(I am reading an article, the original in English, and the translation in French)

Thanks to the original English of an article I'm reading, I know that the "ne" below is paired with "aucune", and that the "que" is just a subordinating conjunction that means "that". (I had to google to make sure that "ne .. aucune" is indeed a "ne pair", just like how "ne .. pas" , "ne .. plus", "ne .. jamais", and "ne .. que" are "ne pairs").

Jusqu'à il y a quelques semaines, je n' avais aucune idée qu'il consommait quoi que ce soit de plus fort que des martinis.

Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea he used anything heavier than martinis.

But this makes me wonder how I would figure this fact out, if I didn't have the English version.

1. Are there sentences where "ne .. aucune .. que" has the pair of "ne .. que", and where the "aucune" has nothing to do with the "ne"?
2. Are there sentences where "ne" actually can be paired with both the "aucune" and the "que" ? Or indeed, are there sentences where a single "ne" is paired with two (or three?!) different words such as pas, plus, jamais, que, aucune?

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    En espérant que personne n'ait jamais guère besoin d'aucun autres exemples que ceux-ci pour être satisfait, voir par exemple : ici ou . Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


I think you make a confusion between two kinds of QUE : in the exemple you give (" je n' avais aucune idée qu'il consommait..."), QUE is a relative conjunction, totally different to QUE in the following exemple : "J'ai qu'une idée" 'I have but one idea', 'I only have one idea'. This second QUE is the one you want to discuss here.

Answer to your question 1 : I can't think of any sentence where you can have both AUCUN ha QUE 'but, only', since AUCUN means 'not even one' and QUE means 'just one' ("Il n'y a qu'une personne qui..." 'There is only one person who...'), or 'just fifteen' ("Il n'y a que quinze personnes qui..." 'There are only fifteen persons who...'), or (etc.).

Question 2: You can say : "Il n'y a PLUS QUE trois personnes qui..." 'There are ONLY three people LEFT who...' "Il n'y aura PLUS JAMAIS QUE trois personnes qui..." 'There will ONLY EVER be BUT three people who..."

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