2

I want to express the idea of "if anything were to happen to that child" in colloquial French, and I wonder why "il" can serve as a subject in Version 1. Are these two versions nuanced at all?

  • Version 1:

    S'il arrivait quoi que ce soit à cette enfant, ...

  • Version 2:

    Si quoi que ce soit arrivait à cette enfant, ...

  • 1
    At first sight, they are both correct and mean exactly the same thing... Be aware that if you use "cette enfant", it implies it is a girl. – Random Feb 1 '16 at 8:27
  • I would prefer and recommend the version 1. I found it more natural. – Eria Feb 1 '16 at 13:06
2

Les deux formes sont exactes.

La 1 est une version impersonnelle de la 2, qui peut se construire avec des verbes qui indiquent un événement, quelque chose qui survient:

Une personne arrive => Il arrive une personne.

Un drame survient => Il survient un drame.

De la neige tombe => Il tombe de la neige.

Exemple d'autres verbes: apparaît, entrer, venir, ...

1

Your sentences mean what you want to say.

If you choose to use "quoi que ce soit" as a common name (V1), then you need to add a pronoun to say your condition.

Litterally, the translation is "If it happened anything..." but with the elision, you write "S'il".

V1 is more formal, V2 is in common language.

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