"Il ne peut que regarder."

Translation:He can only watch.

April 6, 2013

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samer.sati

This construction: 'Subject+ne .....que' cannot be translated into negative in English.

For example: je n'aime pas que toi = I love no one but you, or I only live you.

Je ne fais rien que admirer les ├ętoiles= I do nothing but admiring the stars= I only admire the stars.

Notice that we are not using 'pas' after 'ne' the negative.

ne........que

I hope that helps.

August 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

Actually, "but" is negative, and that's my preferred way of translating "ne ... que" to retain some sense of the French. It's difficult to see how "He can only watch" could use "but", however.

May 23, 2018

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

I'm not a native english speaker, so why is "He can just watch." not accepted as translation?

April 6, 2013

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

That seems like a perfectly valid answer to me.

April 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frenchfried1972r

Why can't the answer be: "I can't but look" also work?

October 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ben.kavanagh

I agree. it seems the most natural tranlslation

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sgb4914

Is this an idiom? I don't recall being taught ne que. Does it mean "only" like ne pas means "not"

June 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmil094

it's more of a restrictive clause: which can be translated into many other forms aside from only, such as : He can do nothing but watch, I'd also argue He can just watch should work, He can only watch ... etc...

August 8, 2013

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

Bingo :)

July 11, 2013

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

I think it's helpful to think of the ne .. que construction to mean only or just so Il ne peut que translates to He can only.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27888905

September 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flyings0lo

I think "He can only look on" should be accepted.

February 25, 2019
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