"Ce n'est rien de sérieux."

Translation:It is nothing serious.

6 years ago

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TheEugenius
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Why is there a de before the sérieux? Thanks :D

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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it is idiomatic, I can't find any specific reason for that structure, except that it works like "aucun de",which translates to "none of" or "not one of" or "not any of"

  • aucun d'entre eux n'est mon ami

  • rien de sérieux ne peut arriver

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nicholas_ashley

generally when rien is followed by an adjective, the structure is:

rien + de + adjective

examples

rien de pareil / rien de tel - nothing like it
Rien de neuf- nothing new
Rien d’intéressant - nothing interesting
Rien de bon - nothing good
Il n’y avait rien d’intéressant dans le magasin. - There was nothing interesting in the store.
je ne cherche rien de précis - I am not looking for anything specific
il n'a rien dit de nouveau - he didn't say anything new
presque rien d'autre - almost nothing else

and when rien is followed by a passive infinitive the structure is:

rien + à + passive infinitive

examples

n'avoir rien à se mettre - to have nothing to wear
je n‘ai rien à faire. - I have nothing to do
Je n'ai rien à ajouter. - I do not have anything to add.
Je n'ai rien à cacher. - I have nothing to hide
il n’y a rien à voir ici. - There is nothing to see here
il n'ya rien à acheter - there is nothing to buy.
rien à déclarer - nothing to declare

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duogm

Could it be because of the structure," il est + adjective + de/a+ infinitive" where de is used for dummy subject.

In the example that you gave, "aucun d'entre eux n'est mon ami", what does n'est stand for? Also, why is there no pas?

In "rien de sérieux ne peut arriver", why is there no "pas".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Remember that French negatives work in tandem: "ne" + another word.

Therefore, "rien... ne" and "aucun... ne" work exactly as "ne... rien" and "ne... aucun", the only change is that "rien" and "aucun" are subjects in the first case and objects in the latter case.

In the sentence "ce n'est rien de sérieux", there is a real subject (= this/that is nothing serious), but there is no matching impersonal structure, contrary to other cases like "il est utile" de vs "c'est utile à". We cannot compare these cases because "rien" is not an adjective.

However, "rien + à + infinitive" is possible, when "rien" is an object.

  • Je n'ai rien à faire = I have nothing to do
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

Hopefully Sitesurf will reply. Meanwhile...

There is no infinitive in the sentence we are studying. The only verb is etre, which is conjugated. (est)

In the "aucan" example, "est" is the verb of the sentence. There is no "pas" in this sentence or the next one because there is a different negative construction instead: aucan/rien as the subject of the sentence, which then requires "ne" before the verb. "None of them is my friend." "Nothing serious can happen."

If we added a "pas," it would create a double negative, which is impossible: None of them isn't my friend/Nothing serious cannot happen.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wuch

May i know why there is a "ne" before "est" in your above example of "aucun d'entre eux n'est mon ami"?

I've seen the term "n'est" used in other phrases as well where there is no second word of the negation (e.g. "ne...pas" or "ne...plus"). Is there a standalone use of "n'est"?

Thanks.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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In French, negatives come with 2 words:

  • ne... pas
  • ne... plus
  • ne... jamais
  • ne... rien
  • ne... aucun
  • ne... personne

Right now, I can't find an example with "n'est" as a standalone.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukman.A
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[QUESTION]

Does the phrase "it's nothing serious" have the same meaning with the phrase "it's not serious at all"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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In English, adding "at all" makes it much more emphatic.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gervas1981

it's not serious at all would be: c'est n'est pas serieux du tous

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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du tout

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chantry

I read this as It is not nothing serious, which in english would mean, It is serious. Is n'est rien just a sentence structure one must memorize?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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There are many expressions containing "rien" : http://french.about.com/od/expressions/a/rien.htm

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chantry

Thank you! By the way, your comments have been so helpful. Thanks for doing what you do! It really makes a big difference.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Am pleased to be useful. :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007
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So rien means nothing, or ne........ rien means nothing? In English a double negative would mean a positive statement. So deux fois rien is next to nothing, trois fois rien is next to nothing, is there un fois rien, which should really be next to nothing...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

Ne...rien is not a double negative. All French negative constructions use ne along with another word (the most common is ne...pas). Ne doesn't mean anything on its own, it's more like a signal for something coming up later in the sentence.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zaykay1

"ne" means "not" and "rien" means "anything", so it would be not anything, which you could shorten to nothing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RoseArtlily

In English there are double negatives which are meant to be negative as well IE. I don't have any money is same as I have no money etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevkrre
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Both of those are single negatives.

"I do not have any money"

"I have no money"

The double negative would be "I do not have no money", which is not acceptable in standard (by which I mean "educated") dialects of English. In dialects in which "[...] not [...] no [...]" is accepted, the additional "no" is often used to intensify the statement.

[I continue because I need to couch my statements on the "correctness" of double negatives and the implicit social biases of these constructions]

I originally had a long statement where I clarified my (really, I think, the) position on the "correctness" of the double negative in English, but suffice it to say, the double negative is the accepted form in some dialects of English which in the US are often associated with classes of people who typically have a poor socioeconomic background. Associated in both directions, the double negative then takes on a connotation of being uneducated, which I specifically want to avoid implying by stating that it is "incorrect".

The idea that two negatives make a positive is a borrowing from mathematical logic, which, in my opinion, is often used as an excuse, unintentionally or not, to explain why certain groups of people aren't speaking "correct" English. It is not a fundamental feature of language (re French), even for English. (I'm sure some language somewhere actually uses a double negative as a positive -- I am aware that this occurs in English, but not in this context -- and not as a rhetorical device for explaining why someone is stupid for saying "don't have no")

One can read more here

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mdrrrm
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Russian actually uses lots of double negatives. For example, «I do nothing» will be «я ничего не делаю», which literally translates as «I don't do nothing». It's also that way with words like «noone», «never», «nowhere» and so on.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

It's easy to be fooled that every time you see "ne," it's already a negation. But it's not really that, "ne" doesn't really mean anything on it's own, it's more like an alert that something is coming up (usually after the verb), but that something could be pas/rien/jamais/plus/personne/aucun, etc...including que, which means "only" - so that one is not really negative at all.

Sometimes very tricky if there are a lot of words between the "ne" and the other word - you can be thinking the whole time that it will be pas or some other negation, and it turns out to be "que!" So the sentence doesn't turn out to mean what you were thinking it would...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayne566231

Double negatives like this are common in French (and also in Spanish). They do not work like math to make a positive.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

This is not a double negative.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayne566231

It looks less "double" now that I've read your helpful explanation of "ne" meaning nothing on its own. I was interpreting "N'est" to mean "It is not." Thanks for clarifying.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

My pleasure. I think most people struggle with this. I know that for me, I really have to watch the tendency to think negation as soon as I see "ne," because sometimes you have another five words and then you come to the other half of the construction, and it is "que!"And so if you are thinking in the negative, you have to rethink the whole thing because "ne...que" is not really a negation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eellrraatt

there is nothing serious - should be wrong ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"there is nothing serious" would be "il n'y a rien de sérieux", which is a more general statement than it/ce

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thearkenstone

Would this be 'It isn't anything serious', while 'C'est rien de serieux' translates to 'It's nothing serious'?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"rien" without "ne" is incorrect French.

ce n'est rien de sérieux = either "it is not anything serious" or "it is nothing serious"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thearkenstone

Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheJackalope231

Ce n'est qu'une blessure superficielle.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elad41

what's wrong about "it is not serious at all"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Multi0Lingual4
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"At all" isn't a part of the original sentence. Also, the difference between "it's nothing serious" and "it is not serious at all," tweaks the meaning slightly. There's more emphasis when you add "at all," but I suppose it really doesn't matter.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buddha6

Would " It isn't serious" be translated the same way?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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It isn't serious is a simple negation = ce n'est pas sérieux, il n'est pas sérieux, elle n'est pas sérieuse.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buddha6

Ok thanks a lot, not only for this answer but also for all your great help here! Another question: Would "Ce n'est pas de sérieux." be also something possible?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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No, this does not work.

But "ce n'est pas du sérieux" is colloquial to mean "ce n'est pas du [masculine noun] sérieux" - with variants in meaning: work, relationship, behavior...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mbRDt7
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Something interesting/seeking clarification: the indefinite article "de" follows a negative, right?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

After negation, "de" replaces the indefinite and partitive articles (un, une, des, du, de la). But in this case it is because rien is followed by de when there is then an adjective (also true for quelque chose). Rien de spécial, quelque chose de sérieux, etc. De is also used in expressions of quantity - assez d' argent, trop de travail, beaucoup d'amis, etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jamshh

So how would I say, "It is nothing too serious"? ... "Ce n'est rien trop de sérieux"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, or "ce n'est rien de bien sérieux".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mhenrik99

Pourquoi pas there is nothing important??

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/caitnicheallaigh

I translated as "It's nothing serious" but it rejected that and said the correct solution was "It is nothing serious".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lukman.A
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"It's nothing serious" is accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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So, please avoid non required contractions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jokanda

Why "there is not anything serious" is wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Please back translate: there is not anything serious = il n'y a rien de sérieux.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sckrible

Can somebody explain to me why Ce is used here rather than, il or elle, is it because it is an abstact concept?

Would it ever be appropriate to use Il n'est rien de sérieux?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Yes, this "ce" is abstract. The sentence describes a situation rather than a precise thing.

If it were a precise thing, already mentioned before, I think we would change the construction:

  • (cette maladie) - elle n'a rien de sérieux = there is nothing serious about it
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NicoleRankine

is there a 'de' before serieux because the sentence is impersonal?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"rien de + adjective" is idiomatic and "de" does not need to be translated.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shecallmeninja

So I have to add n' before est even if write rien in a negative sentence?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

yes

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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All negatives have "ne": ne... pas, ne... plus, ne... jamais, ne... rien, ne... aucun, ne... personne

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FelicityStimpson

I said It's not at all serious. How does this differ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dogac.basaran

Can't we translate it like 'This is not something serious' ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

I don't think so. Nothing is not the same as not something. And something is quelque chose. Ce n'est pas quelque chose de sérieux?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/minimi1984
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This one speaks trop vite. It is impossible to hear what's being said.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Radiobrus

If you translate it "not at all" it's easier. Why "at"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Helobonbon

Is it wrong to translate as "it's not serious at all"??????

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

"Ce n'est pas sérieux du tout."

Rien means nothing: It's nothing serious. Of course the meaning is similar, but yours requires a different set of French words.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ebrown130901
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'This is nothing of seriousness' should be accepted, as that is the literal translation.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007
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I have heard the sentence, It is nothing of consequence. I have not heard nothing of seriousness. I am with DL on this one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ebrown130901
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Here is the definition of the word 'seriousness': https://goo.gl/Eu6y5y In the definition, it gives the sentence: "we are aware of the seriousness of the situation", which is a fantastic example of why it would be grammatically correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neolit1
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Why isn't there any "pas" in the sentence?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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"rien" replaces "pas".

French negatives come in two words: "ne" + pas/plus/jamais/rien/aucun/personne

Therefore "ne... rien" means "not... anything" or "nothing".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ratchet111653

Poor female pronunciation of sérieux

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/deniserenz

The demonstrative CE is driving me crazy! Why sometimes it means "This is" and others is "there is"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nzchicago

It does not mean "there is." That would be "il y a."

Ce means this/that, or it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Courtney.03

I don't see how this answer could be wrong : "its nothing serious" (French to English) and the mistake was i didn't put an apostrophe and it marked me wrong! And I often don't put an apostrophe and it says almost correct but I still get the mark

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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The spelling "its" is wrong since "its" is the possessive for "it" and nothing else.

Next time, use "it is" in full or add the apostrophe "it's" to be marked correct.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007
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Yes, it needs an apostrophe to be correct, and to be marked correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen1888

This looks like a double negative, it isn't nothing?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Remember that "nothing" = not... anything.

In French, negatives work with 2 words:

  • ne... pas
  • ne... plus
  • ne... jamais
  • ne... rien
  • ne... aucun
  • ne... personne
3 years ago
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