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 each other...)

Il était super, gagnant..

(He was great, winning prizes such as...)

but I'm not sure the tense/mood is correct.

  • 1
    We ask people to provide whatever they have tried in French. If not answers will probably be translations and FL (and other Stack Exchange sites) are not meant to provide translations. If you want a translation then you are in the wrong place. Please read help centre on how to ask a good question.
    – None
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 11:39
  • What sounds natural and what doesn't in the usage of participle clauses is particularly difficult to explain. In some cases, these clauses translate straightforwardly, but in other cases they don't. If someone has an explanation (not just a couple of examples) I would be glad to know about it. Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 17:05
  • In the first sentence, the combo with reflexive pronouns makes the translation even more difficult. Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 17:09
  • @Laure: This question seems perfectly fine to me. The topic is participle clauses, whether they exist in French and possible alternatives. Since it's particularly difficult to describe a grammatical construction without referring to another language, it seems fair to reference the similar English construction. (Update: ah ok the question was updated so your comment was relevant) Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 12:05
  • How she's changing my post? A bit, but it's absolutely fine to me. It'll help other people with my confusions find my post easier. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


-ing indique une action en train de se dérouler ou qui dure.

L'équivalent en français est bien le participe présent: forme des verbes finissant par ant. Toutefois, cette forme est assez lourde, et il faut éviter de trop l'utiliser (mais elle est totalement correcte).

Le premier exemple est correct.

On peut aussi simplement dire: Vous et moi, qui avons seulement ...

Le second emploie l'adjectif gagnant (signifie plus largement qui gagne, a gagné, va gagner). Souvent les participes présents donnent un adjectif (adjectif verbal): - qui se décline (le participe présent ne se décline pas); - avec quelquefois une orthographe différente: négligeant / négligent (verbes en -ger), provoquant / provocant (verbes en -quer)

Une forme de participe présent serait:

Cet homme, gagnant à être connu, intervint dans le débat.

On peut employer aussi en train de , très fréquent : eating = en train de manger.

Selon les cas, on peut employer:

  • un simple présent dans une subordonnée relative (ou imparfait pour le passé), si la situation dure, comme dans la question: Moi, ayant des doutes = Moi, qui ai des doutes ...

  • pendant qu'il mange (relation temporelle) , tandis qu'il mange (petite opposition dans la principale)

  • tant qu'il mange, ... (limite dans le temps)

  • à mesure qu'il mange, ... (idée de progression dans la principale)

  • au fur et à mesure qu'il mange, ... (idem)

  • tout en mangeant, ...

  • Merci! C'est plus utile que la première réponse. Hehe, je vais essayer à comprendre ceci réponse que vous avez mis(?) hope I saw that right Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 12:14
  • Wait a minute... Donc, mon premier exemple est correct? Pour moi, c'est semble étrange. On peut le dire "Vous, et moi ayant seulement l'un et l'autre, sont les meilleurs ami dans le monde entier" et signifie "You, and me only having one and the other, are the best friends in the entire word"? Vraiment? Haha, je me doute :/ Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 12:26
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    @MarcoRubenAbuyuanLlanes , attention aux personnes: Vous et moi, ayant seulement l'autre, sommes les meilleurs amis du monde. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 13:32

You can't translate this word-by-word, you have to find an equivalent expression.

You and me, only having each other, are the best friends in the world. -> Toi et moi nous n'avons que l'un pour l'autre : nous sommes les meilleurs amis au monde.

He was great, winning prizes such as the gold medal af natation. -> Il était super, il gagnait des prix comme la médaille d'or de natation.

  • Please visit the help centre: "Not all questions can or should be answered here." Asking for a translation (even indirectly) is a reason for closure.
    – None
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 11:47
  • The translations are here as an example of how it could be said. I could have searched for other sentences in English that use the same structure but I have to admit I got lazy. Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 11:56
  • It seems to be that the line between translation and structural explanation is often tenuous for those asking grammar questions "about French". Even if the OP had said what "he had found", it would be a translation, wouldn't it?
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 12:57
  • Especially since one of those sentences is incorrect.
    – MorganFR
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 14:58
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    This answer does not explain much about the general case but at least it is helpful for the provided examples which are more complex than they might seem. I don't understand what you guys are complaining about. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 11:56

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