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  5. "Malgré elle, elle aime ce ga…

"Malgré elle, elle aime ce garçon."

Translation:Despite herself, she loves this boy.

January 13, 2013



Why "malgre elle" and not just "malgre"?


French requires the use of pronouns where English drops them. In English we let the sentence indicate who is unwilling. In French you have to specify even though it may seem obvious.


I think it should also be mentioned that "malgré" on its own means "in spite of/despite". It becomes "unwillingly" only with the addition of a stressed pronoun-- in spite of herself. Without the use of "elle" here, the sentence would not make sense. Even in English, the expression is always "despite something".

For example: "In spite of the rain, we dance outside." Hence: "Malgré la pluie, nous dansons dehors."


Yeah, I actually put in "Despite herself, she like this boy," today and it worked. I think that makes more sense for understanding the word "malgré."


So, you can write "despite herself" or "in spite of herself" but not "despite of herself"?

I ask because Duo didn't like the third of these options and my English is not good enough (yet) to really see or feel why.


Despite means in spite of. Despite of herself would mean in spite of of herself.

Actually, there is an idiomatic use of in despite of but it is used so rarely that you will never see or hear or it. (in ordinary conversation and writing) Duo quite correctly rejects that formation since it doesn't fit in any of the sentences that we deal with.


"Despite" and "in spite of" mean exactly the same thing (regardless, even though) and so they're synonyms of one another.

So you can use either one word (despite) OR a 3-word phrase (in spite of).

Here are a few examples:

Despite her headache, she went to work. Despite the rain, the concert still went ahead.


In spite of her headache, she....etc.) In spite of the rain, the..... etc).

Note too that you can swap the sentences around where the comma is.

Eg. She went to work, despite her headache.


I don't understand this either, anyone care to answer?


northernguy has already provided one.


should accept "against her will"?


This makes the most sense to me! To like someone or something does not seem to go well with willingness, so this question itself is really not the best exercise.


powteyto-po-ta-to. like hating to love or loving to hate. :P


i think it should. Haven`t tried that yet. But do report on the proper link. :)

  • 1315

2019-01-07: it is after 5 years, and "against her will" is still refused.


In spite of herself or despite herself = she WANTS to do IT or DOES IT, even if (though) IT is not good for her

Doing something against her will = she DOESN'T WANT to do it, but DOES IT anyway for some reason, i.e., (she HAS to do it because she's forced to or she feels compelled to do it)

These are very different meanings.


That's ridiculous!

You cannot be forced to love somebody against your will, not even by yourself!


Except how do you love/like something against your will?


When you have a tonne of rational reasons not to like/love something/someone but still do.


Believe me when I say, if it was possible not to love something against one's will, the world would be a less complicated place! It is possible, I assure you!


Would in spite of herself work, or must that be reflexive?


In spite of herself, despite herself, reluctantly, unwillingly, unintentionally, inadvertently, -- all are correct translations of "malgré elle" (malgré lui is, of course, the masculine counterpart).


I respectfully disagree with your translations lpacker, as my previous post states.

Additionally, unintentionally and inadvertently mean that she made a mistake, as in, she didn't know what she was doing. In spite of herself means she knows what she's doing is not a good idea, but she's going to do it anyway.


"In spite of herself..." is now accepted, August 2014.


What is wrong with arranging the sentence to "she, unwillingly, likes this boy?"


The Duo machine is uncomfortable with rearranging sentences.


Haha, I like how you put that. :)


Yeap. If the French structure is almost the same as the English structure, Duo would rather have us learners structure the sentence as it is...unless the french structure is way off from the English translation or vice-versa. In spite of us complaining about it, Duo likes it his way. :)


I translated it as "despite her, she likes this boy", thinking that the "her" would refer to a third person, and it was marked as correct. Does that mean then that malgre elle can mean both "reluctantly" and "despite her"?


hmm. I just used "despite her..." and was corrected that it should have been "herself". So... How would I say Despite some other girl, this girl loves that boy...?


yeah I tried "her" instead of "herself" and it was marked wrong.


it can also be 'in spite of her', like the boy's current girlfriend maybe.


It should be "In spite of herself..."


no, amy loves ben, ben is with claudia, in spite of claudia amy loves ben.


I agree. Could it mean: "in spite of her" - her being a third person, not herself?



"in spite of her" doesn't seem to get across the unwilling aspect of malgré.


Yes, but how exactly do you love/like something unwillingly?


Perhaps because the someone has many bad traits and you know that they would be bad for you and is bad for other people, and you can't help liking them anyway. Is source of many plots in fiction. Never felt it myself.


But how do you love/like something unwillingly? You can love/like something despite your best interests, but you can't do so unwillingly.


Can you will yourself to stop liking or loving that person or thing? If not, then it's unwilling


Love comes unwillingly almost by definition. It's not usually a switch someone flips on and off at will.


You have a point. The will here is the will of the Self with the capital S, conscious or otherwise.

So if you call it the will of the libido it cannot be considered unwillingly.

All loving is willing as not all willing is conscious or deliberative.


You've never met someone who loved somebody even though they knew they weren't good for them? It happens all the time.


Loving unwillingly:

When the one you love, doesn't love you back. You just can't help yourself and you want your love feelings for him to be gone!


That's what I think too. She loves this boy, whereas the boy has another lady.

Quelle dommage ! Lolzzzzzz


I wrote "Despite it, she likes this boy". Can someone explain what's wrong with that? Also, I dont understand why "Despite her" is correct, it doesn't make sense to me....


It would make sense if, say, the boy has a girlfriend, and despite her (the girlfriend), she (the subject of our sentence) likes the boy. However, "despite herself" is probably the more intuitive translation here. "Despite it" would more likely be expressed as "malgré cela" or "malgré ça" (really "Despite that/this," but that's how you're be more likely to say it in English anyway).


elle aime ce garcon"---> "she likes this boy".....and it marked it wrong and tells "she loves this boy" is correct..... I think there is a mistake..!!


Usually, if you're saying you "like" a person (as opposed to an object or activity), rather than "love", you would use "aimer bien" ("Elle aime bien ce garçon").


The French often use "aimer" where we would use "love," but I think both translations should be accepted.


As Dentarthurdent42 said, in this sentence, the meaning is love (she is in love), not like. Else we would say "elle aime bien ce garçon"


Why is this spelled and pronounced "Malgré elle..." instead of "Malgr'elle..." or something similar?


Contractions only really tend to happen for very common combinations of words, and probably less so if doing the contraction would leave off an accented letter which is different in sound to the e of elle.


Yes, and more precisely, it is always a non-stressed end vowel that is skipped in a contraction.

A stressed vowel is never skipped and an end vowel with an accent is always stressed an thus never skipped or contracted.


The é in malgré is pronounced like a "y" (gré is pronounced like "grey" or "gray") so you don't need a liason.


Why not "Despite it" or "Inspite of it"? The boy has a very old car (voiture, feminine). Inspite of it (elle, the car), she loves this boy.


Well, first of all, "inspite" isn't a word; it's "in spite of." But in any case, it's not "it" (cela) but "herself" (elle). "Despite herself" or "In spite of herself" will work.


I also like " reluctantly". She tried to hold back but the power was too great....she reluctantly gave in to her desire. She knew it was a big mistake, but she couldn't help herself.


Story of my life! ;)


It can't be resisted


Why is "loves" not also correct for the "pick from 3" version? Duo has used aime to mean love before...


Love is pretty intense for an unwilling feeling. You might love someone against your better judgement but unwilling doesn't really seem to go with love. Will itself seems to be a pretty deep seated, complete state.

A teacher might unwillingly like a student. But loving someone against your will would seem to require a lot of context to understand. When a person is puzzled by their love for someone, what they are wondering about is why they are willing to do so given other considerations.

Just my opinion of course, but that does seem to be what Duo thinks.


"In spite of herself, she likes this boy" was accepted


why "she likes this boy" but "unwillingly"?

strange sentence


Agreed. That's quite weird.


I really like this sentence.


Such fanfic. Wow cheesy. Very love.


What about "Sans le vouloir, elle aime ce garçon." ?


Why does it say "elle" twice?


Because while malgré elle can be translated in gist form to 'unwillingly' it might also be put as in spite of her(self), the next elle is to do with the second part of the sentence, the she likes this boy


"in spite of her, she loves that boy" was accepted


garçon= guy? why not?


Le type = guy

le mec = guy

le garçon = boy


I know that feeling


"ses garçons" is incorrect in this case, I think


Yes; "ses" and "ce" are pronounced differently. "Ses" is more like "say" and "ce" is more like "suh". (Don't pronounce them that way, though! They're only approximations)


And "ses garçons" means "his/her boys" while "ce garçon" means "this/that boy".


this sentence is really unnatural and pretty much impossible to understand audibly...


This does not make sense. How can one unwillingly/willingly like someone?


"Malgré elle" also means "despite herself"...

"Marie knew that Ben was without a doubt a bad influence and would never amount to anything. Despite herself, she loved him and could never leave..."

Ahh, le sigh....


Yes, but this still doesn't excuse the rogue use of the word "unwillingly"


In the example I gave above, "despite herself" carries the same meaning as "unwillingly". She loved him despite herself, despite the fact that she did not want to. She loved him unwillingly, as she couldn't control it.

I agree, it sounds a wee bit off, but there really isn't anything wrong with the use of "unwillingly" here.


Very nice description


my problem is write the word 'unwillingly'


Does anyone else think this word is really more of an adverb? Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things and all......


No, not the word, but the whole thing together, «malgré elle», is adverbial.


hm, it vould be better say "malgrè de tout, elle aime ce garçon" or "malgrè de ses doutes, elle aime ce garçon". this variants seems more attractive to me.


All I'm here is L, L, and L.


How would you distinguish Inspite of herself and inspite of her in French ?


First of all, it's "in spite" (two words) or "despite" (one word). And after a preposition, I don't believe you can distinguish between "her" and "herself" without context.


why it's correct to write elle aime without removing the e in elle " ell'aime' like j'aime ?


With few exceptions, contractions are reserved for words of 3 or fewer letters. Also, they tend to happen when there's a reason, e.g. easing pronunciation, which isn't the case in your example.


I still don't understand why you can't say ...she, she... You should just make a repeat/pause for dramatic effect


Because I can't think of a phrase for the first part that would end in 'she'. What phrase do you think would go in there?


drama-she was afraid:she, she didn't want to go back


Perhaps in those situations. But that has nothing to do with this sentence we are learning. For one thing, yours has three 'she' in it.


I used three just in that sentence. There are other ways. Also, we don't know the context this sentence is in. Maybe it is in a drama play!


Yes, you did. But that didn't translate this sentence. This sentence in French has two 'elle' words. One of which can be translated as 'herself' and one as 'she'. It doesn't need speculation about dramatic she's at the end of sentences.

Edited because run out of replies. You couldn't say 'she, herself liked' or 'she, her liked' because that would be ungrammatical. Elle in French varies depending on where it is in the sentence on how you translate it into English.


TRUE. However, you couldn't say she, herself liked ... OR she,her liked...


Why is it Malgré elle, elle ? Why is there elle twice?


It's literally "Despite/In spite of herself (elle #1), she (elle #2) loves this boy."


Anyone think of the episode from Kim Possible where Wade made Monique fall in love with him?


Ridiculous nitpicking regarding translations. Also, "unwillingly" ??? as the adverb? No one in the history of English has ever said "Unwillingly, she loves the boy."


Actually I can think of a couple of instances.


It says in spite of, in the hint above AND I STILL got it wrong. BULLLLLLLCRAP!


Perhaps it was something else you got wrong.


Was just a suggestion. Leaving out the 'herself' or using 'like' instead of 'love' could have been the issue. I don't know what you put so I can't tell.


Still convinced duolingo hates me.


I wrote, Despite herself, she likes the boy and it said that it was wrong? How though because aime is like yeah?


For things it's like, for people it's love.


It takes a while for that little quirk to sink in. If you want to use 'like' for people then you put 'bien' after the aime. (Though if you do actually mean they like them romantically then you can leave the bien out). When 'like' is used to mean 'be romantically interested in' in English its usually done with intonation which is harder to express in written form.


I actually said "she likes the boy", which in hindsight, I believe should not be accepted. Not sure if anyone (mod) can pick this up from here and change?


I put down "despite her, she likes this boy" how would you translate this into French?... ie with there being 3 people discussed... "despite her(another woman!...) she(the main subject) likes this boy... this is bending my head!....


Pourquoi pas "Malgré soi (ou soi-meme), elle aime ce garçon"?

[deactivated user]

    Why isn't this "elle-même"? In my experience, someone wouldn't just say "elle" unless it was a third party (or something/noun of a female gender, e.g. la vie). If they just use "elle", I assume it to be a third person, so "her" should be accepted. And 'herself' could maybe be acceptable, but it would not be normal.

    Sorry if this was already answered in the other 125+ comments.


    Why is "malgre elle-meme" wrong


    If this really does mean "Despite herself, …", then how would you say "Despite her, …" instead???
    (ie Despite "her wot he slept with")

    Misinterpretation could get quite traumatic, after all!


    "In spite of her better judgement , she likes that boy" was marked wrong and I was given this " Against her better judgement , she likes that boy" as the correct answer. I think the Duo computer needs amending as my answer is perfectly correct and acceptable english , it means exactly the same as the one given by Duo. 29/11/17


    I wrote, "Despite her better judgement, she likes this boy", and was marked wrong. Can anyone tell me why?

    [deactivated user]

      Why is it that "malgré elle" means "despite herself" in this translation? Shouldn't they have used "malgré elle-même" instead. "Malgré elle" seems more open-ended in this sentence, like there is another girl that could cause conflict to her loving this boy. I'm using Duolingo to go over my French, (mostly for vocabulary retention, because I've finished all of the elementary French courses at my university) and I've always been taught that it is correct to use the elle-même form for saying herself. Is this an equally accepted way of saying elle-même?


      isn't "herself" "elle-meme" and "elle" simply means "she?" Myself is "soi-meme"


      I wrote "in spite of her, she likes this boy" got it wrong.


      Did anyone else receive this sentence as a "Write What You Hear" before learning the word "malgré"? Makes this sentence nearly impossible.

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