The expression "who am I to + infinitive" is a rhetorical device with the meaning of:

« je ne suis pas le mieux placé pour décider ... »

or « ce n'est pas à moi qu'il revient de décider ... »,

though with a more light-hearted or nonchalant tone.


The translation for this is nearly literal in French. We would say, the same way as in English:

Qui suis-je pour décider avec qui tu sors?

  • 1
    Yes, I thought of that possibility, too! Though as it was too word-for-word, I wasn't sure. Merci. Jan 1 '17 at 22:18
  • Can you also say "Qui es-tu pour décider avec qui je sors !" Merci. Jan 1 '17 at 22:45
  • @Ahalone-zee It's indeed working both way. If you disagree with the fact that someone can say such a thing to you, you can answer "Qui es-tu pour...", as you just said.
    – Isuka
    Jan 1 '17 at 22:47
  • Hi. I forgot to mention: How about "Qui est-il pour décider ...", then? Jan 1 '17 at 22:57
  • @Ahalone-zee This formulation is working with any person. So yes!
    – Isuka
    Jan 1 '17 at 22:58

I would use:

De quel droit déciderais-je avec qui tu sors ? (formal)

De quel droit je déciderais/choisirais avec qui tu sors ? (colloquial)


Ce n'est pas à moi de décider avec qui tu sors.

If you want to stick to the English structure, as Isuka already suggested, the following sentence is possible, while a little formal for the light-hearted and nonchalant tone you asked for :

Qui suis-je pour décider avec qui tu sors ?

  • Hi. Do the "de quel droit" construction serve as a rhetorical question? If so, can you also say "De quel droit tu décides avec qui je sors !" In the case of "tu", I suppose it is better to use the present indicative? Jan 1 '17 at 22:44
  • Yes, de quel droit serves as a rhetorical question. De quel droit tu décides avec qui je sort ! is possible but there is no "light-hearted or nonchalant tone" here, this is on the opposite an argument starting point.
    – jlliagre
    Jan 1 '17 at 23:00

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