1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Nous n'en pouvions plus de c…

"Nous n'en pouvions plus de ce bruit de téléphone !"

Translation:We couldn't take this phone noise anymore!

June 19, 2020



What is "phone noise"????? Does the phone make some kind of constant noise when not in use? Does it have an annoying ring? Is there a noise on the line when trying to use it? Does this sentence make sense in French?


I came hear to find out if everybody was as puzzled as me. What is "telephone noise," exactly... ??


Same question!!!


"Phone noise" is the noise of one or (usually) more phones continually ringing.


Is there something missing in the French version? Could it be "Nous ne pouvions plus subir ce bruit de téléphone"?


"n'en plus pouvoir [de quelque chose]" is a fixed idiom, which is almost exclusively used in the present or imperfect tense: "I can't take it anymore" is "Je n'en peux plus"

A more literal and also acceptable translation would be "On ne pouvait plus supporter ce bruit de téléphone"


Thanks for your clarification.


Thanks!! This is great information.. I thought the use of the imperfect here by DUO was purely random. Here's a lingot!

EDIT! EDIT! I stand by my appreciation for the insight re the usual tenses for the idiom 'je n''en peux plus'...

However I have to ask if the use of the verb 'supporter' is a correct alternative for "I cannot stand this noise" in your sentence. 'Supporter' with reference to THINGS seem to mean hold together/actually hold up like ATLAS! 'Supporter' with reference to PEOPLE means to stand/tolerate (not tolerate) someone. .. as opposed to soutenir by the way which means to encourage/support someone.

And DUOLINGO throughout the course has used both verbs accordingly. The translation then "On ne pouvait plus supporter ce bruit de téléphone" WONT mean I cannot stand this NOISE since it is a THING... it would mean I cannot support(hold together/maintain) this telephone noise. What do you think??


Your two way split seems rather oversimplistic.

My dictionary lists not two, but five different contexts for "supporter" and several of them take different classes of Object.

Il ne supporte pas ce genre de musique/vantardise    he can't stand this music/boasting

would even suggest that the pouvoir can be implied.


But how can one verb have two Indirect Objects?

Is that allowed grammatically?

If it is the same Object, then isn't it required to be:
"De ce bruit de téléphone, nous n'en pouvions plus !" ?


Having a redundant subject or object pronoun that echoes a noun is not systematic but fairly common in the spoken language: however in this case the seemingly redundant 'ne' is always required and cannot be left out, because it is an integral part of the idiom.

For instance, "Je n'ai pas besoin de ça" can colloquially be expressed as "J'en ai pas besoin, de ça" (though it's also natural without the en), and this can also occur to subjects (Il est là, Paul ?) and direct objects (je la connaissais pas, cette histoire), but in this case it's different because nobody would every say "Je ne peux plus de ça", not even in refined speech: it's always "je n'en peux plus de ça" because that's how the idiom works.


So does that mean that it is correct grammar?

If so, is there a limit on how many Indirect Objects there can be?

Your other examples use dislocation, which does not break any grammatical rules (or possibly have had the rules modified to enable them).

Nor would this break the rules if it was expressed as "De ce bruit de téléphone, nous n'en pouvions plus !".


This sounds a lot like "I can't even" as a newer idiom/slang. Interesting.


Not 'telephone' v 'phone' again! Come on please!


What are they on about?!


is anyone able to tell me what is wrong with "we couldn't put up with this telephone noise any more" please?


i wote another reply which I deleted cause I reread your sentence... since you do not have an apostrophe after 'telephone' I think you are saying the same thing that DUO is. Hope you reported it.

Duo has translated the idiom ''n'en peux plus' very strictly though.. they may not like 'put up with'.


Colloquially, in English we might also say "we couldn't do with this phone noise any more"


I had "an extra space": We couldn't take anymorethis phone noise! So there is NO proofreading? (They did accept the answer though.)


Yes, duolingo thinks "any more" should be "anymore". Bad English, but very common these days.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.