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  5. "Impossible de nous relever !"

"Impossible de nous relever !"

Translation:Impossible for us to get up again!

March 5, 2013



Why does this have to be interpreted as reflexive? Couldn't you say this if it's impossible for someone else to help you back up?


It is a possibility but then the English translation would be different, I think:

Impossible (pour lui) de nous relever = impossible (for him) to get us up


impossible to get us up would be acceptable in English, therefore this should be a possibility, it is not accepted however!


That's what I put too and got it wrong :(


More like "impossible to get ourselves back up"


not more like, after all it could be somebody else trying to get us up! So both are acceptable depending on the context!


Yes, yes, you're right. I'm sorry.

  • 2307

These sentence fragments that start with "Impossible de..." seem like the missing "C'est..." would help our understanding and reduce at least some of the ambiguity. Would you comment on that, please? Thank you!


In this case, the full phrase would be "il est impossible de nous relever", similar to the English "impossible to... " being the shortened version of "it is impossible to...".

"c'est impossible" better matches "this is impossible", so it does not work as well in that sentence.

  • 2307

In the case of the adjective describing a situation, I have been led to believe that "c'est" is to be used rather than "il est". And when the adjective describes a person, "il est" is used. It seems like the "impossible" aspect here describes a situation, not a person. I also understand that when impersonal expressions are used that one could use either "il est" (more formal) or "c'est" (less formal). I understand you are saying that "c'est" is more like "this is" rather than "it is" although "c'est" is often translated as "it is". Is the "c'est/il est" rule I have described valid? http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm


"il est + modified noun" has to be changed to "c'est + modified noun".

  • he is a man = c'est un homme

"il est + adjective" describes a man, a masculine animal or inanimate object to describe him/it with a qualificative adjective

  • he is tall = il est grand

When the English is "it is easy to", "it is necessary to", "it is possible to", the French will also use "it" as an impersonal "il".

  • it is easy to travel to Belgium = il est facile de voyager vers la Belgique

When the English uses "it is + adjective" where "it" represents a thing, you translate it to "c'est + adjective"

  • it is easy to do = this thing is easy to do = c'est facile à faire = cette chose est facile à faire.


Thanks for your reply. Yes, that's the kind of translation I had in mind. "Impossible to get us back up" is what I'd proposed, I think. But maybe the reflexive meaning is much more natural.


I also opted for the non-reflexive "impossible to raise us", as in: "grâce à notre poids, il s'est avéré impossible de nous relever", or "les necromanciens vont trouver qu'il est impossible de nous relever". I realise on reflection that it may seem a facetious and/or over-literal translation, but is either the physical/metaphorical lifting of people or the awakening of the dead/sleeping a context in which it would also be an accurate one?


You are right, this short sentence does not tell whether we would get up or other people would get us up.


"raise us up" was also not accepted :|


@sitesurf, "get us up" was also not accepted, so I'll report


I translated this as "impossible to get ourselves up again", but it was marked wrong. Can anyone explain why I'm wrong? I thought the "re-" implied that it was happening again, whereas "se lever" would be to get up for the first time?


I'm the same way. I submitted "Impossible to get ourselves back up again!" and was marked wrong.


Likewise, I reported that this should be accepted


I"m not sure Sitesurf. In exhaltation one might shout: "Impossible to get us up!" HA!


My latest comments are old and now that I can add translations, I added a few, like "raise us up" or "get us up".


Excellent. Thank you. Do you want lingots? :)


No thanks, I have plenty! ;-)


I put "impossible to raise us" and got it wrong. It said "raise us up." But technically you only raise up you don't raise down. So shouldn't "impossible to raise us" also be correct?


Help, I've fallen and I can't get up


I said : Impossible to stand ourselves up .... can you please point out my mistake ?


"Impossible to get ourselves up again" is different from "get ourselves back up"?


I don't understand what the sentence is trying to say. I translated it "correctly" (by Duo's standards), but what does it mean? Is it saying "we're unable to get up again"? As in, "we've fallen down (again) and can't get back up"?

The word "impossible" is throwing me a bit as I don't think it's translating well into English in this sentence.


I feel the same way. Someone please help!


"We cannot rise again."


So, if we tend to use on instead of nous, there is no reflexive form for on? On va nous reveler? I googled the reflexive pronouns table in French but they all lack "on"...


"on" does not have an object or stressed form but its reflexive is "se" (like "il, elle, ils, elles"). So "on va se relever" is correct either with an impersonal "on" or as a substitute for "nous".

What you cannot do with "on" is a construction like:

  • elle nous a vus (= nous - direct object)
  • elle nous a parlé (= à nous - indirect object)
  • elle a parlé avec nous (= nous - stressed pronoun)


"on" has no reflexive form, that's correct. But you can't mix "on" and "nous", so with reflexive verbs you have to use "nous" both places: "Nous allons nous relever".


You couldn't say "On va se relever"?


Not if "on" means "nous", unless I'm completely forgetting my grammar (which is quite possible, it's been a rather long day and tough on the brain, and I'm tired).


You can say that but it is less formal than using "nous", as Sitesurf mentioned.


DL proposed me «impossible to get back up» . No mention to «us». Lost in translation!


I don't think that"back"is necessary in this translation.


I understand 'get up', but 'again' is confusing


Considering how pernickety the French are about their prepositions and pronouns and articles, frankly this is appalling English. You might be able with twisting your logic to come up with a scenario that supported it, but frankly this needs to say 'It was' or 'It is impossible..'

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