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  5. "Even the children would have…

"Even the children would have been better than I was!"

Translation:Même les enfants auraient été meilleurs que moi !

July 11, 2017



Why is 'mieux que moi' not correct? I thought they both mean better?


Why does the past participle not agree with les enfants here? Does we not have to make it agree when using conditional?


Past participles using the auxiliary avoir only agree when the object of the verb comes before the verb, in which case they agree with the object:

Je t'ai offert une voiture. = I offered you a car (no agreement)

La voiture que je t'ai offerte = the car i offered you (agreement with "la voiture")

Je te l'ai offerte = I offered it to you (it = the car) (agreement with l' reffering to "la voiture")

Since être uses the auxiliary avoir, that means été may only agree with the object of être, however être is an intransitive verb which means in never has an object, so été is always invariable and the forms étés/étée/étées never occur.


Ah, ok. Thanks for the explanation! I sort of felt that because it was the children that were being, that they were the object of être, but now I think about it of course the children are the subject doing the être-ing.


What makes the following an incorrect translation: Même les enfants auraient été meilleurs que j'ai été.

Specifically 'que j'ai été' seems a more literal/complete translation of 'than I was' than 'que moi', yet that's the bit DL seems to dislike about my translation.

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