"I cannot imagine it."

Translation:Je ne peux pas l'imaginer.

March 8, 2013



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


March 8, 2013


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.

March 8, 2013


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

May 7, 2013


Such an answers deserves a lingot.

April 16, 2014


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

March 31, 2016


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".

June 4, 2013


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?

October 25, 2013


That's right.

alternative in speech: "je peux pas imaginer ça"

October 25, 2013


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

April 30, 2015


"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.

September 2, 2017


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

September 23, 2015


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.

August 23, 2015


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

August 23, 2015


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)

August 24, 2015


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.

September 2, 2017

September 23, 2015


thanks. makes it very clear

December 7, 2015


Good read. Thanks!

September 26, 2017


I added "pas" and it was accepted.

July 7, 2017


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.

May 2, 2014


"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.

May 5, 2014


And can i say je ne peux pas ça imaginer.

August 17, 2014


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)

August 19, 2014


Yes, Thank you, I get that.

August 19, 2014


'je peux pas l'imaginer' is wrong?

August 6, 2015


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.

August 18, 2015


Je ne peux PAS l'imaginer

June 21, 2016


Can we write : je ne peux pas imaginer ça

August 25, 2017


Yes you can.

August 25, 2017


Je ne le peux pas imaginer? It was marked wrong

November 6, 2015


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

November 6, 2015


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

December 11, 2015


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

January 20, 2016


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.

July 31, 2016


"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)
August 1, 2016


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.

August 23, 2016


"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.

September 2, 2017


"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.

September 3, 2017


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

November 28, 2017


"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)
November 28, 2017


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

August 6, 2018


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

August 26, 2018


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

June 14, 2019


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

June 14, 2019
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