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  5. "Tu ne connaissais absolument…

"Tu ne connaissais absolument pas cet homme."

Translation:You absolutely did not know that man.

July 24, 2013



I really wonder the context where I would use this sentence.. "you absolutely didn't know that guy who just left out from our closet naked?"


I previously thought that it sounded like someone getting the 3rd degree in a murder investigation - but I like your explanation more.


You did not absolutely know this man?


that's what i said too!


I think this syntax changes the meaning. "To not know someone absolutely" is to know them (perhaps well), but not completely, whereas "to absolutely not know someone" is to not know them at all.

  • 1379

Can the relative position of "absolument" and "pas" be switched to alter the meaning of this sentence?

  • Tu ne connaissais absolument pas cet homme. = You absolutely didn't know that man. (as in "You are 100% sure you didn't know that man; you never met him in your life.")

  • Tu ne connaissais pas absolument cet homme. =? You didn't absolutely know that man. (as in "You didn't fully know that man; he worked as a monkey trainer in the circus when you thought he was working on a "Save the whales" campaign.")


This question here needs to be answered by a French native. Sometimes the adverb is within the ne...pas bracket, sometimes it is outside of it. Why this difference?


you didn't know that man at all (accepted)


you did not at all know that man


Is the placement of "absolument" absolute in this sentence, or could it be in other parts of the sentence, for instance before "connaissais" or after, "pas"?


adverbs follow the verb to which they refer so it absolutely should follow 'connaissais"


Yes, normally, but we also see that pas usually separates a negated adjective from its adverb. Why not here?


You were not knowing absolutely this man - considered wrong


"You did not know that man at all" is an accepted translation, and perhaps closer to what we would say in English.


I haven't done past tense yet; why am I getting this question?!? (Duo should at least let you review the guidelines when you do "practice" lessons.)

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