"Pourtant, nous ne nous sommes absentés que deux minutes."

Translation:Yet, we were away for only two minutes.

April 2, 2018

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Most English speakers would say Yet, we were only away for two minutes. It doesn't sound right to end with "only."


Right. "Only" doesn't belong at the end. We would say "we were only away for two minutes". Fixed.


It's still grammatically correct to place "only" at the end, even if it sounds awkward. I'm glad the version with "only" in the middle is the default translation, but the other one with "only" at the end should be accepted too.

  • We only were away for two minutes
  • We were only away for two minutes ^
  • We were away only for two minutes
  • We were away for only two minutes ^
  • We were away for two minutes only

^ best versions


Kayleigh is correct. "We were only away for two minutes" should replace the current translation or at least be added to the options


I don't see the French word for "only" in the sentence, so why is it wrong to omit "only"?


Perhaps you are looking for 'seulement' but 'ne ... que' qualifies a verb as 'only'.


What does "nous ne nous" mean in this sentence?


Why does the past participle "absentés" go inside the "ne...que" negation? Does "ne...que" not really count as negation because of its meaning even though it follows the negation grammar?


Apparently, que is placed in front of the element that is being restricted, here the number of minutes. It's not a typical ne...pas structure. It's pretty cool that this exposes a layer of subtlety, the examples in the source highlight this quite well: Il ne mange que des pâtes le samedi. versus Il ne mange des pâtes que le samedi. Source: https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-use-restrictive-ne-que-with-simple-tenses-to-express-only-negative-expressions


Why not, Yet we were absent for only ten minutes.. It was marked wrong.


It says two minutes, not ten.


I dont understand how nous ne nous sommes translates to "we were " wouldn't this be "we were not"?


Notice the negative is 'ne --- que', that is to say 'only' not 'not'.


Yet, we were away for two minutes. I am sure it must be correct, or have I gone mad?


You've missed the "ne...que" ("only") part of the sentence: "Yet, we were away for only two minutes" as in the accepted translation.


For easier to remember, should it mean: we were not away more than two minutes?

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