Clause element – constituant propositionnel


Let's Define It!

What's a *clause element*?

A clause element (constitutant propositionnel in French) is a word, phrase or even a clause which plays one of the five basic function categories within a clause:

  1. subject
  2. verb
  3. object
  4. complement
  5. adverbial


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Here are two sentences that will help better understand what a clause element (herein underlined) is:

  1. Voici les jeunes gens que nous avons rencontrés à la gare hier. / Here are the young people that we met yesterday at the station. --> The nous underlined is part of the relative clause "que nous avons rencontrés..." It also plays the role of grammatical subject of the verb "avons rencontrés". Nous thus constitutes a constituant propositionnel. (There are several others in this sentence. I just wanted to highlight one of them)
  2. Ce n'est pas la mangue que j'ai mangée. --->  This is not the mango that I have eaten. --> The underlined word "mangue" is direct object of the verb "ai mangé". As such, it is a clause element.


Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?