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Old 09-19-2019, 11:18 PM
davidmich is offline
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French grammar question : 'couvert de' preceding a plural noun


Hi

I'm interested in why 'couvert de' precedes a plural noun. The answer seems to be 'haplologie'. . Can anyone verify the grammar rule behind 'covert de' and the rule posted below.
I look forward to your feedback.


https://www.francaisfacile.com/forum...um=7&msg=65814

PS : Vérification faite dans le Grévisse, pour "je parle de confiture" on dit que avec la préposition "de", l'article partitif s'efface par haplologie. (donc de + de la = de comme de + du = de qui donne "il est couvert de sable" "je parle de confiture"
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:51 AM
Nava is offline
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Because the items covering whatever are countable. While French grammar doesn't talk about "countables" and "uncountables", the underlying concept is the same.

If the covering was a material then the noun would be singular. If the covering was multiple items, then the noun is plural. Just as in English or Spanish to name two (I suspect, just as in any language with different nouns for singular and plural). "Covered in gold" vs "covered in coins".



"Haplologie" has nothing to do with singular vs plural. It's about eliminating redundancies (you don't say "de de"; if the second "de" would be followed by an article, this article is ellided along with its preposition; this applies to the contraction "du" as well).

Last edited by Nava; 09-20-2019 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:04 AM
PatrickLondon is offline
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I think the point is slightly different. "Couvert de [fleurs]" focusses on the covering by [flowers in general].

If you were to say "des fleurs" I think it might be expected to refer to some specific flowers already mentioned and already the focus of attention.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:06 PM
davidmich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
I think the point is slightly different. "Couvert de [fleurs]" focusses on the covering by [flowers in general].

If you were to say "des fleurs" I think it might be expected to refer to some specific flowers already mentioned and already the focus of attention.
Thank you Patrick London and Nava. Very helpful explanations.
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