I have a question to all English native speakers: Does "Let me tell you a bit" make sense to you? Maybe it's just me who can't work out the meaning! Merci d'avance pour l'aide :)
non-native here, but for me it doesn't sound natural, I'd go with "let me tell you something" or even "let me tell you a little story" ("Sicily, 1922, a beautiful peasant girl...")
I agree, "let me tell you a bit" is grammatically correct, but is not a normal expression in English. It sounds incomplete and would confuse a listener.
I've reported it as unnatural English (2 July).
"Let me tell you a bit about it", or even "let me tell you a bit of it" (meaning a story) would be okay, but I can't think of a situation where "let me tell you a bit" would make sense.
I agree with you and most of the others - 'let me tell you a bit' begs the question 'a bit of what?'. I endorse the other more natural ways of saying it given by hdcanis with my preference being: let me tell you something.
The use of "a bit" in this sentence is rather out of the ordinary but it is nevertheless grammatically correct. It indicates that the person has some information (a story, if you will) and is about to tell a small part of it. I would not say it this way but perhaps, "Let me tell you a little about it" with the understanding that this is not a translation of "Laissez-moi vous raconter un peu" but a more conversational way of expressing the intended idea.
"Come ON, tell me all about it right now!" "I have an appointment in five minutes. Let me tell you a bit. We can meet later and I'll give you the whole story."
Same question here.. My translation was "Let me talk to you a bit" which proved to be wrong..
It doesn't make a lot of sense; in context, there would be an understood topic of conversation (how our team won, what we used to do in the old days for fun, something....) that the speaker offers to tell "you" a little bit about.
As a native English speaker from the UK i have to say this sentence would never be used as it stands, it requires qualification.
why not "leave me to tell you a little (bit)"? As a native English speaker, I find both translations to be unnatural, but I wonder if my suggestion works?
Using "leave" to mean "allow" or "let" seems to me extremely old-fashioned or possibly dialect. Also, wouldn't it be "Leave me tell you..." rather than "to tell you"? "Leave me to tell you" sounds like you're telling the other person to go away.
The only times that I've seen inversion is when asking a question and thought that it could only be used with questions. So I guess more explicitly my question is, when can/should one use inversion outside of asking questions?
This may be a really basic question as I've never taken a course in french. Therefore most of my grammar knowledge comes from patterns that I have noticed while completing the lessons on this site and not from formal classes on french grammar.
Don't worry, no pb. I do the same in italian so, I get what you mean :)
No in fact, I wondered which inversion are you talking about ?
"Laissez-moi". Looking at the sentence I just noticed that it's an imperative. Is that the reason why inversion is used here?
Let me describe you a little bit- why didn't it allow it when 'describe' was one of the translations of ranconter when I scrolled over it?
I think the problem is that the "vous" here has to be taken as an indirect object; there seems to be an understood 'topic of conversation' that's in effect the direct object of "raconter" : "to relate X to you ." The phrase "un peu," "a little (bit)," seems to be the object here: "to tell you a little bit [of it/them, about it/them]." I would have expected our old friend "en" here, except I guess you "raconter" directly (not "about").
What's the difference between a "bit" (accepted) and a "thing" (wrong) in this instance?
"a bit" is an idiomatic way of saying a small quantity of something (even things that are not easily quantifiable like part of a story). The problem with this sentence is that it is most likely a French translation of an English idiom that gets re-translated into English. It was probably originally an English sentence like:
- Allow me to expand on that a bit
- Let me tell you something
- (highly colloquial) I'll tell you what.
Out of context, it is hard to know the meaning of the original sentence.