"It was only natural!"
Translation:C'était bien naturel !
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Because it is idiomatic and even a perfectly grammatical translation does not work and you would be misunderstood.
There are variants to say the same thing in French, but none of them uses "seulement":
- C'était [bien normal/bien naturel/tout naturel/tout à fait naturel/tout à fait normal] !
Tout à fait normal... it's late at night for me, but is that part of the refrain of Le Bien Qui Fait Mal, a song from Mozart l'Opèra Rock?
I said the translation should be "C'était seulment naturel" and was marked wrong. Can someone explain why?
Read the comment above by Sitesurf. It is a perfectly clear explanation, which I found useful after making the same mistake as you (though with "seulement" spelt correctly).
You misspelled "seulement". To convert a verb into an adverb, turn the verb into its feminine form, and add "-ment". (mostly, there are exceptions)
Hope this helps!
"it was" to "c'etait" I get. "natural" to "naturel" works too. But how can you get "bien" from "only"? Google translate has "it was very natural" for "c'etait bien naturel" and translates "it was only natural" to "c'etait naturel" leaving out the word that has me stumped. Any clues?
It is idiomatic, so there is no specific reason for English to use "only" or French to use "bien". In both cases, this sentence is said to someone having thanked you for something you politely consider as "only/really/very natural" or "bien/tout/tout à fait naturel".
English could say "merely", "just", or "solely perhaps with a similar meaning. What bothers me about "bien" is that in my two french to english dictionaries and online at google translate and fdl translate, they don't equate "bien" with "only" It makes it difficult to study if there is a dissagreement over what it means. In the mean time, I will put this in the memorize category.
Dictionaries cannot compile all idiomatic usages, and the translation of "bien" to "only" (or the other around) is rare.