"Can you break this thing with your bare hands?"

Translation:Peux-tu casser cette chose à mains nues ?

July 19, 2017


  • 1549

There is this other phrase in Duo: "J'adore me promener pieds nus dans l'herbe."

Why is there an "à" before "mains nues" in "Peux-tu casser cette chose à mains nues ?"

Why isn't there an "à" before "pieds nus"?

Are both variants - with and without the "à" - valid for both phrases? If not, how to decide when to use "à" and when not? Thanks!

December 13, 2017


English is equally capricious ... we walk barefoot rather than with bare feet, but we break things with our bare hands, not 'barehand'.

July 1, 2018


I can't figure it out either. I am beginning to realise that there isn't much french grammar; it's mostly french usage or idioms. regards...james.

January 4, 2018


I am wondering why 'avec' is not used here?

Another example from this lesson was "je mange avec les mains'

Why is the sentence not written using 'avec mains nues'? I think it's either idiomatic, or it has something to do with the use of the article 'les' in the first example.

February 1, 2018


Yes, please explain why 'avec' is not used here. Thank you in advance!

February 13, 2018


I have the same question - there doesn’t seem to be any reason why it isn’t avec. I don’t see how we are ever supposed to get things right if they aren’t explained. It’s exactly this sort of thing that makes me want to give up.

February 6, 2018


I have the same problem, this way we never get all gold....always re- doing is discurraging

April 1, 2018


By the way, where is the "YOUR" in this sentence? Or is this an idiom?

July 19, 2017


It's a quirk of English-French translation when we speak about body parts. In English, we speak about my/your/his hands with possessive articles. In French, we use definite articles (or no articles here) when the owner of the body is obvious.

July 19, 2017


"Your" may be omitted in English, no problem. But its insertion here does not make the translation a fully accurate one.

February 16, 2019


Why is it "a mains nues" and not "aux mains nues"? Hands seems plural.

September 21, 2017


In case you don't know already, aux = à + les, whereas in this case the article isn't used. Hands is plural.

October 30, 2017


Yes, the question here is why there is no article for mains??

February 17, 2018


in place of "à", I tried using "avec tes". Why is this wrong?

February 19, 2018

  • 1685

It is not the French way. The expression "à mains nues" means "with one's bare hands". The "your" is included for correct English as gleaned from the "peux-tu" part of the sentence.

February 19, 2018


What's wrong with 'Pouvez-vous casser ce truc à vos mains nues?'?

February 4, 2018

  • 1685

There is no "vos" used in the expression -- it is just "à mains nues".

February 19, 2018


Peux-tu casser cet objet avec les mains nues?

March 4, 2018


why can't i use briser instead of casser - as it is in the list of suggestions

December 30, 2018


I note with interest that the "your" of the English original is not translated. The translation, therefore, is of, "Can you break this thing with bare hands?"

Please note: "barehanded" or "bare-handed" both entirely acceptable in English.

February 16, 2019
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