I'm reading a novel, here is a paragraph from it:

Aujourd'hui elle ne lui demande plus rien. Depuis la naissance de Selma ils n'ont même plus d'intimité physique. Pourtant elle ne croit pas qu'il lui soit infidèle; au lieu d'en être satisfaite, elle l'en méprise, mettant sa fidélité sur le compte de sa nonchalance. Leurs relations ont le goût d'un verre d'eau tiède. Mais Hatidjé a dépassé le temps de la nostalgie.

Oh, here Selma is Hatidjé's daughter.

For the 2nd sentence, does it mean

  • Since the birth of Selma, they have no more physical intimacy. or,
  • Since the birth of Selma, they have no more than physical intimacy. (means only physical intimacy but no affection)


Sorry I'm a bit lost by the “ne … que” locution in French…


Your first proposal is quite close. More precisely, “Ils n'ont plus d'intimité” would be “they don't have intimacy anymore”. If you add “même” it means “they don't even have intimacy anymore”.

Exact translations are a bit difficult, but to add something to the picture consider the following correspondances:

  • They don't have more intimacy ↔ Ils n'ont pas plus d'intimité (qu'avant)
  • They have no more than intimacy ↔ Ils n'ont rien de plus que l'intimité
| improve this answer | |
  • @athos: Also, you can have a look to this question, originally about pronunciation, to have a better understanding about the strange case of plus and plus being homonyms. – Stéphane Gimenez May 2 '12 at 22:17

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