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"Sometimes I go, sometimes not."

Translation:Parfois j'y vais, parfois non.

December 30, 2012



Why is "Parfois j'y vais, parfois pas." wrong?


Your proposal is correct and common.


And it is being accepted now.


How come it has to be "j'y vais" and not "je vais"?


"je vais" does not stand alone. It has to go with the place where you go. Here, it is "y", which means "there".


Really?! Then how come they give these two answers (never mind even "par" that's out of place)? Had that been the case, the first sentence would've had it it, too, no?

<pre>Parfois je pars, parfois non. Parfois j'y vais, parfois non. </pre>

Otherwise, I do agree that this fragment makes no sense just like many others. "Y" is supposed to be used if you have previously talked about a location, which is obviously not the case.


Verb "partir" can stand alone, without a hint about a destination. "aller" does not.


Thank you! So partir and aller can 'parfois' be interchangable?


Yes, when we leave a place, we usually say "j'y vais" meaning "I leave or I go", even if nobody knows where we are actually going to.


What about "Ça va, ça vient"? Or does that rule only apply to the physical sense of the word?


"ça va, ça vient" is essentially figurative, but it cannot translate "sometimes I go, sometimes I don't" because the speaker is not involved in that impersonal expression and it does not express a movement.


They accepted my "je vais" and suggested j'y vais as another translation


"aller" requires an object...barring none, it needs an "y". Much like English requires a subject so you must say "It is raining", even though there is really no "it". It's called an "expletive pronoun". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expletive_pronoun


A very interesting reference because it is similar in French but we generally call it "sujet apparent" in an "impersonal expression" (il fait beau, il faut, il est nécessaire...) I must admit that calling it a "dummy" pronoun is even nicer.


Yeah, it's a fascinating phenomenon. I remember being struck with the thought of "semantic weight" of words in my linguistic classes. In a certain sense, aller summons the 'y' like a moon around a planet.


Thanks to kylaryn and sidesurf very nicely put


This has to do with transitive and intransitive verbs. In French dictionaries, this is annotated as v.t. and v.i., respectively. A transitive verb requires an object, an intransitive verb requires no object, and many verbs are both. Transitive: To have. ex: I have a book. Intransitive: To Die. Ex. He is dying.

Confusion arises when a verb is transitive in French, where it may be commonly used intransitively in English. Actually, "To Go" is transitive in English too, but the object is omitted as being understood. Ex. I'm going in 10 minutes. This may be shorthand for I'm going to the store in 10 minutes, or I'm going there in 10 minutes. Or Are you going? Yes, I'm going (there.) Thus, in French-- J'y vais.


je vais is accepted. *)


What is the difference between "parfois" and "quelquefois"?


I just answered “Parfois je vais, parfois non.” and it was accepted as a correct answer. Reading these comments though, it would seem to be an error. Is it?


the wrong part is "je vais" that has to be "j'y vais"


I would like to see "des fois" added to the possibilities of translating "sometimes". Unless we only want to keep more formal expressions, "des fois" is very common in spoken French and more of a colloquial expression. Anyone agree?


I don't, sorry, "des fois" is not correct French as a stand-alone, only in expressions like "il y a des fois où..."


Definitely not proper written French, but much more common than parfois in spoken French in Canada. It's just a possibility that can be added, not to say that it is better than "parfois". "Des fois, oui" I hear all the time.


For what it's worth, in southwest France I heard des fois all the time. It was far more common in my experience. I can't comment on the other regions, or on what's used in professional environments. It's true that I can't remember seeing it written.


For your information, using "des fois" is not regional, it is just bad French.


Just to be safe, if I was to say, "Sometimes I go," would I say in French "Parfois t'y vas"?


sometimes I go = parfois j'y vais

parfois t'y vas = sometimes you go. it is incorrect in writing because "tu" is never elided.


I used "Parfois j'en vais" and got corrected to "je m'en vais" what does the "m' " actually do there?


"s'en aller" is a reflexive verb.


J'en vais is also acceptable, no?


No, this verbal phrase is reflexive: je m'en vais, tu t'en vas, il/elle/on s'en va, nous nous en allons, vous vous en allez, ils/elles d'en vont.

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