Easter: Place of the subject in the sentence Part II

Did you know the tradition of Easter bells (cloche de Pâques) started in the 7th century in Europe?

The legend says in a few Catholic countries, particularly in France, on the evening of Holy Thursday the bells go to Rome where they are blessed by the Pope. Then on Easter morning , the bells return pealing (carillonner) to announce the joy of the Christ resurrection. In Rome, they are loaded (charger) with Easter eggs that are spread in gardens so children will look for them. On their journey, the bells are decorated with a pair of wings, ribbons, and are carried on a chariot / float.

Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century, with France and Germany taking the lead (mener) in this new artistic confectionery. We know you will be celebrating in a couple of days so before getting into the sweet atmosphere, get to know some of the ad-hoc terminology and take the opportunity to work on your French with this second part dealing with “Construction of a sentence”.

In a relative clause:

a)The subject personal pronoun is always placed before the verb

Les oeufs que les parents ont cachés. The eggs the parents hid.

Les oeufs que les enfants ont trouvés. The eggs the children found.

Les oeufs qu’ils ont décorés. The eggs they have decorated.

b)The subject noun can be placed before or after the verb; if the verb is not followed by a complement

Les oeufs que les enfants ont décorés. The eggs (that) the children decorated.

Les oeufs qu’ont décorés les enfants. The eggs (that) the children decorated.

c)The subject noun is placed before the verb if the verb is followed by a complement

Les oeufs que les enfants ont découverts dans le jardin. The eggs (that) the children have found in the garden.

Les cloches que l’on entend célèbrent pâques. The bells (that) we hear celebrate Easter.

d)The subject follows immediately the relative clause “dont”, and contrary to English, the direct object is placed after the verb

La chasse aux oeufs dont je te parle est celle du Bon Marché. The egg hunt I am talking about is the one at the Bon Marché.

Le chocolat dont je préfère le goût est le chocolat blanc. The chocolate I prefer the taste of is white chocolate.

Le lapin dont je t’ai parlé est en chocolat. The rabbit I was talking about is in chocolate.


For the interrogative form, the order of the words in the indirect speech is not the same as for the direct question.

a)The personal pronoun subject  and the subjects pronoun “ce” and “on” are always placed after the verb. There is then no inversion  et we shouldn’t confuse with the direct question

Où doit-on chercher les oeufs?

Je vous demande où l’on doit chercher les oeufs.

Est-ce du chocolat noir, blanc ou au lait?

Je vous demande si c’est du chocolat noir, blanc ou au lait.

b)The subject noun is placed before the verb if the verb has a complement

Les enfants demandent où sont cachés les oeufs.

Les enfants demandent où les oeufs sont cachés dans le jardin.

Note : Other grammar rules regarding the place of the subject noun in the indirect question will be treated another chapter.

TRADUISEZ – answer will be published next week on Facebook

1)Maybe she will find the chocolate egg first

2) »Where did you find the chocolate bunny? » asked Pierre to his sister

3)This is the chocolate that I prefer

4)These are the chocolates that I found in the garden

5)These bells celebrate easter

Click below to learn ad-hoc Easter terminology:

Vocabulary - Easter

What to do in Paris?

For several years, the town hall of Paris, a few hotels, brands, associations or national monuments organize for children egg hunts in green spaces of the capital. These events have found an audience among children and with no surprise adults. Don’t miss them and find out more about their different locations below:

Grande chasse aux œufs au Playmobil FunPark

du 26 mars 2016 au 28 mars 2016

Playmobil Funpark – 22-24 allée des Jachères – ZA La Cerisaie, Fresnes

Grande Chasse aux œufs Solidaire au pied de la Tour Eiffel

du 27 mars 2016 au 27 mars 2016

Parc du Champ-de-Mars – Quai Branly – Avenue de la Motte Picquet, Paris

Pâques, ludique et arty au Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

du 26 mars 2016 au 28 mars 2016

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte – Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy

Joyeuse Pâques à Disney Village

du 27 mars 2016 au 28 mars 2016

Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée

Chasse aux œufs au Jardin d’acclimatation

Dimanche 27 mars de 10h à 12h puis de 14h à 16h30

Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris

Chasse aux œufs à l’aquarium de Paris

du 26 au 28 mars 2016 et pendant les vacances de Pâques à partir de 10h

5 Avenue Albert de Mun, 75016 Paris

Chasse aux œufs au Musée de Montmartre

dimanche 27 et lundi 28 mars 2016, à partir de 11h30

12-14 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris

A little more…

Mini Paris and its Easter Workshop

On the occasion of the Mini Clubman launch, Mini Paris got into a partnership with La Pâtisserie des Rêves to offer a chocolate workshop for children while their parents can try any model of the Mini range.