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  5. "Du moins, il croyait !"

"Du moins, il croyait !"

Translation:At least, he believed!

June 18, 2013



Are "au moins" and "du moins" used interchangeably in French? If so, which is more common; and if not, what are the rules in using each one?


I would say that they are not always interchangeable because they can be used in two ways:

  • nous serons au moins 10 à la fête (we will be at least 10 at the party) = at minimum
  • nous serons 10 à la fête, du moins en ce qui concerne les adultes (we will be 10 at the party, at least when it comes to adults) = restriction/slight correction of what was just said


What if I were to say, "At least you didn't die," or "At least no one was hurt."?


au moins, tu n'es pas mort / au moins, personne n'a été blessé


But how does one know when to use au moins and when to use du moins?


"au moins" means "at a minimum"

"du moins" means "or more exactly"


Sorry for reviving an old post. The phrase "en ce qui," would you please tell us a bit more about its usage? When should we use it? The literal translation is "in that who/it" but your translation is basically "when." Merci.


"en ce qui concerne" = "when it comes to"

This is idiomatic.


@sitesurf, so can "en ce qui" and "concerne" be used seperately or do they always have to be used together.


"en ce qui concerne" is a fixed phrase (with regard to, regarding, about, when it comes to...).

"concerner" is a verb that you can use separately.

  • cet article concerne un cheval = this aerticle is about a horse

"en ce qui" might be used in a suitable context:

(Source: Linguee)

  • Ce chapitre stipule l'obligation d'information d'une entité en ce qui a trait à ses objectifs, politiques et procédés de gestion [...] = This section establishes an entity's disclosure requirements regarding its objectives, policies and processes for managing [...]


Brilliant, Sitesurf thank you


And when can they be interchangeable? Do they have a second (and common) meaning? Thanks


You're a legend. Thank you for using your time helping others learn


I came across this excellent distinction today: « Il a au moins 100 euros. » vs « Il a du moins 100 euros. » In the first instance he has no fewer than 100 euros, probably more. In the second he has exactly 100 hundred euros and that's better than nothing. "He has at least 100 euros." vs "At least he has 100 euros."

(Credit to Jehan: http://www.etudes-litteraires.com/forum/topic26854-difference-entre-au-moins-et-du-moins.html)


This distinction is interesting but I am not sure you will have lots of occasions to use it.

"Il a du moins 100€" is something even I do not understand.

"Du moins a-t-il 100€" is slightly better (at least/however/though/yet, he has 100€) but it is not crystal clear.

To mean the latter, it is way easier to use "Au moins, il a 100€" (meaning: that's a good start); vs "il a au moins 100€" (that is the minimum he may have, may be he has more).


So...what distinction is to be made between "du moins" and "au moins"?


In this sentence, the difference is not crystal clear.

Here are other examples:

  • tu dois avoir au moins 18 ans pour conduire une voiture (= 18 years of age is a minimum)

  • tu dois avoir 18 ans pour conduire une voiture, du moins en France (= restriction of the statement to France)


Thanks, now I'm getting it.


So, in french, currency sign comes after the amount?


Yes, and we use spaces and commas:

120,50€ = cent vingt euros cinquante
1 200€ = mille deux cents euros


@deeptendu - The difference is that in the first phrase, the amount of euros is followed by the fractional amount. So it's 120 euros, plus half (50/100) another.


In 120,50€, why is the euro written in the middle while in 1 200€ it is at the end?


It seems strange to use croire without some kind of object, either "il le croyait" or "il croyait que oui" (or maybe "il y croyait"? "il lui croyait"?). In English "He believed!" by itself could have the narrow meaning of "He became a believer in God!" Does "Il croyait!" without an object have the same meaning in French?


You are right on all fronts, "il croyait" can indeed, in the absence of any kind of object, mean that "il était croyant".


do the french use "he believed" like english? c'est a dire, he became a beiliever of god?


I wrote "At least, he believed it" since it sounded strange to me to have no object in English. But no...


I need to check if this is a correct sentence or not: "je marchais lentement quand j'ai vu quelqu'un dans le bois." Can you mix the two tenses together here or no?


Yes, because each of those tenses has a precise meaning in both languages:

Je marchais (I was walking, continuous past) lentement quand j'ai vu (I saw, one-time past and complete) quelqu'un dans le bois.


Could that also be written "Du moins, il a cru"?


Yes, could one use the simply past here--"il a cru"?


In French, the past imperfect is used for repeated/habitual actions as well as the slightly more fuzzy area of thoughts and feelings when a specific time is not given. For example, you would say "Il faisait bien" when referring to the weather, but you also say "À minuit hier soir, il a neigé" because that is a specific time. In this question, we are not given a specific time for when he believed, so it is "Il croyait" instead of "Il a cru"


il faisait beau (weather)


At least he was believing! ... I think context is necessary here. I would say this if someone told me about a prank they pulled on someone and the person believed it for a while. Why would believed be more correct?

  • 2067

"Believe" is one of the stative verbs and is generally not used in a continuous tense. https://www.thoughtco.com/differences-between-action-and-stative-verbs-1211141


Wow that is nuanced, but when I try those stative verbs in a continuous manner, the sentences don't sound right. "I was hearing the concert yesterday." Nope. "I was listening to the concert yesterday." Yep. ... but this begs the question, how is it we should know that a verb is stative in French? Are these categories universal or arbitrary? My guess is the latter. One doesn't see the categorization given in dictionary entries.


"Even less, he used to believe!" perhaps awkward when viewed out of context but, wrong?


even less = encore moins.

so, wrong, sorry.


Oh, ok. Thanks!


@sitesurf, How about "tout de meme moins" and "quand meme moins." Do they also translate to "even less."


Is there a difference in 'Du moins' if the sentence ended as 'ils croyaient' ? The pronunciation helped me get this wrong.


"du moins" is an adverbial locution and as such invariable. So, no difference, whatever follows.


So regardless, if it's spoken, "Du moins, il croyait," or "Du moins, ils croyaient," how is the context of singular or plural subject supposed to be deciphered (He believed, they believed) ? I hear no difference ?


The pronunciation is the same and I am pretty sure Duo accepts both.


Sorry to sound harsh, but that is the reason I posted my question. Duo doesn't accept both...


You do not sound harsh, it is just that you should mention it here when you report a problem so that Duo amends the program.


Du moins means en tous cas.


I don't think so.


The audio sounds wrong to me. She seems to be saying moi not moins. Or is it just my ear isn't as sensitive as I imagine it to be?


I do hear the nasal sound, though I agree that they can be a little difficult to perceive at times...


I've just written At least, he has believed. and Duo didn't accepted it. Why not? At least, he's believed but it's true, todays, since a certain day he doesn't do the same. Well, is it an inacceptable tense?


The French imperfect does not translate to a present perfect.

"il croyait" means that he does not believe any longer.



does "passe compose" translate to a past perfect?


No, the French passé composé translates to either a past simple or a present perfect tense.

il a cru = he believed OR he has believed (depending on context)


What is Difference between passé composé and imperfect when translated into English


Have you read the Tips&Notes in both Past Imperfect and Compound Past units?


What is the difference of 'au pire, au moins et du moins


au pire = at worst

au moins 30 jours = at least 30 days (generally used before a quantity)

(sinon...) du moins = (if not...) at least (maybe interchangeable with "au moins" depending on context)


But doesn't it mean of least not at least?


"Of least" is not an English expression.


Shouldn't it be: "at least he was believing" as imperfect past?

  • 2067

"Believe" is one of the stative verbs and is generally not used in a continuous tense. https://www.thoughtco.com/differences-between-action-and-stative-verbs-1211141


"du moins, ils croyaient" devrait être accepté !


The system cannot accept homophones unless a special filter is applied. I reported the homophone and disabled the dictation exercise. Thanks.



Question related to https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Adjectives-3,

<pre>Paul est le meilleur. — Paul is the best. Ses filles sont les meilleures. — Her daughters are the best. </pre>

Here "meilleur" and "meilleures" are adjectives or adverbs. To me they seem adverbs modifying the verbs "est" and "sont".


"le meilleur, la meilleure, les meilleurs, les meilleures" are nouns.

"meilleur, meilleure, meilleurs, meilleures" are adjectives.

The adverb is "mieux", and like all other adverbs, it is invariable (no agreement).


At least has two meanings in English. The french are more specific with au moins/du moins.

1] At least = not less than; at the minimum. Eg, clean the windows at least once a week.. "Au moins" in French carries this import.

2] At least = if nothing else; in any case. Eg, the options aren't complete, but at least they're a start. "Du moins" in French carries this second import. It used to qualify or add a positive spin about a generally negative situation.


C'est une discussion très utile et instructive. Je voudrais remercier tout le monde qui lui ont contribuée.


... tout le monde qui y a contribué.


"He believed, at least!" not accepted.


could one use the simply past with "he believed"--il a cru?


I wrote "he beleived, at least" and it was not accepted. Is there any particular reason why?


Could "du moins" be translated as "nevertheless"? This seems to correlate with "at least" in english --- if not, what is the translation for "nevertheless"?


As we know, in English, if "Think" means "to have an idea or opinion" it cannot be used in continuous form but if it means "consider" it can be. With that in mind, can we translate "il croyait" to both "I was thinking" and "I thought" here in this sentence, can't we? If not, which one is the exact meaning of this verb here?


I wonder why my answer of ' He used to believe it' is wrong compared with 'he believed SO'


after you had to write it in French, the same question came back but you needed to write in English, which in my opinion, is kinda dumb.


nevertheless ... too far out in the translation? or do you need to use neanmoins


doesn't make sense. At least he believed it: sounds more correct


Does anyone else think duo's punctuation is often off

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