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

How to say 'both of' in French

In the exercises, Duo consistently translates 'ces deux' and 'ses deux' as 'these two' and 'his two' and marks 'both of' as wrong. Does 'Ces deux restaurants sont ouverts depuis hier' not mean 'Both of these restaurants have been open since yesterday'? And 'Ses deux grands-pères sont morts' mean 'Both of his grandfathers are dead'?

I know the mods are swamped. I would just like to know if I've got it wrong. I often see 'tous les deux' meaning both. Is that required?

September 5, 2019

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karasu4

Seems to me it's most usual to put 'les deux' before nouns for 'both', and 'tous les deux' or 'tous deux' after.

'Les deux chiens sont vieux' (Yes that literally means 'the two dogs', but what's the difference between that and 'both'?)

'Ils sont vieux tous (les) deux.'

See here for more info: https://www.wordreference.com/enfr/both

September 5, 2019

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

The only difference I could see would be between:

Both dogs - 2 out of 2 dogs
These two dogs - 2 out of ? dogs

But this is very subtle.

If it were me, for "ces deux restaurants", I would accept "both of these restaurants" but not "both restaurants". Really, though, "these two restaurants" is a better answer.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vu7xENbj

Really, I can't see any reason why "both" is not to be used (I am currently among french guys)

September 5, 2019

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

Thanks karasu4.

September 5, 2019

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

Both of your sentences can indeed be translated with "both". "Ses deux" can't actually be translated as "these two" because "ses" isn't a demonstrative but a possessive, so yeah, you could translate it as "his/her two" or "both his/her". I think "both his/her" form is more common in English??

As for "Ces deux", I think there is always a way to translate it using "both" but it generally is more accurate to use "these two" or "those two", since "ces" is a demonstrative. E.g : "Je les supporte pas, ces deux-là" = I can't stand these two "Je vais prendre ces deux-là" = I'll take these two...

September 5, 2019

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

Thanks ZarrouguiL. Yes, it sounds odd to say "his two sisters" rather than "both (of) his sisters".

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kati673185

oui, tous les deux

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

To me, the translation is not exactly the same. Both of.. would be translated as deux de.. :

Both of these restaurants are open should be Deux de ces restaurants sont ouverts and not ces deux restaurants . You're talking about several restaurants (more than 2) and you want to be specific talking about 2 of them. If there were only 2 restaurants, you would say les 2 restaurants but you use both of to include the 2 in a bigger group .

Using ces deux or ses deux would be translated as these two .. in my opinion like DL says. I don't know if I'm making myself clear ..? :) Sorry, it's the feeling that I have about these two languages (!)

September 5, 2019

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

That's not the meaning of "both". There's no notion of "among" (parmi d'autres) in both. "Deux de ces..." would actually be translated as "Two of these...".

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

Well, if you add of I would say that there is a meaning of among , it's not the same as using both alone. I know I'm not perfectly bilingual and the Larousse is not perfect either, but there is this example : both dresses are pretty = les deux robes sont jolies. They don't give an example with both of but both of these dresses are pretty wouldn't have the same meaning , otherwise why two different ways to say the exact same thing ?

Plus j'y pense et plus je m'embrouille ! Il y a quelqu'un de parfaitement bilingue ici ? L'es-tu Zarrougil ?

September 5, 2019

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

Je ne suis pas complètement bilingue mais je suis plutôt avancé et surtout assez sûr de moi sur ce coup "Both these dresses" et "Both of these dresses" ont exactement le même sens. Tu as raison il y a bien un "among" mais en fait c'est "among these two dresses" (parmi ces deux robes-ci, les deux sont jolies).

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

Ok, ok je crois que je m'emmêle bien les pinceaux à cause de ce of ;) , différentes façons de dire la même chose : c'est facile de s'y retrouver ! J'ai encore des choses à assimiler :)

September 5, 2019

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

The 'of' after 'both' is optional in a lot of cases. You can use it or not use it, but the meaning doesn't change.

For all the details, look at this: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/linking-words-and-expressions/both

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

Thank you, lots of examples on this link :)

September 5, 2019

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

No. Both and both of have the same meaning. Whether the 'of' is needed depends on the following word.

If there are more than two objects, using the word 'both' isn't enough to indicate which two you are talking about. You must also indicate in some other way.

September 5, 2019
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