1

How can if any be conveyed in cases like those below?

Her feelings, if any, were not shown.

She could take two of those candies, if any.

What conditions, if any, must be placed on the undefined coefficients if (a) matrix A is to be symmetric, and matrix B is to be anti-symmetric?

“Le cas échéant” is rather formal, isn't it?

1
  • The candy one is equally odd. It normally would be something like: She took two candies, if any.
    – Lambie
    Jun 1, 2022 at 15:10

3 Answers 3

1

Yes, le cas échéant is slightly formal.

I would however use other expressions to render "if any" in your sentences:

  • Her feelings, if any, were not shown.

Elle ne montrait pas ses sentiments, si tant est qu'elle en eût. (formal)

  • She could take two of those candies, if any.

Elle pourrait prendre deux de ces bonbons, à l'occasion.

1

Ses sentiments, si elle en avait, ne paraissaient pas.

Si elle prend des bonbons elles peut en prendre deux de ceux-là.

Comme la phrase précédente est un peu lourde on peut lui préférer la suivante, qui a le même sens.

Si elle prend des bonbons ce ne peut être que deux de ceux-là.

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  • The first sentence is odd, n'apparaissaient pas would be idiomatic. The third sentence hasn't the same meaning than the second one.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 19, 2020 at 20:18
  • @jlliagre 1/ (TLFi) Être manifeste, être mis en évidence. Synon. éclater, surgir, ressortir. La vérité du sentiment paraissait dans les regards de Sara (RESTIF DE LA BRET., M. Nicolas, 1796, p.15). 2/ It is understated in the second sentence that there is no other possibility than the choice given; the third sentence is more categoric, that's all.
    – LPH
    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:57
  • 1/ I didn't say it was incorrect but what was idiomatic in 1796 is not necessarily idiomatic today. Dans le sens 1, la langue moderne préfère apparaître. 2/ You wrote qui a le même sens. This is incorrect.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 23, 2020 at 0:10
  • 1
    @Lambie I found the English sentences in books or sites. I cannot find the original source.
    – Dimitris
    Jun 1, 2022 at 19:54
  • 2
    @Dimitris The Diversity of Irony by Angeliki Athanasiadou and Herbert L. Colston, page 84: She is very emotional. Her feelings, if any, were not shown.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 1, 2022 at 22:51
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Having post the questions some years ago, I suggest

Her feelings, if any, were not shown.

Ses sentiments, si elle en avait, n'ont pas été montrés.

and

She could take two of those candies, if any.

Elle pourrait prendre deux de ces bonbons, éventuellement.

Nevertheless, the first translation is a little bit 'cold' whilst the second one does not convey that 'if any' means possibly. [Thanks to @jlliagre.] For the third sentence I suggest

Quelles conditions, le cas échéant (ou s'il y en a), doivent être placées sur les coefficients indéfinis si (a) la matrice A doit être symétrique, et (b) la matrice B doit être antisymétrique ?

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