4

You should study this sheet carefully before the exam.

What is the correct translation for "study" in this context? The obvious choice is étudier, but is it restricted to a more formal context like studying at a school/university?

Tu dois étudier bien cette fiche avant l'examen.

3

"étudier" is a good translation for "to study". It can apply to any kind of studying: school, university, professional case study... Some other words can fit here too, even if "étudier" is fine:

  • travailler (as in "travailler son texte", what does an actor when repeating). Here it changes a bit the meaning, suggesting you are both re-writing the sheet and reading it several times to learn its content.

  • réviser (as in "réviser une leçon"). It means you already know the content of the sheet but you need to know it better. Usually you "révises" only the content of a lesson, not the support, so it would be strange to say "réviser cette fiche", but it could be heard.

However there are some other mistakes in your translation:

  • "Should" corresponds to a conditional mode in French, and "you should XXX" is usually translated with "tu devrais XXX"

  • "bien" is usually placed before the verb. It's only placed after the verb in some specific cases.

  • "carefully" can be translated with "bien" but you are weakening a bit of the meaning. A better translation could be:

Tu devrais étudier attentivement cette fiche avant l'examen.

  • I disagree on why “réviser” wouldn't fit here. For instance, if the sheet is a resumé of a chapter, a "cheat sheet", I'd use “réviser”. “Étudier” could also mean something that hasn't been taught in class, but can be mastered (like a appendix on a subject for instance, an example for a abstract subject, etc.) where the student has to understand/analyze. Also, in “réviser cette fiche”, “cette fiche” could be a “métonymie” for the lesson. I'd go also, with “Tu devrais revoir cette fiche avant l'examen” – Larme Oct 13 '16 at 11:42
  • @Larme: you're right. I have been a bit lazy with the details but I hope this edit will make you happier :) – Anne Aunyme Oct 13 '16 at 12:14
  • Nothing about happiness or no. Just about arguing, exchanging opinions in order to give a better/more explained/more subtil solution and preserve our beautiful French language ;) – Larme Oct 13 '16 at 12:17
2

First, your translation is nearly good and would have been understood in actual state.

  • A better sentence would be

    Tu dois bien étudier cette fiche avant l'examen.

  • "étudier" could be used in a work context, not only in a school one. (But not the word "exam")


Now if you want to have a more common word and if it is for a spoken usage, I recommend to use travailler :

Tu dois bien travailler cette fiche avant l'examen.

You can use the generic term of "document" in "fiche" replacement :

Tu dois bien travailler ce document avant l'examen.

You can be even more chatty by using the familiar verb "bosser" instead of "travailler" and "exam" instead of "examen" :

Tu dois bien bosser ce document avant l'exam'.

And to emphase it, you could also turn into a question :

As-tu bien bossé ton document avant l'examen?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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