1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "It was no surprise that you …

"It was no surprise that you had known what to say."

Translation:Ce n'était pas une surprise que vous ayez su quoi dire.

December 6, 2017

12 Comments


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

usually when the word what comes in the middle of a sentence you use ce que. However, when ce que means what it only ever comes before a pronoun, so if what doesn’t come before a pronoun then you use quoi

examples

Je ne sais pas ce que je peux demander. - I don’t know what I can ask.
Je ne sais pas quoi demander. - I don’t know what to ask.
je ne sais pas quoi faire - I don’t know what to do.
fais ce que tu peux - do what you can.


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

Why not "Ce n'etait aucune surprise que vous ayez su quoi dire"? (Sorry, don't know how to use accents when making comments.) I wasn't sure whether to use quoi or ce que, so randomly chose quoi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenGreen8

I'm wondering the same thing.


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

Why pas une and not pas de?


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

In a negative sentence where the noun is the direct object of the verb being negated, de is commonly used instead of an indefinite or partitive article (un, une, du, de la, and des). However, if the verb is être, the article remains the same.

examples

il n'a pas de pomme - he doesn't have an apple.
C'est une poire, ce n'est pas une pomme. - It's a pear, it's not an apple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPeden1

I also would like to know why


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adrian-Michael

Why is what here quoi and not ce que?


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

it is explained in my comment


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

Why ce and not il?


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

Remember, the construction is il est + adjective or unmodified noun and c'est + modified noun in all tenses.
Removing the negation, c'était une surprise... ; here c'etait is followed by a modified noun - une surprise. This, of course, also applies to negated verbs : Ce n'était pas une surprise ....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eduard830406

Merci pour la explication! Tu as une bel fleur!


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

The impersonal formula would be "Il n'était pas surprenant que..."

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.