In this line.....il ne resta plus que la......it supposedly translates to....it only remains the.....but I don't know what roll plus plays?
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...
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.
''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).
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.
I know the feeling... and I have had to rethink my French quite a lot in the past 5 years I have been here.
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.
And it can be found here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/16-rares-illustrations-harry-potter-du-livre-de?utm_term=.vsp3bQz5m
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.