Renan
Cela a-t-il un sens? I got this sentence for the translation of "Does that make sense?". But why should I use "a-t-il"? Since the subject (cela) is already there, isn't one just unnecessarily duplicating it by saying "a-t-il"?My doubt doesn't rely on the t euphonique, but rather on the fact that we have "cela" and "il" in the same sentence. In English, it's almost as though we said "Does that it make sense?". You have two words to explicit the same subject. I get it now that it happens in French, but how can I use it correctly?
Feb 14, 2016 8:48 AM
Answers · 9
no coma between 'cela' and the rest of the sentence Whenever you have a question ( with an inversion) in the 3rd person you repeat the subject under the form of a personal pronoun, except if the subject itself is already a personal pronoun ( il, elle, ils, elles) Papa est malade --> question: Papa est-il malade? Les enfants sont à l'école --> Les enfants sont-ils à l'école? Marie regarde la télévision --> Marie regarde-t-elle la TV? Cela a du sens --> Cela a-t-il du sens? but: IL est dans la cuisine --> we have already a personal pronoun --> Est-il dans la cuisine. It's very easy. Have a nice evening. Martine
February 14, 2016
"Cela a-t-il un sens?" To understand it, you need to familiarize yourself with the French way of thinking and speaking. The phrase is like: "Cela, a-t-il un sense?" = That, does it make sense? This way of uttering a noun or a longer phrase first (sometimes it can come at end too) and picking it up with a pronoun in a sentential phrase is one of the peculiarly French ways. We sometimes see it in English too, although rarer, like "The party last night, you know, it was awesome.", It has a more colloquial and rhythmic feel than the prosaic "The party last night was awesome". It is like drawing the listener's attention to the main topic first, usually a noun phrase, and then saying the rest. Another English example: "You know, that guy who joined us last night, he was so good looking". It sounds much more interesting than "You know, that guy who joined us last night was so good looking", especially if you use the right intonation too. Here's another French example - the title of an old song title "Love is for nothing (futile)". In French, it becomes "Love, it is for nothing", or "L'amour, c'est pour rien". This pattern is so pervasive they don't even put the comma after "L'amour".
February 14, 2016
First thing you have to know (you maybe know it already) you can't have 2 vowels "linked" -> cela a il un sens... Try to pronounce that, you'll see that it comes wrong. That's why we add a "t" which refers to the subject. Moreover, this example is a question which is why we use it this way. Check this link, it should help you: https://fr.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/t-il
February 14, 2016
It is definitely correct ! (I'm not sure if someone can explain the grammar behind this, but sometimes things are being said in mysterious ways !) You can also say: Est-ce que cela a un (du) sens? (a bit too long and cumbersome, though)
February 14, 2016
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Renan
Language Skills
English, French, Korean, Portuguese
Learning Language
French, Korean