Pretty much the title says it all. I recently heard this sentence and I didn't understand what it means.

The translator shows it as "Is it better for you to live in the United States?", but I don't understand how to 'achieve' that translation. Can someone explain it?

More precisely, why is there a second "vous"?

Edit: The original question was "Est-ce que cela vous a plus, vous, d'habiter aux États-Unis ?" but an edit turned the question into nonsense.

  • 1
    Isn't plus (spelled plu) the past participle of plaire here, and not the adverb plus? Nov 7 '19 at 1:35
  • Put it in the translator spelled plu, and see if the translation makes more sense. I don't know why automatic translators don't say "this sentence is nonsense; I can't make head or tail of it" when they get input like this. It would certainly be more useful than giving the output they do. Nov 7 '19 at 1:43
  • I googled a bit more after posting and I had that suspicion, but I wanted confirmation. Lol. The follow-up question would be: why is there a second "vous"?
    – JD Gamboa
    Nov 7 '19 at 3:31
  • You can never trust translators. If the words themselves are correct, it will try a translation. I use Google Translator a lot so I know how to use it well and when I can't trust it (which is most of the time). Already knowing a bit the foreign language makes you spot all the absurdities of the translator. They are wrong in most of cases and you can often guess why ("oh, so it translated this way because it thought I meant this, because I used this word before this one"), but only if you already know the language, which means you probably don't really need a translator.
    – Destal
    Nov 7 '19 at 10:55
  • 1
    @Destal It can be argued that you can never blindly trust people either ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Nov 7 '19 at 12:03

This extra vous is just reinforcing the first one, just like would be the Spanish:

¿Te gustó, a ti, vivir en EE. UU.?


¿Le gustó, a el, vivir en EE. UU.?

Note that I more often hear that kind of questions with a preposition, like in Spanish:

Est-ce que ça vous a plu, à vous, d'habiter aux États-Unis ?

In English, a similar emphasis on the pronoun could be:

You, did you enjoy living in the United States?


Also, this sentence feels like a rhetorical question to me, especially with the extra vous. Where the person asking the question already knows the answer, but just wants his interlocutor to say it.

I think the translation of LPH is correct, but doesn't really express the rhetorical question.

But I'm probably overinterpreting it, and his translation is perfect ;) .

  • I don't think the question itself, as is, has a rhetorical feeling. It could be rhetorical, or not.
    – Destal
    Nov 7 '19 at 10:57
  • 1
    There is the option of a rhetorical question, I believe; that possibility didn't happen to make itself evident to me but your remark makes that undubitable now; it'll just depend on the context. Although the form I propose in my answer might not be the best in the way of a formulation as a rhetorical question I think it still usable for that purpose.
    – LPH
    Nov 8 '19 at 0:46

A translation in English could be as follows.

  • What about you, how did you like (it) living in the United States?

The second "vous" is what elicits "what about you" in the English. A sentence where such a repetition occurs entails a special context, that is a context in which the person talking has either been asked the same question (less the repetition of "vous") or in which some people were mentioned about whom the same question was the locutor's topic of conversation prior to the asking "What about you…". The repetition, in this precise case, is a way of saying "now we have their/my opinion, what is yours?".

This question in French would often be shorten as "Et vous ?", just as in English you might say simply "What about you?".


Your questionh has two parts.

The translation LPH offers is perfectly fine. I think the pronoun repetition (for stressing purposes) is a typical French construct that should usually be dropped in English, especially in an informal context:

Did you like living in the United States?

As for the translation you found, it is a correct French sentence but an incorrect translation. There is no indication of any "better" in the original sentence, may it be directly (mieux, meilleur) or indirectly (préférer).

  • 2
    The original machine translation was of the misspelled “Est-ce que cela vous a plus, vous, d'habiter aux États-Unis ?” which has now been corrected. But somebody fixed the spelling in the title, turning half the question into nonsense. Nov 9 '19 at 13:28

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