Un peu usage

Anthea

Kwiziq community member

15 June 2017

5 replies

Un peu usage

Bonjour Aurélie Recently I was told that any adjective that comes after 'un peu' must have a masculine ending regardless of the nous it describes e.g. Ma maison est un peu froid. Is this correct ?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

17 June 2017

17/06/17

Bonjour Anthea, Let's take a look at another example that I located online: «Marguerite, une femme osseuse mais saine, avait un chat potelé. À cause de sa carrure, Marguerite était un peu maladroite. Quand elle donnait à manger à son chat, elle lui faisait souvent tomber la boîte de thon dessus. C’était donc un chat très amer » Obviously in this phrase Marguerite is a woman and hence adjectives would be in the feminin; however, in describing Marguerite, elle était un peu maladroite, is incorrect according to the Collins-Robert. Un peu is obviously in the masculin form; however, the actual adjective «maladroite» is in the feminin form, hence incorrect per Collins-Robert. Confusing, I know. It appears to be, in reviewing several examples that the structure is: un peu. . . . + adjective in the masculin form. I am unable to locate a grammaire rule that addresses this. Perhaps Aurélie has one. I do not typically use a translation device; however, with this question I ran a couple through the Collins-Robert: l’eau est un peu froid ma maison est un peu froid Both nouns are feminin form but the adjective cold comes out in the masculin form. J'espère que cela vous aidera. Bonne chance, Ron

Anthea

Kwiziq community member

17 June 2017

17/06/17

Thank you, Ron. The examples you give are typical of what has been confusing me!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Bonjour Anthea ! I must admit I'm quite puzzled by the Collins-Robert rule, as I would never as a native speaker say "L'eau/Ma maison est un peu froid" but "L'eau/Ma maison est un peu froide." ! Here "un peu" is an adverbial phrase, hence unchanging, just like "très" (very) or "vraiment" (really). The *gender* implied by "un" therefore is irrelevant here. The adjective must agree with the noun it refers to, which is not "peu" (it's not the *bit* which is cold, but the water or the house). I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Ron

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Bonjour Aurélie, I appreciate your explanation because I believed also that the adjective in the phrase «un peu.. .+ adjective» should be in the feminin form following a feminin noun. Le Collins-Robert just compounded my confusion and I am still unable to find a reference that justifies it. Merci, Ron

Anthea

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Thank you so much, Aurélie. That clears it up perfectly!

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