"Elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle en a l'air."

Translation:She is not as young as she looks.

March 2, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Does "avoir l'air de" literally mean "having the expression of"?


Yes, it does: il a l'air triste = he has a sad expression on his face


In Spanish, avoir l'air de (tener aire de) is an expression used to say someone has a certain presence surrounding (air) him/her (Sort of like a "vibe"). Could it be the same expression or is avoir l'air de in French restricted to having a facial expression of some sort?


it sounds like she's saying guere instead of l'air. Does anyone else here a G there?


Yes, in both the slow and normal speed recordings.


How can one explain the "en" here?


"En" is a pronoun, acting as a replacement of "jeune": elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle a l'air - jeune-


Why "en"? I thought that it only replaced objects preceeded by the preposition "de".


"elle a l'air" needs a complement with preposition "de". In this case, "en" is the complement, replacing "d'être jeune":

  • elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle [en] a l'air [d'être jeune]


Great explanation


in between "pas" and "aussi" - Do I need to make the "s" sound? a liaison is needed there?


It is optional, but so much better to my ear!


Has anyone tried to use the pleonastic "ne" here, i.e., "elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle n'en a l'air." Maybe it's old-fashioned, but I think it's still correct, and I hate it when things are marked as incorrect when they aren't. If it's truly incorrect, I'd like to know why.


Why not "not SO young as"??


aussi can mean so/as when put before an adjective.


Better than the reverse!


Sitesurf, a very long time ago Americans would use phrases like, "She had an air of sophistication about her." Do you happen to know if French was the origin of such manners of speech?


Yes, it apparently was, after Greek and Latin. Please take a look at "air n.2": https://www.etymonline.com/word/air


I like this sentence...it expands my concept of using French comparatives. What if we wanted to say "she is not as young as she would like to be?" Would "elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle voudrait (etre)?" work?


Either: Elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle le voudrait.

Or: Elle n'est pas aussi jeune qu'elle voudrait l'être.

In both cases, you need the object pronoun "le" which represents "jeune".


Merci de m'avoir très bien enseigné, encore une fois ("...once again?").


Say we switched the comparatives from adjectives to nouns. Would the following sentences be correct?

J'ai plus de pommes que je le voudrais = i have more apples than I'd like.

Elle a autant d'étudiants qu'elle le veut = she has as many students as she wants.

Ils ont moins d'argent qu'ils en ont l'air = they have less money than they seem to have.

Merci à l'avance.


All good, well done!

  • "Il est plus intelligent que ce à quoi je m'attendais." is good.

  • "Il est plus intelligent que je m'y attendais." is not right, because "s'attendre à" is quite difficult as the first sentence shows.

An alternative would use "espérer" and the expletive "ne":

  • "Il est plus intelligent que je ne l'espérais".


While we are on a thread concerning comparisons, I suppose another useful thing to be able to compare is expectation. In doing a few Google searches, I ran across a couple of constructions concerning "s'attendre à" with comparisons.

Il est plus intelligent que ce à quoi je m'attendais. Il est plus intelligent que je m'y attendais.

Are both of these equally correct? Are there situations where one would be preferable?


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