|Cette petite fille s’est fait gronder à cause de sa voisine qui bavardait.|
|This little girl was scolded because of her neighbor who was chatting.|
Comparing French and English Sentence Structure
It can be interesting to look at French sentences and their English translations while comparing the two. Once you have identified corresponding words, you will realize how many similarities there are French and English. You’ll also notice some big differences, and those are worth examining more closely.
This = Cette
Cette means this or that, and in this case it indicates a singular feminine subject.
little girl = petite fille
While most French adjectives go after the noun they describe, petite is a BAGS adjective that is placed before the noun.
was scolded = s’est fait gronder
This looks complicated, but in fact it’s just a reflexive pronoun that uses the verb faire. This is because the little girl didn’t scold herself. She got herself scolded by someone else.
because of = à cause de
We can’t use parce que to mean because in this sentence because of the word of. Did you know there are many ways to say because in French?
her neighbor = sa voisine
In this sentence, voisine is a feminine singular noun. To show possession, we use a possessive adjective. The adjective must agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies. Remember that we use sa because the voisine is feminine, and not because she’s the little girl’s neighbor.
who = qui
Qui is a relative pronoun, a word that introduces a dependent clause and connects it to an independent clause. Qui can stand in as a subject, and is followed by a verb.
was chatting = bavardait
When you want to say that someone is doing or was doing something, this is a good indication that you need to use the imperfect tense because you’re describing a situation in the past. It’s important to note that even though the English words is and was are used in the translation, there is no need for the verb être.