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What's the difference between n'importe and peu importe?

If you were saying "You have to accept anyone, no matter their race, gender, and sexuality." Would you translate it as

Il faut accepter n'importe qui/tous(?) peu importe sa race, son sexe, et son sexualité

Or

Il faut accepter n'importe qui/tous(?) n'importe quelle est sa race, quel est son sexe, et quel est son sexualité

Also when translating "The bear can eat no matter what kind of meat you give it"

Would you say

L'ours peut manger n'importe quel type de viande que l'on lui donne

Or

L'ours peut manger peu importe type de viande que l'on lui donne

Or is it that n'importe has to be followed by a word like "quel" or "laquelle" and peu importe can be followed just by a noun? Like I've seen

"Tu voudrais quelle chemise?", "N'importe laquelle"

Or

"N'importe dont tu parles, je ne le saurai pas"

Which I'm not sure is correct

I've also seen "quel que"

Quel que brillant que tu sois, tu ne deviendras jamais sympa

Or would this be better for the first sentence?

Quel que soit sa race...

5

Every case is quite different...

First

Il faut accepter tout le monde peu importe (or "importent", I have to check) sa race, son sexe, et sa sexualité. Or maybe Il faut accepter chacun, quels que soient ... I would use "N'importe qui" for "anyone can do the job"

Second

L'ours peut manger n'importe quel type de viande qu'on lui donne. (Not "que l'on") "Peu importe" would be used for "the bear can eat whatever hungry he is" "Peu importe qu'il ait faim"

Third

"n'importe laquelle" is correct. "Peu importe ce dont tu parles, je ne le saurai pas" Or "Quel que soit ce dont tu parles, je ne le saurai pas"

Forth

Before an adjective, I would use "aussi": "Aussi brillant que tu sois, tu ne deviendras jamais sympa"

  • So when having multiple nouns you must use quel que soient? "Quel que soit la règle" and "Quel que soient les règles"? – Oboark Jun 30 '16 at 19:50
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    You are right! But you must make "quelles" agree: "quelles que soient les règles" – Pierre-Louis Deschamps Jun 30 '16 at 19:54
  • Just for fun : when I was in australia, I didn't know that the english translation for "sexe" was "gender", so I said "Officers are like angels: they have no sex!" People were very surprised! – Pierre-Louis Deschamps Jun 30 '16 at 19:57
  • Okay, so I thought of a set of rules that I observed from all the corrections. N'importe is mostly used as an object, aside from n'importe quoi and qui, which you have to use tout le monde and tout for. It can be followed by a relative pronoun and has to be followed by quel. Peu importe is an expression that cannot be subject nor verb, and has to have a definite noun following it. Quel que is the same as peu importe. And aussi que is used when translating the no matter in "No matter how smart you are". Although I don't understand what "peu importe que" means here. – Oboark Jun 30 '16 at 20:44
  • Edit: and if you want to say something like "Any book has words" you use "Tout livre a des mots" – Oboark Jun 30 '16 at 20:50
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I had the same thought as @Pierre-Louis Deschamps at reading your question, so I won't repeat the same thing. Just to point this particular point :

Or is it that n'importe has to be followed by a word like "quel" or "laquelle" and peu importe can be followed just by a noun?

I'd tend to say yes, I can’t find any exemple of "n’importe" directly followed by a noun. But with "qu’importe" yes… (note the 'qu’') ;)

I guess this is because the verb "importer" (in its meaning "matter", not "import") is most of the time the verbe of the principal proposition, just here to introduce the subordinate…

  • From his examples, I see that "N'importe qui" is only used as a subject, but "n'importe" as an object. Also yeah, would you use "peu importent"? – Oboark Jun 30 '16 at 20:17
  • @BlobGod, both are correct. I prefer to make the verb agree. – Pierre-Louis Deschamps Jun 30 '16 at 20:45
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    'Peu importent' is correct because it's logical: 'peu importent les règles' = 'les règles importent peu'. But 'peu importe les règles' is correct too because it's an expression that you must understand like 'ça importe peu', and I would say it's more common. – Destal Jun 30 '16 at 20:54

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