"Elle n'a préparé qu'une tasse de café."

Translation:She made only one cup of coffee.

July 10, 2020

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what? Huh? I do not understand, did i miss a section? She did not make? but she did?


Here's another: https://duome.eu/tips/en/zz . (In a rare lucid moment, I had the sense to bookmark this treasure trove of French grammar!) Use the Table of Contents at the very start to jump to Adverbs 3, where you will find the ne ... que construction explained.


She only made one cup of coffee. She made only one cup of coffee. Same difference. Reported it.


They must have fixed it since you reported two days ago!


Is this English translation one of several readings of the French sentence, or is it the only possible interpretation? This particular interpretation seems to suggest that the focus of ne-que is une (tasse), so that it means, roughly, that (1) she made no more than one cup of coffee (and not two or three). Can the French sentence also mean, e.g.; (2) she only made (a cup of) coffee and not (a cup of) tea, etc.; (3) all she did was make a cup of coffee, and she did nothing else; (4) she only made a cup of coffee but didn't drink it; (5) only she and no one else made a cup of coffee; etc. ?


Yes, it's the same problem of interpretation you have in English with placement of the word "only." "Que" or "only" should be placed next to the word to which it refers; e.g, only a cup, only one, only made, only she. It's another of those situations where the context has to tell you what is meant.


Is this form of saying only one in French common? Or would it be better to say Elle a préparé seulement une tasse de café?


Your exact question is in this link, which fully explains the syntax and the 'elegance' as they put it and the comparison with seulement.. https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/how-to-use-restrictive-ne-que-with-simple-tenses-to-express-only-negative-expressions


Not but only one=only one?


"Not but only one" is not a construction I recognise. Is it American? It does not "feel" right, in any case. "But" implies a negative. In the UK we would probably say, "I made but one" (= "I made only one") - but the use of "but one" in this context is obsolescent if not archaic.


No, only "but one", as in the UK. Even though it is more formal, literary and somewhat archaic; it does reflect the negative implication of the French translation well.


Or am I reading that incorrectly?


ne...que Only one. She made but one cup of coffee. We don't usually say that, but look at it that way. It might help. We have but one live to live. We have only one live to live. We only have one life to live.


Why not... she prepared but one cup of coffee...?


I agree and (for what it's worth) reported.


I am finding the new voices impossible to understand and I am getting answers wrong when having to guess. Please revert to previous voices.


"Coffee cup" is not correct?


That would be tasse à café

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