"Peut-être était-ce vraiment mon imagination."

Translation:Maybe it was really my imagination.

February 15, 2013

This discussion is locked.


What does the S-V inversion really mean in this sentence?


The inversion is used for things other than just questions. Duolingo doesn't really explicitly cover this fact, but here is a brief list of some times it is used: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa110601.htm

If you look under III.B. you'll see that after "peut-être" you either do an inversion of the S-V or follow it with "que".


That's a good link Patlaf. The reason why you can use the V-S form with "peut-être" or "sans doute" is that they express near-questions, if you see what I mean. There really is a doubt there, so it is a polite way to prudently propose an explanation.

By the way, "sans doute" does not mean "undoubtedly" but "probably, maybe, etc..."


Thanks. I did not know that about "sans doute"!


oh, really - so there is some doubt in 'sans doute'. Funny that!


The most useful addendum I've seen yet.



My version was the sound track. I assumed it was just another Duo mispronunciation. Thought it was Duo's version of était. I was looking forward to an explanation of how Peut-être could serve as the subject.

Duo was right. I was wrong.


Once again, such a clear explanation, Sitesurf. Plus, you explained "sans doute" as well. I am always delighted when I see that you're part of a discussion. Merci beaucoup, encore une fois.


Then how would one say "was it really my imagination? Thanks for all your help Sitesurf!


était-ce vraiment mon imagination ?


In the audio: is that how a native speaker would pronounce 'etait-ce'? I'm having a hard time translating some audio because I generally enunciate every syllable.


Was wondering also, had to listen several times in turtle mode and only worked it out by guessing given the context - sounds like it's run together "etɛz", whereas Larousse articulates it separately "etɛ-sə", http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/%C3%AAtre/31483?q=%C3%A9tait-ce#841452


I've found that you can't necessarily depend on the audio here. I've come across a few exercises where the regular speed audio has been incomplete and others where you simply cannot hear all the words correctly at regular speed and you HAVE to listen in turtle mode to get it right. The audio seems to be machine-generated. When in doubt I always double-check pronunciations with other sites.


"Était-ce" is very hard to hear on a voice tape!


why not 'ma' imagination, when the later of the two words is feminine? Or, is 'imagination' masculine?


'Imagination' (and all French words ending in -tion) is feminine indeed. However, if a feminine word starts with a vowel, the masculine possessive determiner 'mon' is used before it instead of the feminine one 'ma', so as to make the pronunciation prettier. But the noun itself remains feminine without doubt. So you will read a sentence like this : "SON amiE est françaisE."


Well almost all -tion words are feminine - you forgot about "bastion", as well as these everyday exceptions = "antifriction", "antrustion", "brution", and "cation". :)


merci beaucoup, DamienLiu.


So, just to be clear, "Peut-être c'était vraiment mon imagination" would not be correct?


You may hear it but it is not correct. Peut-être at the beginning of a sentence implies a semi-question, which shows the inversion Verb-subject pronoun.


So what is wrong with "It is possible this was truly my imagination"?

Is that just because it doesn't start with C'est?

Also the translation seems unnatural (I mean it's grammatically correct, but not natural), I would probably rephrase it as "Maybe it really was my imagination".


nice explanation damien thank you


This is what I heard in the audio -- is it a possible answer? <<Peut-etre. Et est-ce mon imagination?>>


No, it is not likely because "et" and "est" are never liaised (there is never a liaison around "et").

[deactivated user]

    I am a bit confused about "mon imagination" because according different online dictionaries the french word "imagination" should be female. Therefore I would say "ma imagination". Seems I never understand the rules.


    "ma" has to change to "mon" to avoid the sound conflict with a feminine word starting with a vowel sound.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.