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DICTIONARY OF DIFFICULTIES,
AGREEMENT OF ADJECTIVES.
When the substantives are of different genders, let the adjective or participle be in the plural and in the masculine:
Son père et sa mère sont morts,
His father and mother are dead. When there is no verb between the last substantive and the adjective or participle, let the adjective agree with the
Il avait les yeux et la bouche ouverte,
His eyes and mouth were open. However, it is better, in such a case, to contrive to place the substantive masculine last:
Il avait la bouche et les yeux ouverts. Observe-That those adjectives which come before the substantive require to be repeated before each :
De grands événemens et de grandes révolutions,
Great events and revolutions. Observe-The word feu, late, is declinable, when preceded y le, la, les, as, La feue reine, the late queen; but indeclinable, when preceding either an article or a pronoun, as, Feu Ya reine, the late queen, feu ma mère, my late mother, feu Agnes tantes, my
late aunts. Х
Observe-Demi, half, and nu, naked, are declinable when following the substantive, and indeclinable when preceding
The placing of adjectives, in French, being very arbitrary, we shall lay down the few following rules, or rather observations, in addition to those given in the Syntax.
Adjectives are placed before their substantive in the following cases :1. When the substantive governs a preposition.
Ils ont la noble ambition de faire leur devoir. 2. In florid style, when the substantive is more harmonious. *
Un doux murmure, un humble toit. 3. In poetry, most adjectives + may come before or after the substantive.
Mais mon vil attristé par ces sombres images,
Sę détourne en pleurant vers de plus doux rivages. 4. Frequently, also, when the adjective is taken in a figurative sense ; as will be seen by the following list, which, by being often consulted, will give the learner a complete idea
* Many adjectives ending in able and in eux may come before or after the substantive.—Une agréable conversation, or une conversation agréable. Un heureux événement, or un événement heureux.
+ Except those the endings of which are mentioned in Syntax,