How to translate the first and the last phrase? I can't seem to figure out the meaning of "les rideaux ne veulent pas". Also, I don't quite get the last phrase either :

Il y a des gens dont les rideaux ne veulent pas. Il y a des gens dont la vaisselle est toujours dépareillée, dont les cheminées fument et que les buffets détestent. Ces gens-là, leurs enfants ont les dents mal rangées, une tache d'encre sur leur pull du dimanche et « Les Trois Mousquetaires » cachés au fond de leur cartable. Rien à faire. Je pleurai, je fumai une cigarette, j'écrivis un poème. Nous n'avons toujours pas de rideaux.


That's a figurative sentence:

Les rideaux ne veulent pas de certaines gens

Il y a des gens dont les rideaux ne veulent pas


There are people "rejected" by curtains.


Curtains do not want some kind of people.

Of course, this is stylistic as usually, people choose their curtains, not the other way around.

The last sentence means:

We are still missing curtains.

  • Oh I see. I only thought of "dont" as "whose" so the phrase turned out in my head like "there are people whose curtains don't want to" and it didn't make any sense. Thank you~
    – user20798
    May 27 '19 at 15:59
  • Yes, dont is sometimes tricky to translate.
    – jlliagre
    May 27 '19 at 16:10

"Dont" means " desquels" , " duquel" , " de laquelle".

Here : il y a des gens desquels les rideaux ne veulent pas.

But " dont" is more elegant.

Maybe one could explain the sentence in this way : " there are poeple such that curtains do not want of them", " people whereof curtains do not want".

  • I see. But "vouloir" is used only with "de" ("vouloir de quelque chose")? Can it be used directly with a COD ("vouloir quelque chose") ?
    – user20798
    Jun 3 '19 at 12:54
  • @user20798. In the sentence " il y a des gens dont les rideaux ne veulent pas" the verb " vouloir " is precisely used with the preposition "de" ; this is why the the pronoun " dont" is used here. for " dont " means " duquel ( = de lequel)" , " de laquelle" , " desquels" ( = de lesquels). If you analyze teh sentence into two propositions you get " (1) il y a des gens (2) les rideaux ne veulent pas de ces gens".
    – user20839
    Jun 3 '19 at 20:15
  • @user20798. But as you correctly said, " vouloir" can also be used with a COD ( with a different meaning). Two different constructions, hence two différent pronouns. " Je veux CE LIVRE" ( COD) --> " le livre QUE je veux" . But " je veux DE ce gâteau" --> " le gâteau DONT je veux"
    – user20839
    Jun 3 '19 at 20:18
  • Now I get it. Your explanation is very clear! Thank you~
    – user20798
    Jun 4 '19 at 16:21

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