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I want to get a tattoo so I want to be absolutely sure :).

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    As a personnal opinion, the interrogative form disturbs me. As @JB. points out, I would personnaly prefer an affirmative form like "Mourir sans regrets", or something like this. For me, a tatoo reflects your state of mind, so a question is strange (and so you have to add a conjuguated verb, as in english with "Do you want to", which woulb be optionnal in the affirmative form...) – Random Aug 10 '15 at 10:22
  • @random Point taken. – Rohit Aug 10 '15 at 12:49
  • It somehow makes me think of "vivre comme s'il allait mourir demain" ("to live as if he would die tomorrow"). It's an expression used to say that someone tries to get the most out of his life and doesn't worry about potential risks of his actions (but in a somewhat positive way). I don't think it would fit better for a tatoo though (but I don't really like "message tattoos"). – Caninonos Aug 10 '15 at 18:48
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I would say Veux-tu mourir avec des regrets ?, using a shorter construction than Est-ce que tu veux mourir avec des regrets.

Please note that the negative form without regrets is more commonly used in French, since sans regret is easier to say than avec des regrets.

Personnally Mourir sans regret (Die without regrets) would be my best option.

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    Thanks a lot man, I would love to keep it short, since it's a tattoo. – Rohit Aug 10 '15 at 10:02
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    Before you do your tattoo, remember that Mourir sans regret does not take an 's' at the end... – milk2go Aug 10 '15 at 12:22
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    @milk2go Are you sure about that ? It seems to be at writer's will (source: last part). We may have multiple regrets – Random Aug 10 '15 at 12:58
  • True, didn't know that rule. – milk2go Aug 10 '15 at 13:02
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    "Mourir sans regret(s)" can also be understood as "I'm OK to die". "Ne pas mourir avec des regrets" might be less ambiguous. – biozic Aug 10 '15 at 14:00
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I'm suprised nobody said: Veux-tu mourir avec des remords ?

Remord : when you tried something.

Regrets : when you lived with "if only I had done that". You did nothing.

Depends what you wanted say.

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    Regrets :). When I did/tried nothing. – Rohit Aug 10 '15 at 12:50
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    +1 for mentioning and distinguishing 'remorse' from 'regrets.' "Des remords, (mais) pas de regrets" is a pretty cool 'motto/moral choice' for one's life and if I weren't so afraid of needles I'd consider having it tattooed somewhere on me! – Papa Poule Aug 10 '15 at 15:49
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    @Rohit I'm not a native speaker of French, but I'm pretty sure that it would be "de regrets" here because of the "pas", which signals the negative (total lack/absence of) quantity (of regrets). Please see this wonderful and exhaustive/canonical treatment of "de" and its uses to verify this (especially the Partitif indéfini section near the bottom), and considering where you are planning to "write" this, please also wait for direct confirmation from a native! – Papa Poule Aug 10 '15 at 17:02
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    @PapaPoule [...] and if I weren't so afraid of needles I'd consider having it tattooed somewhere on me! So would you consider it a regret then? ;p – Linkyu Aug 11 '15 at 20:03
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    @Linkyu , Good point! But, no, I'd attribute any sadness resulting from not having it done to 'remorse', so according to my [strained] interpretation of the words I could still scribble it on my arm with a felt-tipped pen (I'm afraid of henna burns, too!) and display it truthfully and with honor (actually, judging from these comments of mine, I think "No regrets, just fears" would be more appropriate for me)! – Papa Poule Aug 11 '15 at 20:26
3

If you do decide to go with an affirmative statement (which I think you should) instead of a question, I would change 'mourir' to 'vivre' (one less letter and, in my opinion, a bit more positive)="Vivre sans regrets"

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    En effet, cela permet d'enlever l’ambiguïté que biozic soulève, c'est propre ! – Random Aug 10 '15 at 15:13
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    Mais sans le s final, c'est mieux: "Vivre sans regret", regret n'étant pas un nom uniquement pluriel => "Je n'ai qu'un regret, celui de ne pas avoir mieux appris la grammaire". – xryl669 Aug 10 '15 at 18:12
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Further to JB's answer you could alternatively put Mourant sans regrets ("dying without regret"): that is if you want a memento mori.

Or simply Sans regret ("without regret[s]").

The interrogative reminds me of this military apocrypha:

Come on, you ***, do you want to live forever?

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  • Interesting suggestions :). – Rohit Aug 10 '15 at 16:37
  • In a comment, random called mourir "affirmative", but I don't know why: isn't that "infinitive"? An alternative might be the imperative, i.e. Meurs or Mourez, i.e. "Die without regret! (and that's an order)" – ChrisW Aug 10 '15 at 17:09
  • @ChrisW Simply because that "infinitive" sentence is in the "affirmative" form :) – Random Aug 19 '15 at 8:00
  • @Random Sorry I still don't see how that's affirmative. Here's a definition of affirmative? I suppose that "affirmative" means "non-negative", and that "sans regret" is negative, and that therefore to be affirmative you'd need to use an antonym of "regret", e.g. "consolation" or "contentement" -- for example "Mourir content" would be affirmative. – ChrisW Aug 19 '15 at 8:09
  • @ChrisW The form is based on the verb. For the same sentence, here are the 3 forms : Affirmative : "live without regrets". Negative : "don't live with regrets". Interrogative : "Do you live with regrets ?" – Random Aug 19 '15 at 8:27
1

Est-ce que tu veux mourir avec des regrets?

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    I did a quick google translation, should it be "mourir" instead of "mourrir"? Single "r" instead of two "r"s. Thanks a lot. – Rohit Aug 10 '15 at 9:51
  • The verb mourir takes a single R, see en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mourir – SolarBear Aug 10 '15 at 15:12
  • @rohit: Yes, you're right – Damien Carol Sep 8 '15 at 15:18
  • @solarbear: Yes, you're right – Damien Carol Sep 8 '15 at 15:18
  • Citation: "Il vaut mieux avoir des remords que des regrets". – Quidam Dec 20 '16 at 12:47

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