, rédaction
The verb rédiger means the action of writing out the (or a) final version of a text. In the context of a periodical, a rédacteur (fem. rédactrice) is what we call an “editor”: that is, the person responsible for the final version of the text. Note also:
- rédacteur en chef = “editor in chief”
- comité de rédaction = “editorial board”
Meanwhile, watch out for this other false friend:
In the context of book publishing, un éditeur is “a publisher,” and une maison d’édition is “a publishing house.”
21. Noses are made for wearing glasses; hence, we have glasses.
22. Our students study both physics and mathematics (OR: they study physics as well as mathematics).
23. Geology is a science that studies both minerals and the exterior form of the globe. (Literally, “Geology is a science that has as its goal the study of both…)
24. The chemical nature of minerals is their most easily recognizable feature; hence their classification is currently based on that.
25. By studying (the) old things, one understands (the) new things.
26. The future begins this very instant.
27. If all human beans knew what they say about each other, there would not be four friends in the world.
28. Our intelligence holds in the order of intelligible things the same rank as our body (does) in the expanse of nature.
29. The power of flies: they win battles, keep our souls from acting, eat our bodies.
30. First come, first served.
31. Frightening a bird is not the way to catch it.
32. Don’t say “Go!”, but go there yourself.
33. He / The one / who has a big nose thinks that everyone is talking about it.
34. Time / lost / wasted / is never / found again / recovered.
35. You were looking at the moon and you fell into a well.
A Critique of Tom Wolfe p150
 Wolfe’s heroes are all afflicted with an inferiority complex. This is what makes them fearful and unapproachable, predisposes them to the rôle of victim, and makes their solitude more acute.  This idea of solitude turns up frequently in Wolfe’s œuvre like an obsessive leitmotif, and the whole of America is encompassed in it: “for we are so lost, so naked, so alone in America.  Immense and cruel skies curve over us, and each and every one of us (lit. [we] all as many as we are), we go our way, eternally pursued, and we have no fixed abodes2 any more…  For America possesses thousands of lights and temperatures, and we walk in the streets, we walk in the streets of life, always alone.”
 Les héros de Wolfe sont tous atteints d’un complexe d’infériorité. – May I direct you to what I say elsewhere about the verb atteindre and the entire group of –Vindre Verbs? The basic idea of atteindre is the movement of a projectile that ends up hitting something. A sickness, metaphorically, travels through the air (like one of Apollo’s arrows) and at last strikes a victim. –The noun héros has an s in both singular and plural, adopting the spelling of the singular Greek word (by way of Latin). Rather illogically (since the Latin “h” stopped being pronounced at an early date), the initial h is “aspirated,” that is, does not allow elision or linking: le héros [lə e ro], les héros [le e ro]. According to Vaugelas (Remarques sur la langue française), the reason was so as not to confuse héros with its homophone héraut (herald).
 Cette idée de la solitude revient – I have translated revient as “turns up frequently,” partly in anticipation of the phrase comme un leitmotif obsédant. It could also be translated as “recurs.” For some other uses of revenir, see here.
 Sometimes, the horror of isolation is accompanied by claustrophobia. George Webber, in his room, experiences “an unspeakable solitude.  Alone, he tried to squeeze (literally, to cause to come back inside) all the folly of the earth into (within) the limits of his little room, and he would strike the walls with his fists, only to3 dash fiercely into the streets again, those terrible streets without a pause, without a turning, without a door he could pass through.”
 connaît – To say “to experience (something),” French uses the following:
- connaître: Elle a connu des moments horribles. (She experienced [i.e., came to know familiarly] some horrible moments.)
- vivre: Elle a vécu des moments horribles. (She experienced [i.e., lived through] some horrible moments.)
Éprouver can also mean “to experience,” but only with an emotion (= “to feel”):
- En s’asseyant sur le trône, il éprouva une immense joie. (As he sat himself on the throne, he experienced an immense joy.)
 Tom Wolfe’s mistake was in believing he could give consistent life to a world created on his own scale.4 It never occurred to him5 that he was inflicting on his readers a torture equal, although opposite, to his own.  Reading one of his novels leaves us stunned, deafened, and contused, in a state similar to that, when they survive, of the harmless fools (lit. similar to that in which [they] find themselves]) who go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.  Richly and exceptionally gifted (lit. rich with exceptional gifts), TW wasted them by taking6 the wrong path. He had not been born a novelist. He had been born a poet.  Not an elegiac and intimate poet; the inspiration of his muse,7 too powerful by far, would have caused the shepherd’s pipes to burst.8 His domain was that dramatic poetry which, according to Diderot, “requires9 something enormous, barbaric, and wild.”
 eût fait –the equivalent of the aurait fait (past conditional of faire) = “would have caused.” eût fait is in the pluperfect tense of the subjunctive mood, about which you can (but I am not saying you should) read here (Formation of the Literary Subjunctive) and here (Uses of the Literary Subjunctive).
Logic Circuits: Methods of Non-Deterministic Tests p151
[I usually do not assign this second reading. However, it has some useful expressions (see the noteboxes below), so I have reluctantly provided a translation; but be aware that I am less than certain about some of the English equivalents I have found for the (possibly no longer current) French technical terms. The expressions to retain follow immediately in boldface.]
[Thanks to A.R. for knowledgeable suggestions.]
permettre [46 ont permis, 47 permet, 49 permettant]
par contre 
ainsi que 
le contrôle [50, 51, 53]
provenir [52 provient]
entraîner [53 entraîneront]
d’autant plus… que… 
aussi bien 
 The technological progress of the last few years has made possible the manufacture of integrated logic circuits on a small, medium, and large scale. At the present time, logic circuits have replaced sub-assemblies with discrete elements in numerous applications.  The appearance of this new technology, micro-electronics, poses numerous problems. Important work has been done on the synthesis and the simplification of logic circuits.  With the rapid development of the technology allowing more and more complex components at constantly decreasing prices, miniaturization has become a less vexing problem.10  In contrast, the testing of logic circuits, allowing (one) to determine if the components used or the assemblies produced are functioning correctly, has taken on an increasing importance. It is with this problem of testing that we are going to concern ourselves (in the present article).
What French permettre Allows One to Do
In English “to permet” is always some kind of transaction between persons (even if the permitting person is an official of some kind, or a body that can be conceived of as a person) that gives the second person the freedom to act in a certain way. French permettre can have this meaning, but it can also be much more abstract; only one person (the one permitted to act) need be involved, may be very generic (“us,” “one”), and may not even be explicitly mentioned, while the “permitting agent” can be a mere fact or condition, not a person. Hence, permettre can mean not only “to permit,” but “to make possible, to enable, to allow.”
An Action or a Concept? A Process or a Fact?
A word that may seem like a “done deed,” a dead fact in English, may in Frensh have the force of a process. Hence my translation of le test / les tests as, not “test,” but “testing.” Meanwhile, (le) contrôle, which in another context might be translated as “check” or “verification,” I here translate as “test.”
 The difficulties involved in the manufacture and quality control of complex circuits, as well their novelty, makes testing indispensable. It is necessary to conduct tests in the course of the different phases of the life of an integrated circuit.  One has thus, in particular, production tests done by the manufacturer at the end of the manufacturing process, installation tests done by the user upon reception of the circuits or just before their installation on the printed circuit board, maintenance tests (meant) to detect defects due to a deterioration that appears only after a certain period of use.
 The causes of defects are numerous and varied: errors of ???,11 instrument misreadings,12 faulty programming… Another category of defects results from the imperfections present in the chemical and physical methods (used in the) manufacture of the circuits.  Most of these defects are detected when the completed product is first tested.13 Some (of these defects) will eventually cause impairments that will appear only after a certain period of storage or use.  This is why the user will have to conduct installation and maintenance tests. The problem of testing integrated logic circuits seems all the more important in that it concerns14 the manufacturers as well as the users of such circuits.
Two Very Fine Verbs to Add to Your List of Favorites: entraîner  And provenir 
traîner has the basic meaning “to draw or drag after one” (it is derived, somehow or other, from the Latin classical verb traho trahere). entraîner has the additional prefix en < Latin inde = “away from”; consequently, it means “to bring along with oneself from a previous place or state of affairs.” Hence it has the very important more or less metaphorical meaning “to cause or bring about as an unintended or unexpected consequence.”
You may as well know that entraîner also means “to train (someone)” in the professional athletic sense, i.e., to drag a person, with great difficulty and suffering, from the perfectly acceptable physical condition of an ordinary human being to that of a sports superstar.
provenir has the basic meaning “to come forth from,” hence literally “to originate” (from a place) or metaphorically “to result from, to be the product of (something).” Note also the fairly literal meaning of the verb provenir or the noun provenance in these two cases:
- A manuscript provient from a certain place, meaning that it originates from there, either as its ultimate origin, or from any place previous to where it is now (in a library, where we would like it to end up, or in the greedy hands of a private owner or an auction house).
- The phrase le train de Paris means “the Paris train,” that is to say, “the train that will take you to Paris.” De by itself, unfortunately, cannot mean “from” in this case. To say “the train from Paris” requires le train en provenance de Paris [the train originating in Paris].
- Literally, of course, “emanates.”
- Foyer means “hearth,” and by extension a home.
- Note this special use of pour. For other odd uses of pour, see French Concessions: Pour.
- Closer to the French: “Tom Wolfe was wrong to think he could cause to stand up a world created on his own scale.”
- More literally: “He never dreamed…”
- Or: “as a result of having taken.” Another interesting use of pour.
- Literally, le souffle = “breath.”
- Un pipeau (plural pipeaux) is a reed-pipe, the kind you blow through. I added the “shepherd’s,” so you wouldn’t be thinking about a plumbing problem.
- Literally, “wants.”
- So I interpret the French. Literally: “the problems of miniaturization have lost [some] of their practical interest.” Another possible interpretation: “With…, miniaturization has become less urgent.”
- ??? The French is erreurs de marquage, which could mean, in the right context, “mislabelings” or “misbrandings.” In a sports context, erreurs de marquage means “defensive errors.”
- The plural adjective instables, in the phrase déréglages d’appareils de mesures instables, can be taken as modifying any of the three preceding plural nouns: déréglages, appareils, or mesures. I think the most likely is that instables modifies the noun phrase appareils de mesures, and that the meaning is consequently (pretty much): “misreadings due to measuring devices that haven’t been securely adjusted.”
- Literally, “at the level of the checking of (the completed) production.”
- Literally: “it is posed to”