Variable and invariable pronouns

ChrisC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Variable and invariable pronouns

Searching through Google I came across Lawless pieces on variable and invariable pronouns. I'm still not sure how my use of Personne was wrong, or how aucun can be either an adjective or a pronoun, but I can live with that expecting a glimmer eventually, but it would be helpful if you could explain the terminology. Why are they called variable and invariable negative pronouns? Is it because the invariiable ones don't agree, whilst the variable ones do? This is one of those things people who know this stuff take for granted.

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Chris, 

The word 'invariable' means that it will not change, it always remains the same. It can apply to adjectives, pronouns, adverbs etc.

Personne ( nobody) and rien ( nothing) are both invariable. There is no why to it, it is just the way they are.

However, aucun, aucune ( none of them ) is variable up to a point ( you only agree on the gender and not the number).

Take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson for further details -

Aucun/e … ne = None of them (negation)

Hope this helps!

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Without knowing the sentence with personne you refer to, I can't really help. But maybe I can shed some light on variable vs. invariable personal pronouns.

Variable pronouns: celui, celle, ceux, celles -- you choose one depending on gender and number of the object/person you refer to.

Tu vois cet homme? -- Qui? Celui-là? -- Do you see that man? -- Who? That one there?
Tu vois cette femme? -- Qui? Celle-là.

Invariable pronouns: ce, ceci, cela, ça -- You pick one, independent of what you refer to.

Tu vois ça? -- Do you see that?
C'est vraimant marrant. -- That's really funny.

Variable and invariable pronouns

Searching through Google I came across Lawless pieces on variable and invariable pronouns. I'm still not sure how my use of Personne was wrong, or how aucun can be either an adjective or a pronoun, but I can live with that expecting a glimmer eventually, but it would be helpful if you could explain the terminology. Why are they called variable and invariable negative pronouns? Is it because the invariiable ones don't agree, whilst the variable ones do? This is one of those things people who know this stuff take for granted.

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