I am curious about the predicate nominative. Translating "He was devastated". I said Il dévastait, but my friend said Il était dévasté, which one?

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.

Linda

Kwiziq community member

13 November 2018

3 replies

I am curious about the predicate nominative. Translating "He was devastated". I said Il dévastait, but my friend said Il était dévasté, which one?

This question relates to:
French lesson "to be"

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

14 November 2018

14/11/18

Hi Linda,

If you are talking of a person you could say -

Il était anéanti/bouleversé/effondré ...

if you are talking of a building, land, country ...

you could use dévasté/ ravagé.

Hope this helps!

 

Linda

Kwiziq community member

14 November 2018

14/11/18

Thank you Cecile! So dévasté would not be used for a person. My question though was the construction, seeing etre conjugated with a non "house of etre" verb, threw me. I would have picked avoir as in 'avait dévasté' which was before I knew not to use dévaster for a humain!! lol Is this construction the predicate nominative? I'm just trying to learn when to use this construction and when not to! Thank you!!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 November 2018

15/11/18

Hi Linda, 

I see...

I think you are confusing the rules of the Perfect tense (using avoir or être) with this use of the verb être simply followed by an adjective.

The use of the imperfect is correct as être, being a verb of state, will be more often in the imperfect ( imparfait) than the Perfect (passé composé) but if it were it would be 

Il a  été bouleversé par cette nouvelle ( indicating that he has probably got over it by now)

Hope this helps!

 

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
3371questions7044answers134,315users
Getting that for you now.