La grammaire est l'étude systématique des éléments constitutifs d'une langue.

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Concordance de temps. Dois-je faire une concordance ?

Imaginons que mon ami m'ait dit il y a un mois qu'il aurait une grève. Aujourd'hui je l'ai rencontré et lui ai dit qu'il avait eu raison. Je lui ai dit : "Comme tu as dit la grève commencera / ...
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65 views

How to most naturally translate “It hasn't rained in this region for two years”?

My grammar book gives me several different French translation for an English sentence. Which are the most natural sounding? Do any sound unnatural in either a conversational or written context? ...
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79 views

“à” becoming “de” when the voice goes from active to passive

The question is on the highlighted clause in this passage from Camus's The Stranger. Mais, naturellement, on ne peut pas être toujours raisonnable. D’autres fois, par exemple, je faisais des ...
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« En » ou « les » dans « Est-il possible d'en / de les livrer le dimanche ? »

Il y a une phrase dans une lettre Est-ce qu'il est possible de livrer des livres le dimanche? J'aimerais remplacer des livres. Ma pensée est utiliser le pronom en Est-ce qu'il est possible ...
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1answer
58 views

Are “de + adjective” and the “que de + adjective” essentially the same construction?

The question is on the de + adjective and the que de + adjective constructions as appear in these passages from Camus's The Stranger. de + adj.: Je me suis souvenu dans ces moments d’une histoire ...
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4answers
83 views

“Dire avoir connu”?

Trying to figure out if this is a fixed phrase, or a grammatical construction I'm just unfamiliar with. It's from a children's version of Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. See the bolded portion: Certains ...
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4answers
72 views

How do I say: “I always get stung” in French using “Je me fais piquer”?

I need to know how to say “I always get stung/bitten” in French. I need it to be using Je me fais piquer and toujours. I don't know where to put toujours.
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33 views

Faire des plans? [closed]

Je fais des plans pour voir un ami à Paris, mais je veux être sûr que j'exprime les choses correctement. Je veux lui dire que je considère à payer pour son billet de train pour qu'elle puisse me ...
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117 views

What is this “en” doing? “… qui n'en tient pas moins un rôle important…”

Here's a sentence from Giles Deleuze's Spinoza: Philosophie pratique that I'm slightly puzzled by: Le père de Spinoza semble lui-même un sceptique, qui n'en tient pas moins un rôle important dans ...
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2answers
37 views

Article défini / indéfini

Imaginez la situation où je rencontre mon ami dans une rue. Je lui donne un livre. Nous n'avons jamais parlé de ce livre avant. Je lui dis Tiens UN livre Dois-je utiliser l'article indéfini, ...
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1answer
40 views

Prépositions: “Il y a une question à/pour moi”

Il y a une question pour moi. Ça veut dire que la question m'est posée. C'est moi qui réponds. Il y a une question à moi. Est-ce que cette phrase signifie la même chose ? Ou est-ce une ...
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What does “aussi bien” without “que” mean?

I feel like this must be really simple, but I'm confused by this sentence from Giles Deleuze's Spinoza: Philosophie pratique: [...] tout cela faisait de Spinoza un rebelle. Aussi bien Spinoza ne ...
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1answer
41 views

Suitable translation for maxim statements

Occasionally I'd like to write something in French that is of a maxim form: To be A is to be B E.g.: “to be loved, is to be known” This is somewhere between uncommon and idiomatic in structure, ...
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51 views

Proper conjugation in writing commands (to oneself)?

I sometimes write to-do list items in French, and often find it hard to decide how to conjugate items. E.g: Go to bed at 10 pm ->... se coucher a 10h? me coucher a 10h? coucher a 10h?
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40 views

J'imagine que + subjonctif/indicatif

Je suis tombé sur cet exercice où je dois répondre en utilisant un subjonctif ou un indicatif. Mais je ne suis pas sûr de quel mode je dois utiliser dans la phrase ci-dessous: Il est possible ...
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1answer
66 views

Is this a correct use of dont, and auquel?

I wanted to ask if my following answers are correct Je sais pas dont je parle Means "I don't know what I'm talking about" right? And if you say Je sais pas ce que j'en parle Means "I ...
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3answers
260 views

Is this a correct use of pour?

I wanted to translate "He is not allowed to go here" into French and I came up with the following, but I don't know which one is right Il n'est pas permis pour aller ici Which to me looks ok. ...
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1answer
88 views

Why does “Rancunes et partis” translate into “And enmity and spouses” to English in Vive Henri Quatre?

I've been listening to some renaissance music and I stumbled upon the so called first french national anthem, and while listening I heard a few lyrics that confused me so I looked them up. But one ...
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3answers
74 views

Utilisation de « y » avec « atteindre »

Dans une phrase Je veux atteindre Paris dans quelques heures. est-ce que je peux remplacer 'Paris' par le pronom 'y' ? Dans la première phrase il n'y a pas de préposition 'à' pour utiliser 'y' ...
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1answer
34 views

What is rule of saying using de after “Le prix de la salade de tomates…”

Generally with food we use du, de la, de l' and des according to the Gender and Number. In this case is, de+la=de la, or is it simply de+ la salade de tomates? What I mean to ask is that whether the ...
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2answers
103 views

What is this inversion called, and is it formal or normal?

There's a certain type of interrogative phrasing I often stumble over, which I have always called complex inversion but which I am not sure of the real name for. I don't know why I thought it was ...
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3answers
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Doubt in “C'est … et s'appelle …” sentence construction

If I want to say, "It is a special meal and is called Kheer" then is this the correct way to write it in French? C'est un repas spécial et s'appelle « Kheer ». The problem that I am facing is ...
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72 views

What does the “y” stand for in “Je m'y attendais”?

What does the "y" stand for in "Je m'y attendais"? There's no À, and it certainly does not mention some place there. So why is there a "Y"?
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1answer
47 views

How do you construct sentences like “I can't go without/with you having eaten breakfast” or “I can't eat with/without you here” [duplicate]

I have been having the most immense confusion on how to translate sentences like "I can't go without you having eaten breakfast" or "I can't go with you having acted like that" I feel like I've asked ...
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2answers
61 views

La différence entre “Je peux t'en prêter 5$” et “Je peux te prêter 5$”

Je ne comprends pas la différence entre "Je peux t'en prêter 5$" et "Je peux te prêter 5$". Pour moi, c'est normal pour dire "Je peux te prêter 5$", mais il y a beaucoup de résultats sur Google avec ...
2
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2answers
122 views

How are clauses which complement the subject with a verb in the -ing form constructed in French?

Would a -ing verb in a sentence in English always be translated by a verb ending in "ant" in French? I've come up with the folowing : Vous, et moi ayant seulement.... (You and me, only having ...
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2answers
688 views

Placement of ne and pas to mean “What have you not done?”

I've been having a hard time translating “What have you not done” in French, I know how to say “What have you done”. Qu'as fait tu ? But I don't know how to say “What have you not done” without ...
3
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1answer
64 views

The question of aspect in “il a été beaucoup plus long”

The question is on the grammatical aspect of a été in this passage from Camus's The Stranger. The narrator is on trail for murder. The prosecutor (il below) has already made much of the narrator's ...
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4answers
85 views

“On y trouve de tout”?

I heard this said by a native speaker, translated in subtitles as "We can find anything there." (With reference to shopping in Reims.) I have not seen trouver de qch before. I would have thought this ...
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1answer
38 views

Confusion about Pronoun Rules

I came across the following sentence: Mon père pense que les jeunes passent trop de temps en ligne mais je ne suis pas tout à fait d'accord avec il. Now the word "il" refers to "père." So my ...
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Distinguishing between “ne… que” vs. “ne (littéraire)… que”

Here's a sentence¹ that I stumbled over: On ne saurait en conclure (comme on l'a fait parfois) que l'achimie fut, par example, une sorte de religion à mystères: elle en emprunta simplement ...
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4answers
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What is the rule behind the use of “de” in this sentence?

Consider the following sentence: Il n'est pas difficile de comprendre pourquoi le samedi est ma journée favorite. According to me if one removes the de before comprendre the sentence should ...
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1answer
60 views

Doute autre d'utiliser des adjectifs

J'apprends les adjectifs en ce moment et j'ai un doute. Je sais qu'il y a des adjectifs qui se placent avant les noms. Souvent ils sont appellés "BAGS". Un adjectif qui appartient à de ce groupe est ...
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2answers
94 views

Do you have to repeat the word “pour” in sentences?

I want to say: J'utilise mon portable pour faire des recherches. Je m'en sers aussi pour bavarder avec mes amis et pour contacter mes copains. Am I correct by repeating the word pour? Have I ...
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2answers
62 views

In French how do you something like “Thank you for cooking” or “I love you for being great” and sentences like that? [duplicate]

I've been wondering how to say something like "I love you for being great" or "Thank you for eating with me" in French. What tense/mood do you use to conjugate the verbs in? I'll be using the ...
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3answers
85 views

Can you put adverbs at the start of a sentence in French?

Is it grammatically correct to use an adverb at the start of a sentence in French like in English? Like in the sentences Seriously, stop it! Really? Or any sentence that uses an adverb ...
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70 views

Can “ce que”, “ce qui”, and “ça” be used to refer to things previously mentioned

Can the words "ce que", "ce qui" and "ça" be used to refer to something previously mentioned? Like in the sentence Nous allons parler de ce que "Let's talk about that" This En ce qu'un ...
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2answers
153 views

Which tense would you use to say “Back then, I would go to the store every day”?

I have been having a lot of trouble trying to translate sentences like "Back then, I would go to the store every day", since I am unsure which tense to use. Would you use present conditional? À ...
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2answers
62 views

Why are there (seemingly) unnecessary “à”s and “de”s in these sentences?

In the sentence Parce que la préposition à indique un mouvement Is the à necessary? Can't you just say Parce que la préposition indique un mouvement In another sentence which has a ...
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2answers
66 views

How do you to tell the difference from “the more” (le/la/les plus) and “the most” (le/la/les plus) in French?

How do you tell the difference between "le plus" as in "the more" from "le plus" as in "the most" in French? As in "The more easy" vs. "The most easy"
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2answers
47 views

How do you translate something like “I have nothing to work with” in French?

I have been thinking and looking for answers for this for a long time, and I still can't find any answer. How, in French do you say something like "I have things to work with", "They have no people to ...
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1answer
55 views

How do you say “much” and “a lot” in French? As in “I have studied a lot” or “I do not have much”?

How do you say "much" and "a lot" in French? As in "I have studied a lot" or "I do not have much"?
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3answers
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“What does it matter if I lie to you, my love ?”

How would one render this statement into French ? What does it matter if I lie to you ? My attempt would be: “A-t-il importance si je te mens, chérie ?”
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2answers
115 views

How to say “I was being” in French?

How do you say "I was being/having" in French? As in "I was being killed" or "I was being bullied" or "I was having a great time" or "I was having a drink" Is there a certain tense to this? Or do the ...
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5answers
65 views

Is this a correct usage of the conditional past perfect?

Is this a correct usage of the conditional past perfect to translate “I would have had it! Without you always ruining everything!”? Je l'aurais avait! Sans toi toujours en train de ruiner tout! ...
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4answers
70 views

How do you say “Which instrument do you play” in French?

Since to play an instrument in French is "Jouer de", I wonder where the de goes when it's interrogative. I think "Which instrument do you play" in French would be "Quel instrument jouez-vous" but ...
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2answers
80 views

How to say “Is he not here?” in French?

How do you say something like "Is Charles not here" in French? Do you say "Charles n'est pas ici?" or for the sentence "Is she not there", "N'est pas elle là"? The second example sounds wrong, and I ...
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1answer
34 views

Are these correct uses of “auquel”, “duquel”, and “dont”?

Is this a correct use of auquel? C'est le garçon auquel je pense Is this a correct use of duquel? C'est le bœuf duquel je parle Is this a correct use of dont? Il est le professeur ...
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1answer
49 views

«Que philosopher, c'est apprendre à mourir»

What's the grammatical purpose of que in this construction (due to Cicéron)? I would have expected it to read, «Philosopher, c'est apprendre à mourir».
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72 views

How to formulate questions with a compound tense?

In France is it practical to say something like "A Janice écrit la lettre?" Or "Janice, a-t-elle écrit la lettre?". Also, can you say something like "Janice, l'a-t-elle écrit?"