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  5. "Il ne m'a pas donné le temps…

"Il ne m'a pas donné le temps de réfléchir."

Translation:He did not give me the time to think.

January 5, 2013



Can anyone tell me why it's 'temps de réfléchir' and not 'temps pour réfléchir'?


Here you are:

  • il ne m'a pas donné le temps de réfléchir (not enough time to think)

  • il ne m'a pas donné de temps pour réfléchir (not any time to think)


Hi Sitesurf, I'm struggling to understand when to use 'de' or 'pour' here after 'temps'. Could you further explain this at all?


Basically you can get "le temps de réfléchir" or "du temps pour réfléchir".

No real reason for that, just something to memorize.


Hi Sitesurf. Here we have a good one worthwhile of dissecting. I feel that to reflect on something means to mull things over, to ponder, to weight or simply to think carefully. Thus why I offered: "He did not give me a chance to think it over". Otherwise, I would have thought of the French sentence as: "Il ne m'a pas donné le temps de penser." Am I wrong on this assumption? Thanks


First, about "penser" vs "réfléchir": think of them as "hear" vs "listen to" or "see" vs "watch": "penser" is not voluntary, "réfléchir" is.

Now, about the sentence here: "il ne m'a pas donné le temps de réfléchir": we don't know that something specific was to be thought about/over.

he did not give me a chance to think it over = il ne m'a pas donné le temps d'y réfléchir (réfléchir à cette chose).


Duly memorised. "le-de" "dU-poUr." (Whatever works)


To me "the time" sounds a bit awkward, but still grammatically correct. I would have said "He didn't give me time to think."


Back translation: Il ne m'a pas donné de temps pour réfléchir.


What is the difference between reflechir and penser?


About the same as between "regarder/to look at" and "voir/to see".

"Réfléchir" is intentional (needs effort and focus)

"Penser" is unintentional


Why de? Why not à?


the change from "à" to "de" works as follows:

  • j'ai le temps de réfléchir
  • j'ai du temps à perdre


Il ne m'a pas donné le temps de penser. I think we can use penser instead of réflécher. Please correct me if I'm wrong!☺


A way to understand the difference between penser and réfléchir is the following:

réfléchir concerns the act of thinking. In other words the process that goes on in your brain.

penser à quelque chose means to think about something

penser de means to have an opinion


J'ai pensé à une nouvelle idée pour ton projet. Ça m'est venu sans réfléchir. - I thought of a new idea for your project. It came to me without thinking.

Je pense souvent à toi – I often think about you

À quoi penses-tu ? - What are you thinking about?

Qu'est-ce qu'ils pensent de ma maison ? - What do they think about my house?

Je ne sais pas. Laisse-moi réfléchir. - I don’t know. Let me think about it.

Tu ne comprends pas? Réfléchis un peu! - You don’t understand? Think about it a little!

Réfléchis à ce que je t’ai dit. C’est très important! - Think about what I told you. It’s very important!

Il faut réfléchir avant d’agir. - Think before you act.


My understanding is that « penser » matches much more closely with "believe" or "to have an opinion", while « réfléchir » is "to think about [something]". Sitesurf indicated a year ago that « penser » wouldn't be a good fit in this sentence.


why even use "de" isn't "réfléchir" already means "to reflect"


"de" belongs to "le temps", not to the infinitive.

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