17 votes

How do you say “My home isn’t really a home, it’s more like a house.”

It's difficult to stay close to the English so I would translate that sentence that way: Là où j'habite, c'est rien de plus qu'un logement. or Là où j'habite, c'est une maison sans âme. Depending ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 149k
13 votes
Accepted

Beau vs Bel when noun is not directly after

Google NGrams only find occurrences of bel et when the noun starts with a vowel and only occurrences of beau et when it starts with a consonant:     Note: adgencement is the 16th century spelling: ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 149k
11 votes

"Used to" in French?

You don't have to add "avant " every time, if you just use the "imparfait" tense, it will be enough in most situations. If needed, you can add an adverb to make your statement clearer, but it is not ...
Greg's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Why "fera progresser" and not "progressera"?

Progresser est un verbe intransitif. Il ne prend pas de complément. « … *qui progressera l'humanité » n'est pas du français. Séparons les propositions pour simplifier l'analyse. L’intelligence ...
Gilles 'SO nous est hostile''s user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

How do you say “Me slapping him.” in French?

I'd suggest: — Tu penses à quoi là ? — À moi qui le gifle. Pourquoi ? Moi le gifle breaks grammar, should be moi, le giflant. Moi en étant en train de le gifler is almost correct, should be moi ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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9 votes
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Comment dire l'expression anglaise « Who wouldn’t? » en français ?

No, "Qui ne l'aurait pas ?" is not appropriate here. As a native French speaker it took me some time to understand that sentence. It is true that in the locution "avoir besoin" uses the verb "avoir", ...
N.I.'s user avatar
  • 3,123
9 votes
Accepted

How to say “I, John Smith, promise that …” ?

If you are writing an affidavit for a visa or something like that, one could write Je soussigné, Michel Dupont, né le 18 juin 1940 à Townsend (Royaume-Uni), m'engage à n'exercer aucune ...
Law29's user avatar
  • 1,515
9 votes
Accepted

Writing complex date recurrence in French

Because of some points you cannot keep these translations. Here are several clues to correct them, knowing that they have to be generated. Toto has given best answers for the specific cases you ...
Tac's user avatar
  • 361
9 votes
Accepted

"On le voit voudrait garder" : signification

The sentence as it is does not make much sense. My assumption would be that a comma is missing after voit: Notre livre, on le voit, voudrait garder le contact avec la réalité linguistique. On le ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 17.2k
8 votes

How to construct not-joke in french?

Ou pas is idiomatic but leaves some uncertainty not present in the English "Not!" An alternative expression can be Eh bien non ! often simplified in spoken French to Eh ben non ! or Et ben non ! ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

"Comment tu t'appelles" versus "Vous vous appelez comment"

There are two differences between the proposed constructions: Using tu or vous I suppose this is not the problem and won't even stop on this. If this is a problem, I suppose a separate question ...
Chop's user avatar
  • 4,475
8 votes

How do you say “Me slapping him.” in French?

Pas nécessairement au visagea : — [À quoi tu penses ?] — À le claquer.1 À lui donner/mettre une claque.2 À lui en claquer/mettre une. — [Qu'est-ce que tu imagines ?] — Je m'imagine (en train de) ...
Thélée_Lavoie's user avatar
8 votes

Why does Flaubert use “prendre dans”?

If I can hazard a guess, it's English's bias towards specificity in preposition choice that prompted your question. It's also what makes it somewhat irrelevant. In French, You don't always need to ...
guillaume31's user avatar
  • 3,672
7 votes
Accepted

The meaning of "pierres toutes plus belles les unes que les autres"

No, it just means the stones are very pretty. The expression tou(te)s plus X les un(e)s que les autres is just another way to say très X. The literal meaning is kind of a contradiction — in your ...
qoba's user avatar
  • 6,736
6 votes
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Can someone help me understand "Ainsi, plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, plus la contre-attaque l'est également."

L'attaque = the attack L'attaque ennemie = the enemy's attack L'attaque ennemie est puissante = the enemy's attack is powerful Plus l'attaque ennemie est puissante, = the more powerful the enemy's ...
qoba's user avatar
  • 6,736
6 votes
Accepted

What is the French equivalent of the sentence construction "Do X, and Y will happen"?

You can use the same construction in French. But it requires an imperative. Regarde ton téléphone dans le train rien qu’une minute, et tu ne manqueras pas de souffrir du mal des transports. Like ...
Gilles 'SO nous est hostile''s user avatar
6 votes

What's the structure of "ne t'en fais pas"?

This is a wholly idiomatic expression, meaning the structure is not really analyzable. In his answer, dimitris made a good effort in analyzing en as a pronoun replacing de + noun phrase. That is ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 19.4k
6 votes

How do you say “The boys are unrelated.”?

a and b mean the same, there is no difference. d is understood but not really idiomatic - a and b are better, using "avoir un lien de parenté" c is ambiguous: depending on the context, it ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 17.2k
5 votes

How to say “I, John Smith, promise that …” ?

An informal way to express this is: Moi, John Smith, (je) vous promets que … The formal way (in written correspondance) is: Je soussigné, John Smith, promets que … Meaning, literally, that ...
Stéphane Gimenez's user avatar
5 votes

The meaning and etymology of "histoire de" / "histoire que"?

From personal experience of French, “histoire de” is a shortcut relaxed/informal style for the English “just to”. It conveys the idea of derision (la route est longue, mangeons des bonbons, histoire ...
Bako Razana's user avatar
5 votes

"Comment tu t'appelles" versus "Vous vous appelez comment"

"Comment tu t'appelles ?", along with "Comment vous vous appelez ?" are technically and grammatically incorrect, although they are commonly used in current, spoken French (something that was mentioned ...
cccg03's user avatar
  • 2,274
5 votes
Accepted

Using the restrictive « ne ... que » construction to emphasise a degree/extent

In general this is not a very common construction in everyday French, it is rather literary. Ne le savoir que trop (bien is optional and not very common) is an exception, it's a bit of an idiom. The ...
Gilles 'SO nous est hostile''s user avatar
5 votes

Writing complex date recurrence in French

There are different ways to say it but depending on the context, some will fit better than others. I wrote some ways here below. The first sentence: Chaque quatrième vendredi du mois. (Each fourth ...
Rémi's user avatar
  • 286
5 votes
Accepted

« Ça n'a pas » ou « ça n'est pas » ?

La différence tient à l’auxiliaire employé, le verbe avoir ou être. avoir S'utilise quand il y a un lien d'appartenance entre le sujet et le complément. Exemples : au présent (verbe) : Le chat ...
Tensibai's user avatar
  • 812
5 votes
Accepted

Help me understand the use of autant in this example

Autant normally means "just as soon", "just as much", and by extension "equally good" or "with equal consequences". Thus, here it carries the meaning "might as well": Since I was already suspected ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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5 votes
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« Savoir que » plus infinitif

Que est ici un équivalent soutenu de quoi qui n'est possible que parce que pas est omis. Une version plus courante est : Je ne sais pas quoi vous dire, Mademoiselle !
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
Accepted

Construction avec souhaiter (souhaiter de+inf)

Les deux constructions existent et sont correctes. "Je vous souhaite de passer un très bon week-end" fonctionne exactement comme "Je vous souhaite un bon voyage" si ce n'est que l'object du verbe ...
Eau qui dort's user avatar
  • 9,869
5 votes

In conversation, how common is it to use the structure "ne ... pas ... ne ... que" instead of "ne ... pas ... que"?

The first form is the expected one: Les garçons ne sont pas faits pour n’avoir que la peau sur les os. Unlike in you first sentence, there are two independent negations here: ne pas and ne que as ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes

Quelle est la nuance entre « Je n’ai rien prévu ce soir » et « Je n’ai rien de prévu ce soir »?

Dans "rien de prévu", prévu est un adjectif qui qualifie rien, tandis que dans "je n'ai rien prévu", prévu est une composante d'un verbe au passé composé, dont l'objet est rien. ...
Eau qui dort's user avatar
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