French Language

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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

Chancer not just you, we did next to no grammar either and I am way older than you........ and no forren languages. We did ask why we didn't do any languages and were told that we had enough trouble with english........... AND do you know, that is true, for me at least.

English grammar is a nightmare and I won't even go into how I feel about french grammar........... but to say that it feels like I am in quick sand and sinking fast sort of describes it.

Still, in spite of that, I speak french, I suppose I can say, a ma facon, as I CAN sort anything out, use the phone without hesitation, get ANY information I require. So speaking french like a vache espagnole and writing it even more poorly, should not stop anyone from living a good and full life in France either. OR for me making wonderful wonderful friends, I love dearlyBig Smile [:D]

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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

 NormanH wrote:
 Chancer wrote:

 NormanH wrote:
After getting a good kick up the ar5e....
a bit like a 'box around th ears'
après s'être   indicates a reflexive verb which is often translated as a passive in English...

 

Thats why learning French is so hard for me as I have no notion of grammar or grammatical terms thanks to my 70's progressive (non) education.

 

But I am trying to learn, in the example above do you mean the reflexive verb being "to kick oneself " and the passive being "to be kicked" ?


Hey, Norman, I know all this stuff already!!  You explained to me about the Passive Voice some years ago and I learned.  Then, I got to grips with the pronominal verbs and, guess what, I can even use them correctly orally...........but only on a good day when the poor old brain is somehow in working order Big Smile [:D]

Later on or maybe tomorrow, I am PMing you about something completely different but you are the person who will be able to provide a solutionIdea [I]

Yes exactly.  Reflexive (a bit like reflection) because there is the idea of oneself in the action
Some verbs are more or less always used like this
Je m'assois (some people say je m'assieds) 'I sit myself down'
Others can be used either directly or reflexively
For example "I said to  myself "as opposed to 'I said '

And these reflexive verbs and other verbs used in a reflexive way take être in the passé composé, even when they take avoir otherwise:

So 'I said'  J'ai dit  but I said to myself  je me suis dit

That of course introduces the further complication that as être is being used the ending has to agree with the subject ...so  elle s'est couchée (because she laid herself down
BUT Woot! [:-))]
in the case of je me suis dit  I said something to myself...I didnt 'say myself
so elle se dit (not dite)

elle se dit la vérité because what she told(to)herself was the truth

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronominalverbs_4.htm


N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

WOW, mint, you are very lucky to have the 'ear' !!!!


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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

Id, I have started a new course called "French through Literature" and, to my own great amazement,  I seem to have acquired the ability to express my thoughts and opinions in sentences and hardly need to pause to check whether what I am saying is correct grammatically.

Not sure when I learned to do this as this is the first French course I have been on for about 3 years.  Must have subconsciously absorbed some French grammar without realisingBig Smile [:D]

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

 mint wrote:
Id, I have started a new course called "French through Literature" and, to my own great amazement,  I seem to have acquired the ability to express my thoughts and opinions in sentences and hardly need to pause to check whether what I am saying is correct grammatically.

Not sure when I learned to do this as this is the first French course I have been on for about 3 years.  Must have subconsciously absorbed some French grammar without realisingBig Smile [:D]


I have been doing this for a long time, with the unfortunate proviso that I make enormous howlers, which I make up for with my equally enormous charm Devil [6]

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

Howlers, oh yes, incontournableBig Smile [:D]

N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

Sadist, Norman!

Listen guys, forget this grammar madness and obsession, life is too short. Just listen to spoken French, and pick up decent idiom in context. And ask questions if you need to.

Spoken language is much simpler, well, for our uses anyway.

Oh, and just to throw a spaniel into the works, FRench has two definitions of 'feminine'!
Too thick for a PhD!
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Re: help translating a ? colloquialism

I did ask a question, only got half an answer though!
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