Tom :)
Translating Modal verbs Hello there! I'm having difficulty completing this French Excercise. I'm struggling on a few questions in particular which are down below. If anyone could assist me that would be appreciated very much! Translating Modal verbs Complete the following sentences, translating 'will' or 'would' as appropriate. 1)She won't (= will not) tidy her room.= Elle ne _________ nettoyer sa chambre. 2)She would spend hours sitting at the window.= Elle ________ des heures assise à la fenêtre. 3)Whenever they had problems, he wouldn't do anything to help them.= A chaque fois qu'ils avaient des difficultés, il ___________ pour les aider.
Nov 9, 2018 1:25 PM
Answers · 6
@Tom - I agree with Su.Ki. -1- Here is a link showing ne pas vouloir for refusal for question 1. Question 2 is easy. Imperfect to show a habit. Question 3 is tricky. The imperfect is reasonable. A translation class would ask students to consider the passé composé (...n'a jamais rien fait) as an alternative and to justify one choice or the other. -2- These exercises are inappropriate for the typical French class. Did they come from a translation class? -3- These exercises are very similar to English grammar exercises that I use to teach French speakers that "would" has multiple uses and that it can't be mechanically translated as the conditional of vouloir. -4- I highly recommend the grammar series "Grammaire Progressive du Français" (débutant, intermédiare, avancé, perfectionnement) by Clé International. I use this series when tutoring French to children in my bilingual city in Canada.
November 10, 2018
Well, this is as much a test of English than of French! In fact, it looks like an exercise to teach French-speaking people how English uses modal verbs rather than one to teach English speakers to use French. An interesting exercise if you're planning to become an EFL teacher, but otherwise a bit confusing. Quand même... 1. When we say 'won't' in this sense in English, we mean 'refuse to', so "Elle ne veut pas..." ( She doesn't want to) would be the most obvious translation. 2. When we use 'would' in this sense in English, it's to refer to a habit in the past. This equates to the past continuous in French. To spend is 'passer', so you'd say "Elle passait des heures..". 3. This is a combination of the two modal uses above - a habitual refusal to do anything, set in the past. I'd go for the past continuous again and say 'Il ne faisait rien". This really isn't a suitable exercise for a beginner, if you don't mind my saying. If this is an exercise that a teacher has given you, you might want to think about changing teachers.
November 9, 2018
I don't really agree with Su.Ki., except for the first and third sentences. For the second, I'd translate : "elle passerait des heures...". L'original ne dit pas : "she spent..." For the third one, I think both versions are possible : "il ne faisait rien" et "il ne ferait rien". But I agree that this isn't easy at all.
November 9, 2018
In fact I do not really support the French preliminary drafts proposed in the exercise, they are forcing unnatural answers somehow. 1/ Elle ne nettoiera pas sa chambre. (unheard = she refuses to do it). In this case I would completely omit the auxiliary and go directly for a strong negation of the verb nettoyer. 2/ Elle pouvait passer des heures à regarder par la fenêtre. In this case I would even change to pouvoir to accentuate the longing action. 3/ A chaque fois qu'ils avaient des problèmes, jamais il n'aurait fait quoi que ce soit pour les aider. Here, I suggest conditionnel mode, to emphasize the zero probability he may have helped.
November 9, 2018
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