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  5. "Il sait au moins lire."

"Il sait au moins lire."

Translation:At least he knows how to read.

December 19, 2012


  • 1873

What makes this "how to read", rather than just "to read"?


I think it's because "savoir" is translated into "to know how to" or "to be able to"


Would there be difference in translating "At least HE knows how to read" (as opposed to some other guy) vs. "He knows how to read at least" (even if he doesn't know how to write).


In French we would use the "pronom d'insistance" and say: "Toi, au moins, tu sais lire" = "At least, YOU can read." Interesting enough in the case of the third person singular you can even omit the main subject and just keep the pronoun as subject: "Lui au moins sait lire" where the "il disappears". Which makes the sentence above "Il sait au moins lire" meaning that at least he can read (even if he can write, for example), but definitely not comparing to anybody else who can't.


I think both of those sentences could mean the same thing in English, it all just depends on where you put the emphasis: "At least HE knows how to read" and "HE knows how to read at least" both mean the same thing with the emphasis provided. I'm not a native French speaker, but I imagine if you put the emphasis on the "Il" in the French sentence, it may may provide the distinction you're wondering about


I don't think it should be incorrect to say "At least he knows [that he needs] to read.", where the italics is implied, or maybe tacked on at the end: "At least he knows to read in order to improve his French." Is savoir really "to know how to" or just simply "to know"?


In English, the construction "to know to do something" implies "to know that one must do something. In French, "Savoir faire quelque chose" means "to know how to do something"


I used " At least he knows to read" I was looking for a "how", not thinking of savoir being the "how"part


How come this can't be translated as "He knows how to at least read" in English? Is that just bad grammar? Has my public school education failed me? Lol


Would it be incorrect to say "Il sait lire, au moins"?


or "Au moins, il sait lire"?


Both also possible.


Can it be translated as: "At least he can read"?


Why is 'au' used in this sentence? I thought that it was used as a contraction of 'at the' 'to the' etc

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