"She has not said a thing since her father left."

Translation:Elle n'a rien dit depuis que son père est parti.

April 2, 2018

This discussion is locked.


I thought that "rien," like some other negations, came after the past participle. "Elle n'a dit rien..."?


Same question. I'm always unsure of where the negation goes in these cases. Can anyone clarify this?


Are there examples of these cases you mentioned? Normally, it would be 'il n'a pas dit' so it would make sense for rien to replace pas there.


Took a while, but I finally found a clippable text. It actually contradicts my original point (above) for this particular example, but it does make my general point, which is that the second part of some negations follow the past participle rather than the auxiliary verb. From French for Dummies: "In the passé composé, the second negative words personne (no one), nulle part (nowhere), ni (neither/nor), and aucun (none) + noun go after the past participle, not before. Ne stays in the same place. For example: Nous n’avons vu personne. (We saw no one.) Here’s the formula: Subject + ne + conjugated form of être or avoir + past participle + personne/nulle part/ni/aucun." Expanding on the topic a bit, for me, the order of the small words in a sectence is one of the hardest rules to master. For example: "He got no one up early,": "Il ne s'est leve personne tot." That's probably not even close. It's a long, complicated subject, but I can't find the rules set down concretely in any one location, either in print or on line.


In the last example of use of depuis, the first verb was in the present tense - Elle ne dit rien- , why is it in the passé composé here?


Yes, this is puzzling me too.


I believe because she said nothing ONCE. It is not a continuing thing STILL happening. On the contrary, If the sentence said "She has been silent...." Then it would be something like "Elle est silencieuse depuis que..."


Elle n'a pas dit un mot depuis que son père est parti ???


Where are the words "a thing" in the French sentence?


Rien means "anything", so « n'a rien dit » = "has not said anything" = "has not said a thing."


"Elle n'a rien dit depuis le départ de son père" should have been accepted !!


Back translation: "She has said nothing since her father's departure."


Thanks for you answer. ;-)


can we say "elle n'a pas dit une chose" and why is que used here ? is it used to connect two phrases ?


Sitesurf wrote on "Next? They can eat normally.": "Depuis" is only a preposition you can use before a noun or adverb: depuis hier, depuis une semaine, depuis longtemps... "Depuis que" is a conjunction you use to introduce a full clause (subject + verb): depuis que son père est parti.

I got this info from Sitesurf. She is most helpful.


Why isn't "She has not said a thing" not in present tense? As mentioned by JBOXY she is still (in the present) not saying anything, so it should be in present. Can anyone explain why duo uses past?


The French passé composé (compound past) maps to both the past perfective ("she did not say") and the present perfect ("she has not said") in English, depending on context. This context calls for its translation as the present perfect, which describes an action that was completed in the past from the perspective of its effect on the present -- so, "She has not said anything" means that she didn't say anything in the past and still is not currently saying anything. The present perfect is actually the literal translation of « elle n'a rien dit » anyway ('a' is the present tense conjugation of avoir).


Does the second verb have to be "partir"? Does "quitter" not work and why not?


'Quitter' doesn't work because it is a transitive verb, meaning it requires an object (which is either a place or person); 'partir' and its synonym 's'en aller' are intransitive ('partir' has an informal transitive sense in Québec, but I am ignoring that here, especially since this course teaches France French).


Why can't it be "elle n'a rien dite... "


In the passe compose, the past participle -- participe passe -- (the verb that goes after the auxillary verb of etre or avoir) generally does not need agreement. You only need to have agreement with the passe compose when the direct object is before the verb. So for example: J'ai donné la lettre a lui. (no agreement) Je l'ai donnée a lui. (the l' is replacing "la lettre" and it goes before the verb "donner" in the passé composé so "donné" becomes "donnée" since "la lettre" is feminine)

This also applies for other things, so if it were les lettres, it would be: Je les ai données a lui (note the extra "s" now that the direct object is plural)


Hope this helps; you could also check https://www.thoughtco.com/french-agreement-compound-verbs-works-4086482 for more exceptions and rules etc.

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