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  5. "Je dois être à la maison ava…

"Je dois être à la maison avant qu'il ne fasse nuit."

Translation:I have to be at home before the night falls.

March 15, 2013



I'm not completely clear what the function of the "ne" is in the second half of this sentence. Could someone possibly clarify? Thanks.


This is called the "Expletive Ne." It doesn't mean anything in the sentence, but in some sentences you need to add it. Here is a brief article that helped me: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/negation_form_2.htm

If you look at the usage at the end of the article, you'll see that an expression following "avant que" requires it (as in this sentence).


Thank you. One of those pieces of grammar that almost absolutely requires long-time immersion to remember well.


I think it's optional to put it in there, can anyone confirm?


It's sort of like in English when we say "Let's see if we can't do it." If means the same thing as "let's see if we can do it."


I am only that much more amazed that I ever learned how to speak my native language.


I must be home before dark not accepted.


That is a common way to say the same thing, and yet two people voted this down. I have no idea why they did. I wish that people would explain why they mark someone down. I wrote "I must be home before nightfall and it was accepted.


Agreed. I must (have to) be home before 1) nightfall, 2) it gets dark, 3) it is dark, 4) dark. All mean exactly the same thing in English. There may be other regional variations but these are certainly quite appropriate expressions.


Is the expletive ne used only with the subjunctive?


My French teacher used to call this the "nasty ne". It's annoying, but as long as there's not a "pas", "rien", "jamais", or other "negative marker" following, it can be ignored when translating (I think).


fasse is from what?

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Subjunctive of Faire (as in makes or does).

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