"Maybe we should think about it more."
Translation:Peut-être devrions-nous y réfléchir plus.
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 :
"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 ... »
When followed by a clause, peut-être requires either the relative pronoun que or inversion.
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)
Sans doute qu'il a faim. - No doubt he is hungry.
Sans doute a-t-il faim. - No doubt he is hungry.
It is the way it is expressed. eg "Je vais y réflechir" is an expression meaning "I am going to think about it".
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):
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
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.
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:
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.