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I'm having trouble translating sentences like "I keep hoping for a sign but it never comes". Normally I translate "to keep doing smth" as "continuer à faire quelque chose" but I feel like "continuer" is the wrong word here because the sentence is looking into the past but I don't know what word suits this sense. My best guess is something that doesn't really follow the original sentence which is "J'attends un signe mais ça n'arrive jamais".

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    J'attends un signe mais ça n'arrive jamais is an excellent guess to my mind. If not, ne pas arrêter de, ne pas cesser de often works well for keep doing sth.
    – None
    Aug 13 at 11:26
  • "I keep hoping" is not looking into the past. It is really about the present. And J'attends un signe does not translate that idea and means: I'm waiting for a sign. I keep hoping is simple present + gerund. For a habitual action.
    – Lambie
    Aug 13 at 14:20
  • It blows my mind how many recent translations from English into French are going over the cliff. Let me ask you: is keep hoping and waiting for the same thing in English? If not, how can it's translation into French not reflect that difference?
    – Lambie
    Aug 13 at 17:53
  • "Je garde l'espoir d'un signe qui n'est encore jamais venu" Aug 16 at 10:01
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I would say : "Je ne cesse d'espérer...". For the rest of the sentence, its depends on what you mean by

the sentence is looking into the past

The possibilities are :

  • Je ne cesse d'espérer un signe qui ne vient jamais.
  • Je ne cesse d'espérer un signe qui n'est jamais venu.
  • Je ne cesse d'espérer un signe qui ne viendra jamais.
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    Thanks, I think "Je ne cesse d'espérer un signe qui n'est jamais venu." is the one I'm looking for
    – Quippy
    Aug 13 at 23:53
  • @Quippy "I keep hoping for a sign but it never comes" is not looking into the past. If you stick to this then only the first proposal is valid. The second one - your choice - is impossible (it would be Je ne cessais d'espérer un signe qui n'est jamais venu.). The 3rd one predicts on the future, so again it diverges from your English sentence.
    – None
    Aug 14 at 6:27
  • @None when I said "looking into the past" I meant the sentence implies that in the past I was hoping for a sign continuously until right now if that makes any sense.
    – Quippy
    Aug 14 at 6:29
  • @Quippy But that is not what your English sentence says. There's a tense issue there. If you say "I keep hoping " means you are still hoping when you say the words, and you are most likely to keep hoping at least in the near future. In your comment do you mean you have just stopped hoping? you are stopping right now because the sign hasn't come? Maybe you can check on the meaning of your English sentence and modify your question if necessary. As far as your English sentence stands in your question only the first proposal is valid.
    – None
    Aug 14 at 6:49
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    @Quippy If you have stopped hoping then Je n'ai pas cessé d'espérer un signe qui n'est jamais venu would be better.
    – None
    Aug 14 at 10:10

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