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"Since he has become rich, he is bad."

Translation:Depuis qu'il est riche, il est mauvais.

April 4, 2013



Why can we not use "devient" instead of "est"?


"Devenir" is a change, so if you use the present with "devenir" (devient), it means that the person is becoming rich right now (which is not the case here).

If you want to use "devenir" in this sentence, you have to use the "passé composé" (which is in my opinion a more accurate translation) :

"Depuis qu'il est devenu riche, il est mauvais."


Doesn't the use of "depuis que" allow you to go without the use of any other tenses?


So, there is a lot of complaining about this sentence, and I think it comes from the English sentence (although DL seems to accept the new version). "Depuis que" and "Since" are not perfect synonyms. If you say "Depuis qu'il devient riche" with the present tense, it is a bit unnatural, not false, but it means that he is still "becoming rich".

I understand that "Since he has gotten a car" translates to "Depuis qu'il a une voiture", but then it also means the guy still has this car, the action is still happening.

In the sentence above, since the used verb is "devenir", in itself it means it's a change of state. If you phrase it "Depuis qu'il devient riche", that would imply that the guy is not yet rich (he's still poor? average?), but that you can see that he is going to be rich. You imply that he is in the moment closer to being rich every moment. That's why "depuis qu'il est devenu riche" is much better, because then you understand that at a certain point he became rich. And he still is now.


I thought 'depuis que' took the present tense after it, even though in English we use a past tense. ("Depuis qu'elle est jeune, elle est jolie - she has been pretty since she was young").

I would translate the French sentence as "Since he was rich, he has been bad" which is slightly different than using 'become'.

I dunno - I'm no native speaker; that's just how I understood 'depuis que'


i also felt like using the pc of devinir, but i did not know if duolingo would accept an answer with a different tense...


I agree that your last sentence is better than the given translation.

Additionally, most English speakers would never translate "Depuis qu'il est riche, il est mauvais." as "Since he has become rich, he is bad." They would translate it as "Since he is rich, he is bad."


so this sentence equally sucks in French? Everything about this example is terrible.


No, the sentence doesn't "suck", it's just that it's not a correct translation in my opinion.


in addition to being a poor translation, the english is either wrong or very unnatural. I would never use the present simple "he is bad" after "since he has become rich".


When do you use, depuis, which means, since, and when do you use, depuis que, which means, since?


my understanding is that depuis que was necessary here because essentially you have a short sentence following depuis: depuis qu'(il est riche)... I used parenthesis to emphasize the point: what's inside could have been a whole sentence, so the French add que. by contrast "since tuesday" depuis Mardi: Mardi is not a sentence on its own.



Is that a general rule for words that have que behind them and together mean what the word alone means? I've seen that a bit recently. Either way, thanks again!


"words that have que behind them and together mean what the word alone means" -- I understand from a practical sense why you say the meanings are the same. But in a technical sense it is not "depuis que" that you should be thinking about, just "que."

The "que" in the credited response, and almost certainly in those other combinations you are thinking of -- what does it do? Why is it there?

"Que" informs the listener or reader that an "independent clause" (now borrowing the closest term from English grammar) will follow. To even think "depuis que Mardi" means someone's train of thought changed part-way through, and then they either did not notice or they were too lazy to excuse themselves. Or they were still learning the language, I suppose. :)

So returning to the word "depuis," I recommend thinking of "depuis" as one word -- which it obviously is. If you want to add a complete, independent sentence (independent clause) to it, then you need a "que" to hold them together. Otherwise, to add something less than that, you don't need the "que."

But as long as you know what you are saying and your listener/reader does, too, then it really does not matter how one grammar hound discusses it versus another.

*** Edited: I just realized that "Depuis que Mardi..." would make sense, so long as Tuesday was the subject of a sentence/clause, eg, a girl named Tuesday.


In the few example I can remember, what you say sort of jives, but discrepancies between duo and GTs translations make it hard to analyze (pendant (que) and alors (que) for example). However I'll take what your saying and further analyze as more examples come my way. Thanks a bunch, that helped a lot!


the only thing I understood from this is that que is sometimes needed to connect two parts of a sentence, but I'm still nit sure when


"Depuis" is a preposition, and therefore introduces nominal groups: "Depuis la semaine passée" = "Since last week". "Depuis que" (and actually most group of prepositions with "que") is a conjunction and introduces a proposition, which is a sentence with a VERB. It's the conjugated verb that makes the whole difference, not the length of the sentence.

Better example: "Depuis l'année du terrible ouragan de la côte est des États-Unis" = "Since the year of the terrible hurricane of the US East Coast" - No verb, just a very long noun (The year, l'année) with a long complement.

"Depuis qu'il est né" = Since he was born. Short, but with a conjugated verb. Note that like in English, it is a subordinated clause, meaning that in itself, even if there is a conjugated verb, it cannot stand as a complete sentence.


why not "dès qu'il est riche, il est mauvais" ?


"As soon as he's rich, he's bad."


"Depuis qu'il est riche, il est mauvais" to me sounds like "Since he is riche, he is bad" so is this one of those situations were context will make it obvious, because that is very different than "Since he has become rich, he is bad."

How would you say "Since he is riche, he is bad" and why is become not translated and apparently assumed?


In this particular example, in French, it would not make a big difference if we used "Depuis qu'il est riche" or "Depuis qu'il est devenu riche", because both imply that the action was made in the past, and is continuing right now. But "Depuis qu'il est devenu riche" is a more accurate translation in my opinion.


so in general depuis translating into 'since' is not used in the same connotation as in english e.g. since it is cold I wear a sweater, right?


In English, if you use "since" to mean "considering the fact that", you won't use "depuis" in French.

You would use instead "Vu que" or "Puisque".


Why can't we put "Depuis il est rich, il est mauvais" ? It's saying I have to put "qu'il"...


Because "Depuis" alone is a preposition and can only introduce nominal groups (with only nouns). You need the "que" or "qu' " if you want to make it a conjunction that can introduce a clause with a verb (see discussion above)


Can someone translate what I wrote? "Depuis il va bien à riche, il est mauvais"


Your sentence doesn't make any sense because its structure is not correct. There is no orthography or conjugation mistake though.

If I try to translate word for word your sentence it would be something like : "Since he goes well to rich, he is bad."

When you use "depuis", you have to use "que" when there is a verb in the clause it inserts (in this exercise, "depuis" inserts "il est devenu riche" which contains the verb "être").

I don't understand why you used "va bien à" which has nothing to do with the original sentence.


Thanks! I used "va bien à" because I peeked at "become" and that's what it suggested. It was a long shot :)


So according to the comments here and elsewhere, depuis que has a temporal and not a causal meaning.

I learned in my English grammar lessons that the clause with the (temporal) "since" requires past tense and the other clause requires present perfect. "Since he became rich, he has been bad."

Am I overlooking something?


You are absolutely right. "Depuis que" is a good translation for the temporal meaning of "since", but not for the causal meaning. For causal meaning you would use "puisque" or "étant donné que". Since he's rich, he can pay for that = Puisqu'il est riche, il peut payer pour cela.


i do not understand why mechant was marked as a correct translation for bad. doesn't mechant mean evil or malicious rather than just bad?


I think mauvaise also means evil or malicious. That's the difference with mal. It makes sense in this sentence, what other of "bad" could you get from being rich?


This sentence keeps coming up, and it's terrible. It needs to be exchanged for one that makes sense, and is easier to translate directly.


Here is not the place where this type of problem has to be reported. Please use the "report a problem" feature. Also, there is nothing wrong with this sentence in my opinion.


It sounds very unnatural. I'm double checking if it's even appropriate to use the present simple in that case, but in the very least it's both an inaccurate translation and unnatural English.


If by unnatural you mean that it's not used in common English, it may be true. But there are plenty of those sentences, not only in English. You have to keep in mind that litterature and old expressions can be used as well. There are many sentences proposed in French which I find useless in oral conversation, but useful for reading books or any formal written texts.


By unnatural and inappropriate I mean it would be marked incorrect on the IELTS, which is what I'm currently checking.

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