I have been having the most immense confusion on how to translate sentences like "I can't go without you having eaten breakfast" or "I can't go with you having acted like that" I feel like I've asked this before but I didn't quite get the answers. I will give more examples, "He cannot study with you being so noisy", "They cannot go without their mother helping them" or "She cooks well, only with her mother helping" I would immensely appreciate it if you were to translate those sentences :) But, here are sentences that I know sound terribly wrong, but please excuse me; for I completely do not know I will be using the sentence "Don't eat them without me having taken a bath" (something I told my siblings and decided to translate)

Ne mangez-les pas sans moi à avoir prendre une douche

Ne mangez-les pas sans moi qui ai pris une douche

Ne mangez-les pas sans j'ai pris une douche

Ne mangez-les pas sans moi ayant pris une douche

I know all those sentences sound super bad, but at least I tried. Again, thank you in advance :)

  • 4
    What is wrong about the answers on this thread: french.stackexchange.com/questions/18379/… ? – Anne Aunyme Apr 14 '16 at 15:55
  • Sorry, but I speak fluent Spanish and I am seeing confusion between the three languages.....You have taken the Spanish subjunctive, translated it into English, and then tried to go into French: No los come/a sin que me haya duchado. Ne les mangez pas sans que je me sois douché. The more usual English is: Don't eat them unless I have taken a shower. But I am not saying your English sentences are wrong...just not usual. – Lambie Apr 14 '16 at 15:57
  • Yes, but it's still understandable and correct. I just wanted to know how to construct sentences alike the ones I showed. :) – Marco Ruben Abuyuan Llanes Apr 14 '16 at 16:02
  • No, it isn't. And the French is an attempt to use an imperative whereas the English is not imperative at all! So, this complete lack of correspondence between the two makes your question impossible to answer. Your English sentences start with a statement. – Lambie Apr 14 '16 at 16:59
  • Most of these sentences can be translated using "tant que". Assuming "go" means "leave" in the first sentence, you can simply say "Je ne peux pas partir tant que tu n'as pas pris ton petit-déjeuner". For "He cannot study with you being so noisy" woould be "Il ne pourra pas étudier tant que vous serez si bruyant". Also "She cooks well, only with her mother helping" is "Elle cuisine bien tant que sa maman l'aide" and so on... "Ne les mangez pas tant que je n'ai pas pris une douche", you get the idea. – MorganFR Apr 14 '16 at 17:58

Short answer : you don't.

A bit longer answer : you need to find another way of phrasing the same idea. Anything will do, really. "I can't go without you having eaten breakfast" can also be phrased as

  • "I can't go if you haven't eaten breakfast."

  • "As you haven't eaten breakfast, I can't go."

  • "I can't go because you haven't eaten breakfast."

  • "I can't go before you have eaten breakfast."

And many variations on these models, plus probably other models. All these sentences have direct French equivalents, but the English construction of "with(out) subject verbing" has none. For your last example "Ne les mangez pas avant que j'aie pris une douche" would be the closest.

  • This is not true. I can't answer this without your telling me why. That structure translates into French perfectly well. Sans que vous me disiez pourquoi. There is no equivalence in translation. Only equivalent meaning. – Lambie Apr 14 '16 at 17:00
  • Which is exactly what I said : find another way to phrase the same idea. I'll admit that i forgot the subjunctive in my list of possible constructions, i just wouldn't so categorically say it is the only option or a perfect fit. – DaWaaaaghBabal Apr 14 '16 at 17:08
  • You have changed the entire structure but one does come across sentences that are similar in structure to what the OP asked. Also, his French examples are all imperative. But to say "you don't" as if all his sentences are off is not quite right. – Lambie Apr 14 '16 at 20:31

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