"Despite herself, she loves this boy."
Translation:Malgré elle, elle aime ce garçon.
Because herself does not always mean elle-même. It means elle-même only in the expressions She does it herself = Elle le fait elle-même (for instance She reads the book herself = Elle lit elle-même le livre).
I also used elle-même. That is what I understood herself to translate as. My Larousse and a google search say that it's an emphatic reflexive pronoun used where it is not grammatically required. Hmm. I still think Zjeraar and I aren't wrong. :)
I think it's just idiomatic not to include "même" with malgré for this function. Examples:
I looked up malgré before answering this to understand how it is used. It seems that to say "despite herself/itself" one says "malgré elle" one never says "malgré elle-même", if you want to use the reflexive disjunctive pronoun then one can say "en dépit de elle-même", "en dépit de" only takes the reflexive form. This seems to be a matter of usage.
A nice website that describes this is; https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/expressing-despite-in-spite-of-noun-with-malgre-en-depit-de-nom.
Does this help? "soi" is impersonal : "one" in English.
I said, "malgré elle-même, elle aime ce garçon" which was considered incorrect. However, I think that "malgré soi" ought to be correct.
I am not being able to understand the semantics of this sentence, neither in English nor in French. Could anyone come up with a context in which it would make sense to me, please?
The girl could be in a bad relationship that she wants to get out of. Or she could be in love with a boy she is forbidden to see (like Romeo & Juliet). Or she might be incompatible with the boy, but nevertheless, feels drawn to him.
No matter how much the girl tells her self she doesn't care for the guy. she deep down feels love for him.
I don't understand how you can tell that "malgré elle" is "despite herself" and not "despite her", i.e. some random woman objecting to the relationship.
I fell into the elle-meme trap, but I get it now, having read the comments here. Unless it is reflexive, it can't be elle-meme, right?
That's not correct. For example, I can say: "Je veux lire ce livre moi-même" ou "Je lis moi-même ce livre" and neither of these sentences have reflexives.
Can any native speakers say whether this sentence is idiomatic French?
"Ça" can only be a pronoun, not a determiner. That is, it stands on its own, rather than modifying a noun like "garçon".
"Ce", on the other hand, is a common determiner, and is typically only used as a pronoun with "être" (e.g. "c'est", "ce sont")
this = c' ce cet cette that = cela = ça = c' = ce
So, ce can be ça, but ça cannot be ce.
there are some odd rules
I thought in French there couldn't be a vowel at the end of a word next to a vowel at the beginning of the next word?
I find the use of 'aime' slightly confusing on DL. I understand that it can mean both to like and to love depending on context, but I have had answers marked incorrect in other modules for not using 'aime beaucoup' to mean 'love', having used 'aime' on its own. But here I was marked incorrect for using 'aime beaucoup'.
- When a person "loves" another person, aimer means love and aimer bien means like another person.
- When a person "likes" a thing, aimer means like and adorer means love a thing.