"The poor man did not know what was happening."

Translation:Le pauvre homme ne savait pas ce qui se passait.

April 28, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Le pauvre homme, rather than je homme pauvre?


"pauvre" is a fickle adjective. Before the noun it means "pitiable". After the noun it means "lacking money". Figurative before, literal after.

  • le pauvre homme = the pitiable man
  • l'homme pauvre = the man lacking money

Both can be translated as "the poor man".

A good rule of thumb is BANGS, but it's just a rule of thumb, not to be used in every situation because it covers many fickle adjectives where you need to know whether to use them figuratively or literally.

  • mon ancienne voiture = my previous car
  • ma voiture ancienne = my aged car

Both can be translated as "my old car".


So basically both are correct here. Without context pitiable is more probable but we cannot exclude that it's about a pauper.


you don't even need the homme. 'le pauvre' works fine by itself. i think


I've got a problem with the reflexiveness here - if it's "se passait" shouldn't it be "was happening TO HIM"?


The reflexive verb is used because the verb acts on the subject, i.e., it is the "ce qui" was happening. Larousse shows examples of "se passer" here: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/passer/661830


Is it incorrect to use connaître here?

"Le pauvre homme ne connaissait pas ce qui se passait." → "The poor man did not recognise what was happening."?

Duo rejects it, but I'm not 100% convinced that it should.


GfK France seem to feel content that it works:

  • *"Nos clients … ont besoin de connaitre ce qui se passe sur leur marché.

So I'm reporting it.

  • 725

Non, dans cette phrase là, cela ne fait vraiment pas naturel (je précise que je suis française). À la limite, on pourrait dire "Le pauvre homme n'avait pas connaissance de ce qu'il se passait."

Dans l'exemple donné en réponse (sur GfK), la construction verbale est "avoir besoin de connaitre qqch", pas uniquement le verbe "connaitre qqch"

  • 725


Comment le plus-que-parfait s'était passé se traduirait-il en anglais, svp ?

Merci par avance


How do the plu perfect s'était passé will be traduced in english, please ?

Thanks in advance


Le pauvre homme ne savait pas ce qu'il s'était passé.

The poor man did not know what had happened.


le pauvre homme n'a pas su ce qui arrivait

It works


I have two questions:

1) What is the function of ce in this sentence?

2) why is passer used reflexively here?

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