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Vous êtes directeur.
Cet signifie que vous êtes grand homme.
Vous êtes le seul grand homme que je jamais ai su.

Je suis content que je sais un grand homme..

Je tout le monde dirai que je sais un grand homme.


You are a director.

This means you are a big shot.

You are the only big shot I have ever known.

I am glad that I know a big shot.

I will tell everybody that I know a big shot.

[I want to write the above French sentences in an email to a friend. My French sentences are fraught with flaws. Please correct my French sentences. I don't know the French word for 'big shot'. I thought it would be fine to say 'grand homme'. You might find an appropriate French word which I don't know.]

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vous êtes directeur.
cela (not "cet") signifie que vous êtes quelqu'un d'important.
vous êtes la seule personne de cette envergure que je n'ai jamais connue (not "su").
je suis heureux de connaître une personne importante.
je dirai à tout le monde que je connais une personne importante.

bon courage pour la suite!
Thanks french flower

There is an interesting grammar point.

1. Je vous dis quelque chose ...

When the word 'tout le monde' appears, you changed the word order.

Je dis à tout le monde ... is the correct form.

I looked at my French dictionary the word 'vergure'. It is not there. How do I find it?
Is it a slang?
yes, the word "vergure" doesn't exist, you can't find it in your dictionnary, it's "envergure" in one word ;-), it's not slang. I don't have the english word for it, my dictionnary says "scale" but it's échelle in french, so I don't thing it's the good word to translate it. But "important person (personne importante) it's ok too.
there is another grammar point you can notice but it's a little complex.
"la seule personne que je n'ai jamais connuE".
maybe you know you have to grant (accorder) a verb with the subject, only if it is the verb "être".
for example : je suis venuE (if I am a girl)
j'ai retenu (it's the verb avoir, so i don't grant)
but in the previous sentence, there is the verb "avoir" too, but you have to grant the verb "connu" because, if you wonder "I have ever known......who?", the answer (la seule personne) is before the verb "ai connu", so, you must put an E (because it's LA, but if it was LES for example, you had to put ES).
in french now, I hope you will understand because my english is very bad.
la règle, c'est qu'on doit accorder le participe passé seulement avec le verbe être. On a alors par exemple :
je suis venue ou j'ai retenu.
Mais, dans certains cas, on doit accorder le participe passé même si on a le verbe avoir, dans le cas où le complément d'objet direct qu'on trouve en posant la question quoi ou qui. Dans l'exemple, la question, c'est "je n'ai jamais connu qui"? la réponse est "la seule personne" qui est placée dans la phrase avant le verbe, donc, on accorde le participe passé connu avec la personne, ce qui nous donne "connuE".
this rule is really hard to explain in english, maybe mister Coffey could explain it better than me if it's not clear! ;-)
Thanks for the reply.
What is the name of the dictionary you have at home?

I would like to buy it. My dictionaries are printed in 1994-1998. They are old.
Please write here the name and the year it was published.

Are you a Canadian or French?
my dictionnary is old too, it is the big Harrap's Shorter ed 1996, but it is a very good brand of dictionnary. and sometimes, I use "reverso" on internet, it's convenient, but you have to be wary of it.
And I am french, from Paris!
Thanks Stella

I have the Harrps Shorter 1994 edition.
I think it is old. Now we are in IT-age.

I would like to buy some dictionary like Harraps which was published after 2004 or 2005.

Do you suggest another dictionary which is big like Harraps?
yes you're right. I can advise you "le grand Robert et Collins" 2008-2009 edition. I think it's one of the best.
étant Belge de langue maternelle néerlandaise, nous avons appris au collège la règle du participe passé ainsi :

le participe passé conjugué avec le verbe "avoir" s'accorde en genre et en nombre avec le compliment d'objet direct s'il précède.

Donc : J'ai vu la fille : la fille que j'ai vue.
Nous avons lu les libres : les libres que nous avons lus.
Au contraire, I think you've explained it fairly well. I would just say to most learners to bear in mind that past participle agreement is one of those things that some French scholars get awfully worried about for some reason, but in practice:
- some of the rules invented by, for example, the Académie Française (and they really are largely an invention) don't actually reflect the way that people speak French in many cases
- even amongst those that do buy into the prescriptive rules, there's not actually concensus on what those rules should be.

Examples of some of the discrepancies:
- Prescriptive convention would have you say "La lettre qu'il a écrite". In practice, practically nobody actually says this: in everyday speech, the past participle stays invariable: "La lettre qu'il a écrit".
- In practically all cases, it's just a spelling issue anyway.
- Nobody can really agree on e.g. "Je l'ai fait bouillir" vs "Je l'ai faite bouillir".
- Whether agreement is likely or not depends on other grammatical factors. Examples quoted by R. Ball (Colloquial French Grammar: A Practical Guide (Blackwell Reference G..., p. 95), for example, include "La nouvelle que j'ai appris(e) hier", where it would be rare to actually pronounce "apprise" with the finall [z], compared with "on m'a admis(e)" said by a female speaker, where the final [z] would be more common, though still not obligatory.

So although it's an interesting point of grammar, a lot of the prescriptive rules are also nonesense compared to how French speakers tend to actually speak. So if you're a relative beginner in French, I wouldn't get particularly bogged down by it all.
Vous êtes directeur.
Cela signifie que vous êtes un grand homme.
Vous êtes le plus grand homme que je n'aie jamais vu.
Je suis content que je connais un grand homme.
Je dirai (à) tout le monde que je connais un grand homme. (In French the object and the verb never part, they are always next to each other).
Alors, en ce qui concerne la règle du participe passé, je suis d'accord, c'est ce que j'expliquais plus haut. Par contre, pour ce qui est des corrections que vous apportez à mes phrases, elles sont fausses.
"Vous êtes le plus grand homme que je n'AI (il n'y a pas de e) jamais eu.
"Je suis heureux de connaitre une personne importante" ("je suis contente que je connais", ça n'est pas français)
"Je dirai à (ce n'est pas facultatif) tout le monde...."
ensuite, ce n'est pas "libres" mais "livres" (books), et on parle de complément d'objet direct et pas de compliment.
In the case of ai/aie, it's a bit more arguable. In a sentence such as this:

"l'épreuve la plus difficile qu'il n'AIT jamais connue"

if you think you'd say ait then you'd probably write aie in the other sentence.

In the je form, it's just a spelling issue for most speakers.


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