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I've been having an extremely hard time understanding

Ainsi, plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, plus la contre-attaque l'est également.

Everything just seems so out of place to me. If "plus l'attaque ennemie" was "plus attaque l'ennemie" I would understand, it'd be just an inversion, and even if it isn't it doesn't make sense to me. It'd mean "More enemy attacks it". And if was ennemie was an adjective: "more the enemy attack is powerful". So I don't understand at all. Can someone break this sentence up to make it more easily understable?

  • Your problem here is that "l'attaque" is a determiner and a noun, not a pronoun and a verb as you seem to think ("the attack", not "attacks him/her"). Some thing with "la contre-attaque" down-sentence. – Eau qui dort Jun 26 '16 at 17:43
  • Several points that might be causing confusion are 1) the omission in French of “le” before the 2 instances of “plus” whereas in English “the more …” would be expected (cf:“The more things change, the more …”=” Plus ça change, plus …”); 2) “ennemie” is an adjective here (just as it would be in English), but maybe it would be clearer if you visualized it as a genitive/possessive modifier (“l’attaque de l’ ennemie”; & 3) the l’ in “l'est également”=“puissante,” whereas in English, repeating “puissante” (either the whole word or a pronoun) wouldn't be absolutely necessary. – Papa Poule Jun 27 '16 at 0:03
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L'attaque = the attack

L'attaque ennemie = the enemy's attack

L'attaque ennemie est puissante = the enemy's attack is powerful

Plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, = the more powerful the enemy's attack is,

La contre-attaque = the counterattack

La contre-attaque l'est aussi = the counterattack is also thus [in this case: powerful]

Plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, plus la contre-attaque l'est aussi = the more powerful the enemy's attack is, the more so the counterattack

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Something along the lines of :

Thus, the more powerful the enemy attack is, the more powerful the counter-attack is also.

The words are just not in the same order as they would be in English.

"Plus l'attaque ennemie est forte" -> "The more powerful the enemy attack is"

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Ainsi, plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, plus la contre-attaque l'est également.

Is wrong, but not because of what you pointed out, but because of the use of "plus ..., plus ...", in French. In English, you can't say "The more I try, the more I fail equally", the same goes in French.

To get the meaning "Thus, the more powerful is the attack of the ennemy, the more powerful the counterattack", you could say:

Ainsi, plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, plus la contre-attaque l'est.

or, if you insist on keeping "également":

Ainsi, quand l'attaque ennemie est puissante, la contre-attaque l'est également.

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