In the example "J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille". The audio speaker is a woman and the word bottle is feminine-why use the masculine version tiers?

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In the example "J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille". The audio speaker is a woman and the word bottle is feminine-why use the masculine version tiers?

Thank you.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Robin,

In the case of one third , meaning 33.33% (1/3) of something, the noun un tiers de stands on its own and doesn't agree with the noun it applies to (or the person speaking).

e.g. 

Un tiers des électeurs ne s'est pas déplacé pour voter = One third of the electorate didn't go and vote

Un tiers de la famille a été décimé par les inondations One third of the family was decimated by the floods

Un tiers de la foule était composé de femmes = A third of the crowd was made up of women

Hope this helps!

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I appreciate the reply in regard to tiers, but tierce is used once in an example and I am not sure when I should use it. 
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Robin,

The adjective 'tiers/tierce' will only be used in certain expressions like 'tierce personne' or 'tierce partie' to mean a third party -

Also in the following expressions -

Le tiers-monde The third World

Le Tiers-état = The third estate/tier of society 

The noun 'tierce' is used in some card games to denote three cards following each other.

It has very limited use...

Hope this helps!

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci!
AllyA2Kwiziq community member

If you're saying that most of the time tiers does not agree in gender, I think that should be added to the main lesson. The way it is currently worded - "You use tiers (masculine) or tierce (feminine)" - with no additional follow-up information, suggests that it does agree in gender. If I hadn't read this comment I would have basically just learnt it completely wrong.

JessicaB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I'm confused about "tiers" being a 'un mot invariable'.

In this "J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille" tiers is surely a noun, and thus an adjective would have to agree with it? After all we don't make bouteille agree with vin in "J'ai bu une bouteille du vin" and it has exactly the same structure.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Jessica,

I have rephrased my answer regarding -

un tiers de quelque chose = a third  (1/3) of something

by it doesn't agree with the object it refers to.

Thank you for pointing out, hope this clarifies things.

JessicaB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you, although, I'd probably be a bit more precise about which bit is the noun.

«Un tiers de» is a phrase of [indefinite article] [noun] [preposition]. (You could have «le tiers de», as well as phrases with other prepositions, like «un tiers à ...» and «un tiers pour ...».)

(I can't immediately think of any [article] [noun] [noun] combinations in French. English has  things like "a boat race" or "a steel bar" whilst french seems to use [article] [noun] [preposition] [noun], as in «une course de bateux» or «une coque en acier».)

edit: The lesson on compound nouns with à,de and en is probably worth pointing people to: Compound nouns formed with prepositions à, de, en

Robin asked:View original

In the example "J'ai bu un tiers de la bouteille". The audio speaker is a woman and the word bottle is feminine-why use the masculine version tiers?

Thank you.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
I'll be right with you...