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Je suis simplement là. What does it mean?

I have read the 73 posts in the 'discuss this sentence' and am none the wiser. As a native English speaker from England I cannot make sense of this sentence without doing enormous mental gymnastics.

Is this a common French sentence, and what does it mean to a native French speaker?

What aspect of French is being taught by using this sentence that couldn't be taught using a more understandable sentence?

October 5, 2017



Cette phrase demande un contexte, à mon avis.

UNE FEMME : Que fais-tu devant la porte de ma maison ?

Un HOMME : Je suis simplement là... pour te demander pardon.

LA FEMME : Simplement ? Parce que pour toi, c'est simple ? Tu me trompes, tu me mens et tu viens "simplement" chercher un pardon ? Disparais de ma vue !

Ou alors une autre saynète.

UNE FILLE : Bob, c'est toi ?

UN GARÇON : Annabelle ! Quelle surprise !

LA FILLE : Comment, une surprise ? Je suis dans le jardin de mes parents !

LE GARÇON : Le jardin de tes parents ? Je suis simplement allé aux champignons, j'ai dû me perdre dans le brouillard.

LA FILLE : Simplement des champignons ! Bob, tu me prends pour une quiche ! Mais bon, comme tu es là, on pourrait peut-être faire plus ample connaissance.

Ou encore.

UN OUVRIER : Madame, je suis simplement là pour réparer une fuite d'eau au robinet du jardin, pas pour refaire toute l'installation sanitaire !

Ou bien :

Un bouleau s'adresse à un pommier : Tu en as de la chance, toi tu donnes des fruits, moi je suis simplement là pour faire de l'ombre.


Hahaha ! Hilarant. Bravo, Pierre.


I translate it as "I am just there" or "I am simply there". I cannot answer your other questions. By the way, I don't see the sentence is not understandable; but maybe it's because I am a Spanish speaker.

Hope my translation is helpful to you.


Important, though: in informal French, 'là' also means 'here' ('ici', 'ceci' and '-ci' are almost systematically replaced with 'là', 'ça' and '-là'). So this sentence most likely means 'I am simply HERE', although, in some very special context, it could also mean 'I am simply there'.

  • 1893

The expression of interest is "Je suis la." If you search/google it, you will get a lot of hits. In French, it could have connotations beyond the physical "I am there" in the sense of I am there as needed or for support or I am there for you, etc. One good example where you can see the use is in the song "Je suis la:"


HTH, Daniel


"I'm simply here" is my first idea, but I light be wrong.


It means "I am simply here". It doesn't mean anything complicated, it's just a statement that you are there.


Duo is in love with the Pussycat next door.

But as far as she is concerned he is just simply … there. She doesn't give a damn one way or the other.

(But she'll let him spend his money on her when there's nothing better in the offing.)

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