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"Maybe we should think about it more."

Translation:Peut-être devrions-nous y réfléchir plus.

November 18, 2017

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agentwigs

Why does devrions come before nous in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

I was under the impression that this verb-pronoun construction took its form due to it being more of a suggestion (peut-être) but, although I could find many examples on sites such as Lingee, I could find none that confirmed the grammatical reasoning.

Therefore, I posted this question on the WordRef forum and was given this very clear response by a French native:

Peut-être here is an adverb which introduces an indirect interrogative statement, right ? So what you see after peut-être has the common form of an interrogation.

As you may know, "nous devrions" is ok for an interrogation, but only in direct form.

Therefore the indirect interrogative statement is « Peut-être devrions-nous .... »

EDIT - Additional information:
My thought that it was more of a "suggestion"was also supported :

I said:
"we should" was more along the line of a suggestion than a firm statement.

And another French poster responded:

You're right, here the present conditional + "peut-être" expresses politeness (conditionnel de politesse).

And again, another response:

When a sentence starts with ‘peut-être’ or ‘aussi’, (in the sense of ‘therefore’) the subject and the verb should be placed in reverse order. « Peut-être faudrait-il ... »


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aussie3931

Your contribution to this exercise has been very helpful. Thanks RCG.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanRankin1

Have several lingots!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryDuffin2

Your explanations are so detailed and easy to understand. Thank you for going to the trouble of finding out the reason for this reverse order. Most helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanda655505

Exactly. It is not a question, but a declarative sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Not a question but it is an interrogatory statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betsy134556

Isn't "interrogatory statement" identical to "question"? It has no question mark, but apparently we're supposed to treat it as a question anyway?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Not really. For example a rhetorical is an interrogatory remark that requires no answer. It is simply a line of thought that requires greater thought input from the participants.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betsy134556

Apparently so, even though in English it's declarative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerencePaolo

my translate : "On devrait peut-être y réfléchir plus." is not accepted :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FabienM1

I'm French and it's right :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorraine538192

Duolingo is still not accepting « On devrait peut-être y réfléchir plus ». And still no satisfactory explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobiAmbah

Can't you use 'penser'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

penser à = "to think about" in the sense of "to have in one's mind, to think of"
penser de = "to think about" in the sense of "to have an opinion about."

reflechir is very similar but means to consider, reflect, to think carefully about before coming to a conclusion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaiagoddess

But without context the sense could still be to have "it" in one's mind more, I would think. Hence, penser could be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

I wouldn't think so (no pun intended ☺) as "to have in one's mind" is more like:
"Je pense à ma mère parce qu'elle me manque."
"I think about my mother because I miss her."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atlasbirder

Why is the "que" in this sentence? My sentence was corrected to "Peut-être que ...."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicholas_ashley

When followed by a clause, peut-être requires either the relative pronoun que or inversion.

examples

Peut-être qu’elle a oublié ses clés.
Peut-être a-t-elle oublié ses clés.
Peut-être qu’il est en vacances.
Peut-être est-il en vacances.

So in the exercise both these sentences are correct:

Peut-être devrions-nous y réfléchir plus.
Peut-être que nous devrions y réfléchir plus.

Also note that the same rule applies to sans doute (certainly)

example

Sans doute qu'il a faim. - No doubt he is hungry.
Sans doute a-t-il faim. - No doubt he is hungry.


[deactivated user]

    Think of it more as this : It could be THAT ...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris973043

    Why was this marked incorrect: Peut-être nous devrions y penser plus


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GU7P

    I believe with both of your constructions, you would need "que" after "peut-être" - in my humble opinion. Try it next time if you're up for a gamble....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yucca-Moh

    Why y not en ? And when should i use each one as a pronoun? I thought that y refer to a place, while en refer to an object!! Someone clarify this please ..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    It is the way it is expressed. eg "Je vais y réflechir" is an expression meaning "I am going to think about it".

    From: https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/how-to-use-the-pronoun-y-in-french

    The French Pronoun Y also Replaces A THING (never a person) introduced by “à, au, aux, à l’, à la”

    Je pense à mon travail = j’y pense

    Je rélféchis aux problèmes internationaux – j’y réfléchis

    The “à, au, aux, à la à l'” often comes from the verb meaning that this particular verb is going to be followed by “à”, and that is why you’d be using a “à” there. This is the case for my examples “penser à” and “réfléchir à”.

    Note than when a verb is followed by à + PERSON, you need to use an indirect verbs object pronoun (me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur):

    https://www.wordreference.com/fren/reflechir?s=y%20reflechir
    https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/thats-something-id-have-to-think-about.1966669/#post-9832463


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EbenNguyen

    I think another thing to note is that penser is an intransitive verb yes? that is why there is à after it


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateMcCabe4

    The translation that shows here is different than the one that appears as the correct answer in the exercise.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agentwigs

    Thanks for finding this out Kim :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atlasbirder

    Peut-être que nous devrions y réfléchir plus.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    I found this on WordRef:

    If you begin a sentence with "peut-être", you can either invert or add "que".
    - Peut-être ne sont-ils pas pas là.
    - Peut-être qu'ils ne sont pas là.

    If "peut-être" comes after the verb, neither inversion nor "que" is needed.
    - Ils ne sont peut-être pas là.

    As you have not inverted nous devrions "que" is required.

    Also, they are different parts of speech. peut-être is an adverbe, while peut-être que is a conjuctive phrase. See here


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.parlange

    wouldn't it be more correct to say «y réfléchir davantage» than «y réfléchir plus» ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FabienM1

    Both are correct :) (I'm French)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    I am not a native (or even fluent) but I can't see why the sentence couldn't be expressed this way, though it is a rather formal. Was it rejected?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EziodeDragon

    Peut-on dire "Peut-être (que) nous devrions en penser plus"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    en can replace "de + phrase" however penser de is to have an opinion of, eg
    "What do you think of this exhibition?" / "What do you think of it?
    "Que penses-tu de cette exposition ? " / "Qu'en pense-tu ? "

    However, the given sentence refers to "thing about", "giving thought to".
    Penser à = "to think about" in the sense of "to have in one's mind, to think of".

    reflechir à is very similar but means to consider, reflect, to think carefully about before coming to a conclusion.

    Note that réfléchir can never be followed by de.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

    The english statement is construed as a question in the french. Where is the question mark?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/madmd1961

    What is wrong with "Peut-être il nous faudrait y reflechir plus"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Birdy582648

    I wrote the exact answer given above but was marked wrong. DL gave the "correct"answer as: Peut-être QUE devrions-nous y réfléchir plus. Where the heck did that QUE come from?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    Some really weird things are going on at the moment. It shouldn't have asked for que because if you begin a sentence with "peut-être", you can either invert OR add "que" - not both.

    It is discussed (in French) here:
    https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/peut-%C3%AAtre-inversion-sujet-verbe-peut-%C3%AAtre-que-sujet-verbe.1282417/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnne993219

    The English of this sentence did not come across as interrogative. If Duo wanted interrogative in French they should have included a question mark. Nevertheless, I will read up on this "peut-être" construction.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnne993219

    Apparently, the inversion is the proper syntax with "peut-être" but it is not used with "Peut-être que ... ." Also, the inversion is used in written French, but not necessary in oral French.

    Source: http://bdl.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/bdl/gabarit_bdl.asp?id=3472


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yves23A

    "peut-être devrions nous y penser davantage" refused.

    But to think = penser.

    My sentence is quite correct in French, and I am French.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvAxvB

    Should "Nous devrions peut-être y penser plus" be accepted or does it sound bad in French?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pramod454198

    What's wrong with this -- Peut etre nous y devrions réfléchir plus! Because the given phrase sounds more like a statement rather than a question ( n + to that, there is no ? at the end!)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pramod454198

    Oops ! Je me suis trompe- -- y should come after devrions!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dj54

    J'appelle ça chipoter. En tant que française, je n'aurais assurément pas dit "réfléchir"...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solaodut

    Please explain why "Peut-être nous devrions y réfléchir plus." marked WRONG. My answer should be accepted


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicholas_ashley

    your proposed answer is incorrect. If you read the comments you will understand why it is incorrect.

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