"We couldn't take this phone noise anymore!"

Translation:Nous n'en pouvions plus de ce bruit de téléphone !

July 9, 2020

31 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I think it's strange to use en without a precident.


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

It's an idiom. There are many of these where en has no antecedent, like je m'en vais (I'm leaving).


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

Can you say "j'en vais" ? I thought it had to be "je m'en vais" ? (or "j'y vais")


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

Thank you. (I've corrected this.)


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

It isn't apparent to me when to use 'de' vs 'du'


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

Why can't it be "nous n'en pouvions plus de bruit de ce téléphone"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rlando
  • 2453

I would never say "this phone noise" when I mean "this phone's noise". I think that's the difference in the English, and the French put "ce" in a different position to clarify whether it's "this house" or "this phone".


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

Why is passé composé rejected here?


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

If it was "we couldn't stand this phone noise anymore", how would it be written in french?


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

It would be "Nous ne pouvions plus supporter ce bruit de téléphone.".

I don't think Duo's sentence is grammatically correct.


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

"We couldn't stand" and "We couldn't take" are really just two ways of saying the same thing, much as ne plus pouvoir supporter and n'en plus pouvoir are saying the same thing. You can use supporter here, but Duo is teaching the idiom n'en plus pouvoir in this exercise.

Duo's sentence looks fine to me.

https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/n’en_plus_pouvoir

And the following link includes the example je n'en peux plus de ce traitement, which has the same form of n'en (pouvoir) ... plus ... de + noun. (It's first person singular present tense, not first person plural imparfait, but the structure is the same.)

https://www.linguee.com/french-english/translation/je+n%27en+peux+plus.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ren831076

On ne pouvait plus supporter ce bruit de téléphone


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

That should be accepted. Or are you saying that it is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malgosia704487

On ne peut plus prenner why it is wrong


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

Because there is no such word as "prenner". Well, not in French, anyway.

The equivalent sentence using "on" is:
"On n'en pouvait plus de ce bruit de téléphone !".


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

I suspect he/she was aiming for On ne peut pas prendre. Of course, that too would be wrong since it's a word-for-word translation of an English idiomatic expression.


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

"Pouvoir" appears to have two Indirect Objects here! Is that legitimate, grammatically? Sitesurf?


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

… or anyone else?


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

As you may remember, French has rules and exceptions "qui confirment la règle".

"Je n'en peux plus de" is therefore grammatically legitimate as an idiomatic phrase. The fact that the two prepositions are "de" is an anomaly but that's the beauty of idioms.

"Je lui en veux de" works the same way with 3 prepositions: "à" and "de" twice.

Idioms very often break the rules of regular grammar. The reason is that they often are older than our current grammar.


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

So if they are breaking grammatical rules, why aren't they categorised as slang, as such an idiom would be in English?

That's not the beauty of idioms, that's the ugly side of idioms (until and unless they amass enough inertia to bring about a rule change).

If they are older, then how can you justify the introduction of new grammatical rules which outlaw current usage? And why do people obey the new rules if they don't fit the language?


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

Those are not slang. You could easily find them in our finest literature.
Don't be too cartesian and please accept anomalies, oddities, poetic license, or illogical things as cherries on language cakes.


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

Grammar ceases to do its job if it becomes illogical. It's purpose is to provide reliable communication and that requires logic and consistency.

That's why your attitude towards generic articles is broken. It makes certain things impossible to translate or communicate accurately.

Likewise your fuzzy logic around "toujours".

I cannot name a single French person who is generally acknowledged to be a great Physicist and I think I am beginning to understand why.


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

What a bizarre comment! Are you joking? Pierre Curie, Ampere, Fourier, Becquerel, Foucault. And then there are the mathematicians and philosophers: Pascal, Fermat, Cauchy, Poincaré, Laplace, Fourier again, Poisson, Lagrange, Voltaire, Beauvoir, Sartre, Rousseau. I guess none of them could "communicate accurately." A list of intellectual midgets, all sadly held back from greatness by their langue maternelle.

Sitesurf said "Don't be so cartesian." And so, I'm reminded of another name that belongs on that list of French mathematicians and philosophers. I disagree with some of his ideas, but I do think one has to include René Descartes in the pantheon of French intellectual giants. In the actual Panthéon, even.


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

It's true that I had forgotten that Pascal was French and that I think of Fourier as a mathematician rather than a physicist which is probably unfair (and that's a fairly dodgy distinction, anyway).

I have already commented elsewhere how astonishing it is that France has produced so many great philosophers given the linguistic hurdles that they must have had to overcome.

But I still think it is observable that in the post Einsteinian era France is falling behind, although I concede that is a foolishly short period to build an opinion upon.


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

It basically means that in reality there is no rule against multiple Indirect Objects even though I was led to believe that there was. If one can have three, is there any limit?

Although so far as I am aware the rule against multiple Direct Objects is still enforced.

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