Hot answers tagged

33

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 strong disagreement and/or surprise. That would correspond to the English: — You are small! — Me? small ? (i.e. Are you sure you are talking about me?) The ...


30

There can be a slight difference between the two sentences. For example, answering a question about his profession, you would use il est: — Quelle est sa profession ? — Il est avocat. But answering a question about who this person is, you would use c'est un: — Qui est cette personne ? — C'est un avocat.


26

This is a classic case of French redundancy, and it is very common in informal speech. It serves to emphasize the importance of who is doing what. What's confusing you is probably the lack of a comma after "Nous." "Nous, on sera les bons" sounds perfectly colloquial, the same way you could say: "Moi, je serai le meilleur." or "Toi, tu seras ...


26

The crux of your question is in the sentence: From what I understood, Il est means He is. But, Why does it mean It is? The fact is that in French there is no “it”. The only French grammatical genders are masculine (applied to male people and animals, and to part of inanimate objects, such as le manteau, il) or feminine (for female people and animals, and ...


26

Regarding your proposal: Langue is feminine, so you have to use une and not un. If you do not repeat langue in the answer you have to replace it with the personal pronoun en. Je n'en parle qu'une qui est l'anglais. is correct and would be a possible. But I find it would be much more idiomatic to say: Je n'en parle qu'une (seule) : l'anglais. And ...


25

Notre and votre, like mon/ma, ton/ta, son/sa and leur are singular forms of the possessive adjectives: Notre maison, votre liberté. Nos and vos are plural, like mes, tes, ses, leurs. Nos pieds, vos souhaits. Additionally, le(s) nôtre(s), and le(s) vôtre(s) are the corresponding pronouns. Like le(s) mien(s), le(s) tien(s), le(s) sien(s), le(s) leur(s)....


20

This answer will be about the pronouns, but note that ce (with variants cet, cette) is also a demonstrative adjective and as such will be followed by a noun and that ça should not be confused with çà which is an old synonym of ici. Ça is an alternative form of cela; they can replace each other in most if not all contexts, but ça tend to be used more often (...


20

You can say either : Tout accepter Or Accepter toutes les conditions But you can't say accepter toutes without anything behind. (Or at least never seen it)


19

The other answers have already noted that the y there is originally about a location. I'd like to point out the difference with and without that y. The sentence je n'y vois rien means that something is preventing you from seeing anything around you, be it darkness, heavy rain, blindness... and has become set in that meaning. ―Il fait complètement noir ...


19

The antecedent of le here is not la chose, but the clause « que vous faites cette chose ». This is given le, masculine singular, only because that functions as the default inflection when gender and number don't apply. It's definitely tempting to find the nearest noun for a given pronoun. But certain pronouns, especially le and en, tend to associate ...


18

"Je peux t'en prêter 5$" n'est pas correct, mais "je peux t'en prêter 5" l'est, et implique que l'unité a été évoquée avant. Par exemple : "Peux-tu me prêter 10$ ? — Non, mais je peux t'en prêter 5." "Je peux te prêter 5$" quant à lui est correct, et n'impose pas de parler de l'unité avant. Par exemple : "Peux tu me prêter de l'argent ? - Oui, je peux te ...


18

Technically, the sentence is missing a comma: Tu l'as acheté où, ce pantalon ? To parse it, better to first ignore the trailing part that is optional. That reads: Tu l'as acheté où ? or the variants où tu l'as acheté ? and où l'as-tu acheté ? (formal) This clearly translates to Where did you buy it? But the person speaking wants to make sure you know ...


17

Ta is generally used for feminine nouns and ton for masculine nouns… but before a vowel sound, ta is never used. In French hiatuses are commonly avoided by resorting to elisions or other grammatical artifices. Thus, “ton image”, pronounced /tɔ̃.n‿i.maʒə/, just like “ton idée”, “ton ubiquité”, “ton histoire”… Similarly the possessive articles ma and sa ...


17

"Tous les mains" is indeed invalid as a unit (since "mains" is feminine), but it is nonetheless a valid sequence of words in this sentence because it is not being used as a unit. "Tous" is an pronoun, not an adjective here. It is not connected to the following noun phrase; rather, it refers back to the subject "ils" (with which it agrees). This may become ...


15

The best way to say it is: Ce sont des enfants. This is called a tour présentatif : Utilisation du pronom neutre ce suivi du verbe être accordé en nombre avec « des enfants ». You can get more informations here: Grammaire française by M. Breckx Ed. De Boeck, 1996, on google books (section 2.1.2.3 “La phrase à présentatif”). They explain it using “Ce ...


14

Tout d'abord, les deux expressions sont correctes. « Allons-y » exprime un mouvement. Le -y est ici utilisé pour mentionner un lieu. De plus, le locuteur est inclus dans l'action, il se rend quelque part avec d'autres personnes. On peut remplacer facilement le -y par n'importe quel lieu : Allons à la gare. On peut rajouter le point d'exclamation comme ...


14

The simple answer is "because it is the rule". The rule says that object pronouns are always placed before the verb except in imperative affirmative sentences. J'aime la France. → Je l'aime. J'entends les oiseaux. → Je les entends. An easy lesson on the subject on Bonjour de France.


14

From what you have written I expect you know the rule that says that when the direct object is a pronoun, it must be placed before the verb. J'améliore la peinture → Je l'améliore. I suppose you hesitate because there are two verbs in your sentence and you do not know in front of which verb (vouloir or améliorer) to place the pronoun. La peinture is the ...


13

Le Dictionnaire historique de la langue française (sous la dir. d'A. Rey, ed. Le Robert) dit aussi que l'accent a simplement été ajouté pour le différencier de ou en 1539.


13

Est-ce que tu en as eu ? Est-ce que tu en as eues ? En as-tu eu ? En as-tu eues ? Ta question soulève le problème de l'accord du participe passé avec en. Certaines grammaires disent que le participe passé reste invariable quand le COD est le pronom en. Grevisse dans le Bon Usage qualifie cette règle de « fort précaire ». Il dit que ceux qui l'utilisent ...


13

The best way to say it would be : J'y étais presque.


13

The most formal way would be: Si je puis me permettre, (question) Note that you could also use the interrogative form: Puis-je me permettre de vous demander (question)? I think this is as formal as it can be and is the one I would use. I would say the "enquiquiner" proposal is really not formal.


13

The pronoun y replaces a complement representing something inanimate introduced by à, or any kind of locative complement. Like your example shows (je crois à ça : j'y crois), it is not limited to locations. Je réponds à la question : j'y réponds


12

Non, une seule forme est acceptable : Y a-t-il, qui est juste la forme interrogative de Il y a. Dans cet usage, il ne se rapporte pas à une personne, mais à un état général. Dans cette forme impersonnelle, on ne dit jamais il y ont, ni même ils y ont. Il y a des étoiles dans le ciel. Y a-t-il des étoiles dans le ciel ? Cela vient de la conjugaison du verbe ...


12

C’est du petit nègre. Cette formule est utilisée pour signifier que le locuteur ne maîtrise pas le français, en général parce que ce n’est pas sa langue maternelle mais plutôt la langue du colonisateur. Elle n’est en aucun cas formelle. De nos jours une telle formule peut choquer. À éviter donc dans la plupart des emplois.


12

The usual answer to the question : De quelle couleur est ton manteau ? is: Il (mon manteau) est beige. Consider it would be the same in English: What colour is your coat? → It 's beige. What you wanted to answer using a (3rd person of avoir): Mon manteau a une couleur beige would not sound idiomatic at all and we never say that in French. And mind the ...


12

Ce is a determiner, it is an adjective and as such you need a noun to go with it. What you really want in your sentence is a pronoun, le is correct. Je le ferai jamais. Note that it is colloquial French, it is used quite a lot in oral language but if you want to go "by the rule" you really need the other part of the negation: ne, it all depends what use ...


12

The subject pronoun ce and the demonstrative determiner ce/cette/ces aren't the same word, even if they share a form, and don't follow the same rules. The subject pronoun is ultimately descended from a Latin neuter singular demonstrative pronoun (hoc), but by Old French it had become uninflecting (ço < ecce hoc). In Old and Middle French, ce/ço wasn't a ...


11

Normalement, dans une phrase interrogative il y a inversion du sujet. Comment devient-il agréable ? Quand le sujet est complexe, on devrait avoir *Comment devient un lieu agréable ? qui ne se dit pas. On laisse le sujet en place, et on utilise un pronom de reprise : Comment un lieu devient-il agréable ? L'absence du pronom de reprise n'est pas ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible