"The French don't drink only red wine."

Translation:Les Français ne boivent pas que du vin rouge.

July 12, 2020

This discussion is locked.


Ne+verb+que = only +verb Ne+verb+pas+que= don't+verb+only


This sentence sounds so wrong in English! Maybe the French don’t only drink red wine would be better?


Not 'better' but different. Duo's sentence is perfectly natural. It matters where you place 'only'. If you say they 'only drink red wine' I'd reply the French do lots of other things too, like go to work, make love, play rugby (rather well actually) etc.

As it is placed here, 'only' is clearly related to what they drink and not about what they do generally. This is reflected in the position of 'que' in the French version. (Your wording would be quite normal, however, in a conversation or discussion about their drinking habits where the context had already been established).


Les Français ne boivent pas seulement du vin rouge.-


I wish I could add comments to my report "something else went wrong" - this sentence MAKES NO SENSE in English. NO ONE ever says this.

A better translation would be "The French only drink red wine" or "The French drink nothing but red wine" (I'm honestly surprised "nothing but" is not used anywhere in this lesson when it is the most accurate translation of this sentence construction).


Weichwieschnee, I agree that it would be good to be able to add a personal message to "something else went wrong". However, with regards to your translation, I think you misunderstood the meaning of the sentence both in French and English. The sentence means: "The French don't only drink red wine". - they also drink white wine or rosé, for example. I hope you can understand the difference in the meaning from the two examples you gave.


EHHH guys English is my second language; however this English sentence sounds terrible awkward to me. Is this a good translation?


English is my mother tongue, and I would say: The French don't only drink red wine. It is the placement of "only" that makes it sound awkward to my ear. I agree with RSchonning, see above. Perhaps Duo's sentence sounds natural in French, but not in English as BrianBoru4 (above) suggests. I lived in France for more than twenty years and even the French sentence sounds awkward to me. I would not add the "pas" before "que". Perhaps a native French speaker could comment here.


It is sort of awkward. I would say " I think the French drink more than just red wine"


Alternative answer :-

Les Françaises ne boivent pas seulement du vin rouge
Les Françaises ne boivent pas du vin rouge seulement

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