"Nous avons seulement deux possibilités."

Translation:We only have two possibilities.

1/7/2013, 4:48:52 PM

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jwl99
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To be clear regarding the difference between "seul" and "seulement", does this make sense?

seulement is an adverb modifying "to have": Nous avons seulement deux possibilités --> we only have 2 possibilities

seul is an adjective modifying "possibilities": Nous avons deux seules possibilités --> we have two possibilities only

4/19/2015, 3:59:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/toOliya
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Yes, this makes perfect sense. I gave a very similar explanation on this here.

7/21/2015, 1:59:00 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Inguin-freyr
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Could "Nous avons" also translate to "There are" in this particular case or would that be completely outrageous?

12/21/2015, 8:35:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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If you want to say in English, "there are only two possibilities", it would be "il y a seulement deux possibilités". But "nous avons" is "we have".

10/4/2016, 7:13:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Olashmartinez
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Why is We have two possibilities only wrong?

7/29/2016, 6:24:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheInfiniteFish
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What's the difference between 'seulement' and 'ne...que'?

9/13/2014, 4:12:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/awefulwaffle
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"Seulement" and "ne... que" are synonyms, but they are not always interchangeable.

In this case, "Nous avons seulement deux possibilités" and "Nous n'avons que deux possibilités" mean the same thing because both "seulement" and "que" act to restrict the same thing in the sentence, "deux possibilités".

As this government of Quebec webpage points out, you don't use "seulement" and "ne...que" in the same sentence.

Lastly, "neverfox" commented about "You only live once / On ne vit qu'une fois". I think his/her summary is helpful, so I've copied it here:

... you cannot use "ne que" and must use «seulement» or «seul(e)» if:

  • there is no verb, e.g. «Seulement trois euros.»
  • when the sentence already contains a «que»
  • when "only" refers to the subject of the sentence, e.g. "Only my mother knows how to do it."
  • when it's the verb that you want to restrict, e.g. "I'm only joking"
4/5/2015, 8:59:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
Mod
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"ne...que" is used in the sense of "but", as in "Nous n'avons que deux possibilités" : We have but two possibilities. It is equivalent to "We only have two possibilities".

5/10/2015, 1:44:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

In other words...no difference?

8/21/2015, 2:46:36 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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No difference in meaning although there are some restrictions. See awefulwaffle comment above.

8/21/2015, 5:52:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Oh, how did I miss that? Thanks.

8/21/2015, 6:06:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/antlane
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Is there a difference of meaning in 'Seulement nous avons deux possibilités"?

11/20/2014, 7:40:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/awefulwaffle
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Based on comments Sitesurf made elsewhere, I think your sentence means "however, we have two possibilities"

Sitesurf demonstrated how the position of "seulement" in a sentence can change the meaning:

"seulement" cannot be placed between the subject and the verb.

  • seulement, le jeu comprend 4 missions = however, the game includes 4 missions
  • le jeu comprend seulement 4 missions = the game only includes 4 missions (and nothing else)
  • le jeu comprend 4 missions seulement = the game includes 4 missions only (and not 5 or 6)

Sitesurf explained in more detail what "seulement" can mean when placed at the beginning of the sentence ("Seulement, je suis ici"):

  • "seulement" at the beginning of a sentence expresses a restriction, a contradiction, a reserve...
  • Therefore, depending on context, you may translate it with: but, yet, however, though...
4/5/2015, 8:29:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Boomerang78

"We have two possibilities alone" isn't accepted. Am I using improper grammar?

9/16/2016, 3:54:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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It's because "seulement" does not mean "alone". It means "only". http://www.wordreference.com/fren/seulement

10/4/2016, 7:19:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Boomerang78

Yes, but "alone" is also used in place of "only" in this instance - it is a synonym for "only", after all. Duolingo often accepts other colloquialisms that don't necessarily line up word-for-word for their translations in English if the sentence or phrase carries the same meaning, so I don't see why this wouldn't be accepted.

10/5/2016, 1:50:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Alone" is not a synonym for "only" and it may not be substituted here. Think in French and examine the difference between "seul" and "seulement". Those two words are not synonyms either.

10/5/2016, 3:32:13 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Boomerang78

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/only http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/only

"Alone" is one of the top-suggested synonyms on both websites. Are those resources simply wrong, or am I grammatically applying the word incorrectly?

10/5/2016, 4:54:38 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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The list on thesaurus.com is alphabetical. It is not "top-suggested", it just starts with the letter "a". I'm trying to tell you that it is not correct to pursue this line of reasoning. If you look hard enough, you may find something that will tell you "alone" and "only" are interchangeable. They are not. "Alone" does not work here. Please look at the original word in French: seulement

10/5/2016, 5:43:22 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Boomerang78

The list on thesaurus.com is actually only alphabetical in a certain sense - they list synonyms based on accuracy first, as indicated by how yellow/gold the surrounding colored box is. The suggested words are separated by that sort of tiered system, in which they are sorted alphabetically, but accuracy comes first. If you look at other words you'll find the same thing - if you search "funny", for example, you'll find "amusing" and "whimsical" before "jolly" and "riot". In this case, "alone" is the top-suggested synonym for "only".

I don't know if I had to search hard for these websites, since they were the first two websites suggested when searching for "only synonyms". It's not as if I sifted through multiple websites to find the exact ones that supported my argument.

I'll accept the possibility that I'm wrong and leave it at that - and I'll stop bugging you about it - but it's hard to remain convinced when the crux of the issue here is whether or not "alone" and "only" are interchangeable when I have a few resources saying they are and you're saying they're not.

10/5/2016, 6:58:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel589120

Can it mean "solely", I answered "We have solely two possibilities."?

9/25/2017, 5:15:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Seulement" means "only.

9/25/2017, 9:38:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel589120

I always thought of solely as being a synonym for only. So, following your lead I went to WordReference, and found this entry, http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/solely.

9/26/2017, 12:04:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Whereas "only" is an adjective in this sentence (modifying the noun phrase "two possibilities", be aware that "solely" is an adverb and can only modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. So it doesn't work in this sentence.

9/26/2017, 2:46:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian608930
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Chances was an alternative solution for possibilities, but I used choices and was marked wrong. Isn't a choice closer to possibility than chance?

2/9/2017, 5:18:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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A choice (choix) is not the same thing as a possibility.

9/26/2017, 6:13:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/diego.cantor
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why not "we have two choices"?

11/14/2017, 5:56:25 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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No doubt Duo already told you that you left out a word: "seulement". If you don't include "only", how does anyone know that you know what it means.

11/15/2017, 1:11:20 AM
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