"Il ne voyait que sa petite amie, le dimanche."
Translation:He used to see only his girlfriend on Sundays.
18 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
The 2 allowable translations [French to English] have very different meanings. It accepted :"He used to see his girlfriend only on Sundays" meaning he only saw her once a week. Also, "He used to see only his girlfriend on Sundays" means he devotes Sundays to his girlfirend, but doesn't say whether he sees her on the other days. Odd.
It is; it depends on the placement of que:
Il ne voyait que sa petite amie, le dimanche = "He used to see only his girlfriend (and no one else) on Sundays."
Il ne voyait sa petite amie que le dimanche = "He only used to see his girlfriend on Sundays (and no other weekday)."
This implies that he sees other girls on the other days and only his girlfriend on Sundays. If that's what you want to imply, fine, but otherwise I suggest "He used to see his girlfriend only on Sundays." The placement of "only" in English is very important to the meaning.
As sean.mullen helpfully explains above, the placement of 'que' has the same importance in the French as 'only' has in English. Here, the placing of 'que' means it clearly qualifies 'petite amie' so meaning she is the only person he sees on Sundays. If it wanted to say Sundays are the only day he sees her, it would be 'ne ... que le dimanche'.
Btw, honi soit qui mal y pense! No implication he's unfaithful to her the rest of the week, just that on Sundays she is the only person he sees. He may see her at other times, but in the company of other people.
That's the standard way of translating 'ne...que'. https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-use-restrictive-ne-que-with-compound-tenses-to-express-only-negative-expression