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  5. "How can I carry that?"

"How can I carry that?"

Translation:Comment je peux porter ça ?

January 15, 2013



Why is "peux-je" wrong, if "je peux" is not? I thought "je puis" was only used after "que"?


i learned that "puis-je" should be used in place of "peux-je". fyi http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pouvoir.htm


In the examples in that source, "puis-je" is being used in a "may I" context. This exercise seems to be a literal "able to" question. So why is "puis" still used. Or is it as Christine Donaldson said in another comment, "because peux-je sounds awful"


I found this:

le verbe pouvoir a, en effet deux formes : je peux et je puis, plus littéraire et peu usitée sauf lorsque le pronom sujet est inversé :" puis-je vous aider ? On ne dit pas : peux-je vous aider? La raison est purement euphonique http://www.francaisfacile.com/forum/lire.php?num=7&msg=93759&titre=Je+peux+vs+je+puis

......so it seems its just used because it sounds better "puis-je" rather than peux-je


Thanks, that is very helpful!

[deactivated user]

    Thank you for this question. I always knew puis-je existed, but I thought it was optional, now I see it is euphonic and necessary.


    why is "comment je peux le (or la) porter?" wrong? what is the difference between le/la and ça?


    Well, if we want to be strict, "that/this" should be translated with "ça/c'/ceci/cela", when "it" would be translated with "le/la".

    In this kind of sentence of course:

    • "I want to take this." = "Je veux prendre ça."
    • "I have to read it" = "Je dois le lire."

    Because when "it" is the subject, it's more like this :

    • "It fell down." = "C'est tombé."
    • "It hurts." = "Ça fait mal."


    My question is: Why would we want to be "strict" here and not at other places? In many places, "le/la" was accepted for "that", so it should be here, as well... I'm all for correctness, but then it should be consistent, no?


    In my experience, DL is actually brutally strict about this everywhere in French.


    I don't know what other places you're referring to, I'm just explaining the difference between those two. Sometimes the difference between "it" and "this" is very thin, sometimes it's not, when it is, you don't need to be very strict.


    Why is ça porter instead of porter ça incorrect here?


    If I recall correctly, it's because only personal pronouns precede the verb, like le, la, me, te, etc. Impersonal ones like ça, cette, etc. don't.


    I don´t understand why "Je peux" is wrong, I´ve always said that in French and native speakers didn´t correct me!


    "Je peux" is not wrong. You can see it in the answer on this thread. It's normal that native speakers didn't correct you, I wouldn't either.

    But the formal and more polite form is "puis-je".


    Why is the word order "je peux" okay? I thought in questions the verb always came before the subject?


    Formal French does that, but common French doesn't.

    "Comment puis-je porter ça ?" vs "Comment je peux porter ça ?"

    Both are correct.


    Why is Comment peux-je porter ca? Wrong


    Does that also apply to other verbs/other question words?


    There are mostly 3 ways to ask a question as far as I know.

    "Est-ce que tu veux manger une pomme ?"
    "Tu veux manger une pomme ?"
    "Veux-tu manger une pomme ?"

    All mean "Do you want to eat an apple?".


    What if "what to you want to eat"?


    "What do you want to eat?" = "Que veux-tu manger ?" or "Qu'est-ce que tu veux manger ?"


    Of course, I was talking about the whole idea of reversing subject and verb with a question.


    First time I learn about puis in this lesson, is it pronounced the same as peux?


    Why comment je peux ça porter is wrong


    I'm no expert but I was taught in school a long time ago that we need to change the word order in a sentence like this - so it would be "Comment puis-je porter ca". And it is 'puis-je' because 'peux-je' sounds awful.

    Can someone else correct this if my memory is wrong, please.


    I also thought that if the sentence starts with a question word like comment, qui, etc. you have to use inversion... Qui es-tu? vs Tu es qui? But I might be wrong...


    Can I say? Comment je peux le porter? instead of porter ça


    "in that context

    "le" is "it"

    "that" is "cela", "ça", or "ce"


    " How can I.." would be literally translated to "Comment peux-je..". The correct answer to my reply was given as "Comment puis-je..". In this discussion, I can see the answer as " Comment je peux.." Am I then to deduce that "Je peux" when asked in a question form, "peux becomes puis? Moderator's explanation, please?


    what would 'comment je la porte' mean then?


    I would prefer puis-je, but that was not an option. This sounds much more natural than je peux when it's a question.

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