2

In conversation with my friend, I said:

Il ne s’agit peut-être pas là d’avoir franchi le cap des 30 ans en soi, mais plutôt le sentiment d'avoir passé autant d'années sans en profiter au maximum, ça doit être ce qui te ronge. Et si tu arrêtais de ne voir que le verre à moitié vide ?

Or should I have said:

... Et si tu arrêtais de ne voir le verre qu‘à moitié vide ?

I find myself vacillating between two possible positions to place the restrictive "que".

6

As you said, the "ne...que" is restrictive, and the place where you put it determines which object you restrict.

Et si tu arrêtais de ne voir que le verre à moitié vide ?

In this case you only see the half-empty glass, meaning you could also try seeing another glass (a half-full one, I guess), or at anything else really.

Et si tu arrêtais de ne voir le verre qu'à moitié vide ?

Here you see only one glass, being half-empty, and you could try to see it differently (Half-full. Completely full. Completely empty. Who knows?)

While both options are grammatically correct, and are going to be interpreted the exact same way, I would use the second one as I believe the expression refers to a unique metaphorical glass being able to be half-full, half-empty, or as an engineer would say: unnecessarily big.

0

que is used here to give emphasize to part of the sentence. So, which part do you want to give force ?

I suggest you to use the second: you insist on how he perceive how things are.

... Et si tu arrêtais de ne voir le verre qu‘à moitié vide ?

-1

et si tu arrêtais de voir le verre qu'à moitié vide?

ou bien

et si tu arrêtais de voir que le verre est à moitié vide?

  • 1
    In what is it an answer ?? – MysteryGuy Sep 8 '17 at 12:56

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