5

Which one of these combinations are correct :

(1) On se voit quand t'es libre.
(2) On se voit quand tu seras libre.
(3) On se verra quand t'es libre.
(4) On se verra quand tu seras libre.

Sometimes I heard people use one and sometimes another. In English I think we only say either of the two options :

We see again when you are free. -> This is less frequently heard
We'll see again when you are free.

without future tense in the second phrase after "when".

Just for confirmation : Is it true we never say the following ? And why ?

On se verra quand tu vas être libre.

  • I notice that neither of your two English translations include “each other” (which is how I would translate, perhaps incorrectly, “se voir”: “We see [each other] again when you are free. /We'll see [each other] again when you are free.“ Is this simply an unintended omission, or are you translating “se voit/se verra” as “we see/we’ll see [about that] again? (which might be totally correct if my translation is wrong) – Papa Poule Aug 27 '15 at 22:46
  • Hi, you are correct. The full translation is indeed "We'll see each other again". But there are some nuances here in context : "see" here carries the meaning of "meet", which translates to "We'll meet again", and "we'll meet again" implies "meet each other". If we say "We'll see John again" or "We'll see" then it's another story. "We'll see" (without "again") means "Let's wait and see what 's going to happen" as in "Do you think they will get a divorce" - "We'll see". "We'll see again" does not carry this meaning. I am not a linguist so I tried my best to explain. – Kenny Aug 28 '15 at 8:08
  • Another note : "We'll see about that again" does not sounds right to me. "We'll see about that" carries the meaning of something unknown, uncertain in the future "let's wait and see", so it does not go well with "again". "We'll see John again" signifies that has happened before. – Kenny Aug 28 '15 at 8:17
6

Time consistency

2 and 3 are incorrect because the time used for each verb is inconsistent.

The most correct sentence is future: "On se verra quand tu seras libre."

Sometimes though, present can be used to express a future that is not that far: "On se voit quand tu es libre."

Future with aller

A near future can also be expressed using aller with an infinitive form: "On va se voir."

Yet, the suggestion is indeed incorrect: "On se verra quand tu vas être libre." There is a time inconsistency but I fail to express the rule about it.

This syntax is mainly spoken and spoken language tend to bend or escape the rules. Sentences using this construction are often short and I can't think of an example with another verb in the same sentence.

  • The Op’s examples of “se voir” in the future (se verra) all use just “voir” & not “REvoir,” even though the familiar “tu”/”t’es” give the feeling that these two people know each other & will not be seeing each other for the very first time. Is “REvoir” unnecessary because the notion of “again” is somehow contained in “voir” (in these examples, at least)? If the time frame for their next meeting were further in the future would “REvoir” be required/more appropriate? eg, “On se voit/se verra DEMAIN [quand tu es/seras libre] as opposed to “On se REverra l’ANNéE PROCHAINE [quand tu seras libre]. – Papa Poule Aug 27 '15 at 22:28
  • @PapaPoule You are quite correct: this construction ("on", "tu") implies the involved people know each other. I guess the English translation is used in the same way: "We'll see each other soon/when you'll have some time." "Se revoir" is less used and, as you indicate, feels less out of place when you are speaking of meeting again in a not-so-near future, having to spend some time gap without seeing each other "On se reverra au prochain nouvel an." But then again, between people who know each other quite well, you can be quite informal: "On se verra au prochain nouvel an." – Chop Aug 28 '15 at 5:37
  • Not in OP's suggestion but correct/accepted "On se verra dès que tu es libre". – Archemar Aug 28 '15 at 16:14
  • @Archemar Leaves me unsatisfied. It is not time consistent and, in regard of my explanation, it is more confusing than helpful, I think. – Chop Aug 28 '15 at 16:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.