Tête de Turc


Bonjour à tous, I'm enjoying lesson http://members.rocketlanguages.com/lessons/1033 and I have a question but first a little story about a new phrase I picked up today. In Paris they have "les soldes" running right now. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soldes My friend needs to buy a new disk because his old one crashed. I've helped him restore a bunch of photos from the disk drive that was failing but they are waiting for him to come by with a new disk so we can copy them. He writes (it is an SMS message so ignore the punctuation), "Salut desole j ai la tête partout." Salut. Désolé, j'ai la tête partout. I get the idea that he's distracted (has his head everywhere) and probably hasn't had time to go grab a disk just yet. Regardless, I tend to look this stuff up to help set it in my memory so I can use the phrase. I found the phrase in Antidote under the keyword "écartiller". S’écartiller : donner de la tête un peu partout; ne pas se concentrer. Here at Rocket Languages, I found the lesson on French Jokes and another new phrase. Yeah, shame on me for not finishing all the lessons. Je le fais au fur et à mesure. Note: We need to make a correction to the phrase: On a tous nos tête de Turc ! Correction: On a tous nos têtes de Turc ! This works also, but it doesn't match the audio: On a tous notre tête de Turc ! Antidote: tête de Turc: Souffre-douleur. Il est la tête de Turc de sa classe. Souffre-douleur- Personne qui est continuellement la victime des railleries et de la frustration des autres. In English: Think "Scapegoat" In French: Think "Bouc émissaire" http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouc_%C3%A9missaire My question: Why do we not use "On a toutes nos têtes de Turc !"? I think of the phrase as "On a (toutes nos têtes de Turc) !" But above they think of it as "(On a) tous (nos têtes de Turc) !" TGIF Bonne fin de la semaine! -Jason (Please correct me, I will update the post as needed. Thank you!)


Bonjour Jason, You are right when it comes to 'tête de Turc', in our example it should read 'têtes de Turc' for it being plural. That is one thing even French people have difficulty with sometimes; knowing how to make a compound word plural. The difficulty lies in the fact that the word is made plural depending on the nature of the compound word itself, that's to say whether its composition is noun-adjective, noun-preposition-noun etc. I know you pointed this out to us but you also seem like the type who enjoys the extra reading so I have included a link to a simple site explaining how compound words are pluralized. http://leconjugueur.lefigaro.fr/frplurielcompose.php As for your question below about the affiliation of the word 'tous'. You have to figure to whom the word belongs to, if that makes sense. In this sentence, 'tous' refers to 'us' (on) and not the 'têtes', in which case you would be right. Using your method above the sentence should be thought of as follows: "(On a tous)(nos têtes de Turc)!" Have another think on the sentence structure and you will see that 'all' cannot pertain to the object but rather the subject. I hope this helps and drop me another comment if it need further explanation. - Marie-Claire


Bonjour Marie-Claire,

Merci bien. Vous avez raison. J'aime bien lire!



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