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"He is forced to" or "he is forced to": what should you write?


The two formulas get along. The drafting goes back to the correct use of the verb “to constrain”.

Binding, the rules of French syntax?

Maybe ... But let's not give up.

A little practice, and its tortuous cogs will have no more secrets.

The French language is very subtle, that is its charm.

These small nuances force us, it must be admitted, to doubt the good turn of certain sentences.

Should we prefer to say

"he is forced to leave now"


"he is forced to leave now"


Le Figaro

has looked into the question.

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To coerce a person amounts to forcing him, to

"forcing him to act against his will"

, according to the definition given by the Treasury of the French language.

We thus say

"I will know how to force you to speak"


"to be silent"


This constraint is sometimes linked to external contingencies:

“I was forced to accept this job”.

As you will have noticed, we can hear the verb

“to constrain”

with the prepositions





So what is it to write?

Here again, this is a subtlety.

The phrase

"forced to"

can be used when

the speaker uses the active voice

, as Project Voltaire emphasizes.


"He forced me to accept his proposal"

, or

"he was forced to resign"


The phrase

"forced to"

, on the other hand, is

accompanied by a passive voice

, with an adjectival past participle.


"I was forced to accept"

, or

"he was forced to resign"


The French Academy, for its part, does not decide.

She invariably notes in her dictionary

"compel to, compel to"

in the sense:

"to force someone to do something against their will, against their will."

Be careful, however: the verb

"to constrain"

is always followed by the preposition


when it is accompanied by a noun.


“he was forced to resign”


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-09-23

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