"Maybe it was really my imagination."

Translation:Peut-être était-ce vraiment mon imagination.

March 11, 2013

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MonsieurBean

Would "c'était vraiment ..." Be correct, too?

March 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, in less formal way, but we would add "que": "peut-être QUE c'était vraiment mon imagination".

By the way I am not sure that the combination of "maybe/peut-être" and "really/vraiment" is relevant, in either language. But it is another story, not related to your question.

March 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

It's one of those word combinations that doesn't make a lot of sense if you think about it, but people would say this sort of thing nevertheless, at least in English.

May 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Don't know about the implications in French, but there's nothing wrong with the Maybe/really usage in English. "She's been telling me all along that I couldn't have seen a leprechaun, perhaps she's right. Maybe it really was my imagination."

January 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

I agree - very common in English - but in English, as you have written, "really" should be placed before "was" in this sentence. Placement of adverbs in English is tricky and here "really" is functioning as an intensifier I think - complex stuff - really!!

March 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

You can say "Maybe it was really my imagination" as well, in a really informal context.

May 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

: ) Definitely can, but for me it places the emphasis elsewhere and changes the meaning of what has been said. And now that I re-read the french, I am not convinced that I understand exactly where the french emphasis is in the above sentence !! Just when I thought I had nailed this one.....

She was really beautiful. (She was very beautiful)

She really was beautiful. (Just emphasing that unquestionably, she was beautiful)

Really, she was beautiful (Truly, honestly...)

May 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

In French, the adverb seems to come after the verb that it modifies. In this case, the verb is inverted with its subject, but that seems to be treated as a unit, so vraiment is modifying était-ce. In your English sentences, you have really modifying the adjective, and then the verb; in the third sentence, I'm not sure how to describe it grammatically, but you should have a comma after really, "Really, she was beautiful;" it's set apart from the sentence proper, which is a thing you can do with adverbs in both languages. In "Maybe it was really my imagination," you have a sentence which isn't exactly "correct" (because the adverb comes after its verb instead of before), but is still acceptable in informal contexts. In speech, I would place the emphasis on "really" (whereas in "really was" I would emphasize "was"), and it implies a stronger sense of doubt. At least, that's my quick analysis; I'm no English professor.

May 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/yfrenchie

What about "Peut-être qu'il était..."?
I've entered it without the 'que' and it was marked as a mistake because I should have used 'ce'.

January 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rpl12345

I was given the correction 'Peut-etre c'etait mon imagination' without 'que'.

November 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/willijanb

I used "c'etait vraiment. . . " and they counted it correct. (And I did not include "que".) What I want to know is why would they use "etait-ce?"

March 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Because "peut-être" implies doubt, it often prompts a semi-interrogative construction with inversion verb-subject pronoun.

It is more formal than the statement construction but both are used.

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/willijanb

Sitesurf, Thank you again! A lingot for you! (How do you spend yours?)

March 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Thank you for that Willijanb.

Very good question! I use my lingots as rewards for any good contribution I see on any thread, but I still have 1,525 left...

March 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MrHazard
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Wow! I'd give a lingot too, but I'm poverty-stricken (lingot-wise) compared with you! :)

March 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rpl12345

Just a strange colloquialism! I suppose we just have to learn them - not understand them.

November 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rknight1995
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Oui, mon ami. I used it, and I acquired a correct answer.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alexpetralia

Is this imperfect (and not passé composé) because it is a state of mind in the past?

August 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kmburkezoo

Être in the past tense is nearly always in the imparfait because being is not usually quickly-complete, one-time action.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Sorry, but that is not right. For quickly-complete, one-time actions, we use the passé composé (compound past), because imparfait generally implies a lasting action in the past, or repeat action or habit.

December 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kmburkezoo

That is what I was attempting to express. Apparently I did not do so very clearly. Apologies.

December 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jcoombs1950

Sitesurf, thank you for always being there to set us straight!

January 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zhirsch
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I thought you had to use "peut-être était-ce" or "peut-être que c'était" (one or the other), but the possible results include "peut-être c'était." Is that last one technically correct?

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, it is technically correct. However, if we want to state it (rather than using a semi-interrogative form), we would rather say: "c 'était peut-être..."

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/zhirsch
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Thanks!

September 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/studyy
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Is my French dictionary wrong ? It gives "imagination" as a " noun, feminine ."

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

You use "mon" because it begins with a vowel, even though it's feminine.

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/studyy
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Thanks again. I don't know when I'm going to get that in my head !

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Razzako

Does this rule apply for all nouns starting with a vowel?

January 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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yes, + those starting with a non aspirate H

-mon habitude (fem)

January 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Razzako

merci beaucoup, this can be very useful.

January 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dwendl
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Virtually all French words ending in ion are feminine. Some exceptions: lion, scion.

May 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/greatlanguages
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I know this is imperfect tense but I just want clarification on c'est vs. il est. I thought "C'est" was used before articles, pronouns and adjectives and il est was used before adverbs. Thus: C'est une pomme. C'est bon! mais il est trop tard. Would someone please clarify the use of c'est vs. il est. Merci beaucoup...

May 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

Hi - check this link and see if it helps. I found her explanations really clear and I think I have the difference nailed - at least for now :)

http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

May 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/greatlanguages
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Absolument le meilleur!!!! Merci beaucoup. Je comprends!!! :-)

May 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/puppy7989

De rien - she has a real gift for explaining the language. It's worth trawling through her old blog posts. She has lots of info about the french of "now", not of yesteryear :) Good to know them both of course!!

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gsimon60

this phrase is a question??

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The minimum requirement for a question is a question mark at the end (?).

So this sentence is a statement and not a question.

But, when a sentence starts with "peut-être", thereby implying a doubt, an inversion Verb-Subject is made in French.

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/divaluisa
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Maybe Peut-ētre était-ce seulement mon imagination, would have made more sense. ???

July 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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As I said earlier on this thread, "peut-être" and "vraiment" do not go together well: one is hypothetical and the other one is certain, so if we could rewrite the original sentence, we could indeed adopt your approach.

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Davewilson123

My dictionaries make imagination feminine?

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

Your dictionaries are correct. You use "mon" in this case because "imagination" begins with a vowel. An adjective modifying "mon imagination" would still have to be the feminine form, however.

December 26, 2014
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