"The cat walks over my shirt."
Translation:Le chat marche par-dessus ma chemise.
is there a way to distinguish "over" from "on"? For example, a cat could walk on top of the shirt (touching it), or step over the shirt (without touching it).
Just like you said, you don't "walk over" the shirt without touching it; you either "walk on" it, or you "step over it." "Le chat marche sur ma chemise" is the cat walking on top of it, "le chat passe par-dessus ma chemise" or "le chat enjambe ma chemise" would be walking over it without touching.
Walking over the shirt implies that the cat walks across it on its way somewhere (versus walking on it, where the cat might be going in circles for all we know). I would say "walks on the shirt" would be the more correct translation.
what is the difference between simply "dessus" and "par-dessus"? I simply put "Le chat marche dessus ma chemise". :(
"dessus" and "par-dessus" are adverbs, that you don't use with a noun.
"sur" or "au-dessus de" are prepositions you use to mean "on/over + noun"
Bonne réponse, merci bien. Mais, comment connait-on quand on doit dire "dessus" v "par-dessus"?
Le chat marche par-dessus? Pourquoi pas juste "marche dessus"?
le chat marche sur ma chemise (preposition + noun) = on/on top of my shirt
le chat marche dessus (adverb as a stand-alone)
le pont passe au-dessus de la rivière (no contact)
le pont passe par-dessus (no contact)
Interesting. So in French there's no way to say that the cat walks "over " my shirt (without touching it) versus the cat walks "on" my shirt (its paws touch my shirt) ?
That's right, although I would not use "marcher" if the cat did not actually touch the shirt:
le chat enjambe ma chemise
le chat passe par-dessus ma chemise.
Thanks Sitesurf - that's what fjarvis was asking up above . So the best translation for "The cat walks over my shirt" is either "Le chat enjambe ma chemise" or "Le chat passe par-dessus ma chemise".
"The cat walks on my shirt" = "Le chat marche sur ma chemise"
I put ''passe par-dessus'' instead of marcher. A cat does not ''marche'', right? I'd think the verb would be used for humans who walk on two legs.
Just to check, is it "ma" instead of "mon" because chemise is feminine? So for example, would it be mon chat, and ma chatte?