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

Translation:Maybe it was really my imagination.

February 15, 2013



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

February 15, 2013


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".

February 15, 2013


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..."

February 16, 2013


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

March 4, 2013


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

September 13, 2013


The most useful addendum I've seen yet.

February 12, 2014



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.

March 5, 2014


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.

July 12, 2014


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

August 26, 2014


était-ce vraiment mon imagination ?

August 27, 2014


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.

November 7, 2013


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

March 30, 2014


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.

March 31, 2014


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

June 22, 2014


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

July 22, 2013


'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."

July 22, 2013


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

March 30, 2014


merci beaucoup, DamienLiu.

July 25, 2013


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

February 12, 2014


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.

February 13, 2014


Merci beaucoup!

February 17, 2014


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".

October 30, 2014


nice explanation damien thank you

June 16, 2013


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

April 26, 2014


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

April 27, 2014

[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.

    August 26, 2014


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

    August 26, 2014
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