2

I came up with two example sentences, using « encore » in one and « déjà » in the other. Do I correctly understand their meanings?

1 : Albert est passé par ici il y a encore dix minutes. Tu pourras le rattraper si tu te hâtes.

I used « encore » with the meaning of "just" for emphasis. The sentence can be paraphrased as:

1+ : Albert vient tout juste de passer par ici il n'y a que dix minutes.

On the other hand, I placed « déjà » here to express the idea of "ten (long) minutes ago" – for the sake of emphasis again.

2 : Albert est passé par ici il y a déjà dix minutes. Tu ne risques pas de le rattraper.

  • I think the use of "encore" in this kind of sentences is kind of tricky... I'm personnaly not sure of it's exact meaning in your sentence number one... I would only understand what you meant by hearing the second part "Tu pourras le rattraper". At work, we use to say "dans le doute, reboot", but here, I would say "dans le doute, trouve un autre moyen", even if the rhyme disappears... ;) – Random Oct 17 '16 at 18:52
  • @Random How do you feel about saying "il y a seulement dix minutes" or "il n'y a que dix minutes"? Merci. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 17 '16 at 19:26
  • This might/might not have anything to do with why it's being said that "encore" doesn't seem to work in this case, but I've noticed that "il y a déjà" in the "already" sense is often found following the passé composé whereas "il y a encore" in the "until just a few" sense is often used following the imparfait and/or states of being [where, perhaps coincidentally, you could fit "encore" directly after the verb instead] (Albert passait [encore] par ici/était [encore] ici/ il y a [encore] dix minutes.) – Papa Poule Oct 17 '16 at 23:22
  • @LUNA it sounds very natural, yes. – Random Oct 18 '16 at 7:34
2

In the first sentence, using juste or à peine instead of encore would be clearer.

Albert est passé par ici il y a juste dix minutes. Tu pourras le rattraper si tu te hâtes.

The second sentence is fine and match your goal.

  • "tout juste" may be a good one too ! – Random Oct 17 '16 at 18:44
  • A native French speaker in my office tends to use « encore » in this exact fashion. So it has rubbed off on me, ha-ha. Merci. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 17 '16 at 19:02
  • Encore is not to be completely ruled out. Il y a encore dix minutes, Albert est passé par ici is idiomatic French, like the more usual il était encore là il y a dix minutes. – jlliagre Oct 18 '16 at 7:26
  • @jlliagre Indeed, "encore là" sounds much more natural to me than "encore dix minutes" – Random Oct 18 '16 at 7:33
  • 1
    @LUNA The construction is correct and idiomatic. Juste means precisely here while même pas dix minutes is "not even ten minutes ago". – jlliagre Oct 19 '16 at 7:06

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.