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  5. "Sans prévenir personne ?"

"Sans prévenir personne ?"

Translation:Without warning anybody?

April 4, 2013



"tell" is the first option given for "prevenir", warn is way at the bottom. Should "without telling anyone" also be accepted, or is there a better way to say that?


"Prévenir" is closer to "warn". You could say "Without telling anyone" though.


"Telling" is accepted (in the sense of warning, notifying, alerting) someone to a threat or danger, for example.


'Prévenir' also means to prevent. So why can't 'Sans prévenir personne' mean Without preventing anyone?


As I understand it, this is one of those cases where the meaning depends on the object. If you specify a person you are warning them, if you specify a thing you are preventing it. (or at least that's how I read the wordreference.net entry.)


Why not any person?


It's a possibility, I suppose, but it wouldn't be the most natural construction here. "Anybody" or "anyone" would be the typical way to put it, and I think these are more in line with the sense of the French.

Also, to my mind "any person" could mean that the sentence is trying to differentiate between a person and some other type of entity, and I'm not sure the French provides that nuance. Perhaps a native French speaker could weigh in.

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