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"But as the years pass, the fewer there are."

January 31, 2013



This is really an idiom that doesn't translate literally from English to French, making it difficult for a student at this level to answer correctly unless she's already memorized them in both languages.


I can propose alternative French translations:

  • "Mais les années passent et ils sont de moins en moins nombreux."
  • "Mais au fur et à mesure que les années passent, ils sont de moins en moins nombreux"
  • "Mais les années passant, ils sont moins nombreux"


Is it supposed to mean "the more years pass, the less are left?" as in some idiom for our limited lifespan?


It doesn't translate easily from French to English either!


this is a difficult sentence to throw in here... and not a fair one at this level. does anyone get it right the first time? would a a french person get it correct?


I must confess I did not translate it right the first time (from French to English, that is)


When we are learning we don't need this tricky stuff.


Hello was that a really hard sentence out of nowhere!


This sounds incredibly awkward in english.


This sentence is killing me. I've tried this lesson 4 times now, and this is the third time I've seen it in various forms, and I still can't translate it on my own because it's so idiomatic and nonsensical. And it was my last question for the lesson and now I have to take it again. Sigh.


I know the feeling I got so despondent with it I ended taking an extended break. Am back and once again it is my nemesis.


I think it's a problem with the translation of the saying. Perhaps "But as more years pass, the fewer they are" would be clearer


Shouldn't it be "...moins elles sont nombreuses."


"... the fewer they are" can indeed be feminine with "... moins elles sont nombreuses".


The english sentence doesnt even sound right.


How about this translation: "Mais aussi les ans passent, il y a de moins."?


"aussi" means "too/as well", so not suitable.

"il y a de moins" is incomplete: il y a (what?) moins de (what?)


I cannot for the life of me remember this phrase no matter which way I have to translate it. Thankfully I will never want to use it and hopefully will never need to understand it. I just wish I didn't have to keep losing valuable hearts because of it!


don't understand the "en"here

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