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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mina42192

Help with the sentence: Il esquisse un sourire entendu.

This sentence,

I know that un sourire entendu is an equivalent kind of phrase to 'a knowing smile.'

but what does esquisse here mean. I think esquisser means 'to sketch'??

so he sketches a knowing smile???

Is it a very usual phrase used??

Also am I write in saying that entendu actually means 'heard.'

And so that literal translation is: He sketches a heard smile? but in English its kind of equivalent to 'He gives a knowing smile??'

Thank you!

August 3, 2017

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prenom.Pierre

The dictionary says : esquisser = to give a hint of a smile

it is a usual sentence in many novels.


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

Yes, exactly.

Mina, although "esquisser" literally means "to sketch", here it is the figurative sense. However, it has become a set phrase : even if it may have meant "to sketch" in the beginning, now a French person would instantly and literally understand it as "to give a hint of a knowing smile". Do you follow me ? This dictionary (http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/esquisser) gives a good definition of "esquisser" : "Commencer une action, un geste, en général sans l'accomplir entièrement."

As for "entendu", if by "heard" you mean "understood", you're right, "entendre" is also an old-fashioned and/or formal way to say "to hear". For example, in a conversation "J'entends" could well mean "I hear you". However, even if you could use it as a memory aid, I'm not sure this translation could apply here.


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

From google translate, the translation is "he smiled heard", so it probably means something similar this. Just "esquire" though, is sketch, like you posted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

Google Translate got it all wrong.

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