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verb subject order

NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

verb subject order

In the text it says:

que consommait la population pauvre de Bretagne

The translation says:

that Brittany's poor population used to eat.

The French seems to say:

that was eaten the poor population of Brittany

If the English translation is right, then the population is the subject in which case the verb subject order should be different, or, the French actually  says "that was eaten by the poor population of Brittany" and so it should say 

que consommait par la population pauvre ...

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Nigel,

"...que consommait la population pauvre de Bretagne "

is an active sentence with an inversion of the subject ( la population...) and the verb (consommait). This is often used for stylistic purposes in written form.

There is no need for 'par'.

A passive sentence would be -

qui était consommé/e par la population pauvre de Bretagne

But not necessary or very French 

Hope this help!

 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Both the French sentence and the English translation are correct (noting that a translation doesn't have to be literal). «que» is the direct object pronoun of the 2nd clause which could equally have been worded '(que) la population pauvre de Bretagne consommait'. The verb inversion here is correct French and «par» is not used following this. Inversion is used both in literature and in every day speech eg "La robe que porte la femme".  See towards end of the first link for discussion of inversion after que, and under the heading Stylistic Inversion in the 2nd link for further discussion of inversion after relative pronouns https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/relative-pronouns-que-qui/

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/inversion-with-nouns/

ChristineKwiziq community member

The subject may in fact be placed after the verb in French, especially in narrative contexts.

Nigel asked:View original

verb subject order

In the text it says:

que consommait la population pauvre de Bretagne

The translation says:

that Brittany's poor population used to eat.

The French seems to say:

that was eaten the poor population of Brittany

If the English translation is right, then the population is the subject in which case the verb subject order should be different, or, the French actually  says "that was eaten by the poor population of Brittany" and so it should say 

que consommait par la population pauvre ...

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