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always been puzzled by the use of the expression "ci-joint"
(enclosed, as in "please find enclosed…")
in French; does it need to agree with the noun it
is linked to or not? Checking again today, I realised
that I've seen it used in different ways because its
use isn't fixed when it is in the middle of a sentence.
The general rule is:
It is invariable when it has an adverbial value :
It agrees with the noun when:
- at the beginning of a sentence : ci-joint les
factures… (please find enclosed the bills…)
- in the middle of a sentence, immediately followed
by a noun : vous trouverez ci-joint factures…
In all other cases, it is up to the writer to decide
whether it should agree or not. The Académie
française website gives interesting examples
of the stylistic choices made by famous French authors
- it is placed straight after the noun and has the
value of an attribute: les factures ci-jointes…
- it is an attribute of the subject : les factures
Bernanos : "Vous trouverez ci-joint
les pages dactylographiées de mon roman"
(Please find enclosed the typed pages of my novel)
Hugo : "Je vous envoie ci-incluses
des paroles prononcées ici par moi au moment
de la proscription" (please find enclosed
the words I pronounced during the ban) AGREEMENT
Musset : "Je prends la liberté
de vous envoyer ci-jointes des rillettes"
(Please find enclosed some rillettes, which I've taken
the liberty to send you) AGREEMENT
The article was originally published at: http://www.nakedtranslations.com/en/2005/05/000397.php
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