Pommeau & Pronoun Placement

In July I toured an orchard near Rouen called Domaine Duclos Fougeray that produces cider, pommeau, and calvados.  The calva, essentially apple brandy, was a little strong for my taste, but I loved the pommeau, a mistelle that’s a combination of apple juice and calvados.  It’s served chilled as either an aperitif with a local cheese (camembert, livarot, Pont l’Evêque) or as a digestive.

The more familiar I become with the French language, the more I recognize certain similarities to English.  However, there are certainly differences in sound and in syntax.  One such example is pronoun placement.  In French, the pronoun is placed before the verb that carries the meaning and in cases of past tense/perfect tense it goes before the auxiliary verb.

Je boit le pommeau becomes:  Je le bois.

I drank the pommeau becomes:  Je l’ai boit.

Letter from Giverny

In French class this semester we’ve learned the phrase, “à quoi servir” and “à quoi ressemble”.  In other words, “what purpose does it serve…” or “what resembles something or other…“.  An example of this would be, ”à quoi ressemble ce nuage?“  (What does this cloud resemble?)

On my recent trip to Normandy, we spent a morning at Giverny, home to Claude Monet and his second wife Alice from the early 1890s until his death.  I stood in his gardens behind the house and was amazed by how similar the pond and garden looked to his paintings that I’ve seen all my life.  Here’s some photos from that morning.