1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. Help me in syntax

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ExemptedNato

Help me in syntax

So a french rapper in a french interview said:

"Ils m'ont jeté l’œil"

I understand he was saying "they looked at me" or more specifically "They threw their eyes at me" but my questions are:

1.) Is this how a french person even speaks? Well obviously yes but would this be polite in everyday speech or I'm assuming slang because he's a rapper.

2.) Why isn't "l'oeil" plural to "les oeils" or to "les yeux"? the subject "ils" is plural but even if it was singular to il or elle wouldn't it still be plural because you have two eyes?

3.) Why did he use reflexive? I would have said "Ils ont jeté les oeils sur moi" or "ils ont mis leurs yeux sur moi" which sentence is better?

Lastly, sorry for the extreme breakdown, only my 3rd year in french. Thanks community!

December 9, 2017

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

2.) Why isn't "l'oeil" plural to "les oeils"? the subject "ils" is plural but even if it was singular to il or elle wouldn't it still be plural because you have two eyes?

Language doesn't always make sense.
Why in English do we say "I've got my eye on you"?
Or "Lend me a hand"?

3.) Why did he use reflexive? I would have said "Ils ont jeté les oeils sur moi". which sentence is better?

It's not reflexive. Ils M'ont jeté l'oiel -- they cast their eye on ME, not on themselves.
I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that you have to use the object pronoun but you can add "sur moi" for emphasis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

The irregular plural of "un oeil" is "des yeux".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ExemptedNato

If it is not reflexive what is it an example of? (so I can study it more) I saw it as reflexive because there was no possession pronoun on oeil. Merci!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_M_M_.
  • 1264

"me" is the indirect object here.

"l’œil" is the direct object (it's what was "thrown").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pippipippip

I would not translate it as /they looked at me/. It's true that "jeter un oeil sur qch" is like taking a look, or casting your eye over something, but..

I thought "Jeter l'oeil à qqn" is referring to "mauvais oeil" - so "they jinxed me" would be a better translation? I'm not 100% on this though, so would appreciate a second opinion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

It looks like a cut down version of Ils m'ont jeté un coup d'œil - "they glanced at me".
Reference here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeBrownst1

"They gave me the eye" is a close counterpart.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I have never heard "ils m'ont jeté l'oeil" but it is not impossible in rap, which has its own style.

The usual construction would be "ils ont jeté un oeil sur moi" or "ils ont jeté les yeux sur moi".

I would suggest that what followed this phrase might shed light on the very meaning of it. For instance: "Ils m'ont jeté l'oeil d'Abel sur Caïn" would make sense to me.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.