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Scenario:

Jake’s mother is fed up with his laziness.

Dialogue

Mom: Why is there so much dirty laundry?

Jake: Oh, sorry Mom. Most of that pile is mine.

Mom: Well then you do the laundry.

Jake: I can’t Mom. I’m busy.

Mom: Jake! You’re 24! I can’t believe that after all these years, I’m still having to do your laundry!

Question

How do you say ”I can’t believe that after all these years, I’m still having to do your laundry!”?

I’m struggling to translate “I’m still having to do your laundry.”

Answer

Is it

(a) « Je ne peux pas croire qu’après toutes ces années, je fais toujours ta lessive. »

or

(b) « Je ne peux pas croire qu’après toutes ces années, je dois toujours faire ta lessive. »

or something else?

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  • 1
    When you say je fais toujours ta lessive you don't translate "I have to". Je fais ta lessive → I do your laundry. Je dois faire ta lessive →I have to do your laundry. Have to can be found in any dictionary. Some people would use the subjunctive after je ne peux pas croire, this has already been discussed on FL.
    – None
    Dec 26, 2023 at 8:18

2 Answers 2

4

When you say je fais toujours ta lessive you don't translate "I have to", you're just saying "I'm still doing your laundry", so of the two sentences you have in mind only (b) is correct. But still, I would not spontaneously say it like that.

  1. I expect most people would spontaneously say encore and not toujours. Toujours might imply frequency (Mum complaining of having to do the laundry too often), encore stresses the fact that mum thinks she shouldn't have to do Jake's laundry at all.
  2. Although devoir is correct, French often uses the Gallicism il faut que (falloir) to express necessity/obligation.
  3. With je ne peux pas croire in the main clause, a lot of people would use the subjonctive in the subordinate: Je ne peux pas croire qu’après toutes ces années, je doive encore faire ta lessive, but the subjunctive is not mandatory.
  4. If you use il faut que, be aware that the subjunctive is mandatory after il faut que: Je ne peux pas croire qu’après toutes ces années, il faut encore que je fasse ta lessive.
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  • Your answer is very clear and I have learnt a lot! Thank you @None !
    – Noybwbh
    Dec 26, 2023 at 20:56
3

J'y crois pas, tu as 24 ans et c'est moi qui dois encore me taper ta lessive !

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    ou : t'es pas fichu de faire ta lessive toi-même.
    – None
    Dec 26, 2023 at 10:45
  • Qui doiS? J'aurais mis un s.
    – Frank
    Dec 26, 2023 at 16:06
  • @Frank Oui, bien sûr. C'est nous qui doivent faire attention ;-)
    – jlliagre
    Dec 26, 2023 at 18:00
  • Thank you @jlliagre once again for your help! :)
    – Noybwbh
    Dec 26, 2023 at 21:06

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