"I cannot imagine it."

Translation:Je ne peux pas l'imaginer.

March 8, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I was a little confused about why there is no "pas". This does a decent job of explaining it.



On that page, there is a speech about the "ne explétif" which is not the case here, where we have the "ne littéraire":

-"What I call the ne littéraire is the phenomenon in literary writing (and, to a much lesser extent, spoken French) whereby certain verbs and constructions need ne but not pas in order to be negative. The use of pas in these constructions is not prohibited, simply optional.


Oh thank goodness, I was beginning to worry the language was too easy!


Such an answers deserves a lingot.


you are on 1040 days strike !!! how on earth did you manage it .. I'm in shock


Here's the page about that. There are seven verbs which can be used without the "pas" in literary French.


Also, Sitesurf made a good point on another discussion about how in spoken informal French you drop the "ne" instead because it can be quite hard to hear anyway, unlike "pas".


ok wait, so this sentence if i were to SAY IT to a french guy in the middle of france would be "je peux pas l'imaginer"?

plus, writing "je ne peux pas l'imaginer" would be fine?


That's right.

alternative in speech: "je peux pas imaginer ça"


That was the sentence I wrote earlier and it was accepted. However this time it was rejected. What am I to understand from this?


"Je peux pas..."This is spoken French. When the French native speaks fast they will tend to miss out words. Written French is another matter - unless you're writing dialogue.


You're an expert as always sitesurf...well said


I've read prior discussions on this thread about how it is OK to say, in spoken french: "Je ne peux l'imagine" (that is, dropping the 'pas'). However, can someone categorically tell me whether it is bad grammar construction to say or to write "Je ne peux pas l'imaginer". If as Sitesurf says "The use of 'pas' in these constructions is not prohibited, simply OPTIONAL", then I say "Je ne peux pas l'imaginer" should be accepted as an optional answer.


I am not sure I understand your comment because "je ne peux pas l'imaginer" is indeed accepted.


I believe I typed "Je ne peux pas l'imaginer" and it wasn't accepted. Or may be I made a typo... "Je ne peux pas l'imagine" (dropped the R par erreur)


What happened to me was the sentence "I cannot imagine it" appeared. You had to construct the French translation of this sentence from the French words given. The word "pas" was missing from the list of words. I couldn't understand why it was missing.


thanks. makes it very clear


I added "pas" and it was accepted.


I got this wrong because of a typo, but I'm wondering if "Je n'en peux pas imaginer" would have worked. I'm still not totally clear on when "en" can be used as a pronoun.


"En" is used as a pronoun to mean "de + object". With your example, "en" could be used, but placed differently: "je ne peux pas en imaginer" = I cannot imagine any of it/them.


Can we write : je ne peux pas imaginer ça


Yes you can.


And can i say je ne peux pas ça imaginer.


No, direct objects which are not personal pronouns are placed after the verb.

je ne peux pas l'imaginer (l' stands for "le" or "la" = it when direct object)

je ne peux pas imaginer cela/ça (cela/ça are demonstrative pronouns)


Yes, Thank you, I get that.


'je peux pas l'imaginer' is wrong?


I'm 0% an expert on this, but I imagine it's because, while the "ne" of a ne...pas phase in (informal) spoken French is usually omitted, such is not the case in written French as far as I'm aware.


Je ne peux PAS l'imaginer


Je ne le peux pas imaginer? It was marked wrong


The direct object pronoun is best placed before the verb it depends on. Here, the verb concerned is "imaginer".


Would "je ne le peux (pas) imaginer" be acceptable? Is this alternate placement of the "le" allowed in French?


Not really, no. Though probably still understandable unless you get really convoluted. The object pronoun goes immediately before the verb acting on it.


I'm a little puzzled about whether or not "imaginer" is a reflective verb, or in what context it would be a reflexive verb, because if I remember correctly the suggestion box lists "s'imaginer" as a possible translation.


"s'imaginer" is also a common verb. Its meaning is slightly different from the non-reflexive form.

  • j'ai imaginé un nouveau processus = I imagined a new process (created/devised)
  • je me suis imaginée en grand-mère = I pictured myself as a grandmother (saw myself/fancied myself)


Althought. I got it correct. If I had the word pas in the wodrs to choose i would have wriiten: Je ne puex pas l'imaginer. or J'ne puex pas l'imaginer.


"Ne littéraire": stuff and nonsense! There is no excuse. It think it is an oversight by duolingo. For French learners who are beginners it should have included the word "pas". Je ne peux pas l'imaginer. That is correct. I think duolingo should change it to include "pas" so as to prevent confusion for beginners.


"Je ne peux pas l'imaginer" is correct and accepted.

What you are taught here is that the verb "pouvoir" can work in negative without "pas" - it might be useful if you read or hear it, for a correct understanding.


But if i can drop the pas and french speakers can drop th ne then i have " je peux l' imaginer " the opposite. !???????


"I cannot imagine it" can translate to:

  • "Je ne peux pas l'imaginer" in standard French.
  • "Je ne peux l'imaginer" in literary French.
  • "Je peux pas l'imaginer" in spoken (improper) French (not on Duolingo)


For the first person singular of the verb pouvoir, when can puis be used instead of peux?


Only in formal questions, in the Verb-Subject inversion "puis-je".


Can it be"je me peux pas l'imaginer"


Can it be "je ne peux pas l'imaginer"


Je ne peux pas supposer ça - marked wrong. Why?


Imaginer and supposer are not synonyms.

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