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  5. "They had quite a lot of thin…

"They had quite a lot of things to say."

Translation:Ils avaient pas mal de choses à dire.

April 1, 2013

17 Comments


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

"Ils ont eu assez beaucoup de choses à dire" - Why isn't this accepted?


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

"quite a lot" does not translate directly.

In reality that just means "many", with a bit of understatement...

In French: "pas mal de..." (with understatement) or "plein de..." (familiar, usual = plenty of)


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

"pas mal de choses"?? you got to be kidding me... "pas mal" in most of cases means "not bad" and it's rarely uses in sentences, usually alone - "comment ça va? - Pas mal". Maybe it could has a meaning "quite a good" but never "quite a lot"....


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

It is a fixed phrase: "pas mal de..." means "quite a lot of..." and "pas grand chose" means "not much"


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

really? huh, i didn't know that, thanks. But now, i'm confused even more!) i always thought that "mal" means "bad" en English, for example "mal chose = bad thing, mal chance = bad luck etc". It seems a little bit strange that "pas mal" means "not bad" (at least in my native language) but "pas mal de" means "quite a lot of". Anyway, thanks again for info, i'll remember it.) As they say in our country - "live and learn"... have a nice day!


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

"Ils avaient beaucoup de choses à dire" is OK too.


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

Yes it is correct indeed, although the understatement I mentioned before does not show here.


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

With auxiliary "avoir" the past participle is invariable except if the direct object is placed before the verb:

  • "les enfants que nous avons eus": "enfants" is the direct object (through "que") and placed before the verb, so "eus" is masculine plural.

  • "ils ont eu des choses à dire": "choses" is the direct object and placed after the verb, so "eu" remains invariable.


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

Wow, thanks a lot. I hope at some point I know all these rules...


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

What exactly does 'eu' say? It's the first time I've seen it in a sentence. Can anyone explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdgamble555

Eu is past participle of avoir used in the simple past tense, this is the imperfect tense section


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

"Eu" is past participle of avoir used in the compound past/passé composé.

Simple past would be "ils/elles eurent pas mal de choses à dire"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdgamble555

whoops, I mean to say composed past tense (passé composé) and its derivatives... thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmur4kits

ils avaient assez beaucoup de choses à dire...is the "assez" unnecessary, even though "beaucoup de" means "a lot of". Am I supposed to just ignore the "quite" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/srh1056

What about "Ils avaient assez de choses à dire"?

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