All Questions

2
votes
1answer
75 views

Meaning of “un interdit”

What is the meaning of the French word “interdit” in the context of the expression “comme un interdit”, which is the title of a song by French singer Christophe?
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Understanding “Te confonde le Ciel de me parler ainsi !”

In Act II scene 1 of Molière's 1668 comedy Amphitryon, the servant Sosie is trying to explain to his master Amphitryon that he has seen his doppelgänger but Amphitryon refuses to believe him, here is ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Suivre vs s’abonner

I was recently on twitter, where the follow button had suivre on. However, on Instagram, the same button was s’abonner. What is the difference between these terms as the English equivalent on both ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Why is it “place”, not “places” in a sentence: “J'ai assez de place.”?

According to this Duolingo forum, the translation of this English is the following: I have enough room. J'ai assez de place. However, I don't understand why it is NOT places. The noun is put ...
1
vote
2answers
32 views

Se mirent en perspective

l'expression écrite en caractère gras veut dire quoi exactement: il considéra les actions sans vertige, il examina les personnages sans terreur ; la révolution et l’empire se mirent lumineusement ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

« Impeach the mf » : …le fils de pute ? (NSFW)

Despite having no account on such a network, I've become aware of a hashtag containing a vulgar slang term: "impeachthemf" (impeach the motherfucker). I'm reading an article in French where this has ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Avoid the formula “Madame, Monsieur” in the beginning of a letter [duplicate]

Nowadays, there is a trend to avoid the use of the formulas "Dear Sir or Madam" or "Dear Sir/Madam"in the beginning of a formal letter. One may use "To whom it may concern" instead. There are even ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

La Cour « avait botté en touche pour […] pour écarter des plaintes […] » ?

Même si cette pratique [ le gerrymandering ] est très critiquée, la Cour suprême n'a pour l'instant jamais jugé qu'elle violait la Constitution. En juin, elle avait botté en touche pour des ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

La république, une guillotine dans un crépuscule ; l’empire, un sabre dans la nuit

Que veut dire le passage suivant: La république, l’empire, n’avaient été pour lui jusqu’alors que des mots monstrueux. La république, une guillotine dans un crépuscule ; l’empire, un sabre dans la ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the grammar of “I watch you speaking French” vs “I want you to speak French”?

When looking up reviews for a book I'm currently reading; there happened to ba review in French; the bolded sentence confused me: Ce bouquin m'a tapé dans l’œil dès que je l'ai vu apparaître dans ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

French for “extracurricular activities”

Can we use “activités parascolaires” to interpret "extracurricular activities" in the context of a CV as it precised in the link below? Does loisirs, centres d'intérêt, hobbies, etc. indicate the same ...
6
votes
3answers
149 views

Which word to use: “polyglotte” or “multilingue”?

I know the words bilingue, trilingue, quadrilingue, etc. For a person who master several languages one can use multilingue and polyglotte. My colleagues and HR staff suggested me that I should avoid ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

What's the origin of the term croustille for potato chips

I've noticed that potato chips are translated as croustilles in Canada. This seems to be a Quebec French term (and the term pomme chips is used elsewhere)(1)(2) I haven't been able to find where this ...
6
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the exact term for a “toilet”, the object itself?

I keep seeing la toilette, but this also refers to the lavatory itself and I am unsure if it's really the exact term that would be used for the flushable object we call the toilet. Is la toilette the ...
-1
votes
1answer
60 views

What's the difference between étude and etude?

When I'm typing a Google Doc, it thinks I misspelled "étude" and wants to replace it with "etude." But my French teacher says it is "étude." Note: I'm looking for the noun for study hall, not the verb....
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Translate academic titles (lecturer, assistant and associate professor, tenure track, instructor)

I am puzzled how can one translate the following in French? Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Tenure Track, Instructors Does Maître de Conférences translate the first three ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

“si vous auriez” avec “si” non conditionnel

Bien que le si marquant une condition ne puisse pas être suivi du conditionnel, je me demande si cette règle s'applique également avec un si ne marquant pas une condition. Exemples : Je voulais ...
3
votes
4answers
85 views

Comment traduire « has not risen to the mantle of the office » : « n'a pas endossé le costume de sa fonction » ?

[...] But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office. [ « Mitt Romney: The ...
-1
votes
3answers
49 views

Emploi de formulæ en français

Then we construct substitution formulæ valid for... Ensuite, nous construisons des formulæ de substitution valables pour... Peut-on utiliser en français le pluriel latin formulæ ?
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Différence entre cotisations « non payées » et « impayées » ?

En lisant que des pays n'ont pas payé les cotisations qu'ils devaient à l'UNESCO, qu'ils viennent formellement de quitter d'après ce que j'en comprends parce qu'ils étaient incapables de la manipuler ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

Le suffixe du gentilé « Guatémaltèque » est-il inusité : détails sur le suffixe et la formation ?

Après avoir lu que deux enfants provenant du Guatemala étaient morts en rétention aux États-Unis à une semaine d'intervalle pendant qu'on s'empiffre, je m'interroge sur le gentilé « Guatémaltèque » et ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Was this figure of speech translated correctly?

In J.D.Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye", the protagonist recalls a book he read: It was a lousy book, but this Blanchard guy was pretty good. He had this big chateau and all in the Riviera, in ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

Adjectif “vexé”

Pourquoi on utilise passé composé au lieu d'imparfait avec l'adjectif "vexé"? ... et j'ai été un peu vexée.
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Searching for French noun with very specific criteria [closed]

I am writing a book of humor and I would be happy to send a free copy to the person who sends the best response. I am looking for a French feminine noun that has one acute accent. The word cannot ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

«Être cache»? Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire?

Entendu ici à 2:39 et après, à propos de la langue des signes des sourds-muets : — Est-ce qu’elle est plus cache cette langue ? — Ah oui ils sont très directs, très caches, ...
2
votes
4answers
114 views

“Faire la bise” in France vs hugging in America

I am taking an online course (from CMU online learning initiative here... it's pretty good so far). In a video, a girl comes into scene where a few people are sitting around a table. She seems ...
2
votes
4answers
124 views

« Qu'elle crève ! » qu'est-ce que ça veut dire ?

Dans le film La Famille Bélier, une fille distribue des tracts, mais elle n’en donne pas à la figurante. L’héroïne dit « Qu'elle crève ! » Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire ?
5
votes
3answers
154 views

Why is subjunctive being used here

I came across the following ...ses yeux verts pétillants, bien que, pour l'instant, ils soient rouges et larmoyants I do not understand why the second part is in the subjunctive tense. My ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Comment appele-t-on une source issue d'un livre ?

Dans le but d'un projet, je dois lister mes sources. Ainsi, les sources issues d'internet pourra avoir comme nom : sources internet. Mais, comment appelle-t-on les sources issus d'un livre ? J'ai ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Is “des” not needed after “de”?

In the following sentence: Tu sais combien de secondes ça fait? I thought "des" is needed before plural nouns (secondes), so at first I thought the following is correct: Tu sais combien de des ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

Comment savoir s'il faut utiliser “à + pronom tonique” ou “le pronom COI”

Quelqu'un pourrait-il m'expliquer pourquoi dit on: Je fais appel à lui. et non : *Je lui fais appel. Également, pourquoi : Je lui passe un coup de fil. et non : *Je passe un coup ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

“Il me l'a promis” ou “Il m'en a promis” ?

Je ne comprends pas pourquoi est-ce qu'on emploie le pronom "le" dans cette phrase : Il viendra pour les 80 ans de sa grand-mère ; il me l’a promis. Est-il possible d'utiliser "en" au lieu de "le" ...
3
votes
2answers
42 views

The word “continuum” and its usage in French (e.g. la mécanique du continuum)

Google translates Mechanics of continua Continuum Mechanics as Mécanique du continua (faulty as it should be des continua but it is not the point considered here) Mécanique du ...
1
vote
3answers
152 views

Express “clockwise and anticlockwise direction”

Which way is better to express clockwise/anticlockwise direction? E.g. As seen against the background stars, the Earth rotates in a clockwise direction. Comme on le voit sur les étoiles à l'...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Why not class “ce” as a personal pronoun?

The c’est / il est distinction is well covered in learning materials, and I understand that a distinction applies in several contexts. But if we take one of those contexts, Robert, il est médecin, ...
3
votes
4answers
195 views

How do you say love phrases in French?

I am getting a custom necklace and want the back to say something like “madly in love” or “falling even more in love” or something to that regard. Can someone give me some French (short) phrases that ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Le « casque de réalité virtuelle » etc. : virtuellement un casque ?

À gauche, un casque de réalité virtuelle (VR Headset) ; au centre, un masque de plongée ; à droite, une lunette de sécurité... On a bien des termes comme casque VR/de réalité virtuelle ou de réalité ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Spelling of “je” and “ge” as “ze”

The question: Why is "Je" sometimes written as "Ze" (and other words with similar sounds) The context: Recently, I have been reading a graphic novel aimed at kids in which a kitten gets lost and is ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Translation of short lyrics [closed]

There is a French song by Sebastien Tellier titled 'L'amour et la violence'. I'd really like to know what it means and I'm looking for someone kind enough to do a translation of that as I don't speak ...
6
votes
4answers
550 views

Why is “ayant” the participle of “avoir”, instead of “avant”?

It looks pretty intuitive to me if the participle of avoir is avant, but it's actually ayant. What is the story behind this V vs Y difference?
2
votes
2answers
43 views

What's the meaning of “Fait en deux exemplaires originaux à” ?

I'm filling up a non-disclosure agreement and got the below statement. What's the meaning of "Fait en deux exemplaires originaux à": ..... Le:...... The English translation is also given, but it's ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

When to use “à” and “de” after adjective (e.g. impossible, difficile)? [duplicate]

I found the following sentences: Il est impossible de penser à cela. Difficile à dire. C'est difficile de choisir. Ces choses sont impossibles à comprendre. These sentences are not ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

History behind the formation of “passé simple”

At school, when we first learned about "le passé simple" my teacher would tell us that most of the verbs in the third group can be formed by taking the root from "le participe passé", e.g. ...
-4
votes
3answers
99 views

C'est pas très beau le passé simple!

Je trouve que ce n'est pas très beau de dire et même de lire Nous leur donnâmes un verre d'eau. Ce n'est plus du tout employé aujourd'hui ; c'est désuet. Par quoi pourrait-on remplacer cette ...
2
votes
6answers
124 views

Comment exprimer « to shame its inadequacy » ?

Voici un extrait de film (avertissement : divulgâcheur) : [...] Three: in certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the ...
4
votes
2answers
59 views

“Il vient.” vs “Il s'en vient”

Consider the two sentences: Il vient. vs Il s'en vient. As far as I can tell, both are translated to English as He is coming/approaching. so I am guessing that the difference is a subtlety that can ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Siblings in French

In English siblings, in German Geschwister. To the best of my knowledge, French does not have a single word but uses les frères et sœurs construction. So does French lack indeed a single word for ...
4
votes
5answers
121 views

Les parents (as the English relatives)

Can we use, in colloquial French, les parents when we are talking about family members (i.e. as like the English word relatives)? Should we use les parents proches?
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Google Translate: C'est vs. Ç'est

Google Translate keeps correcting my inputs any time I attempt to translate a sentence containing «c'est» by suggesting I put «ç'est» instead. Is this contraction even correct (because I've been ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Translation of “to the best of the author's knowledge”

As far as I know to the best of my knowledge is interpreted by pour autant que je sache For to the best of the author's knowledge should I use pour autant que l'auteur sache or is it ...

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