"En passant par cette porte, on est arrivés avant les autres."

Translation:By passing through this door, we have arrived before the others.

March 30, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Why is the past participle plural? I know "on" means "we" in this context but it is still a singular construction.


Bizarrely, "on est arrivés" can be correct, according to the Académie française.

See the following link: http://www.lefigaro.fr/langue-francaise/expressions-francaises/2018/02/08/37003-20180208ARTFIG00020-on-est-arrives-ne-faites-plus-la-faute.php

(Also, see http://www.academie-francaise.fr/pauvre, which gives some examples but is less explicit about the rule.)

Specifically, to agree with the subject "on", the past participle should be singular or plural depending on what you actually mean. When you use "on" to refer to certain specific individuals, you treat it as plural.

The article also suggests avoiding the use of "on" in sentences where you'd have to write this, because it looks weird.


Thanks for that coherent explanation. It definitely does look weird.


If you mean on=we, then it must be treated as grammatically plural, even though the verb is conjugated in 3rd person singular. So any adjectives or relevant past participles must agree in number and gender with "on" (when it means "we"). https://www.thoughtco.com/the-many-meanings-of-the-french-subject-pronoun-on-3572148


My question exactly "on" usually uses singular constructions?


Not only that, but it doesn't even have to be translated as "we." Sometimes (not here though) it can be translated in the passive, with no implication for plurality. For example "on lit le livre" could be "the book is read". Reported 11 May 2018.


The primary, main use of "on" is as the passive subject/agent - the English use of "one" in like manner derives from this practise.

Using "on" for "we" is a colloquialism (and incorrect, one might argue), although a widespread one.

The French penchant for using passive constructions with active meaning is a curious phenomenon. Should one understand it as the French trying to shirk away from being/feeling responsible for their actions and words, hmmh?! (I am kidding, but it is an interesting trend.)


There's no liaison between "arrivés" and "avant", so "By passing through this door, one has arrived before the others" is valid going by the audio alone, which means "arrivé" should be accepted as well.

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Thanks to our owl, I know now that arrivés is correct. But I think that arrivé and arrivées should be correct too. Am I wrong?


'Est, is singular so why is past psrticiple plural? Is this a mistake?


Is the only problem with "By passing through this door we have arrives before the others" the (obvious) d->s typo that Duobot just can't recognize as such?


Even if "on " is used at the place of "nous" grammatically it's singular and cant be accorded as plurial this is a mistake again and your flags dont work !


Just french, not from the academy, but i think that "arrivé" without an s is better.


Another example where the translation is too restricted. It could be "through" or "by".

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And what about on ait arrivés?


I am confused why “On passing through that door, we arrived before the others.” was marked as incorrect. I thought the perfect tense could be translated as simple past in English, so the omission of “have” should be OK. And my dictionary gives “on arriving” as the translation for “en arrivant”, so why not “on passing” here?

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