1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I cannot imagine it."

"I cannot imagine it."

Translation:Je ne peux pas l'imaginer.

March 8, 2013

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maverickpl

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

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_form_2.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smearedink

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Highlander16

Such an answers deserves a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HEbaSafwat

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theswt

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

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_form_3.htm

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjlopeze

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

That's right.

alternative in speech: "je peux pas imaginer ça"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliviaScot4

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoo4

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Minando2002

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UmaObasi

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UmaObasi

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoo4

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allawithlove

thanks. makes it very clear


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dasher5227

Good read. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amharris1962

I added "pas" and it was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ldn_Field

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CasperDarling

Can we write : je ne peux pas imaginer ça


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nookendra

And can i say je ne peux pas ça imaginer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nookendra

Yes, Thank you, I get that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ludimoru

'je peux pas l'imaginer' is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mebrou96

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlorinPuiu

Je ne peux PAS l'imaginer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexC91

Je ne le peux pas imaginer? It was marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephanm87

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/onawa1821

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"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)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eduard830406

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scoo4

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davewilson123

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"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)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3BeDvNaX

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamal51969

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamal51969

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrey872035

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Imaginer and supposer are not synonyms.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.