5.1 French declination

Well, we have said the bad word already - declination, which is something we usually do not really notice in everydaylife. However, especially for the personal pronouns and their position it is going to be of importance. Therefore we will have a short overview of these things. You might have heard of the phenomenon as direct and indirect object. Also in English the declination is not really used anymore, but it comes to notice in the pronouns. The same happens with French.

The frog sees the dog.
La grenouille voit le chien.
The dog sees the frog.
Le chien voit la grenouille.

We know because of the position of the nouns, which one is the nominative (the subject in the sentence [first the frog, then the dog]) and which one is the direct object (also called accusative [first the dog, then the frog]). This way the relation between the objects (active subject or direct/indirect object) is defined. There are other languages with changes in the nouns depending on the declination, both English and French do not belong to these.

Now we have seen a nominative, an accusative (direct object) and now is the question about the dative (indirect object).

La grenouille donne la fleur à la femme.
  The frog gives the flower to the woman.

Whom does the frog give the flower?

à la femme
to the woman

The direct object is defined with the help of a preposition, in French á in English to.

La grenouille donne à la fleur la femme.
  The frog gives to the flower the woman.

A similar construction we find with the Genitivee, the possessed object.

C' est la fleur de la femme.
  This is the flower of the woman.

Both, English and French indicate the possessed object with a preposition, French with de, English with of.
Of course, there is still the Genitivee with the ending s, but since French does not use this, we stick to the simple version of Genitivee with of.

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