Cécile has answered a couple of questions on the noun "prouesse" but I don't quite understand the subtlety here. I put "leur prouesse sportive m'impressionne sans cesse" (i.e. in the singular), which I think sounds the same as the plural "leurs prouesses sportives m'impressionnent sans cesse". Cécile said the plural is correct in this case as it referred to both twins, but "leur dynamisme", "leur esprit d'indépendance" and "leur passion" all equally referred to both twins and these were all in the singular. Why is it only their sporting prowess that is plural here? Thanks.
Dictation exercise B1
Just to add to Maarten's comment I will try and make things clearer.
The word 'prouesses' which is rarely in the plural in English unless you are talking of multiples accomplishments (and then doesn't always take the plural -es from what I understand) is slightly different in French.
Originally it would have been used to describe bravery and acts of valiance on a battlefield ----> les prouesses d'un chevalier
but you would say of this knight
describing a quality rather than a specific act.
But you would talk of prouesses technologiques /sportives as there are many.
In that sentence and applied to the children, 'prouesses sportives' refers to several acts of expertise, maybe in different sports so the plural is used unlike for dynamisme and esprit d'indépendance which refer to specific quality applicable to each child so the singular is used.
Hope this helps!
Paul - I think this is due to the fact that in French prouesse is usually used in the plural - avoir des prouesses (not dissimilar to the French use of 'efforts' in plural where in English we often use 'effort' in singular).
You are correct that according to the linked explanation below, it is not 'leurs prouesses' if each twin has only 'prouesse' singular, it can only be 'leurs prouesses' for each twin having 'prouesses' - unless Laura Lawless is incorrect. And as you note, the other examples in the dictation accord with the explanation Lawless has given.
Great answer from Cecile. If we focus on 'une prouesse' default meaning 'A feat' ; an 'individual act' as Cecile's describes it, the confusion is cleared up. Each twin has their (own) dynamic quality, and their (own) passionate quality ... so leur dynamisme/leur passion AND each twin has (performed) 'a number of sporting feats ... leurs prouesses sportives ( presumably in their different sports basketball and gymnastic...and then the possessives also conform with the lesson @ https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/possessive-adjectives-plural-possessions! Cecile's answer deserves another 'like'.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard