« Elle s’est resservie de ma quiche deux fois. »

This is kind of confusing to me because of the presence of the prefix re(sservir).


She had three servings, just like elle est revenue deux fois implies elle est venue trois fois.

Elle s'est servie → elle s'est servie (au moins) une fois.

Elle s'est resservie → elle s'est servie deux fois

Elle s'est resservie deux fois → elle s'est servie trois fois

See also When is it okay to add "re" before a verb?

  • Elle est venue trois fois is the same as elle est revenue dois fois? – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 13:31
  • @Lambie if we focus on the number of times she came somewhere, yes. – jlliagre Nov 16 '16 at 14:20
  • It is not the same thing linguistically to say: She came here three times and she came back twice. That's all I'm saying. No worries. – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 14:34
  • @Lambie I agree, same in French. – jlliagre Nov 16 '16 at 14:59

This means that the person had 3 servings:

Se Resservir means to Refill (not exact, but works with this)

So with this logic, it means that the person served themselves once, then they refilled their plate twice: 1 + 2 = 3

So the individual had 3 servings

  • Refill is for drinks. refill a plate is not idiomatic, really. – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 14:34

En toute rigueur, elle a eu trois parts de quiche.

Dans la vie courante, la répétition (resservi, deux fois) sert souvent à appuyer le discours et non à noter l'accumulation. Dans ce cas, il est fort probable qu'elle n'ait eu que deux parts de quiche.

On trouve aussi cela avec le verbe réitérer par exemple.


In English, we say helpings of food. She had three helpings of my quiche.

Or: She helped herself three times to my quiche.

When you have re for food, it means a second time. se servir = one helping, se resservir, two helpings.

But bear in mind, not every verb in French with RE means more than one. It can get pretty tricky. Just one quick example: Elle a remonté la rue......She went up the street OR She went back up the street. Only the context will allow you to decide which is right.

  • "Monter la rue" doesn't exist as far as I know, so "remonter la rue" will always mean "to go up the street". – Destal Nov 16 '16 at 15:44
  • Of course, monter la rue doesn't exist. To go UP the street, therefore it is not "go back up the street". That is a very good example of RE not meaning adding another piece to the pie. As in resservir, where it does. – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 22:20

Perhaps a colloquial translation would be "She came back for seconds of my quiche twice", thus implying she had 3 servings.

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