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5
votes
3answers
12k views

Understanding how “Je ne parle pas français” is broken down

When I enter “Je ne parle pas français” into Google translate I get “I do not speak French.” But if I just type “Je ne pas”, I get “I do not.” Why are the pas and parle switched around in the phrase ...
4
votes
2answers
747 views

An adverb between a verb and an infinitive that follows?

In English it is sometimes permissible (but not necessarily (always?) proper grammar) to "split" a verb infinitive with an adverb. For example, consider the placement of "quickly" in the two following ...
9
votes
2answers
327 views

Why is the subject at the end in this subordinate clause?

I thought that French language's word order was SVO and SOV (when object is pronoun). But what's with this sentence (from here): Bouclier que portaient autrefois les chevaliers. Subject is at ...
6
votes
2answers
73 views

How to translate “the first {number}”?

For instance, in English we might say "I liked the first three, but..." etc. I am interested in whether it is translatable both with a specific noun and without, e.g.: I liked the first three. ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Is the position of space and time precisions in this sentence correct?

Today I was sitting on a bench in the Public Garden in the city of Boston when a beautiful girl and her boyfriend sat down beside me, speaking French. Simultaneously I noticed there were six or seven ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Placement of “tant”?

All these examples seem to be...different. I cannot make sense of it. Il a déjà tant fait. Il travaille tant ! J'ai dû partir, tant j'étais fatigué.
2
votes
2answers
170 views

How does the word “en” change meaning and proper ordering?

I came across this sentence: J'en suis encore malade… I was wondering about the structure and usage of en. Could the following sentences convey the same meaning? As a beginner, I would tend to ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Where to place the year in a product's name?

Which one of the following phrases is correct translation of the "2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter"? 2013 Sprinter de Mercedes-Benz, or Sprinter 2013 de Mercedes-Benz And if you could give an example ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Negative past conditional pronominal interrogative inversion?

I'm having a little trouble finding resources on word order here. For instance, turn this into an inverted question: Il n'aurait pas se réveillé. In fact I don't even think I have the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Differences in meaning depending on placement of “pauvre?”

A literal translation of "pauvre" is poor. This could have at least two meanings 1) not rich, and 2) unfortunate. I was told (and forget which is which) that if you place pauvre before the noun, it ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

“ma jolie femme” vs “ma femme jolie”

I may be mistaken, but I think mon ancien professeur means my former teacher, as opposed to mon professeur ancien which means my elderly teacher. Is this correct? And what if anything is the ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Inversion des rôles entre le nom et l'adjectif : d'où vient et comment s'appelle cette construction? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comment s’appelle cette tournure de phrase ? Je n'ai pas voulu choisir un exemple arbitraire pour la formulation même de la question, mais en voici un : ...
3
votes
1answer
418 views

Quand doit-on placer les adjectifs de taille devant des noms ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quand peut-on mettre un adjectif avant ou après un nom? J'ai lu qu'on peut se reporter à l'acronyme « BAGS » lorsqu'on tente de placer un adjectif. Si l'adjectif ...
9
votes
3answers
186 views

Différence de registre et position de l'adverbe

Nous en avons longtemps parlé. Nous en avons parlé longtemps. Y a-t-il une différence de registre entre les deux, si légère soit-elle?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

The difference between “un petit garçon” and “un garçon petit” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quand peut-on mettre un adjectif avant ou après un nom? I was wondering what is the difference between “un petit garçon” and “un garçon petit”. un = one petit = ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Question by reverting position of verb and noun for people

There is this sentence: Marie aime la peinture. and the question for it: Marie aime-t-elle la peinture ? Why cannot it be the following: Aime Marie la peinture ? Why is Marie placed ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

Savant versus grognard

Inspiré par cette réponse, je me demandais pourquoi puis-je dire un savant Allemand mais pas un grognard Français* ? Sachant que un grognard de Français et un Français grognard sonnent mieux, la ...