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34 votes
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"Je suis petite, moi?", purpose of the "moi"?

This sentence is usually a reply to a remark, typically: — Tu es petite ! — Je suis petite, moi ? The remark is repeated to confirm what has been heard or understood, and moi ? is a way to state a ...
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9 votes
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Why don't “des”, “de la”, “du” always become “de” in negative sentences?

"Je ne bois pas de vin" is a generic statement : I don't drink wine, I don't like the taste. It's often said alone, you don't really need to add what you drink instead (and you probably don't always ...
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9 votes

Expressing "There's no such thing as …" emphatically

Your sentence is perfectly correct, but you could use the alternative: L'idée même d'un vêtement bizarre n'existe pas dans l'esprit londonien. The difference is mostly stylistic, there is no real ...
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8 votes
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How to say "that many" or "that much" in French as in "It's not that much"?

Je ne mange pas tant (de pommes) Je ne mange pas tant (de pommes) que ça Je ne mange pas autant (de pommes) Je ne mange pas autant (de pommes) que ça Je ne mange pas à ce point The bolded ones are ...
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7 votes
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Is "D'où vient que..." a common expression?

The idiomatic phrasing is: Comment se fait-il que … ? For some reason the clause is usually in the subjunctive mood. In this case: Comment se fait-il que je sois arrivé avant toi ? It could ...
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6 votes

How stupid am I

Comme / Que je suis stupide ! Comme / Que j'ai de la chance d'avoir survécu ! Informal: Qu'est-ce que je suis stupide ! Qu'est-ce que j'ai de la chance d'avoir survécu !
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  • 4,576
6 votes
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How to add emphasis as in "I do <verb>"?

There are two issues that can lead to misunderstanding when translating your sentence. In modern French viande is used to describe any meat that is not seafood. Moreover seafood doesn't translate to ...
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6 votes

How do you emphasize a part of a sentence?

The word order would not vary much, but the word choice would likely vary, as well as the tone. General guidelines concerning the tone change would be the pitch getting higher, the volume getting ...
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6 votes
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qui était lui aussi très distant -- how do you understand "lui" as used in this passage?

The "lui" is not necessary, but it goes with the "aussi" to give more emphasis on the person, and it is better like this. I know it doesn't translate like this in English, but it would be something ...
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  • 5,367
5 votes

Why don't “des”, “de la”, “du” always become “de” in negative sentences?

The sentences mean different things. Je ne bois pas du vin, mais du jus de pomme. translates best to English as What I am drinking isn't wine, it's apple juice. On the other hand, Je ne ...
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  • 3,661
5 votes

Expressing "There's no such thing as …" emphatically

If the idea (and not just the thing behind the idea) that you’re referring to has been mentioned earlier, you could perhaps further emphasize the “no such idea” notion with "Une telle idée (d’un ...
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  • 6,668
5 votes

Expressing "There's no such thing as …" emphatically

About n'existe même pas, the expression matches "there is no such thing" (more precisely "doesn't even exist"). I would have preferred this slightly modified sentence: L’idée qu'un vêtement puisse ...
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5 votes

How stupid am I

In an informal setting, I assume most French people would say: Mais qu'est-ce que je suis con !
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  • 161
5 votes

Difference between “nous autres”, “vous autres”, “eux autres” and “nous”, “vous”, “eux”?

If you have taken a Spanish course, you know that "nosotros" is the first person plural pronoun. In Spain, similarly, "vosotros" is the familiar second person pronoun. This parallels the "nous-autres" ...
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4 votes
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Pourquoi utiliser « elle » après « la France » ?

Cette construction est utilisée pour mettre en relief ou souligner le nom «La France». Cela peut peut-être se ressembler à une apposition. Exemple: Moi, je l’ai fait sans l’aide de l’ordinateur. Ici,...
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  • 260
4 votes

Is "D'où vient que..." a common expression?

« D'où vient que » était courant autrefois, au moins en français écrit (donc cultivé), mais est désuet. On utilise plutôt « comment se fait-il que » ou tout simplement « pourquoi » lorsqu'il s'agit de ...
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4 votes

Expressing "There's no such thing as …" emphatically

I think a direct translation of "There's no such thing" would be "Il n'y a rien de tel", and so you might say, En fait, il n'y a rien de tel dans l'esprit d'un londonien. Or synonyms of tel ...
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  • 1,625
4 votes

How to translate "It's him who I want to give me a massage"?

I'd say: Je veux que ce soit lui qui me fasse un massage.
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4 votes

"Je suis petite, moi?", purpose of the "moi"?

You can suppose that "Je suis petite, moi ?" comes as a reply to a personal remark, although it may not always be the case. For example, it would be correct to say "Je suis petite, moi ?" if you ...
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3 votes
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Duplication of subject with 'eux': "Les …, eux, ont …"

This emphasizes an opposition. It is especially clear with the 3rd example, where the British are opposed to the French. For instance, the last example implies that while the big ones go through the ...
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3 votes

« Pas » peut-il être utilisé pour exagerer une expression en général ou juste dans ce cas?

That particular expression is quite a fixed familiar/popular way to say : "Est-ce que ce n'est pas malheureux", "Isn't it a shame". "Pas" is in no way per se an expression of irony. Eventual irony ...
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  • 289
3 votes

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

By changing your sentence order : Je ne mange aucune viande sauf des produits de la mer. I don't eat any meat but seafood. and adding adverb : Je ne mange aucune autre viande, ...
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  • 3,863
3 votes

"un début de semblant de ...": Is this an acceptable pleonasm?

It sounds very acceptable to me, the pleonastic phrasing in this case gives a slightly humorous tone, and stresses that this is just the very beginning of something. I would still refrain from using ...
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  • 17k
3 votes
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Is a pronoun needed before the verb if the direct object is "toi-même"?

C'est un pléonasme (une répétition), pour renforcer encore plus sur qui porte l'action (faire du tort). Ce n'est pas obligatoire. On peut dire simplement: Tu te faisais du tort. (qui remplace : tu ...
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3 votes
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Négation introduite par « pas moins de »

En disant "pas moins de 745 brevets", on dit que l'entreprise a déposé exactement 745 brevets, et on met l'accent sur le fait que c'est beaucoup (sous entendu, "on pourrait penser que c'est moins, ...
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3 votes

How do you emphasize a part of a sentence?

For tone, those four italicized sentences would work just as well in French. Il a volé le portefeuille. Il a volé le portefeuille. Il a volé le portefeuille. Il a volé le portefeuille. (emphasize le ...
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  • 211
2 votes

How stupid am I

Shorter than previous answers: Mais quel idiot/abruti/con ! (idiot = neutral, abruti = familiar, con = vulgar) Even shorter: Quel idiot/abruti/con ! Even shorter than shorter: L'idiot/L'abruti/Le ...
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  • 298
2 votes

How stupid am I

In French you could use the following frame: Ce que [je suis bête] (alors)!
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  • 2,849
2 votes

Expressing "There's no such thing as …" emphatically

En fait, l’idée d’un vêtement bizarre n’existe même pas dans l'esprit d'un londonien. La tournure est correcte, compréhensible et ne choque pas, mais n'est pas complètement idiomatique. Il y a juste ...
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