FR: une fois arrivé(e) au bureau

< Previous | Next >

Garysfraser

New Member
English
Can anyone explain why its ‘une fois arrivé au bureau’ and not arrivée? I presume arrivé is an adjective here. Merci en avance.
Gary
 
  • atcheque

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    What is your context ?
    arrivé is a past participle (used as an adjective) describing a state of the subject (predicative adjective).
    It can be masculine, feminine ; singular or plural.
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    arrivé is a past participle (used as an adjective) describing a state of the subject (predicative adjective).
    It is actually not a predicative adjective (adjectif attribut in French) as it is not linked to the subject through the main verb. It is a past participle used in a participial phrase.

    Anyway, that past participle indeed agrees with the noun it modifies:

    Une fois arrivé au bureau, Marc a remarqué qu'il avait oublié ses clefs.
    Une fois arrivée au bureau, Isabelle a remarqué qu'elle avait oublié ses clefs.
    Une fois arrivés au bureau, mes amis ont remarqué qu'ils avaient oublié leurs clefs.
    Une fois arrivées au bureau, mes amies ont remarqué qu'elles avaient oublié leurs clefs.
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    You could also see it as a shortcut for "une fois que":

    une fois [qu'elles seront] arrivées, elles iront à la plage.
     
    Last edited:

    Garysfraser

    New Member
    English
    The context is a grammar sentence from Fluent Forever:

    Une fois arrivé au bureau, j’ai remarqué que le dos de ma chemise était sale

    Which is translated as: Once I arrived to the office I noticed that the back of my shirt was dirty (not great English - should be at the office.)

    It is interesting in learning a new language that one learns a lot about constructions in your own language which usually you take for granted and are ignorant about.

    Arrivé here seems to be masc. sing. but I am not sure why. I had thought arrivé was related to ‘une fois’ but apparently not. Can someone explain (simply if possible) please?I am only just starting to learn the nuances of grammer!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Arrivé here seems to be masc. sing. but I am not sure why.
    This implies that the noun it refers to, namely the subject (here: je), is masculine singular.

    If the subject is male: Une fois arrivé au bureau, j'ai remarqué que…
    If the subject is female: Une fois arrivée au bureau, j'ai remarqué que…

    I had thought arrivé was related to ‘une fois’ but apparently not.
    It has indeed nothing to do with une fois, which may actually be omitted here: Arrivé au bureau, j'ai remarqué que…
     

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Une fois arrivé au bureau, j’ai remarqué que le dos de ma chemise était sale
    Which is translated as: Once I arrived to the office I noticed that the back of my shirt was dirty (not great English - should be at the office.)
    I guess you could use exactly the same construction in English :
    Once arrived at the office, I noticed....
    Une fois arrivé au bureau, j'ai remarqué...
     

    ForeverHis

    Senior Member
    American English
    As far as I know, you should repeat the subject in English:

    Once I arrived at the office, I noticed....
    Une fois arrivé au bureau, j'ai remarqué...
    As far as I know, in modern English it is better to repeat the subject. "Once arrived" sounds really weird, at least to these American ears.
     

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I see there has been a discussion on that matter once (sic!) :
    "once" followed by an adjective or past participle
    My understanding is that the construction with once directly followed by the past participle "arrived" is correct but not that frequent (less frequent than the corresponding construction in French) and consequently it sounds weird to some ears, American or not!

    However, again, I have encountered that construction in lots of books :

    Once arrived in Babylon, however, the exiles seem to have been completely free to settle and live ...
    Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary
    But once arrived in Sicily, he quickly regained the advantage, recovered possession of Eryx and l\lotya, and compelled Dionysius to fall back towards the eastern side of the island
    Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by Various Writers
    Once arrived in the Caribbean, this pidgin English continued to ...
    English as a Global Language
    Once arrived, daddy was just received by the doctor.
    The English Language - Méthode d’apprentissage de l’anglais
    Once arrived there, Sir Charles proceeded to the platform to offer explanations to the patiently waiting audience.
    A Short History of English Music

    Do these sentences look strange to American eyes?
     

    ForeverHis

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hello Bezoard,

    As far as I can tell, almost all of the citations you gave come from works that were written a long time ago. The English is old-fashioned and I wouldn't encourage English learners to imitate it. The one written by Steven Parker (Méthode d'apprentissage...) may not be the best source for proper English usage. I read some of it on Amazon. There are some weird examples and a lot of errors. I wasn't impressed. Actually, I was impressed by how poor it was! Better just err on the side of caution and repeat the subject (once I arrived, I...). Cheers! ;)
     
    Last edited:

    Bezoard

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thanks for your answer.
    I quite agree with your opinion on Seven Parker. I noticed exactly the problems you mentioned but I left it in my list for others to see it!
    Yes, I also agree that most of the examples date back to the end of the 19th Century while we are in the 21st.
    And yes, it is better for English learners not to imitate the obsolete construction.
    However, I was wondering whether this kind of construction was definitely abandoned by the educated part of the English-speaking people, or if it was still known and occasionally used in texts of a certain standard of language.
    I am saying this, because in French, we have a lot of out-of-fashion words and constructions that are unknown from the vast majority of the population, but which can be used by good writers and give the educated reader a lot of pleasure.
     

    ForeverHis

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hello Bezoard,

    We do have plenty of constructions in modern English that are generally limited to more refined literary works, even though some people may employ them in everyday language (moi, par exemple). But I've never seen this particular construction in any recent works. Hope this helps. Cheers.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top