"He wanted to be only with his girlfriend."

Translation:Il ne voulait être qu'avec sa petite amie.

July 8, 2020

This discussion is locked.

  • 1258

I have written this answer and been marked wrong , changed it to 'qu'etre avec sa petite amie ' and that was also marked wrong . what gives?


This caught me out too, i thought i was answering one question when in fact i was answering two very similar questions. I guess it's to show how the placement of 'que' changes the meaning. Il ne voulait être qu'avec sa petite amie - he wanted to be only with his girlfriend. Il ne voulait qu'être avec sa petite amie - he wanted only to be with his girlfriend.


My problem is that "he wanted to be only with his girlfriend" seems to me the same thing as "he wanted only to be with his girlfriend". What's the difference supposed to be? I don't get it.


The first phrase states the only thing he wanted to do was just to be with her and nothing else did he want. Whereas the 2nd one states that she was the only person he wanted to be with, and nobody else.

Unfortunately, English is somewhat ambiguous regarding what part of the sentence 'only' applies to.


I think formal English is just as precise but English as it is commonly spoken is often crude.


In one exercise the correct answer is "Il ne voulait qu'être avec sa petite amie." In the very next exercise, the correct answer was "Il ne voulait être qu'avec sa petite amie." It's hard enough to learn the language as it is, without the rules being changed from one time to the next.


couldn't Que be before etre too?


Placing the 'que' before 'etre' gives the sentence a very slightly different meaning, I think. I notice that there are 2 very similar sentences in the exercise: 'il ne voulait etre qu' avec sa petite amie', which is translated as 'he wanted to be only with his girlfriend' and 'il ne voulait qu'etre avec sa petite amie' for which the translation is 'he wanted only to be with his girlfriend'. (Maybe 'he only wanted to be with his girlfriend' would actually convey this more clearly)


There are two other sentences in the exercise in which the difference in meaning is even clearer:

Il ne regarde des films romantiques que le lundi.
He watches romantic movies only on Mondays.

Il ne regarde que des films romantiques le lundi.
He watches only romantic movies on Mondays.


What's the actual difference between "...only wanted to be with..." and "...wanted to be only with..."? The end result is exactly the same.


Maybe the difference is that in the first sentence, he doesn't want to be with any other person, whereas in the second sentence, life is not worth living without his girlfriend. If 'etre' can carry the meaning of simply being alive, this might make more sense.


Is it correct that que comes before whatever is being limited? Or is that an over simplification?


If you type your response it marks it wrong and says that the answer should be: Il ne voulait qu’être avec sa petite amie. If you put that it says it is wrong and to use il ne voulait être qu'avec sa petite amie. YOU have got a problem with the program here.


another one needs changing


Sometimes you accept 'Il ne voulait qu'etre avec sa petite amie' , but at other times it has to be 'il ne voulait etre qu'avec sa petite amie'. Which one is right?


There must be better examples to teach the ne que construct.


In some exercises it is "verb + qu'être" and in others "être + qu'avec"..... What is the rule or the correct form? Thanks


This is very frustrating. Why can't Duolingo fix their problem when so many have encountered the same thing? They have two different answers that contradict each other. Should it be "qu'être avec" or "être qu'avec"? . Duolingo's conflicting wrong answers come not only within the same lesson but one right after the other.


You Don't make sense

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