Is the following French expression correct: "Sauf pour vous, j'aurais abandonné le cours.". I mean to say "If it weren't for you, I would have abandoned the course."

  • Manhattan Distance - which meaning of "if it weren't for you" did you intend in this context?
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 21:13
  • Ain't nothing like piggy backing, is there?
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 21:42
  • I'm only curious to see if the OP even thought about 2 possible meanings, or rather another one besides the usual one. I think there is about only one meaning the case of the OP. Your sarcasm does nothing to me.
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 22:09
  • Frank - I intended to say "Thanks to your help, I didn't abandon the course". What would be the other meaning you are referring to? Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


It's grammatically correct, but probably not something we would say. I would naturally say:

Grâce à vous, je n'ai pas abandonné le cours.


Si vous n'aviez pas été là, j'aurais abandonné le cours.


Another simple option in which the sense of negation is retained:

Sans vous, j'aurais abandonné...


There are two meanings to If it weren't for you in English, here is a similar ambiguity:

Dans ce livre amoureux une histoire d'amour ?

Mais tout est bon qui vous amuse.

Je n'oserais, si ce n'était pour vous,

Car c'est beaucoup que d'essayer ce style

Tant oublié, qui fut jadis si doux,

Et qu'aujourd'hui l'on croit facile.

Read more at http://www.poesie-francaise.fr/alfred-de-musset/poeme-silvia.php#IWkhxOWH23ZEWjXc.99

If it weren't for you, I would have dropped (rather than abandon) the course. If it weren't for you, who would it be for?

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