Agreement of pronouns

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Jean

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

4 replies

Agreement of pronouns

Just saw this in an online newsfeed. Accompagnée d'un ami originaire, comme elle, de la région lyonnaise, la victime entreprenait la descente de la Roche de Mio, lorsqu'elle a bifurqué dans le couloir pour repérer un passage sensé raccourcir l'itineraire. Is it correct to have the pronouns all agreeing with la victime, even when the victim was male ?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Hi Jean, the way I read it the victim was a female accompanied by a male friend.

Accompanied by a male friend, like her, from the same region of Lyon, the victim undertook a descent from Roche de Mio, when she turned into a passage which she believed to be a shortcut.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Jean

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Sorry about the confusion. I left out part of the article to make it brief, but the article started off indicating it was a man:
Un homme d'une trentaine d'années qui pratiquait le ski hors piste.....

Chris

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

8/01/18

Ah, that clarifies it. In this case the victim is male but "la victime" is female, a discrepancy between natural and grammatical gender. In this case, grammar wins. That's why it is perfectly OK to say, "Madame le Ministre". -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

8 February 2018

8/02/18

Hi Jean,


As Chris rightly points out, according to French  grammatical rules, the noun victime is feminine so everything referring to it in this sentence will be feminine too, e.g. La victime était terrifiée par son expérience .


Should the person be named in the following sentence, all would agree in gender too, which could be masculine or feminine.


This is the wonderful world of French grammar where an inanimate object can be a subject and a person an object, and let's not mention the world of insects which seem to lose one gender altogether! 


Hope this helps!

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