"My wife likes to sleep only in the dark."

Translation:Ma femme n'aime dormir que dans le noir.

July 18, 2020

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English order word correct not - sound like Yoda


I think that if the que goes before dormir it would sound better in English - my wife only likes to sleep in the dark. However - whereas the meaning of that is obvious to a native speaker, to someone learning English, there are two possibilities. 1) my wife likes to sleep only in a dark room (which is the implication above); 2) my wife doesn't like doing anything other than sleep while in the dark (I'll leave that implication to your imagination!).

This might be the reason that this phrasing was chosen. There are numerous exercises in this or another subject (I'm revising, so I can't remember what goes where) where the que / only is placed in two different places in otherwise identical sentences. I assume that the intent was to make sure we're very specific with what we write in translation. On the other hand, they may have had completely different intentions. It wouldn't be the first time I was wrong, and it sure won't be the last.


My wife only likes to sleep in the dark. In English the "only" generally goes before the verb it modifies(between the subject and main auxiliary verb). The English here sounds like a French speaker of English transposing French grammar into the English.


If the focus is on another part of the sentence, we usually put only in the normal mid position for adverbs (between the subject and the main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb):

I only go home once a month. (between subject and main verb)

She had only arrived at midnight the night before. (after the first auxiliary verb)


Why isn't seulement accepted?


"Ma femme aime dormir seulement dans le noir" is accepted.

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