In this ne resta plus que supposedly translates only remains the.....but I don't know what roll plus plays?

September 25, 2017


This construction combines a negative "ne... plus" as described by taarten and the restrictive "ne... que".

"ne... que" often replaces "only" or "just":

  • il n'y avait que la... = there only was the...

  • il ne resta que la...= il resta seulement la... = only the... was left ("resta" is a simple past - not taught on the French course)

The addition of "plus" could be temporal or add a notion of quantity, but concretely the meaning is the same as the latter, and the English translation will probably be:

  • il ne resta plus que la... = there was nothing left but the...
September 25, 2017

You could also translate 'Il ne reste plus que ....' as 'There's no longer anything left but ...' 'Ne' is always followed by a second part.

'Ne pas' means 'not'. 'Ne plus' means 'no longer' 'Ne jamais' means 'never' 'Ne personne' means 'no one' 'Ne rien' means 'nothing'

I hope this is helpful to you.

September 25, 2017

''Ne' is always followed by a second part.'

Except in literature, where it is sometimes possible to drop that second part. For example : 'Je ne saurais faire ça' (literary) = 'Je ne saurais pas faire ça' (neutral).

September 25, 2017

And with a limited number of verbs: savoir, cesser, pouvoir, oser

September 26, 2017

Thanks, Sitesurf. I had not noticed it was limited to these four verbs, but of course I would have only applied it to them. As a native French speaker used to read old literature, I feel these things more than I know them.

September 27, 2017

I know the feeling... and I have had to rethink my French quite a lot in the past 5 years I have been here.

September 28, 2017

So if you don't mind me asking - what book is it you're reading?

September 25, 2017

I'll give a hint, the full sentence is:

Ils continuèrent leurs emplettes dans les boutiques qui s'alignaient le long de la rue et bientot, il ne resta plus que la baguette magique à acheter.

September 25, 2017

Très cool! Moi aussi je l'ai lu en Français il y a une dizaine d'années. C'est plus facile quand on sait déjà toute l'histoire. Quand même il y a un tas de vocabulaire obscure au sujet des sorts et choses magiques.

Moi j'ai apprécié le façon dont tous les mots inventés sont traduis en Français - comme Chemin de Travers, ou Détraqueurs, ou le Rapeltout.

Amuse-toi bien!

September 26, 2017
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