LHomme qui navait pas de chat (French Edition)

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  1. Arthur Pendragon
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Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments and destroying them by fire. At another I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard—aboutpacking it in a box, as if merchandise, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar—as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims. For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted.

Its walls were loosely constructed and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection caused by a false chimney or fireplace, that had been filled up and made to resemble the rest of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect anything suspicious.

And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crowbar I easily dislodged the bricks, and having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while with little trouble I relaid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brick-work.

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When I had finished I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. Now on sale! My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness, for I had at length firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it at the moment there could have been been no doubt of its fate, but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forbore to present itself in my present mood.

It is impossible to describe or to imagine the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night—and thus for one night at least since its introduction into the house I soundly and tranquilly slept, aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul! Une fois encore je respirai comme un homme libre.


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Je ne le verrais donc plus jamais! The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered.

Even a search had been instituted—but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured. Les officiers me firent les accompagner dans leur recherche. Pas un muscle en moi ne tressaillit. Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came very unexpectedly into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever.

The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied, and prepared to depart.

Arthur Pendragon

The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness. Ces murs — est-ce que vous partez, gentlemen? I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the by, gentlemen, this—this is a very well-constructed house. These walls—are you going, gentlemen? But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the arch-fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb!

Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman.

I had walled the monster up within the tomb! Did you enjoy this story? Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. About the Author Frederic Bibard Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Tauveron Catherine. Le chat trouva une cachette il se cacha avec le poisson de 25 F. E-Ben, on va essayer de le faire". E -il faut demander combien le chat doit au marchand.

E -On pourrait le continuer en mettant d'autre argent : y a que 25 F, il faut encore quelque chose? Dans les deux cas de figure, le recours aux fiches-outils sera utile. Toutefois, quelle que soit l'option choisie, il faudra aussi :. Une histoire : "Le chat voleur". Dans un kilo il y a dix poissons. Le chat arrive sur la place, il va vers le marchand de poissons, prend deux poissons et s'en va. Combien reste-t-il de poissons dans le kilo? Attitude Expressing an attitude towards someone or something usually means that we are introducing a personal, subjective element into communication: we are indicating our reaction to someone or something, we are evaluating, and making judgements —in a non-detached way.

And we may do so spontaneously or intentionally. Closely related to attitudes are the emotions and feelings which most of us experience and express from time to time. These, too, are personal and subjective, and, on occasion, they may in fact be attitudes. The focus of this section is, then, on the communication of attitudes, emotions and feelings and how we express them.

We look first at the ways in which we greet or take leave of people when we are speaking or writing to them. Then we turn to the ways in which we express congratulations and appreciation, apologies and sympathy, and surprise and disgust. Finally, we consider ways in which we express contrasting attitudes, emotions and feelings: likes, dislikes and preference, love and hate, enthusiasm and indifference, hopes and fears, approval and disapproval.

Argumentation Effective communication usually requires a certain amount of planning, and this involves the need to a structure what we want to say or write b determine the best strategies to employ c select the means of expression most suited to the structure, to the strategies, and, above all, to a specific context or situation. The structure is the plan in what we are saying or writing, the strategy is the function we are employing, and the means of expression is the grammatical or lexical structure for example, verb construction, noun phrase which is most appropriate for the plan and the function.

It may be that a single word is enough to achieve what we want, but more frequently we are involved in a discussion or explaining something or arguing a case and so on. Often, there is simply not enough time to plan carefully what we want to say— though there is more time when we are writing. Also, it would be virtually impossible to try to learn every function and every means of expression. However, if we are familiar with some kinds of plan, with various types of function, and with some of the means for expressing them, then we can not only use them ourselves, but recognize them when we are listening to or reading what other people are saying or writing.

There are many kinds of plan in what is said and written, and these plans vary in complexity. Examples of plans, or planning, are the following: a creating a clear overall structure with an introduction, middle section and conclusion b listing a series of points c putting another point of view and defending it d proceeding from cause to effect, or vice versa.

In some situations, parts of plans may be enough and indeed appropriate for achieving what we want, for example, only part of c. At other times we may need to put into action a fully developed plan, for example, a combination of a — d. Finally, we must remember that there is no single, perfect plan suitable for every situation or context.

The functions available to us when we want to achieve something in argumentation are many. We may, for example, want to agree, indicate doubt, reject, criticize. We may wish to emphasize, persuade, influence, express obligation. Whatever it may be, whether we are initiating a discussion, making a speech, contributing to a conversation, reacting to a comment, broadcast or report, we have at our disposal a wide range of possible moves.

We cannot, of course, know how someone is going to react to what we are saying or writing, so we need to have access to a range of responses in order to adapt to an unforeseen reaction, and respond appropriately. The section on argumentation provides a comprehensive range of functions— and the means of expressing them—which are in fairly common use. You will recognize them when people are speaking and writing. It is recommended that you try to put them into practice in speech and writing whenever appropriate.

The functions are presented as follows—agreeing and disagreeing, asserting and confirming, admitting and conceding, correcting and protesting, contradicting and criticizing, suggesting and persuading, expressing volition, permission and obligation, doubt and certainty, logical relations, opposition, and structuring. The examples The examples in the reference section are simple illustrations of the grammar structure in question. In the functional section the examples are selected from contemporary spoken and written French to demonstrate the function in question.

They are actual examples which have been used in our own experience, and they are quoted within as much context as possible to illustrate the function and the related grammar structure. The translations The examples in both the reference and the functional sections are translated into English. In the reference section, translations are kept as close as possible to the French, in the functional section, on the other hand, where there is usually a substantial amount of context, the English equivalent is provided, rather than a direct and possibly, therefore, stilted version of the original.

Forms and functions The forms in any living language are flexible and changing. There is seldom only one way of saying or writing something, and not very often a one-to-one equivalence of form and function. This is clearly illustrated in the section on the imperative A. It is also illustrated in the many functions of each of the tenses. Similarly, in the functional section, many forms are suggested for expressing one function: giving directions B.

Just as there is a network of relations between forms and functions, so there is a network of functions related to each single function. Agreeing B. For example, we would be more formal with a teacher, a doctor, a policeman, at an interview…, but fairly informal with members of our family, friends or when simply chatting.

We usually take into xv At times, we switch from formality to informality, when, for example, we begin to feel more comfortable with a person, or from informality to formality if, for example, a conversation with our bank manager switches from friendly conversation to a request for an increase in a loan. What we are doing is quite normal and acceptable and is simply adapting to a situation. In the grammar it is not possible to cover the wide range of levels that exist between formality and informality, but we have indicated in the examples where the register is formal or informal.

Otherwise, examples should be taken as standard register—the register used by an average, educated speaker or writer. How to use this book This book brings together two sets of guidelines on the French language: A—A reference grammar covering the major points which need to be mastered so that you get things right. B—A functional grammar covering the major types of communication you may want or need to carry out. At your disposal, then, you have the essentials of grammar section A and applications of the grammar in a wide selection of functions section B.

When we were preparing this book, we kept in mind the frequent changes which any living language undergoes, and we have, therefore, included comments on exceptions to the guidelines. And, wherever appropriate, we have included informal ways of saying or writing something. The majority of examples have cross-references to information concerning one or more grammar points or concerning additional details on the function. How, then, will you use the book? If, for example, you want to greet someone you look up B. On the other hand, you might want to persuade someone to do something.

To find a suitable way of doing this you look up B.

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When you are looking at the functions, we suggest that you also consider the much longer context that is provided to see what happens to a grammatical form when it is in use. There are other ways of saying and writing the same things—the examples given here are only suggestions, and you are bound to come across other means of expression the more you come into contact with French either at university or in your professional life. We recommend that you consider the suggestions provided here, select the form, or forms, that suit you best and learn them; when you meet alternative ways of saying or writing something, add them to your repertoire.

Before the verb tables we have included a section with the sounds of French, and several words for you to practise the sounds. Your teacher will be able to help you with them. Glossary Many of the terms used in this grammar are explained at the beginning of the section in which they are used, but there are some terms which are not explained in a specific section because they occur in several sections, and there are some which may cause difficulty for students. The short list which follows includes the terms which we think need special attention.

We have assumed that most students using this grammar are familiar with most of the traditional grammar terms such as noun, verb, adjective. There are adverbs of manner, place, time, degree, duration and frequency. Adverbs are always invariable, unlike some other parts of speech, that is, they never change their spelling to agree with another part of speech. Antecedent A word or group of words which precedes another word or group of words. There is no article between the words in apposition. Cohesion The linking of words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs by means of cohesive devices, which may be clauses, adverbs, pronouns, negatives, etc.

Complement A word or phrase which completes the meaning of, or gives more information about, something. Conjugation This refers to all the endings of a verb. Verbs are usually classified according to one of four main conjugations in French: -er, -ir, -re, -oir. Each of the conjugations has its own set of six endings for each tense. Regular verbs have the set of endings which belong to a particular conjugation, so grammar books are able to give a model verb for each conjugation which all the regular verbs of that conjugation will follow regular -er verbs follow donner, for example.

Irregular verbs are those which do not follow either the stem or the endings of a conjugation. The most useful irregular verbs are included in verb tables in grammar books. Determiners These are words which are part of the noun group.


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  6. There are many of them in French— all the articles le, un, du… ; the possessive adjectives mon, ton, Direct and indirect objects The direct object is a noun or pronoun referring to a person or thing directly affected in some way by an action. Indirect object pronouns are me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur. Finite Refers to the many parts of verbs which have endings.

    These endings indicate whether the subject is singular or plural, the tense and the mood. The infinitive is the part of the verb which ends in -er, -ir, -re, -oir, and in this case there is no finite ending giving information about whether the subject is singular or plural, or the tense.

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    Gender and number These are very important grammar concepts in French. If you forget to make adjectives agree with nouns or verbs with subjects, then you have simply made mistakes, and that can cost you marks! Gender in French is either masculine le, il… , or feminine la, elle… , and all nouns are masculine or feminine, and adjectives have to agree with their noun. Number refers to whether a noun or pronoun is singular just one person, thing or action , or plural two or more people, things or actions.

    Verbs have to agree with their noun or pronoun subject. To modulate To change or influence the meaning of a word or phrase in some way. There are various ways of doing this, using nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs which have specific nuances. You can also, for example, in greeting and leave-taking —merely by altering the intonation you use—make what you say courteous or discourteous, friendly or aggressive. A slight change of meaning is called a nuance of meaning. You can achieve a different nuance simply by adding, or changing, the intonation you use.

    Mood This refers to the different forms in the conjugation of a verb which indicate the functions for which the verb is used. So, you have the indicative mood fact , the subjunctive mood non-fact ; the interrogative mood questions , the conditional mood conditions and hypotheses , the imperative mood orders. The mood of the verb can be changed according to what you want to express; for example, fact, non-fact, questions. Transitive and intransitive verbs Verbs can be transitive or intransitive. A transitive verb is a verb with a direct object Il a lu le livre. An intransitive verb does not have an object Il travaille bien.

    Verbs may be directly transitive Il a lu le livre. Almost all normally transitive verbs can be used intransitively Il boit un verre. Il ne boit pas. And some normally intransitive verbs can be used transitively Il sort. Il sort sa voiture. Section A Structures I The noun group 1 Articles French has three articles: the definite article, the indefinite article and the partitive article. They agree with nouns in gender and number. In general, they are used in a similar way to English articles, but there are several important differences.

    We have given the tickets to the children. The school door is shut. She is going home. The book is on the table. In lists of nouns, the article is usually repeated before each noun: Il aime les chats, les chiens et les chevaux. He likes cats, dogs and horses. Cats, dogs and horses—he loves them all. Grass is green. Aime-t-il le vin? Does he like wine? Elle aime la musique. She loves music. Les ordinateurs deviennent Computers are becoming less de moins en moins chers. He shook his head. Ouvre les yeux. Open your eyes. Il a froid aux pieds. He has cold feet. She has a headache.

    She has lost her memory. Il souffre du dos. He has back problems. She washed her hair. When something is done to someone else, that other person is indicated by including an indirect object pronoun see The definite article is also used with parts of the body in description following avoir see The baby has chubby hands. Elle a les cheveux longs.

    She has long hair. He stroked his long black beard. French normally uses the singular form of nouns if they refer to something of which we have only one, e. She saved their lives. Elle le fera pendant la semaine. She will do it during the week. She works in the morning s. Ils viennent le jour. They come during the day. She meets him three times a week.

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    Winter is wonderful. We are going there next summer. On Thursdays we go to the market. See you on the 7th. Il me le donnera jeudi. That costs 30 euros a kilo. That costs 2 euros fifty for a hundred grammes. This material is euros a metre. He is paid by the hour.