"How shall I say?"

Translation:Comment dire ?

October 25, 2017

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I wrote: Comment je vais dire? It was wrong, but DL gave the correct answer as: Comment devrais-je dire ? Where did THAT come from??


I did almost the same (Comment vais-je dire), but this time the DL's correct answer was Comment dois-je dire. Maybe "How shall I say" could be interpreted as asking for instructions, or what do I need to say, in which case using a form of devoir would be correct...?


I notice my french friend always says this everytime she struggles to say something in english


Why not "Comment dis-je"?


"Comment dirai-je?" is accepted.


Wouldn't comment dire be how do you say instead of how shall I say? Or is it simply generic, like saying how is this said?


Comment dire ? is literally generic, like How to say this?. However, it's often use in a context when you don't know how to express yourself without being too blunt, so it can be intrepreted as How shall I say?


why le? " I" should be je


I'm not entirely sure why that is the answer, but I'll do my best to explain. Comment le dire = How to say it In the sentence "Comment le dire" (which I'm assuming is the answer you got), "le" is not the subject noun. "Le" is the object noun, the thing that is being said. If "le" was replaced with "je," the sentence meaning would be changed to "How I say," which doesn't make much sense, even in English.

Hope this helped!


The English, at least to these American ears, seems very odd; it needs an "it" at the end.


how come comment je peut dire is wrong


"Comment je peut dire" is literally translated to "how I can (to) say." That isn't asking how one should say something, but rather a declaration/explanation of how one can say it.


Why can't it be "Comment dit-je?" It sounds wrong even to my ear, but I don't know why.


"Comment dit-on" is accepted and is the phrasing I've been taught. I'm not sure, but the conjugation of "dire" would be "dis" in your sentence and I think it would be technically correct. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can verify that.


"Comment puis-je dire ?" / "Comment peux je dire ?"


Comment je dire should be accepted


No, it is not French. You don't say "How I to say" in English. We always use conjugated verbs after personal pronouns (je tu il elle on nous vous ils elles). I translated the sentence by "Comment je dirais"... but it was refused...

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