Questions tagged [verbes]

Questions d'ordre général sur les verbes. Pour des verbes spécifiques, l'étiquette *vocabulaire* peut être préférable.

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1answer
134 views

Preposition with noun for “faire causatif” and “laisser”

"I will make Pierre do the dishes." Should the translation be (a) Je vais faire faire la vaisselle à Pierre. (b) Je vais faire Pierre faire la vaisselle. I think it should be (a), but two ...
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1answer
8k views

Essayer: j'essaie, or j'essaye?

I was confused how I should conjugate the verb essayer, or any other ones like nettoyer. I looked up in a conjugation website, J'essaie / ye I'm guessing that means both j'essaie and j'essaye are ...
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2answers
265 views

Translation of “It doesn't have to …”

The sentence "You don't have to go" is usually translated as Tu n'es pas obligé(e) d'y aller. and not Tu ne dois pas y aller. because the latter will be understood as "You mustn't ...
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2answers
91 views

Use of “partagez quoi” to mean “go share”

I was watching this video and at the end the narrator says "Partagez quoi!", which they translated below as Go share! My question is why is there a need for the "quoi"? I was under the impression ...
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1answer
728 views

Différence entre “sembler” et “sembler être”

Y a-t-il des différences entre sembler et sembler être quand on les utilise avec un adjectif ? Ce film semble intéressant. Ce film semble être intéressant. Devrait-on utiliser l'un plutôt que l'...
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5answers
282 views

Pronoun for “obligé de faire quelque chose”

Est-on obligé de faire cet exercice ? What can the response be, from among the following? (a) Oui, on en est obligé. (b) Oui, on y est obligé. (c) Oui, on l'est obligé. (d) Oui, on est obligé. ...
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2answers
97 views

Infinitive form for past event

(a) C'était bon de me détendre pendant les vacances. (b) C'était bon de m'être détendu(e) pendant les vacances. Which sentence is correct? Since we are talking about the vacation which is in the past,...
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1answer
342 views

“autant” ou “aussi bien” pour modifier un verbe

J'aime la physique autant que la chimie. J'aime la physique aussi bien que la chimie. Quelle phrase est correcte ? Ou les deux phrases sont correctes mais ont des significations différentes ? (J'ai ...
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1answer
50 views

Meaning of “en” in “mais le titre m’en paraissait si ridicule que”

The question is on en as highlighted in this passage from La porte étroite by André Gide. Grande émotion, en passant rue de Paris avant-hier, de voir, à la devanture de M…, bien indiscrètement ...
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2answers
69 views

Does negation affect grammatical aspect in this Gide sentence?

The question is on the highlighted words in this passage from La porte étroite by André Gide. The "je" in it is Alissa. Grande émotion, en passant rue de Paris avant-hier, de voir, à la devanture ...
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1answer
952 views

“regretter” avec l'infinitif

Du Monde: Dans son entretien au Journal du Dimanche, il est également revenu sur ses regrets concernant l’action de l’exécutif depuis 2012. « Sur la déchéance de nationalité, j’ai le même sentiment ...
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7answers
2k views

Translation of “You are difficult to please”

"You are difficult to please." How to translate this sentence? A direct translation would be Tu es difficile à plaire. but I don't think this is correct, because plaire takes the person as an ...
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1answer
239 views

Using “servir à qn à qch”

The expression servir à qn means "to be of use to somebody", and servir à qch/à faire qch means "to be used for something/for doing something." Can I use both simultaneously? Ce ...
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2answers
96 views

Using “en” with the verb “être”

The pronoun en can be used to replace indefinite nouns. Tu as mangé du riz ce matin ? Oui, j'en ai mangé. Does this usage still work if the verb is être? C'est un canard ? Oui, c'en est un. I know ...
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4answers
93 views

Ending for gerunds

Elle va par les routes, rêvant. Ces beaux oiseaux, je les ai vus volant. In these examples of using a gerund (modified from here), is it necessary to change the gerund ending to match the noun, since ...
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2answers
103 views

Gerund or relative pronoun

"There is someone sleeping/eating/talking in the room." A direct translation would be Il y a quelqu'un dormant/mangeant/parlant dans la salle. But it was pointed out here that it is better to use ...
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3answers
171 views

Le logiciel, que fait-il généralement : un effort continu ?

Dans un article sur le choix de la préposition (sous/avec) pour introduire le système d'exploitation en fonction dans un contexte, on donne l'exemple suivant : Ce logiciel travaille sous Windows 10....
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3answers
256 views

How do you rephrase “mettre longtemps” into “prendre longtemps”?

When saying "it will take (for example, three hours) to do it", I learned that French uses "mettre" or "prendre". Ils ne mettront pas longtemps à s’apercevoir qu'elle est disparue. How do ...
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3answers
1k views

Translation of “turn on the light”

"Could you please turn on the light?" Peux-tu allumer la lumière, s'il te plaît ? Is allumer la lumière the appropriate translation for "turn on the light"? A dictionary says so. However, it is ...
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2answers
213 views

Translation of “I think eating good food is important …”

"I think eating good food is very important to your health." Je pense que manger de la bonne nourriture est très important pour la santé. Is it correct to use the infinitive form manger to ...
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1answer
96 views

Meaning of “franchir un mur de briques par une porte”

From Le Figaro: Chaque jour, après l'heure de la sieste et avant celle du thé, un vieux monsieur et son chien franchissent un mur de briques rouges par une porte verte. What does par mean in this ...
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5answers
165 views

Implicit subject of “est” rendering “c'est” unnecessary?

Can one say, e.g., Est un avocat. to mean the same thing as C'est un avocat. ? One can say "È un avvocato" in Italian or "Es abogado." in Spanish, where the subject is implicitly understood ...
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1answer
231 views

“finir en” or “finir par”

"I would like to finish my presentation by asking you a question." Je voudrais finir ma présentation ___ une question. Should it be en vous posant or par vous poser or something else? I think ...
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3answers
147 views

When do you use gerunds instead of regular verbs and vice versa?

For example, if I want to stay "Running is very tiresome.", would I say: Courir est très ennuyeux. OR Courant est très ennuyeux. Why? Is there a specific rule that allows you to discern when to ...
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3answers
79 views

“payer” with thing and person

"I haven't paid him for the ticket." What is the translation of this sentence? Translating directly would give Je ne l'ai pas payé pour le billet. where the direct object is the person. However, ...
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1answer
72 views

Understanding “en vomissaient” in Mademoiselle Fifi

What is the grammatical account of en vomissaient in this passage from Maupassant's 1882 story Mademoiselle Fifi? I assume the context is the war of 1870. Five Prussian officers have requisitioned ...
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3answers
4k views

“Quand j'étais né” or “Quand je suis né”

I warn you I'm rather bad at French, only doing it at GCSE level. I was going through my coursework with my friend from Quebec, my first sentence was: Quand j'étais né, j'étais assez gros, je ...
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2answers
306 views

Using the Imperative of 'Aller' in Informal Situations

I have come across this situation several times and find it rather curious. There exists both an informal and a formal imperative of 'aller' (as with any imperative), these being 'va' and 'allez' ...
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2answers
71 views

We will forever be in the service for our King in French? [closed]

How to say " We will forever be in the service of our King. or " You forever be our King " in French?
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2answers
99 views

How to interpret the preposition « à » in the following two instances

While I have no problem understanding the meaning of these two sentences, the use of « à » wouldn’t come to mind if I were saying them myself. C'est ma faute, je suis désolé. On ne se serait pas ...
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2answers
379 views

What is the difference in meaning between “piqué”, “relevé” and “assaisonné”?

« Les concombres épicés ont été piqués de gousses d'ail. » My translation: The spiced cucumbers have been made even more spicy with cloves of garlic. I don’t understand how "piquer" is ...
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4answers
5k views

What's the difference between “avoir besoin de” and “devoir” [closed]

From what I learned, "avoir besoin de" means "is necessary to" while "devoir" means "must". It seems that they mean the same. What are the subtle differences between them that I am not seeing? EDIT: ...
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3answers
2k views

How to add emphasis as in “I do <verb>”?

At a restaurant today, I was explaining my diet restrictions: I do eat seafood, but I don't eat any other meat. Saying this using the word "do" has more emphasis than just saying "I eat seafood, ...
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2answers
3k views

“Je lui crois” or “je crois à lui”

Why doesn't “croire à” follow the same construction as for example “téléphoner à”? I've seen it written Je crois à lui But I would write Je lui crois. just like Je lui téléphone I know ...
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1answer
125 views

What is the tense in “j'avais vue deux heures plus tôt”? [duplicate]

Le soir suivant, je voulus faire la même épreuve. Je fermai donc ma porte à clef pour être certain que personne ne pourrait pénétrer chez moi. Je m'endormis et je me réveillai comme chaque nuit. On ...
2
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1answer
146 views

How to understand double-meaning adjective placement

I know that in French, adjectives usually go after the nous, (major exception being BAGS adjectives), but I'm confused about the logic behind certaint adjectives having double meanings dependent upon ...
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2answers
738 views

Placement of two (“combined”) pronouns in French with two verbs

Is there a grammatical rule for where the "combined" pronouns in a sentence with two verbs (model + infinitive for example) go? For example, which of the following phrases is correct: Je te le ...
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3answers
151 views

Why is the verb « tenir » invariably used in the present tense (even when referring to the past)?

I just said: Tout ce que je sais sur l'art de la cuisine japonaise, je le tiens de ma mère qui le tient d'ailleurs de ma grand-mère. instead of: Tout ce que je sais sur l'art de la cuisine ...
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1answer
4k views

I was going to (do something but)

How do you say I "was going to" (some verb), but something came up? J'étais en train de? I know that is not exactly what I mean to say, because it suggests being in the middle of something, while ...
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2answers
409 views

Passe Compose vs Imparfait - Inconsistency in Usage

The difference between le passé compose et l'imparfait is clearly explained to a French learner by differentiating between a 'once off' event vs. something habitual or over an extended period of time. ...
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2answers
262 views

Does French have modal verbs?

I was reading about English modal verbs a few days ago, and on the same page the author pointed out that the French don't have modal verbs. Fair enough. They don't have the equivalent of our "shall" ...
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1answer
2k views

“Échapper” or “s'échapper”, which is correct in this sentence?

I have a two part question: 1) My sentence is I escape the lion. Do I say Je èchappe le lion or Je s'echapper du lion or neither? 2) I see other verbs that are otherwise identical but one ...
2
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1answer
46 views

What is the tense in “A-t-elle été causée par le mouvement trop rapide de son propre cœur?”

Eh bien, cette vibration dans sa tête? L'a-t-il imaginée, aussi? A-t-elle été causée par le mouvement trop rapide de son propre cœur? Ou le travail d'un homme dans le cachot voisin? In this ...
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2answers
90 views

How to use the verb “détourner”

Ça nous détournera un peu les idées du déménagement. = "That way, even for a little while, we can think about something other than moving house." As I understand it, « détourner quelqu'un ...
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2answers
178 views

Une nuance entre « être » et « faire »

In the first two examples, you can use both "être" and "faire", but do native speakers detect nuances of meaning? 1st Example: Quel fouineur vous êtes ! Quel fouineur vous faites !...
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2answers
6k views

Plural “les” verb usage: “est” or “sont”?

In any sentence with plural objects, such as: Les sandwichs... Would I use the être plural sont, or the object standard third person est. Les sandwichs sont bon. or: Les sandwichs est bon. ...
3
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3answers
133 views

« à faire qqch » vs « de faire qqch »

J'ai des problèmes pour différencier l'utilisation des mots « à » et « de » avant un verbe. Quand est-ce qu'on utilise l'un et quand l'autre ? Est-ce qu'il y a un sujet de grammaire à ce propos pour ...
5
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1answer
780 views

How is the imperative of devoir used?

Apparently there's an imperative conjugation for devoir in French, and I'm trying to reason out what that would mean, how it would be used or how it could be translated to English. When do you use ...
0
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2answers
206 views

How should I understand “faire” in these sentences?

Robert fait du latin. Quel professeur fait ce cours de latin? The word "fait" looks rather odd to me. Literally I read it as Robert does some Latin. Which professor does this course of Latin? How ...
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3answers
934 views

La différence entre « Je ne trouve pas mes lunettes. » et « Je ne retrouve pas mes lunettes. »

Je m'interroge sur la différence entre : Je ne trouve pas mes lunettes. et : Je ne retrouve pas mes lunettes. Est-ce qu'on utilise le premier quand on les a égarées chez soi, alors que le second est ...

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